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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2017

Marine protected areas in Costa Rica: How do artisanal fishers respond?

Madrigal-Ballestero, Roger; Albers, Heidi J.; Capitan, Tabare; Salas, Ariana


Costa Rica is considering expanding their marine protected areas (MPAs) to conserve marine resources. Due to the importance of households' responses to an MPA in defining the MPA's ecological and economic outcomes, this paper uses an economic decision framework to interpret data from near-MPA household surveys to inform this policy discussion. The model and data suggest that the impact of expanding MPAs relies on levels of enforcement and on-shore wages. If larger near-shore MPAs can produce high wages through increased tourism, MPA expansions could provide ecological benefits with low burdens to communities. Due to distance costs and gear investments, however, MPAs farther off-shore may place high burdens on off-shore fishers.


Enforcement; Marine reserves; No-take zones; Perceptions; Tourism

Published in

AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
2017, volume: 46, number: 7, pages: 787-796
ISBN: 16547209 00447447

Authors' information

Madrigal-Ballestero, Róger
CATIE - Centro Agronomico Tropical de Investigacion y Ensenanza
Albers, Heidi J.
University of Wyoming
University of Wyoming
Salas, Ariana
CATIE - Centro Agronomico Tropical de Investigacion y Ensenanza

UKÄ Subject classification

Economic Geography
Fish and Wildlife Management

Publication Identifiers


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