Seaflower Marine Protected Area

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Chapter 7. MONITORING AND EVALUATION

In general, describe how the nominated site addresses monitoring and evaluation


Results of research and monitoring since 2006 revealed that the condition of most resources has remained the same, while a few have improved or others have even declined, since the establishment of the MPA. For example, in regard to species, a spiny lobster stock analysis showed a fishery that is presently stable but at high risk of overexploitation, and surveys of seabird colonies revealed reductions in numbers. As for ecosystems, monitoring showed that coral condition has remained generally the same, but the condition of some popular reef sites for divers and tourists has declined as have some seagrass beds. Exceptions are mangrove coverage that has grown and queen conch populations that show signs of recovery, both as the result of effective regulation, management, compliance and enforcement, and education.

Zones have been mapped and policies to reduce over-fishing, land-based sedimentation, coastal population, and adapt to climate change impacts have been developed. But the lack of financial resources has impacted CORALINA’s ability to achieve MPA objectives and reduce threats. To date the MPA has been unable to slow the decreasing quality of life and growth of poverty in the islands linked to increasing costs of living, unemployment, crime, and ineffective immigration controls. Therefore, a main thrust of the new GEF project is to achieve financial sustainability and eliminate dependence on grants and outside funding

What indicators are used to evaluate management effectiveness and conservation success, and the impact of the management plan on the local communities


Indicators by category Comments
Evaluation of management effectiveness
Governance effectiveness Biophysical, socioeconomic and governance effectiveness indicators have been identified in a participatory process, however only few are being measured. See prior comments about the need to evaluate and streamline the many existing monitoring programs and protocols, as well as shifting to a question-based approach to best provide information needed to adequately support adaptive management. This also applies to evaluation. Information management and analysis also need to be improved, with results disseminated to stakeholders. Although consulted presently in an informal way, stakeholders will be formally incorporated into the new evaluation process to improve the transparency, responsiveness, and accountability of MPA management.
Evaluation of conservation measures on the status of species populations within and around protected area
Socioeconomic
Evaluation of conservation measures on the status of habitats within and around the protected area
Biophysical
Evaluation of conservation measures on the status of ecological processes within and around the protected area
Management measures However, the sheer number of users and growing poverty now mean that even traditional methods contribute to overfishing. Consequently, MPA management measures include closed seasons for key species such as lobster and conch, protection of spawning sites and aggregations, size limits and quotas, and bans on fisheries of threatened and endangered species such as sea turtles, sharks, etc. in addition to the use of no-entry and no-take zones to balance use with conservation.
Evaluation of the impact of the management plan on the local communities
Local communities