Marine conservation is a complex challenge and its success is generally determined by social factors. Consequently, before promoting the creation of marine protected areas (MPAs), it is necessary to consider the stakeholder’s vision upon them, their perceptions, interests and expectations, in order to minimize conflicts and achieve the necessary support for their implementation and effective management. In this context, and considering the project to propose the creation of a Multiple-Use Coastal Marine Protected Area (AMCP-MU) in the Almirantazgo Sound, we evaluated the perception of artisanal fishermen from the Magallanes region on the topics of biodiversity conservation, MPAs and the project to create a new AMCP-MU. Thirty-five fishermen were interviewed in different coves from Porvenir, Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales cities. In general, the interviewees demonstrated basic knowledge about the aforementioned topics, which, in general, was obtained through different means. Forty three percent of the fishermen interviewed, perceived MPAs as closed areas, intended to protect species and were human activities represent a threat to them, while 23% indicated that MPAs are not necessarily closed areas, allowing the development of some activities. Regarding the creation of an AMCP-MU in the Almirantazgo Sound, 68% of the fishermen stated that it should not generate restrictions for the development of their activities, nor for those of other sectors (e.g. tourism sector). In regards of the fishermen’s perception upon the stakeholders linked to biodiversity conservation in the region, 54% of the fishermen showed some apprehension towards public services, due to their regulating and supervising role, while the tourism sector and Non-governmental organization were viewed more positively. The results of this work contribute to the understanding of the human dimension of marine conservation in Magallanes, highlight the importance of communication to find a common ground between diverse actors with different cultural interests and experiences, and provide contextual background for the process of creation and implementation of MPAs.
This work is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0