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The human side of reef management: a case study analysis of the socioeconomic framework of Montego Bay Marine Park Research Paper

This study furthers our understanding of the role of socioeconomics in coral reef management by demonstrating the importance, as well as means, of incorporating socioeconomic information into coral reef management. A case study analysis was made of the socioeconomic context of the three primary user groups in Montego Bay Marine Park, Jamaica: fishers, hoteliers and watersports operators. The primary means of data collection were document analysis, interviews with individuals representative of user groups, focus groups and participant observation. The results regarding user’s awareness, user groups’ relations with the managing agency, relations among and within user groups, resource use patterns, and sociocultural values demonstrate the need to: increase public awareness of the benefits of the Park, increase user awareness of Park management activities, increase user involvement in Park management, and develop intersectoral coordination. These findings provide useful guidance for future Park management and, in a more general context, illustrate the importance of socioeconomic assessments for reef management.


Area of Interest: Jamaica 

The year 1999

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