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Collaborative development of management options for an artisanal fishery for seahorses in the central Philippines

Martin-Smith, KM, Samoilys, MA, Meeuwig, JJ and Vincent, ACJ 2004 , 'Collaborative development of management options for an artisanal fishery for seahorses in the central Philippines' , Ocean and Coastal Management, vol. 47, no. 3-4 , pp. 165-193 , doi:

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Overexploitation and habitat degradation threaten small-scale, artisanal fisheries around
the world. Management of these fisheries is often inadequate or absent, partly because they are
data poor. We here present the development of management options for such a fishery, using
collaborative input from a variety of interested groups. Qualitative and semi-quantitative
assessments of seahorse populations in central Philippines suggest that they are overfished.
Management objectives focus on rebuilding seahorse stocks, maintaining income for fishers
and ensuring long-term persistence of seahorse populations. We developed a list of 11
management options at a workshop of fisheries experts from a variety of backgrounds. We
then undertook an iterative process of consultation involving fishers, traders, consumers,
conservationists, aquarists, national and international policy groups. The creation of no-take Marine Protected Areas and minimum size limits for seahorses were strongly supported by all
groups, emerging as the preferred options. Tenure over marine estate was strongly supported
but may prove difficult to implement in the Philippines. Sex-selective fishing (leaving pregnant
males) had moderate support across all groups but may be relatively easy to introduce because
of fisher acceptance. In collaboration with international efforts to ensure sustainable trade in
seahorses we recommend that a minimum size limit of 10 cm height and more no-take Marine
Protected Areas be implemented as soon as possible to help restore this seahorse fishery in the

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Martin-Smith, KM and Samoilys, MA and Meeuwig, JJ and Vincent, ACJ
Keywords: fisheries, Hippocampus, management, coral reef, small-scale
Journal or Publication Title: Ocean and Coastal Management
ISSN: 0964-5691
DOI / ID Number:
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