Consumptive Uses



This Ecosystem Feature encompasses human use activities that involve the extraction of living marine resources. This can include hand-collecting species on shore, by snorkeling, or by scuba diving, as well as commercial and recreational fishing occurring on shore or by boat. In addition some organisms are collected for scientific research.



MPA monitoring is designed to assess not only the effects of consumptive uses on MPAs and ecosystems, but also the effects of MPAs on consumptive uses. The socioeconomic effects of MPAs may be seen in the quality or economic value of a particular consumptive activity. Changes are often reflected in the patterns of human use, either through active shifts in resource use or through displacement effects.

Many of these activities, including the collection of organisms for scientific research, require licenses and permits. Illegal take of marine resources is a challenge for marine resource management worldwide, including in MPAs, and it can greatly undermine MPA efficacy. As such, monitoring needs to detect the effects of human use while also considering the levels of non-compliance with MPA regulations.



A broad range of external drivers influence the patterns and intensity of human use associated with MPA implementation, from economic to regulatory. Perhaps most importantly, broad economic drivers strongly influence commercial and recreational fishing activities – evidenced by declines of coastal economies alongside increase of fuel prices. As MPA regulations are part of a broader suite of fisheries management regulations, this needs to be considered into integrated analyses to examine trends in consumptive uses with respect to individual MPAs, key ports, and across the region as a whole.