Although Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are an increasingly popular policy tool for protecting marine stocks and biodiversity, they pose high costs for small-scale fisherfolk in poor countries. With Tanzania’s Mnazi Bay Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park as an example, we develop a spatial economic decision-modelling framework as a lens to examine fishers’ reactions to incentives created by an MPA. We argue that MPAs in poor countries can only contribute to sustainability if management induces changes in incentives to fish through a combination of enforcement (‘sticks’) and livelihood projects (‘carrots’). We emphasise practical implementation issues and implications for fostering marine ecosystem sustainability.
Keywords: marine protected areas, sustainable marine reserves, Tanzania, practical enforcement, marine-dependent livelihoods, sustainable society