Marine Protected Areas And Tourism
Patagon Journal|No. 15 - Protecting the Ocean

To protect marine ecosystems, marine protected areas (MPAs) must often balance the interests and uses of multiple stakeholders, from fisheries and tourism industries to research and conservation interests.

Stephanie Stefanski

Successful management and implementation of policies requires stakeholder buy-in, vigilant oversight and enforcement, and community participation throughout the decision-making process to ensure regulations align with community willingness and ability to follow those rules. Otherwise, a marine protection area will be in name only.

Tourism stakeholders, particularly whale and dolphin watching excursions, are increasingly contributing to local economies and have the most to gain from protecting key habitats in MPAs, such as reproductive, calving, and feeding grounds. The eco-tourism activities, in turn, can also contribute to the protection of their marine environment. Many environmental economic studies demonstrate that visitors are willing to pay higher entrance fees if they know these fees will contribute toward the conservation of the site. Local communities can also work together to develop, implement, and enforce guidelines to ensure the sustainable use of an area, and to mitigate the impact of tourism activities on MPAs.

Throughout Latin America, there are several examples of successful MPAs that support marine conservation and local economies, and of local communities supporting these MPAs and their wildlife through collaboration and collective action.

El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve

The El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve in Mexico includes Laguna Ojo de Liebre, the first ever MPA designated to protect marine mammals. Created in 1971, the primary goal of the MPA was to protect the mating and calving grounds of the gray whale. Today, El Vizcaino is the largest MPA in Mexico and supports a thriving local tourism industry during the whale watching months of December to April. The number of annual visitors has increased from 10,000 in 1994 to more than 25,000 today. These visitors generate over US$170,000 in economic value per year.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM PATAGON JOURNALView All

Elisa Corcuera 1973 - 2017

Remembering a brilliant Chilean Conservationist

4 mins read
Patagon Journal
No. 15 - Protecting the Ocean

Celebrating Chile's Rivers

2017 River festivals in Chile.

2 mins read
Patagon Journal
No. 15 - Protecting the Ocean

Hiking Alongside The Strait Of Magellan

At the southernmost tip of South America, a five-day trek alongside the magnificent Strait of Magellan offers hikers the unforgettable opportunity to experience the elements of nature to the hilt.

2 mins read
Patagon Journal
No. 15 - Protecting the Ocean

Fundo Playa Venado

When asked how do you eat manjar, Fundo Playa Venado sales manager Isabel Margarita chuckled.

2 mins read
Patagon Journal
No. 15 - Protecting the Ocean

La Mar

Fine dining with sustainable seafood.

2 mins read
Patagon Journal
No. 15 - Protecting the Ocean

National Geographic Pristine Seas Project

Protecting the Ocean’s Last Wild Places.

3 mins read
Patagon Journal
No. 15 - Protecting the Ocean

Dan Laffoley

Advancing International Marine Conservation

5 mins read
Patagon Journal
No. 15 - Protecting the Ocean

Patagonia Mar Y Tierra Working Group

Promoting collaborative networks and integrated marine-terrestrial conservation strategies in Chilean Patagonia.

2 mins read
Patagon Journal
No. 15 - Protecting the Ocean

Marine Otter Chungungo

While many flock to South America’s coastlines for whale watching, catching a rare glimpse of the marine otter is no less exciting. Known affectionately in Spanish by many names - chungungo, nutria del mar, el gato del mar (sea cat) - the lotrina felina is a South American otter species belonging to the mustelidae (weasel) family, and is a cousin to the larger European otter.

1 min read
Patagon Journal
No. 15 - Protecting the Ocean

Marine Protected Areas And Tourism

To protect marine ecosystems, marine protected areas (MPAs) must often balance the interests and uses of multiple stakeholders, from fisheries and tourism industries to research and conservation interests.

4 mins read
Patagon Journal
No. 15 - Protecting the Ocean
RELATED STORIES

GETTING TO KNOW CHEF FRANCISCO ALEJANDRI VAZQUEZ

He left behind the kitchens of some of the best hotels in Mexico and journeyed to Canada. Founder of acclaimed Toronto restaurant Agave y Aguacate (now closed, as he recently moved back to Mexico), he sat down with us to talk about his journey.

2 mins read
Clean Eating
Spring 2021

TRIED AND TESTED HOTEL: ME Cabo, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

BEST FOR World-famous views of El Arco with a beautiful stretch of beach and oceanfront pool

2 mins read
Business Traveler
April/May 2021

Mexico's Covid Codependency

U.S. stimulus flows to Mexico in the form of remittances and increased export demand

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
March 15, 2021

After a Grim Limbo, Hope

A migrant camp empties as Biden undoes Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy

6 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
March 08, 2021

LESSONS FROM LUIS THE MONEY LAUNDERER

What drives one to cross continents the hard way? Is this what Overlanding is about? That persistent feeling that we'll never be caught if nothing can catch us? The optimist in me sure hoped that was the case. And after riding a battered old KLR650 35,000km from Canada to the southern tip of South America I'm still unsure what the purpose or motivation was. Worthwhile? Absolutely. Why? No idea.

4 mins read
Adventure Motorcycle (ADVMoto)
January - February 2021

What to Expect If You're Flying in 2021

Policies enacted by the airlines in 2020 may change air travel for the long haul.

3 mins read
Kiplinger's Personal Finance
March 2021

BEACH BOD: SECURED!

La Bella Vita

1 min read
Star
January 25, 2021

Ana Leovy – Confetti in Cancún

Ana Leovy’s glass is half full, effervescent with bubbles, ready to toast the day and share the good news. Maybe on a solo stroll, maybe with friends and neighbors, the message is clear in her ripe gouache and acrylic pictures. Follow the light like a sunflower, lounge proud with purpose. A tropical storm delayed our conversation, but didn’t dampen her spirits.

8 mins read
JUXTAPOZ
Winter 2021

Short hikes on the long PCT

Other than some extreme sports, one of the most agreed-upon measures of athletic physical endurance is hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.

1 min read
The Good Life
December 2020

Night Sky

Spend evenings under the stars in San Miguel de Allende.

2 mins read
Global Traveler
November 2020