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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The ecological and socio-economic sustainability of the reef fisheries of Pulau Banggi, Sabah, Malaysia Teh, Louise S. L.


Many coral reef fisheries in developing nations have been, or are currently being overexploited, leading to negative ecological and socio-economic effects. Yet, many reef fisheries are often marginalized from policy makers, leading to a lack of effective management and a poor understanding of these valuable fisheries. For example, the small-scale reef fisheries of Pulau Banggi, Sabah, Malaysia, have neither been actively studied nor managed before. This study seeks to understand the dynamics of Banggi's reef fisheries. I first characterize and analyze the ecological, social, and economic aspects of Banggi's reef fisheries. This is done based on monitoring fish landings and interviewing local fishers during two field periods in 2004 and 2005. I then use an ecosystem modelling tool to explore different policy options, and identify a management strategy which is most appropriate given local social and economic conditions. This study suggests that Banggi's reef fisheries resources may still be relatively productive, but have declined significantly over time. They are likely to become depleted in the future if current rates of exploitation are maintained. Results from an ecosystem modelling exercise, considered within the context of Banggi's socio-economic environment, indicate that: i) the establishment of a small, community-managed marine reserve within the current fishing grounds; and ii) the implementation of alternative livelihood programmes, will be the most suitable courses of action for sustainable management of Banggi's reef fisheries.

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