The resort house reefs are protected by law from all extractive activities except for bait fishing by the local fishermen. As such, house reefs can potentially be managed by resort managers and staff and act as a network of Marine Managed Areas (MMAs). However, as management plans do not exist for resort house reefs, destructive or unregulated activities occur from time to time. For many resorts that lie on the same reef system as other resorts or inhabited islands, boundaries of the house-reefs are often ambiguous and are not demarcated. This results in unregulated use of the reefs by outsiders leading to potential conflicts between resort and local communities. Declaring these areas as MMAs by law with clear associated boundaries, reef zones, and policy ensures that house reefs around the resorts are managed well.
This project component developed MMA management plans for several pilot resorts. These plans were based on ecological habitat surveys, design of management zones, and discussions with local stakeholders, communities, resorts, and government. This involved exploring the institutional arrangements between government and resorts and identifying challenges and oppurtunities to successful implementation of privately managed marine areas. Marine biologists, environmental officers, dive staff, or security were trained on monitoring (including Fishwatch, FishCatch, CPCe, Sharkwatch and Bleachwatch), management (enforcement and compliance) and awareness raising. Five resort islands were used as pilots and models for this activity.
Read more in the project synopsis available for download below