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Hastings, R.M., Fischer, D.W.: Management priorities for Magdalena Bay, Baja California, Mexico. Journal of Coastal Conservation, 7: 193-202, 2001.


Abstract. The current lack of a working resource management plan in Magdalena Bay (southern Baja California, Mexico) has weakened attempts to set priorities among resource users and has contributed to: reduced fish stocks, land and marine contamination, and declines in the ecological integrity of the bay of 170 000 ha and its vast mangrove lagoon systems. The government agencies responsible for maintaining ecological integrity and managing marine resource use have not been successful in addressing these problems due to jurisdictional ambiguities, lack of community support, and lack of manpower for monitoring and enforcing policies. A framework was designed by the authors to work toward an approach for balancing between community development and conserving ecological integrity at the local level in the peripheral and central zones of the Magdalena Bay system. The goal of this framework was to suggest a basis for setting management priorities that included the perceptions and preferences of stakeholder groups with regard to direct threats to the environmental health of the study areas. To achieve this goal a crossdisciplinary study of the central and peripheral zones was used to examine factors that influence current resource use and the environmental state in these two regions of the bay system. Insights into the preferences and perceptions of stakeholder groups with regard to management priorities were acquired using the key informant technique. The results revealed potential conflicts with regard to preferred management priorities between stakeholder groups, as well as polarities within stakeholder groups themselves.

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