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Community-Based Management through Special Management Areas

Community Information Pamphlet; unkown date. Department of Fisheries, Tonga

This pamphlet is a brief explanation of the process used in Tonga to establish ‘Coastal Communities’ and ‘special management areas’ through the Department of Fisheries. Following unsuccessful attempts to manage coastal activities from the Central Government, the Fisheries Management Act 2002 (FMA) now provides for community involvement in inshore area management by a provision for the declaration of any area of the fisheries waters and corresponding adjacent area to be a Special Management Area for purposes of coastal community management, application of certain conservation and management measures, subsistence fishing operations or other specified purposes.

A community can apply to the Minister for Fisheries for designation as a Coastal Community, and the Minister may declare a Special Management Area to be managed by the Community, provided they develop an approved Coastal Community Management Plan. This could be of interest to other countries in the Pacific Islands.