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Social licence for marine protected areas


Kelly, R and Fleming, A and Mackay, M and Garcia, C and Pecl, GT, Social licence for marine protected areas, Marine Policy, 115 Article 103782. ISSN 0308-597X (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2019.103782


The marine environment is a shared public resource and successful marine conservation depends on stakeholder approval and support. The concept of social licence reflects community expectations and support of the use and management of natural resources, and is being increasingly applied in the marine context. Here, support and opposition to marine protected areas are investigated through the frame of social licence. This study explores the perceptions of key marine stakeholders from Tasmania, Australia to improve understanding on social licence for marine protected areas. A combination of Q-methodology and semi-structured interviews are applied to identify how social licence exists and can potentially be developed in practice. Two social perspectives are identified, 1) I use the ocean: MPAs are not the solution, and 2) No one listens: we need MPAs to protect the ocean, that reveal social licence is not a support/oppose outcome and that more nuanced understanding and dialogue around stakeholder engagement and perceptions of the ocean are required. These study outcomes are developed to provide a modern example of marine resource use debate, and to reveal novel insights that can advise marine managers, decision-makers, and stakeholders dealing with marine conflict and opposition in Australia and elsewhere.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:marine protected areas, social licence, Q-method, stakeholder engagement, social acceptability
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Environmental management not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Rehabilitation or conservation of marine environments
UTAS Author:Kelly, R (Dr Rachel Kelly)
UTAS Author:Fleming, A (Dr Aysha Fleming)
UTAS Author:Mackay, M (Ms Mary Mackay)
UTAS Author:Garcia, C (Mrs Carolina Garcia Imhof)
UTAS Author:Pecl, GT (Professor Gretta Pecl)
ID Code:146811
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Fisheries and Aquaculture
Deposited On:2021-09-28
Last Modified:2021-10-28

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