The Chinese white dolphin is one of the marine mammals that can be frequently sighted in the coastal waters of western Taiwan. The subpopulation of this species in Taiwan is categorized as critically endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Thus, the designation of its habitat as a marine protected area (MPA) should be conducted to protect it from extinction. However, the proposed MPA covers the coastal waters of several counties, where it also overlaps with fishing grounds and a proposed offshore reclamation island for an industrial park. The designation will affect the original marine use and presents a major conflict among multiple stakeholders. This study is a qualitative study that employs semi-structured interviews with stakeholders from competing interests, including local fisheries, industrial developers, the government, academia, and the conservation sector, in order to explore their perspectives and responses regarding the designation of an MPA and the causes of the conflicts among stakeholders. The results showed that the rationale for opposing the establishment of the MPA is the insufficient amount of scientific information and statistical data for determining the appropriate site and size of the MPA. This also makes it difficult to implement any corresponding mitigation measures. With regard to fisheries, the center of the conflict is that the Chinese white dolphin competes for the same fishery resources with fishermen. Compensation for the loss of fishery resources seems costly. Results from this study will help to inform the design of the MPA for the conservation of Chinese white dolphin in Taiwan and to minimize the conflicts between different stakeholders.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aquatic Science
- Environmental Science(all)
- Economics and Econometrics
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law