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Social-Ecological Systems Meta-Analysis Database: Variables

Variable TypeCategorical
Variable Component TypeActor
Variable KindInteraction
ThemeInstitutions (learn about themes)
ProjectsSESMAD
QuestionIs membership in this actor group subject to ongoing negotiations (fuzzy boundaries)? Or are the boundaries the group more rigid?
Select OptionsFuzzy, Rigid
Unit
RoleCommonsUser
Importance"Rigid boundaries ensure that the benefits of clear boundaries are obtained. This being that those who participate in group activities and incur the costs of cooperation are ensured that they will benefit from the advantages of belonging to the group. It also helps to limit the amount of a natural resource that can be extracted in the case of natural resource management. At the same time, there are some circumstances under which it can be very important to have fuzzy boundaries between groups. Particularly in situations where environmental scarcity and heterogeneity is high, it can be very helpful for resource users to access the resources owned by other groups. This is enabled by fuzzy boundaries (see Niamir-Fuller 1998). There is thus a trade-off between the benefits associated with each of these types of boundaries (which is at the same time a weakness of the other in that it does not confer this benefit as much)."
Definition

"A rigid boundary is one in which changes in membership and the rights and obligations associated with membership change infruequently and are not changeable based on short to medium-term fluctiations. A fuzzy boundary is one in which changes in membership and the rights and obligations associated with membership can change in a relatively ad hoc basis, based on the needs of users and potential members to access the benefits associated with membership."

Sectors

Theory Usages

TheoryValue Used

Case Usages

CaseInteraction TypeComponentValue UsedExplanation
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat Artisanal FishersRigidEthnic group
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat Artisanal FishersRigidBased on ethnicity
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard TourismRigidAlthough the boundary is open for any operator to initiate cruises to Svalbard, in practice almost all boats/operators are members of AECO.
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard Shrimp FishersRigidMembership was designated in the Svalbard Treaty in 1920
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Artisan FishermenRigidFishing permits
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceCalifornia Sanctuary Recreational UsersFuzzyAny person can be included in this group.
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceCalifornia Academic ResearchersFuzzyResearchers easily come in and out of Sanctuary research projects, and there is no clear membership to this group.
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Commercial FishersRigidNeed to have licenses to fish SBT commercially
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceAustralian Toothfish FishersRigid
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceAustralian Toothfish FishersRigidOwnership of quota defines group membership.
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR commercial fishersRigidNeed to have licenses to fish commercially
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceCalifornia Groundfish FishermenRigidWith the limited entry groundfish fishery, it is clear who has a permit and who does not. With the open access fishery, vessels are required to have VMS, submit declaration reports and landings reports, and large vessels (>125ft) are required to have NMFS observers. Thus, enforcers and governing officials can identify users in the open access fishery.
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Tourism SectorRigid
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Commercial FishersRigidNeed to have licenses to fish SBT commercially, and defined by quota system.
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat Artisanal FishersRigidBased on traditional rights
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi Bajau fishersRigidEthnic group
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi Bajau fishersRigidEthnic group
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR commercial fishers 
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceCalifornia Academic ResearchersFuzzyResearchers easily come in and out of Sanctuary research projects, and there is no clear membership to this group.
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi Bajau fishersRigid
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceAustralian Toothfish FishersRigidOwnership of quota defines group membership.
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard TourismRigidAlthough the boundary is open for any operator to initiate cruises to Svalbard, in practice almost all boats/operators are members of AECO.
Cenderwasih National ParkGovernanceCenderwasih fishersRigid
Cenderwasih National ParkGovernanceCenderwasih fishersRigid
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR recreational fishersFuzzyAnyone can be a recreational fisher
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR commercial fishersNot Applicable
California squidGovernanceCalifornia market squid fishermenRigidLicenses are clear. Can buy into squid if any licenses go for sale.
Seaflower MPAGovernanceSeaflower artisanal fishersRigidIt is based on ethnic origin. Artisanal fishers are members of the Raizal ethnic group: they are" a national ethnic minority by Colombia and recognized as indigenous by the UN. Raizals descend from English settlers who started arriving in 1630 on the Seaflower (sister ship of the Mayflower), African slaves, and migrants from other Caribbean islands. They have a long sociocultural and economic history distinct from mainland Colombia. Besides having a different language, religion, and ethnicity, the archipelago's isolation meant that the people had a high level of self-determination for over 300 years, mostly controlling their natural resources and marine-based economy until the middle of the 20th century." (from MPA NEWS, Vol. 16, No. 5: REFLECTING ON MARINE TERRITORY: SEAFLOWER MPA, THE RAIZAL PEOPLE, AND THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE).
Falkland Islands squidGovernancePatagonian Squid TrawlersRigidCatch entitlement may be traded on a seasonal or annual basis, whereas ITQ itself can be traded by outright sale and transfer (Harte & Barton, 2007). Ownership of the total quota, however, is limited to 30% by any one company (Arkhipkin et al. 2013b). Only companies listed on an eligibility register would be able to trade ITQ or CE for that fishery. To be entered onto an ITQ eligibility register, a company will have to demonstrate active involvement in a fishery, effective control of rights and the efficient use of those rights. To be on a CE eligibility register companies will need to meet minimum thresholds for Falkland Island participation in a joint venture company.
New Zealand squidGovernanceNew Zealand Arrow Squid FishersRigidQMS very strict on membership. However, if any quota is sold then a company can buy in.
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat TourismRigidOpen to anyone, but need a permit to enter the MPAs - both for operators and tourists
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Commercial FishersRigidNeed to have licenses to fish SBT commercially, and defined by quota system.
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR recreational fishersNot Applicable
Seaflower MPAGovernanceSeaflower artisanal fishersRigidIt is based on ethnic origin. Artisanal fishers are members of the Raizal ethnic group: they are" a national ethnic minority by Colombia and recognized as indigenous by the UN. Raizals descend from English settlers who started arriving in 1630 on the Seaflower (sister ship of the Mayflower), African slaves, and migrants from other Caribbean islands. They have a long sociocultural and economic history distinct from mainland Colombia. Besides having a different language, religion, and ethnicity, the archipelago's isolation meant that the people had a high level of self-determination for over 300 years, mostly controlling their natural resources and marine-based economy until the middle of the 20th century." (from MPA NEWS, Vol. 16, No. 5: REFLECTING ON MARINE TERRITORY: SEAFLOWER MPA, THE RAIZAL PEOPLE, AND THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE).
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceAustralian Toothfish FishersRigidDefined by quota system.