Applying a social-ecological systems approach to understanding local marine management trajectories in northern Mozambique

Kennedy Osuka, Sérgio Rosendo, Michael Riddell, Jeremy Huet, Mario Daide, Ercilio Chauque, Melita Samoilys

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5 Citations (Scopus)
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This study applied the social-ecological systems framework (SESF) to six fishing communities in northern Mozambique where marine resource management is being implemented through the Our Sea Our Life project. Data on 11 variables and 27 indicators were organised using the SESF to represent the key system dimensions (Governance system, Actors, Resource units and Resource system). Variables within each dimension were weighed to a cumulative score of one. High scores (> 0.50) for Governance system occurred where communities had fisheries management rules and good knowledge of fishing gear regulations. High scores for Actors were evident in communities with few migrant fishers and high participation in village savings and loans associations. Elevated scores of the Resource units occurred where fishers targeted a variety of fish taxa. A healthy Resource system was found in communities neighbouring highly productive and resilient reefs, characterised by high fish biomass and diversity. The status of social and ecological conditions coupled with initial levels of project support and quality of technical support were linked with project achievements. Application of the SESF is therefore valuable in understanding interdependent linkages between social and environmental conditions to inform the design of localised management interventions for social-ecological sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3904
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


  • Artisanal fisheries
  • Co-management
  • Locally managed marine areas
  • Social and ecological interventions
  • Social capital


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