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Ecotourism

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Assume that you are the mayor of a coastal town where some residents are employed as commercial fishers and others make a living serving ecotourists who come to snorkel and scuba-dive at the nearby coral reef.

In recent years, several fish stocks have crashed and ecotourism is dropping off as fish disappear from the increasingly degraded reef.

Scientists are urging you to help establish a marine reserve around portions of the reef, but most commercial and recreational fishers are opposed to this idea.

1) What steps would you take to restore your community's economy and environment?

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This is an interesting question for me, because I worked on a project in an area where this exact scenario was the case. Fishermen depended on the reef for their livelihood, but were destroying it through their activities.

The steps I would take if I were in charge of remedying such a situation would be the following:

1) Set up an educational program, incorporating both people with environmental backgrounds as well as some in the fishing industry. This helps make the program more acceptable to fishermen, because "one of their own" is included. A lot of ...

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