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Marine Protected Areas: the Case of Kisite Marine National Park and Mpunguti Marine National Reserve, Kenya.

Lucy Emerton and Yemi Tessema

Kisite Marine National Park and Mpunguti Marine National Reserve, administered by the Kenya Wildlife Service, are together an important tourist destination, and also contribute to fisheries. Exploitation is banned in the Marine Park while fishing using traditional methods is permitted in the Marine Reserve. An economic valuation was carried out to help identify how the financial and management problems faced by the MPA could be addressed. It was found that, in 1999, the Marine Park and Reserve was generating income in excess of US$1.6 million a year in net revenues from tourism, and a further US$39,000 from fisheries. These returns are far in excess of the estimated management and opportunity costs associated with the park of some US$190,000 a year. If other economic benefits of the MPA, such as its contribution to shoreline protection, marine productivity, wildlife habitat and nursery, cultural and aesthetic values, had also been factored in, its economic benefits would have been even greater.

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