Using Ostrom's common-pool resource theory to build toward an integrated ecosystem-based sustainable cetacean tourism system in Hawai`i


Journal Article

© 2015, © 2014 Taylor & Francis. This paper explores the suitability of community-based conservation measures to complement a proposed command-and-control approach for two multi-user bays with spinner dolphins in Hawai`i, USA, which have considerable dolphin watching tourist activities and human–dolphin interactions. The paper uses Ostrom's common-pool resource theory as an analytical lens, with an assessment of the attributes of the resource and the user(s) to explore questions of governance and sustainability. In Hawai`i, spinner dolphins move predictably from offshore overnight feeding grounds into shallow bays for daytime rest, interacting frequently with humans using these bays for tourism and other social, recreational, and subsistence purposes. To reduce the current negative interactions with dolphins, managers are seeking to implement a command-and-control approach, namely time–area closures. Our analysis indicates that viewing the bay as a resource with tourism as one of many human demands, instead of specifically focusing on dolphins, reflects an ecosystem-based approach and acknowledges complex management demands. We found that while unrealistic to expect community-based conservation to spontaneously emerge here, cultivating some of Ostrom's attributes among stakeholders might lead to a more productive set of institutional arrangements that would benefit the dolphin population, with the methodology used potentially leading to a global management model.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Heenehan, H; Basurto, X; Bejder, L; Tyne, J; Higham, JES; Johnston, DW

Published Date

  • January 1, 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 23 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 536 - 556

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1747-7646

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0966-9582

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/09669582.2014.986490

Citation Source

  • Scopus