Involving local communities in planning the establishment of no-take zones in the Red Sea National Parks of Elba and Wadi Gemal, Egypt

Recipient’s Country: Egypt

Recipient Name: Nature Conservation Egypt (NCE)

Purpose: Egypt has two large marine protected areas (Elba and Wadi Gemal) listed on the National Tentative List for World Heritage Nomination. However, no-take zones have not been established in either Park, and although the establishment of such no-take zones could have long-term fishery benefits, in the short term fishers will be concerned about being displaced from some traditional fishing areas. This project aims at understanding spatial and temporal patterns of fishing activity, and how fishers perceive the utility of no-take zones as a management tool and if, and where, they would consider no-take zones in some of their fishing grounds. This will be done through a series of interviews of a representative population of fishers operating in the Elba and Wadi Gemal National Parks, to help map high use and high dependance areas that may need to be negotiated in no-take area proposals if they hold significant biodiversity values. These outcomes will be conveyed to the Egyptian Government agency responsible for managing these parks.


  • Jan-Feb13: interviewed current and past rangers and researchers.
  • March-April 2013: provided training to rangers in Wadi Gemal and Elba on social surveying, data collection, data management, analysis and presentation.
  • May 2013: surveyed 6 fishing villages: Wadi el Gemal, Qulaan & Hamata in Wadi Gemal NP; Marsa al Manazeq, Marsa Abumaad & Shalateen in Gebal Elba NP.
  • June-Nov 2013: project stalled due to security issues in the region. Survey redesigned and new work plan developed.
  • Dec 2013: Training provided to park rangers and additional interviews and focus groups conducted in 14 villages (72 fishermen interviewed in total).
  • Jan-Feb 2014: Data analysis and interpretation
  • March 2014: Finalisations of technical report summarizing findings and recommending actions.


  • Training of park rangers on social surveys
  • A better understanding of fishermen and the community’s perceptions on the value of coral reefs and no-take zones
  • Provision of recommendations on priority actions, specifically on bycatch management for turtle and dugong, turtle egg consumption, no-take zones, fishing grounds mapping and joint monitoring and enforcement options in the Wadi Gemal and Elbas Protected Areas.

Value of Grant (AUD): 10,000.00

Grant Term: 30/03/2014

Status: completed

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