Engel, M. T., Marchini, S., Pont, A. C., Machado, R., & Oliveira, L. R. de. (2014). Perceptions and attitudes of stakeholders towards the wildlife refuge of Ilha dos Lobos, a marine protected area in Brazil. Marine Policy, 45, 45–51.
At the north coast of Rio Grande do Sul state, southern Brazilian coast, the Wildlife Refuge of Ilha dos Lobos (29°20’S; 49°43’W), is a full protection area and a seasonal resting refuge for South American sea lions (Otaria flavescens). The regular presence of sea lions on the island is not only a touristic attraction in the region, but also a problem to the fishery community. This community faces economic impacts in its activities due to fish depredation caused by sea lions. Because of this issue, the perceptions and attitudes of different stakeholders from the region are important to be considered by managers, so that a realistic and decentralized action plan can be designed. The goal of this study was to analyze how different local stakeholders perceived the Wildlife Refuge of Ilha dos Lobos. Additionally, how these stakeholders differed from each other in terms of attitudes, knowledge and perceptions. In October 2011, January and March 2012, face-to-face interview surveys were conducted with fishermen and tourists, and drop-off questionnaires surveys with business, and tourism professional and teachers, in a total of 150 questionnaires, 30 for each group. The results indicated existence of differences across the five stakeholder groups. It was also suggested that non-direct stakeholders had a more favorable view of the Wildlife Refuge of Ilha dos Lobos and the sea lion, whereas direct stakeholder (the fishermen) saw it as an obstacle to their fisheries activities. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.