Based on discussions held during GME workshops and meetings, fifteen Critical Determining Factors (CDFs) relevant across all MMA sites were selected for use in MIDAS. There are five CDFs for each of the following categories: governance, socioeconomic and ecological. The user must input a value for each CDF from the linguistic scale pull-down menu available for each CDF.

Governance CDFs

Governance is the complex of ways by which individuals and institutions, both public and private, manage their common concerns. In the context of MMAs, governance refers to the structures and processes used to govern behavior, both public and private, in the coastal area and the resources and activities it contains. In a MMA, there is a need to create a governance system capable of managing multiple uses in an integrated way through the cooperation and coordination of government agencies at different levels of authority and of different economic sectors.

There are five governance CDFs

  1. Stakeholder involvement
  2. Stakeholder compliance with rules and regulations
  3. Management operations
  4. Support from government agencies
  5. Empowerment

Socio-Economic CDFs

The goals and objectives of many MMAs include socio-economic considerations such as food security, livelihood opportunities, monetary and non-monetary benefits, equitable distribution of benefits, compatibility with local culture, and environmental awareness and knowledge. Understanding the socio-economic context of stakeholders involved with/or influenced by the MMA (individuals, households, groups, communities, organizations) is essential for assessing, predicting and managing marine resources. The use of socio-economic indicators allows MMA managers to a) incorporate and monitor stakeholder group concerns and interests into the management process; b) determine the impacts of management decisions on the stakeholders; and c) demonstrate the value of the MMA to the public and decision-makers.

There are five Socio-Economic CDFs

  1. Perceived threat due to development
  2. Perception of local extractive resources
  3. Non-extractive alternative livelihoods
  4. Socio-Economic benefits from establishment of MMA
  5. Perception of seafood availability

Ecological CDFs

Regardless of their many social benefits and aims, MMAs are ultimately a tool for conserving the biophysical conditions of our oceans and coats. In most cases, the link between the biological state of the marine environment and the livelihoods, income and food security of the people who use and depend upon the resource is explicit and intimate. Therefore, beyond characterizing natural systems, the measurement of ecological indicators can also be useful when viewed in the context of socio-economic and governance conditions that operate in and around the MMA.

There are five Ecological CDFs

  1. Level of fishing effort
  2. Relative change in habitat extent
  3. Habitat quality
  4. Herbivory
  5. Focal species abundance