Social acceptance is a key component of successfully establishing a marine protected area (MPA). Therefore, when the natural marine reserve (NMR) in Reunion Island was created in 2007, managers asked social scientists to assist them in monitoring and assessing social acceptance. This article presents the socioeconomic baselines and synthetic measures of recreational fishers’ social acceptance. Recreational boat fishers’ perceptions toward the NMR, current strategies, and territorial stakes were identified through fifty interviews. This led to five synthetic measures of social acceptance and the differentiation of five different groups of recreational fishers in terms of their uses opinions. The five groups of recreational fishers differed considerably in regards to three key aspects of social acceptance. However, local geography played little role in social acceptance, with views being relatively uniform across the three main ports.
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