This chapter in the book on governance of marine fisheries considers the impacts of conservation and conventional fisheries management approaches and practices, especially the implementation of marine protected areas (MPAs) and other spatially based management measures, on the socioeconomic and customary rights of coastal fishing communities. Despite a plethora of international instruments recognizing the need to respect the rights of local fisher communities, research suggests that communities continue to be impacted. Case studies in India and South Africa demonstrate how MPAs have resulted in major impacts on fishers’ access to food and livelihoods as well as loss of customary rights and cultural practices. The disjuncture between policy rhetoric and implementation practices is evident and, on this basis, adoption and mainstreaming of a human-rights-based approach from policy level through to management action is proposed. Governance mechanisms include recognition of small-scale fishing communities’ human rights, integration of social and cultural dimensions in planning and management and involvement of fishers in decision-making processes.