Despite their ecological and economic importance, mangroves have suffered degradation in West-Africa, mostly from anthropogenic activities. To sustainably and successfully manage natural resources in complex social-ecological systems (SES), it is important to take into consideration the divergent viewpoints, values, and knowledge of stakeholders, this allows to make informed decisions by identifying shared views and contentious grounds. We applied Q methodology to identify the subjective perceptions of local stakeholders on mangrove management in the Sokone and Toubacouta regions of the Sine-Saloum Delta in Senegal. Three distinct discourses (distinct viewpoints) were identified following the application of Q methodology: (i) the ‘Official’ discourse: “Mangrove management is fragmented; communities need to fill in the gaps for the management to work uniformly in all parts”; (ii) the ‘Happy Villagers’ discourse: “Village-level co-management works but some imbalances need to be corrected”; and (iii) the ‘Unhappy Villagers’ discourse: “Mangrove management is not working; things need to change, but it is not up to us (the villagers) to act”. There is polarization among the discourses on the effectiveness of current management. There is consensus among the discourses in wanting improvements in the current management but there is no agreement on what needs to change. The study highlights the importance of establishing clear guidelines concerning the role of government and other actors in participatory decentralized resource management. The identified areas of consensus can help create opportunities for sustainable management interventions and dissensus viewpoints highlight critical topics that require further discussion to improve the present management regime.