Improved fisheries management provides fishers with more opportunities to maximize harvest value by accounting for valuable attributes of the harvest such as species, harvest timing, fish size, product form, and landing location. Harvest values can also vary by vessel and gear type. Moreover, the extent of targeting can influence the ecosystem in which the fishers operate and provide important management challenges. We utilize a unique dataset containing daily vessel-level fish landings in one region of Norway in 2010 to investigate the value of an array of attributes, including species, product form, product condition, timing, fish size, vessel type, gear type, and landing location for cod and other whitefish species, as well as king crab. We also investigate to what extent landed value differs across different communities, firms, and plants. The results indicate substantial variation for all attributes, highlighting opportunities for fishers as well as potential management challenges. For whitefish, the species landed accounts for three-quarters of the variation in prices. For cod in particular, the fish size accounts for nearly all variation in prices. In these fisheries, market conditions justify management focus on the biological composition of the catch.
Marine protected areas (MPAs) hold great promise as an effective conservation tool, but the potential negative socioeconomic impacts of MPAs remain poorly understood. Indeed, little work has been done to advance the frameworks and methods needed to assess, measure, and communicate the potential negative socioeconomic impact of MPAs and incorporate this information in MPA planning and management efforts. To address this gap, we test a vulnerability assessment termed the Livelihood Vulnerability Index (LVI) that is designed to measure the relative potential impact a proposed MPA network may have upon fisherman livelihoods. To test the LVI, specifically we ask, how does the vulnerability of fishermen to the impact of MPAs differ across place? We explore this question through two core areas of inquiry surrounding the study of vulnerability assessments: 1) Ranking and comparing vulnerability and 2) Explaining attributes of vulnerability. Through this study we demonstrate how the historical and current conditions fishermen experience in a given place shape vulnerability levels in various ways. Variability in the attributes of a particular place such as weather conditions, the size of fishing areas, availability of alternative fisheries, and changes in kelp cover contribute inherently as measures of vulnerability but they also shape fishermen perceptions of what are important measures of vulnerability. Secondly, counter to existing notions, the use of weights in vulnerability assessments may not significantly impact vulnerability scores and ranking. Together these findings emphasize the need to test vulnerability assessments against actual experienced impact or harm across geographies and groups of fishermen towards an informed refinement of vulnerability assessments. We emphasize that the particularities of place are critical to understand, to appropriately assess and thus to effectively mitigate vulnerability in order to promote the future well being of fisherman livelihoods.
Economic instruments such as Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes are increasingly promoted to protect ecosystems (and their associated ecosystem services) that are threatened by processes of local and global change. Biophysical stressors external to a PES site, such as forest fires, pollution, sea level rise, and ocean acidification, may undermine ecosystem stability and sustained ecosystem service provision, yet their threats and impacts are difficult to account for within PES scheme design. We present a typology of external biophysical stressors, characterizing them in terms of stressor origin, spatial domain and temporal scale. We further analyse how external stressors can potentially impinge on key PES parameters, as they (1) threaten ecosystem service provision, additionality and permanence, (2) add challenges to the identification of PES providers and beneficiaries, and (3) add complexity and costs to PES mechanism design. Effective PES implementation under external stressors requires greater emphasis on the evaluation and mitigation of external stressors, and further instruments that can accommodate associated risks and uncertainties. A greater understanding of external stressors will increase our capacity to design multi-scale instruments to conserve important ecosystems in times of environmental change.
To address long-standing allocation conflicts between the Pacific halibut commercial fishing sector and recreational charter (for-hire) sector in Alaska, an Alaska halibut catch sharing plan (CSP) is being implemented in 2014 that has a provision allowing the leasing of commercial individual fishing quota to recreational charter businesses. This one-way inter-sectoral trading allows for the charter sector to increase its share of the total allowable catch while compensating commercial fishermen. This type of catch shares program is novel in fisheries. In this paper, the literature on non-fisheries tradable permit programs (TPPs) that have similarities to the Alaska halibut CSP program is examined. Several successful TPPs are discussed, including ones from emissions trading programs, water quality trading programs, water markets, and transferable development rights programs. They are then evaluated in terms of their similarities and differences to the Alaska CSP program. Characteristics not part of the current CSP that other TPPs have used and that may increase the likelihood for the CSP to be effective in achieving its primary goals (if they are implemented) are identified, such as allowing more flexible transfers (e.g., internal transfers), intertemporal banking, cooperative structures, and multi-year leasing.
Coastal environments are increasingly under threat from multiple stressors and pressure from human activities across the land-sea interface. Managing these pressures from people requires, more than ever, understanding what is at stake in terms of the benefits and values associated with coastal waters. This article presents the results of a choice experiment which was designed to elicit society's willingness to pay in the context of economic and environmental trade-offs people to improve coastal water quality. The study site is a coastal Australian city, Adelaide, South Australia. The city discharges a large proportion of its stormwater and treated wastewater to the coastal waters of Gulf St Vincent. Willingness to pay for a package of improvements to urban water management is considerable. A mix of projects that restores 25 days per year of water clarity, seagrass area from 60% to 70% of the original area and five reef areas is worth $AUS67.1 M to households in the Adelaide metropolitan area. The results can inform public policy discussions including the cost-benefit analysis of different water management strategies including investments in urban infrastructure.
The adoption of UN Convention of the Law of the Sea in 1982 created optimism for indigenous peoples and marginalised coastal communities that they may (re)gain control of, or improve access to, marine resources. However concerns were also raised that opening the seas to industrial development might create threats for traditional users of the sea. Twenty-five years later the potential enclosure of large areas of coastal seas to marine renewable energy development is reigniting debates about marine governance, access and control over marine resources. Case studies in Scotland, Canada, New Zealand and Australia reveal a dynamic tension between: an economic development ‘blue growth’ agenda requiring the creation of private rights in the sea; and socio-political drivers which seek to address historic injustices and increase access to natural resources by indigenous and marginalised coastal communities. As yet there is little evidence of this tension being adequately addressed by emerging institutional frameworks for managing marine resources.
The vulnerability of coastal areas to associated hazards is increasing due to population growth, development pressure and climate change. It is incumbent on coastal governance regimes to address the vulnerability of coastal inhabitants to these hazards. This is especially so at the local level where development planning and control has a direct impact on the vulnerability of coastal communities. To reduce the vulnerability of coastal populations, risk mitigation and adaptation strategies need to be built into local spatial planning processes. Local government, however, operates within a complex hierarchal governance framework which may promote or limit particular actions. It is important, therefore, to understand how local coastal planning practices are shaped by national and supranational entities. Local governments also have to respond to the demands of local populations. Consequently, it is important to understand local populations’ perceptions of coastal risk and its management. Adopting an in-depth study of coastal planning in County Mayo, Ireland, this paper evaluates: (a) how European and national policies and legislation shape coastal risk management at local level; (b) the incorporation of risk management strategies into local plans; and (c) local perception of coastal risks and risk management. Despite a strong steer from supranational and national legislation and policy, statutory local plans are found to be lacking in appropriate risk mitigation or adaptation strategies. Local residents appear to be lulled into a sense of complacency towards these risks because of the low level of attention afforded to them by the local planning authorities. To avoid potentially disastrous consequences for local residents and businesses, it is imperative that this situation is redressed urgently. Based on our analysis, we recommend: the development and implementation of a national ICZM strategy, supported by detailed local ICZM plans; and obliging local government to address known risks in their plans rather than defer them to project level decision making.
One shortcoming of marine protected areas (MPA) implementation is the potential for unintended consequences, such as fisheries effort displacement, that cause negative economic and social effects for fishermen and undermine social support for MPA implementation efforts.
The objective of this work is to analyse the effects of a proposed MPA system on fisheries in a biodiversity conservation priority site in northern Chile using a spatial dynamic modelling approach and incorporating ecological, social and economic criteria.
We developed an Ecospace model representing the ecological benthic subsystems dominated by kelp beds off the Mejillones Peninsula, Chile. We compared changes in fisheries indicators and the spatial distribution of effort among a no-MPA baseline scenario and four scenarios using proposed MPA core and buffer zones with high or low dispersal rates for the species in the model.
An overlay analysis was performed to identify which zones and users of the fishing grounds would be affected by the proposed MPA system and to what degree.
We found a high degree of overlap of the proposed MPA site with fishing grounds of high economic importance and with a fishing ground where women are allowed to work, this can cause significant displacement of women that have no alternative livelihood, with possible undesired social impacts on the fishing community.
Results from the kelp forest spatial food web model reveals that the biomass build-up of fished species is sensitive to dispersal rates, especially in scenarios with small reserves. A general pattern of fishing effort reallocation at the border of individual MPAs and open areas closer to the port was observed. Fisheries indicators show negative effects for both MPA scenarios, with undesirable changes in catch and profits for rockfish and kelp exploitation.
Our results suggest that implementation of the MPA proposal for the Mejillones Peninsula could generate negative consequences for the fishing community of Constitución cove. The inclusion of fisheries management objectives along with biodiversity conservation in the planning process of the Mejillones Peninsula MPA system may help to address putative negative effects on fisheries and may allow for the creation of support for future MPAs from the fishermen community.
At the time of writing, the EU has just finished appointing a new cohort of senior representatives for the period 2014–2019. This includes appointing a Commissioner with a newly defined remit for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and the members of the various Committees of the European Parliament with competences related to maritime affairs. These individuals will invariably spend at least part of their first months in office identifying their respective priorities for the coming years. This commentary seeks to contribute to these deliberations by making concrete suggestions for priorities that might be considered as regards the future of the EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP). Seven years since its launch, the IMP remains very much a work in progress. Drawing on recent academic studies of the EU’s various ocean related policies this commentary argues that two of the greatest weaknesses of the IMP are the sectoral nature of priority-setting and strategy-making as well as the lack of a funding tool to implement its aims. Two concrete proposals are made, specifically aimed at the incoming EU leadership, which seek to address these weaknesses and to realize the aims articulated in the IMP.
Habitat modeling is an important tool to investigate the quality of the habitat for a species within a certain area, to predict species distribution and to understand the ecological processes behind it. Many species have been investigated by means of habitat modeling techniques mainly to address effective management and protection policies and cetaceans play an important role in this context. The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) has been investigated with habitat modeling techniques since 1997. The objectives of this work were to predict the distribution of bottlenose dolphin in a coastal area through the use of static morphological features and to compare the prediction performances of three different modeling techniques: Generalized Linear Model (GLM), Generalized Additive Model (GAM) and Random Forest (RF). Four static variables were tested: depth, bottom slope, distance from 100 m bathymetric contour and distance from coast. RF revealed itself both the most accurate and the most precise modeling technique with very high distribution probabilities predicted in presence cells (90.4% of mean predicted probabilities) and with 66.7% of presence cells with a predicted probability comprised between 90% and 100%. The bottlenose distribution obtained with RF allowed the identification of specific areas with particularly high presence probability along the coastal zone; the recognition of these core areas may be the starting point to develop effective management practices to improve T. truncatus protection.