Increasingly recreational fisheries are being managed as socioecological systems using spatially explicit and participatory place based approaches. Such approaches require considering the spatial dynamics of a resource (fish) as well as its users (anglers). While the former is comparatively well studied, very little empirical information exists regarding the spatial ranges of angler travel to fishing locations. To address this and ultimately inform spatial and place based management approaches, the statistical properties of angler travel were assessed in six popular marine recreational fisheries in Florida, USA. Expected angler travel distances differed among species, regions, and years, with most trips in certain fisheries (e.g., common snook) made by anglers residing in close proximity to the fishing site (< 30 km), while anglers targeting other species (e.g., red snapper) usually traveled more than 200 km from their residence to fish. In concert with literature, these results suggest that some fisheries may be better suited than others for more spatially explicit or place based approaches to management. More broadly, these results can be used to better identify and engage stakeholders in management, anticipate effects of spatially explicit management decisions, and assess relative importance of different fisheries for attracting out-of-region or state trips, which may be important for local economies.
Participatory scenario planning (PSP) approaches are increasingly being used in research on climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability (IAV). We identify and evaluate how PSP has been used in IAV studies in the Arctic, reviewing work published in the peer-reviewed and grey literature (n = 43). Studies utilizing PSP commonly follow the stages recognized as ‘best practice’ in the general literature in scenario planning, engaging with multiple ways of knowing including western science and traditional knowledge, and are employed in a diversity of sectors. Community participation, however, varies between studies, and climate projections are only utilized in just over half of the studies reviewed, raising concern that important future drivers of change are not fully captured. The time required to conduct PSP, involving extensive community engagement, was consistently reported as a challenge, and for application in Indigenous communities requires careful consideration of local culture, values, and belief systems on what it means to prepare for future climate impacts.
Over the past decade the development of Decision Support Systems (DSSs) for the management of seas and oceans has increased rapidly. These DSSs take many shapes and forms and their application in actual decision processes varies widely. In order to appreciate the multitude of DSSs a theoretical framework was developed to evaluate the appropriateness of a given DSS for marine management decision processes with the aim to guide developers in building better DSSs. This framework was applied to a number of DSSs recently developed for marine management. Many tools, promoted to be DSSs, are in fact science driven models that do not address the basic problems and challenges of decision making. Of course, by providing information and making scientific data available in order to make scientifically informed decisions, science does have a role in environmental and ecosystem based decision making, yet the contribution of science to decision making in marine management by these models is highly overrated. In order for a DSS to be relevant and useful it must be aligned with the needs of the decision maker and provide available data in such a way that it becomes information in the decision process. The framework used to evaluate the DSSs can be a helpful tool to apply throughout the development of a DSS in order to enhance the effectiveness/usefulness of these tools through the engagement of end-users and stakeholders.
To successfully integrate and engage the general public into marine conservation decisions it is important that individuals are well informed. This study surveyed two sample groups, marine environmental professionals working in the UK, n = 61, and members of the public surveyed in Truro, Cornwall, UK, n = 71. Public awareness of marine environmental threats and conservation efforts was assessed through comparison with the, assumed well informed, professional sample. Findings suggest that the public are generally well informed of threats to the marine environment, but are significantly less well informed about marine conservation and management strategies. Furthermore, despite indicating concern for the marine environment, members of the public display significantly fewer pro-environmental behaviours than marine conservation professionals. Public knowledge (and action) gaps are discussed as well as how these may be minimised, including a more interdisciplinary and active approach to science communication and public engagement.
This Special Issue is intended to help readers gain a better understanding of the various definitions of blue growth, as well as to give a heightened awareness of the constraints of, and possibilities within, the important concept. Increased communication among those working together on these topics is of utmost importance, especially considering the diversity of the backgrounds of those who have a role to play in blue growth and sustainable development. Scientists, policy makers, business people, and the larger society need to become more precise and transparent in their language and meanings in order to effectively work together, and hopefully one day succeed in our joint goal to secure blue growth.
Our paper describes the application of a realist approach to synthesizing evidence from 31 articles examining the environmental outcomes of marine protected areas governed under different types of property regimes. The development of resource tenure interventions that promote sustainable management practices has been challenged by the difficulties of determining how contextual factors affect environmental outcomes given the complexity of socio-ecological systems. Realist synthesis is a promising evidence review technique for identifying the mechanisms that influence policy intervention outcomes in complex systems. Through a combination of inductive and deductive analysis of the links between context, mechanisms, and outcomes, realist synthesis can help clarify when, how, where, and why property regime interventions are likely to result in positive environmental outcomes. Our study revealed the importance of disaggregating property regimes into sub-categories, rather than treating them as homogenous categories. More importantly, use of a realist synthesis approach allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of the ways in which three mechanisms—perceptions of legitimacy, perceptions of the likelihood of benefits, and perceptions of enforcement capacity—interact under different socio-ecological contexts to trigger behavioral changes that affect environmental conditions. The approach revealed the multi-faceted and interactive nature of perceptions of legitimacy, in which legal legitimacy, social acceptability, and ecological credibility combined to create robust legitimacy. The existence of robust legitimacy in turn appeared to be an important contributor to the success of regulatory systems reliant on voluntary compliance. Our study contributes to the field of natural resources governance by demonstrating the utility of a systematic review method which has received little attention by property scholars but which has promise to clarify understanding of how complex systems work. Our study also highlights that achieving long-term sustainability requires paying greater attention to the mechanisms that support or undermine people’s willingness to voluntarily engage in conservation behaviors.
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are inherent to international commitments to protect the oceans and have the potential to recognize, honour, and re-invigorate Indigenous rights. Involvement of Indigenous peoples in the governance and management of MPAs, however, has received little attention. A review of the literature revealed only 15 publications on this topic (< 0.5% of papers on MPAs). In these case studies, governance arrangements of MPAs involving Indigenous peoples ranged from state-led to community-based, and included a spectrum of approaches in between. Cultural goals—which are compatible with biodiversity conservation—were emphasized by Indigenous peoples, and ecological goals were prevalent in state-led marine protected areas. Achievement of at least some cultural goals was the most common mention of success, whereas social issues were the most common challenge. Additional work is needed to ensure that existing and future MPAs serve the dual goals of biodiversity conservation and supporting Indigenous rights.
The abyssal ocean is broadly characterized by northward flow of the densest waters and southward flow of less-dense waters above them. Understanding what controls the strength and structure of these interhemispheric flows—referred to as the abyssal overturning circulation—is key to quantifying the ocean’s ability to store carbon and heat on timescales exceeding a century. Here we show that, north of 32° S, the depth distribution of the seafloor compels dense southern-origin waters to flow northward below a depth of about 4 kilometres and to return southward predominantly at depths greater than 2.5 kilometres. Unless ventilated from the north, the overlying mid-depths (1 to 2.5 kilometres deep) host comparatively weak mean meridional flow. Backed by analysis of historical radiocarbon measurements, the findings imply that the geometry of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic basins places a major external constraint on the overturning structure.
The utility of marine protected areas (MPAs) as a means of protecting exploited species and conserving biodiversity within MPA boundaries is supported by strong empirical evidence. However, the potential contribution of MPAs to fished populations beyond their boundaries is still highly controversial; empirical measures are scarce and modelling studies have produced a range of predictions, including both positive and negative effects. Using a combination of genetic parentage and relatedness analysis, we measured larval subsidies to local fisheries replenishment for Australasian snapper (Chrysophrys auratus: Sparidae) from a small (5.2 km2), well-established, temperate, coastal MPA in northern New Zealand. Adult snapper within the MPA contributed an estimated 10.6% (95% CI: 5.5–18.1%) of newly settled juveniles to surrounding areas (approx. 400 km2), with no decreasing trend in contributions up to 40 km away. Biophysical modelling of larval dispersal matched experimental data, showing larvae produced inside the MPA dispersed over a comparable distance. These results demonstrate that temperate MPAs have the potential to provide recruitment subsidies at magnitudes and spatial scales relevant to fisheries management. The validated biophysical model provides a cost-efficient opportunity to generalize these findings to other locations and climate conditions, and potentially informs the design of MPA networks for enhancing fisheries management.
Because the Anthropocene by definition is an epoch during which environmental change is largely anthropogenic and driven by social, economic, psychological and political forces, environmental social scientists can effectively analyse human behaviour and knowledge systems in this context. In this subject review, we summarize key ways in which the environmental social sciences can better inform fisheries management policy and practice and marine conservation in the Anthropocene. We argue that environmental social scientists are particularly well positioned to synergize research to fill the gaps between: (1) local behaviours/needs/worldviews and marine resource management and biological conservation concerns; and (2) large-scale drivers of planetary environmental change (globalization, affluence, technological change, etc.) and local cognitive, socioeconomic, cultural and historical processes that shape human behaviour in the marine environment. To illustrate this, we synthesize the roles of various environmental social science disciplines in better understanding the interaction between humans and tropical marine ecosystems in developing nations where issues arising from human–coastal interactions are particularly pronounced. We focus on: (1) the application of the environmental social sciences in marine resource management and conservation; (2) the development of ‘new’ socially equitable marine conservation; (3) repopulating the seascape; (4) incorporating multi-scale dynamics of marine social–ecological systems; and (5) envisioning the future of marine resource management and conservation for producing policies and projects for comprehensive and successful resource management and conservation in the Anthropocene.