- Since the implementation of the commercial whaling ban in the 1980s, whale-watching has become the most important economic activity involving whales worldwide.
- Whale-watching is promoted as a platform for education and conservation awareness of marine biodiversity. In Peru, where cetacean species are still in jeopardy, whale-watching may play an important part in promoting the protection of these species.
- This study aimed to determine the degree of whale-watching tourists' knowledge regarding cetacean ecology and conservation status and to evaluate if whale-watching tours could serve as platforms for educating the public and raising conservation awareness.
- The results of 196 closed-ended questionnaires and 20 open-ended interviews conducted before and after whale-watching tours, during the humpback whale season (winter–spring 2014) in northern Peru, revealed an overall lack of knowledge concerning the presence of species of cetaceans in Peruvian waters and threats to marine biodiversity. However, after the whale-watching excursion, participants said they would be more willing to change their behaviour with respect to cetacean conservation and marine environment protection.
- This study suggests that whale-watching platforms, when implemented with adequate interpreters, can serve as a source of environmental education and can raise conservation awareness. This is an important conservation strategy to consider in countries, such as Peru, where by-catch and direct hunting are decimating local cetacean populations.
Competing usage of marine space has prompted several coastal nations to implement marine spatial planning (MSP). While progressive governments promote the deployment of renewable energy technologies (RETs) in order to meet renewable energy capacity and greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets, offshore RETs become another player operating within a finite and already stressed marine environment. This paper applies the sectoral MSP process employed by Scotland to the Nova Scotia context in order to draft a MSP for the province's tidal energy sector. Applicable legislation is reviewed in order to establish the regulatory authorities with powers to plan for both the marine development and ecosystem protection agendas. The scoping process identifies suitable resource areas based on the operational parameters of commercially viable tidal current turbines (TCTs), while the sustainability appraisal identifies areas of cultural, industry, ecological, and socioeconomic constraint and exclusion. Plan option areas emanating from the applied methodology demonstrated a 238.345 km2 (98.1%) increase in suitable TCT deployment area than the marine renewable energy areas identified in Nova Scotia's Marine Renewable Energy Act which did not undertake such a methodology.
Mangrove forests provide many services, some of which are used mostly or exclusively by local people, often the relatively poor and marginalised. Here, such ‘local ecosystem services’ are defined as those benefitting people living zero to tens of kilometres from a forest. The provision of fuel, timber, fodder, crustacean, fin-fish and shoreline protection services are reviewed, and their relationships with global patterns in biodiversity and poverty are examined. Higher floral and faunal diversity in the Indo-West-Pacific, compared with the Atlantic-East-Pacific, correlate with a greater range of species exploited for fuel, timber, crustaceans and coastal protection. Whilst poverty is a strong predictor for reliance on some local services, such as fuel wood, it is not related to others, such as fin-fish; hence, local people may be ‘liberated’ from reliance on some services by increased income but use others to generate that wealth. The vulnerability of these services to climate change depends on local geomorphological, biological and social factors. Forests with good supplies of sediment and fresh water, and fauna with relatively simple life cycles, will probably be more resilient. Greater wealth (or investment) may permit people to shift from capture to aquaculture fisheries and to show flexibility in the face of changing or reduced service provision.
Inaccurate or incomplete diagnosis of the root causes of overfishing can lead to misguided and ineffective fisheries policies and programmes. The “Malthusian overfishing narrative” suggests that overfishing is driven by too many fishers chasing too few fish and that fishing effort grows proportionately to human population growth, requiring policy interventions that reduce fisher access, the number of fishers, or the human population. By neglecting other drivers of overfishing that may be more directly related to fishing pressure and provide more tangible policy levers for achieving fisheries sustainability, Malthusian overfishing relegates blame to regions of the world with high population growth rates, while consumers, corporations and political systems responsible for these other mediating drivers remain unexamined. While social–ecological systems literature has provided alternatives to the Malthusian paradigm, its focus on institutions and organized social units often fails to address fundamental issues of power and politics that have inhibited the design and implementation of effective fisheries policy. Here, we apply a political ecology lens to unpack Malthusian overfishing and, relying upon insights derived from the social sciences, reconstruct the narrative incorporating four exemplar mediating drivers: technology and innovation, resource demand and distribution, marginalization and equity, and governance and management. We argue that a more nuanced understanding of such factors will lead to effective and equitable fisheries policies and programmes, by identifying a suite of policy levers designed to address the root causes of overfishing in diverse contexts.
The FAO Fishery and Aquaculture Statistics Yearbook contains all the most updated data on capture production, fleet and employment, aquaculture production, commodities, food balance sheets.
Fisheries dynamics can be thought of as the reciprocal relationship between an exploited population and the fishers and/or managers determining the exploitation patterns. Sustainable production of protein of these coupled human-natural systems requires an understanding of their dynamics. Here, we characterized the fishery dynamics for 173 fisheries from around the globe by applying general additive models to estimated fishing mortality and spawning biomass from the RAM Legacy Database. GAMs specified to mimic production models and more flexible GAMs were applied. We show observed dynamics do not always match assumptions made in management using “classical” fisheries models, and the suitability of these assumptions varies significantly according to large marine ecosystem, habitat, variability in recruitment, maximum weight of a species and minimum observed stock biomass. These results identify circumstances in which simple models may be useful for management. However, adding flexibility to classical models often did not substantially improve performance, which suggests in many cases considering only biomass and removals will not be sufficient to model fishery dynamics. Knowledge of the suitability of common assumptions in management should be used in selecting modelling frameworks, setting management targets, testing management strategies and developing tools to manage data-limited fisheries. Effectively balancing expectations of future protein production from capture fisheries and risk of undesirable outcomes (e.g., “fisheries collapse”) depends on understanding how well we can expect to predict future dynamics of a fishery using current management paradigms.
Interactions between environmental and social change are complex and require deep insights into human perceptions, values, motivations and choices. Humanities disciplines can bring these insights to the study of marine social–ecological systems in the context of global environmental challenges. Such systems can be defined on a range of scales, but the cases most easily studied include those of small islands and their communities. This paper presents findings from three studies in the Western and Northern isles of Scotland, concentrating on some of the processes involved in social sustainability that contribute on the one hand to protecting what a community has, and on the other hand allowing a community to evolve so as to adapt to new conditions. It relates the several sorts of transformations involved, to the role and impact of external institutions such as those of governance of the natural environment, the energy market, and academic research, which together make up the environment of the transformation. By examining the world-views of different groups of actors, this paper illustrates that an understanding of the mental constructs underlying these world-views can help marine governance through integrating different ways of knowing. This paper identifies where it would be useful to employ a transdisciplinary ‘translator’ or a ‘space’ for dialogue in order to capture the diverse ‘visions’ and perceptions that these groups have in relation to management of the marine environment, where there are synergies and where more should to be done to negotiate between competing values and needs. It illustrates the practical contributions to operational policy that can emerge through challenging the dominant management discourses for the marine environment.
Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is one of the world's largest marine protected areas and was designated the first mixed conservation site in the United States due to its natural and cultural importance. It is also the world's first cultural seascape, being recognized for its continuing connections to indigenous people. As the westernmost place in the Hawaiian universe, many believe these islands and seas are the pathway that Native Hawaiians travel after death, returning to pō (night; realm of the gods). This intimate kinship has profound implications for contemporary management. Current management emphasizes integration of science, policy, cultural knowledge, traditions, and practices to create successful management strategies appropriate for both natural and cultural resources. This management is based on Native Hawaiian values and practices that incorporate observation and understanding of the natural world, indigenous principles and philosophies, cultural norms, community relationships, and unique epistemologies deeply imbedded in and formed by relationships of people with place. A cornerstone of this effort has been the direct involvement of cultural practitioners in policy, management, education, and research. This biocultural approach has led to more effective management of the monument and serves as a model for conservation around the world.
The European Union has launched the Blue growth concept as a strategy for stimulating economic growth in European seas. It is accompanying the core principles of the Green growth paradigm that seek to stimulate smart, sustainable and inclusive growth of economic activities. Focusing on Blue growth, this article examines its adequacy to enable social innovation as a strategy for the use and management of marine resources. Social innovation is interpreted as the changing behaviour of a group of actors joined in a network, leading to new and improved ways of collaborative action within the group and beyond. Social innovation can contribute to changing behaviour across different institutional settings, across markets and public sectors, and to enhancing bottom-up responsible inventiveness towards integration of social, economic and environmental objectives. Based on case-study research it is concluded that, to secure long-term sustainable development over short-term benefits, a social innovation perspective in the maritime domain will depend on cooperation, inclusiveness and trust.
The objective of this paper is to analyse the factors that determine Spanish aquaculture firm survival to improve understanding of the sector dynamics. Specifically, this paper focuses on marine aquaculture enterprises and evaluates how internationalization, the environmental commitment of the firm, and the ability to innovate, as well as other factors such as a firm's financial and accounting information, may be associated with the decisions by Spanish aquaculture firms to remain in the industry.
The empirical analysis, conducted over the 2007–2014 period, is based on the Cox proportional hazard model. Our main findings reveal that those firms that have an environmental commitment are less likely to exit the industry than those that have no such commitment. Furthermore, our results also highlight the positive effect of economic profitability and long-term solvency on the survival of the firms and the negative effect of the age of the firms. Finally, we find that the investment in R&D activities and the internationalization of the firms did not contribute significantly to the model, indicating that they are not crucial factors for the survival of the firms.