Within the discussion around sustainable diets, seafood consumption is still a relatively neglected field. This article discusses relevant behaviours consumers can perform to consume seafood sustainably. The predictive power of intention, descriptive social norms, trust, awareness and pro-environmental attitudes are theoretically discussed and statistically tested across two studies in regards to (a) using sustainable seafood labels, and (b) using sustainable seafood guides. Data analysis (N1 = 309, N2 = 881 Norwegian adults) shows that intentions, social norms and trust predict seafood label use across studies. The variables predicting seafood guide use are less stable which might be due to this behaviour being performed by a very small fraction of consumers only. Causal relationships have been identified in study 2 by applying cross-lagged panel analyses between intentions, trust and social norms and seafood label use. Further causal relationships were found between intentions, trust and awareness and seafood guide use. A bidirectional relationship was confirmed between descriptive social norms and seafood guide use. Potential strategies to promote seafood label- and seafood guide use, are discussed based on these results.
The concept of ecosystem services is widely used in the scientific literature and increasingly also in policy and practice. Nevertheless, operationalising the concept, i.e. putting it into practice, is still a challenge. We describe the approach of the EU-project OpenNESS (Operationalisation of Ecosystem Services and Natural Capital), which was created in response to this challenge to critically evaluate the concept when applied to real world problems at different scales and in different policy sectors. General requirements for operationalization, the relevance of conceptual frameworks and lessons learnt from 27 case study applications are synthesized in a set of guiding principles. We also briefly describe some integrative tools as developed in OpenNESS which support the implementation of the principles. The guiding principles are grouped under three major headlines: “Defining the problem and opening up the problem space”, “Considering ethical issues” and “Assessing alternative methods, tools and actions”. Real world problems are often “wicked” problems, which at first are seldom clear-cut and well-defined, but often rather complex and subject to differing interpretations and interests. We take account of that complexity and emphasise that there is not one simple and straightforward way to approach real world problems involving ecosystem services. The principles and tools presented are meant to provide some guidance for tackling this complexity by means of a transdisciplinary methodology that facilitates the operationalisation of the ecosystem services concept.
Environmental education has long been recognized as critical for achieving environmental awareness, values and attitudes, skills and behaviour consistent with sustainable development and for effective participation in environmental decision-making. Since the Declaration of the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment concerns about marine pollution and ecotoxicology, among other environmental challenges, should be included in environmental education. However, in the more than forty years since this significant environmental Declaration, marine education has struggled to find a place in the school curriculum of most countries, even though issues such as climate change, chemical contamination of marine environments, coastal eutrophication, and seafood safety continue to threaten human and other species' well-being. This viewpoint discusses how marine education is marginalized in school education, and how marine specialists need to embed school education in their action plans. Particular questions include: who should be educated, about what, where and with what goals in mind?
The implementation of an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management in multispecies fleets has the potential to increase fleet diversification strategies, which can reduce pressure on overexploited stocks. However, diversification may reduce the economic performance of individual vessels and lead to unforeseen outcomes. We studied the economic performance of different fleet segments and their fishing métiers in Wales (United Kingdom) to understand how the number of the métiers employed affects fishing income, operating costs, and profit. For the small-scale segment, more specialised fishers are more profitable and the diversity of métiers is limiting both the maximum expected income and profit but also the operating costs. This last result may explain the propensity of fishers to increase the number of métiers for at least part of the studied fleet. Therefore, while for some vessels, increasing the diversity of fishing métiers may be perceived to limit economic risk associated with the interannual variability of catches and prices and (or) to reduce their operating costs, it can ultimately result in less profitable activity than more specialised vessels.
Marine climate regulation, the absorption and deposition of atmospheric carbon in the marine environment, is considered a valuable ecosystem service. Past valuations of this ecosystem service neglected to account for its temporal context, either by equating it with primary productivity, an underlying ecosystem process, or disregarded the temporal aspects related to its supply, thus leading to inaccurate valuations. This study presents a simplified spatiotemporal economic valuation methodology of the climate regulation ecosystem service, intended to address these shortcomings. The valuation was applied to the Israeli Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) by accounting for permanent and temporary carbon sequestration and the use of Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) values. Based on different carbon prices, the estimated value of climate regulation within the Israeli EEZ ranges between 265.1 and 1270.9 € km−2 year−1, which is significantly lower compared with past methodologies applied in other areas.
Microplastics, plastic particles smaller than <5 mm, are a worldwide environmental concern and the current realisation of the scale of the problem made the quest for methodological consensus in sampling, sample treatment, data handling, and reporting central to the scientific community. The need for spatio-temporal comparisons and multiple-scale surveys have pressed the development and sharing of methods and techniques. Determining the amounts of microplastics at sea, variation patterns and ongoing ecological processes are objectives of studies with effect on society and environmental management. The rising issue of microplastics in food and their possible role in the register, description, and quantification of anthropogenic interference in the environment opens a new philosophical and working front for science, decision makers, and citizens alike.
Scientific literature calls for a shift from exclusively technical towards enhanced social processes in risk management to cope with the challenges of increased complex governance regimes wherein different interests of contrasting institutions need to be considered, balanced and negotiated. However, practical implementation of this integrative perspective is still a major challenge – underlined amongst others by the recently published Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030.
By proposing an Integrated Risk Management Approach (IRMA) we contribute to simplified conditions in the transfer from scientific debates into practical implementation. Looking in particular on coastal regions, IRMA focus the user’s view on the essential challenges in terms of enhanced multi-sectoral structures and improved social and flexible processes, as much as it gives advice on its methodical realization. Using our practical experiences in the trilateral Wadden Sea Region, we disclose IRMA’s contribution on enhanced consideration of historical framing, risk perceptions, risk awareness and enhanced multi-stakeholder participation. Multi-stakeholder participation, institutionalised in multi-stakeholder partnerships, makes an essential contribution towards enhanced collaborative processes between scientists, policy-makers and affected communities.
In this essay, I review my career in fish and fisheries, describing my work in the context of the ideas of the period and how they have changed with time. My experience may be interesting especially for other women from social backgrounds that do not promote competitive careers. The main lessons that I have learned are that to be persistent and ambitious, to associate with top scientist, and good persons too! is rewarding at several levels. Not to try to be the one in the spotlight but to recognize other people merits gives good results in the long run. Moreover, to take risks from time to time and explore new territories, like science administration in my case, helps to reinvent yourself and keep the intellectual interest alive. I would like to encourage young scientists to persevere, be resilient and take, from time to time, risky decisions. Maybe one does not become rich, but the mental challenges, the networking, the travel and the exceptional places and life experiences make you rich in many worthy ways! One does never get bored.
The nearshore land-water interface is an important ecological zone that faces anthropogenic pressure from development in coastal regions throughout the world. Coastal waters and estuaries like Chesapeake Bay receive and process land discharges loaded with anthropogenic nutrients and other pollutants that cause eutrophication, hypoxia, and other damage to shallow-water ecosystems. In addition, shorelines are increasingly armored with bulkhead (seawall), riprap, and other structures to protect human infrastructure against the threats of sea-level rise, storm surge, and erosion. Armoring can further influence estuarine and nearshore marine ecosystem functions by degrading water quality, spreading invasive species, and destroying ecologically valuable habitat. These detrimental effects on ecosystem function have ramifications for ecologically and economically important flora and fauna. This special issue of Estuaries and Coasts explores the interacting effects of coastal land use and shoreline armoring on estuarine and coastal marine ecosystems. The majority of papers focus on the Chesapeake Bay region, USA, where 50 major tributaries and an extensive watershed (~ 167,000 km2), provide an ideal model to examine the impacts of human activities at scales ranging from the local shoreline to the entire watershed. The papers consider the influence of watershed land use and natural versus armored shorelines on ecosystem properties and processes as well as on key natural resources.
The ‘Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries’ developed by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation has been central for the governance of fisheries. Most responsible fisheries initiatives are market-driven and motivate transitions towards greener economies. These added-value fish economies have increasingly connected fishing grounds to external markets that demand high quality sustainable products. This article problematizes the framework of responsible fishing and examines its intersections with place-base institutional processes in the Pacific coast of Colombia. In doing this, it explores how the concept of ‘responsible fishing’ has been framed, arguing that it has been used to operationalize the expansion of neoliberal processes in the oceans. It draws on small-scale fisheries performed by Afro-descendant people in the Gulf of Tribugá, where responsible fishing narratives have been linked to the creation of marine protected areas and responsible fish supply chains. Two dominant framings of responsible fishing were identified; a ‘sustainability’ framing that denotes the sustainable use of fishing resources, and a ‘technical’ framing that refers to the use of environmentally safe practices. However, none of these framings accounts for social responsibility. Instead they have enforced the division of fishing practices between ‘responsible’/‘irresponsible’, and produced static, ahistorical and oversimplified understandings of fishing dynamics. All this has triggered a local need for external control over fisheries governance, disempowering place-based control mechanisms. This article concludes by questioning whether responsible fishing can successfully ensure a sustainable use of fishing resources, or if moving beyond ‘responsibility’ is needed to strengthen local institutional processes and autonomy among coastal peoples.