Tragedy of the unwanted commons: Governing the marine debris in Taiwan’s oyster farming
Marine debris is a pollution problem on a global scale, which causes harm to marine ecosystems and consequently results in profoundly negative influences on mankind. This type of pollution can originate from various activities such as leisure and tourism, fishery, land-based sources, and vessels, etc. In this study, it was found that derelict fishing gear (DFG) produced by oyster farming activities is being dispersed along the southwestern coast of Taiwan, consequently reducing the leisure quality and coastal amenities. In order to understand the current problem of DFG, related stakeholders were invited to undergo qualitative interviews to observe the stakeholders’ perceptions pertaining to DFG pollution and their opinions on subsequent mitigation measures. The results of the interviews were then used to explore management issues pertaining to DFG, as well as the trans-boundary pollution problems caused by DFG based on the theory of environmental resource governance and scales of management jurisdiction. Finally, suggestions were provided to effectively reduce the DFG pollution from oyster farming, including the strengthening of environmental education and propagation, sustaining management and monitoring of marine debris by the government, using policy tools, and applying solid waste management principles.