Despite the attention given to genetic biodiversity in international agreements such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Strategic Plan and the Aichi Targets, previous research points at a “conservation genetics gap,” indicating that scientific insights into genetic biodiversity are poorly integrated into practical management. Both researchers and managers call for platforms for knowledge exchange between science and practice. However, few scientific studies on the potential effects of such knowledge transfer have been conducted. The present study is a follow-up to Lundmark et al. (2017), which identified significant effects of two forms of knowledge communication on conservation managers’ concerns and beliefs in regard to Baltic Sea genetic biodiversity. This study departs from Lundmark et al. (2017) and explores (a) whether the identified alterations in knowledge and beliefs persist over time, and (b) whether potential stability differs between different types of policy beliefs as well as between two types of knowledge communication (lecture and group deliberation). The results of this follow-up study show that the positive impacts on managers’ self-assessed knowledge remained, while the effects on policy beliefs largely had vanished a few months after the knowledge communication. Thus, changes in beliefs seem perishable, suggesting that continuity is more important than the form of educational efforts.
A third of global fish stocks are overexploited and many are economically underperforming, resulting in potential unrealized net economic benefits of USD 51 to 83 billion annually. However, this aggregate view, while useful for global policy discussion, may obscure the view for those actors who engage at a regional level. Therefore, we develop a method to associate large companies with their fishing operations and evaluate the biological sustainability of these operations. We link current fish biomass levels and landings to the revenue streams of the companies under study to compute potentially unrealized fisheries revenues and profits at the level of individual firms. We illustrate our method using two case studies: anchoveta (Engraulis ringens; Engraulidae) in Peru and menhaden in the USA (Brevoortia patronus and B. tyrannus;Clupeidae). We demonstrate that both these fisheries could potentially increase their revenues compared to the current levels of exploitation. We estimate the net but unrealized fishery benefits for the companies under question. This information could be useful to investors and business owners who might want to be aware of the actual fisheries performance options of the companies they invest in.
This study explores the value chain structure and chain activities of the imported shellfish industry in China. Data were collected from face-to-face semi-structured interviews in Guangzhou (n = 30) and Shanghai (n = 23) and a face-to-face survey in Shanghai (n = 71). Data analysis employed both content and descriptive analyses. Results show that the value chain is composed of several important members including foreign exporters, Chinese importers, wholesalers, resellers and clearance companies. Business partnership is the main channel by which marketing information is gained by chain members. Relationships are quite stable among the chain members, with quality, price and credit items being the most important factors that influence chain relationships. It seems that imported shellfish from some developed countries (e.g. Canadian and U.S. lobsters) have reached a market saturation in China's first-tier cities (e.g. Guangzhou and Shanghai) and relevant chain members face fierce competition. E-commerce is still not mature enough as a tool for the marketing development of imported shellfish in China.
The right to life is a basic and fundamental core human right. Despite the idea that the lives of all human beings are equal under the protection of the law, the special characteristics of the seafarers’ profession suggests that they should be granted additional attention and protection. In recent years, issues related to seafarers’ welfare have moved to the forefront of concern, however, discussion on seafarers’ right to life has drawn little attention. This paper is intended to contribute to knowledge in this aspect by drawing together themes from theoretical policy and governance studies and uses case studies that apply lessons from these disciplines to the practical context of the worldwide shipping industry. Specifically, the discussion clarifies the concept and dimension of the human right to life as well as seafarers’ right to life as a special group of industrial workers, notes the hazardous feature of seafaring as an occupation, identifies the sources of seafarers rights in the related maritime policies and international regulations and illustrates the obligation of the state from the perspective of the ‘flag’ and the ‘port’. The paper finally provides conclusions to the ongoing major issues and suggests a mechanism that should be established to ensure seafarers’ right to life is to be respected.
In 2010 Parties to the United Nations (UN) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) agreed to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss within a decade by achieving 20 objectives that are commonly known as the Aichi Targets. This article explores aspects of Canada's work on one of the few quantified targets (Target 11), which is intended to improve the status of biodiversity through protected areas (PAs) and a new type of designation, “other effective area-based conservation measures” (OECMs). In a faltering attempt to reach its Aichi Target 11 commitments by 2020, some Canadian jurisdictions have elected to focus more on coverage (quantity) and less on ecological integrity (quality), which has significant ramifications for long-term success of biodiversity conservation. For example, a jurisdiction responsible for marine conservation has re-designated regulated fishery closures as ‘marine refuges’ under the auspices of an OECM designation, which brings into question the real intent of Canada's commitment to the CBD and its own Biodiversity Strategy. Ambiguous language used to define and prescribe application of OECMs is being used as the basis for a revisionist paradigm that promises to undermine national and international conservation standards, fracture partnerships, and jeopardize the integrity of Canada's PA network. Canada must reject half measures that will result in ineffective or unintended perverse conservation outcomes, and focus on a post-2020 agenda that prioritizes conservation outcomes, management effectiveness, and the implementation of accountability measures within and between jurisdictions and by the Secretariat of the CBD.
Peru is one of the world’s leading fishing nations and its seafood industry relies on the trade of a vast variety of aquatic resources, playing a key role in the country’s socio-economic development. DNA barcoding has become of paramount importance for systematics, conservation, and seafood traceability, complementing or even surpassing conventional identification methods when target organisms show similar morphology during the early life stages, have recently diverged, or have undergone processing. Aiming to increase our knowledge of the species diversity available across the Peruvian supply chain (from fish landing sites to markets and restaurants), we applied full and mini-barcoding approaches targeting three mitochondrial genes (COI, 16S, and 12S) and the control region to identify samples purchased at retailers from six departments along the north-central Peruvian coast. DNA barcodes from 131 samples were assigned to 55 species (plus five genus-level taxa) comprising 47 families, 24 orders, and six classes including Actinopterygii (45.03%), Chondrichthyes (36.64%), Bivalvia (6.87%), Cephalopoda (6.11%), Malacostraca (3.82%), and Gastropoda (1.53%). The identified samples included commercially important pelagic (anchovy, bonito, dolphinfish) and demersal (hake, smooth-hound, Peruvian rock seabass, croaker) fish species. Our results unveiled the marketing of protected and threatened species such as whale shark, Atlantic white marlin, smooth hammerhead (some specimens collected during closed season), shortfin mako, and pelagic thresher sharks. A total of 35 samples (26.72%) were mislabeled, including tilapia labeled as wild marine fish, dolphinfish and hake labeled as grouper, and different shark species sold as “smooth-hounds”. The present study highlights the necessity of implementing traceability and monitoring programs along the entire seafood supply chain using molecular tools to enhance sustainability efforts and ensure consumer choice.
September open water fraction in the Arctic is analyzed using the satellite era record of ice concentration (1979–2017). Evidence is presented that three breakpoints (shifts in the mean) occurred in the Pacific sector, with higher amounts of open water starting in 1989, 2002, and 2007. Breakpoints in the Atlantic sector record of open water are evident in 1971 in longer records, and around 2000 and 2011. Multiple breakpoints are also evident in the Canadian and Russian halves. Statistical models that use detected breakpoints of the Pacific and Atlantic sectors, as well as models with breakpoints in the Canadian and Russian halves and the Arctic as a whole, outperform linear trend models in fitting the data. From a physical standpoint, the results support the thesis that Arctic sea ice may have critical points beyond which a return to the previous state is less likely. From an analysis standpoint, the findings imply that de-meaning the data using the breakpoint means is less likely to cause spurious signals than employing a linear detrend.
Major climate and ecological changes affect the world’s oceans leading to a number of responses including increasing water temperatures, changing weather patterns, shrinking ice-sheets, temperature-driven shifts in marine species ranges, biodiversity loss and bleaching of coral reefs. In addition, ocean pH is falling, a process known as ocean acidification (OA). The root cause of OA lies in human policies and behaviours driving society’s dependence on fossil fuels, resulting in elevated CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. In this review, we detail the state of knowledge of the causes of, and potential responses to, OA with particular focus on Swedish coastal seas. We also discuss present knowledge gaps and implementation needs.
Although still controversial among some fisheries management stakeholders, marine protected areas (MPAs) are used worldwide to address fisheries crises. This study focused on the perspectives of fishers in evaluating the effectiveness of an MPA to address their management propositions. The study analysed the drafting and implementation of a multiple-use MPA management plan in the southern coast of Brazil. It evaluated the outcomes in fulfilling the small-scale fishers' proposals, raised and collectively agreed to in a participatory drafting process. Four years after the release of the MPA management plan half of the fishers' proposals were fulfilled. Most of the fishers' fulfilled proposals were related to regulations within the MPA and to strategies to improve their political representativeness, while the majority of the proposals on fishing licensing and on public policies to foster the activity have not yet been achieved. Scale mismatches, authority limitations, and options for innovative institutional arrangements are discussed here as key elements of the results. Additionally, fishers and managers agreed on the increased management performance and learning opportunities created through the participatory process of drafting the management plan, enabling an environment for fulfilling the proposals over the medium and long terms.
A seafood fraud campaign was launched by an ocean conservation group to increase transparency in global seafood supply chains by enacting policies on full chain boat-to-plate traceability for all seafood sold in the U.S. As part of this campaign, online members of the group were recruited to document and collect commercial seafood samples as part of a large investigation of U.S. seafood mislabeling, specifically species substitution. Following an iterative project design including several rounds of pilot testing of sample preservation methods and outreach materials, 1058 of the more than 55,000 members solicited signed up to be a “seafood sleuth” and were mailed seafood testing kits, containing supplies to submit two fish samples of their choice. On average, 33.4% (353/1058) of these citizen scientists in 11 metropolitan areas returned kits that contained 631 samples, or nearly half of the 1263 samples collected in the overall study. Assessment of the quality of citizen science data revealed comparable rates of sample integrity, data completeness and mislabeling compared to samples and data collected by trained scientists. Citizen science outreach provided a more informed and engaged online member population, who continued to take actions to advance seafood traceability policies with their decision makers. Citizen science outreach was an integral part of a successful campaign that included science, communication strategies to garner mass media attention and advocacy to promote seafood traceability which resulted in the first seafood traceability regulation in the U.S.
This paper presents a joint estimation of the willingness to pay for conservation activities aimed at preserving the flow of ecosystem services provided by a marine protected area network and respondents’ personal discount rate using a contingent valuation survey. This work contributes to the literature on identifying people’s discount rates by moving beyond the use of the exponential schemes to include a hyperbolic discount rate through variations in the timing and duration of the provision of public goods. We present evidence that different discounting processes are associated with different programs, which depend on the type of ecosystem services under protection, including seed banks and biodiversity conservation for tourism activities. The results show the importance of using decreasing discounting (hyperbolic discounting) for projects aimed at preserving biodiversity for tourism activities. Using exponential discounting undervalues the net benefits associated with tourism by 23%, thus affecting projects’ cost-benefit analyses. These results are crucial for informing the design of marine conservation programs by clarifying the relationships among conservation project goals, the discounting used, and the relevant lifetime project assessment.
Human-wildlife conflict has been receiving increased scientific and management attention, predominantly in terrestrial systems, as a side effect of successful predator conservation and recovery. These same conflicts exist in the ocean; however, they are mostly regarded in a region- or taxa-specific context despite evidence that human-wildlife conflict is prevalent across the global oceans and likely to increase as a result of successful conservation measures. Can the lessons learned from conflicts on land promote more sustainable success in the sea? Or, do ocean human-wildlife conflicts create unique challenges that require new solutions? This paper synthesizes evidence from human-wildlife conflicts in the ocean and provides initial suggestions for progressing with effective management in the ocean. Humans have extensive experience managing conflict with terrestrial predators and several of the strategies are transferable to marine predators, but several important differences between systems necessitate a marine-specific focus and evaluation of existing mitigation strategies. Further, in managing marine wildlife conflict, it is crucial to recognize that perceived conflicts can be just as important as actual conflict and that, in many cases, human-human conflict is at the root of human-wildlife conflict. As efforts to recover important predator populations continue, humans are faced with the exciting opportunity and a new necessity to constructively manage these recoveries to continue to meet goals for marine conservation while simultaneously promoting human safety and industry in the seas.
Ocean acidification and warming may threaten future seafood production, safety and quality by negatively impacting the fitness of marine species. Identifying changes in nutritional quality, as well as species most at risk, is crucial if societies are to secure food production. Here, changes in the biochemical composition and nutritional properties of the commercially valuable oysters, Magallana gigas and Ostrea edulis, were evaluated following a 12-week exposure to six ocean acidification and warming scenarios that were designed to reflect the temperature (+3 °C above ambient) and atmospheric pCO2 conditions (increase of 350–600 ppm) predicted for the mid-to end-of-century. Results suggest that O. edulis, and especially M. gigas, are likely to become less nutritious (i.e. containing lower levels of protein, lipid, and carbohydrate), and have reduced caloric content under ocean acidification and warming. Important changes to essential mineral composition under ocean acidification and warming were evident in both species; enhanced accumulation of copper in M. gigasmay be of concern regarding consumption safety. In light of these findings, the aquaculture industry may wish to consider a shift in focus toward species that are most robust to climate change and less prone to deterioration in quality, in order to secure future food provision and socio-economic benefits of aquaculture.
The effects of underwater noise pollution on marine life are of increasing concern. Research and management have focussed on the strongest underwater sound sources. Aerial sound sources have understandably been ignored as sound transmits poorly across the air-water interface. However, there might be situations when air-borne noise cannot be dismissed. Commercial passenger airplanes were recorded in a coastal underwater soundscape exhibiting broadband received levels of 84–132 dB re 1 μPa rms. Power spectral density levels of airplane noise underwater exceeded ambient levels between 12 Hz and 2 or 10 kHz (depending on site) by up to 36 dB. Underwater noise from airplanes is expected to be audible to a variety of marine fauna, including seals, manatees, and dolphins. With many of the world's airports lying close to the coast, it is cautioned that airplane noise not be ignored, in particular in the case of at-risk species in small, confined habitats.
Beaches, an important component of coastal tourism resources, are gradually eroding as a result of environmental pollution, ecological damage, etc., which is ignored by tourists as more recreational coastal activities become available. In this context, the present study attempts to investigate the willingness to pay (WTP) of tourists and evaluates the non-use value of beach tourism resources to protect beaches from further deterioration. Towards this aim, a scientific survey is implemented on the beaches of Qingdao coastal scenic area (China) with application of the contingent valuation method (CVM). In addition, this study uses a logistic regression model to analyze the factors affecting tourists' WTP. The results indicate that 80.8% of tourists would be willing to pay to preserve beach tourism resources, and the mean WTP is $10.0 (¥66.7) per year when zero values are considered. Factors such as tourists' gender and traveling frequency to the beaches significantly affect their WTP to preserve beach tourism resources, with females exhibiting a higher probability of paying than males, and those with a higher traveling frequency also present a higher probability of paying. The non-use value of beach tourism resources is estimated at $0.8 billion (¥5.4 billion), based on the total number of tourists in Qingdao in 2016 as the survey sample. Therefore, scientific evaluation of the non-use value of beach tourism resources is beneficial to the sustainable development and preservation of beaches.
Resilience has become a key concept for addressing the vulnerability of small-scale fishing households in developing countries. While effort has gone into defining the concept of resilience in relation to fishing households; very little application of the concept exists in practice. An economic resiliency strategy was developed that builds resilience through improved household assets to reduce risks and vulnerabilities. A foundational conclusion of the strategy is the importance of linking household livelihood interventions to sustainable fishing behaviors. The conservation enterprise approach facilitated a mutually beneficial relationship between biodiversity conservation and livelihoods.
Coral restoration is increasingly used globally as a management tool to minimize accelerating coral reef degradation resulting from climate change. Yet, the science of coral restoration is still very focused on ecological and technical considerations, impeding the understanding of how coral restoration can be used to improve reef resilience in the context of socio-ecological systems. Here, we visited four well-established coral restoration projects in different regions of the world (Thailand, Maldives, Florida Keys, and US Virgin Islands), and conducted key-informant interviews to characterize local stakeholder's perceptions of the key benefits and limitations associated with restoration efforts. Our results reveal that perceptions around coral reef restoration encompass far more than ecological considerations, and include all four dimensions of sustainability: ecological, social, economic, and governance, suggesting that effective coral restoration should be guided by the principles of sustainability science. Socio-cultural benefits were the most frequently mentioned (72.4% of all respondents), while technical problems were the most common theme for limitations of coral restoration efforts (58.3% of the respondents). Participants also revealed some key points likely to improve the outcomes of coral restoration efforts such as the need to better embrace socio-cultural dimensions in goal setting, evaluate ecological outcomes more broadly, secure long-term funding and improve management and logistics of day to day practices. While we identify several important limitations of coral reef restoration, particularly around amateur workforces and limited involvement of local communities, our results suggest that coral restoration can be used as a powerful conservation education tool to provide hope, enhance agency, promote stewardship and strengthen coral reef conservation strategies.
Food authenticity has received an increasing focus due to high profile cases of substitution/mislabeling, with many investigations identifying sales of endangered or prohibited species. At the same time, the European Union (EU) has introduced one of the most progressive sets of legislation in order to promote traceability and protect consumers. This study aims to identify shark species that are sold under the commercial term “Galeos” in Greece (which officially designates Mustelus mustelus, M. punctulatus and M. asterias), using DNA barcoding. A total of 87 samples were collected from fishmongers and markets across four cities. A combination of two mitochondrial genes, the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and the 16S ribosomal RNA (16S), were used to analyze samples, and species were identified by reference to genetic databases. The results revealed significant differences in patterns of species utilization between cities and retailers. Across the study an extremely high level of mislabeling was identified (56%). This probably relates to some degree of unintentional misidentification and confusion surrounding the designation in Greece, but highlights how consumers are unprotected from incorrect/misleading labels. Over half of products originated from species that are locally listed as threatened by the ICUN red list, and of the mislabeled products, 23% originated from species with prohibitions on landings or CITES listings. This includes large growing sharks with little resemblance to Mustelus spp. and likely demonstrates deliberate substitution. It shows how mislabeled products are providing a route for prohibited/protected sharks to enter the supply chain and be sold to consumers.
Oceanic islands have usually a unique set of organisms that gives them their distinctive character and make them laboratories for biological studies, places of employment for residents, interesting destinations for tourist, and critical importance for conservationists. The management of these natural resources generates conflicts over the use and the access to these resources. In this chapter, I look at the way in which economic and social change resulting from activities such as fisheries and tourism has developed in the Galapagos. Using these activities we explore the interaction between processes of self-organization and emergence to use the existing resources of the Galapagos and the process of regulation and control that is being generated by the government.
Our Galapagos fishers agent-based model (GF-ABM) considers strategies of household livelihood alternatives with the central proposition that fishers are being “pushed” and “pulled” into the tourism industry, but not all fishers are able to obtain alternate employment nor do all want to transition to part- or full-time employment in non-fishing activities. The processes embedded in our GF-ABM examine fishers as a social-ecological system, where livelihood transitions are modeled, and the multidimensional drivers of change are examined by integrating processes and relationships among agents, a dynamic environment, and the influence of personal and professional characteristics as well as exogenous dynamics into their employment patterns. The GF-ABM contains a demographic element that models basic demographic changes at the household level (household agents). The model also contains an employment management component in which fisher agents select jobs among three employment sectors – fisheries, tourism, and government. The tourism and government sectors each have three tiers of jobs that require increasing agent skills. Fishers make their employment decisions based on their preference to remain in fishing, the availability of jobs in the three employment sectors, and their personal and professional qualifications that facilitate their movement among the employment sectors. Households contain members that are non-fisher agents, and fishers belong to households. Income and expenses are calculated for both fishers and household agents. In this chapter, we describe the key elements of the GF-ABM and the fundamental processes that are examined within a population-environment context.