There is surprisingly little information available on stakeholder management in the evolving and dynamic field of Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP). Based on the experiences made during the pilot planning processes in the framework of the BaltSeaPlan project (2009--2012) this report provides recommendations and information about the reasons and rationales for stakeholder involvement in maritime spatial planning, formal and informal approaches to stakeholder involvement in maritime spatial planning, the distinctions of stakeholder involvement in maritime spatial planning, stakeholder identification and stakeholder typologyin maritime spatial planning and Tools, techniques and the right timing to interact with stakeholders.
Public participation was one of the hallmarks of the California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative, a planning process to support the redesign of California's system of marine protected areas (MPAs). The MLPA Initiative implemented innovative and unconventional public outreach and engagement strategies to assist local communities share relevant knowledge and data, and provide timely and targeted contributions to MPA planning discussions. This collaborative model helped broaden traditional forms of participation to ensure public input received and integrated into MPA planning legitimately reflected the interests and priorities of California's coastal communities. A number of considerations were critical to the success of this collaborative approach, including: understanding the needs and limitations of public audiences; working directly with communities to identify appropriate outreach and engagement strategies; prioritizing strategies that supported a multi-directional exchange of information; adapting strategies based on public feedback and internal lessons learned; and hiring professional public engagement specialists. Strategies evolved over time and increased the level and quality of public participation over this multi-stage planning process. Experiences gained from the MLPA Initiative can be used to encourage consideration of collaborative participation in other environmental planning and decision-making processes.
Stakeholder engagement in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) can be described as a process of maturity from initial stages to more developed and self-sustaining stages. At early stages, practitioners may consult stakeholder communities as they plan, designate and implement an MPA. As the MPA development process evolves, stakeholders take a more active role, reaching consensus on MPA structure and management, and then perhaps negotiating with MPA managers to ensure their specific goals and values are represented. At full maturity, MPAs may share authority between their management body and stakeholders, or even transfer authority completely to local communities, with the MPA management authority only providing advice and consultation.
It is critical to note that the participatory engagement of stakeholders is perhaps the most important component of the planning and development of an MPA. Meaningful engagement depends on the ability of practitioners to build a healthy, lasting, and trustful relationship with stakeholders, including local communities. The approaches described in this guidebook are intended to help practitioners navigate this process of stakeholder engagement.
A series of five steps as shown in the figure below have been developed in workshops and training sessions over several years: Understanding and engaging stakeholders; Getting started with stakeholders; Participatory problem solving; Stakeholders as advisors; and Co-management approaches. Each step includes progressively greater participation from stakeholders and increasingly more shared responsibility with the MPA management authority.
At each step toward increased stakeholder engagement maturity, different techniques will be required. Some techniques and/or tools may be more useful at some stages of the MPA process than others. For example, creating an advisory body or engaging in a cooperative management approach will probably not be important to focus on in the beginning stages, when a MPA manager is just beginning to work with stakeholders. At these early stages, it is more important to focus on building trust and engaging stakeholders. However, it is good to keep in mind that advisory bodies and cooperative management will become useful in the later steps of MPA development. MPA practitioners should be able to quickly reference those tools that are most useful at each step of the MPA process.
This guidebook does not provide complete details about the steps and techniques listed; those are provided in many other documents. Instead, this serves as a helpful guide for practitioners who need guidance on the steps and techniques for engaging stakeholders in MPA management.
Among the proposals for the 2012 revision of the EU Common Fisheries Policy, a strong case is made for the introduction of a system of rights-based management. The EU perceives individual fishing concessions as an important instrument for capacity management. We will use the introduction of individual tradable quotas in the management of the Dutch North Sea beam trawl fisheries as a case for exploring the effect of the introduction of such an instrument. The effect will be assessed in terms of reduction of fishing capacity in the Dutch beam trawl fleet and its economic and social impact. These Dutch experiences will be translated to the current debate on the reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy. Especially, we will focus on the issues of "relative stability", the concentration of rights, and the effects on the small-scale fisheries sector. Some of the negative effects associated with individual tradable rights can be addressed through design. However, trying to maintain stability and counter perceived negative impacts on fishing communities will modify the effect of introducing individual fishing concessions.
Successful individual transferable quota (ITQ) management requires a binding (constraining) total allowable catch (TAC). A non-binding TAC may result in a shift back towards open access conditions, where fishers increasingly compete (‘race’) to catch their share of the total harvest. This process was examined by comparing fishing fleet behaviour and profitability in the Tasmanian southern rock lobster (Jasus edwardsii) fishery (TSRLF), Australia. Between 2008 and 2010, the TSRLF had a non-binding TAC and effectively reverted to a regulated, limited-entry fishery. Fishers' uncertainty about future profitability and their ability to take their allocated catch weakened the security characteristic of the ITQ allocation. The low quota lease price contributed to an increase in fleet capacity, while the more limited reduction in quota asset value proved an investment barrier, hindering the autonomous adjustment of quota towards the most efficient fishers. In the TSRLF, catch rates vary more than beach price and are therefore more important for determining daily revenue (i.e., price x catch rate) than market price. Consequently, fishers concentrated effort during times of higher catch rates rather than high market demand. This increased rent dissipation as fishers engaged in competitive race to fish to be the first to exploit the stock and obtain higher catch rates. The history of this fishery emphasizes the need for a constraining TAC in all ITQ fisheries, not only for stock management, but also to manage the security of the ITQ allocation and prevent unanticipated and undesirable changes in fisher behaviour and fishery profitability.
Small-scale fisheries are responsible for high numbers of animals caught as bycatch, such as turtles, cetaceans, and seals. Bycatch and its associated mortality is a major conservation challenge for these species and is considered undesirable by fishermen. To gain insights on the impact of bycatch on small-scale fishermen and put it in context with other financial and environmental challenges they face, we conducted questionnaire-based interviews on fishermen working on Crete, Greece. We investigated fishermen's perceptions of sea turtle and other protected species interactions, and the impacts of such interactions on their profession and livelihoods. Our results indicate a connection between declining fish stocks, related increased fishing effort, and reported increased frequency of interactions between fishermen and sea turtles. Respondents believed that their livelihoods were endangered by industrial fishing and environmental problems, but thought that combined interactions with turtles and other marine megafauna species were a larger problem. Responses suggested that extending compensation to fishermen may be a good conservation intervention. Small-scale fishermen hold a wealth of knowledge about the marine environment and its resources. This may be of help to researchers and policy makers as it could be used to achieve a better managed, sustainable fishery. Including small-scale fishermen in the process of developing regulations will both enhance those regulations and increase compliance with them.
It was thought that the Southern Ocean was relatively free of microplastic contamination; however, recent studies and citizen science projects in the Southern Ocean have reported microplastics in deep-sea sediments and surface waters. Here we reviewed available information on microplastics (including macroplastics as a source of microplastics) in the Southern Ocean. We estimated primary microplastic concentrations from personal care products and laundry, and identified potential sources and routes of transmission into the region. Estimates showed the levels of microplastic pollution released into the region from ships and scientific research stations were likely to be negligible at the scale of the Southern Ocean, but may be significant on a local scale. This was demonstrated by the detection of the first microplastics in shallow benthic sediments close to a number of research stations on King George Island. Furthermore, our predictions of primary microplastic concentrations from local sources were five orders of magnitude lower than levels reported in published sampling surveys (assuming an even dispersal at the ocean surface). Sea surface transfer from lower latitudes may contribute, at an as yet unknown level, to Southern Ocean plastic concentrations. Acknowledging the lack of data describing microplastic origins, concentrations, distribution and impacts in the Southern Ocean, we highlight the urgent need for research, and call for routine, standardised monitoring in the Antarctic marine system.
- Despite being globally widespread in coastal regions, the impacts of light pollution on intertidal ecosystems has received little attention. Intertidal species exhibit many night-time-dependent ecological strategies, including feeding, reproduction, orientation and predator avoidance, which are likely negatively affected by shifting light regimes, as has been observed in terrestrial and aquatic taxa.
- Coastal lighting may shape intertidal communities through its influence on the nocturnal foraging activity of dogwhelks (Nucella lapillus), a widespread predatory mollusc that structures biodiversity in temperate rocky shores. In the laboratory, we investigated whether the basal and foraging activity of this predator was affected by exposure to night-time lighting both in the presence and absence of olfactory predator cues (Carcinus maenas, common shore crab).
- Assessments of dogwhelks’ behavioural responses to night-time white LED lighting were performed on individuals that had been acclimated to night-time white LED lighting conditions for 16 days and individuals that had not previously been exposed to artificial light at night.
- Dogwhelks acclimated to night-time lighting exhibited natural refuge-seeking behaviour less often compared to control animals, but were more likely to respond to and handle prey irrespective of whether olfactory predator cues were present. These responses suggest night-time lighting likely increased the energetic demand of dogwhelks through stress, encouraging foraging whenever food was available, regardless of potential danger. Contrastingly, whelks not acclimated under night-time lighting were more likely to respond to the presence of prey under artificial light at night when olfactory predator cues were present, indicating an opportunistic shift towards the use of visual instead of olfactory cues in risk evaluation.
- These results demonstrate that artificial night-time lighting influences the behaviour of intertidal fauna such that the balance of interspecific interactions involved in community structuring may be affected.
After many years of Common Fisheries Policies in the European Union, 88% of stocks are still being fished beyond their Maximum Sustainable Yield. While several Member States and the European Commission are moving toward Individual Transferable Quotas as a solution, France has declared its opposition to such marketization of fishing access rights and a national law has classified fisheries resources as a collective heritage. This paper discusses the evolution of the French system, principally its distribution of access rights by the Producer Organizations instead of the market. However, the Producer Organizations, which are more linked to the industrial fleet organizations, have not always modified their sharing formulae to include small-scale fisheries, resulting in a demand for more transparency and equity.
Atlantic Canadian fisheries policy exhibits a tension between competing objectives of economic efficiency, and of well-being and equity within coastal communities and small-scale fisheries. The struggle between different actors over these objectives has generated distinct forms of neoliberalism in different regions and fishing fleets. In the lobster fishery, the right to fish has been concentrated since limited-entry licensing policy was introduced in the 1980s. This paper examines actors and events at two scales, including Lobster Fishing Area (LFA) 34 Advisory Committee meetings involving fishermen, representatives of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), and other stakeholders, and broader scale strategies of the Canadian Independent Fish Harvesters Federation (CIFHF). A Foucauldian perspective aids in understanding how fisheries governance is the product of struggles between the power and agency of individual fishermen, fishing organizations, processing companies, the DFO, the Minister of Fisheries and the courts. While many theorists view fisheries through the lens of the “tragedy of the commons”, alternative tragedies are developing in Atlantic Canadian fisheries. These include rising levels of debt, reduced earnings, vulnerability to financial volatility, loss of fishing rights within communities, and too much processor control.
Recent marine climate change research has largely focused on the response of individual species to environmental changes including warming and acidification. The response of communities, driven by the direct effects of ocean change on individual species as well the cascade of indirect effects, has received far less study. We used several rocky intertidal species including crabs, whelks, juvenile abalone, and mussels to determine how feeding, growth, and interactions between species could be shifted by changing ocean conditions. Our 10 wk experiment revealed many complex outcomes which highlight the unpredictability of community-level responses. Contrary to our predictions, the largest impact of elevated CO2 was reduced crab feeding and survival, with a pH drop of 0.3 units. Surprisingly, whelks showed no response to higher temperatures or CO2 levels, while abalone shells grew 40% less under high CO2 conditions. Massive non-consumptive effects of crabs on whelks showed how important indirect effects can be in determining climate change responses. Predictions of species outcomes that account solely for physiological responses to climate change do not consider the potentially large role of indirect effects due to species interactions. For strongly linked species (e.g. predator-prey or competitor relationships), the indirect effects of climate change are much less known than direct effects, but may be far more powerful in reshaping future marine communities.
Non-indigenous green crabs (Carcinus maenas) are emerging as important predators of autogenic engineers like American oysters (Crassostrea virginica) throughout the eastern seaboard of Canada and the United States. To document the spreading distribution of green crabs, we carried out surveys in seven sites of Prince Edward Island during three fall seasons. To assess the potential impact of green crabs on oyster mortality in relation to predator and prey size, we conducted multiple predator-prey manipulations in the field and laboratory. The surveys confirmed an ongoing green crab spread into new productive oyster habitats while rapidly increasing in numbers in areas where crabs had established already. The experiments measured mortality rates on four sizes of oysters exposed to three sizes of crab, and lasted 3–5 days. The outcomes of experiments conducted in Vexar® bags, laboratory tanks and field cages were consistent and were heavily dependent on both crab size and oyster size: while little predation occurred on large oysters, large and medium green crabs preyed heavily on small sizes. Oysters reached a refuge within the 35–55 mm shell length range; below that range, oysters suffered high mortality due to green crab predation and thus require management measures to enhance their survival. These results are most directly applicable to aquaculture operations and restoration initiatives but have implications for oyster sustainability.
The Dogger Bank is a subtidal hill in the North Sea that is a candidate Special Area of Conservation under the EU Habitats Directive in UK waters. Historical records indicate that the Bank has been subject to human exploitation from before the 16th century but conservation objectives have been developed using recent survey data. This has the potential to significantly underestimate the alteration this ecosystem has experienced, making the Dogger Bank an example of shifting baseline syndrome in protected area management. We compile quantitative and qualitative descriptions from historical records of change in catch rates, fishing effort, price and fish size to show that there have been prolonged declines in abundance of fish on the Bank since the early 19th century. Use of present day data to inform conservation has led to unambitious recovery targets. Historical data, we argue, are an essential input to conservation decision making.
At present, there is no specific legal basis for the development and utilisation of marine renewable energy, nor legal protection for the developers in China. The consequence is that the Chinese Government is unable to provide institutional support for the substantive development of marine renewable energy, resulting in slow development of China's marine energy industry. This paper provides an institutional framework for the establishment of relevant laws in China and legislative proposals in legal perspective, for the better development of marine renewable energy. The Chinese Government should optimise the administrative management system, strengthen financial regulation such as tax and emphasise sustainable development.
The coastal regions of inland seas are particularly vulnerable to Hg pollution. An important carrier of toxic Hg in the marine environment is suspended matter originating from multiple sources. The present study was conducted in the Gulf of Gdańsk and its adjoining land in the years 2011–2013. The results indicated that the HgSPM (Hg bound with suspended particulate matter) concentrations varied horizontally and vertically and were dependent on the water dynamics and the composition of organic matter. Conditions favourable for the accumulation of matter and adsorption of reactive gaseous mercury led to increasing HgSPM levels, which are especially hazardous in the case of semi-enclosed areas such as estuaries. These conditions also increase the Hg loads into the trophic chain through suspension feeders. Moreover, the HgSPM concentration was significantly affected by seasonal phenomena (mainly coastal erosion) and the quantity and quality of primary production (phytoplankton blooms, mainly Mesodinium rubrum).
Environmental DNA (eDNA) can be a powerful method for assessing the presence and the distribution of aquatic species. We used this tool in order to detect and quantify eDNA from the elusive species Octopus vulgaris, using qPCRs (SybrGreen protocol). We designed species-specific primers, and set up an experimental aquarium approach to validate the new molecular tool in different controlled conditions. Field validation was conducted from sea water samples taken from 8 locations within an octopus fishery area in the Cantabrian Sea during February–March 2016. A significant positive correlation between the total biomass (g of O. vulgaris within thanks) and the amount of O. vulgaris eDNA detected (p-value = 0.01261) was found in aquarium experiments. The species was also detected by PCR in 7 of the 8 water samples taken at sea, and successfully quantified by qPCR in 5 samples. This preliminary study and innovative method opens very promising perspectives for developing quick and cheap tools for the assessment of O. vulgaris distribution and abundance in the sea. The method could help in a close future for quantifying unseen and elusive marine species, thus contributing to establish sustainable fisheries.
Many people practice open defecation in south Asia. As a result, lot of human waste containing nutrients such as nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) enter rivers. Rivers transport these nutrients to coastal waters, resulting in marine pollution. This source of nutrient pollution is, however, ignored in many nutrient models. We quantify nutrient export by large rivers to coastal seas of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, and the associated eutrophication potential in 2000 and 2050. Our new estimates for N and P inputs from human waste are one to two orders of magnitude higher than earlier model calculations. This leads to higher river export of nutrients to coastal seas, increasing the risk of coastal eutrophication potential (ICEP). The newly calculated future ICEP, for instance, Godavori river is 3 times higher than according to earlier studies. Our modeling approach is simple and transparent and can easily be applied to other data-poor basins.
Contamination by microplastic particles and fibres has been observed in sediment and animals sampled from the Firth of Clyde, West Scotland. In addition to microplastics released during clothes washing, a probable source is polymer ropes in abandoned, lost and discarded fishing and recreational sailing gear. The fragmentation of polypropylene, polyethylene, and nylon exposed to benthic conditions at 10 m depth over 12 months was monitored using changes in weight and tensile properties. Water temperature and light levels were continuously monitored. The degree of biofouling was measured using chlorophyll a, the weight of attached macroalgae, and colonising fauna. Results indicate microplastic fibres and particles may be formed in benthic environments despite reduced photodegradation. Polypropylene, Nylon, and polyethylene lost an average of 0.39%, 1.02%, and 0.45% of their mass per month respectively. Microscope images of the rope surface revealed notable surface roughening believed to be caused by abrasion by substrate and the action of fouling organisms.
Marine plastic pollution has been a growing concern for decades. Single-use plastics (plastic bags and microbeads) are a significant source of this pollution. Although research outlining environmental, social, and economic impacts of marine plastic pollution is growing, few studies have examined policy and legislative tools to reduce plastic pollution, particularly single-use plastics (plastic bags and microbeads). This paper reviews current international market-based strategies and policies to reduce plastic bags and microbeads. While policies to reduce microbeads began in 2014, interventions for plastic bags began much earlier in 1991. However, few studies have documented or measured the effectiveness of these reduction strategies. Recommendations to further reduce single-use plastic marine pollution include: (i) research to evaluate effectiveness of bans and levies to ensure policies are having positive impacts on marine environments; and (ii) education and outreach to reduce consumption of plastic bags and microbeads at source.
Seagrass species form important marine and estuarine habitats providing valuable ecosystem services and functions. Coastal zones that are increasingly impacted by anthropogenic development have experienced substantial declines in seagrass abundance around the world. Australia, which has some of the world’s largest seagrass meadows and is home to over half of the known species, is not immune to these losses. In 1999 a review of seagrass ecosystems knowledge was conducted in Australia and strategic research priorities were developed to provide research direction for future studies and management. Subsequent rapid evolution of seagrass research and scientific methods has led to more than 70% of peer reviewed seagrass literature being produced since that time. A workshop was held as part of the Australian Marine Sciences Association conference in July 2015 in Geelong, Victoria, to update and redefine strategic priorities in seagrass research. Participants identified 40 research questions from 10 research fields (taxonomy and systematics, physiology, population biology, sediment biogeochemistry and microbiology, ecosystem function, faunal habitats, threats, rehabilitation and restoration, mapping and monitoring, management tools) as priorities for future research on Australian seagrasses. Progress in research will rely on advances in areas such as remote sensing, genomic tools, microsensors, computer modeling, and statistical analyses. A more interdisciplinary approach will be needed to facilitate greater understanding of the complex interactions among seagrasses and their environment.