This paper uses the Western Australian rock lobster, the first fishery certified by MSC, as a case study to discuss some of the environmental issues encountered in MSC׳s Principle 2 and the strategies implemented to address them. Experience with the certification of Western Australian rock lobster has highlighted the importance of; comprehensive documentation of current and historical information, monitoring and research, a transparent process of risk identification and the value of an independent advisory group to review risks and guide research directions.A comparison of other certified lobster fisheries worldwide revealed that third party certification consistently identified specific environmental issues, indicating that the strategies implemented to support the ongoing certification of the Western Australian rock lobster fishery may be relevant to other fisheries.
The Alaska head and gut (H&G) fishing fleet, a major component of the Bering Sea Aleutian Islands region (BSAI) groundfish fisheries, was recently rationalized under Amendment 80 (A80) to the BSAI groundfish fishery management plan. Economic impacts from H&G sector activities occur not only in Alaska but also extend to other U.S. regions via economic linkages with economic agents in those regions. Using a multiregional social accounting matrix (MRSAM) model of three U.S. regions (Alaska, West Coast, and rest of USA), the multiregional contribution of the H&G industry is estimated, and multiregional impacts of selected shifts in H&G sector production are evaluated in terms of changes in output, employment and income. Results indicate that the A80 H&G fleet vessels are important participants in Alaska fisheries, that more than half of the impacts from the H&G fleet on total output and about 80% of the impacts on household income accrue outside Alaska, and that the H&G fleet is relatively insensitive to variations in world prices of its primary products.
As a precautionary measure to protect the culturally-significant bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) from vessel strike, this paper explores the potential for having the International Maritime Organization endorse ships׳ routeing measures in the Bering Strait region. The confined nature of the Bering Strait forces both vessel traffic and the migrating Bering–Chukchi–Beaufort stock of bowhead whales to occupy the same narrow space, thus putting individual animals at risk of vessel strike. The potential for vessel strike may become exacerbated as the reduction of Arctic sea ice makes the Arctic increasingly accessible, allowing vessels to transit through the Strait in greater densities. In drawing from lessons learned in the successful reduction of vessel strike to the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis), the author provides broad recommendations for implementing ships׳ routeing measures in the Bering Strait region based on findings by Citta et al. (2012). It is recommended that both the western side of Big Diomede Island and the western side of St. Lawrence Island be designated as seasonal Areas To Be Avoided (ATBA) during fall months when bowheads are known to inhabit the area. Alternatively, it is proposed that Traffic Separation Schemes (TSSs) be implemented so that vessels must keep to the eastern side of both Big Diomede Island and St. Lawrence Island during this time. Both measures would reduce the amount of overlap between migrating bowhead whales and transiting vessel traffic, effectively reducing the potential for vessel strike.
MSY objectives are being adopted as major fisheries management targets worldwide. However, in fisheries where discards account for an important share of the catches, the yield, effort, and biomass at MSY can be significantly different when accounting or not for discards and thus when, basing the yield estimations on landings or catches. Also whether accounting for a certain survival rate, of discards can lead to different MSY targets estimates. Hence, both decisions have important, implications on catch and effort reduction recommendations, and consequently on the quota, calculations for fisheries managed by quotas. Results from the Bay of Biscay nephrops fishery confirm, that the optimal exploitation level can vary significantly when optimising for catches or landings, and, by assuming a certain survival rate of the discards. By doing this, the present study also allows to, explore the basis to clarify the definition of MSY in fisheries where discarding takes place.
Aquaculture is the fastest growing global food system, providing nearly half of the world׳s seafood supply. A significant portion of aquaculture is produced in the global South and consumed in the North, with much of the production stemming from small producers in Asian countries. The rapid growth in this sector has led to a host of social, environmental and governance concerns, with certification emerging as one market governance response. This paper assesses the potential of certification for small producer shrimp farmers in Vietnam, examining the ways in which three standards operating in Vietnam focus on social, environmental, economic, and management dimensions of sustainability. Research findings suggest that aquaculture standards are not appropriate for small producers since much of the current criteria are not viable at this scale. A separate national standard customized specifically for small producers in Vietnam׳s aquaculture sector may be necessary. A set of guidelines is proposed as a starting point for discussions regarding small producer certification.
This article aims to address fishery adaptation to tackle the commons dilemma by introducing the Padu system. The Padu system which is a gear-specific fishery with strict rules has survived to date, but the system has become vulnerable due to exogenous pressures as well as internal population growth. With this background, the research presents a case study of stake-seine fishery in Negombo Lagoon, Sri Lanka by highlighting the institutional mechanism of the Padu system. Findings revealed that the system has developed a nested structure of fishery governance among right holders. A role of the Roman Catholic Church served as a basis for interaction vertically across institutions from local to national, securing robust fishery institutions against entry of outsiders to the system. Furthermore, the fishery introduced a welfare scheme, contributing to the adherence to their own rules including entry rights to the system which control internal population growth. Based on these findings, this article provides several implications to sustainable fishery resources management through the Padu system.
An ecosystem services (ES) approach to managing marine and coastal resources has increasingly emerged as a core requirement of ecosystem-based management (EBM). However, little practical guidance exists to help structure and implement such an approach. This paper outlines the linkages between ecosystems, ES and EBM in a practical framework that could be applied to marine environmental management. Using the northwestern, deepwater Gulf of Mexico as a case study, a three-stage approach was devised: (1) prioritizing relevant ES according to perceived financial and societal value and level of stress, (2) assessing the effectiveness of a wide range of indicators of ES health, and (3) ranking indicators to identify those whose monitoring would be most effective in tracking ES health. The first stage of this approach identified food provision, recreational fishing, and the non-use ethical value derived from the presence of iconic species as the highest-priority ES in the case study region. The second and third stages suggested four indicators as having the highest priority for supporting key ES: (1) levels of selected chemical compounds in key species of fish, (2) marine sound, (3) concentration of chlorophyll-a as a proxy for phytoplankton, and (4) economic and ecological values added by artificial structures. Results of this study will be helpful in prioritizing the allocation of resources for marine environmental monitoring. The approach described here will also be applicable, with appropriate adaptations, to ES analysis in other environmental settings.
This paper aims to explore how the non-flag state high seas boarding and inspection (HSBI) scheme has been implemented in real settings, as well as to examine its effectiveness in enforcement and potential impacts on fisheries management. The methods of document analysis and semi-structured interviews were employed. The preliminary results showed that the scheme has been practically realized in the WCPFC, indicating that an exception to the high seas flag state control has been established for the sake of fisheries management. The results also revealed that the scheme has the potential to complement the lack of on-sight enforcement capacity of fishing states, enhance cooperative enforcement on the high seas, and implicitly elevate the level of compliance with relevant management measures by vessels. This paper also identified a potential loophole of the scheme, namely whether it has the necessary “teeth” to deal with the inaction of the flag states regarding their fishing vessels which have had foreign inspectors detect the violation of rules. To amend this loophole, devising a mechanism for allowing the WCPFC to warn or punish the flag states for such inaction in order to improve compliance, has been recommended. In addition, further studies on the effectiveness of the scheme and the link between the scheme and fishers’ behaviors in complying with management measures were also recommended.
Humans and ecosystems are inextricably linked. The marine environment provides significant benefits to humans often described as stemming from ecosystem services (ES). Cultural ecosystem services (CESs) are included in the majority of ecosystem service frameworks in some form. However, there is a lack of characterisation or valuation of CESs often because they are hard to identify. They are therefore frequently left out of assessments leading to a risk that ES frameworks are not being used to their full potential. By analysing responses from the Turkish public to an open question, posed about the sea, it is possible to access the interface between humans and the marine ecosystem. A number of CES categories were identified; aesthetic information, recreation, inspiration for art and design, and cultural heritage. In addition, provisioning (seafood), air purification and climate modification were recognised. The four CES are characterised, including the hard to identify intangible elements, and the underpinning environmental components and linkages were explored. The analysis used revealed the intangible benefits, including a deeply emotional attachment to the marine environment. The understanding of the cultural linkages between the Turkish people and the Black Sea provides a mechansim for designing policy and ecosystem management measures, and for motivating individuals and communities to work towards protecting and enhancing ecosystems. The research also provides evidence to support the case that cultural experiences are frequently built upon the foundations of a healthy natural environment.
Oyster harvest has long been an important industry of the eastern coast of the United States. However, coastal development, overfishing and climate change are threatening this industry and way of life. This study examines the perspectives of oyster harvesters and merchants in Brunswick County, North Carolina, USA to explore their capacity to adapt to these changing conditions. Using in-person, semi-structured interviews researchers collected information from seventeen interviewees, generating qualitative data that were analyzed using MAXQDA software. From the data collected several themes emerged revealing mixed sentiments on the impacts of climate change but a widespread sense that development and regulations threaten livelihoods and cultural heritage. This social–ecological system (SES), created through centuries of regulation, is experiencing rapid population growth with concurrent coastal development; it also includes oyster industry workers who have limited voice in decision-making but are affected by the political ecology of the region. Deliberately including oyster harvesters and merchants when formulating and implementing policy can help to strengthen the adaptive capacity of this SES while sustaining Brunswick County׳s coastal heritage.
Concerns over the impact of economic activities on the marine resource have led to many national ocean policies and international agreements for sustainable development. To guide these policies, information on the physical attributes and processes of the marine system and its associated economic activities, such as fishing, maritime transport, shipbuilding, etc. must be accommodated within a single framework. However, economic data on the activities linked to the marine resource is often incomplete or non-existent. Recent literature has focused on developing national economic indicators for the marine sector. To date, these indicators have tended to reflect national level trends; overall output, employment, and household income associated with the marine sector. Recognising the importance of micro-level indicators that capture temporal trends in the marine sector, this paper uses data on a subset of marine sectors, namely fishing, aquaculture, processing, shipbuilding, maritime transport and construction provided in the Office of National Statistic׳s Business Structure Dataset. Dividing the trend data into two timeframes 2003–2007 and 2008–2011 provides an additional insight on the performance of the marine sector with the global economic recession as a backdrop. This paper found that whilst employment in the marine sector decreased in England since 2008, output from marine based products and services have increased. The paper further found that overall, whilst the subset of sectors representing the English marine sector in the BSD under-performed relative to other sectors during 2003–2007 (or the global boom years), the sector grew faster in the post global recession compared to other English industrial sectors.
Many countries have put in place protection of cold water coral (CWC) reef areas in relation to fishing, especially bottom trawling. As little has been known about the ecosystem function of CWC, protection has largely been driven by existence values such as uniqueness/rareness, charisma and low resistance from fishermen due to limited effects upon fisheries. This paper identifies the services from CWC, underlining the supporting services that may determine the flow of the more direct provisioning, regulating and cultural services. Current research points to the value of CWC as a habitat for commercially interesting species, which motivates management of these resources to include a more comprehensive set of mechanisms, such as placing incentives to encourage a change of gear from bottom trawling to less destructive methods in less densely covered CWC areas, and possibly a stronger focus on other benthic habitats that are equally or more valuable, such as sponges.
Collaboration across sectors and disciplines is widely identified as essential for the implementation of ecosystem-based management (EBM) in both marine and terrestrial settings. However, relatively little research has examined the inner workings of collaborative marine EBM processes. Social network analysis (SNA) is a suite of methods for systematically analyzing and mapping relations between individuals or organizations, and can be used as a means of understanding the inner workings of collaboration. The authors applied SNA methods to cases of collaborative marine EBM planning in Rhode Island and New York, U.S.A., focusing on network structure and the role and influence of individual actors within their respective planning networks. Results highlighted the importance of diverse, decentralized networks of moderate density as well as the influence that bridging ties, or “brokers,” can wield in such processes. Research also found that non-governmental actors, such as university outreach specialists and scientists affiliated with environmental organizations, can be especially influential in collaborative marine EBM planning. This paper presents the results of this analysis, discusses the utility of this method for the analysis of collaborative marine EBM planning, and offers recommendations for future research and practice.
Marine protected areas (MPAs) have the potential to conserve marine resources as well as provide social and economic benefits to local communities. Yet the percentage of MPAs that might be considered “successful” or effective on ecological and/or socio-economic accounts is debatable. Measurement of biophysical and socio-economic outcome indicators has become de rigeur for examining MPA management effectiveness so that adaptive feedback loops can stimulate new management actions. Scholars and practitioners alike have suggested that more attention should be given to the inputs that are likely to lead to successful MPA outcomes. This paper briefly discusses the potential ecological and socio-economic outcomes of MPAs then reviews the literature on three categories of inputs – governance, management, and local development – that lead to effective MPAs. In conclusion, the paper presents a novel inputs framework that incorporates indicators for governance, management and development to be used in the design and analysis of MPAs.
The nature of small-scale fisheries is frequently described as complex. This complexity is particularly true for the least developed countries, such as Yemen, in which natural resources management is challenged by rapid population growth, high unemployment rates, and chronic underdevelopment. This study presents the current fisheries management regime and analyzes its components to examine how appropriate the current strategy is in addressing conservation needs while sustaining the socio-economic benefits obtained from fisheries. The weak enforcement and low compliance and the widespread illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, suggest the need to restructure the fisheries management system. Moreover, for any future policy reforms, it will be necessary to consider introducing appropriate anti-corruption measures and policies to improve transparency and accountability. The fishery managers need also to adopt the precautionary approach widely, using the best available information, until results from research become available.
Bluefin tuna management is a high profile conservation issue, generating significant public interest. The species is in decline due to overfishing, with the Mediterranean population of particular concern. Japanese demand for bluefin tuna is driving overexploitation and there are no indications that this will diminish in the foreseeable future. The system of allocating catch quotas to fishing parties under the International Convention on Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) has been ineffective in the past. This paper argues that other avenues of international law, including via the World Trade Organisation, are unable to provide suitable alternative remedies. However, the interaction and political leveraging effect of these multilateral instruments has now established an enabling environment for an effective management regime, with a revitalised ICCAT now universally recognised as the most appropriate forum to address the threats to bluefin tuna. It is advised that ICCAT parties continue to work collaboratively, as has begun in recent years. The body should seek to maintain not only a scientifically derived sustainable fishing quota but also to address high levels of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, which threaten to undermine progress in restricting quota allocations. This could be supported by inclusion of a formal dispute resolution mechanism with the Convention or by developing linkages to related UNCLOS articles. However, ultimately, this complex issue is probably best dealt within the international body most well positioned to convene a consensus amongst stakeholders, namely ICCAT.
Marine renewables offer potential economic and environmental benefits, however there is a need to ensure that the growth of this emergent industry considers existing features and users of the marine environment. There is a clear role for marine spatial planning to guide its future development. The Shetland Regional Locational Guidance is a sensitivity led approach to identifying the suitability of areas around the Shetland Islands for renewable energy development and associated shore based infrastructure, and is an example of integrated coastal zone management. Working closely with local stakeholders was key to this process, which incorporates economic, environmental, social and cultural uses into one constraint model; constraint levels are set by local and societal values, rather than monetary equivalences. It has been successfully translated into policy within the Shetland Islands׳ Marine Spatial Plan, which will form supplementary guidance to the Shetland Islands Council׳s forthcoming Local Development Plan. The policy integrates with GIS data without requiring the creation of ‘zones’, as was requested by local stakeholders, and allows for updating of the GIS spatial model without requiring changes to the policy wording.
Small-scale fisheries have historically been marginalized in management and policy investments, and they often remain under-reported in national economic and fisheries statistics. Even so, small-scale fisheries are not entirely buffered from the impacts of globalization, such as the introduction and expansion of markets. This study measures the long-term impact of market-access on a coastal fishery on Nicaragua׳s remote Atlantic Coast from approximately the time when fishermen had access to stable and predictable local markets until the present, when the region has been transformed by road connection. In the last four years, fisheries trade has expanded as road connection has facilitated export to distant markets. Fishery-independent surveys were used to measure changes in indicators of fish-community status such as length-frequency, mean trophic level, and relative biomass. Species-level changes in relative biomass of common snook Centropomus undecimalis and gafftopsail catfish Bagre marinus were also evaluated since these species are the most economically valuable and likely account for the most fish biomass in the system. Using historical records, reports, current observations and interviews, changes in indicators of fishing intensity and market access over the past 17 years were assessed. From 1994 to 2011, community and species-specific metrics of the lagoon fishery declined significantly across all indicators examined. The potential social and economic outcomes of the decline in the fishery are far-reaching for the region, because this tropical fishery comprises the main source of protein and income for residents of twelve indigenous and Afro-descendent communities.
This paper reviews the development of sea basin maritime spatial planning (MSP) through the concerted efforts of several coastal nations based on the case of the Baltic Sea Region. Additionally, the readiness of Poland to assume its place within the existing sea-basin planning system is analyzed since Poland, as one of the last countries in the region to do so, announced the official commencement of MSP on November 18, 2013. The paper analyzes the progress of MSP in the Baltic Sea Region and discusses the question of the interplay between planning efforts executed nationally and the need to take into consideration much broader sea-basin contexts and perspectives. The conclusions drawn at the end of the paper explain how macro-regional MSP systems influence planning efforts in individual countries and how they might alleviate barriers that are typically encountered in the initial stages of MSP development at national levels.
Marine spatial planning (MSP) is increasingly being used as a mechanism to manage the marine environment. Human activities can impact biophysical ecosystem features, reducing resilience and potentially impacting ecosystem services, which can affect the environmental, socio-economic and cultural benefits derived by coastal communities. Central to MSP is the collection and collation of baseline data on biophysical ecosystem features and ecosystem services to inform decision making and target management measures. The data collection process should be a structured, transparent process to ensure adequate data and metadata collation to enable it to be effectively used in MSP. This data should be subject to stakeholder consultation, producing quality assured information and mapping. The resources required to undertake data collection should not be underestimated. Recognition should be given to the limits of knowledge of the marine environment and its complexity. Planners and developers should exercise caution when using and interpreting the results of mapping outputs.