Fishers' knowledge research is an approach to fisheries research that has a relatively long history, yet has generally failed to become integrated into the fisheries science mainstream alongside approaches that rely primarily on the knowledge of professional scientists. Its continued position on the margins of fisheries science has not however stopped fishers' knowledge researchers from publishing an expanding literature, which they often use to advocate for the greater consideration of fishers' knowledge by fisheries scientists and managers. They believe that the unique and often highly qualitative knowledge of fishers could inform better decision-making, resulting in improved socio-ecological outcomes for fisheries. This review first outlines the scope of the fishers' knowledge literature, before outlining five waves of fishers' knowledge research that have developed over the last century. For each wave, the nature of the fishers' knowledge documented during it is noted, as is the research and dissemination approach taken by its practitioners. The impact of that wave on mainstream fisheries science is then assessed. Overall, it is found that only one wave of fishers' knowledge research is beginning to have consistent success integrating with mainstream fisheries science, a wave that omits the research of many of the unique elements of fishers' knowledge. Other waves have died out, or are in danger of dying out, either because they have failed to be noticed by mainstream fisheries scientists or because mainstream fisheries scientists have not welcomed their outputs. It is summarized that fishers' knowledge research will only continue as a productive activity if mainstream fisheries scientists begin to open their discipline to other knowledge cultures and if fishers' knowledge researchers facilitate this action by disseminating their research so that it is more accessible to these scientists.
The User's Guide for Evaluating Learning Outcomes from Citizen Science was developed by Cornell Lab of Ornithology researchers for practitioners who want to evaluate learning outcomes from their citizen science projects. It includes a practical overview of evaluation techniques, tips, and best-practices for conducting evaluations, a glossary of terms, and an extensive set of templates and worksheets to help with evaluation planning and implementation.
Evaluating learning outcomes is a high priority for citizen science practitioners, but many find it to be challenging. We want this guide to make evaluation easy to understand - and easy to execute!
Coastal and ocean recreation provides significant economic and social benefits to coastal communities of the Mid-Atlantic, encompassing New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. It is important to understand how and where people use the coast and ocean as a first step towards better management of the natural resources integral to coastal and ocean recreation.
To address this need, and to inform regional ocean planning efforts for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body (RPB), the Surfrider Foundation (Surfrider), in partnership with Point 97 (a company of Ecotrust), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and Monmouth University's Urban Coast Institute (Monmouth) (jointly, the Team), in collaboration with MARCO, engaged 'non-consumptive&' recreational users such as divers, surfers, kayakers, beach goers, and wildlife viewers to carry out the Mid-Atlantic Coastal and Ocean Recreation Study (Study) in 2013-2014.
The Team used a web-based survey to collect data from respondents on recreational use patterns, trip expenditures, and demographics. The survey included a series of questions and an easy-to-use interactive mapping tool. Respondents marked places on maps where they recreated over the last 12 months. The Team then analyzed the resulting spatial data to develop maps indicating intensity of use for 16 recreational activities in the region.
To promote participation in the Study, the Team engaged coastal and ocean recreational stakeholders and regional planning partners like MARCO to collaboratively develop the survey instrument, deploy targeted outreach strategies, and review the resulting spatial data on coastal and ocean recreation use patterns.
The Team implemented a variety of outreach strategies designed to promote stakeholder engagement in all phases of the Study. Outreach efforts targeted non-consumptive coastal and ocean users and leveraged the collaboration of a broad set of recreational businesses, groups, and associations, as well as environmental organizations in the region. The Team's outreach also incorporated information about the regional ocean planning process and opportunities for public engagement.
In total, Mid-Atlantic respondents completed nearly 1,500 surveys resulting in over 22,000 unique data points. The data show that coastal and ocean recreation encompasses a popular and diverse group of activities in the Mid-Atlantic, resulting in major economic and social benefits to coastal communities. The average respondent who visited the Mid-Atlantic coast spent an average of $71.06 per trip.
The Team, in coordination with other relevant recreational use studies in the region, has made the data and information from the Study available on the MARCO Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal (http://portal.midatlanticocean.org/portal) and to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body (http://www.boem.gov/Mid-Atlantic-Regional-Planning-Body), as it develops a Regional Ocean Action Plan for coastal and ocean uses in the Mid-Atlantic.
For the first time, regional scale maps showing coastal and ocean recreational use patterns are available to help planners and managers make better-informed decisions in consideration of maintaining and improving recreational uses and values. The Team expects this new baseline to serve as a credible first iteration, a foundation to be updated and improved as new information on coastal and ocean recreation becomes available.
In 2010, a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) was established for the Chesapeake Bay, defining the limits on emissions of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment necessary to reverse declines in the Bay’s quality and associated biological resources. Agriculture is the largest single source of nutrients and sediment in the watershed. We use data on crop and animal agriculture in the watershed to assess the relative effectiveness of alternative policy approaches for achieving the nutrient and sediment reduction goals of the TMDL, ranging from voluntary financial incentives to regulations. The cost of achieving water quality goals depends heavily on which policy choices are selected and how they are implemented. We found that policies that provide incentives for water quality improvements are the most efficient, assuming necessary information on pollutant delivery is available for each field. Policies that directly encourage adoption of management systems that protect water quality (referred to as design-based) are the most practical, given the limited information that is generally available to farmers and resource agencies. Information on field characteristics can be used to target design-based policies to improve efficiency.
Accurately accounting for the cumulative effects of impacts, however, can be difficult. Human activities produce a range of stressors that may interact and have greater impacts than expected, compounding direct and indirect effects on individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems. In addition, natural variability in ecosystem processes may affect the manifestation of resulting impacts. Assessment of cumulative effects on marine ecosystems requires extensive scientific research that directly tests the effects of multiple stressors; however, our knowledge of cumulative effects is largely based upon studies of single stressors on single ecological components that are combined to estimate the effect of multiple stressors. Therefore, advancing cumulative effects knowledge and assessments requires embracing the complexity, uncertainty, and natural variation in ecosystems and applying the best available science to evaluate and predict cumulative effects. In this review we discuss four components of cumulative effects science and application: (1) how cumulative effects manifest in ecosystems as a result of multiple human activities; (2) challenges in applying scientific knowledge in cumulative effects assessment, including defining spatial and temporal scales, baselines, reference points, indicators, and identifying significant changes in the face of uncertainty and natural environmental variability; (3) models and tools that have been developed to assess cumulative effects; and (4) priorities for science and management of cumulative effects. Conservation of marine ecosystems and support for sustainable development requires using primary research, models, and tools in an integrated, adaptive ecosystem-based framework to address cumulative effects.
As a non-market good, the economic value of an MPA is not revealed in market data or by household production behavior (e.g., travel costs used as the price of a fishing trip); therefore, values are typically estimated from data collected from in-person, telephone, mail, or internet surveys. This research employs a stated preference choice experiment survey of households in California, Oregon, and Washington to quantify public preferences and simulate a suite of different MPA designs and their associated values. The research pertains specifically to MPAs designated in U.S. federal waters (waters 3 to 200 miles from shore) off the coasts of California, Washington, and Oregon West Coast, hereafter referred to as west coast federal waters. All permanently protected marine areas located in west coast federal waters prohibit industrial uses such as mining, oil and gas extraction, and windmill/turbine construction.
The results may be useful in helping managers understand public preferences for MPAs, particularly as they relate to key, and often contested, issues including:
- The effect of MPA size on public economic value
- The effect of MPA use regime on public economic value
- Size/use combinations for MPAs that maximize public values
- Preference heterogeneity for MPAs
The remainder of the report is organized as follows: Section II describes the methods used in the research, including survey development and implementation and choice model theory and estimation. Section III presents results of the general questionnaire and respondent demographics. Section IV presents econometric model results and value estimates associated with MPAs of different size and use configurations. Section V provides a brief discussion of the results and conclusions and recommendations stemming from the research.
This report is the culmination of three years of fish and seafloor (benthic) invertebrate community observations on the East and West Flower Garden Banks. It provides baseline information on key biological communities, and can be utilized to address resource management priorities in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary(FGBNMS). The benthic and fish community surveys were designed and implemented by a team of multi-disciplinary scientists using three complementary techniques:
- diver surveys, using recreational and technical scuba techniques, quantified benthic and fish communities on the coral reef at depths between 18-45 m / 59-150 ft;
- remotely operated vehicles (ROV) conducted video surveys at depths greater than 46 m / 150 ft; and
- fishery acoustics (sonar) surveyed fish in the water column across all habitat types and depths.
FGBNMS is one of the least impacted, thriving coral reef ecosystems in the western Atlantic and Caribbean region. It does, however, face numerous pressures that should be recognized and responded to through informed management actions. In April of 2012, NOAA published an updated management plan for the sanctuary, representing over five years of data analysis and public participation to ensure a sound strategy for conserving and protecting sanctuary resources for the future. During the management plan review process, input on potential resource protection and management issues was collected and summarized. This process identified direct and indirect impacts of fishing activities as a priority issue for management attention. Hook and line fishing (both commercial and recreational) has always been allowed within the sanctuary. However, to better understand this and other management issues, enhanced biogeographic data are needed to determine the most appropriate management actions needed to fulfill the sanctuary goals and objectives. The sanctuary Management Plan proposes a research strategy that includes characterizing FGBNMS to obtain comprehensive baseline information on fish and benthic communities prior to any management action. A second component of the strategy includes utilizing a fully-protected research area to compare to areas where fishing and other activities occur. The process of designing the research area will build upon prior successful efforts within other sanctuaries, such as Tortugas Ecological Reserve in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, as well as the information presented in this report.
Marine spatial planning (MSP) is a fast evolving discipline signified by the European Commission׳s proposed directive to create a common framework for MSP and integrated coastal management in EU waters and coastal areas. The Shetland Islands’ Marine Spatial Plan (SMSP) first developed in 2006 is one of the most advanced in the UK. With seven years’ experience of MSP and integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) in Shetland׳s waters, and the pending statutory implementation of the SMSP in 2014, Shetland represents an exemplar case study for the monitoring and evaluation of this discipline in practice. A review was carried out in 2012 to evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of the SMSP to date. This exercise highlighted achievements to date, future challenges and opportunities and helped to guide the development of the forthcoming edition of the SMSP. The sharing of knowledge and practical experiences of MSP and ICZM ensures an adaptive approach in addressing uncertainty over time. It is also imperative to understand that early ‘pioneers’ in this discipline may not get it exactly right on the first attempt but by developing initial precedents and processes, these can be built upon in the future.
Good governance is widely seen as a prerequisite for effective natural resources management in the context of environmental decline and increasing anthropogenic pressures. Few studies quantitatively examine governance principles, or explore links between perceptions of community members and the governance that shapes their behaviour. Comparative work, spanning multiple sites and contexts, is rare. This paper measures community members’ perceptions of governance in twelve coral reef-dependent communities across four countries in the Wider Caribbean Region. In relation to established principles of ‘good governance’, multiple correspondence analysis indicates that perceptions can be reliably described using two themes, institutional acceptance and engagement. These explain over 50% of variation in individual perceptions. These measurable themes provide an indication of the social fit of governance arrangements, and have implications for expected outcomes, including support for management and compliance with regulations. Cluster analysis provides unique empirical evidence linking structural characteristics of governance to community perceptions; four of five good governance indicators were present in communities with positive perceptions. Results suggest a combination of supportive structures and processes are necessary to achieve governance systems positively perceived by community members. Findings are relevant to those seeking to design management systems and governance structures that are appropriate to local circumstances and will engender stakeholder support.
Along Mediterranean coastlines, beach tourism represents one of the main economic resources of coastal regions. In the context of increase of coastal hazards, large management projects are currently undertaken and the evaluation of beach use is an important parameter coastal managers have to take into account in their strategies to reduce risk and maintain the recreational capacity of the beach. This contribution proposes an automatic tool to evaluate beach attendance and beach users behavior. After validating the results, an analysis of the beach attendance at the Lido of Sete Beach, on the French Mediterranean coast, is performed. Both temporal and spatial patterns are obtained and analyzed together with environmental, meteorological, social parameters of the site. Results indicate that beach attendance and beach user locations are mostly driven by meteorological conditions, while the density indicates that most of the beach users are locals or excursionists, rather than tourists. The results of the total beach attendance during the year 2012 clearly evidence an important increase of the frequentation since the large costal management project that was implemented during the last years. Given the large number of images and video available at many coastlines, the developed methodology and tool would be useful in many coastal management applications around the world.
The biological success of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) depends to a large extent on their social acceptability, sometimes referred to as a social licence. Local resistance has slowed international progress towards a global network of MPAs. The causes of local resistance and limited social acceptability are poorly known, which constrains the development of new planning paradigms that could address these issues. Two case studies in New South Wales, Australia determined the factors that influenced community attitudes towards MPAs. The Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park (PSGLMP) and Batemans Marine Park (BMP) underwent virtually identical and concurrent planning processes, however resistance to the BMP was more intense and sustained. Differences in the demographics, history, local media coverage and social impacts of each marine park contributed to these different community responses. The BMP demonstrated the ‘perfect storm’ of opposition triggers – a community struggling in the transition away from a primary production economy, a highly politicised media dominated by powerful elites with ideological objections to the park, and social impacts sufficiently profound to motivate local citizens to support an active campaign against the park. These impacts included loss of access, identity and increased competition for resources. This research points to the importance of developing a deeper understanding of the social, cultural and political landscape of the communities in which MPAs are proposed and a rethink of planning processes to better incorporate community objectives and knowledge.
Drawing on a case study in Germany, this contribution explores the practical application of offshore aquaculture within offshore wind farms in view of the different stakeholders involved. Using a transdisciplinary research approach, an understanding of the rationalities and interests among the different involved stakeholder groups was explored. Offshore wind energy is high on the political agenda in Germany. The vast spatial requirements however inherit potential user conflicts with competing, and under current legislation excluded users such as fishermen. Solutions for combining sustainable uses of the same ocean space have thus seen increasing interest within the research community in Germany and in Europe over the past years. This paper was inspired by and presents the outcomes of a stakeholder analysis and in particular a stakeholder workshop. Central focus was placed on academics and private as well as public stakeholders engaged in current research efforts of combining offshore wind farms and aquaculture in the German North Sea. The paper identifies the overall acceptance of such a multi-use scenario in society, opportunities and constraints as perceived by the stakeholders, and key research gaps. The results confirm the assumption that there is a clear need, and also willingness on behalf of the policy makers and the research community, to find sustainable, resource- and space-efficient solutions for combined ocean use.
In the present study, the species composition, geographical and seasonal patterns of strandings, bycatches and injuries of aquatic mammals reported in Chinese mainland waters, from 2000 to 2006, were analyzed based on national official documents. A total of 97 strandings, 66 bycatches and 30 injuries, involving at least 18 species (possibly 20) in eight families of Cetacea and two families of Carnivora, were recorded. Finless porpoises (Neophocaena spp.), spotted seal (Phoca largha) and bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops spp.) were the most common species in all three categories, in total comprising 59.8% of strandings, 97.0% of bycatches and 86.7% of injuries. Strandings occurred throughout the year, but records of both bycatches and injuries peaked in spring (March to May), corresponding to the major fishing season and may reflect the negative impacts of fishing activities. The highest species diversity found in Fujian Province may be linked to upwelling and high production in the Strait of Taiwan. Serious difficulties were encountered in overall data interpretation and between-provinces comparability, mainly due to a lack of quantified observer effort and variable expertise levels. Hence the establishment of a coordinated nationwide network is recommended, providing a mechanism for the instant reporting of aquatic mammal events, as well as the adoption of a standardised data recording system including necropsy protocols. Better-quality data should allow quantitative analyses leading to an improved understanding of anthropogenic threats in China׳s aquatic mammal populations. The need to upgrade reserve management, such as the Dalian protected area in Liaoning, is also stressed.
Different seafood products based on Peruvian anchoveta (Engraulis ringens) fisheries and freshwater aquaculture of trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), tilapia (Oreochromis spp.) and black pacu (Colossoma macropomum), contribute at different scales to the socio-economic development, environmental degradation and nutrition of the Peruvian population. Various indicators have been used in the literature to assess the performance of these industries regarding different aspects of sustainability, notably their socio-economic performance. In this study, a novel set of indicators is proposed to evaluate the sustainability performance of these industries in Peru, based on life cycle assessment (LCA) and nutritional profiling, as well as on energy and socio-economic assessment approaches. The emphasis is put on the potential of different products to contribute to improving the nutrition of the Peruvian population in an energy-efficient, environmentally friendly and socio-economically sound way. The set of indicators includes biotic resource use (BRU), cumulative energy demand (CED), energy return on investment (EROI), production costs, gross profit generation, added value, and nutritional profile in terms of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids; as well as a number of life cycle impact assessment indicators commonly used in seafood studies, and some recently proposed indicators of resource status (measuring the impacts of fish biomass removal at the species and ecosystem levels). Results suggest that more energy-intensive/highly processed products (cured and canned anchoveta products) represent a higher burden, in terms of environmental impact, than less energy-intensive products (salted and frozen anchoveta products, semi-intensive aquaculture products). This result is confirmed when comparing all products regarding their industrial-to-nutritional energy ratio. Regarding the other attributes analysed, the scoring shows that salted and frozen anchoveta products generate fewer jobs and lower gross profit than canned and cured, while aquaculture products maximise them. Overall, it was concluded that less energy-intensive industries (anchoveta freezing and salting) are the least environmentally impacting but also the least economically interesting products, yet delivering higher nutritional value. Aquaculture products maximise gross profit and job creation, with lower energy efficiency and nutritional values. The proposed set of sustainability indicators fulfilled its goal in providing a multi-criteria assessment of anchoveta direct human consumption and freshwater aquaculture products. As often the case, there is no ideal product and the best trade-off must be sought when making decision regarding fisheries and seafood policy. No threshold for performance of the different indicators is offered, because the goal of the comparison is to contrast the relative performance among products, not of products against reference values.