This study explores people's environmental attitudes and motives for putting economic values to marine biodiversity protection. Primary data were collected from a sample of 359 residents in two important Greek ports: Thessaloniki and Volos. Respondents’ environmental attitude was measured with the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) scale. Economic values were derived from contingent valuation survey. Use of appropriate methods revealed three factors of environmental attitudes: man dominate to nature, anti-anthropocentrism and limits to growth. Significant relationships are found between NEP scale factors, socio-economic characteristics and individuals’ opinions about biodiversity utility. Pro-environmental behavior is associated with higher NEP scores. A logistic regression setup the relation between people's willingness to pay (WTP) for marine biodiversity protection with their socio-economic characteristics and PCA results. Significant relationships are found between environmental attitudes, non-use motivations, WTP and ethical motives for species protection. Mean individuals’ WTP for marine biodiversity protection was calculated approximately equal to €29.
Community Perceptions and Attitudes
The concept of community is often used in environmental policy to foster environmental stewardship and public participation, crucial prerequisites of effective management. However, prevailing conceptualizations of community based on residential location or resource use are limited with respect to their utility as surrogates for communities of shared environment-related interests, and because of the localist perspective they entail. Thus, addressing contemporary sustainability challenges, which tend to involve transnational social and environmental interactions, urgently requires additional approaches to conceptualizing community that are compatible with current globalization. We propose a framing for redefining community based on place attachment (i.e., the bonds people form with places) in the context of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, a World Heritage Area threatened by drivers requiring management and political action at scales beyond the local. Using data on place attachment from 5,403 respondents residing locally, nationally, and internationally, we identified four communities that each shared a type of attachment to the reef and that spanned conventional location and use communities. We suggest that as human–environment interactions change with increasing mobility (both corporeal and that mediated by communication and information technology), new types of people–place relations that transcend geographic and social boundaries and do not require ongoing direct experience to form are emerging. We propose that adopting a place attachment framing to community provides a means to capture the neglected nonmaterial bonds people form with the environment, and could be leveraged to foster transnational environmental stewardship, critical to advancing global sustainability in our increasingly connected world.
Given competing objectives vying for space in the marine environment, the island of Bermuda may be an ideal candidate for comprehensive marine spatial planning (MSP). However, faced with other pressing issues, ocean management reform has not yet received significant traction from the government, a pattern seen in many locations. Spatial planning processes often struggle during the proposal, planning, or implementation phases due to stakeholder opposition and/or government wariness to change. Conflict among stakeholders about management reform has also proven to be a deterrent to MSP application in many locations. With these obstacles in mind, a detailed stakeholder survey was conducted in Bermuda to determine awareness, attitudes and perceptions regarding ocean health, threats to ocean environments, the effectiveness of current ocean management, and possible future changes to management. How perceptions vary for different types of stakeholders and how attitudes about specific concerns relate to attitudes about management changes were examined. Overall, the results indicate a high degree of support for spatial planning and ocean zoning and a high level of concordance even among stakeholder groups that are typically assumed to have conflicting agendas. However, attitudes were not entirely homogeneous, particularly when delving into details about specific management changes. For example, commercial fishers were generally less in favor, relative to other stakeholder groups, of increasing regulations on ocean uses with the notable exception of regulations for recreational fishing. Given the results of this survey, public support is likely to be high for government action focused on ocean management reform in Bermuda.
With the growth of smartphone usage the number of social media posts has significantly increased and represents potentially valuable information for management, including of natural resources and the environment. Already, evidence of using ‘human sensor’ in crises management suggests that collective knowledge could be used to complement traditional monitoring. This research uses Twitter data posted from the Great Barrier Reef region, Australia, to assess whether the extent and type of data could be used to Great Barrier Reef organisations as part of their monitoring program. The analysis reveals that large amounts of tweets, covering the geographic area of interest, are available and that the pool of information providers is greatly enhanced by the large number of tourists to this region. A keyword and sentiment analysis demonstrates the usefulness of the Twitter data, but also highlights that the actual number of Reef-related tweets is comparatively small and lacks specificity. Suggestions for further steps towards the development of an integrative data platform that incorporates social media are provided.
Fisheries stock enhancement, the release of hatchery-reared fish into wild fish populations with the aim of improving fisheries, is a common management strategy of variable success that also involves substantial tradeoffs between fisheries management objectives. We conducted an internet-based survey to assess attitudes towards fisheries stock enhancement and other management measures among marine inshore anglers in Florida. A random sample of 200,000 fishing license holders was selected from Florida’s recreational saltwater license holders. The survey received a response rate of 5.2%. The survey was designed to collect information on angler participation, fishing experience, catch preferences and motivations in addition to attitudes toward management options including fisheries stock enhancement. The concepts of recreation specialization and consumptive orientation were used to explore diversity in management perspectives and attitudes towards fish stocking. Hierarchical cluster analysis of five specialization variables was used to identify three groups of inshore anglers. Angler groups had different levels of participation, skill, fishing-related expenditures and management preferences including support for fisheries stock enhancement. Inshore anglers were generally supportive of fisheries stock enhancement, but less so than many alternative management strategies including habitat restoration and traditional bag and minimum size limits. The most specialized anglers showed significantly higher levels of support for stock enhancement and most other management measures than less specialized anglers. Regardless of specialization, anglers were largely unaware of the risks and tradeoffs inherent to stock enhancement.
Planning and management for marine and coastal areas is often contentious, with competing interests claiming their preferences are in the ‘public interest’. Defining the public interest for marine and coastal areas remains a wicked problem, however, resistant to resolution. A focus on more tangible ‘public values’ offers an alternative for policy and planning in specific contexts. However, ambiguity surrounds who or what constitutes the ‘public’, with stakeholder engagement often used as a proxy in marine and coastal research. In this study, the outcomes of participatory processes involving the public from diverse backgrounds and geographical locales were explored. A public participation GIS (PPGIS) survey was undertaken in the remote Kimberley region of Australia to identify the spatial values and management preferences for marine and coastal areas. Similarities and differences between the volunteer public (n = 372) and online panel respondents (n = 206); and for the volunteer public only, differences between residents (n = 118) and non-residents (n = 254) were assessed. Online panelists evidenced lesser quality mapping data and did not provide a reliable means of accessing ‘public’ values. Residents were more likely to map general recreational and recreational fishing values while non-locals were more likely to map biological/conservation and wilderness values. Overall, residents and non-residents were more alike than dissimilar in their mapping of values and management preferences, suggesting that the need to preference local views may be overstated, although there may be differences in policy priorities. Future research should focus on the breadth and representativeness of stakeholder interests to access the views of wider society and hence public values, rather than current approaches where local interests are often the primary focus of participatory stakeholder engagement.
A substantial amount of scientific effort goes into understanding and measuring compliance in fisheries. Understanding why, how and when fishers follow or violate rules is crucial for designing effective fishery policies that can halt overfishing. Non-compliance was initially explained almost exclusively with reference to economic and self-interested motivations. More recently, however, most explanations involve a combination of economic, social, political and environmental factors. Despite this recent development towards more holistic explanations, many scientists continue to frame the issue in binary terms: fishers either follow rules, or they don't. In this article we challenge this binary interpretation and focus attention on the diversity of fishers’ dispositions and perceptions that underpin compliant behaviour. To this aim we construct a typology of fishers’ responses towards regulation and authorities, thereby developing conceptual tools to understand different motivations and attitudes that underlie compliance outcomes. For this purpose, we identify the motivational postures of ‘creativity’ and ‘reluctance’, and then highlight their empirical relevance with an interview study of Swedish fishers. Reasons for studying the quality and diversity of fishers’ motivations and responses are not purely academic. Conceptualizing and observing the quality of compliance can help policymakers and managers gauge and anticipate the potentiality of non-compliant fishing practices that may threaten the resilience of marine ecosystems.
•Examines moral economies of commercial and recreational fishers.
•Moral economy discourses stem from material interactions with fishery resources and historical development patterns.
•Fishers have divergent definitions of value, waste, and public resources.
•Fisher moral economies have the potential to be encoded in fisheries policies, affecting material access to resources.
Given the socio-economic consequences associated with declaring areas of ocean protected in order to achieve conservation objectives, this paper contributes to the growing global need to assess Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) as an effective management tool. It adds to the current body of knowledge on MPA effectiveness by conducting an evaluation of the Tobago Cays Marine Park (TCMP), located in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) in the eastern Caribbean, using a modified MPA effectiveness framework. Due to the limited information existing about the current performance of this MPA, this assessment also provides needed insight on the effect that the TCMP is having on the marine ecosystem, as well as its overall management performance. By comparing the performance of the MPA over a 10-year span (2007 and 2016), the results indicate that overall, the TCMP could be described as having limited success when key management categories of context, planning, input, process, output and outcomes are evaluated. In particular, efforts dedicated to planning, process and outcomes are assessed as deficient. Furthermore, the analysis revealed that efforts to realize the stated goals relating to conservation, public awareness and public education were being neglected. However, considerable effort was being expended by TCMP staff on achieving the remaining goal focusing on deriving economic benefits from touristic activities in the Park. Preliminary field research examining the effects of the TCMP on the abundance and density of an economically important species, Lobatus gigas, (commonly referred to as the queen conch) showed the TCMP as having no effect towards conch protection. The results and recommendations of this study, combined with continued monitoring of a recommended targeted suite of indicators, could contribute to better-informed adaptive MPA management, leading to progress towards the achievement of the stated goals for the TCMP.
Ireland is working to double the economic contribution of its €2.2bn marine sector by 2030 by focusing on expanding offshore energy, shipping, commercial fishing, and tourism sectors. This growth will be sensitive to environmental considerations, with a stated goal of achieving healthy ecosystems ‘that provide monetary and non-monetary goods and services’. Such a goal may prove challenging if short-term economic priorities threaten long-term ecosystem functions and resilience. This study determines the intrinsic value of the marine realm via attitudinal data of stakeholders by employing a grounded theory approach utilizing Q-methodology. Stakeholders were sorted into three categorical factors (Nature Collaborators, Sustainability Seekers, and Nature Technicians), each representing a significantly distinct ecological thought. It is evident within the scope of this study that stakeholders value and understand intrinsic value, despite it not being adequately represented in policy decisions to date. This research seeks to demonstrate how stakeholder engagement and Q-methodology can be utilized to address current policy shortcomings in the EU and Irish context, specifically when attempting to modernize policy approaches to be holistic and integrated.