Marine plastic pollution is heavily driven by escaped plastic waste from land. Effectively reducing flows of plastic pollution into the oceans requires incentivizing efficient disposal decisions, discouraging production and consumption of products with low recyclability and reuse potential, and encouraging lower-impact, easily recyclable product and packaging designs. We examine the economic literature on waste management and integrated environmental policy to assess how particular policies target these individual pathways and can efficiently reduce flows of plastics into waterways. These policies include production/retail bans and standards, extended producer responsibility, price-based policies such as advance disposal fees and two-part instruments, and interventions grounded in behavioral economics and psychology. We also consider the applicability of these policies in coastal developing nations that often rely upon the informal sector for waste management services. We conclude by identifying important issues for future research.
The natural capital of the vast deep ocean is significant yet not well quantified. The ecosystem services provided by the deep sea provide a wide range of benefits to humanity. Proposed deep-sea economic activities such as fishing, deep-sea mining and bioprospecting therefore need to be assessed in this context. In addition to quantifying the economic benefits and costs of such activities on their own, their potential impact on the deep-sea natural capital also needs to be considered.
This article describes such a natural capital approach, identifies relevant ecosystem services and looks at how a range of proposed commercial activities could be assessed in this context. It suggests a methodology for such analysis and suggests an approach to a sustainable blue deep-sea economy that is consistent with environmental precaution. It will close with suggestions of how potential risks can best be handled.
The article aims to show that modern environmental economics based on natural capital can provide a useful framework for deciding future deep-sea efforts.
The number of recreational fishing licenses in Brazil has been increasing exponentially since 2000, but a drop occurred in 2014, probably associated to an economic crisis. On average, only 20% of the licenses issued in 2011-2014 were for anglers fishing in marine waters. From those, 20% were type A licenses (shore-based) and the remainder were type B-C licenses (boat-based). Based on the licenses database, it was possible to estimate a mean annual expenditure by marine anglers of US$ 524 million between 2011 and 2014. The absolute mean expenditure per trip was usually higher for men but women tended to spend more as a percentage of their income. This was mainly due to the lower average income of women relative to men. Some inconsistences in the licenses database were found which could be easily corrected in the future and the estimates presented here improved.
Coastal cities continue to experience rapid urbanisation and population growth worldwide, linked to the diverse economic and social benefits flowing from proximity to the sea. Growing concern over human impacts upon coastal waters and global strategic goals for healthier cities requires that coastal cities develop innovative ways to inspire and empower communities to embrace and cherish city seascapes. Coastal city communities have much to gain from a healthier relationship with the sea. This paper proposes a collaborative community-led marine park concept that celebrates a city's connection to the marine environment, enhances sustainable economic prosperity and enables communities to participate in activities that deepen understanding, value, care and enjoyment of the city seascape. A city marine park (CMP) is not a marine protected area because it does not have biodiversity and heritage protection or ecosystem governance as a primary goal and does not aim to restrict human activities. A CMP enables city communities to collaborate towards a shared vision of elevated status and value for the city seascape. A CMP considers socio-economic and geographical context, including land-sea connectivity, and is integrated within a coastal city's strategic urban planning. This paper highlights core themes of a CMP and the diverse and wide-ranging benefits from coordinated activities that better connect the city community with its seascape. If co-created by the coastal city community and civic leaders, a CMP will form an enduring spatial nexus for progress toward healthy cities addressing multiple interlinked global sustainable development goals.
The Gulf of Mexico is an ecologically and economically important marine ecosystem that is affected by a variety of natural and anthropogenic pressures. These complex and interacting pressures, together with the dynamic environment of the Gulf, present challenges for the effective management of its resources. The recent adoption of Bayesian networks to ecology allows for the discovery and quantification of complex interactions from data after making only a few assumptions about observations of the system. In this study, we apply Bayesian network models, with different levels of structural complexity and a varying number of hidden variables to account for uncertainty when modeling ecosystem dynamics. From these models, we predict focal ecosystem components within the Gulf of Mexico. The predictive ability of the models varied with their structure. The model that performed best was parameterized through data-driven learning techniques and accounted for multiple ecosystem components’ associations and their interactions with human and natural pressures over time. Then, we altered sea surface temperature in the best performing model to explore the response of different ecosystem components to increased temperature. The magnitude and even direction of predicted responses varied by ecosystem components due to heterogeneity in driving factors and their spatial overlap. Our findings suggest that due to varying components’ sensitivity to drivers, changes in temperature will potentially lead to trade-offs in terms of population productivity. We were able to discover meaningful interactions between ecosystem components and their environment and show how sensitive these relationships are to climate perturbations, which increases our understanding of the potential future response of the system to increasing temperature. Our findings demonstrate that accounting for additional sources of variation, by incorporating multiple interactions and pressures in the model layout, has the potential for gaining deeper insights into the structure and dynamics of ecosystems.
Climate change related natural disasters pose serious threats and risks to livelihoods of fishermen and women as well as to food security in the Caribbean. To respond to these threats and risks, the FAO, the Department of State of the United States of America and the World Bank introduced an initiative on climate risk insurance for the Caribbean Fisheries sector as part of a global initiative on Blue Growth.
In support of this initiative a survey was conducted to identify fisheries assets that could be insured, value these assets, identify climate smart fisheries investments and practices and carry out an insurance needs and demand survey. This Circular presents survey findings from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, St Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis and St Vincent and the Grenadines. Some of the key findings are that: 97 percent of the fishing vessels and fishing assets were not insured, while in each of the CARICOM countries there is at least one local insurer offering marine insurance; 83 percent of the fishers would purchase insurance coverage for their vessels if it would be more affordable; only 17 percent of the fishers had a health insurance and 20 percent had an life insurance policy. Moreover, more than one-third of the fishers would be interested to invest in safe harbor, anchorage, haul out and vessel storage facilities, including installation of bumper rails on piers and the use of fenders on boats and piers, if this would reduce insurance premiums.
Based on the findings of the insurance demand survey, an organizational arrangement for a Caribbean Fisheries Risk Insurance Facility (CFRIF) was developed, presented at various regional fora and shared with interested stakeholders.
Human development and dense populations along coastal zones impact the health of coastal and marine ecosystems, which is detrimental to the economic sustainability of tourism. Visitors to Barbados are primarily attracted to the country's coastal and marine resources, making the protection of the marine environment paramount. In developing countries with limited resources for environmental management, who pays the cost of conservation, and the amount, has been the subject of much debate. We apply parametric and non-parametric estimations to investigate the factors driving the willingness of tourists to pay a fee for coastal and marine conservation. The mean willingness to pay ranged from US$36 to US$52 per visit to Barbados. Based on general consensus, we suggest that such a fee if implemented should be paid into a dedicated conservation fund. Furthermore, consideration should be given to charging only non-Caribbean tourists given that regional visitors displayed discontent in paying such fees.
In the spring of 2015, a massive harmful algal bloom (HAB) of the toxin-producing diatom Pseudo-nitzschia occurred on the U.S. West Coast, resulting in the largest recorded outbreak of the toxin domoic acid and causing fisheries closures. Closures extended into 2016 and generated an economic shock for coastal fishing communities. This study examines the economic and sociocultural impacts of the Dungeness crab and razor clamfisheries closures on two fishing-dependent communities. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 36 community members from two communities impacted by the event – Crescent City, California and Long Beach, Washington. Interviewees included those involved in the fishing, hospitality, and retail industries, local government officials, recreational harvesters, and others. Interviews probed aspects of resilience in economic, social, institutional, and physical domains, based on the contention that community resilience will influence the communities’ ability to withstand HAB events. Dimensions of vulnerability were also explored, encompassing sensitivity of the communities to HAB events and their adaptive capacity. Common themes that emerged from the interview responses indicate that economic hardships extended beyond fishing-related operations and permeated through other sectors, particularly the hospitality industry. Significant barriers to accessing financial and employment assistance during extended fisheries closures were identified, particularly for fishers. Long-held traditions surrounding crab and shellfish harvest and consumption were disrupted, threatening the cultural identities of the affected communities. Community members expressed a desire for clearer, more thorough, and more rapid dissemination of information regarding the management of fisheries closures and the health risks associated with HAB toxins. The likelihood of intensifying HABs under climate change heightens the need for actions to increase the resilience of fishing communities to the economic and sociocultural impacts caused by HAB-related fisheries closures.
Economic information is critical for explaining why recreational fishing and marine stewardship is important to all citizens of a nation. Successfully raising public awareness of the importance of healthy and abundant marine fisheries is dependent on having reliable economic insights. These types of data can be used to inform discussions about how to institute better conservation policies, secure new partners and resources for conservation initiatives, and ultimately boost the long-term health and productivity of marine fisheries. Until now, the economic contribution of recreational marine fishing in New Zealand has not been measured, placing recreational fishing interests at a disadvantage compared to the commercial sector that has such information in various forms. This project filled that vacuum. Beginning with the $946 million spent annually by more than 600,000 resident and visiting New Zealand fishers, these dollars circulate through the national economy, supporting 8000 jobs, stimulating $1.7 billion in total economic activity, contributing $638 million in Gross Domestic Product and $342 million in salaries, wages and small business profits while adding nearly $187 million in tax revenues. This study was built using data collection and analytical approaches available for use by other nations to increase public awareness of the critical economic importance of their marine fisheries.
Recreational fishing is often perceived as harmless when it comes to fisheries management, and its impact often estimated to surpass the economic outcomes of e.g. large-scale fisheries. Recreational fisheries are often an indication of political stability and sound ecosystem management. However, despite a high economic impact, the economic costs on traditional and small-scale commercial fishers is yet to be known. This paper answers the question of how unregulated recreational fisheries could rather generate a loss to an economy, and cause unfair competition with existing commercial sectors using the example of Algeria. This paper assesses catches and economic value of recreational fisheries in Algeria, and finds that over 6,000 tonnes reach commercial markets annually, competing directly with the small-scale artisanal sector, while selling recreationally caught fish is still illegal. The paper further finds that the public is thereby deprived—through lost tax, licence income and landed value of $45 million US annually.