The coastal zone is a locus where many activities of society intersect with natural processes that shape the coastal zone and the resource base available. In the EU, regional legislation exists to specifically manage the coastal and inshore marine space and resources (e.g. Marine Strategy Framework Directive) whilst policy areas such as land-use planning, property rights and key aspects of consenting processes remain under the authority of Member States. Interactions exist between these different policy drivers at multiple scales, but the overall landscape is characterised by tensions or weak links between drivers originating from the EU and national priorities leading to a complex, non-linear and confusing policyscape. This paper reviews how legislation, and implementing organisations, in Ireland have evolved in the context of EU environmental perspectives that have progressed from conservation-centric to addressing modern day challenges such as regional development for Blue Growth and aspirations of international agreements (e.g. Convention on Biological Diversity, UN Agenda 2030). Through an analysis employing principles of Evolutionary Governance Theory, the way different governance institutions have co-evolved to understand how dependencies between current actors and objectives influence each other is examined. The study explores appropriate governance approaches to land-sea interactions utilising examples from implementation of the EU Maritime Spatial Planning Directive in selected EU Member States, and how they take land-sea interactions into account. This is contrasted with examples from other EU legislation and policies such as those relating to river basin management, the marine environment, and integrated coastal management. The paper concludes with tentative recommendations on how policies addressing land-sea interactions need to evolve to better deliver on global policy drivers.
Governance and Legal Frameworks
The Ocean Affairs Council (OAC) is a central administrative agency under the Executive Yuan (cabinet) that was established by the government on April 28, 2018, in southern Taiwan. Taiwan has accomplished several important breakthroughs in ocean affairs and governance aiming to integrate and coordinate all ocean-related affairs through the establishment of the OAC. The OAC includes three agencies: the Coast Guard Administration (CGA), the Ocean Conservation Administration (OCA) and the National Academy of Marine Research (NAMR). Establishing the OAC allows Taiwan's government to focus more attention on ocean affairs, ocean governance and ocean countries. In addition, Taiwan now has its own specific marine agency and the capacity to establish future marine policy, maritime security, coastal management, marine resource conservation and sustainable development, marine science and technology research, and marine cultural and educational policy. Academics and legislators have worked with the Legislative Yuan for more than 20 years before the four ocean affairs-related organization acts were passed in 2015. However, the Legislative Yuan's proposal was suspended in 2016, and its unveiling ceremony was not held until April 2018. This paper seeks to introduce the missions of the OAC, CGA, OCA, and NAMR to provide a full overview of the new accomplishments and legal measures in the implementation of a national marine policy in Taiwan. Moreover, experiences will be shared with readers to provide an understanding of the reasons behind establishing Taiwan as an ocean country, and Taiwan's organizational blueprint will be outlined. Finally, we provide a reference for those who want to establish an ocean management agency.
• Non-state community actors play a proactive role in discharging the fishery management functions.
• The fishers in South Kerala, India make collective decisions through a Church-mediated community fishery management system.
• Kadakkody, a non-state system prevalent in North Kerala serves several parallel legal functions within the fishing community.
The historical lack of fishers’ participation in decision making had led to weak fishing management and explains the meagre results achieved so far in conserving marine resources. European Commission recommends greater participation by fishers in the decision-making process so that adopted measures will better reflect local circumstances. It should be easier to introduce co-management measures in fisheries that have a tradition of cooperative behaviour among groups of fishers, as is generally the case in the small-scale fishing sector. This paper studies how small-scale Galician fishers view greater participation in the decision-making process. The results show that fishermen are clearly in favour of increased participation—through their guilds and, to a lesser extent, alongside trade unions, producer organizations, and scientists. The results show that fishers also favour moving toward co-management on such issues as participating in the establishment of regulating mechanisms, monitoring compliance with fishing rules, and demarcating areas for sport fishing.
Under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Aichi biodiversity targets, nations have committed to conserving 10% of the oceans within their territories by 2020. Over the past decade, this goal has driven the establishment of many large marine protected areas (MPAs), several of which surround overseas island territories with current or historical military involvement, ranging from World War 2 battle sites to testing areas for the “ABCs” of atomic, biological, and chemical weapons during the cold war. For countries with significant overseas territories, such as the USA, France, and the UK, these remote possessions provide an opportunity to achieve biodiversity conservation objectives over large spatial scales. They also provide a strategic footprint for regional maritime spheres of influence, as well as possible future energy and mineral resources. Building on insights from terrestrial “militarized” protected areas, and drawing on archival and contemporary sources, this paper examines the multiple motivations behind designating very large MPAs in overseas territories, from protecting biodiversity to more long-term geopolitical, security, and resource-oriented motivations.
Entry fees are often promoted as mechanisms to finance conservation in marine protected areas (MPAs). This case study examined stakeholder perspectives on how a federal government decree to remove protected area entry fees in the Republic of Panama impacted governance quality in the Bastimentos Island National Marine Park (BINMP), in Bocas del Toro. Through interviews and surveys, we found that local stakeholders view poorly monitored and distributed fees as ineffective and contentious. This manuscript demonstrates how fees are perhaps one of the most tangible elements of protected area governance and that quality can be greatly improved through efforts to ensure that local stakeholders have a say in whether or not there is a fee, as well as, how fees are collected and dispersed.
Debates surrounding governance strategies for marine protected areas (MPAs) have to date largely focused on top-down, bottom-up or market-based approaches. Whilst co-management approaches for governing MPAs are widely accepted as a way forward for combining these three strategies, many interpretations of this concept exist and it is applied in many different ways in MPAs in different contexts. This study aimed to explore governance through a case-study approach based on a specifically developed empirical framework – the marine protected area governance (MPAG) analysis framework – to increase understanding of how to combine the three governance approaches. A dialogue with MPA practitioners in 20 case studies helped shape the MPAG analysis framework as it developed, and an international workshop was held on ‘Governing MPAs’, bringing the practitioners together to compare results and further develop the framework. This paper provides an overview of the topic and research methodology and briefly introduces the case studies further explored in this special issue.
Climate change is driving shifts in the abundance and distribution of marine fish and invertebrates and is having direct and indirect impacts on seafood catches and fishing communities, exacerbating the already negative effects of unsustainably high fishing pressure that exist for some stocks. Although the majority of fisheries in the world are managed at the national or local scale, most existing approaches to assessing climate impacts on fisheries have been developed on a global scale. It is often difficult to translate from the global to regional and local settings because of limited relevant data. To address the need for fisheries management entities to identify those fisheries with the greatest potential for climate change impacts, we present an approach for estimating expected climate change-driven impacts on the productivity and spatial range of fisheries at the regional scale in a data-poor context. We use a set of representative Mexican fisheries as test cases. To assess the implications of climate impacts, we compare biomass, harvest, and profit outcomes from a bioeconomic model under contrasting management policies and with and without climate change. Overall results show that climate change is estimated to negatively affect nearly every fishery in our study. However, the results indicate that overfishing is a greater threat than climate change for these fisheries, hence fixing current management challenges has a greater upside than the projected future costs of moderate levels of climate change. Additionally, this study provides meaningful first approximations of potential effects of both climate change and management reform in Mexican fisheries. Using the climate impact estimations and model outputs, we identify high priority stocks, fleets, and regions for policy reform in Mexico in the face of climate change. This approach can be applied in other data-poor circumstances to focus future research and policy reform efforts on stocks now subject to additional stress due to climate change. Considering their growing relevance as a critical source of protein and micronutrients to nourish our growing population, it is urgent for regions to develop sound fishery management policies in the short-term as they are the most important intervention to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change on marine fisheries.
Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) are a form of private governance using seafood supply chains to reduce environmental impacts of fishing in some of the most challenged fisheries. Some FIPs are industry-led, others are championed by NGOs. They range across many different fishery types, in both high- and low-income settings. Their diversity is notable, and their proliferation remarkable. This rapid growth suggests FIPs are becoming a key feature of the fisheries governance landscape globally. Based on a global sample of 107 FIPs, we systematically examined their reported actions, the actors involved, and their achievements in terms of policy and practice outputs. The most common actions were dialogues with policy stakeholders, data collection, and educational efforts directed at fishers. Common policy outputs included development of management plans and/or a management body, and rules for limiting entry and increasing compliance. Practice related outputs were dominated by gear changes, and observer and traceability programs. Only crab and lobster FIPs engaged in sustained policy conversations as one of the most common actions. Shrimp and tuna fisheries report more engagement in testing and implementing changes to fishery practices. While supply chain actors are involved in all FIPs, retailers and 1st tier suppliers are relatively absent from FIP activities, and are primarily involved in rallying financial support or some policy engagement. Based on our analysis we discuss the opportunities and challenges FIPs will likely need to engage with to contribute to a global transition to more socially and environmentally sustainable fisheries. We outline key areas where further work is needed to understand how FIPs can improve their contribution to global fisheries governance in the future.
Marine plastic pollution is a symptom of an inherently wasteful linear plastic economy, costing us more than US$ 2.2 trillion per year. Of the 6.3 billion tonnes of fossil fuel-derived plastic (FFP) waste produced to date, only 9% has been recycled; the rest being incinerated (12%) or dumped into the environment (79%). FFPs take centuries to degrade, meaning five billion tonnes of increasingly fragmented and dangerous plastics have accumulated in our oceans, soil and air. Rates of FFP production and waste are growing rapidly, driven by increased demand and shifting strategies of oil and gas companies responding to slowing profit growth. Without effective recycling, the harm caused by FFP waste will keep increasing, jeopardizing first marine life and ultimately humankind. In this Perspective article, we review the global costs of plastic pollution and explain why solving this is imperative for humanity's well-being. We show that FFP pollution is far beyond a marine environmental issue: it now invades our bodies, causing disease and dysfunction, while millions of adults and children work in conditions akin to slavery, picking through our waste. We argue that an integrated economic and technical solution, catalyzed through a voluntary industry-led contribution from new FFP production, is central to arrest plastic waste flows by making used plastic a cashable commodity, incentivizing recovery and accelerating industrialization of polymer-to-polymer technologies. Without much-needed systematic transformation, driven by a contribution from FFP production, humanity and the oceans face a troubling future.