Seafood mislabelling is a global issue that affects consumers, target species, and the ability to manage fisheries. Due to their high demand and value, groupers (Epinephelinae spp.) are frequent targets for fraudulent substitution on the world's major seafood markets. Yet, little is known on the prevalence of grouper mislabelling in the Wider Caribbean Region. We conducted the first ‘grouper’ authentication survey in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), a luxury tourist destination where the locally caught but critically endangered Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus) features prominently on menus. DNA barcoding was used to assess mislabelling of market samples and simultaneously to gauge compliance with the Nassau grouper closed season. Our genetic analyses did not detect banned Nassau grouper, but only 18% of samples from restaurants and stores were confirmed as Epinephelinae (i.e. groupers), and 96% were mislabelled in some way. Substitutes for grouper mostly comprised freshwater catfish (Pangasianodon hypophthalmus; 57% of samples) and snappers (Lutjanidae; 25%), whereas samples sold as ‘local grouper’ were from Indo-Pacific or Asian inland waters. Only 22% of samples were matched to species found locally, all being cubera snapper (Lutjanus cyanopterus). Our study suggests that (i) mislabelling is motivated predominantly by financial incentives and/or driven by low supplies of groupers, (ii) local fishers are not the main source of mislabelled grouper into the supply chain, and (iii) the primary victims are consumers, fishing communities, and ultimately fragile fish stocks. Our findings can be used to help improve transparency, traceability and accountability in local seafood supply chains.
Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
As human use of the oceans increases, marine spatial planning (MSP) is being more widely adopted to achieve improved environmental, economic, and social outcomes. However, there is a lack of practical guidance for stakeholder driven, scientifically informed MSP processes in small island and data‐limited contexts. Here, we present an overview of MSP on the Caribbean island of Montserrat, with a focus on the scientific and technical input that helped inform the process. Montserrat presents an interesting case study of MSP in the small island context as it has ocean uses that are common to many islands, namely small‐scale fisheries and tourism, but the marine environment has been heavily impacted due to volcanic activity. We detail the methods for data collection and analysis and the decision‐making process that contributed to a marine spatial plan. We highlight aspects of the process that may be useful for other small islands embarking on MSP, and lessons learned regarding scientific support, including the need for on‐site scientific support and guidance throughout MSP, the importance of setting clear objectives, working within data limitations and making data accessible, and choosing and using appropriate decision support tools.
Rangsang Island is home to more than 48,000 residents. Climate change has been a critical issue to the Island and threatened the existence of the inhabitants. This study is proposed to identify the zone of the coastal area of Rangsang Island which is vulnerable to climate change. By mapping coastal vulnerability index (CVI) of the island, it is expected to be a reference of local government in planning their spatial management. The method of this study was by a direct survey for collecting data of geomorphology, beach elevation, sea level rise, tidal fluctuation, significant wave height, and changes in the coastline. To determine CVI, each parameter is divided into 5 categories and given a value level: 1 for very not vulnerable, 2 for not vulnerable, 3 for moderate, 4 for vulnerable, and 5 for very vulnerable. The results show that most villages on the island are classified as highly vulnerable to climate change, namely 9 villages. Even 2 villages are threatened very high risk because the village has CVI more than 12.5. Only 6 villages whose territory has moderate vulnerability index. Vulnerability level of coastal Rangsang Island is strongly influenced by geomorphological variable and coastal elevation. In addition, the variable coastline changes and sea level rise also contributed to the vulnerability index of the Island.
Coastal development in small islands needs adapting to climate and ecosystem changes in the Anthropocene era. Understanding variability of coastal vulnerability along the entire coastline informs coastal planning and management at an island-wide scale as some coastal stretches are more appropriate for big-scale development, while others require additional coastal protection and/or ecosystem conservation. To date, few researches focused on developing macro-scale coastal vulnerability index at an island or archipelagic-scale. This paper fills a knowledge gap by developing an integrated coastal vulnerability index (ICVI) for nine small islands in the Azores archipelago. Considering that degree of vulnerability varies according to human-environment traits of each coastal stretch, this paper characterises integrated coastal vulnerability according to three broad attributes, i.e. exposure to external stressors, biophysical features and socioeconomic characteristics. Using field work, semi-quantitative analysis and GIS, ICVI is a simple and relatively quick approach that provides a broad overview of coastal vulnerability in small island context. A set of six accessible and representative parameters was employed as indicators for this vulnerability assessment, i.e. type of cliff; type of beach; coastal defences; exposure to swell/storm waves; outcrop flooded and land-use. The entire coastline of each island was divided into segments according to their geomorphic compartments and subsequently assigned with a relative ICVI value. Each segment was ranked into five classes ranging from very low to very high based on its relative degree of vulnerability. While majority of the coasts are of moderate relative vulnerability in the Azores, vulnerability varies broadly along the coast between low, moderate and high. The ICVI approach serves as a useful decision support tool to facilitate effective planning and management for the Azores small islands and the methodology has the flexibility of being scaled deep by adding more indicators where necessary and available or scaled out to other small islands.
Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are often burdened with high electricity prices whilst being bestowed with excellent wind resources. Wind energy is the most proven of the modern renewable energy technologies and, in areas with a good resource, is often the cheapest form of electricity generation. Many small island states have yet to tap into their wind energy potential. Using the Caribbean island of Barbados as a case study, this paper applies basic engineering processes and a spatial planning methodology to determine an island's maximum potential installed wind capacity. In order to encourage repeated studies for other islands, publicly available global historical hourly weather data is identified and forms part of a technical assessment to estimate the expected annual energy yield. The paper highlights the complexities of wind energy development on small islands when compared with mainland countries and explores the key factors that are to be addressed if SIDS are to make use of their wind resource. Economic analysis of the expected annual energy yield for Barbados predicts a levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for wind of 0.13 US$/kWh (±0.01 US$/kWh), which compares favourably with other forms of generation that are an option for the island.
Beaches' development on small islands has become increasingly important due to touristic appeals on their unique landscapes and natural endowments. However, compared with large islands and continental areas, the natural conditions of these islands are quite poor, their degree of development is relatively low, and they are insufficiently managed. Therefore, it is urgently necessary to undertake comprehensive management activities for tourist beaches on small islands. Three small islands in China, i.e. Meizhou, Gulang, and Weizhou, were selected as case studies to develop a preliminary beach management strategy. On the basis of a literature search, field observation, interviews with relevant officers, visits to shopkeepers and residents, tourist questionnaires and internet comment collection, this study summarizes the status of tourist beach management on small islands, analyzes tourist perceptions, and establishes a SWOT framework. A comprehensive tourist beach management system is developed with natural environmental, facility-cultural, and management sub-systems that are highly interactive and interrelated. The development pathway of tourist beach management on small islands can be subdivided into three individual stages, namely, passive, positive, and balanced development stages. Management should focus on the island's unique advantages and infrastructure building in the stage of passive development, management facilities improvement, recreational activities, policies and regulations in the stage of positive development, and balance tourist numbers against the ecological environment, the needs of residents and the tourist experience in the stage of balanced development. Moreover, the beach management being appropriate for a small island is highly correlated with its natural and/or cultural landscapes.
The management and conservation of marine resources in Seychelles, a small island developing state (SIDS) in the western Indian Ocean, is fundamental to maintaining the flow of international visitors which forms the mainstay of the nation's economy. There is an increasing trend towards empowering non-governmental organisations and parastatal entities with protected area management responsibilities, which partly reflects the chronic underfunding of the state protected area management institution. This paper explores these and related issues through a governance analysis of Curieuse Marine National Park, which is the most popular state-owned marine national park in terms of recorded visitor numbers. This demonstrates that the inability to implement economic incentives through not fully capitalising on the use and non-use values of the park has deleterious consequences for managing the combined impacts of tourism and fisheries on the ecological assets of the park. Furthermore, the capacity of the state management institution is being eroded through a focus on the development of an extensive network of new marine protected areas under the direction of an international non-governmental organisation. Suggestions are made that could strengthen economic, participative and interpretative incentives to provide a more sustainable basis for marine national park management.
Climate change adaptation planning has rapidly expanded to assist with reducing vulnerability to current and projected impacts of climate change. In Caribbean small island developing states (SIDS), planned adaptation is viewed as essential to address their high vulnerability to climate change, and planning has begun in earnest across the region. However, there has been limited analysis of adaptation planning documents in the region to assess their quality and content. This study assesses adaptation planning documents from Caribbean SIDS, focusing on inclusion of key stages of adaptation planning that were identified from international and regionally specific adaptation guidance instruments. Eighty-nine Caribbean adaptation planning documents—including policies, strategies, programs, and projects—were assessed, revealing that they differ considerably from guidance instruments. Key areas for improvement include the need for (i) more direct linkages between identification of adaptation options and assessments of climate hazards, impacts, vulnerability, and risk; (ii) identification and appraisal of a range of adaptation options; and (iii) increased inclusion and usage of quantitative information about hazards and impacts. Addressing these deficiencies may help to improve the status of adaptation planning in the region and ultimately aid in reducing the high vulnerability of these island nations to the impacts of climate change.
Climate change is causing shifts in species distributions worldwide. Understanding how species distributions will change with future climate change is thus critical for conservation planning. Impacts on oceanic islands are potentially major given the disproportionate number of endemic species and the consequent risk that local extinctions might become global ones. In this study, we use species climate envelope models to evaluate the current and future potential distributions of Azorean endemic species of bryophytes, vascular plants, and arthropods on the Islands of Terceira and São Miguel in the Azores archipelago (Macaronesia). We examined projections of climate change effects on the future distributions of species with particular focus on the current protected areas. We then used spatial planning optimization software (PRION) to evaluate the effectiveness of protected areas at preserving species both in the present and future. We found that contractions of species distributions in protected areas are more likely in the largest and most populated island of São Miguel, moving from the coastal areas towards inland where the current protected areas are insufficient and inadequate to tackle species distribution shifts. There will be the need for a revision of the current protected areas in São Miguel to allow the sustainable conservation of most species, while in Terceira Island the current protected areas appear to be sufficient. Our study demonstrates the importance of these tools for informing long-term climate change adaptation planning for small islands.
The Indo-Pacific small island states characteristically have relatively small land areas but large maritime zones that include biodiversity hotspots, fragile ecosystems and unique habitats affected by anthropogenic impacts and natural pressures. Whilst there are differences between these nations in terms of geography, history, and politico-legal systems, the majority are developing countries with limited technical and financial resources to implement laws for marine conservation and management. Despite these limitations all the small island states have laws for marine protected areas (MPAs) in one form or another. Because these countries also rely heavily on the coastal zone and marine resources in terms of subsistence and livelihoods for local communities, the extent to which the law accommodates civil society interests, and involvement in decision-making and management, is critical. Although some studies have explored law and policy relevant to MPAs in individual countries, rarely have countries across the Indo-Pacific region been compared. By doing so, different approaches and success stories can be shared, as well as legislative gaps and challenges addressed. This paper outlines the legal frameworks that provide for the establishment and management of MPAs in a selection of small island states across the Indo Pacific. The laws have been comparatively analysed to demonstrate the extent to which they provide for public participation and community-based management. The results are presented together with lessons learnt and recommendations made for future legal developments. The article, therefore, contributes to the growing body of literature on MPA governance, marine management in island States, and how to advance social sustainability.