Numerous conservation initiatives have been undertaken to protect large marine animals by legal protection and implementing marine protected areas (MPAs). Despite these efforts, many marine animals are still threatened, partly due to lack of compliance with conservation regulations. Meanwhile, research suggests that conservation efforts which also take socio-economic factors such as fishermen's livelihoods into account during planning and implementation are more likely to succeed. This study examined the compliance and socio-economic situation of local fishing communities at three sites in Indonesia (Nusa Penida, Tanjung Luar and Komodo National Park) where shark and manta ray conservation efforts have been implemented. 59 local residents were interviewed. The results showed that 49% of those residents had experienced a deterioration and 37% an improvement in their economic situation since conservation efforts in the form of species protection or MPAs were implemented in their area. The economic situation of the residents was associated with their access to alternative livelihoods, access to information on conservation rules, and relationship with conservation authorities. Particularly, interviewees with easier access to alternative income and a positive relationship with conservation authorities also experienced an increase in their economy. In addition, compliance with conservation efforts was positively related to improved economic situation, access to alternative livelihoods and information on conservation rules. These factors all differed among the three study sites, leading to different compliance levels between sites. The results of this study indicate the importance of considering socio-economic factors and of involving local communities when planning and implementing conservation efforts.
Social-Ecological Systems and Human Wellbeing
Like many other countries, France and Japan now have their own ocean policy, though at different stage of development and in quite different context. On the European side, buzz words like ‘Blue Growth’, ‘Maritime Spatial Planning’, and others, are on the forefront and could make us feel that ocean policies are primarily focused beyond the coast, in offshore waters and their corresponding human activities, somewhat leaving coastal communities in the back seat. Through case studies, we will try to show that ocean policies should be coast-to-coast, across oceans, regional seas, or local well delineated water body, never forgetting that, beyond ‘Blue growth’, we should be heading towards a ‘Blue society’.
Marine fisheries plays an important role in ensuring food security and providing livelihoods in South Africa, as in many other developing coastal States. Transnational fisheries crime seriously undermines these goals. Drawing on empirical research this contribution highlights the complexity of law enforcement at the interface between low-level poaching and organised crime in the small-scale fisheries sector with reference to a South African case study. Specifically, this article examines the relationship between a fisheries-crime law enforcement approach and the envisaged management approach of the South African Small-Scale Fisheries Policy.
Coastal communities, indigenous peoples, and small-scale fishers rely on the ocean for livelihoods, for subsistence, for wellbeing and for cultural continuity. Thus, understanding the human dimensions of the world’s peopled seas and coasts is fundamental to evidence-based decision-making across marine policy realms, including marine conservation, marine spatial planning, fisheries management, the blue economy and climate adaptation. This perspective article contends that the marine social sciences must inform the pursuit of sustainable oceans. To this end, the article introduces this burgeoning field and briefly reviews the insights that social science can offer to guide ocean and coastal policy and management. The upcoming United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021–2030) provides a tremendous opportunity to build on the current interest, need for and momentum in the marine social sciences. We will be missing the boat if the marine social sciences do not form an integral and substantial part of the mandate and investments of this global ocean science for sustainability initiative.
Coastal communities experience a wide array of environmental and social changes to which they must constantly adapt. Further, a community's perception of change and risk has significant implications for a community's willingness and ability to adapt to both current and future changes. As part of a larger study focusing on the adaptive capacity of communities on the Andaman Coast of Thailand, we used Photovoice to open a dialogue with communities about changes in the marine environment and in coastal communities. This article presents the results of two exploratory Photovoice processes and discusses prospects for using the Photovoice method for exploring social and environmental change. Changes examined included a number of broader environmental and social trends as well as ecological specifics and social particularities in each site. Participants also explored the social implications of environmental changes, the impacts of macro-scale processes on local outcomes, and emotive and active responses of individuals and communities to change. Photovoice is deemed a powerful method for: examining social, environmental, and socio-ecological change, triangulating to confirm the results of other scientific methods, revealing novel ecological interactions, and providing input into community processes focusing on natural resource management, community development, and climate change adaptation.
Livelihoods are a crucial factor in sustainable integrated coastal management and can bring big payoffs for people and coral reef resources but their role in encouraging collective engagement in management is not well understood. Dive tourism is often cited for its capacity to provide livelihoods to reduce reliance on coral reef resources, however, there is little evidence of its ability to achieve this goal. We use key stakeholder interviews with artisanal fishers, their community, local government and politicians and the sustainable livelihoods framework to study Oslob Whale Sharks, the most financially successful and controversial community based dive tourism site in the world. Oslob Whale Sharks has generated income from ticket sales of approximately US$18.4 m over five years. We found that Oslob Whale Sharks has created alternate livelihoods for 177 fishers, and diversified livelihoods throughout the community, reducing fishing effort and changing livelihood strategies away from reliance on coral reef resources. Livelihoods from Oslob Whale Sharks increase food security for fishers and their families and improve the wellbeing of their community. Livelihoods have galvanised fishers and their community to change behaviour and collectively engage in management. Our findings indicate connection between livelihoods and the provision of finance to protect whale sharks and manage five marine reserves, indicating that fishers and local government are protecting the whale sharks and coral ref resources their livelihoods depend on.
Taking changes, uncertainty and diversification of ecosystems and societies as prerequisites, the effective way to implement stable fisheries management involves engaging the stakeholders (e.g., fishers, authorities and researchers) in discussions of issues. Such dialogues allow the participants to select and implement initiatives for measures that suit the location in question. This process also can accommodate revisions to compensate for changes in nature and society as the results and significance of the initiatives are continually appraised via the varied knowledge possessed by the stakeholders. And, to support this kind of deliberation and decision-making, in cooperation with fishers, we have developed and are sharing a fisheries management tool-box. As a result, we are now able to compare various sites using a common framework, which enables us to search out general theories for fisheries management in the future. Moreover, by using the tool-box in recurring discussions among the diverse range of knowledge holders at the site in question, the diverse perspectives of stakeholders (including researchers) change. In turn, that change can be fed back to the tool-box, with the hope that it will contribute to “co-evolution” of knowledge related to fisheries management.
In tropical and subtropical zones, the majority of people live along the coastline, relying on coastal fishery resources to make their livings. Yet, over fishing is deteriorating these resources, and coral and mangrove ecosystems that underpin the resources are threatened. Recently, though, attention is turning to marine protected areas (MPAs) as a method to effectively preserve ecosystems and manage fishery resources. In this chapter, we introduce two cases concerning Okinawa and Fiji, to show how community-based MPA approaches were activated by bilateral knowledge translators, as well as how specific processes were used to develop a broader framework. In the five types of Okinawan MPAs established with fishery cooperative associations (FCAs) at their core, prefectural fisheries extension officers and researchers are proving helpful as bilateral translators in effective management of resources. In Fiji, activities are incorporated into an international framework, with an MPA network system spreading rapidly. And, in Fiji as well, various bilateral translators are active in managing coastal resources.
Understanding the complexity of social-ecological systems is fundamental for achieving sustainability. Historically, humans have benefited from the ecosystem services offered by nature at the same time that natural systems have increasingly changed because of anthropogenic activities. The lack of methods to unveil and understand such associations might hinder the integrated management of coastal marine areas. In our study, we applied a methodological framework used in terrestrial systems to identify and spatially locate the coastal marine social-ecological systems (CMSESs) on the southern Mediterranean Spanish coast. These CMSESs represent areas with similar human-nature associations that result from sharing similar socioeconomic and marine environmental characteristics. We applied several multivariate analyses to identify and characterize these CMSESs. We found the presence of twelve CMSESs that suggest a co-evolution of the social-ecological associations in these areas. Our results highlight the need for integrated coastal planning and management that consider the specific characteristics and conservation challenges of each CMSES. Our study provides evidence that a successful methodological framework to identify and characterize social-ecological systems can be applied in coastal areas and contribute to integrated management for the sustainability of these fragile systems.
The right to life is a basic and fundamental core human right. Despite the idea that the lives of all human beings are equal under the protection of the law, the special characteristics of the seafarers’ profession suggests that they should be granted additional attention and protection. In recent years, issues related to seafarers’ welfare have moved to the forefront of concern, however, discussion on seafarers’ right to life has drawn little attention. This paper is intended to contribute to knowledge in this aspect by drawing together themes from theoretical policy and governance studies and uses case studies that apply lessons from these disciplines to the practical context of the worldwide shipping industry. Specifically, the discussion clarifies the concept and dimension of the human right to life as well as seafarers’ right to life as a special group of industrial workers, notes the hazardous feature of seafaring as an occupation, identifies the sources of seafarers rights in the related maritime policies and international regulations and illustrates the obligation of the state from the perspective of the ‘flag’ and the ‘port’. The paper finally provides conclusions to the ongoing major issues and suggests a mechanism that should be established to ensure seafarers’ right to life is to be respected.