Coastal hypoxia (dissolved oxygen ≤ 2 mg/L) is a growing problem worldwide that threatens marine ecosystem services, but little is known about economic effects on fisheries. Here, we provide evidence that hypoxia causes economic impacts on a major fishery. Ecological studies of hypoxia and marine fauna suggest multiple mechanisms through which hypoxia can skew a population’s size distribution toward smaller individuals. These mechanisms produce sharp predictions about changes in seafood markets. Hypoxia is hypothesized to decrease the quantity of large shrimp relative to small shrimp and increase the price of large shrimp relative to small shrimp. We test these hypotheses using time series of size-based prices. Naive quantity-based models using treatment/control comparisons in hypoxic and nonhypoxic areas produce null results, but we find strong evidence of the hypothesized effects in the relative prices: Hypoxia increases the relative price of large shrimp compared with small shrimp. The effects of fuel prices provide supporting evidence. Empirical models of fishing effort and bioeconomic simulations explain why quantifying effects of hypoxia on fisheries using quantity data has been inconclusive. Specifically, spatial-dynamic feedbacks across the natural system (the fish stock) and human system (the mobile fishing fleet) confound “treated” and “control” areas. Consequently, analyses of price data, which rely on a market counterfactual, are able to reveal effects of the ecological disturbance that are obscured in quantity data. Our results are an important step toward quantifying the economic value of reduced upstream nutrient loading in the Mississippi Basin and are broadly applicable to other coupled human-natural systems.
Social-Ecological Systems and Human Wellbeing
There is a growing interest in working with customary management (CM) systems to effectively manage benthic resources and small-scale fisheries. The underlying notion is that CM institution as territorial use rights in fisheries (TURFs) can be sufficiently adaptive and dynamic to create the local incentives that are necessary for promoting sustainable fishing practices and marine conservation more generally in a given region. This paper reviews the social opportunities and challenges of working with CM systems as a form of TURF, particularly in Oceania. A key conclusion is that policy makers and managers not only need to recognize natural interconnectivity in any one marine space, but also consider the social interconnectivity of stakeholders that covers customary TURFs. Only by recognizing and working with the existing social networks that overlay any given marine territory can the operational principles of CM (as reviewed in this paper) be effectively deployed for achieving some kind of bioeconomic efficiency and creating an equitable rights-based fisheries management system.
The broad scale and rapid rate of change in the global environment is causing some of the world's most challenging problems, such as habitat degradation, loss of biodiversity, and food insecurity. These problems are especially pressing in coastal environments in the tropics, resulting in significant impacts on human wellbeing and ecological systems across the globe. The underlying causes of marine and coastal environmental change are both anthropogenic and natural; and, while it is difficult to parse out causal linkages as either exclusively human or naturally occurring, feedbacks between drivers only exacerbate the issues. Increasingly, scholars are turning to integrated research efforts, whereby multiple disciplines are used to answer pressing questions about and find solutions for the sustainability of human life and natural ecosystems across the coastal tropics. This article leverages the recent wave of interdisciplinary research to explore the various ways in which the social sciences have successfully contributed to a more complete understanding of coastal systems across the tropics. It also identifies opportunities for research that move beyond single disciplinary approaches to coastal science. The concluding discussion suggests social science knowledge areas that are underutilized in coastal research and provides suggestions for increasing the incorporation of social science in coastal research programs.
- SE Puerto Rican and NE Region US fishermen's job satisfaction and well-being is compared.
- Data from Point Judith, RI 1977 is used for time comparison in US.
- Overall job satisfaction levels were high among both Puerto Rico and US fishermen.
- Puerto Rico and Point Judith 1977 presented the highest levels of job satisfaction.
- Changes in fishery management negatively affects job satisfaction among US fishermen.
Building on work presented at the IUCN World Parks Congress (WPC) held in Sydney, Australia, on 12–19 November 2014, this document explores experiences with aquatic protected areas (PAs), marine protected areas (MPAs) and protected areas in inland waters in the context of livelihoods and food security. It includes: (i) ten papers reporting on the interface of MPA/protected areas with livelihoods and food security, based on case studies in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Oceania; (ii) an eleventh contribution providing a more general overview of MPAs and food security and how to assess their impact; and (iii) a final paper synthesizing the conclusions of the papers and discussing the observed outcomes of aquatic PAs, together with problems and solutions.
The global decline of marine ecosystems may be partially ascribed to poor governance and to the lack of sustainable use and marine biodiversity conservation policy. Conservation success is strongly related to how people perceive marine biodiversity and those perceptions can change as a result of the accumulation of knowledge, the quality of the environment, and the appropriate and sustainable management of these areas. Engaging the targeted community in the process of promoting and planning safeguarding activities may also contribute to the acceptability and the dissemination of a shared culture of sustainability and a positive change in behavior.
This study investigates people's knowledge, perceptions and feelings toward the protection and improvement of marine biodiversity of coralligenous areas in the North Adriatic Sea in Italy. Several focus groups were conducted in the major towns of the targeted area (N = 107) to explore people's familiarity with marine biodiversity and ecosystem services, and to reveal their opinions and behaviours for certain protection strategies, such as the marine protected area (MPA).
We found that coralligenous habitats are not very well known among the general people; in fact, only 42% of respondents had previously heard about biodiversity in these habitats. However, participants agreed that they provide important environmental services that benefit human wellbeing. Moreover, we found that 80% of respondents had heard before of MPA, and the majority of them were in favor of supporting interventions and policies to protect these areas.
Effective conservation depends upon people's compliance with regulations, yet non-compliance (eg poaching) is often the rule rather than the exception. Poaching is often clandestine and socially undesirable, requiring specialized, multidisciplinary approaches for assessment and management. We estimated poaching by recreational fishers in no-fishing reserves of Australia's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) by conducting social surveys and quantifying derelict (lost or discarded) fishing gear. Our study revealed that (1) between 3–18% of fishers admitted to poaching within the past year, (2) poaching activities were often concentrated at certain times (holidays) and in specific places (poaching hotspots), and (3) fishers’ primary motivations to poach were the perception of higher catches in reserves and a low probability of detection. Our results suggest that extolling certain ecological benefits of marine reserves where enforcement capacity is low could lead to the perverse outcome of encouraging non-compliance. Our combined social–ecological approach revealed that even in an iconic marine park such as the GBRMP, poaching levels are higher than previously assumed, which has implications for effective management.
This report provides an assessment of emerging evidence on the socio-economic impacts of Scotland’s Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The reports objectives are to develop a methodology for monitoring the socioeconomic impacts of MPA management measures and to gather and analyse evidence on the ex post socioeconomic impacts of MPA management measures. This report presents evidence from key informant interviews, analysis of fishing activity data and three case studies.
Despite covering around 70 percent of the earth's surface, the ocean has long been ignored by sociology or treated as merely an extension of land-based systems. Increasingly, however, oceans are assuming a higher profile, emerging both as a new resource frontier, a medium for geopolitical rivalry and conflict, and a unique and threatened ecological hot spot. In this article, I propose a new sociological specialty area, the “sociology of oceans” to be situated at the interface between environmental sociology and traditional maritime studies. After reviewing existing sociological research on maritime topics and the consideration of (or lack of consideration) the sea by classic sociological theorists, I briefly discuss several contemporary sociological approaches to the ocean that have attracted some notice. In the final section of the paper, I make the case for a distinct sociology of oceans and briefly sketch what this might look like. One possible trajectory for creating a shared vision or common paradigm, I argue, is to draw on Deleuze and Guattari's dialectical theory of the smooth and the striated.
Conservation scientists increasingly recognize that incorporating human values into conservation planning increases the chances for success by garnering broader project acceptance. However, methods for defining quantitative targets for the spatial representation of human well-being priorities are less developed. In this study we employ an approach for identifying regionally important human values and establishing specific spatial targets for their representation based on stakeholder outreach. Our primary objective was to develop a spatially-explicit conservation plan that identifies the most efficient locations for conservation actions to meet ecological goals while sustaining or enhancing human well-being values within the coastal and nearshore areas of the western Lake Erie basin (WLEB). We conducted an optimization analysis using 26 features representing ecological and human well-being priorities (13 of each), and included seven cost layers. The influence that including human well-being had on project results was tested by running five scenarios and setting targets for human well-being at different levels in each scenario. The most important areas for conservation to achieve multiple goals are clustered along the coast, reflecting a concentration of existing or potentially restorable coastal wetlands, coastal landbird stopover habitat and terrestrial biodiversity, as well as important recreational activities. Inland important areas tended to cluster around trails and high quality inland landbird stopover habitat. Most concentrated areas of importance also are centered on lands that are already conserved, reflecting the lower costs and higher benefits of enlarging these conserved areas rather than conserving isolated, dispersed areas. Including human well-being features in the analysis only influenced the solution at the highest target levels.