We assess progress towards Aichi Biodiversity Target 6, which aims to achieve global fisheries sustainability by 2020. Current trends suggest that the proportion of fish stocks within safe ecological limits is likely to decline until 2020. While model projections show a considerable reduction in overexploited stocks by 2050 if climate change is not considered, there will be a substantial increase in the risk of overexploited fish stocks if climate change is taken into account. Overall, although there is progress toward rebuilding fisheries in some developed nations, this improvement is insufficient to meet the Aichi Target by 2020; there is a need for substantial changes to current fisheries policy and management if Target 6 is to be met.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) eco—label certifies that seafood comes from a sustainable source. The use of this eco—label lags behind in the developing world, where ecosystem approaches to fishery management have not yet been widely implemented. However, the Food and Agriculture Organization under its REBYC—II LAC project is addressing ecosystem concerns within the shrimp trawl fisheries of a number of developing countries in Latin America and the Caribbean by helping them to improve management of the negative ecosystem impacts by modifying their gear to reduce by—catch and habitat damage. This study investigates how the potential improvements identified by the REBYC—II LAC project will help in satisfying the requirements for obtaining an MSC certification in the Campeche shrimp fishery in Mexico. The feasibility and desirability of obtaining an MSC certification in this fishery was assessed by interviewing managers, fishers, processors, and other relevant stakeholders of the fishery. By comparing the MSC certification requirements with the current conditions of the Campeche shrimp fishery, this paper shows that the fishery is currently not certifiable. Although the REBYC—II LAC project could represent a significant step towards the potential certification of the fishery, further actions will need to be implemented by the Mexican management authorities and private sector, if certification is sought. This paper should help guide the Campeche shrimp industry and fishery managers towards the necessary steps for achieving sustainability.
Within the discussion around sustainable diets, seafood consumption is still a relatively neglected field. This article discusses relevant behaviours consumers can perform to consume seafood sustainably. The predictive power of intention, descriptive social norms, trust, awareness and pro-environmental attitudes are theoretically discussed and statistically tested across two studies in regards to (a) using sustainable seafood labels, and (b) using sustainable seafood guides. Data analysis (N1 = 309, N2 = 881 Norwegian adults) shows that intentions, social norms and trust predict seafood label use across studies. The variables predicting seafood guide use are less stable which might be due to this behaviour being performed by a very small fraction of consumers only. Causal relationships have been identified in study 2 by applying cross-lagged panel analyses between intentions, trust and social norms and seafood label use. Further causal relationships were found between intentions, trust and awareness and seafood guide use. A bidirectional relationship was confirmed between descriptive social norms and seafood guide use. Potential strategies to promote seafood label- and seafood guide use, are discussed based on these results.
Evaluating progress towards environmental sustainability goals can be difficult due to a lack of measurable benchmarks and insufficient or uncertain data. Marine settings are particularly challenging, as stakeholders and objectives tend to be less well defined and ecosystem components have high natural variability and are difficult to observe directly. Fuzzy logic expert systems are useful analytical frameworks to evaluate such systems, and we develop such a model here to formally evaluate progress towards sustainability targets based on diverse sets of indicators. Evaluation criteria include recent (since policy enactment) and historical (from earliest known state) change, type of indicators (state, benefit, pressure, response), time span and spatial scope, and the suitability of an indicator in reflecting progress toward a specific objective. A key aspect of the framework is that all assumptions are transparent and modifiable to fit different social and ecological contexts. We test the method by evaluating progress towards four Aichi Biodiversity Targets in Canadian oceans, including quantitative progress scores, information gaps, and the sensitivity of results to model and data assumptions. For Canadian marine systems, national protection plans and biodiversity awareness show good progress, but species and ecosystem states overall do not show strong improvement. Well-defined goals are vital for successful policy implementation, as ambiguity allows for conflicting potential indicators, which in natural systems increases uncertainty in progress evaluations. Importantly, our framework can be easily adapted to assess progress towards policy goals with different themes, globally or in specific regions.
Scuba diving has attracted increased numbers of tourists on a global scale. While the beneficial as well as detrimental impacts of scuba diving tourism have been well documented, limited research attention is given to the perspectives of dive operators with respect to sustainable development. This study examined the perspectives and experiences of dive operators in relation to sustainable resource use in Mozambique and Italy, two countries that are home to popular coastal destinations and offshore marine parks. Interviews suggested that overall operators have positive attitudes towards sustainable resource use, engaging in actions such as deploying four-stroke engines, recycling equipment and waste, and favouring electric-over fuel-powered vehicles. Yet, they do not promote sustainable resource use at the dive centre, with reasons including limited time, lack of government incentives, and absence of rebate systems. Implications were discussed for sustainable diving operations in the study areas and generally.
With over 1 billion people currently relying on the services provided by marine ecosystems – e.g. food, fibre and coastal protection – governments, scientists and international bodies are searching for innovative research to support decision-makers in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Valuing past and present ecosystem services allows investigation into how different scenarios impact the SDGs, such as economic growth, sustainability, poverty and equity among stakeholders. This paper investigates the past and current value of the lobster fishery located in the Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area. It then uses InVEST to highlight future changes under different scenarios. While we found a significant decline in fishery value over the next ten years under all three scenarios, the exclusion of large-scale fisheries from the marine protected area seems to yield the most positive results in regard to South Africa’s SDG commitments. This scenario has the potential to generate approximately 50% more revenue, while also producing the highest available protein to local communities, highest quantity of spawners and highest economic distribution to small-scale fisheries. It is clear through this research that valuing ecosystem services can enable a future of healthy economies, people and environments; the highly sought-after triple-bottom line.
What (and how) we grow, harvest or extract from the ocean has significant implications for long term sustainability of this immense ecosystem. Our current industrial approach to seafood harvesting is clearly not sustainable and cities can and must take the lead in developing new approaches. Urbanites must begin to shift their consumer and political power behind more sustainable ideas and practices. Some of these new approaches are explored here, including support for smaller scale, locally based fishing (and new mechanisms such as Community Supported Fisheries [CSFs]), and a shift towards more sustainable and humane forms of shellfish aquaculture and ocean vegetable farming.
Small-scale fisheries play an important role in contributing to food security, nutrition, livelihoods and local and national economies. However, there is often limited data and information available on their contributions, and hence small scale fisheries tend to be overlooked and marginalized in policy processes, leading to low levels of support for the sector. This proceedings provides a summary of the presentations, discussions, conclusions and recommendations of the “Workshop on Improving our Knowledge on Small-Scale Fisheries: Data Needs and Methodologies,” held at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations headquarters in Rome, Italy, in June 2017. Through the workshop, it was determined that a comprehensive new study to illuminate the hidden contributions of small-scale fisheries to the three dimensions of sustainable development, as well as identification of key threats to these contributions was needed.
In this perspective article, B. C. Howard delves into the role that stakeholders play in the development of blue growth. Sustainable development is often looked at as a scientific or a political problem, but stakeholders also have a huge role to play. The actions of stakeholders have the possibility to make or break the goals set out by the UN and other international bodies when it comes to sustainability. Here Howard interviews a number of important actors about how they think we can work together to achieve a blue economy.
This Special Issue is intended to help readers gain a better understanding of the various definitions of blue growth, as well as to give a heightened awareness of the constraints of, and possibilities within, the important concept. Increased communication among those working together on these topics is of utmost importance, especially considering the diversity of the backgrounds of those who have a role to play in blue growth and sustainable development. Scientists, policy makers, business people, and the larger society need to become more precise and transparent in their language and meanings in order to effectively work together, and hopefully one day succeed in our joint goal to secure blue growth.