Because seas and coastlines are shared between states, the formulation and implementation of marine spatial planning (MSP) should be transboundary by nature. The main argument of this paper is that MSP should be organized as a transboundary policy-making process, but this is hampered by the conceptual and institutional fragmentation MSP is facing. Based on an analysis of four transboundary planning processes in different European seas, the paper gives insight into the possibilities to develop and implement transboundary marine spatial planning (TMSP). To overcome the conceptual and institutional challenges, TMSP should be developed as a reflexive governance arrangement, in which the actors involved are able to change the rules of the game and to challenge the existing (national-oriented) MSP discourses. The paper develops four forms of reflexivity (unreflectiveness; performative reflectiveness; structural reflectiveness; and reflexivity) to assess TMSP processes and to formulate conditions which are crucial to develop TMSP as a reflexive marine governance arrangement.
Transboundary Planning and Management
Spatial boundaries have become an indispensable part of regimes and tools for regulating fisheries, with examples including marine protected areas, regional fisheries management organizations and Exclusive Economic Zones. Yet, it is also widely acknowledged that boundaries are a social construct, which may be resisted by both fishers and fish ecology. The ensuing spatial and institutional mismatches have been shown to frustrate management efforts, exacerbating issues of non-compliance and ultimately leading to conflicts and overfishing. Interestingly, the often static and rigid nature of these boundaries has also led to a concomitant research interest in ‘transboundary’. This paradoxical situation of more boundary-setting entailing more transboundary thinking warrants a deeper understanding about boundaries and the role of transboundary research in fisheries. The aims of this review article are twofold: (1) a theoretical clarification on the meanings and uses of spatial boundaries drawing on geographical “boundary studies” literature; and (2) a construction of a typology that outlines how transboundary research is being articulated and envisioned. Together, the study reveals that transboundary scholarship in fisheries are mostly related to resources, fleets, trade and governance aspects and that dealing with the “boundary paradox” encompasses re-incorporating, re-scaling and re-imagining of boundaries. This article provides a conceptual basis for reflecting upon boundaries in world's fisheries and opens up discussions for a more nuanced boundary application that can better cope with multi-level interactions and dynamicity.
The fates of “transboundary” environmental systems depend on how nation states interact with one another. In the absence of a hegemon willing and able to coerce other states into avoiding a “tragedy of the commons,” shared environments will be safeguarded if international cooperation succeeds and degraded or even destroyed if it fails. Treaties and related institutions of international law give form to these efforts to cooperate. Often, they implore states to act in their collective (as opposed to their national) interests. Sometimes, they impel cooperating states to punish free riders. A few agreements coordinate states’ behavior. Here, I present simple game-theoretic models showing whether and how treaties and related institutions can change incentives, aligning states’ self-interests with their collective interests. I show that, as a general matter, states struggle to cooperate voluntarily and enforce agreements to cooperate but that they find it relatively easy to coordinate actions. In some cases, the need for coordination is manifest. In other cases, it requires strategic thinking. Coordination may fall short of supporting an ideal outcome, but it nearly always works better than the alternatives.
The study makes an analysis of the motivating factors for rights based approaches in order to address the common pool fishery problems which dissipates rents. The author states that the answer to common property associated problems for fisheries resources is to secure rights to the fishery to end the race to fish and put proper incentives in place to increase wealth and sustainability. The paper describes the characteristics of strong rights and several rights based approaches in commercial and recreational fisheries for billfish.
We investigated conflicting perspectives over a transboundary species (Atlantic Halibut-Hippoglossus hippoglossus L.) assumed to be one population spanning the border separating the USA and Canada. In Canada, the fishery is certified as sustainable by the international Marine Stewardship Council (2013). In the USA, that same population is listed as a “Species of Concern” under the US Endangered Species Act (1973). There are fishery-independent trawl surveys conducted by both USA and Canada on juvenile halibut abundance across the border. The data are sorted and both nations use their own jurisdictional boundaries to define the geographical area of their separate stock assessments. Here, we undertake a spatially unified, in-depth comparison of juvenile halibut distribution and abundance, and quantify the amount of suitable habitat for halibut across both sides of the border from 1965 to 2014. Juvenile halibut abundance was, on average, five times greater in Canada than in USA waters. The median per cent of occupied sets in Canada was about four times greater than in the US (2.5%). These differences could not be explained by the availability of “suitable” habitat. The lack of halibut in US waters, in contrast to Canada, suggests a finer-scale stock structure exists and that halibut have not re-established in the USA due to historical serial overfishing. A gradient from high occupancy of halibut in Canada to lower occupancy in the USA is evident, suggestive of connectivity between the two areas and supported by a lag correlation analysis of temporal abundance trends. The USA may now be a sink to Canada's source of halibut. While both countries have been correct in their individual assessments, a bilateral assessment of halibut would benefit both nations, and could include analyses of how fishing patterns in Canada will influence the magnitude and speed of halibut re-colonization in the USA.
There is broad agreement that marine spatial planning (MSP) should incorporate transboundary considerations, reflecting the cross-border nature of marine and coastal ecosystem dynamics and maritime resources and activities. This is recognised in the European Union's recent legislation on MSP, and experience in transboundary approaches is developing through official processes and pilot studies. However, differences between institutional systems, priorities and practices may not easily be overcome in transboundary initiatives. This requires a stronger focus on understanding the governance frameworks within which MSP operates and fostering interlinkages between them. This article discusses a European-funded project in which emphasis was placed on joint-working in every aspect, based on principles of equity and mutual trust. This led to the development of inter-relations, not just of the geographies and maritime resources and activities of the marine areas concerned, but also of the systems of data management, governance and policy-making and of the participants involved as officials or stakeholders, including their means and cultures of exchange. It is suggested that transboundary initiatives in MSP would benefit by complementing current resource management-focused understandings with governance and policy-related perspectives, drawing on experience in other fields of territorial cooperation.
Despite the merit of managing natural resources on the scale of ecosystems, evaluating threats and managing risk in ecosystems that span multiple countries or jurisdictions can be challenging. This requires each government involved to consider actions in concert with actions being taken in other countries by co-managing entities. Multiple proposed fossil fuel-related and port development projects in the Salish Sea, a 16,925 km2 inland sea shared by Washington State (USA), British Columbia (Canada), and Indigenous Coast Salish governments, have the potential to increase marine vessel traffic and negatively impact natural resources. There is no legal mandate or management mechanism requiring a comprehensive review of the potential cumulative impacts of these development activities throughout the Salish Sea and across the international border. This project identifies ongoing and proposed energy-related development projects that will increase marine vessel traffic in the Salish Sea and evaluates the threats each project poses to natural resources important to the Coast Salish. While recognizing that Coast Salish traditions identify all species as important and connected, we used expert elicitation to identify 50 species upon which we could evaluate impact. These species were chosen because Coast Salish depend upon them heavily for harvest revenue or as a staple food source, they were particularly culturally or spiritually significant, or they were historically part of Coast Salish lifeways. We identified six development projects, each of which had three potential impacts (pressures) associated with increased marine vessel traffic: oil spill, vessel noise and vessel strike. Projects varied in their potential for localized impacts (pressures) including shoreline development, harbor oil spill, pipeline spill, coal dust accumulation and nearshore LNG explosion. Based on available published data, impact for each pressure/species interaction was rated as likely, possible or unlikely. Impacts are likely to occur in 23 to 28% of the possible pressure/species scenarios and are possible in another 15 to 28% additional pressure/species interactions. While it is not clear which impacts will be additive, synergistic, or potentially antagonistic, studies that manipulate multiple stressors in marine ecosystems suggest that threats associated with these six projects are likely to have an overall additive or even synergistic interaction and therefore impact species of major cultural importance to the Coast Salish, an important concept that would be lost by merely evaluating each project independently. Failure to address multiple impacts will affect the Coast Salish and the 7 million other people that also depend on this ecosystem. These findings show the value of evaluating multiple threats, and ultimately conducting risk assessments at the scale of ecosystems and highlight the serious need for managers of multinational ecosystems to actively collaborate on evaluating threats, assessing risk, and managing resources.
The goal of our paper is to characterize challenges and offer potential solutions for structuring collaborative research that benefits conservation, based on our collective experience as foreign and local scientists conducting collaborative research in small island states. Specifically, we draw upon presentations by the authors and discussions amongst an international audience of marine scientists at a symposium of the 3rd International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC3) around the question: “What does on-the-ground best practice look like for effectively co-producing cross-border marine research in small island states?” Our discussion builds on broad guidance of the UN's SAMOA Pathway (General Assembly resolution 69/15), an output of SIDS Conference 2014, and takes into account international statements on cross-border research integrity5. The IMCC3 symposium was predominantly attended by foreign scientists collaborating in small island states, so we primarily offer experience-based advice for applied researchers in this community. We do, however, include key information and actionable recommendations (see Table 1) for local research communities in small island states, and for funders. Recommendations are made in the following areas, identified through thematic analysis of symposium discussions: (1) aligning priorities; (2) building long-term relationships; (3) enhancing local capacity; and (4) sharing research products.
Fishery resources in the South China Sea play an essential role in the economic and social development of Mainland China and Taiwan as well as the conjunct regional communities. Beyond the sovereignty disputes and competing maritime claims, the over-exploitation and unregulated harvesting of fishery resources are placing serious pressures on the health and security of the South China Sea ecosystem. This article argues that sub-regional cooperative actions with a regional thinking were deemed effective approaches for the sustainable development of regional fisheries before the establishment of regional arrangements. The lack of collective approach for fisheries conservation and management in shared waters means that a mutually beneficial situation for Mainland China and Taiwan is yet to be achieved. An integrated and collaborative mechanism for cross-strait fisheries cooperation and ecological management is urgently needed. This article analysis the major factors that could enable the ultimate success of cross-strait cooperation on fisheries issue in the South China Sea areas. In addition, a prudent stepwise approach and viable actions which the two sides should undertake to conserve and manage the fishery resources are also discussed. Finally, the article proposes a coordinative and cooperative mechanism for Mainland China and Taiwan towards the sustainable conservation and co-management of fishery resources in the South China Sea waters, as well as the sound measures for learning, exchanging and capacity building of the two sides.
Shared fisheries involve fish that are caught in the marine waters of more than one country, or in the high seas. These fisheries are economically and biologically significant, but a global picture of their importance relative to total world fisheries catch and economic value is lacking. We address this gap by undertaking a global-scale analysis of temporal trends in shared fisheries species catch and landed value from 1950 to 2006. We find that (1) the number of countries participating in shared fisheries has doubled in the past 55 yr; (2) the most commonly targeted shared species have shifted from those that were mainly restricted to the North Atlantic to species that are highly migratory and are distributed throughout the world; (3) countries which account for the highest proportion of global shared fish species catch and landed value tend to be large industrial fishing powers, whereas those which are most reliant on shared fisheries at a national scale are mainly smaller developing countries. Overall, our findings indicate the increasing need to accommodate a greater number and diversity of interests, and also consider equity issues in the management and allocation of internationally shared fishery resources.