As the human population has exponentially increased, so have anthropogenic effects on the ocean including pollution, eutrophication, acidification, changes in sea level, and overfishing. The California coast is visited by millions of people every year and is subject to a range of impacts. In the near-shore marine environment, people collect intertidal gastropods for food, bait or recreation. Collecting these animals has caused a decline in body size because humans preferentially take the largest individuals. Marine protected areas (MPAs), established to protect marine resources, may serve to reduce impacts to species, including gastropods. I collected 2510 individual samples to determine the body size and frequency of five gastropod species along the central California coast to assess whether MPAs may protect intertidal species from over-exploitation. I hypothesized that gastropods in MPAs, compared to non-MPAs zones, would have larger body sizes and be more frequent and be similar in size to museum specimens. I found that, for two of the five species studied, gastropods were larger inside MPA field locations; for most species the average size of specimens from MPA sites was significantly larger than museum specimens and collected gastropods had higher frequencies of presence inside MPAs. For coastal managers, these results indicate that MPAs are effective for some gastropod species studied, but in order for all species to benefit fully from MPA protection continued research is necessary to determine species-specific requirements.
Extractive activities such as oil drilling, mining and fishing often appear implicated in international maritime boundary disputes. While natural resources' crucial role as a catalyst for conflict has been well-noted in the literature, such an approach has typically assumed a contextual and passive position of natural resources with little political agency for altering the dynamics of a confrontation. This paper provides an alternative perspective in which resource activities constitute a willful agent that works in part to govern the course of the boundary dispute. Drawing on Foucault's notion of governmentality, I look at how South Korean fishing activities near a disputed maritime border between the two Koreas, called the Northern Limit Line, may be imbued with intentionality representing an indirect arm of the state's geopolitical agenda. Mobilizing the realist narrative of an immovable border and the mundane tactics of education sessions and at-sea radio communication, I suggest that the South Korean government is seeking to create subjects in fishers to reinforce the state objectives of boundary legitimization and defense of claimed waters. The analysis, however, also demonstrates an ambivalent nature of governmentality, with fishers muddling the state interventions through their own conduct and rationale. The South Korean government thus faces a delicate task of managing the fishing operation vis-à-vis the boundary dispute. Taking the seemingly innocuous resource activity such as fishing to the center stage of power relations, this paper also tables one way of engaging with maritime boundaries, one of the understudied domains in political geography.
The exchange of knowledge, skills and experience can improve management in transboundary regions through improved understanding of issues, development of partnerships, and acquisition of new skills amongst regional groups and stakeholders. A structured knowledge exchange in the form of a week-long study tour was piloted involving representatives of coastal communities from Indonesia and Timor-Leste travelling to the Northern Territory in Australia. The exchange was conducted as part of the Arafura Timor Seas Ecosystem Action Program and facilitated by two Australian organisations. The tour involved a series of activities, workshop sessions and field visits with a range of government, non-government and Indigenous (Australian) organisations to generate ideas, innovations, partnerships and shared understanding of community-based marine and coastal management and livelihoods between the three countries. The development, design, implementation and evaluation results of the study tour are evaluated. The results show that participants gained broad capacity benefits in four areas: raised awareness about different community and co-management approaches to marine conservation and management and livelihoods improvement, enhanced knowledge of tools for implementation of marine conservation and management, improved consensus and teamwork amongst participants, and increased potential for developing networks among the three countries. The results also highlight areas for potential improvement in study tour preparation, format and capacity outcomes that provide valuable lessons for others looking to embark on similar knowledge exchange activities.
“Sun, Sea and Sand” tourism is one of the fastest increasing activities in Colombia. The coast, specifically the Caribbean coast, represents the favourite destination for national and foreign visitors. However, over the last 30 years while tourism activities increased, coastal erosion became a serious problem rising in magnitude and dominance. This paper deals with a historic overview of Colombian Caribbean coastal erosion, the calculus of associated magnitudes and deepens knowledge and understanding of the different factors that control this process in this location. Coastal change in terms of erosion-sedimentation was determined by comparatives analysis of satellite images for the 1980–2014 period, as well as field surveys. Results showed circa 50% of the Colombian Caribbean coast is undergoing serious erosion. In detail, 48.3% (1182 km) of the investigated coast is experiencing erosion; 33.2% (812.6 km) can be considered stable, and 18.4% (450.5 km) is accreting. Coastal erosion can be associated with a diversity of factors contrasting in their degree of magnitude and influence, such as, amongst others: sedimentary imbalance, extreme waves, ecosystem destruction and sea level rise. These processes are often multiplied by human activities e.g. inappropriate building of coastal infrastructures, e.g. groins, illegal mining of sand and destruction of mangroves. Currently, coastal erosion produces not only beach loss but also deterioration of scenic quality and further significant financial investments for hard shore protection structures (groins and breakwaters, principally). Therefore, coastal erosion has become an obstacle that hinders the economic growth of Colombia. Results obtained can be used in the correct application of coastal management policies in order to preserve socio-economic activities, such tourism. Specifically, stronger management laws in line with Marine Spatial Planning attributes need to be implemented and enforced; more sustainable funding found for legislation and a better support network for decision making with the over riding objective of increased sustainability.
The global oceans contribute to human wellbeing by providing marine ecosystem services, but the ability of the oceans to continue providing these services is jeopardised by anthropogenic impacts. There is a limit to marine conservation that has not been adequately addressed: finance. This paper reviews the state of marine conservation funding, identifies associated challenges, and recommends possible ways forward. We identify five challenges: 1) funding for marine conservation is inadequate in terms of the size, duration, and diversity of revenue, 2) finance mechanisms are under-developed and under-utilised, 3) finance is often disconnected from conservation planning, 4) the environmental side-effects of economic activity increase the gap in global conservation funding, and 5) few individuals and programmes specialise in marine conservation finance and integrate its disparate lines of thinking. We then propose five solutions: 1) financial strategies for marine conservation, 2) increased research on and development of finance mechanisms, 3) integration of financial planning into conservation planning, 4) engagement of businesses in reducing the gap in conservation funding for marine ecosystems, and 5) definition, focus, and specialists for the emerging field of marine conservation finance. Multi-sector and interdisciplinary collaboration is essential to reduce the marine conservation-funding gap and sustain marine ecosystem services.
Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) is increasingly advocated as a complementary source of information that can potentially be integrated into mainstream science, particularly to help improve fisheries management. However, less attention has been paid to identifying specific areas where the TEK of fishers may confirm or contradict conventional scientific knowledge (CSK); or where TEK may provide new insights for fisheries systems characterized by multi-species and multi-gear usage. We conducted a qualitative exploration of TEK of grouper fishing patterns and compared the findings with an analysis of catch data in order to elucidate the extent of fishing pressure on groupers. We further compared TEK of the ecology and biology of groupers with published CSK to understand the complementarity between the two domains. Data collection methods included structured open-ended questionnaire, semi-structured interviews with key informants, focus group discussions, personal observations and a literature review. Results indicate that TEK complements CSK in terms of catch assessment and the ecology of groupers. TEK provides additional information on fishing gear, specific grouper species caught, habitat use and feeding habits; however, TEK contradicts CSK regarding spawning aggregation behavior. TEK offers new knowledge on environmental threats facing groupers, but fishers lack knowledge on reproductive modes and life history traits (i.e. hermaphroditism and spawning season) of groupers. We conclude that, in a conducive democratic setting based upon mutual respect and trust, TEK can complement conventional science and help to make more informed management decisions for sustainable fishing.
This paper presents a generic method, referred to as Iterative Discovery, to guide deliberation with analysis where the aim is to plan refinements to management interventions with difficult-to-define objectives, often due to system uncertainties and diverse stakeholder positions. The method can be initiated by evaluating a scenario describing the current-best intervention. This provides the starting point for three evaluation cycles, focusing on model assumptions, alternative interventions and management targets. The outcome of this method is a list of management targets that can and cannot be achieved, the potential interventions that correspond to these targets, and the assumptions and uncertainties associated with these interventions. It was applied to a case study for environmental flow management in the Macquarie Marshes, Australia. We identified feasible management targets based on ecological outcomes in flood suitability across different locations, climate conditions and species, and the suitable environmental flow volumes that correspond to these targets.
Recently an action plan has been put in place off southeastern Portugal, consisting in an offshore aquaculture area off the Armona sandy barrier island, Armona Pilot Production Aquaculture Area (APPAA). The infrastructure was created after the initiative of the Portuguese Government aiming to stimulate local employment opportunities related to seafood production. The APPAA aims to improve resilience of finfish and shellfish production for the future. However, the delimited infrastructure is located nearby some fishery-dependent communities. Therefore, such proximity may cause friction with some fishermen due to the limitations post APPAA development (e.g. may feel their jobs are threatened). In this study, we queried the reasoning rules elicited by local fishing communities and their perceived impact of the APPAA implementation. In that scope, a fuzzy logic expert system approach was used to investigate the interaction between three input variables (namely, ‘availability of fishable area’, ‘navigational disturbance’, and ‘catch variation’) and the output variable (i.e., overall ‘fishing community satisfaction’). The results from the fuzzy logic expert system showed that ‘catch variation’ was the input that most affected ‘fishing community satisfaction’ and seemed to be the one that suffered most changes. The results also show that, for the analyzed years, where the catch was higher, the degree of satisfaction tended to follow the trend, independently of the fishing community. The other two input variables were more conditioned by governmental arrangement (‘availability of fishable area’) and by small-scale fishermen reaction (‘navigational disturbance’). The fuzzy logic expert system proved to be a valuable tool, facilitating the analysis of governance arrangements, particularly those dealing with the interaction between the fisheries–offshore aquaculture system as a whole.
The aim of the SEAS-ERA initiative (2010–2014), developed within the European Union Framework Programme (EU FPVII) (contract 249552), was to coordinate the structure of national and regional marine and maritime research programs to empower and strengthen marine research all across Europe. A major goal was the development and implementation of common research strategies and programs related to European seas basins. To achieve this goal, SEAS-ERA was applied at two different levels, regional and pan European, to identify common priorities and needs in five areas, namely strategic planning (marine research agendas), joint research activities (common programs and joint calls), marine research infrastructures and human capacity building to reduce imbalances among regions. SEAS-ERA was also strongly committed to enhancing public awareness of marine and maritime scientific and policy issues in Europe.
The predicted expansion of the global offshore wind sector is likely to increase conflicts as users of the coastal zone compete for space, and the displacement of fisheries is of particular concern. It is therefore important to explore opportunities that could support the co-existence of offshore wind farms (OWFs) and fishing activity. In addition to ecological evidence on the effects of OWFs on commercially exploited species, the co-location issue requires understanding of the perceptions of fishers and OWF developers on key constraints and opportunities. Interviews were carried out in 2013 with 67 fishers in South Wales and Eastern England and with 11 developers from major energy companies, to discover experiences and opinions on the co-location of OWFs with crab and lobster fisheries. Developers expressed broad support for co-location, perceiving potential benefits to their relationship with fishers and their wider reputation. Fishers had more mixed opinions, with geographical variation, and exhibited a range of risk perception. The lack of reported experience of potting within OWFs was not related to stock concerns but to uncertainty around safety, gear retrieval, insurance and liability. Clear protocols and communication to address these issues are essential if co-location is to be feasible. Scale may also limit the potential benefits to fishers, especially in that large offshore OWFs are likely to be inaccessible to much of the inshore fleet. There remains the potential to enhance the artificial reef effects of OWFs by deploying additional material between the turbines, but options to finance such schemes, and how investment by OWF developers could be offset against compensation paid to displaced fishers, require further investigation.