This study examines the prospects for compromise management to support greater natural resources on recreational beaches by analyzing the spatial dimensions of key natural resource indicators (beach vegetation and wrack) with peak recreational uses in New Jersey, one of the most intensively developed shorelines in North America. The spatial distribution of pedestrian and vehicular recreational uses was measured on 60 transects in heavily-populated beaches during the peak times and days of use during the summer tourist season, and compared to that of vegetation and wrack on 72 transects in nearby protected natural areas. The frequency, density, and % use were calculated for each 10% increment of linear beach surface, and the impacts of protecting different amounts of upper beach areas were calculated in terms of the % vegetation, wrack and recreational use that would be supported in each case. Vegetation was highly concentrated in landward portions of the beach surface, and pedestrian and parked recreational vehicles in the seaward areas, suggesting high compatibility of these natural resources with recreational use. Lower compatibility was found for existing patterns of wrack and vehicle driving, which were more widely distributed across the beach surface. Based on the distributions of these variables, protecting the upper 50% of the beach would support >80% of vegetation, pedestrian and parked vehicular uses, and 42–52% of driving uses and wrack, respectively. Protecting the upper 25% of the beach would support >95% of all recreational uses, 52% of vegetation, and 24% of wrack. Given the current level of impacts to vegetation and wrack on recreational beaches, major gains in these and other natural resources can therefore be made across the shoreline without substantial impacts to existing pedestrian or vehicular recreational uses. Greater ecological benefits and ecosystem services may be obtained by applying these types of compromise management solutions to recreational ocean beaches in the future.
In the face of environmental change, managing coastal resources effectively to benefit coastal stakeholders means understanding both complex coastal processes and the needs of stakeholders. Surfers are a culturally and economically significant group of coastal resource users who, in the act of participating in their sport, can acquire deep knowledge about the coastal environment and about wave resources in particular. As the primary users of wave resources, surfers could contribute substantially to both understanding the resources themselves and supplying locally-relevant data to inform their management. This study investigates the local knowledge of surfers through two surveys of more than one thousand California surfers and promulgates, based on survey data, a formal definition of surfers’ local knowledge as "wave knowledge." In so doing, this study makes the case that wave knowledge can be used to inform coastal management decision-making in those situations where wave resources, and thus the growing stakeholder group of surfers, could possibly be affected.
One of the main challenges of international environmental agreements is improving relevant policy actions to promote adequate environmental responses. To support the work of decision makers, recent studies have used environmental and social indicators to construct global and regional-scale indices. This study aimed to use the Ocean Health Index and the Management Ranking for Brazilian States to assess Brazil’s performance regarding the Aichi Biodiversity Targets (ABTs) for coastal and marine ecosystems. Thus, six ABTs were matched and their performance was evaluated. These ABTs focused on the following topics: pollution, fish and invertebrate stocks, pressures on coral, threatened species and their conservation, the contribution of biodiversity to carbon stocks and the national biodiversity strategy and action plan. However, although the indices used showed many pathways to explore how Brazil is performing, it is still complex to evaluate ABTs’ performance regarding coastal and marine ecosystems at a global and regional scale.
A Dutch pilot study of fully documented fisheries provided the opportunity to observe actual changes in fishing behaviour under catch quota management (CQM). Interviews with fishers in the pilot study aided in interpreting the results and giving insight in the decision making process and reasoning of fishers. The CQM pilot study entailed a fleet of small and large demersal vessels. For these vessels, all cod catches were counted against quota, including catches of individuals below minimum landings size. To obtain reliable catch data all vessels were equipped with electronic monitoring (EM) systems. These systems recorded videos of all fishing and processing activities on board. In return, fishers received a 30% quota bonus for cod and were compensated with more flexibility on effort regulations. It was hypothesized that vessels in the CQM will (i) increase their landings by 30% according to their quota bonus, (ii) increase the use of gear with large mesh size, and (iii) change effort towards fishing locations with high catch rates of large cod and avoid areas with high catch rates of undersized cod. The results showed that CQM had no effect on fishing behaviour of the small vessels. In contrast, large vessels significantly increased their cod landings (216%) and avoided undersized cod. This difference in response of different fleets suggested that implementation of CQM, for instance in the context of the European Common Fisheries Policy, should consider fleet characteristics. It seemed that larger vessels in this study more easily adapted their behaviour to new management regimes and that the quota bonus opened up new fishing strategies, that were not envisaged during the implementation.
Effective enforcement can reduce the impacts of illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing, resulting in numerous economic, ecological, and social benefits. However, resource managers in small-scale fisheries often lack the expertise and financial resources required to design and implement an effective enforcement system. Here, a bio-economic model is developed to investigate optimal levels of fishery enforcement and financing mechanisms available to recover costs of enforcement. The model is parameterized to represent a small-scale Caribbean lobster fishery, and optimal fishery enforcement levels for three different stakeholder archetypes are considered: (1) a fishing industry only; (2) a dive tourism industry only; and (3) fishing and dive tourism industries. For the illustrative small-scale fishery presented, the optimal level of fishery enforcement decreases with increasing levels of biomass, and is higher when a dive tourism industry is present. Results also indicate that costs of fisheries enforcement can be recovered through a suite of financing mechanisms. However, the timescale over which financing becomes sustainable will depend largely on the current status of the fishery resource. This study may serve as a framework that can be used by resource managers to help design and finance economically optimal fisheries enforcement systems.
Marine spatial planning (MSP) is essential to solve spatial multiple-use problems, but first it is necessary to identify and map all existing uses, regulations and conflicts. Use conflicts related to the multi-legislative governance, neglect of fishermen's interests, and intensifying industrial growth due to economic development were identified for in a multiple-use Brazilian estuary. Overlaps between areas that are presently used for fishing and areas that are subject to regulations prohibiting this activity were analyzed. Information on regulations establishing no-fishing zones, the most important fishing sites and fishing records were gathered and superimposed using a GIS dataset. Main fishing zones were located within prohibited fishing areas. Regulations limiting fishing activity govern navigation routes and pipeline safety zone, whereas environmental law restrictions were less important. Due to economic and industrial development, oil and gas distribution and harbor construction projects are increasing, aggravating use conflicts and jeopardizing fishing activity. Legislation fragments usable fishing areas forcing fishers to operate within prohibited zones. Neglect of fishermen's interests, and their exclusion on the decision-making process led to a legislative scenario that reduce fishing legal zone to few areas, which in most cases fisherman are not even aware were they are, beingthe main reasons for fisher's failure to comply with the current regulations, increasing the number of infractions and the marginalization of fishermen. Future studies on multiple-use coastal areas subject to multiple jurisdictions should focus on all uses, not only environmental, to better understand spatial conflicts and to establish a realistic MSP embracing fisheries management, environmental conservation and economic development.
Marine mollusc production contributes to food and economic security worldwide and provides valuable ecological services, yet diseases threaten these industries and wild populations. Although the infrastructure for mollusc aquaculture health management is well characterized, its foundations are not without flaws. Use of notifiable pathogen lists can leave blind spots with regard to detection of unlisted and emerging pathogens. Increased reliance on molecular tools has come without similar attention to diagnostic validation, raising questions about assay performance, and has been accompanied by a reduced emphasis on microscopic diagnostic expertise that could weaken pathogen detection capabilities. Persistent questions concerning pathogen biology and ecology promote regulatory paralysis that impedes trade and which could weaken biosecurity by driving commerce to surreptitious channels. Solutions that might be pursued to improve shellfish aquaculture health management include the establishment of more broad-based surveillance programmes, wider training and use of general methods like histopathology to ensure alertness to emerging diseases, an increased focus on assay assessment and validation as fundamental to assay development, investment in basic research, and application of risk analyses to improve regulation. A continual sharpening of diagnostic tools and approaches and deepening of scientific knowledge is necessary to manage diseases and promote sustainable molluscan shellfish industries.
As anthropogenic stressors threaten the health of marine ecosystems, there is a need to better understand how the public processes and responds to information about ocean health. Recent studies of public perceptions about ocean issues report high concern but limited knowledge, prompting calls for information campaigns to mobilize public support for ocean restoration policy. Drawing on the literature from communication, psychology and related social science disciplines, we consider a set of social-cognitive challenges that researchers and advocates are likely to encounter when communicating with the public about ocean health and emerging marine diseases—namely, the psychological distance at which ocean issues are construed, the unfamiliarity of aquatic systems to many members of the public and the potential for marine health issues to be interpreted through politicized schemas that encourage motivated reasoning over the dispassionate consideration of scientific evidence. We offer theory-based strategies to help public outreach efforts address these challenges and present data from a recent experiment exploring the role of message framing (emphasizing the public health or environmental consequences of marine disease) in shaping public support for environmental policy.
Climate-driven changes in the marine ecosystem largely influence the distribution, abundance, and the consequent availability of marine resources to the fishery. In this study, we examined the potential habitat distributions of the neon flying squid (Ommastrephes bartramii) under the projected impacts of ocean warming. We used the sea surface temperature (SST) from the three CMIP5 climate scenarios (RCP4.5, RCP6.0, and RCP8.5) with the low to high future emissions. Based on the squid habitat models, SST showed the highest effect on the present potential squid habitat distribution that accounted for at least 60% of the predicted spatial patterns from May to July 2000–2010. This result underpinned the species' high sensitivity to the temperature changes in its feeding environments. Moreover, the projected future potential squid habitats revealed pronounced differences in the spatial and temporal patterns relative to the present habitat distributions across the different regions of the western and central North Pacific. The future squid habitat predictions revealed a net reduction in the suitable squid habitat coupled with the corresponding northward habitat retreat. Moreover, the magnitude of the predicted habitat changes was proportional to the levels of warming for the representative periods from May to July 2025, 2050, and 2100. The highest decrease in the spatial extent and poleward retreat of the potential squid habitat were observed from May to July 2100 under the RCP 8.5 scenario. These trends could translate to shorter squid fishing periods and offshore shifts of the squid fishing grounds. Thus, insights into the future spatio-temporal patterns and trajectories of the potential squid habitats could lend important implications on the availability of squid resources to the fishery and subsequent evaluation of squid fishery management options under climate change.
The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change highlights that climate change and ocean acidification are challenging the sustainable management of living marine resources (LMRs). Formal and systematic treatment of uncertainty in existing LMR projections, however, is lacking. We synthesize knowledge of how to address different sources of uncertainty by drawing from climate model intercomparison efforts. We suggest an ensemble of available models and projections, informed by observations, as a starting point to quantify uncertainties. Such an ensemble must be paired with analysis of the dominant uncertainties over different spatial scales, time horizons, and metrics. We use two examples: (i) global and regional projections of Sea Surface Temperature and (ii) projection of changes in potential catch of sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) in the 21st century, to illustrate this ensemble model approach to explore different types of uncertainties. Further effort should prioritize understanding dominant, undersampled dimensions of uncertainty, as well as the strategic collection of observations to quantify, and ultimately reduce, uncertainties. Our proposed framework will improve our understanding of future changes in LMR and the resulting risk of impacts to ecosystems and the societies under changing ocean conditions.