2016-11-30

Multidisciplinary perspectives in the use (and misuse) of science and scientific advice in marine spatial planning

Cormier R, Kannen A, Austen M, Therriault T eds. Multidisciplinary perspectives in the use (and misuse) of science and scientific advice in marine spatial planning. Copenhagen, Denmark: International Council for the Exploration of the Sea; 2016 p. 64 pp. Available from: http://ices.dk/news-and-events/news-archive/news/Pages/Marine-spatial-planning-report-published.aspx
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

Multidisciplinary perspectives in the use (and misuse) of science and scientific advice in Marine Spatial Planning' – covers contributions made and feedback from the joint ICES/PICES theme session of the same name at the 2012 Annual Science Conference in Bergen, Norway.

Marine spatial planning is seen as a key tool for dealing with real and perceived conflicting uses, the development of sustainable spatial use patterns in marine areas, and achieving environmental targets such as good environmental status under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). Supporting management by bringing together ecosystem and socio-economic knowledge, MSP is embedded in many coastal and marine policies. 

Topics featured in the CRR range from different approaches to MSP – from those which span disciplines to natural and social-science based ones – to interactions between human activities, socio-economic drivers, and ecosystem changes. Discussion points raised for each are also provided.​​

Strengthening organizations and collective action in fisheries: Towards the formulation of a capacity development programme

Siar SV, Kalikoski DC eds. Strengthening organizations and collective action in fisheries: Towards the formulation of a capacity development programme. Rome, Italy: FAO; 2016.
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

Organizations and collective action in small-scale fisheries (SSFs) are a way of maximizing long-term community benefits to deal with the threats of fisheries mismanagement, livelihood insecurity and poverty. Formal and informal fisheries organizations provide a platform for stakeholders to exercise their right to organize, participate in the development and decision-making processes, access markets, financial services, and infrastructure, and influence fisheries management outcomes.

In March 2013, FAO convened the expert workshop on “Strengthening organizations and collective action in fisheries: a way forward in implementing the International Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries.” Among the outputs was a typology of fisheries organizations and collective action in fisheries, as well as the elements for undertaking in-depth analysis of these organizations. Using the typology and the framework, in-depth case studies of fisheries organizations and collective action were undertaken in Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Norway, Timor- Leste, the United Republic of Tanzania, and the United States of America.

The workshop “Strengthening organizations and collective action in fisheries: towards the formulation of a capacity development programme” was held on 4–6 November, 2014 in Barbados to present the findings of the in-depth case studies and recommend actions for strengthening organizations and collective action in SSFs. The Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies of The University of the West Indies in Barbados co-organized and hosted the workshop under a letter of agreement with FAO and prepared the workshop summary. The workshop objectives were achieved through presentations and discussion, along with two small working group sessions and further plenary discussion.

With respect to the formulation of a capacity development programme to strengthen fisherfolk organizations and collective action, the recommendations extracted from the working group sessions were:

  • The aim should be to increase the capability of fisherfolk organizations to be self-reliant, self-organizing, and to be able to build strategic partnerships in SSF through networking.
  • There must be an enabling environment of institutions, policies, legislation and state support underpinning the efforts of public-private partnerships to develop capacity.
  • Existing norms, values, adaptive capacities and resilience features of fisherfolk and their organizations, from regional to community level, need to be understood and nurtured.
  • Good governance within fisherfolk organizations is essential and requires considerable emphasis by developing capacity in organizational leadership and succession planning.
  • Developing capacity means changing dimensions such as world view, organizational culture, knowledge systems, skills, financial resources, networks and equipment.
  • Global programme guidance requires a steering committee that includes fisherfolk, governments, development partners, civil society and others participating on the basis of equity, and connected to the community level on the basis of subsidiarity.
  • Change management needs to be a design element of capacity development so that the success of making positive change is not left to chance or become low priority.
  • The human rights principles that have shaped the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication must also be applied in the development of capacity such that there is empowerment, respect and equity.
  • The relationship between collective action and formal organization needs to be clearly understood as organizations are both outcomes and instruments of collective action.
  • To develop capacity, it is necessary to understand how organizations help to ensure continuous attention to problems that are “wicked” and in need of sustained collective action.
  • Organizations must be learning systems in order to be adaptive, so that what leaders and members learn must somehow be stored in the organization via appropriate systems.
  • Differences between formal and informal organizations, and the consequences of the differences, need to be understood, especially when organizations become formalized.
  • Organizations usually have a critical mass and can often remain small but effective only if they are well networked such as in a federation or similar well- designed collective.
  • Organizations can be more or less multipurpose and multifunctional in scope and this is linked to diversity, inclusiveness and other features of resilience positively or negatively.
  • Organizational success and failure should not be understood strictly in binary terms, but as degrees of either, and the criteria for evaluating them must be clear and dynamic.
  • For fisherfolk, financial viability of organizations (especially cooperatives) is essential to support livelihoods and in turn allow them to be supported by active membership. 

Ghostly encounters: Dealing with ghost gear in the Gulf of Carpentaria

Phillips C. Ghostly encounters: Dealing with ghost gear in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Geoforum [Internet]. 2017 ;78:33 - 42. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016718516302603
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Ghost gear – abandoned, lost, or otherwise discarded fishing gear – has been recognised as a global environmental challenge since the mid-1980s, and yet little social science attention has fallen on the phenomenon. This paper explores how the burden of global fisheries, materialised through its gear, is experienced and managed. How is ghost gear encountered? How is it understood? What influence does it have, and what responses does it provoke? To consider these questions, the paper begins with detailing of an encounter with ghost gear and Aboriginal rangers on the eastern coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria, northern Australia. Understanding encounters as tangles of interlaced threads, rather than isolated intimacies, the paper also follows ghost gear beyond the experience of beach clean-up. How ghost gear journeys to this beach, and the mobilities and meetings that occur during its travels is explored, as well as the policy responses to ghost gear that figure it primarily as marine debris to be managed through territorial control as isolated ‘waste’. These more-than-human stories offer insights into the distributed agencies, complex relations, and differential responsibilities involved in the phenomenon of ghost gear, and efforts to deal with it as part of land-sea assemblies.

Human-shark interactions: The case study of Reunion island in the south-west Indian Ocean

Lemahieu A, Blaison A, Crochelet E, Bertrand G, Pennober G, Soria M. Human-shark interactions: The case study of Reunion island in the south-west Indian Ocean. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. 2017 ;136:73 - 82. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569116303246
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

An uncommon series of shark attacks, mostly involving surfers, occurred on the West coast of Reunion Island between 2011 and 2013, causing eight deaths. Following these events, which resulted in social, economic and political upheaval, and referred to as the "shark crisis", a scientific program with the aim of understanding shark behavior and ecology in Reunion Island was launched in 2012. It integrated spatial and temporal monitoring protocol of coastal uses allowing for the study of shark attack repercussions on the dynamics of 15 types of uses. In this paper, we bring shark and users observations together in order to assess human-shark interactions. Firstly, we assess the impacts that shark attacks have triggered in terms of users spatiotemporal distribution between 2011 and 2013. Secondly, we explore human-shark interactions in 2013 using cross-mapping techniques. Results show that three areas (Saint-Gilles, Trois-Bassins, Etang-Salé) have high levels of potential interaction and should be of high interest for the local authorities and stakeholders for further mitigation policies. Although further studies are needed to better understand the link between shark presence and shark attack, this study provides a first insight into human-shark interactions in Reunion Island.

Costly stakeholder participation creates inertia in marine ecosystems

Lynham J, Halpern BS, Blenckner T, Essington T, Estes J, Hunsicker M, Kappel C, Salomon AK, Scarborough C, Selkoe KA, et al. Costly stakeholder participation creates inertia in marine ecosystems. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2017 ;76:122 - 129. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X16307199
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Ecosystems often shift abruptly and dramatically between different regimes in response to human or natural disturbances. When ecosystems tip from one regime to another, the suite of available ecosystem benefits changes, impacting the stakeholders who rely on these benefits. These changes often create some groups who stand to incur large losses if an ecosystem returns to a previous regime. When the participation cost in the decision-making process is extremely high, this can “lock in” ecosystem regimes, making it harder for policy and management to shift ecosystems out of what the majority of society views as the undesirable regime. Public stakeholder meetings often have high costs of participation, thus economic theory predicts they will be dominated by extreme views and often lead to decisions that do not represent the majority viewpoint. Such extreme viewpoints can create strong inertia even when there is broad consensus to manage an ecosystem towards a different regime. In the same manner that reinforcing ecological feedback loops make it harder to exit an ecosystem regime, there are decision-making feedback loops that contribute additional inertia.

Connections or conflict? A social and economic analysis of the interconnections between the professional fishing industry, recreational fishing and marine tourism in coastal communities in NSW, Australia

Voyer M, Barclay K, McIlgorm A, Mazur N. Connections or conflict? A social and economic analysis of the interconnections between the professional fishing industry, recreational fishing and marine tourism in coastal communities in NSW, Australia. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2017 ;76:114 - 121. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X16306376
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Resource conflict is a common feature of coastal management. This conflict is often managed by using spatial planning tools to segregate uses, with access decisions made through a comparison of the economic costs and benefits of the competing sectors. These comparisons rarely include an in-depth analysis of the extent or nature of the conflict. One commonly experienced form of resource conflict in coastal communities involves professional fishing, recreational fishing and broader coastal tourism. In New South Wales, Australia the professional fishing industry is often seen as being in conflict with recreational fishing and tourism, and there are frequent calls to close areas to professional fishing, arguing that this will provide improved economic benefits to local communities. This research examined the relationships between the three sectors using economic valuations, qualitative interviews and a large-scale representative questionnaire of the general public. The results revealed highly interconnected and mutually supportive relationships, with professional fishing providing a range of services that benefit both tourism and recreational fishing. These results suggest that spatial management exercises that seek to segregate or remove one sector from an area, may be counterproductive to the interests of all these groups. Relying on economic valuations of each sector as if they stand alone is insufficient to adequately understand their roles in local communities. Resource allocation decisions should be based on evaluations that consider the interconnections between sectors, and consider whether negotiated sharing of resources may provide greater community benefits than excluding certain groups of users.

Offshore marine protected areas: Divergent perceptions of divers and artisanal fishers

de Andrade ABatista, Soares Mde Oliveir. Offshore marine protected areas: Divergent perceptions of divers and artisanal fishers. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2017 ;76:107 - 113. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X16301786
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Thorough comprehension of the perceptions of offshore Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) by different local social actors is lacking, especially in developing countries. This study aims to analyze the perceptions and socioeconomic characteristics of divers and artisanal fishers of an offshore MPA, located in Brazilian waters. Data on the perceptions, conflicts, and management of the MPA were gathered through questionnaires and interviews with local actors. The results show that scuba divers and fishers consider the MPA to be very important for biodiversity. They also consider their collaboration in participative management to be of considerable importance, even though they do not form part of the administration. For local actors, the area helps foster the preservation of the marine environment and benefits recreational diving, tourism, and artisanal fishery in local communities. Divers and fishers use the resources and space of the offshore area differently, which results in diverging perceptions and conflicts. Divers propose restricted protection (No-Take Zones), while fishers propose that the MPA should be used exclusively by the poor local communities for artisanal fishing. Conflicts arising from inefficient public administration (lack of environmental zoning, management plans, and participative management) and illegal use of the MPA were also identified. Data stemming from the local actors themselves are central to reducing the conflicts and improving public policies on offshore marine conservation.

Remote electronic monitoring and the landing obligation – some insights into fishers’ and fishery inspectors’ opinions

Plet-Hansen KS, Eliasen SQ, Mortensen LO, Bergsson H, Olesen HJ, Ulrich C. Remote electronic monitoring and the landing obligation – some insights into fishers’ and fishery inspectors’ opinions. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2017 ;76:98 - 106. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X16306030
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The European fisheries management is currently undergoing a fundamental change in the handling of catches of commercial fisheries with the implementation of the 2013 Common Fisheries Policy. One of the main objectives of the policy is to end the practice of discarding in the EU by 2019. However, for such changes to be successful, it is vital to ensure stakeholders acceptance, and it is prudent to consider possible means to verify compliance with the new regulation. Remote Electronic Monitoring (REM) with Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) has been tested in a variety of fisheries worldwide for different purposes and is currently considered as one possible tool to ensure compliance with a European ban on discards.

This study focuses on Danish fishery inspectors and on fishers with REM experience, whose opinions are less well known. Their views on the landing obligation and on the use of REM were investigated using interviews and questionnaires, and contrasted to some fishers without REM experience. 80% of fishery inspectors and 58% of REM-experienced fishers expressed positive views on REM. 9 out of 10 interviewed fishers without REM experience were against REM. Participation in a REM trial has not led to antipathy towards REM. Fishery inspectors saw on-board observers, at-sea control and REM as the three best solutions to control the landing obligation but shared the general belief that the landing obligation cannot be enforced properly and will be difficult for fishers to comply with. The strengths and weaknesses of REM in this context are discussed.

SCUBA divers above the waterline: Using participatory mapping of coral reef conditions to inform reef management

Loerzel JL, Goedeke TL, Dillard MK, Brown G. SCUBA divers above the waterline: Using participatory mapping of coral reef conditions to inform reef management. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2017 ;76:79 - 89. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X16300501
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Coral reefs provide important ecological services such as biodiversity, climate regulation, and cultural benefits through recreation and tourism. However, many of the world's reefs are declining, with Caribbean reefs suffering a significant decline in living corals over the past half century. This situation emphasizes the need to assess and monitor reef conditions using a variety of methods. In this study, a new method for assessing reef conditions to inform management using participatory mapping by coral reef “experts” in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) is described. Occupational SCUBA divers were recruited (n=87) to map coral reef conditions, uses, and threats (stressors) using an internet-based mapping website. The data reveal an uneven geographic distribution of reef conditions in the USVI with the most frequently mapped perceived healthy reef characteristics being: large amount of physical reef structure (n=872 markers); endangered or threatened species present (n=721); and large amount of live coral cover (n=615). The greatest perceived threats were: invasive species (n=606); water pollution (n=234); and unsustainable fishing (n=200). Areas of important reef characteristics, perceived threats to reefs, and perceived recovery potential were plotted to identify areas requiring critical management attention. The authors found that perceptions of healthy reef conditions outnumbered perceptions of reef threats for nine of the ten most familiar coral reefs; the most frequent activity type within the coral reefs was tourism diving; and for the most familiar coral reefs, the divers perceived a high recovery potential. Given the novelty of participatory mapping methods to assess coral reefs, the strengths and weaknesses of the method is evaluated. The authors further propose a management typology for categorizing reef areas to inform their future management. In the absence of primary data, or, as a supplement to underwater surveys and remotely-sensed data on reef condition, participatory mapping can provide a cost-effective means for assessing coral reef conditions while identifying place-specific reef locations requiring management attention.

Beyond sustainability: is government obliged to increase economic benefit from fisheries in the face of industry resistance?

Emery TJ, Gardner C, Hartmann K, Cartwright I. Beyond sustainability: is government obliged to increase economic benefit from fisheries in the face of industry resistance?. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2017 ;76:48 - 54. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X16305450
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Substantial economic opportunities have been identified in many Australian fisheries but may remain unimplemented due to the perception that the role of government is to ensure harvests are biologically sustainable, while economic decisions should be left to the commercial industry. This paper explores the role of government in driving changes that increase revenue and profit from fisheries (termed economic benefit). Australian fisheries resources are managed by eight different jurisdictions. While each have separate legislation, there is invariably a responsibility to manage on behalf of, and to the benefit of the public, who are the owners of the resource. This paper uses case studies to explore how government can struggle to determine the public interest, separate this from private interests and then implement management changes to ensure the public utility is maximised. Common problems were: (i) overarching economic objectives, which define who should benefit, were often ambiguous and open to interpretation; (ii) the public interest was usually abstract and often under-represented in decision-making processes, (in contrast to industry, who have direct representation); (iii) special interest groups were often able to lobby against changes; and (iv) government was often reluctant to seize opportunities to increase economic benefit when there was significant industry opposition to management changes. In drawing attention to these challenges and how they have been overcome historically, it is argued that government has both a role and requirement under their legislative objectives to take the lead in implementing measures that increase the economic benefit from Australian fisheries.

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