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Sowman M.,University of Cape Town | Scott D.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | Green L.J.F.,University of Cape Town | Hara M.M.,University of the Western Cape | And 8 more authors.
African Journal of Marine Science | Year: 2013

This paper provides an overview of social science research in the marine environment of South Africa for the period 1994-2012. A bibliography based on a review of relevant literature and social science projects funded under the SEAChange programme of the South African Network for Coastal and Oceanic Research (SANCOR) was used to identify nine main themes that capture the knowledge generated in the marine social science field. Within these themes, a wide diversity of topics has been explored, covering a wide geographic area. The review suggests that there has been a steady increase in social science research activities and outputs over the past 18 years, with a marked increase in postgraduate dissertations in this field. The SEAChange programme has contributed to enhancing understanding of certain issues and social interactions in the marine environment but this work is limited. Furthermore, there has been limited dissemination of these research results amongst the broader marine science community and incorporation of this information into policy and management decisions has also been limited. However, marine scientists are increasingly recognising the importance of taking a more holistic and integrated approach to management, and are encouraging further social science research, as well as interdisciplinary research across the natural and social sciences. Possible reasons for the lack of communication and coordination amongst natural and social scientists, as well as the limited uptake of research results in policy and management decisions, are discussed and recommendations are proposed. © 2013 NISC (Pty) Ltd. Source

Solano-Fernandez S.,University of Cape Town | Attwood C.G.,University of Cape Town | Chalmers R.,Rhodes University | Clark B.M.,Anchor Environmental | And 11 more authors.
Environmental Conservation | Year: 2012

National and international policies have encouraged the establishment of a representative network of marine protected areas (MPAs) in South Africa, with the aim of protecting marine biodiversity. The extent to which these marine and estuarine protected areas (EPAs) represent marine fish species and communities was assessed by comparing their species compositions with those of exploited areas, as sampled using four fishing techniques. Seven hundred fish species were sampled, representing one-third of South Africa's marine fishes. MPAs in coastal habitats scored c. 40% on the Bray-Curtis measure of similarity for species representativeness, but this score declined markedly for offshore 'trawlable' fishing grounds. The combined effects of sampling error, temporal variation and the effects of fishing on relative abundance suggest that 80% similarity would be the maximum achieveable. Forty-nine per cent of all fish species that were recorded were found in the 14 MPAs sampled. Redundancy in the MPA network was low, with fish species most commonly being represented in only one MPA or absent. There was greater redundancy in the 33 EPAs, with 40% of species being found in two or more EPAs, but many of these estuaries were adjacent to each other and embedded in large MPAs. Deep water fish communities (>80 m deep) and communities located on the west and south-east coasts of South Africa were most poorly represented by MPAs. Routine fishery surveys provide a robust and repeatable opportunity to assess species representativeness in MPAs, and the method used could form the basis of an operational definition of 'representative'. In contrast to an assessment based on presence-absence data, this analysis of quantitative data presents a more pessimistic assessment of protection. © Copyright Foundation for Environmental Conservation 2012. Source

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