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Thompson B.S.,National University of Singapore | Bladon A.J.,Imperial College London | Fahad Z.H.,IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature | Mohsanin S.,Nature Conservation Management NACOM | And 2 more authors.
Fisheries Research

Fisheries research is hindered by a paucity of multi-disciplinary tools for broadly assessing the societal appropriateness and ecological effectiveness of fishing regulations. This study presents a multi-disciplinary assessment framework that combines ecological, spatial, and social research methods to reveal the knowledge, opinions, activities, and impacts of fishers. The framework is applied to a multi-gear, multi-species, data-poor coastal fishery in the Bangladesh Sundarbans to demonstrate the complementarity of the methods, commensurability of the data, and how results can be interpreted to provide a broad initial overview of the fishery in a standardized manner that can guide future research and management. Data were obtained for 26 catches across five different gear types, 62 finfish species, 20 fishing grounds that were mapped, and 67 respondents across four villages regarding their awareness, acceptability, and compliance (AAC) of eight existing and seven proposed fishing regulations. AAC scores varied starkly for different regulations, and all proposed regulations scored lower on acceptability than any existing regulation. A number of recommendations are made to improve specific gear and species regulations; for example, protecting the locally endangered species Scatophagus argus (currently under no fishing regulation) through a ban on the long-shore net that heavily impacts the species, rather than a ban on the species itself. Broader management recommendations are also made including spatially targeted enforcement, awareness raising, and capacity building approaches. The positives and limitations of the framework are discussed. The framework is particularly applicable to small-scale fisheries in the developing world, and is useful as a pilot study. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. Source

Barker T.,University of Liverpool | Irfanullah H.M.,IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature | Moss B.,University of Liverpool
Freshwater Biology

Repeat sampling in daytime within a lily (Nuphar lutea) bed and in open water showed distinct heterogeneities in the three-dimensional distributions of water chemistry and planktonic organisms on centimetre to decimetre scales. Vertical gradients of physico-chemical variables that did not exist at dawn developed during the day in both sites, as available nutrients were released from the sediments and were consumed towards the surface. Distributions of algal standing crop suggest limitation by both nutrients and grazing. Marked variability in distributions may question the assumptions often made about the homogeneity of plankton and available nutrient distributions in open water and in macrophyte stands of shallow lakes. Although simple sampling regimes for monitoring of water quality may be adequate for many purposes, they miss a fine structure in the water that is inherently interesting in understanding the underlying processes of plankton function. © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source

Rodriguez J.P.,Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research | Rodriguez-Clark K. M.,Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research | Baillie J.E.M.,Zoological Society of London | Ash N.,IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature | And 20 more authors.
Conservation Biology

The potential for conservation of individual species has been greatly advanced by the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) development of objective, repeatable, and transparent criteria for assessing extinction risk that explicitly separate risk assessment from priority setting. At the IV World Conservation Congress in 2008, the process began to develop and implement comparable global standards for ecosystems. A working group established by the IUCN has begun formulating a system of quantitative categories and criteria, analogous to those used for species, for assigning levels of threat to ecosystems at local, regional, and global levels. A final system will require definitions of ecosystems; quantification of ecosystem status; identification of the stages of degradation and loss of ecosystems; proxy measures of risk (criteria); classification thresholds for these criteria; and standardized methods for performing assessments. The system will need to reflect the degree and rate of change in an ecosystem's extent, composition, structure, and function, and have its conceptual roots in ecological theory and empirical research. On the basis of these requirements and the hypothesis that ecosystem risk is a function of the risk of its component species, we propose a set of four criteria: recent declines in distribution or ecological function, historical total loss in distribution or ecological function, small distribution combined with decline, or very small distribution. Most work has focused on terrestrial ecosystems, but comparable thresholds and criteria for freshwater and marine ecosystems are also needed. These are the first steps in an international consultation process that will lead to a unified proposal to be presented at the next World Conservation Congress in 2012. © 2010 Society for Conservation Biology. Source

Jefferson R.L.,University of Plymouth | Bailey I.,University of Plymouth | Laffoley D.D.,IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature | Richards J.P.,Open Polytechnic | Attrill M.J.,University of Plymouth
Marine Policy

The damaging effects of human activities on marine health suggest that a major shift is required in the way marine systems are used by individuals. Identifying how to engage society in this shift is an on-going debate. This includes strengthening the positive connections between society and the sea. This study uses a survey (. n=1047) to investigate UK public perceptions of subtidal species and marine health to assess whether it is possible to build more positive connections between society and the sea. Respondents showed considerable interest in traditionally charismatic species (puffins, seals and seahorses) although many respondents thought these species did not live in UK seas. Gender and experience of marine environments influenced public perceptions of species. Public perceptions of marine health showed issues such as litter to be considered as the greatest indicator of poor health. Ecological concepts of habitat integrity and biodiversity were also rated as important to marine health. Social values were found to influence public perceptions of marine health. The results show that perceptions are far from uniform across the population, and such diversity of perceptions is likely impact upon methods to catalyse societal engagement with marine conservation. These findings reinforce previous research on public perceptions of UK seas, and identify opportunities for building positive connections between society and the sea. Research priorities to further the debate of engaging society with the sea are identified. © 2013 . Source

Brooks E.G.E.,University of Southampton | Smith K.G.,IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature | Holland R.A.,University of Southampton | Poppy G.M.,University of Southampton | Eigenbrod F.,University of Southampton
Ecology and Society

Contingent valuation is one of the most commonly used methodologies utilized in ecosystem service valuation, thereby including a participatory approach to many such assessments. However, inclusion of nonmonetary stakeholder priorities is still uncommon in ecosystem service valuations and disaggregation of stakeholders is all but absent from practice. We look at four site-scale wetland ecosystem service valuations from Asia that used nonmonetary participatory stated preference techniques from a range of stakeholders, and compare these prioritizations to those obtained from the largest monetary assessments available globally, the Ecosystem Service Value Database (ESVD). Stakeholder assessment suggests very different priorities to those from monetary assessments, yet priorities between different sites remained broadly consistent. Disaggregation of beneficiaries in one site showed marked differences in values between stakeholders. Monetary values correlate positively with values held by government officers and business owners, but negatively with fishermen and women who are relying most directly on the wetland ecosystem services. Our findings emphasize that ecosystem service assessment, monetary or otherwise, must capture the diversity of values present across stakeholder groups to incorporate site scale management issues, particularly in relation to poverty alleviation. © 2014 by the author(s). Source

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