by Mitsutaku Makino, Fisheries Research Agency, Japan
Starting in the 1960s, the national government promoted the development of heavy industry in Tokyo Bay. Now, Tokyo Bay is one of the most urbanized bays in the world. As a result, seagrass beds, whose existence is crucial for the egg and juvenile stages of fish and shellfish, have almost entirely disappeared around urban areas. In 1981, a group of scuba divers started an activity to clean the ocean bottom. Now, local residents, schools, environmental NGOs, private companies, etc. have all joined the re-planting activities.
A formal alliance among the groups previously mentioned was established, and since 2003, government bodies (City, Fisheries Agency, Cabinet office, etc.) are financially supporting this alliance.
There is a longstanding use of the coast around Tokyo Bay, an indication that local people’s lives on the coast are not something to be eliminated from the ecosystem, but an indispensable component of that ecosystem.
These conservation activities have successfully expanded the areas covered by seagrasses. As a measure of success, spawning of oval squid was observed in 2004 for the first time in 30 years.
By Samantha M. Berdej, University of Waterloo
A combination of rapid and uncoordinated coastal development, poor sewage and garbage disposal, dredging/reef channel development, overfishing and destructive fishing practices have led to significant deterioration of many of Bali’s marine environments (Mustika et al. 2012). Recognition of widespread anthropogenic threats has prompted greater interest in long-term coastal development planning and conservation efforts, including the establishment of a comprehensive Bali Marine Protected Area Network. In this section we describe the social-ecological system for one of the nine areas prioritized for this network, Nusa Penida.
Nusa Penida is officially only under Klungkung District Law and, subsequently, village administrative law; but, unofficial regulations are also implemented by customary village-level bodies and a joint Tribes Council. Other unofficial bodies include the Lembongan Marine Association, a consortium of diving businesses that self-regulate through agreed practices and codes of conduct, as well as both seaweed, fishermen and mangrove tourism associations. Nusa Penida was declared a marine protected area (MPA) in 2010 (although not yet finalized), which will result in the formation of a Joint Management Body comprised of government and non-government representatives (e.g., local community, fishermen, seaweed farmers, etc.).
Marine tourism operators and community groups derive recreation and cultural services in the form of tourism experiences and opportunities (snorkeling, scuba diving, watersports, marine viewing) and spiritual ties/associations (ceremonies).
This research is ongoing and aims to identify and characterize key organizations that are involved in ‘bridging’ different local to regional-scale conservation practices (and their respective knowledge/belief systems) in support of effective multi-level ocean governance. This research seeks to understand the role of these entities both as a means to organize and integrate varied perspectives and actors, and as a platform on which to articulate and navigate trade-offs (social, economic, ecological) associated with conservation efforts/actions.
By Laura Loucks, Royal Roads University
Port Mouton Bay, an important marine harbour located in Queens County Nova Scotia, is home to several generations of families whose ancestors settled in small fishing villages along this shoreline hundreds of years ago. For the smaller communities situated along the shores of Port Mouton Bay, such as White Point, Hunts Point, Port Mouton and Summerville, lobster fishing and tourism related livelihoods are their economic backbone.
In 1994, two events rocked the basis of Port Mouton livelihoods, causing both short and long-term impacts. The first event was the collapse of the Northern Atlantic cod fishery and the second was the introduction of open net pen salmon aquaculture. This aquaculture facility led to a growing accumulation of nuisance algae progressively spreading in the waters beyond the fish farm site. This accumulation led to a decline in shellfish such as mussels, clams, scallops and periwinkles adjacent to the fish farm (Gilbert 2007). The algae had the effect of blocking the lobster trap entryways and resulted in a significant drop in the catch rate of lobsters in the inner and outer harbours of the Bay (Gilbert 2007).
In 1996 the Nova Scotia Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act was passed for the purpose of developing, sustaining and increasing production of the fishing and aquaculture industry. However, there is no statement within the Act to suggest that the role of the Minister is to balance existing fishing industry interests with new aquaculture industry interests. At the federal level, the significant investment made in the promotion and production of aquaculture presents a potential conflict of interest between the benefits to the aquaculture industry and the benefits to the Canadian public. At the Municipal level of governance, the views on aquaculture are distinctly different in Queens County than the positions reflected in Federal and Provincial government policy.
Looking at the community’s experience of finfish aquaculture in Port Mouton Bay through the lens of social-ecological systems, reveals a significant governance gap and lack of protection of ocean ecosystem services in Canada. Certainly, there is a recognized need for aquaculture regulatory reform in Nova Scotia. Yet, for the citizens of Port Mouton Bay, the development and implementation of any new aquaculture siting criteria needs to also consider the complex evolution of local institutions and livelihood patterns dependent on marine ecosystem services.
These three case studies are described in greater detail on pages 18-27 in our SES guidebook “Analysis of Social-Ecological Systems for Community Conservation.”