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Special Issue "Sustainable Management of Marine Resources under Uncertainty: Economic, Environmental and Social Aspects"

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A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2015)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Phoebe Koundouri

1. ATHENS UNIVERSITY OF ECONOMIC AND BUSINESS, Department of International and European Economic Studies and Director of ReSEES: Research on Socio-Economic and Environmental Sustainability, Greece
2. LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE (LSE), Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, UK
3. ICRE8 (The International Centre for Research on the Environment and the Economy), Athens, Greece
4. ATHENA (ATHENA Research and Innovation Center in ICT and Knowledge Technologies), Athens, Greece
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +30 210 8214122
Interests: Natural Resources (Renewable and Non-Renewable) Economics and Econometrics; Long-Run Discounting, Economic Sustainability and Long-Run Cost-Benefit Analysis; Uncertainty, Risk and Irreversibility, Natural Disasters; Benefit Valuation; Production and the Environment; Agricultural Economics; Regulation and Instruments; Game Theory and the Environment; Philosophy of science applied to economics (general), econometrics and environmental and resource economics; Econometric Methods

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, Estimates of global oceanic economic activity’s value range between 3-6 trillion (USD)/year. Such activity includes a wide range of ocean-related industries, which contribute to both current and future economic development. In fact, offshore activities are expected to be intensified in the near future. In this context, the single most important challenge will be the development of an integrated framework of analysis for assessing the environmental, economic (including financial), and social sustainability aspects of offshore activities. Developing such a framework will have to occur under environmental and socio-economic uncertainty. A related challenge is the development and implementation of the management strategies that are needed to support welfare-improving, sustainable offshore activities and to facilitate the implementation of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Offshore activities involve three compounding levels of uncertainty—uncertainty over the underlying marine physical or ecological processes, uncertainty over the socio-economic impacts of offshore activities and of environmental changes (that are related to said activities), and uncertainty over technological changes that might ameliorate economic impacts and/or reduce the cost of limiting the environmental damage in the first instance. This Special Issue aims at building the needed integrated framework of analysis. Given the aforementioned three compounding levels of uncertainty, this is a challenge! Dr. Phoebe KoundouriGuest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

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Keywords

marine resources offshore activities integrated sustainable management Social Cost-Benefit Analysis Framework for Assessing Environmental, Economic (including financial) and Social Sustainability Environmental, Technological and Socio-Economic Uncertainty Ecosystem Services Based Valuation Methods

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle A Social Wellbeing in Fisheries Tool (SWIFT) to Help Improve Fisheries Performance
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 667; doi:10.3390/su8080667
Received: 8 February 2016 / Revised: 27 May 2016 / Accepted: 7 July 2016 / Published: 25 July 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (532 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We report on a rapid and practical method to assess social dimensions of performance in small-scale and industrial fisheries globally (Social Wellbeing in Fisheries Tool (SWIFT)). SWIFT incorporates aspects of security (fairness and stability of earnings, benefits of employment to local fishing communities,
[...] Read more.
We report on a rapid and practical method to assess social dimensions of performance in small-scale and industrial fisheries globally (Social Wellbeing in Fisheries Tool (SWIFT)). SWIFT incorporates aspects of security (fairness and stability of earnings, benefits of employment to local fishing communities, worker protection, and personal safety and health in communities associated with fisheries); flexibility (including opportunity for economic advancement); and the fishery’s social viability (including whether the fishery is recruiting new harvesters and diverse age classes of workers, whether women’s participation and leadership in global production networks are on an upward trajectory.). We build on resilience research by conceptualizing wellbeing in terms of security, flexibility, and viability, and assessing wellbeing at individual, community, and system levels. SWIFT makes social performance measures more broadly accessible to global production networks, incorporates an everyday understanding of wellbeing for people involved in the seafood industry, and helps put social sustainability into measurable terms that are relevant for businesses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Earth Observation for Maritime Spatial Planning: Measuring, Observing and Modeling Marine Environment to Assess Potential Aquaculture Sites
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 519; doi:10.3390/su8060519
Received: 15 December 2015 / Revised: 6 May 2016 / Accepted: 23 May 2016 / Published: 28 May 2016
PDF Full-text (8818 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Physical, chemical and biological characteristics of seawaters are primary descriptors for understanding environmental patterns and improving maritime spatial planning for potential aquaculture uses. By analyzing these descriptors in spatial and temporal dimensions, it is possible to characterize the potential productivity performances of different
[...] Read more.
Physical, chemical and biological characteristics of seawaters are primary descriptors for understanding environmental patterns and improving maritime spatial planning for potential aquaculture uses. By analyzing these descriptors in spatial and temporal dimensions, it is possible to characterize the potential productivity performances of different locations for specific aquaculture species. We developed a toolbox that, starting from the actual competing uses of the maritime space, aims at: (a) identifying sites with conditions feasible for aquaculture fish growth (feasibility scenario); and (b) assessing their different productivity performances in terms of potential fish harvest (suitability scenario). The toolbox is being designed in the Mediterranean, northern Adriatic Sea, but because of its modularity/multi-stage process, it can be easily adapted to other areas, or scaled to larger areas. The toolbox, representing a pre-operational Copernicus downstreaming service that integrates data and products from different sources (in situ, Earth Observation and modeling), is innovative because it is based more on parameters relevant for fish vitality than on those oriented to farm functioning. Stakeholders and farmers involved in the maritime spatial planning can use resulting scenarios for decision-making and market-trading processes. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Governance of Multi-Use Platforms at Sea for Energy Production and Aquaculture: Challenges for Policy Makers in European Seas
Sustainability 2016, 8(4), 333; doi:10.3390/su8040333
Received: 31 December 2015 / Revised: 25 March 2016 / Accepted: 29 March 2016 / Published: 6 April 2016
PDF Full-text (767 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
European seas are encountering an upsurge in competing marine activities and infrastructures. Traditional exploitation such as fisheries, tourism, transportation, and oil production are accompanied by new sustainable economic activities such as offshore windfarms, aquaculture, and tidal and wave energy. One proposed solution to
[...] Read more.
European seas are encountering an upsurge in competing marine activities and infrastructures. Traditional exploitation such as fisheries, tourism, transportation, and oil production are accompanied by new sustainable economic activities such as offshore windfarms, aquaculture, and tidal and wave energy. One proposed solution to overcome possible competing claims at sea lies in combining these economic activities as part of Multi-Use Platforms at Sea (MUPS). MUPS can be understood as areas at sea, designated for a combination of activities, either completely integrated in a platform or in shared marine space. MUPS can potentially benefit from each other in terms of infrastructure, maintenance, etc. Developing MUPS in the marine environment demands adequate governance. In this article, we investigate four European sites to find out how governance arrangements may facilitate or complicate MUPs. In particular, we apply a framework specifying policy, economic, social, technical, environmental, and legal (PESTEL) factors to explore governance arrangements in four case study sites in different sea basins around Europe (the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, and the Baltic Sea). The article concludes with policy recommendations on a governance regime for facilitating the development of MUPS in the future. Full article
Open AccessArticle Participatory Design of Multi-Use Platforms at Sea
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 127; doi:10.3390/su8020127
Received: 7 December 2015 / Revised: 18 January 2016 / Accepted: 21 January 2016 / Published: 29 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (396 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
European oceans are subject to rapid development. New activities such as aquaculture and ocean energy have gained importance. This triggers interest in “multi-use platforms at sea” (MUPS), i.e., areas at sea in which different activities are combined. MUPS are complex features with
[...] Read more.
European oceans are subject to rapid development. New activities such as aquaculture and ocean energy have gained importance. This triggers interest in “multi-use platforms at sea” (MUPS), i.e., areas at sea in which different activities are combined. MUPS are complex features with regards to technology, governance, and financial, socioeconomic, and environmental aspects. To identify realistic and sustainable solutions and designs for MUPS, the MERMAID project applied a participatory design process (PDP) involving a range of stakeholders representing companies, authorities, researchers, and NGOs. This paper evaluates if and how the participatory design process contributed to the design of multi-use platforms. It is based on interviews with the managers of the case study sites and a questionnaire administered to all stakeholders participating in the PDP workshops. Analyzing the four case studies, we conclude that the participatory design process has had a valuable contribution to the development of the four different designs of MUPS, even though the preconditions for carrying out a participatory design process differed between sites. In all four cases, the process has been beneficial in generating new and shared knowledge. It brought new design issues to the table and increased knowledge and understanding among the different stakeholders. Full article
Open AccessArticle Boosting Blue Growth in a Mild Sea: Analysis of the Synergies Produced by a Multi-Purpose Offshore Installation in the Northern Adriatic, Italy
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6804-6853; doi:10.3390/su7066804
Received: 28 January 2015 / Revised: 11 May 2015 / Accepted: 11 May 2015 / Published: 28 May 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (4437 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the near future, the oceans will be subjected to a massive development of marine infrastructures, including offshore wind, tidal and wave energy farms and constructions for marine aquaculture. The development of these facilities will unavoidably exert environmental pressures on marine ecosystems. It
[...] Read more.
In the near future, the oceans will be subjected to a massive development of marine infrastructures, including offshore wind, tidal and wave energy farms and constructions for marine aquaculture. The development of these facilities will unavoidably exert environmental pressures on marine ecosystems. It is therefore crucial that the economic costs, the use of marine space and the environmental impacts of these activities remain within acceptable limits. Moreover, the installation of arrays of wave energy devices is still far from being economically feasible due to many combined aspects, such as immature technologies for energy conversion, local energy storage and moorings. Therefore, multi-purpose solutions combining renewable energy from the sea (wind, wave, tide), aquaculture and transportation facilities can be considered as a challenging, yet advantageous, way to boost blue growth. This would be due to the sharing of the costs of installation and using the produced energy locally to feed the different functionalities and optimizing marine spatial planning. This paper focuses on the synergies that may be produced by a multi-purpose offshore installation in a relatively calm sea, i.e., the Northern Adriatic Sea, Italy, and specifically offshore Venice. It analyzes the combination of aquaculture, energy production from wind and waves, and energy storage or transfer. Alternative solutions are evaluated based on specific criteria, including the maturity of the technology, the environmental impact, the induced risks and the costs. Based on expert judgment, the alternatives are ranked and a preliminary layout of the selected multi-purpose installation for the case study is proposed, to further allow the exploitation of the synergies among different functionalities. Full article
Open AccessArticle Consumer Acceptance of Eco-Labeled Fish: A Mexican Case Study
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4625-4642; doi:10.3390/su7044625
Received: 25 February 2015 / Revised: 21 March 2015 / Accepted: 13 April 2015 / Published: 17 April 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (752 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fish eco-labeling is a market-based incentive program for sustainable fisheries. This paper examines consumers’ acceptance of eco-labeled fish by using data from a pilot study conducted in a coastal area of northwestern Mexico. An ordered probit model was applied, using 364 observations. The
[...] Read more.
Fish eco-labeling is a market-based incentive program for sustainable fisheries. This paper examines consumers’ acceptance of eco-labeled fish by using data from a pilot study conducted in a coastal area of northwestern Mexico. An ordered probit model was applied, using 364 observations. The results show that most respondents favor the idea of eco-labeled fish as a sustainable option and know that this is a costlier option. Income level, consumers’ occupation and frequency of fish consumption are factors taken into account in the buying decision. Price was not a statistically significant factor affecting purchase decision. The study suggests that employed consumers with knowledge of labels may prioritize their demand for eco-labeled fish. Thus, providing a clear definition of sustainability that increases consumer awareness might be a promising strategy in developing the market for eco-labeled fish. The results and their implications could be employed as an element for future development of consumer policies related to fish sustainability. Full article
Open AccessArticle Impact of Oceanographic Environmental Shifts and Atmospheric Events on the Sustainable Development of Coastal Aquaculture: A Case Study of Kelp and Scallops in Southern Hokkaido, Japan
Sustainability 2015, 7(2), 1263-1279; doi:10.3390/su7021263
Received: 30 September 2014 / Revised: 13 January 2015 / Accepted: 15 January 2015 / Published: 26 January 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3647 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We provide an overview of selected recent operational applications of satellite remote sensing and marine Geographic Information Systems (GIS) procedures to the practice of sustainable aquaculture in southern Hokkaido, Japan, focusing mainly on kelp and scallop aquaculture. We also developed a suitable aquaculture
[...] Read more.
We provide an overview of selected recent operational applications of satellite remote sensing and marine Geographic Information Systems (GIS) procedures to the practice of sustainable aquaculture in southern Hokkaido, Japan, focusing mainly on kelp and scallop aquaculture. We also developed a suitable aquaculture site-selection model (SASSM) for suspension culture of Gagome (a kelp species) in the same region. Models for Japanese kelp and Gagome showed that the distributions of the most suitable areas for both species overlapped. Competition between kelps was especially marked along the coastline between Hakodate and Esan. In addition, we examined the impact of oceanographic environmental changes and atmospheric events on scallop and kelp aquaculture sites, demonstrating that variations in the coastal Oyashio Current and the Tsugaru Warm Current significantly influenced the growth and harvesting seasons of scallops and kelps in Funka Bay and other sections of southern Hokkaido. Because a strong El Niño event occurred in 2010, January of that year was extremely cold. The proportion of suitable areas for both scallops and kelps during their respective growing seasons contracted in 2010. Thus, shifts in oceanographic and atmospheric conditions should be incorporated into sustainability management planning for coastal scallop and kelp aquaculture in southern Hokkaido. Full article
Open AccessArticle Towards Marine Spatial Planning in Southern Taiwan
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8466-8484; doi:10.3390/su6128466
Received: 13 August 2014 / Revised: 5 November 2014 / Accepted: 7 November 2014 / Published: 25 November 2014
PDF Full-text (2795 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Due to population growth, rapid economic development and inadequate marine control, the use of ocean and coastal regions in Taiwan has become more frequent and intense in recent years. However, the lack of comprehensive marine and coastal planning in this island nation has
[...] Read more.
Due to population growth, rapid economic development and inadequate marine control, the use of ocean and coastal regions in Taiwan has become more frequent and intense in recent years. However, the lack of comprehensive marine and coastal planning in this island nation has led to many conflicts over space and resources and limited its ability to prepare for and respond to environmental hazards, thus threatening national security as well as the safety and property of its citizens. This study proposes a marine zoning scheme for southern Taiwan. The results show that many important habitats in the southern sea areas have not been properly protected due to the extremely small size of the marine protected area. Furthermore, the majority of the conflicts derive from the exclusive fishing right vs. other uses such as marine conservation. Therefore, it is crucial to establish the marine spatial planning (MSP) for the Southern Taiwan to deal with the conflicts of use seas and uncertainties associated with complex, heterogeneous, and dynamic marine system. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Can Consumers Understand Sustainability through Seafood Eco-Labels? A U.S. and UK Case Study
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 8195-8217; doi:10.3390/su6118195
Received: 10 August 2014 / Revised: 14 October 2014 / Accepted: 23 October 2014 / Published: 18 November 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (867 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the United States and the United Kingdom, over the last decade major retail chains have increasingly publicized their efforts to supply sustainably sourced and eco-labelled seafood. Debate exists over the extent of consumer demand for this product. Seafood eco-labels purportedly resolve the
[...] Read more.
In the United States and the United Kingdom, over the last decade major retail chains have increasingly publicized their efforts to supply sustainably sourced and eco-labelled seafood. Debate exists over the extent of consumer demand for this product. Seafood eco-labels purportedly resolve the information asymmetry between producer and consumer, allowing consumers who care about sustainability to easily find and purchase these products. This paper discusses the idealized model of seafood eco-labelling in promoting sustainability and presents results of US and UK case studies based on consumer interviews and surveys, which found that consumers had often seen one or more seafood eco-labels. Two well-established eco-labels, dolphin-safe and organic, drove these rates of sustainable seafood awareness. These rates are interpreted in the context of consumer’s understanding of sustainable. The Sustainable Seafood Movement’s efforts to increase the supply of eco-labelled seafood and elaborate corporate buying policies for sustainable seafood are influencing consumer’s recognition and purchase of certified sustainable seafood products. However, eco-labels are a means to communicate messages about sustainable fisheries to consumers, not an end. Efforts to educate consumers about eco-labels should be a component of ocean literacy efforts, which educate the public about the need for sustainable fisheries. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Proposed Methodology for Prioritizing Project Effects to Include in Cost-Benefit Analysis Using Resilience, Vulnerability and Risk Perception
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 7945-7966; doi:10.3390/su6117945
Received: 26 September 2014 / Revised: 31 October 2014 / Accepted: 4 November 2014 / Published: 11 November 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1240 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) has emerged as one of the most widely used methodologies in environmental policy analysis, with many governments applying it in their decision-making procedures and laws. However, undertaking a full CBA is expensive, and conclusions must be drawn on which project
[...] Read more.
Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) has emerged as one of the most widely used methodologies in environmental policy analysis, with many governments applying it in their decision-making procedures and laws. However, undertaking a full CBA is expensive, and conclusions must be drawn on which project or policy impacts to include in the analysis. Based on the ideas of resilience, vulnerability and risk, we suggest a method for prioritizing project impacts for inclusion in a CBA, which includes both expert assessment and citizen preferences. We then illustrate how the method can be applied in the context of land use change decisions, using a real application. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Economic Risk and Efficiency Assessment of Fisheries in Abu-Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE): A Stochastic Approach
Sustainability 2014, 6(6), 3878-3898; doi:10.3390/su6063878
Received: 28 February 2014 / Revised: 4 June 2014 / Accepted: 5 June 2014 / Published: 17 June 2014
PDF Full-text (684 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The fishing industry in Abu-Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), plays an important role in diversifying food sources in order to enhance national food security. The fishing industry is facing an increasing risk that may impact the sustainability (i.e., quantity and quality)
[...] Read more.
The fishing industry in Abu-Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), plays an important role in diversifying food sources in order to enhance national food security. The fishing industry is facing an increasing risk that may impact the sustainability (i.e., quantity and quality) of the fish caught and consumed in the UAE. Therefore, the main objective of this study is to analyze common Abu-Dhabi fishing management alternatives using various stochastic dominance techniques (i.e., first/second degree stochastic dominance, stochastic dominance with respect to a function and stochastic efficiency with respect to a function) to assess the risk facing UAE fishermen. The techniques represent a risk assessment continuum, which can provide a ranking of management alternatives to improve decision making outcomes and help maintain long-term UAE fishing sustainability. Data for the stochastic dominance analyses were obtained from a cross-sectional survey conducted through face-to-face interviews of Abu Dhabi, UAE, fishermen. Analysis of fishing methods, trap sizes and trap numbers using stochastic efficiency with respect to a function (SERF) showed that fishermen efficient practices were not the same for risk-neutral fishermen compared to risk averse fishermen. Overall, the stochastic dominance results illustrated the importance of considering both attitude towards risk and economic inefficiencies in managing UAE fishery practices and designing successful fishery policies, as well as improving decision-making at the fishermen level. Full article

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