The Blue Economy: Evaluating the Human Benefits from and Pressures on Marine and Coastal Environments, Volume II

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Oceans and Coastal Zones".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 April 2023) | Viewed by 22860

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Division of Forestry and Natural Resources, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
Interests: anthropogenic uses of protected areas
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Guest Editor
NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA
Interests: marine economics and ecosystem services
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Blue Economy involves coupling the economic and environment sustainability of our ocean and coastal zone settings worldwide. Although defined slightly differently across the world, the Blue Economy can be defined as sustainable productive, service and all other related activities using and protecting coastal and marine resources sustainable developent that meets Goal 14 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development strategy.  In this special issue we seek to understand and report on ocean and coastal zone human uses and economic interactions.  This includes both the ways in which humans benefit from the marine environment via ecosystem services and the pressures on ocean and coastal environments from human use both in the water (e.g. marine transportation and fishing) and on land (e.g. agricutlure and development). Human actions whether we are receiving benefits from the environment or engaged in behavior that influences environmental quality impact the value of the Blue Economy. By focusing on both thelives and livlihoods of people who may be providing or provided benefits from the environment, particulalry important in the post-COVID19 reality, this special edition will provide an array of research related to the Blue Economy.

Prof. Dr. Robert C. Burns
Dr. Danielle Schwarzmann
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • blue economy
  • sustainability
  • ocean economy
  • recreational fishing
  • marine recreation
  • food security
  • wastewater runoff
  • sustainable development
  • restoration

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 2774 KiB  
Article
Bibliometric Analysis on Ocean Literacy Studies for Marine Conservation
by Guido Salazar-Sepúlveda, Alejandro Vega-Muñoz, Nicolás Contreras-Barraza, Dante Castillo, Mario Torres-Alcayaga and Carolina Cornejo-Orellana
Water 2023, 15(11), 2095; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15112095 - 1 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2142
Abstract
The aim of this study is to present an overview of the current scientific literature pertaining to ocean literacy. We applied a bibliometric method to examine relational patterns among publications in a set of 192 papers indexed from 2004 to 2023 in Web [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to present an overview of the current scientific literature pertaining to ocean literacy. We applied a bibliometric method to examine relational patterns among publications in a set of 192 papers indexed from 2004 to 2023 in Web of Science Core Collection, applying Price’s, Lotka’s, Bradford’s, and Zipf’s bibliometric laws to add more validation to VOSviewer and processing both data and metadata. The findings indicate a significant exponential growth in scientific output from 2004 to 2022 (R2 = 86%), with a substantial amount of scientific research being focused on ocean literacy. The analysis shows the thematic trends of terminologies such as knowledge and citizen perception of climate change in relation to oceans; the benefits of biodiversity management and ocean conservation; and ocean education and its relation to behavior and attitudes towards and awareness of oceans. The research and its theoretical perspectives prompt an investigation of the impacts of ocean literacy outside of education, thanks to the contributions of authors from more than fifty countries dedicated to the study of these activities. Full article
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17 pages, 930 KiB  
Article
Bioeconomics of Florida Recreational Fisheries to Estimate Willingness to Pay for Bag and Size Limits of Spotted Seatrout
by Danielle Schwarzmann, Steven G. Smith, Jerald S. Ault and Vernon (Bob) Leeworthy
Water 2023, 15(9), 1696; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15091696 - 27 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1374
Abstract
This research focuses on the economic component of a bioeconomic model for spotted seatrout in the recreational fisheries on Florida’s west coast. A survey was designed to assess how anglers, who caught or targeted spotted seatrout on Florida’s west coast, valued combined changes [...] Read more.
This research focuses on the economic component of a bioeconomic model for spotted seatrout in the recreational fisheries on Florida’s west coast. A survey was designed to assess how anglers, who caught or targeted spotted seatrout on Florida’s west coast, valued combined changes in the existing bag limit and size limit. The biological component of the stated preference model deemed such change necessary to ensure a sustainable stock. The biological model provides an economic constraint and results in the treatment of the bag and size limits as a composite good in which separate utilities cannot be measured for each component of the composite good. The stated preference choice method (SPCM) was used to estimate the change in economic value by boat mode of access (e.g., charter boat and private boat). The models also controlled for length of trip (full day versus half-day) for charter boat trips and for type of day (weekend or weekday) for both boat modes of access. Since those who accessed the fishery by private boat had a lower probability of achieving the bag limit/size limit, a model was run to predict the probability of achieving the bag limit/size limit and the probability was interacted with the bag limit/size limit choice. This yielded a positive willingness to pay for the bag limit/size limit combination that was sustainable. Estimated values per person per day for changing the bag limit/size limits to a sustainable level were USD 20.24 for the charter boat mode and USD 32.54 for the private boat mode. Aggregating this to a total value change using a five-year annual average (2012–2016) of total days of fishing for spotted seatrout on Florida’s West Coast yielded an estimate of USD 147.9 million per year for charter boat anglers. The total annual value was about USD 3.4 million, while for private boat anglers the annual value was about USD 144.5 million. Full article
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17 pages, 1625 KiB  
Article
Visitors’ Environmental Concerns in Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary: An Offshore Marine Protected Area
by Marieke Lemmen, Robert C. Burns, Ross G. Andrew and Jasmine Cardozo Moreira
Water 2023, 15(7), 1425; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15071425 - 6 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1897
Abstract
Marine sanctuaries serve as popular destinations for ecotourism, natural resource exploration, and recreation across the US. While often positive, visitation in marine and coastal areas can cause ecological threats to these ecosystems. Increased visitation in marine environments has led to the need for [...] Read more.
Marine sanctuaries serve as popular destinations for ecotourism, natural resource exploration, and recreation across the US. While often positive, visitation in marine and coastal areas can cause ecological threats to these ecosystems. Increased visitation in marine environments has led to the need for management due to negative ecological and social impacts. Understanding environmental values, attitudes, and perceptions is important to the success of environmental protection. Using online surveys sent via Qualtrics asking questions regarding the users’ knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of ocean resources, goods and services, this research focused on identifying user profiles and understanding their environmental perception associated with Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, an offshore marine protected area, and surrounding coastal Georgia. The results show that across multiple types of threats or phenomena, respondents are most concerned about threats to resources related to pollution. Furthermore, they support marine protection and are willing to adjust their consumption habits, such as recycling and energy use, to ensure the sustainable use of ocean resources. The inclusion of insights achieved through research about visitor perceptions into management decision making and planning can positively contribute to the success of environmental protection. Full article
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13 pages, 1341 KiB  
Article
Ocean Recreation and the Economic Contributions of Visitation in and around Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary
by Kathryn Gazal, Ross Andrew and Robert C. Burns
Water 2023, 15(6), 1054; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15061054 - 10 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1181
Abstract
Providing demonstrable and quantifiable evidence to substantiate the value of Marine Protected Areas like National Marine Sanctuaries is important for understanding their role in the blue economy, as well as gaining management and financial support for their protection. This study employs economic contribution [...] Read more.
Providing demonstrable and quantifiable evidence to substantiate the value of Marine Protected Areas like National Marine Sanctuaries is important for understanding their role in the blue economy, as well as gaining management and financial support for their protection. This study employs economic contribution analysis to estimate the economic contributions of ocean recreation spending of visitors to Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary (GRNMS) and the coastal Georgia region. Employing economic contribution analysis is found to be more useful in influencing stakeholder decisions, and can therefore be a useful tool in providing inputs for management decisions related to marine protected areas. This study shows that visitors to coastal Georgia spent about USD 1.4 billion on ocean recreation activities in a single year. This translates to a total economic contribution of 18,950 jobs, USD 603 million labor income, USD 938 million value added, and USD 1.8 billion output. About USD 123 million of the total visitor spending can be attributed to GRNMS, contributing 1702 total jobs, USD 54 million in total labor income, USD 84 million in total value added, and USD 159 million in total output. This study highlights the importance of coastal Georgia and GRNMS as economic drivers of the region’s economy, supporting the need for continued management and investment in the Sanctuary and its resources. Full article
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18 pages, 4208 KiB  
Article
Assessment of the Hydrological Conditions of Carps Spawning Grounds in the Sylhet Haor Basins, and the Halda River System, Bangladesh
by Kazi Rabeya Akther, Petra Schneider, Sohel Mian, Mohammad Amzad Hossain and Nirmal Chandra Roy
Water 2023, 15(5), 855; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15050855 - 22 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2248
Abstract
The Halda River and Haor basins are considered unique breeding habitats for carps in Bangladesh. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the natural spawning environment of carp species, with an emphasis on the hydrological conditions of the Halda River, the Surma [...] Read more.
The Halda River and Haor basins are considered unique breeding habitats for carps in Bangladesh. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the natural spawning environment of carp species, with an emphasis on the hydrological conditions of the Halda River, the Surma River, and Tanguar Haor. This study, which covers the years 2021 and 2022, considered two spawning seasons. The results revealed that temperature, total dissolved solids (TDS), salinity, turbidity, conductivity, and pH were significantly different in the Halda River to the Surma River and Tanguar Haor. However, sudden rainfall and upstream runoff in 2021 were deemed as major factors causing an increment in TDS and electrical conductivity. The water pollution index was excellent in the Surma River and Tanguar Haor, and good in the Halda River. The study reported moderately reduced IMC fry production in 2021 because of inconsistent turbidity, high conductivity, and increased salinity which interrupted the ideal spawning habitat. However, in 2022, the spawning environment was favorable in the Halda River, while the Surma River and Tanguar Haor were considered to be comparatively favorable in both years. Differences were also found in the climatic and meteorological conditions, which revealed uneven rainfall, higher temperatures, decreasing water discharge, and low water levels. The meteorological data also revealed that the overall rainfall showed a decreasing trend for all sites in the last 20 years causing an interrupted water discharge. It was discovered that the amount of carp spawn obtained in the Halda River was greater than that obtained in the Surma River and Tanguar Haor. In terms of hydrological conditions and spawning performance, the Surma River and Tanguar Haor were reported to have significant differences, which may be due to their geographical location. Full article
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16 pages, 1970 KiB  
Article
Assessing Visitors’ Understanding of River National Park Functions and Landscapes
by Arne Arnberger, Renate Eder and Hemma Preisel
Water 2023, 15(3), 461; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15030461 - 23 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1476
Abstract
The assessment of visitor understanding and perceptions of natural landscapes and attitudes towards functions of a river national park is important for the acceptance and success of park management. The study asked 426 visitors to the Donau-Auen (Danube Floodplains) National Park in Eastern [...] Read more.
The assessment of visitor understanding and perceptions of natural landscapes and attitudes towards functions of a river national park is important for the acceptance and success of park management. The study asked 426 visitors to the Donau-Auen (Danube Floodplains) National Park in Eastern Austria about their affinity to the national park brand, their understanding of the river landscapes and attitudes towards the functions of a national park, and to what extent the visitors perceive the Danube Floodplains as a national park at all. The results show that a large proportion of respondents have some understanding of river national parks and their functions. Many respondents have a sense of being in a national park. However, for 60% of the respondents, the national park brand played almost no role in a visit to the national park. Visitors who have a higher affinity for the national park showed a stronger agreement with the functions of a national park. Those images from the Danube Floodplains National Park that depicted natural landscapes were judged by the majority of respondents to be typical of a river national park, but also meadows. Differences regarding the national park landscapes were not found among visitor affinity segments. Implications for environmental communication are presented. Full article
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16 pages, 708 KiB  
Article
Assessing Fisheries Policies of Bangladesh: Need for Consistency or Transformation?
by Md. Mostafa Shamsuzzaman, Mohammad Mahmudul Islam, Amany Begum, Petra Schneider and Mohammad Mojibul Hoque Mozumder
Water 2022, 14(21), 3414; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14213414 - 27 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2853
Abstract
With the aim to enhance production, alleviate poverty, meet animal protein demand, earn foreign currency and maintain ecological balance, the Bangladesh government has formulated the National Fisheries Policy 1998. Over the last two decades, this policy for safeguarding fisheries is still in practice [...] Read more.
With the aim to enhance production, alleviate poverty, meet animal protein demand, earn foreign currency and maintain ecological balance, the Bangladesh government has formulated the National Fisheries Policy 1998. Over the last two decades, this policy for safeguarding fisheries is still in practice but gets little attention by researchers and policy makers to assess its effectiveness. This study analyzes the fisheries policy frameworks and evaluates how policy changes affecting fisheries production with certain ecological balance. The paper describes elements in the historical process of the development of the national fisheries policy related to the issue of equal or restricted access to the fish resource. The findings suggest that changes in policy only could not offer solutions to prevent over exploitation and overcapitalization that presently exists in conventional open access fishery. In addition, key constraints underlying in between policies and in implementation of laws includes ignorance of conservation laws, overwhelmingly top-down decision-making, lack of appropriate policy goals, inadequate enforcement, outdated policy and bogus action strategy, lack of enforcement regulations against pollution, poor coordination and technical know-how of the personnel concerned. For achieving inclusive growth in the fisheries sector, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the government stated the Vision 2021, fisheries policy reform is recommended with special emphasis on marine fisheries sub section formulation, socio-economic development of relevant communities, updating of existing governance, and strengthening institutional capacity to appropriately manage this potential sector. Moreover, the existing regulations should be amended accordingly with clearly defined reliable enforcement authority. Full article
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20 pages, 7606 KiB  
Article
Macroplastics Pollution in the Surma River in Bangladesh: A Threat to Fish Diversity and Freshwater Ecosystems
by Abul Hasnat Abdullah, Gourab Chowdhury, Diponkor Adikari, Israt Jahan, Yochi Okta Andrawina, Mohammad Amzad Hossain, Petra Schneider and Mohammed Mahbub Iqbal
Water 2022, 14(20), 3263; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14203263 - 16 Oct 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4427
Abstract
Plastic pollution is one of the pressing issues in freshwater ecosystems that may further contribute to coastal pollution. The present study aimed to address the state of macroplastics pollution in the Surma River system, Bangladesh. Six sampling sites were allocated in the river [...] Read more.
Plastic pollution is one of the pressing issues in freshwater ecosystems that may further contribute to coastal pollution. The present study aimed to address the state of macroplastics pollution in the Surma River system, Bangladesh. Six sampling sites were allocated in the river starting from upstream to downstream, water parameters and fin fish assemblage were recorded, and plastic debris was collected from each site. Afterward, macroplastics were categorized and weighed to measure their abundance. Previous data on rainfall, water discharge, and depth were aggregated to study the trend of river depth changes. A survey was conducted to identify the possible sources of plastic pollution in the river and awareness of the pollution. The results showed that Kazir Bazar (Site 4) and Beter Bazar (Site 5), comparatively contained poor water quality, diverse macroplastics categories, and higher macroplastics abundance. The water pollution index (WPI) also ranked the above sites as extremely polluted. Similarly, biodiversity indices revealed lower diversity at Site 4 and Site 5. The river depth analysis revealed that there was no remarkable tendency to change the depth. To conclude, the Surma River system is being polluted due to inadvertent plastic dumping. Contemporary awareness is highly required, and proper policies should be implemented to minimize the detrimental effects of macroplastics. Full article
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18 pages, 314 KiB  
Article
Perceptions Environmental and Health Impacts of Cruise Activity in the Roatan Ports
by Cintia Salgado-Gómez, Alejandro Vega-Muñoz, Guido Salazar-Sepúlveda, Nicolás Contreras-Barraza and Lorena Araya-Silva
Water 2022, 14(19), 3134; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14193134 - 4 Oct 2022
Viewed by 2026
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the perception of different stakeholders on the environmental impacts of cruise ship activity in the port of Roatan, Honduras, as an activity that has an impact on the region’s blue economy. A descriptive qualitative research [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the perception of different stakeholders on the environmental impacts of cruise ship activity in the port of Roatan, Honduras, as an activity that has an impact on the region’s blue economy. A descriptive qualitative research design was applied, with 30 people directly related to the cruise ship activity participating in the study. Data collection was carried out through structured interviews with pre-codes based on Green Marine Management performance indicators. Conventional content analysis was used to analyze the verbal data. From the analysis of the data, conclusions were drawn that there is a generalized perception of the fundamental role in the control and assurance of the environmental impact of the maritime authorities; however, there is evidence of a lack of specialization in the areas of traceability, which could have an impact on the ecosystem and the health of the population, showing a lack of leadership in the articulation of stakeholders. Full article
14 pages, 1758 KiB  
Article
Quantification and Evaluation of Grey Water Footprint in Yantai
by Xue Meng, Jian Lu, Jun Wu, Zhenhua Zhang and Liwei Chen
Water 2022, 14(12), 1893; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14121893 - 12 Jun 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2260
Abstract
Problems such as water scarcity and pollution frequently occur in coastal zones. This study investigated the grey water footprint and the sustainability and intensity of grey water footprint in Yantai between 2014 and 2019 by taking both surface water and groundwater into consideration. [...] Read more.
Problems such as water scarcity and pollution frequently occur in coastal zones. This study investigated the grey water footprint and the sustainability and intensity of grey water footprint in Yantai between 2014 and 2019 by taking both surface water and groundwater into consideration. The research results indicated that the Yantai grey water footprint firstly increased and then decreased between 2014 and 2019. The lowest grey water footprint in 2019 was 744 million m3. The agricultural grey water footprint accounted for a large proportion of the total grey water footprint. Although the sustainability of grey water footprint fluctuates in Yantai, it maintains well. The Yantai grey footprint intensity gradually decreased to <10 m3/10,000 CNY. The economic benefit of grey water footprint and utilization efficiency of water resources have been improved yearly. The quality of the water environment in Yantai has also been improved. The research of this paper provides some useful information for water resources protection and sustainable utilization in coastal cities. Full article
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