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Page 42 4 Societal Values of Marine Reserves and Protected Areas ~ enlarge ~ Designating a significant amount of coastal regions as marine protected areas (MPAs) and reserves is likely to alter both the kinds of benefits or ecosystem services provided by the marine environment and the distribution of these benefits among different groups and individuals. Because the United States government has public trust responsibilities to manage federal waters for the interests of citizens nationwide, assessment of the various costs and benefits of establishing MPAs requires evaluation of public opinion from both direct users and citizens concerned about marine conservation. The acceptability of MPAs to the general public and to direct users will depend significantly on whether the perceived benefits are greater with or without MPAs, and this, in turn, will influence the political support for MPA programs. All marine systems provide a range of benefits to humans, even if their resources are not exploited. These benefits span a spectrum from direct on-site user benefits to indirect benefits accruing to individuals who do not use the marine ecosystem directly. On-site user benefits are generally associated with consumptive uses (recreational and commercial fisheries; seaweed harvesting; shell, coral, and sponge collecting), but important nonconsumptive uses (tourism, diving, bird and whale watching, the aesthetics of natural areas) are also provided by marine ecosystems. Many of these on-site activities generate income directly to participants and indirectly to coastal economies that service the activities. Even more difficult to evaluate, but equally real, are the heritage or existence values associated with the public's appreciation of unique and natural
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Page 43systems. In addition, marine ecosystems provide hard-to-quantify off-site benefits as components of regional and global climatological, biological, and chemical systems, including removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, production of oxygen, moderation of coastal temperatures, and powering terrestrial hydrologic cycles (Daily et al., 1997). This chapter describes these different types of values, the potential costs and benefits of MPAs in supporting these values, methods for evaluating societal values, and finally the need for community involvement in the decisionmaking process. ORIGIN OF THE VALUES ASSOCIATED WITH MARINE ECOSYSTEMS The “natural” functioning of marine ecosystems has included human influences for significant periods of time (Zacharias et al., 1998). In North America, coastal areas have been affected by human activities starting with the migration of people across the Bering Sea land bridge and colonization of the West Coast more than 10,000 years ago. When Europeans arrived in the Americas, they encountered marine ecosystems already shaped by human influence. Human exploitation of marine resources changes the structure of ecosystems through impacts on the food web and habitat. Yet access to and use of the sea also affect the structure of human societies and the evolution of their perceptions of the values provided by marine systems. Because humans are so efficient in capturing fish and other marine species, the human role in the ecosystem may be considered analogous to that of a key-stone predator (Castilla, 1993). The impacts on the structure of coastal marine communities can be direct, indirect, or subtle and are revealed when humans are excluded from the ecosystem, for example, after establishing an ecological reserve. However, human impacts are mediated by influences other than typical predator-prey interactions that reflect unique human social characteristics such as cultural traditions, economic conditions, and technological advances. Cultural traditions can be characterized in terms of environmental ethics and cultural landscapes as described below. Environmental Ethics Biocentric values—valuing nature for its own sake—are important for many people as a function of their beliefs about the proper relationships between humans and nature. These beliefs are critical for explaining the adaptations of human cultures to their local, regional, and world environments. A key question in characterizing environmental ethics is whether or not humans are perceived as a part of nature or separate from nature (McDonnell and Pickett, 1993). Increasingly, people in many nations value the quality of the environment and recognize that animals and plants have the right to some measure of protec-
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Page 44tion from human disturbance (Inglehart, 1990, 1991, 1997; Abramson and Inglehart, 1995). When polled regarding the “environment-versus-economy” balance, more than 50% of people chose environmental protection over economic benefits in each of 24 nations, except Nigeria, India, and Turkey (Dunlap et al., 1993). These international trends, reflecting preferences for improving environmental protection, suggest that public values worldwide may support ocean conservation measures such as MPAs, based on environmental ethics alone. How do these attitudes apply to the specific case of conservation in marine ecosystems? Human populations with extensive experience in the use of marine resources often develop a conservation ethic regarding those resources. This ethic directly reflects three factors: (1) the perception of local populations that have special access rights and responsibility for local areas, (2) the environmental knowledge and lessons they have learned from past experience using these resources, and (3) the expectation that future generations will derive subsistence from the ocean just as past generations did. Conservation ethics have developed in coastal populations in as few as three generations (Stoffle et al., 1994b). Public values can be influenced by organized and collective efforts of relatively small numbers of people. Groups with either an economic interest or a conservationist agenda exert political influence and play a role in developing public awareness and values concerning ocean resources. For example, SeaWeb (http://www.seaweb.org) sponsored a survey conducted by the Mellman Group that showed much support for ocean protected areas (76% in favor) but little awareness of the existence of the National Marine Sanctuary Program (34%). This mobilized ocean conservation organizations to undertake campaigns to increase public understanding of MPAs and the status of national marine sanctuaries. Similarly, groups with an economic interest, such as coastal developers and the fishing industry, seek to influence policy through public information campaigns and political lobbying. Often, public values do not get translated into action because these communities do not have the institutional capability to influence regulatory policies (McCay and Acheson, 1987; Ostrom, 1990; Gibson and Koontz, 1998). There are also many examples in which societies have severely overexploited marine ecosystems, reflecting a variety of circumstances. Hence, even when a coastal community develops a conservation ethic, short-term exigencies, such as a severe economic depression or a radical shift in climate, can disrupt sustainable practices to provide for immediate needs. People also consciously damage the natural resources they exploit. For example, if there are no special access rights or responsibility (a factor in the development of a conservation ethic as described above), individual economic incentives favor maximizing current yield, even at the expense of the long-term health of the resource, because the individual has no guarantee that others will not overexploit the resource and thus jeopardize future yields. This consequence of open access has been termed “the tragedy of the commons” (Hardin, 1968).
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Page 45Damaging behaviors also may occur with new user groups who are not familiar with the marine ecosystem or who may have displaced previous local inhabitants whose knowledge is either unsought or unavailable (Agardy, 1997). In other cases, users of a marine ecosystem may not be the decisionmakers. For example, they may be employees of large companies that exploit marine resources and, as such, lack the authority to practice sustainable resource use. Environmental ethics can be examined systematically as part of the assessment and evaluation of areas being considered for MPAs by studies of their distribution among various groups of stakeholders. Assessing the acceptability of an MPA requires studies of stakeholders, including social collectives and groups, as they exist at the local, regional, national, and international levels. Social collectives are assemblages of people who do not interact directly, but have similar social characteristics such as age, sex, or income and share a distinctive and common body of interests, values, and norms (Merton, 1957). In marine and coastal environments, social collectives might involve all of the tourists who regularly visit a marine park or individuals who access a sanctuary Web site to monitor its condition. Social groups are assemblages of people who interact socially, are clearly bounded, have symbols of membership, and tend to share a distinctive and common body of interests, values, and norms (Merton, 1957). In marine and coastal environments, social groups might include local fishers' organizations, dive clubs, and incorporated communities. It is essential to acknowledge that various social collectives and groups may hold different, or unexpected, positions regarding marine protection due to their own unique set of environmental values and the way they prioritize these values. Kempton et al. (1995) found that environmental values in the United States are organized into coherent cultural models among different groups and that these values are useful for predicting responses to environmental issues. Significantly, environmental values have become integrated with core American values such as parental responsibility, obligations to descendants, and traditional religious teachings. Cultural Landscapes Human values associated with marine ecosystems are related to understanding the relationships between components of the ecosystem and processes of change that occur (Kempton et al., 1995). The idea of a “cultural landscape” provides a cognitive framework for understanding links between physical places and human values (Stoffle et al., 1997; Zedeno et al., 1997). The theory of cultural landscapes includes (1) places (called landmarks), (2) spaces between places, and (3) a relational pattern that integrates space and place. Places may contain culturally significant artifacts (such as shipwrecks), or they may be natural places that are culturally significant, like the Skoskomish Indians' origin place at the mouth of their river in Puget Sound. The literature on the meaning of place and space is well established (Tuan, 1996).
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Page 46 The federal government recognizes cultural landscapes as protectable by law and regulation. Cultural landscapes may receive special land management status and protection by being incorporated into the National Registry of Historic Places. Places within landscapes can also be nominated to the National Register and, during this process, are called traditional cultural properties. Nominations based on geographic location tend to focus on cultural areas such as historic trails, but space-based areas, such as the trail-like routes of the Underground Railroad, may also be nominated. Marine cultural landscapes reflect the way humans use and value various ecological zones in the sea and along the coast. Some of these cultural landscapes will more or less reflect the geographic boundaries of marine ecosystems and the diversity within them. Some marine areas meriting protection may be landmarks within landscapes, manifested either as special topographic areas such as seamounts, coral reefs, and entrances to underwater canyons or as special hydrological places such as estuaries and upwelling areas that are especially productive. Evaluation of cultural landscapes will help inform the process of choosing MPA locations. Studies of the cultural landscape of a proposed MPA site should include stake-holder and user groups associated with the site. Methods for gathering social and cultural information should include various instruments for assessing culture, cognition, and values, including detailed ethnographic surveys. These methods allow measurement of environmental values, cultural models of nature, the cultural significance of places, and the integration of places and intervening spaces into cultural landscapes. Geographic information systems (GISs) can be used to produce ecosystem-wide maps as data recording and analysis tools. Such systems could be used to integrate the results of interviews, cultural landscapes, and environmental characteristics (species distributions, topography, ocean features). A scientific understanding of the social groups and collectives potentially affected by a proposed MPA is important in terms of identifying stakeholders, designing the potential MPA, and meeting legal and regulatory mandates. Social impact assessments are required under the National Environmental Policy Act and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. When local communities constitute unique ethnic or racial entities, social assessment may be required under the National Historic Preservation Act. COSTS AND BENEFITS TO USER GROUPS The beneficiaries of MPAs may include individuals who value the naturalness of marine areas, tourists who want to see intact marine environments and the animals that live there, divers who seek thriving natural habitats such as coral reefs, and fishers who want higher long-term yields from more sustainable stocks of fish. Some of these values can be characterized to a greater or lesser extent in economic terms, for instance, how much a diver is willing to pay to see living
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Page 47reefs in a marine reserve versus degraded reefs in an unprotected area. Similarly, a fisher can calculate how much income he or she may lose when effort is displaced by a fishery reserve and weigh that against reduced variability of the catch and potentially higher yield if the reserve protects against overfishing. Other non-use benefits, such as heritage or existence values, are difficult to measure in economic terms, but are no less important for weighing the costs and benefits of marine reserves. Potential sources of costs and benefits of marine reserves, including market and nonmarket values, have been summarized by Hoagland et al. (1995) (Table 4-1). Policy Context Direct users of marine resources attain access to services provided by marine ecosystems through public policies that place conditions on access rights and set regulations for various uses. For example, nearly every coastal nation has instituted fishery regulations that, in principle, protect and sustain the economic benefits available to commercial fishers. Other public policies and regulations mitigate conflicts among different user groups (e.g., allocating particular fishing areas to particular gear types that would otherwise clash, prohibiting certain extractive and polluting activities that would reduce recreational uses). Both broad conservation and specific conflict mitigation policies determine the spectrum of ecosystem services available, as well as which user groups will have access to these services. The point is that regulations and public policy already determine, to a significant degree, the portfolio and distribution of services that are provided by marine ecosystems in their current state of use. Any policy changes involving MPAs will alter the mixture of services, the set of beneficiaries of those services, and potentially the level of benefits from these services. Existing policies reflect past and present political interplay among various user groups, each vying for a stake in the use of marine systems that cannot satisfy every user's wants. Therefore, existing systems of regulations reflect the history of the tug-of-war among different groups and do not necessarily represent a coordinated management plan developed through rational processes. Generally, the more that the economic benefits from marine ecosystems are directly appropriable by individuals, the more likely are such individuals to develop organized and successful political interest groups that will lobby for legislation and rules benefiting the group. In contrast, some beneficiaries of ecosystem services are typically underrepresented in the political system. These individuals are often those who benefit from public good services. Public good services accrue to everyone once provided, but they are not individually appropriable, so consumption by one person does not detract from the consumption of others. Examples might be basic scientific knowledge, the heritage value of unique ecosystems, or the beauty of undamaged seascapes. These types of services are generally underprovided in a
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Page 48 TABLE 4-1 Sources of Costs and Benefits of Marine Protected Areas Benefit Cost Purchase of land and facilities Strengthens property or liability rights to a clean marine environment New or improved opportunities: Tourism, diving, boating Recreational fishing Forgone opportunities: Mineral ED&P Waste disposal Commercial fisheries Treasure salvage, shipping, tourism Facilitates natural resource management Rare ecosystems, species, stocks, cohorts, habitat, refugium Administration Monitoring and enforcement Facilitates cultural resource management Archaeological study, resource protection, recreation “targets” Administration Monitoring and enforcement Oceanographic research Control area, ecosystem studies, public education Research and education costs Positive external effects Buffer zone, increased assimilative capacity, onshore development opportunities “Paper park”: Benefits small or nonexistent and industrial development opportunities forgone Prevents development that is costly to reverse Results in zoning decision that is costly to reverse Nonmarket benefits Option—vicarious Bequest—existence Nonmarket costs Option Conceptual simplicity of boundary Economic aspects of size rarely considered SOURCE: Hoagland et al., 1995. mixed public-private system because it is difficult to mobilize the constituency whose interests are at stake to a level that actually reflects the strengths of those interests (Samuelson, 1954; Olson, 1965; Starett, 1988). In part, this is because the benefit to any single person may be relatively small, although the cumulative benefit is large. Environmental advocacy groups often lobby as representatives of individuals who would benefit from the provision of public good environmental services. These groups have recently become more vocal and successful in the political process, manifesting a shift in public environmental priorities. Current user groups frequently claim rights and protections to the use of living marine resources, analogous to the homesteading farmer's title to land, because use creates a source of income and wealth. On land, customary use has in some circumstances been converted into titled property rights. However, marine resources within federal waters, except usual and customary use associat-
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Page 49ed with tribal rights, are held in public trust for the citizenry of the United States; for instance, no individual property rights exist for fish stocks, although individual transferable quota (ITQ) rights have taken on many of the attributes of individual property rights (NRC, 1999b). Furthermore, the government has “the right and duty to protect and preserve the public's interest in national wildlife resources.”1 Still, the adoption of marine reserves on a large scale would be viewed by current users as a change in the right of access to natural resources with consequences for the value of investments made in vessels and gear by user groups that typically protect their investments by lobbying for less restrictive regulations. Therefore, the desire to maintain access rights will be an important political determinant of the use of reserves in managing marine resources. Potential On-Site Economic Benefits to Fisheries and Other Users As Chapter 5 indicates, consensus is beginning to emerge about how some of the services produced from marine resources would change with MPAs and reserves. For instance, it is reasonably clear from much of the research to date that reserves will, under most circumstances, increase the biomass of exploited fish stocks, increase biodiversity, and allow recovery of the ecosystem to a more natural state within the reserves. These types of changes would produce important and valuable new services for direct, on-site, nonconsumptive and possibly some consumptive users. For example, it is likely that a more diverse and natural ecosystem would appeal to tourists and divers. Also, reserves would give fishery scientists and managers a baseline with which to compare undisturbed and exploited systems, which is especially valuable for increasing the accuracy of parameters used in fish stock assessment models. In addition, for people interested in the heritage values associated with protected and natural systems, reserves would also produce important new benefits. The total magnitude of these kinds of potential on-site benefits is an empirical question that has not yet been widely examined. Understanding the benefits within reserves from the protection and recovery of more natural systems will require further analysis of various kinds of ecosystem services that are not typically marketed. However, marine reserves may be the only method for preserving unique habitats and ecosystems. Measuring Non-Market Benefits Some of the services provided by marine ecosystems have market prices that can be adjusted to reflect their direct economic value. For example, the market prices of fishery products are commonly monitored and recorded in order to gauge the apparent values that consumers place on fishery products as well as 1In re Steuart Transportation Co., 495 F. Supp. 38, 40, E.D. Va. 1980.
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Page 50the input costs used to provide these products. At the same time, market prices are not available for all services and, in some cases, may understate the true value of natural resource services. Market prices also may not give the correct “signals” about values that might be associated with either marine products or marine ecosystem services in the future. The challenge is to derive methods that can be used as market value “proxies” to assess an ecosystem's current nonmarket values where possible and to adapt those methods to predict what the values might be for future generations. Particular challenges include how to 1. assign economic values to on-site nonconsumptive services that benefit activities such as tourism, education, and scientific knowledge or to services provided off-site or indirectly through the site's role in the ecosystem; 2. incorporate externalities, such as damage to habitat or bycatch; 3. overcome technical difficulties in assessing the extent of the resource (i.e., marine biological diversity); and 4. account for what we don't know (complex ecosystem dynamics). When market values are not available, proxy values have been computed to give at least a minimum (economic) estimate of how people value marine ecosystem services. Methods for measuring these proxy values include (1) hedonic values (Ridker and Henning, 1967; Brown and Mendelsohn, 1984; Garrod and Willis, 1993); (2) complementary marketed goods (Braden and Kolstad, 1991; Freeman, 1993; Hanley and Spash, 1993); and (3) surveys to determine values (often called the “contingent value” method) (Davis, 1963; Brookshire et al., 1976; Mitchell and Carson, 1989). The hedonic approach (HA) attempts to decompose the price of a marketed good into components that are associated with various attributes, some of which may be environmental. For example, one could gather data on property sales in an area that included some homes with beach front and decompose the sales prices into components that were associated with the dwelling characteristics, those that were associated with the value of bare land, and those that were associated with the aesthetic value of the ocean view. Similarly, analysts who study recreation values attempt to measure how attributes such as congestion, fishing quality, and other measures of environmental characteristics affect the amount people are willing to spend on the recreation experience (Bockstael et al., 1987). Both of these are “hedonic” techniques in the sense that they try to separate a single expression of monetary value into parts representing various characteristics of aesthetic and other valuable experiences (NRC, 1995). The second method, using complementary marketed goods, is typically used in recreational valuation. Often, this approach uses a travel-cost model (TCM) to estimate the value of a particular site. Suppose, for example, that a particular lake is enhanced by restocking with native fish desired by anglers. Then a measure of the minimum of the individual economic values generated by this
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Page 51policy would be the increase in overall travel expenses incurred by people who come to this lake after it is restocked, relative to the number participating before the lake was improved. The third method of deriving proxies for market values is the contingent value method (CVM). This consists of a survey method that places respondents in various hypothetical circumstances and asks questions about how much they might pay for an experience or how much compensation they would need to forgo an experience. For example, respondents may be asked whether they would be willing to pay a higher utility bill (a specified amount per month) to reduce electric power-related air pollution. This method is called contingent value because it elicits monetary valuation of hypothetical (or contingent) circumstances from the respondents. The hedonic and complementary goods methods examine actual behavior and, hence, measure actual (revealed) willingness to pay for environmental goods. The CVM, on the other hand, measures individuals' hypothetical willingness to pay. It should be noted that contingent value studies may be used to measure willingness to accept the loss of some environmental services or opportunities or reduced quality. In theory, these should not be too different (see Willig, 1976), but in actual survey research they often are. All of these methods of developing proxy values for nonmarket services are based upon eliciting the current values of individuals participating today. An important issue, however, is whether these may understate the values that might be held by future generations (Krutilla, 1967). An Example: Valuing Whales How might these methods be used to value whales? A first step is to compare the different kinds of market values attached to whales. Whale meat is marketed in some countries; hence there is a market price based on whale consumption. At the same time, there are competing market values associated with the nonconsumptive use of whales. For example, whereas whalers once set out from Lahaina, Nantucket, and other ports worldwide on multiyear voyages armed with harpoons, their descendants may set out on day trips from the same port, escorting passengers armed with cameras. Tourists are willing to pay significant sums for a whale-watching tour, mainly to experience whales in their natural environment. It is likely, in fact, that the market values of a whale-watching trip far exceed the market values associated with whale meat. Whales also have value through their ecological role in maintaining the natural abundance of other marine species, including commercially valuable fisheries. Most people agree that whales are appreciated for more than simply their value as a marketed commodity such as meat or an object of guided tours. So a next step would be to try to compute the off-site nonconsumptive values that
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Page 52people place on whales, even when they have no direct contact or other physical interaction with them. These include the more difficult-to-measure existence values, bequest values, and heritage values that current generations derive from the simple knowledge that whales are part of functioning marine ecosystems. They are measurable only through survey elicitation methods such as contingent value surveys. Putting a dollar value on these assets is contentious and technically difficult, but economists and others argue that attempting to compute some reasonable values is preferable to letting them be undervalued in a political process that often undervalues public goods (Hoagland et al., 1995). Importantly, in the cases where methods have been careful and sound, the values can be large. A real example of calculations quantifying nonmarket values involved asking how much the public felt deprived when the spill of oil by the Exxon Valdez polluted Alaska's scenically spectacular shoreline. In this well-known case, researchers surveyed households throughout the United States (excluding Alaska) and found that, on average, people were willing to pay about $30 to prevent another oil spill (Carson et al., 1992). The jury in the Exxon case awarded $5.3 billion in damages—a figure that was in the range determined by the contingent value studies. In principle, such dollar values could be determined for other marine ecosystems. Examples from other studies that use hedonic, travel-cost, or contingent valuation methods to estimate monetary values for marine and terrestrial reserves are presented in Table 4-2. It should also be pointed out that assigning a monetary value to the existence of whales engenders a vigorous debate because some people consider such calculations irrelevant and possibly immoral—a misguided attempt to put all human values in economic terms. Just as profiting from slave labor is viewed as immoral, hunting an endangered species may be viewed as immoral by some, in part because of the deprivation extended to all future generations. A last point is that the values expressed by current generations may not reflect the values that might be placed on certain environmental resources by our descendants. In fact, it is likely that as environmental resources become relatively scarce compared with manufactured goods, they will become more valuable. This places special responsibility on the shoulders of current generations to be precautionary when actions are irreversible. So, although it is difficult to place fair market prices on these future values, they must nevertheless be incorporated into current political decisionmaking processes. Public trust resources, as a part of our cultural heritage, merit conservation measures such as marine reserves to prevent biological or functional extinction by current human activities. From these examples, there are at least four categories of values that marine ecosystems might provide with implementation of MPAs: 1. Market values associated with consumptive uses, such as the value of
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Page 60 fishers to lobby for fishery management that uses effort reduction instead of reserves, although effort reductions have other negative consequences for the fishery (see Chapter 3). More research is needed to understand how spatial and conventional effort controls compare in their effects on fishers' incomes, employment stability, and attitudes toward these different management approaches. What about the impact of reserves on fisheries that are not overexploited? In these cases, it seems more difficult to argue that reserves are a win-win or cost-free policy for those whose livelihood depends on the fishery. Although reserves would certainly increase the flow of benefits associated with nonconsumptive uses of protected habitat to some constituents, these would seem to come at a direct cost to others who are being asked to give up exploitation opportunities in the reserves. Nevertheless, a reserve may be viewed as a beneficial investment under some circumstances even in a healthy fishery; following are some examples: 1. Reserves can be designed to enhance resource productivity, by protecting critical habitat, spawning, nursery, and juvenile grounds. Most fishers believe that critical habitat and young fish should be protected. 2. Reserves sited outside fishing grounds are easy candidates for protection but are less likely to benefit the fisheries because they are often population sinks (see Chapter 5). 3. Reserves may be seen as a complementary management method that provides more insurance against unforeseen fluctuations in fish populations and assessment uncertainty than can be achieved through conventional effort controls or catch quotas. Under certain circumstances, reserves could provide the same mean yield as conventional methods, but with greater protection against severe overexploitation or fluctuations of environmental conditions (Agardy, 2000). ECONOMIC INCENTIVES As described above, the benefits and costs of marine reserves are intricately bound up with perceived and de facto property rights to marine resources. Although property rights to marine systems are not secure in the same sense as titled land rights, access rights still have value to customary and potentially new users. Thus, the loss of access rights is viewed as a cost to customary users just as the creation of new access rights would be viewed as a gain. If marine resource rights were marketable, the rights would tend to flow to whoever valued them the most in market transaction (as demonstrated by individual fishing quotas; see NRC, 1999b). Usually, however, marine resource rights are not marketable; hence, disputes and conflicts over their allocation among various contenders tend to be resolved in the political arena, either in regional fishery management council meetings or through congressional action. The political process tends to protect entrenched interests, particularly when the rights involve
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Page 61 services with clear economic value. If reserves are perceived to benefit one user group at the expense of another—for example, dive operators instead of aquarium fish suppliers—the losers will seek mitigation of the costs of their lost access rights. If the intent of a reserve is to benefit the fishery—for example, to use the reserve as a management tool to protect critical habitat for juveniles or to provide insurance against stock collapse—mitigation of the cost of lost fishing areas should not be as important an issue, since the same group (fishers) reap both the costs and the benefits of the action. Several possibilities exist for compromise and conflict resolution in establishing reserves. First, reserves that have the lowest opportunity costs to current stakeholders might be chosen initially for development. These may be areas that have already been dramatically overfished since there will then be little to give up by setting them aside. Although fishers will expect to gain from emigration of fish from reserves (see Chapter 5), the issue to fishers is whether the spill-overs are large enough to compensate for reduced opportunities from closures. Since the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSFCMA) mandates that rebuilding plans be implemented, user groups will be required to incur the upfront costs associated with whatever methods are chosen to rebuild the fishery, and it is only a question of whether fishery reserves will be more effective than other management methods that uniformly reduce harvest throughout the area. However, even though overexploited fisheries appear to be logical choices in terms of the relative ease of implementing reserves, there are drawbacks to focusing only on overexploited fisheries. Some potential benefits of reserves may be realized only in stocks that are not overexploited, including protection of spawning stock, insurance against collapse, protection of habitat, and faster recovery after a disastrous event. Second, where marine reserves are desired for their heritage values, but their establishment would cause specific user groups to bear substantial costs, it might be politically expedient to compensate fishers and other affected individuals for economic losses. This could be done with buyback programs or other capacity reduction methods that may have the auxiliary benefit of redirecting economic activity in fishing communities. Finally, conflicts between perceived winners and losers may simply play out in the political process. This option frequently delays the implementation of reserves, however, because the benefits appear diffuse while the costs are concentrated in a few, politically active industries. Even if reserves make sense from an overall national cost-benefit perspective, it can be difficult to overcome political barriers on the local level. Property Rights and Rights-Based Management Methods Most of the discussion thus far has presumed that management of the nation's fisheries will continue within the current system of imperfectly prescribed property rights in marine waters. In this system, the allocation of marine re-
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Page 62sources will continue to be the result of a political process of compromise among various stakeholder groups locked into conflict over the portfolio of marine ecosystem services. In addition, resources will continue to be exploited as common property, generally under conditions of either regulated open access or regulated restricted access. Two very important consequences result from continuing either open- or restricted-access regimes. First, fisheries will continue to be exploited under the shortsighted approaches that develop among fishers with insecure rights to the resource, through continued pressure to overcapitalize, overexploit, tolerate bycatch, and produce lower-quality fish products of low value. These pressures arise because fishers do not have the proper incentives to act as long-term stewards of the resource. Most fishery economists have concluded that until the problem of insecure property rights is solved, commercial fisheries will continue to exhibit the historical symptoms leading to population collapses and broad economic and biological waste. Second, as discussed earlier, many of the public good benefits associated with marine systems tend to be underrepresented in political processes, with the result that the political system tends to undersupply services such as scientific knowledge, heritage values, existence values, and option values associated with environmental sustainability. Taken together, a critical issue in marine resource management is how to address the problem of common-pool resources to more effectively implement conservation measures, including marine reserves. Changes are occurring in the United States and elsewhere in the world involving movement toward so-called rights-based management schemes (NRC, 1999b). These have various names, including individual transferable quotas and territorial use right fisheries (TURFs), but the important point is that they give fishers a guaranteed access right to a fraction of the total catch or area sanctioned for a specific fishery. Although these systems are not without controversy, they may generate a new stewardship ethic in the fisheries, and where carefully implemented, they have led to more effective management for long-term conservation goals. Perhaps paradoxically, adopting rights-based management methods might make a system of marine reserves and protected areas easier to implement for the following reasons. First, as pointed out above, because the existing system of rights to marine resources is tenuous, various user groups lobby the political system to promote their own interests. This tends to favor commercial and direct user values over noncommercial and indirect public good values. Second, in a system that grants secure access to a given (sustainable) fraction of the resource, fishers could more confidently invest in future yields, such as those expected from a fishery reserve. Although both commercial and noncommercial users may stand to benefit from reserves, groups with a commercial interest may not be willing to risk short-term losses unless they are guaranteed a share of the long-term benefits. Without a system that adjudicates more secure access rights, it will be difficult to resolve the conflicts among stakeholder groups who can
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Page 63 subvert an unpopular policy through “end-run” strategies such as lawsuits and political lobbying. This will delay or prevent reserve implementation and reduce the influence of proponents of reserves who are often underrepresented and over-shadowed by users with a more direct financial stake in the status quo (Box 4-2). In addition to commercial fisheries, other sectors would be affected by reserves, some involving on-site extractive uses of the ocean's resources and others nonextractive uses. It is possible that systems of reserves might generate significant increases in on-site, nonextractive, uses such as tourism, recreation, diving, scientific research, and education, but the value of these nonextractive uses will have to be assessed and measures developed for valuing nonmarket activities such as scientific research and education. More cost-benefit analysis of these kinds of activities will be required to assess how they will be affected by implementation of marine reserves. A final category of benefits, the existence or bequest values, also has to be evaluated carefully. These are perhaps the most difficult to assign monetary value for comparison with other costs and benefits. However, the available estimates obtained using the contingent value method have been significant (see Table 4-2). More studies of this type will be needed to complete a cost-benefit analysis of marine reserves. Cost-Benefit Analysis of Marine Reserves Versus Conventional Management The costs and benefits of marine reserves versus conventional management methods have not been thoroughly examined. There has been little experience with reserves and hence little empirical study of the costs and benefits of implementation. Also, most modeling studies to date have focused on either the biological or the economic performance of reserves, whereas more sophisticated integrated models are needed to facilitate comparison between reserves and conventional fishery management. Analysis of costs and benefits of reserves thus requires more research. Some general issues are discussed below that should be addressed in future studies. For fisheries that are sustainable under conventional management, switching to marine reserves as the primary management approach will essentially substitute one effort control measure for another (see Box 4-1). From a costbenefit standpoint, it is necessary to understand what would happen in the transition as fishers reallocate effort to remaining open areas. Reserves may turn out to be superior to conventional methods alone if there is a long-term gain in sustainable catch that exceeds the catch forgone from the reserve itself. However, the net economic profits from future catches must be discounted vis-à-vis any initial losses. Hence, for healthy fisheries, reserves may not offer dramatic benefits relative to catch and effort controls (reviewed in Milon, 2000). Marine reserves also have been proposed as a supplement to conventional
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Page 64 BOX 4-2 Lessons Learned: Developing a Management Plan for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary During the development of the management plan for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS), opponents of the draft plan were successful in pressuring the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to reduce the proposed area for ecological reserves in the sanctuary from 5% to 0.3%. NOAA coordinated the development of a comprehensive draft management plan that was released for public comment in March 1995. The public hearing process was extremely contentious. The most controversial aspect of the plan was the provision for “no-take” replenishment zones (renamed ecological reserves in the final plan). Release of the final management plan was delayed until September 1996, with most of the provisions for replenishment zones removed (Suman, 1998). Opposition to the plan was led by the Conch Coalition, an alliance of commercial fishers, treasure salvors, real estate interests, and other local residents, particularly those with valuable waterfront property. Subsequent surveys of commercial fishers, dive operators, and members of local environmental groups indicated that support for the reserves was high among dive operators (75%) and local environmental group members (76%) and low (24%) among the commercial fishers (Suman, 1998), Totaled across these three interest groups, 50% supported the implementation of reserves while 30% were opposed. There was a high level of alienation of commercial fishers from the public review process, many of whom (67%) felt that participation in the process did not matter and most of whom (60%) felt that the planning process had not been open and fair. The release of the detailed draft plan triggered the distrust of this key stakeholder group, who rejected the reserve concept despite NOAA's presentations on the fishery benefits of these zones (Suman, 1998). Recent efforts to establish an ecological reserve at the Dry Tortugas, one of the original proposed sites in the FKNMS draft plan have been more successful. Stakeholders were involved in Tortugas 2000 from the outset through a working group comprised of 24 members representing commercial and recreational fishers, environmental groups, recreational divers, researchers, citizens-at-large, regional fishery management councils, and state and federal government agencies. The planning process outlined in Figure 4-3, led to a consensus agreement to create a 185 square nautical mile reserve. This alternative was approved by the Sanctuary Advisory Council in June 1999 and by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council in June 2000. Further approval must come from the National Park Service and the State of Florida, due to jurisdictional overlaps of the proposed reserve sites. The recreational fishing industry appears to be the most vocal in its objection to the Tortugas reserve proposal specifically (Florida Sportsman, August 2000) and to all closed areas in general.a ahttp://www.asafishing.org/programs/govtaffairs/marineprotectedareas.htm and http://www.joincca.org/html/releases/2000/cca_takes_a_stand_against_no_fis htm.
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Page 65 ~ enlarge ~ FIGURE 4-3 Tortugas 2000 planning process. SOURCE: http://fpac.fsu.edu/tortugas/images/process.gif.
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Page 66 management to provide insurance against uncertainty. As described in Chapter 3, conventional methods depend on stock assessments to set the appropriate effort controls or catch levels, but even under the best circumstances, stock assessments contain substantial uncertainty that may lead to overfishing. Marine reserves would provide a form of protection against uncertainty since the reserve would shield a fraction of the stock, which could help repopulate areas that become overfished. The insurance value of reserves has not been rigorously examined in a cost-benefit setting, and doing so will require an integrated bio-economic analysis. COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT Natural Resource Partnerships Successful natural resource partnerships can be formed to implement MPAs if the potential partners can be identified and organized. Systematic social science research can contribute to identifying these partnerships by clarifying cultural differences in natural resource use, such as traditional ties of each group to marine ecosystems, knowledge, conservation ethics, and degree of compliance with laws and regulations. Just as many types of agencies potentially support and are involved in the planning of an MPA, so will there be many types of natural resource users who are potential partners in the MPA. The potential partners—including tourists, fishers, divers, marine product consumers, and conservation organization members—can be identified and assessed by systematic social science surveys and ethnography. Much has been written about the advantages and disadvantages of having community-based management in which the interested public works with regulatory agencies and scientists to manage MPAs and other aspects of the marine environment (Pinkerton, 1989, 1994; Dyer and McGoodwin, 1994; Honneland, 1999). Community-based management, or co-management, refers to an alternative to top-down government regulation and strict market-based regulation models, in which collective solutions are sought for problems in managing common resources (McCay, 2000). It differs from top-down approaches that include stakeholder participation because it involves more than consultation—the community becomes involved in management of the resources. Community-based management of MPAs would involve any social collective or group that has well-documented connections to the marine ecosystem being considered for an MPA and would include clear leadership representation and some decisionmaking apparatus. The MSFCMA defines communities as geographic entities, although an argument could be made for broadening the definition to communities of interest or all stakeholders. Important communities of interest may exist at the local, regional, national, or international level. Five main arguments exist for using a community-based management sys-
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Page 67tem for an MPA. Local residents and other community representatives should be involved because they 1. have some rights (formal or informal) in the involved coastal marine ecosystem; 2. have useful knowledge about the coastal marine ecosystem; 3. have personal or group resources that are needed for the MPA's operation; 4. will destroy or undermine the integrity of the MPA if they are not involved in its establishment and management; or 5. will support and enforce the rules of the MPA if they are involved in its establishment and management. The issue of community management of marine ecosystems often dominates discussions about establishing MPAs. Most marine users perceive they have rights, however established, to features of the marine ecosystem that they use or to which they have become personally and culturally attached. The most common debate is over formal legal ownership and usufructory2 rights derived from historic patterns of use. It is essential to identify and understand the role that such systems of formal and informal user rights have for MPAs. Formal studies of perceived rights should be conducted in order to help establish the core set of interests that should be represented on community-based management teams for an MPA. Lay knowledge exists wherever people have used the marine ecosystem for any significant period, especially over many generations (Stoffle et al., 1994a). The validity and usefulness of such knowledge have not always been appreciated but must be addressed for managers to negotiate a common ground between scientists and users to implement policies with maximal effectiveness and minimal conflict. Community-based management programs must acknowledge that both lay knowledge and scientific research may have value (Stoffle et al., 1994b). Actions taken in the context of incomplete information require agreement among stakeholders, managers, and scientific researchers that regulatory actions are necessary and beneficial despite information gaps and conflicting perceptions of resource status. Community-based marine partnerships often arise because there are insufficient resources to manage and enforce an MPA. Types of resources that communities provide range from physical facilities and equipment, to political support for establishing and operating the MPA, to day-to-day supervision and enforcement of MPA regulations (volunteer monitoring). At the national marine 2A usufructory right is the right to use something in which one has no property, that is, the right to take the fruits of property owned by another.
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Page 68sanctuaries and the Dry Tortugas National Park, there is heavy reliance on voluntary support. Such arrangements are successful when the staff understand why communities provide resources and are trained to build and sustain these relationships. One motivation for managers to employ community-based marine partnerships is fear of public backlash. This fear exists because restrictions placed on the customary users of marine reserve areas make managers vulnerable to public criticism and withdrawal of popular support. Nonetheless, a community-based partnership should not be designed to neutralize public criticism and increase public support without a genuine commitment to the process. Such actions are likely to be viewed as co-optive and will eventually be counterproductive. Instead, strong community-based partnerships should seek to develop mutual interests and mutual respect. Such partnerships generate confidence that all the parties will participate in management, share useful insights, and make the commitment to achieve the common goals for which an MPA was established. In many nations, the development of MPA systems often has placed emphasis on biogeographic criteria and given socioeconomic factors less consideration, delaying participation until a late stage in the process, using a “sequential” approach. An alternative approach considers all of these factors at each stage of exploration, assessment, selection, and design. International experience over-whelmingly indicates that ignoring socioeconomic issues leads to failure of an MPA. According to Kelleher and Recchia (1998), two key lessons learned from establishing MPAs around the world are that (1) local people must be deeply involved from the earliest possible stage in any MPA for it to be successful, and (2) socioeconomic considerations usually determine the success or failure of MPAs. The literature on MPAs is replete with examples of failure when the sequential approach is used. In recognition of this fact, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN, also known as the World Conservation Union) policy statement on MPAs made in 1988 includes the following provisions (Kelleher and Kenchington, 1992): It is the policy of IUCN—The World Conservation Union—to foster marine conservation by encouraging governments, the non-governmental community and international agencies to cooperate in: a) Implementing integrated management strategies to achieve the objectives of the World Conservation Strategy in the coastal and marine environment and in so doing to consider local resource needs as well as national and international conservation and development responsibilities in the protection of the marine environment; b) Involving local people, non-governmental organizations, related industries and other interested parties in the development of these strategies and in the implementation of various marine conservation programmes.
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Page 69 It is also the policy of IUCN to recommend that, as an integral component of marine conservation and management, each national government should seek cooperative action between the public and all levels of government for development of a national system of marine protected areas. This policy, which is based on decades of experience in all parts of the world, clearly indicates that IUCN members agree that socioeconomic issues have to be considered throughout the processes involved in identifying, selecting, and establishing MPAs. Quoted below are some conclusions from the examination of a series of case studies of MPAs (Kelleher and Recchia, 1998). These case studies were from widely different geographic, social, and economic regions. Conclusions included the following: Socioeconomic considerations usually determine the success or failure of MPAs. In addition to biophysical factors, these considerations should be addressed from the outset in identifying sites for selecting and managing MPAs. Local people must be deeply involved from the earliest possible stage in any MPA that is to succeed. This involvement should extend to their receiving clearly identifiable benefits from the MPA. It is better to have an MPA that is not ideal in an ecological sense, but meets the primary objective, than to strive vainly to create the “perfect MPA.” Design and management of MPAs must be both top-down and bottom-up. Has the “sequential” approach been successful anywhere in establishing MPAs? Perhaps the best example of the sequential approach is that developed by the Canadian government, although many other countries or states have tried it in less systematic ways. As early as 1990, Canada had identified the 29 major biogeographic provinces of its marine environment and had developed an elegant systems approach to identifying priority areas for the establishment of representative MPAs. The outline of the method used is set out in IUCN's Guide-lines for Establishing Marine Protected Areas (Kelleher and Kenchington, 1992). It exemplifies the sequential approach in that it was based on scientific considerations, without explicitly considering socioeconomic issues. However, Canada's program to establish MPAs at the federal level has not been very successful. Since 1990, only one MPA has been established formally (the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park) and one tentatively (the Gully). This result can be compared with the experience of other countries, such as Indonesia, where socioeconomic issues are considered in parallel with ecological factors in an integrated way and where many MPAs have been established since 1990. However, the establishment of MPAs is only one measure of the effectiveness of the sequential versus the integrated approach. The next level of assessment is to determine whether MPAs have been effective in meeting their design goals.
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Page 70 Examination of MPA experiences worldwide led to the following conclusion (Kelleher and Kenchington, 1992): There is no simple or “turn-key” solution. What works for one nation or group of nations can rarely be transposed unmodified to another ecological or socio-economic environment. Nevertheless, there are strategic principles which are virtually universally applicable. One such principle is that a marine protected area is likely to be successful only if the local people are directly involved in its selection, establishment and management. One almost universal aspect of human nature is people's suspicion of any action or program that may significantly affect their well-being if they have not been meaningfully involved in its design. If people as a group feel that they have not been part of the decision-making process, with genuine influence, it is usually difficult to obtain high levels of compliance from that group (Hanna, 1998). Instead, the group is likely to concentrate on the possible negative effects of the decision or action on its welfare. The best way to avoid losing support from one of these groups is to involve it in all aspects of a project. A person's strength of commitment to a course of action is likely to be proportional to the amount of “ownership” the person feels for that course. This sense of ownership is jeopardized by any exclusion from the decisionmaking process but is fostered when people can see that the plan considers their welfare in its design. Likewise, it is almost impossible in most modern societies to achieve long-term success in an action that affects the welfare of a local community if the community is opposed to the action. This has been demonstrated specifically in relation to MPAs (Salm and Clark, 1984, 2000; Kelleher and Recchia, 1998). Experience from all parts of the world demonstrates that the apparent savings in time, human resources, and cost that might be achieved by excluding stakeholders—and thus avoiding conflict in early phases of a project—are illusory. When stakeholders are excluded initially, the later phases of a project often include conflicts arising from the reactions summarized above, which result in costs many times greater than the savings made through the initial exclusion of stakeholders.
Representative terms from entire chapter: