A deliberative approach to valuation and precautionary management of cold water corals in Norway
AuthorFalk-Andersson, Jannike; Foley, Naomi; Armstrong, Claire W.; van den Hove, Sybille; van Rensburg, Thomas; Tinch, Rob
This paper explores management challenges in relation to human impacts on cold water corals (CWC) in Norway. CWC are a slow growing organism about which there is uncertainty regarding distribution and values. We discuss area closures to protect this environmental public good against destructive fishing practices. Focus groups were combined with questionnaires to inform precautionary management measures that can be used to protect known CWC as well as areas where CWC are thought to exist. The research finds that respondents believe CWC are valuable and should be protected, but that this requires information on their presence and importance. Furthermore, priorities for protecting CWC differed between group discussions and the questionnaire responses. Use-values, particularly habitat supporting fish production, dominated the focus group discussions, while non-use and intrinsic values were emphasised in the questionnaire responses. Respondents rejected the use of the precautionary measure of temporary closures to gain information on CWC presence. Reasons were costs to fishers, and the rejection of the premise that precautionary closures would prevent further damage. This study shows that both use- and non-use values are effective arguments motivating people to support policies for nature protection. However, they are not sufficient to motivate support for precautionary measures that would provide significant but uncertain benefits for known costs. To motivate support for precautionary policies, there is a need to communicate better the types of organisms, services and values that may be lost without protection.
CitationFalk-Andersson et al., Maritime Studies (2015) 14:7
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