Welcome to PAP/RAC Mediterranean Coastal Alert! This newsletter is regularly updated monthly. It contains abstracts of selected current articles and archives on various environmental themes, in particular those dealing with all aspects of coastal issues. The selection is made from the articles published in the leading international scientific journals. This newsletter is an excellent way of keeping you updated with coastal studies and processes.
This paper examines the governance of coastal environments in Fiji with a view to identifying the strategic issues that constrain the achievement of integrated coastal management. Integration has, in recent years, become a major focus of efforts to improve environmental management in many parts of the world. This issue is pursued by using governance as a framework. The dominant concepts and strategies being used around the world in environmental governance are then considered as a prelude into the identification and discussion of the major governance issues affecting coastal management in Fiji. These are identified as: (i) integration and coordination, (ii) the need for system-wide governance reform, (iii) the degree of centralisation, (iv) coastal planning, (v) information and (vi) the capacity of governance.
Marine stingers hospitalize approximately 100 people annually in tropical Australian waters, and are known to have caused at least 73 fatalities. Elsewhere in the tropical and temperate seas of the world, marine stingers pose a similar threat to human safety, and reported sting numbers are on the rise. Lycra body suits ("stinger suits") have been used for stinger protection since the early 1980s, but have not been formally tested as a barrier against Irukandji (Carukia barnesi) tentacles. Other products are being used and developed; however, no safety standards currently exist for this widely used form of protective equipment. Eight products were tested with live C. barnesi: a Lycra stinger suit used by Surf Life Saving, a product developed by ROBIS Pty. Ltd. and marketed as "The Stinger Suit", three different styles of nylon pantyhose, two sport products designed to "wick away" moisture and keep the wearer cooler, and a 0.5-mm neoprene wetsuit. Products were evaluated for seven common concerns relating to safety and practical wearability. Primary concerns, i.e., those relating to performance of the fabric in preventing stings, include: ease of penetration by jellyfish tentacles, adherence of tentacles or body to fabric, and potential for crushing through the fabric. Secondary concerns, i.e., those relating to overall usage as stinger-preventative clothing, include: durability or integrity of the barrier, whether the product is available as a one-piece garment, heat-retention properties, and product cost. In general, the tighter the fabric weave, the better tentacle exclusion, and the smoother the fabric, the more resistant to adherence. Lycra is vulnerable to crushing of tentacles through the fabric, but appears to be the best choice for routine-use stinger-protective clothing. Recommendations are made for safe use of protective clothing, as a basis for development of an Australian Standard in protective clothing for marine stinger safety.
Many governments have encouraged integrated resort development in an attempt to improve the well-being of the local population by generating jobs and increasing income, and because of the easier control of tourism activities within their boundaries. However, most research reports various adverse environmental and social impacts. Because of the difficulty of assessing the impacts that may result from the construction of integrated resorts, the majority of research has been conducted after their construction. This study is an impact assessment carried out prior to a large-scale development that examines whether an integrated resort proposed for development at Cavo Sidero, Crete, will result in positive impacts for the destination and the local community, and it investigates whether any conflicting interests have arisen within stakeholder groups. Through primary research examining various stakeholder groups it is revealed that economic impacts are perceived as mostly positive, while social and environmental impacts, in many cases, are viewed as negative, and that conflicting interests have arisen between different stakeholder groups.
As demands on aquatic resources increase, there is a growing need to monitor and assess their condition. This paper reviews a variety of aquatic environmental assessments, at local, national, international and global scales and finds confusion in the terminology used to describe assessments. In particular the terms 'ecosystem' and 'integrated' are often misused resulting in lack of clarity. Therefore, definitions of some assessment terminology are suggested, consolidating existing proposals and simplifying future applications. A conclusion from the review is that a new classification system is required. The categorisation system proposed builds on preliminary work of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). Assessment classification is based on the environmental components considered, methodologies and nature of the linkages between components, and the inclusion or exclusion of socio-economic factors. The assessment terminology and categorisation system provided could in future simplify the way that assessments are defined and used to inform development of management strategies.