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.
The socioeconomic implications of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and perceptions of stakeholders on MPA impacts are important to consider when designing, implementing, and managing MPAs. However, the currently available knowledge about these areas and especially of stakeholder perceptions is scarce and limited to restricted geographic areas. The present study aims to address this gap by examining these factors in the Mediterranean and Black Seas using an extensive literature review and an online survey approach. We collated and examined a total of 208 published studies on socioeconomic impacts of MPAs and marine uses. We found that for fishing, the socioeconomic impacts of MPAs were generally perceived as negative for industrial fishing and positive for artisanal fishing. In the online survey, we collected ca. 100 responses and found that stakeholder perceptions on the impacts of MPAs differ across sectors and regions. Industrial fishing was perceived as being negatively impacted in the Black Sea, while most respondents from the Mediterranean Sea were neutral in their responses relating industrial fishing and MPAs. The impact of MPAs on artisanal and recreational fishing was generally viewed as neutral by respondents from the Black Sea, whereas most Mediterranean respondents indicated a positive impact of MPAs. We also found that perceptions of the major threats to MPAs differed across the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Responses from the Black Sea were systematically shifted towards a more negative perception of threats to MPAs compared to those from the Mediterranean Sea. Illegal fishing and other illegal activities were considered to be the most relevant threats to MPAs by stakeholders in both regions. The mismatch found between evidence of MPA effectiveness and impacts from the scientific literature and the results of our survey suggests that within the framework of maritime spatial planning and ecosystem-based management, effective MPA planning should be informed by multiple sources across regions.
Keywords: Impact assessment; Marine Protected Areas (MPAs); Mediterranean Sea; Black Sea; Social perceptions.
Source: M. Pascual, M. Rossetto, E. Ojea, N. Milchakova, S. Giakoumi, S. Kark, D. Korolesova and P. Melià (2016); “Socioeconomic impacts of marine protected areas in the Mediterranean and Black Seas”, Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 133, December 2016, pp. 1–10;
Coastal zones attract a large number of people and productive activities. This puts pressure on ecosystems and affects the organization of local economies, having an impact on social cohesion and coherence. The complexity of coastal socio-spatial systems and the fact that coastal zones, and, more particularly, islands that are considered vulnerable areas (that is, parameters: such as sea level rising, desertification, built-up areas excessive expansion, etc.) and important for the overall operation of the state imply the significance of a further study of the subject. The paper deals with the principal socio-spatial pressures on coastal zones and islands that are caused by unregulated urban growth. The incompetent spatial planning framework, the “loose” political system, related to urban growth, and the socio-economical characteristics are considered as the principal reasons for built-up areas excessive dispersion. Here, delineation of the coastal zone is proposed, using physico-geographical and man-made variables. Soil Sealing dataset is used to illustrate where built-up areas dispersion and basic metrics can be applied. Furthermore, an overview of the planning spatial framework is attempted, so that the particularities of urban growth can be interpreted.
Source: G. Tsilimigkas, M. Deligianni and T. J. Zerbopoulos (2016); “Spatial typologies of Greek coastal zones and unregulated Urban growth”, Journal of Coastal Conservation, October 2016, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp. 397–408; First Online: 18 August 2016, under DOI: 10.1007/s11852-016-0453-9.
This study investigates the diurnal and semidiurnal tidal responses of the entire China Sea to a potential rise in sea level of 0.5–2 m. A modified two-dimensional tidal model based on MIKE21 is primarily configured and validated for the present situation; then, three (0.5, 1, 2 m) sea-level rise (SLR) scenarios are simulated with this model. The predicted results show that the principal lunar semidiurnal (M2) and diurnal (K1) tidal constituents respond to SLR in a spatially nonuniform manner. Generally, changes of M2 and K1 amplitudes in shallow waters are larger than those in the deep sea, and significant tidal alterations mainly occur in the Bohai and Yellow seas, Jianghua Bay, Hangzhou Bay, Taiwan Strait, Yangtze River estuary, Pearl River estuary, and Beibu Bay. Possible mechanisms further discussed for these changes mainly relate to bottom friction decreasing, amphidromic point migration, and resonant effect change. Additionally, simulated changes in M2 and K1 amplitudes in response to three SLR scenarios imply that M2 amplitude changes are proportional to the magnitude of SLR, whereas this proportionality does not hold for K1 amplitudes. Identifying the response of tides in the China Sea to SLR not only increases our knowledge of tidal systems, but also assists in setting conservation requirements and management plans in coastal areas.
Keywords: Tidal regime change; Migration of amphidromes; Numerical simulation.
Source: C. Kuang, H. Liang, X. Mao, B. Karney, J. Gu, H. Huang, W. Chen and H. Song (2016); “Influence of potential future sea-level rise on tides in the China Sea”, Journal of Coastal Research; Research In-Press; Online ahead of print; Received: 2 April 2 2016; Accepted: 31 May 2016; Revised: 21 July 2016; DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-16-00057.1
While the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is continuously improving its communication, visualisation has taken a back seat to more pressing issues. The consequence is a set of IPCC imagery where our understanding of perception remains empirically unchallenged. The visual design (defined in this study as the method, technique, and style used to create a visual) directly affects perception and yet, we know very little about how people intuitively respond to visuals depicting climate science. This study examines the perception of four images from the IPCC summary report for policymakers and two open sourced infographics. Using a group-administered study we found the visual design to have a significant impact on a novice readers ability to associate relevant words with an image. While the visuals part of the summary for policymakers educed a sense of confidence, a well-designed infographic left readers feeling less confident. The veneer of legitimacy associated with IPCC visuals is because they look scientific, whereas infographic images were found to look less serious. We acknowledge the accessibility of an infographic but urge IPCC authors to use it with caution, as any negative impact on scientific credibility is an unwanted feature in IPCC communication.
Keywords: Scientific veneer; IPCC visuals.
Source: R. McMahon, M. Stauffacher and R. Knutti, R. (2016); “The scientific veneer of IPCC visuals”, Climatic Change, October 2016, Volume 138, Issue 3, pp. 369–381; First Online: 2 August 2016, under DOI: 10.1007/s10584-016-1758-2