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Conflicts in some of the World harbours: what needs to happen next?

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Harbours are a focus of intensive and diverse activities and thus have a high potential to become centres of conflict between users. Reviewing the multiple uses associated with harbours provides important insights into maritime communities and the management of conflict. In this paper, seven international, multi-disciplinary groups provide their expert synthesis of individual harbours. After a detailed discussion experts from Sydney, Qingdao, Vigo, Auckland, Jakarta, Crete and Plymouth synthesised and shared their harbour’s characteristics, user conflicts and how such conflicts have been researched and managed. The paper addresses an omission of “conflict” in most of the research literature about harbours, and ports and scopes a research agenda that includes integration, risk appreciation and other approaches to these increasingly contentious maritime environments. This process provided an opportunity for global researchers to share the ways harbour conflicts are mitigated and the kinds of adaptations that are possible.
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R E S E A R C H Open Access
Conflicts in some of the World harbours:
what needs to happen next?
Stuart Pearson
, Wiwin Windupranata
, Setiyo Widodo Pranowo
, Amanda Putri
, Yingjie Ma
, Ana Vila-Concejo
Emilio Fernández
, Gonzalo Méndez
, Jo Banks
, Antony M. Knights
, Louise B. Firth
, Barbara Bollard Breen
Rebecca Jarvis
, J. David Aguirre
, Shengnan Chen
, Adam Nicholas Howard Smith
, Peter Steinberg
Eva Chatzinikolaou
and Christos Arvanitidis
* Correspondence:
School of Physical, Environmental
and Mathematical Sciences,
University of New South Wales,
Canberra 2600, Australia
Full list of author information is
available at the end of the article
Harbours are a focus of intensive and diverse activities and thus have a high potential
to become centres of conflict between users. Reviewing the multiple uses associated
with harbours provides important insights into maritime communities and the
management of conflict. In this paper, seven international, multi-disciplinary groups
provide their expert synthesis of individual harbours. After a detailed discussion experts
from Sydney, Qingdao, Vigo, Auckland, Jakarta, Crete and Plymouth synthesised and
shared their harbours characteristics, user conflicts and how such conflicts have been
researched and managed. The paper addresses an omission of conflictin most of the
research literature about harbours, and ports and scopes a research agenda that
includes integration, risk appreciation and other approaches to these increasingly
contentious maritime environments. This process provided an opportunity for
global researchers to share the ways harbour conflicts are mitigated and the kinds
of adaptations that are possible.
Harbours, the lands and water around constructed ports, are a scarce resource and the
focus of a variety of uses and users of land and sea. Harbours are critically important
social and environmental places imbued with cultural meanings and complex values
that attract diverse users and generate conflict. Harbour users seek to access a com-
mon pool of natural resources for different ends so there are often conflicts of interest.
There is a gap in the literature of harbours and port-related conflict research that
has limited the research and adoption of new solutions. Generic coastal conflict re-
search (Stepanova and Bruckmeier, 2013) does contribute to understanding harbours,
however studying the ways that conflicts are solved in a specific harbour shows some-
thing important about the harbour users themselves and their situation. The situations,
values, actions, and decisions that lead to conflicts in the harbours known to the ex-
perts in this paper provide insights and opportunities for further understanding and
improved management. Using existing knowledge (including traditional and scientific
research), and knowledge of the institutions, governance, markets, legal frameworks,
spatial zoning, suasion and other measures provides a useful synthesis. How conflicts
are resolved shows important economic, social and environmental characteristics of
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Pearson et al. Maritime Studies (2016) 15:10
DOI 10.1186/s40152-016-0049-x
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harbours and identifies where research opportunities exist and this is the focus of this
comparative synthesis paper.
The explicit omission of conflictin most of the research literature about harbours
and ports (Ng et al., 2014), is interesting and stands in contrast to other literature about
commons and natural resource conflicts such as in fisheries, forestry and air pollution
(Dietz et al., 2003). Perhaps the research gap is linked to the complexity of harbours
and the inability of single disciplines to identify, understand and manage conflicts in
harbours. Single discipline approaches sometimes can cauterize the problem with a spe-
cific fix, such as heritage, or zoning uses out of the area or optimising for a specific set
of port efficiency measures. Yet the enduring and emerging complex problems appear
to require involvement of multiple disciplines and stakeholders. Approaching harbours
from different perspectives means that engineers, ecologists, economists and other re-
searchers have realised the need to integrate their knowledge in order to understand
and provide actionable knowledge. In this paper researchersintegration of human
and biophysical science perspectives from case studies of conflicts in world harbours
shows that options do exist for opening-up to new modes of science and knowledge
Over the last three decades the failures in Integrated Coastal Zone Management
(IZCM), of which harbours can be an example, can be partly attributed to ICZMs in-
ability to resolve conflicts (Stepanova and Bruckmeier, 2013). Avoiding or postponing
natural resource management conflict often relies on; allaying public concern using
strategic plans, protected areas and environmental impact assessment, public assur-
ances (Jacobson et al., 2014) funding research that do not negatively influence policy or
management, applying strong top-down strategies, spatial planning tools or transferring
governance to market-like mechanisms. Research can open-up some opportunities for
systemic change. Deliberative and discursive approaches that enhance collaboration are
more important when and where there are knowledge gaps, complexity, uncertainty
and rapid change (Bammer, 2013). By these criteria, harbours are a focus of contest
and provide a new kind of research opportunity in natural resource and environmental
management more broadly.
The literature about harbour conflicts
Researchers studying fisheries, forestry and other natural resources find recurring pat-
terns of conflict around the world (Martinez-Alier, 2009). Given that harbours and
ports, those parts of harbours modified by logistic facilities, are the focus of so many
users with different interests the authors of this paper were surprised that harbours
have so few conflicts reported in the literature. The conflicting and dynamic values pro-
jected on harbours have not been subject to as much research as other places. Re-
sources such as coastal and urban areas (for example the Solutions to Environmental
Contrasts in Coastal Areas (SECOA) program with outputs such as Morf et al., 2013)
have shown the promise of directly addressing conflict through research. No papers
reporting research on harbours and their conflicts or syntheses were found, yet there
are good examples of coastal conflict literature (for example SECOAs synthesis is pub-
lished by Stepanova and Bruckmeier, 2013). Charlier and Vigneaux (1986) observed a
general pattern that:
Pearson et al. Maritime Studies (2016) 15:10 Page 2 of 23
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It has been a common occurrence, over the last decades, for conflicts and competition
to develop, among existing and potential users of the coastal zone. An agonizing choice
has been forced in many instances upon governing bodies, even private enterprises,
involving frequently considerable economic, social and ecological impact.
Green and Penning-Rowsell (1999) described why conflict is inherent from coastal
systems and Biliana Cicin-Sains (2003) comparative analysis of coastal conflict is sem-
inal. The methods used to describe coastal conflict, such as the matrices used to com-
pare NW Europe estuaries (Cutts and Hemingway, 2013), have now been widely
applied. Stepanova and Brukmeier (2013) provided the most useful review of coastal
conflict literature and identified four theoretical concepts; environmental conflict
(Homer-Dixon, 2010), resource conflicts caused by scarcity in distribution, Malthusian
depletion conflicts, and common pool dilemmas. In a review of European coastal con-
flicts, Stepanova (2014) showed the potential of knowledge integration and the neces-
sity of conflict resolution in sustainable resource management. Yet conflict research in
harbours has not been on either the policy or the research agenda.
Harbours are intense concentrations of users who compete and collaborate and both
of these require information and can benefit from new knowledge and research. For ex-
ample, Elinor Ostroms (governance) framework of ownership, allocation, distribution
and exchange of resources (Dietz et al., 2003) appears promising and harbours may be
an ideal test environment for adaptive management approaches. Harbours may serve to
examine power, different values, and knowledge that are seen as hindrances to co-
operation in other environments.
Harbours have particularly difficult governance problems connected to intractable
management problems. Normative questions about reducing resource damage, sharing
and justice are controversial in these highly modified ecosystems. While more science
is both necessary it is also insufficient for improving harbour governance. Proposals for
adaptive management often seek to reframe the intractable problems and conflicts as
simpler information deficit and cooperation problems rather than competition prob-
lems. Yet the dominant paradigm, especially for innovative ports, is to achieve commer-
cial, national and corporate interests and some sustainability or green results (Acciaro
et al., 2014).
A recent synthesis of 28 conflict cases in EU coastal environments is particularly
useful (Morf et al., 2013), because it provided typologies of conflict, detailed analyses
and generated forecasts of conflict. The authors found that coastal conflicts involved
entities (individuals or collectives) that want to make use of resources - either dir-
ectly or indirectly - and that an important driver of conflict was the perception that
one user could benefit by excluding others (Reed et al., 2009). When more than one
use was involved, there was generally conflict. Harbours are scarce resources, a place
of safety that offers spatial and temporal advantage to many uses, so conflicts that
relate to perceptions about incompatible goals and interference between users are in-
evitable. These perceptions are framed by culture, history, knowledge and institu-
tions so the management of harbours may benefit from a mixture of existing and
new knowledge.
Cutts and Hemingway (2013) suggested six kinds of information necessary to under-
stand and manage estuaries and it seems reasonable to extend these to harbours:
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1. users and uses of the system (legal and illegal, desirable and undesirable);
2. sectoral areas that most require management (or improved management);
3. spatial areas that most require management (or improved management);
4. synergies that occur and how they might be expanded or better used; and
5. areas where conflict is less than expected (e.g. systems are in place that may be
particularly good at managing multi-user issues); or
6. areas of unusually high conflict (needing further research to avoid management
Coastal and ocean-use planners often use conflict matrices (e.g. Fig. 1) to organize in-
formation about resources and to identify incompatibilities of uses. This is followed by
the development of a spatial management (zoning) plan in an effort to avoid conflict or
formally allocate uses through spatial and temporal restrictions or market-like instru-
ments. Additional information (and more complexity) can be incorporated into models
and multi-criteria approaches to inform stakeholders and decision-makers. These have
been used in European coastal conflict transformation (Stepanova and Bruckmeier,
2013) and making these information management tools for communities and
decision-makers were a highlight of the SECOA program. However, there is a danger
that these matrices and tool become overly complex such that they fail to engage
stakeholders. Therefore ensuring a trade-off between sufficient complexity to describe
and explain conflicts effectively, while remaining interpretable, engaging, and sup-
porting planner decision-making in conflict resolution should be of primary consider-
ation when developing tools.
Fig. 1 Extract of a conflict matrix showing the sensitivity and significance of conflict between categories of
different uses in one estuary (Cutts and Hemingway, 2013: 10)
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To determine if the gap in harbour research that explicitly considered conflict was
international, and if research contributions could be helpful, we used a combination of
workshops and follow-up discussions involving multiple experts. We gathered case
studies of conflicts in seven selected harbours. Table 1 provides some of the character-
istics of the harbours to contextualise the variety of harbours considered in this synthe-
sis. The aim was to briefly provide context for future research considerations and to
provide insights into the nature of harbour problem-based research that could potential
support adaptive governance or other management approaches. The authors shared
their insights on the important or interesting conflicts that have emerged and how they
were resolved.
This is not a systematic literature review, but an elicitation of information from re-
searchers and experts from each harbour. The short description in each case reflects
what the expert thinks is important about the harbour, the conflicts that exist and the
way research, and knowing more about the harbour conflicts, might help more widely
harbour managers and researchers.
This method discovered useful options for conflict management that are worthy of
sharing and further exploration such as ecosystem and cultural mapping, strengthened
resolve of government to enforce legal provisions, spatial planning, extra-national en-
vironmental and food quality standards and improved integration of research and
knowledge management efforts. Each harbour made unique contributions and there
was not evidence that new discoveries were declining with additional harbours being
considered. Table 2 provides the highlights that each case makes to the overall under-
standing of harbours and conflict management. The method is necessarily exploratory.
In a subsequent project, we hope to develop stand-alone case studies for harbours and
further analyse the existing conflicts and the way harbours of the future could be in-
formed by research.
Harbour case studies
Sydney Harbour, Australia, conflicts within an iconic harbour
Sydney Harbours deep-dropping shores provide great anchorages and few opportun-
ities for foreshore reclamation. As a result, most of the rocky and cliffed shoreline re-
mains relatively natural with about 7 % percent being beaches, mudflats and mangrove
stands (Mitchell and Silver, 1989). Although seawalls and beach modifications have
occurred widely, the marine assets are exceptional and the biophysical characteristics
provide abundant and variable landscapes that require sensitive management. Sydney
Harbour has more fish species (586) than the entire coast of the UK and astonishing
biological diversityinhabiting diverse habitats from sub-tidal rocky reef to soft bottoms
and beaches (Hutchings et al., 2013).
Sydney Harbour is a global icon, an important tourist destination and the site of Austra-
lias largest city. The Harbour is enjoyed by residents and visitors alike for its natural
beauty, accessible beaches, and iconic structures (the Opera House and Bridge primarily)
(Banks et al., 2016). Commuters use ferries and water taxis, while yachtsmen and recre-
ational boaters enjoy the sheltered waters, bay, and marinas (see Table 3) (Hoisington,
2015; NSW Government Maritime Management Centre, 2013). Some dry goods and oil
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Table 1 Summary of selected harbour characteristics
Greater metropolitan
Bio-physical characteristics Social & economic indicators
Type of estuary
Tidal range
(sp. no.)
GDP of city
(US$ B)
visits pa
Total trade
(tonnes, M)
Total trade
(US$ B)
(US$ B)
(US$ B)
Sydney, Australia 4.63 372.4 Large, Drowned
river valley
50 500 1 >3000 74 540 4 27 45 10
Ria de Vigo, Spain 0.4 1113
Drowned river
179 751 2 >3000 7.7 (2012) 1540
4.1 13.1 Not available 7.2
Qingdao, China 9.0 1100 Large Shallow gulf 362 >6000 4 >513 129 Not
468 157 77 80
Jakarta, Indonesia 30.5 9500 Large, Coastal
514 >2,000 1 >700 (fish,
and molluscs)
143.67 17,800 45.7 64.85 49.04
(Jan-Jul 2014)
(Apr-Jul 2014)
Plymouth, United
0.3 3,459.5 Small, Drowned
river valley
64 2,295 5.9 ~8,400 Not available ~1,500 2.1 14 Not available
Auckland, New
1.6 2500 Large river valley 80 390 2 unknown 74.7 1600 4.4 26 16.8 9.6
Heraklion (Crete),
0.30 444.6 None 0.87 684.3 ~0 >300 (meio- and
6.3 (2011) 2,629 0.23 Not available
includes surrounding municipalities
(National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, 2015)
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are shipped commercially from the Harbour but most port functions were transferred to
nearby Botany Bay in the 1980s (Sydney Ports Corporation, 2014). Massive international
cruise liners visit in increasing numbers; from 119 in 200910 to 280 in 201415 (Sydney
Ports Corporation, 2014).
The shorelines of Sydney Harbour reflect the conflict of private versus public inter-
ests. Since European settlement wealthy Sydney-siders have built properties that effect-
ively limit access for the rest of the population (Davies and Wright, 2014). Some
beaches narrowed or became inaccessible as foreshore developments and seawalls
encroached upon them. In 1925, the government reclaimed some land back into public
ownership e.g. Lane Cove National Park (Davies and Wright, 2014), but this was a rare
response to the problem of privatising public land through waterfront development.
The experience with marinas (Table 3) triggered a more principled approach to plan-
ning the changing uses of the harbour and these principles are applicable to many
world harbours.
Table 2 Contribution to researchers, managers and others from each case-study to the synthesis
of harbours and conflict management
From Researchers can learn Managers can learn Others can learn
Sydney Biodiversity Importance of legal standing,
social licence, principled
approach to planning,
Relocation of old port facilities
out of the harbour
Growing importance of aesthetic
PPB contaminants Relocation of old port facilities
out of the harbour
Historical and natural values
Ria de
The importance of integrated
responses to harbour issues in
these highly productive
Pressures of growth in
hinterland and fisheries that
threaten marine values and fail
European directives.
Raft mussels provides an
ecosystem service that relies on
managing harbour users.
Qingdao Capacity of land-based
pollution receiving waters
Importance of integrated
response to major challenges
Including legislation and
eco-compensation policies
Harbours in very rapid step-wise
transition and from primary,
secondary to tertiary industry
Opportunities for large scale
ecosystem restoration and
Historical values
Jakarta pollution impact, social science
opportunities and challenges
Social and cultural mapping and
use research, principled
approach to planning, massive
infrastructure projects
Harbours in rapid step-wise
transition and from primary, to
secondary to tertiary industry
production all at once
Plymouth Monitoring of shallow rock
and sand harbours with
multiple values
Myriad of multiple heritage and
legal measures are unusual
compared to other harbours in
this paper and reflect an active
listing process in the UK.
A busy small working harbour
of high international
ecological value
juxtaposition of sustainable
use vs. environmental
The high relative value of
historical and natural including
the history of mining and
Auckland Local Māori (Ngāti Whātua and 12 other iwi), the Crown and regional
and territorial authorities that collectively manage Auckland Harbour
and Hauraki Gulf are working together.
Heraklion Monitoring of shallow rock
and sand harbours
Intense use in a small harbour
Transition from state-owned to
majority private ownership
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Tenure of the harbour and remaining adjoining lands is vested predominantly in govern-
ment and managed by various public agencies (Banks et al., in press). There is little scope
for new uses to emerge without redundancy of others, such as closing port-side hardstand
areas, finger wharves or Navy areas with replacement by residential, commercial and tour-
ism uses. Often these land use transitions are conflicted and slow, in part due to the time
required to clean-up, re-zone and approve any changes (Waitt and McGuirk, 1997).
The managers of Sydney Harbour face a difficult challenge in balancing the changing
requirements and aspirations of residents, visitors, industry, shipping and other users
(Banks et al., in press; Hedge et al., 2014). Legislation and regulations have addressed
environmental issues (NSW Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, the
NSW Coastal Protection Act 1979 and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity
Conservation Act 1999) and Local Environmental Plans regulate development, however
in the past their implementation may have fared more on political and community will
rather than sound scientific principles (Hedge et al., 2014). In response, in 2013 the
NSW Government created the Marine Estate Management Authority (MEMA) to re-
view the effectiveness of conservation strategies and to introduce a new Risk Assess-
ment Process (Banks et al., in press). The new system incorporates community values
assessments to more fully engage the community in conservation and management
plans for Sydney Harbour and allow greater consideration of environmental issues
alongside its socio-economic values (Banks et al., in press).
Vigo, NW Spain a harbour needing cleaner water for aquaculture
The coastal city of Vigo is in the Ria de Vigo (Evans and Prego, 2003) bathed by the Atlan-
tic Ocean in NW Spain and close to the Portuguese border. Vigo is the largest fishing port
in Europein 2015, 745,087 tons of fish were loadedand a coastal city where industrial
and urban uses coexist with local fisheries and shellfish mariculture. Situated on the
Table 3 Marinas as a microcosm of conflicts within harbours: Sydney
Marinas are the intense use of harbour area for boat storage and, most controversially, often result in the
conversion of public areas to private use. Marina decisions in Sydney were so problematic in the 1980s that
public inquiries (Mitchell and Silver, 1989) resulted in a Sydney Harbour Regional Environmental Plan (2005) with
principles that; (a) Sydney Harbour is to be recognized as a public resource, owned by the public, to be protected
for the public good, (b) the public good has precedence over the private good whenever and whatever change is
proposed for Sydney Harbour or its foreshores, (c) protection of the natural assets of Sydney Harbour has precedence
over all other interests.
The Rose Bay Marina, within Port Jackson, is a case study that shows the importance of the legal and regulatory
protections offered to residents on the edge of a scenic harbour (Chen and Pearson, 2015). In an effort to improve
the certainty of conflict outcomes between existing harbour users, government conservation measures and
developers the Department of Planning developed a strategic plan for the Harbour and set nine zones with
differing environmental characteristics and potential uses.
Rose Bay was zoned W5 Water Recreation and this gave preference to public water-dependent development
and allowed commercial water-dependent development which provides benefits to the public use of waters.
Although the public appeared disinterested during the strategic planning phase, the public became acutely
aware of the impacts of the new marina development on their use of the harbour. Subsequently development
applications met with public protest. Government and court decisions between 2006 and 2013 delayed, modified
and finally rejected further development. The legal and regulatory framework, that had allowed public input into
the decision-making, specifically tested the processes of the decision and held public officers to account, while the
process and the result was not popular with the developer, it provides a useful example of harbour conflict
The ability of the public to participate; to have knowledge of planning, express views on specific development
applications, to appeal government process and decisions in specialised courts is a key characteristic of Sydney
Harbour (Chen and Pearson, 2015). Discussions comparing Sydney and Chinas environmental courts highlight
the importance of public standing (Mei et al., 2013) and participation in decisions; this is especially true in the
dynamic harbour environment.
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northern boundary of the Eastern Atlantic upwelling system, Vigo has a highly variable
and highly productive marine ecosystem that is vulnerable to global change.
Vigo is a popular tourist destination, with an average of 100 cruise liner visits per
year, which translates on an average of 215,000 passengers. Besides fish landings, the
Port of Vigo also handled approximately 600,000 tons of new car shipments (manu-
factured at nearby plants) and two million tons of container traffic in 2015. Recre-
ational boating is popular and several marinas offer approximately 1000 berths
The population surrounding the Ria grew rapidly from 266,000 in 1961 to 414,000 in
2014 and now has a high population density (Table 1). Intense urban development coex-
ists with areas valued for their high environmental qualities, such as the stringently pro-
tected maritime Atlantic Island National Park. However, the growing population has led
to increasing impact on the marine environment, particularly the supply of particulate or-
ganic carbon (POC) from rivers and sewage plants located along the shoreline. Ria de
Vigo is also located next to an area of intense marine traffic such as the Traffic Separation
Scheme of Finisterre. This results on increased environmental risks such as oil spills. An
oil spill in 2002 caused great environmental damage and civil unrest.
The dependence of the local economy on marine renewable resources together with
the degradation of the water quality status of the Ria lies behind the major conflicts in
this harbour throughout the past two decades. An analysis of local newspapers shows
social conflicts occurring in the Ria de Vigo throughout the past 20 years are most fre-
quent related to pollution, fish or shellfish exploitation. These activities account for
36 % of the total number of conflicts published, followed by those associated with
urbanization of the coastline, coastal landfills and regression of natural protected áreas
(12 %) (Fernández et al., 2016).
A recent conflict (Table 4) has arisen due to the increasing use of the shores of the estuary
for harbour-related purposes. As a result, Vigo citizens miss the aesthetic and recreational
one Abrir Vigo al Marresulted in some areas being opened to the public and a large com-
mercial mall and harbour authority new headquarters being built next to the ocean.
Table 4 Aquaculture and water quality, an ongoing problem: Vigo
The Ría de Vigos ca. 500 mussel rafts produce in the order of 37000 t/year (Fernández et al. 2016). Mussels
actively filter feed on the suspended organic matter are susceptible to incorporating undesirable pollutants and
pathogens. Aquaculture of bivalves is, therefore, very sensitive to the water quality of the environment and
enhanced inputs of nutrients, organic matter or pathogens substantially affect the yield of these cultures. The
policy conditions, in European normative 854/2004, detail the zones and treatments necessary as a result of E.
coli risks. The risk and costs increase from: A zone, with low E. coli levels where mussels can be commercialized
directly after extraction; to B zones, with intermediate E. coli levels where shellfish must undergo a purification
process prior to consumption and; C zones, with high E. coli levels, where shellfish consumption is only allowed
after reallocation of organisms to other sites for an extended period of time.
In December 2005, the European Commission declared that Spain had failed to fulfil its obligations under the
European Directive 79/923/CEE of 1979. It found that the measures to reduce pollution and improve water quality
standards required for mussel aqua culture in the Ria de Vigo had not been implemented. This declaration initiated
intense social responses from shellfish producers and environmental organizations demanding the managers make
a stronger commitment to the effective and rapid decline of organic pollution levels at the Ria. A stronger flow of
information between stakeholders and the different administrations responsible for water quality in the Ría could
improve the understanding of both the complex environmental problem and the political and administrative
procedures involved.
This is a strong example of a local conflict based on environmental degradation that would require a smart
and integrated management of the human settlements conditions, the economic activities sustaining these
populations and the ecological integrity of the harbour ecosystem of the Ria de Vigo.
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Qingdao, China, a planned transformation of a harbour
Qingdao is a rapidly growing (economic growth 18 % per annum) large port city in
north-east China with a marine sector that provided US$21.57 billion in revenue in
2013 (Xie, 2014). Qingdaos harbour, on the edge of Jiaozhou Bay, records the history
of transitions from coastal abandonment, colonial port, communist industrial power-
house, naval port, manufacturing centre, cycles of aquaculture development, bulk port
and emerging research, high-tech and tourist centre. The most obvious conflicts are
now between industrial users, port users, residential developers, and government con-
servation efforts. The various government and government-owned business users strug-
gle to manage the harbours natural resources, protect the environment, sustain various
fisheries, maintain or grow port operators and use land reclamation to fund provision
of government services (Chen and Pearson, 2015).
Many of the high-level conflicts are managed strategically and often overseen by
Communist Party of China officials. Conflicts between individuals and industry are
managed by direct compensation and government intervention, using its clear central
mandate and local legal and regulatory powers.
The environmental condition of the Bay has continued to deteriorate since the 1980s,
natural areas have been converted to aquaculture, hard land surfaces have replaced wet-
lands and a large population has grown around it; all depending on the Bay to receive
and process their waste. As just one example, chemical fertilisers used in the hinterland
rose from 1.9 × 10
tons/year in 1949 to 350 × 10
tons/year in 2011 (Qingdao Munici-
pal Statistics Bureau, 2011).
Long ongoing scientific measurements, government strategic land-use planning, tar-
get (total discharge control of land based pollutants) setting, more anti-pollution legal-
isation and stronger public appeals (Wang, 2013) have not altered the trend. The Bays
ability to process nutrients is over-capacity (Liang et al., 2015) and the Bay rests over
the thresholds set to avoid algal blooms. The people expect improvement as a part of
harmonious development and even with clear government support the data suggests
ongoing deterioration (Qingdao Municipal Government, 2013).
The various conflicts between users are mainly resolved outside of the courts through
a process that ends with direct payment of compensation. This kind of resolution relies
on users being able to present a successful case and the goodwill (and perhaps a sense
of self-preservation) of the more party. User conflicts in Jiaozhou Bay are often asym-
metrical meaning the winners benefit greatly exceeds the cost of compensation to the
loser, and rarely do decisions reflect the estimates of the total value of ecosystem ser-
vices of JZB wetlands (estimated to be 527 million CNY (Zheng et al., 2012). Already
the total loss of value of marine ecosystem services of JZB is 331.86 million CNY/year
with the most important loss being in the provisioning (food) function (accounting for
over 68 % of the loss), followed by losses in the regulation function (about 33 %),
smaller loss values relate to lost support and cultural functions of the ecosystems (Wu
et al., 2013).
Qingdao, at the centre of the Peoples Republic of Chinas modernisation and Blue
Economy development, confronts the challenge of user conflicts with a combination of
strict policy, substantial offsets and ecosystem construction. The growing interest of
the government, with its over-arching goals of setting targets and investing in re-
sources, enforcement and accountability, research investment in public and private
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uses, seeking to achieve Jiaozhou Bays environmental health and security (Wang, 2013)
opens a unique opportunity for an integrated response.
Jakarta, Indonesia, a growing megapolitan harbour city
Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia with a population of about 10 million in 2014
and, if considered as a megapolitan with other surrounding cities, its total population is
about 28 million with a total area of approximately 7500 km
. The dramatic develop-
ment of Indonesia and the ruralurban in-migration to Jakarta has raised economic,
environmental, and social tensions demanding policy and infrastructure responses. This
is a very complex situation and the complicated interrelationships between various
interest groups in this developing harbour need to be understood. The potential and
actual conflicts between these groups are shaping this megacity and its harbour area
will help to craft the new image of Jakarta as one of the leading megacities of South
East Asia. The harbour must also provide means of sustainable livelihoods, protection,
and progression for Jakarta and its people in the future.
About one-third of the megapolitan area is low-lying below 10 m above mean sea
level and with slopes of 0 to 5°. Thirteen natural and artificial rivers flow through
Jakarta into Jakarta Bay. The Jakarta Environmental Management Agency categorized
all rivers in Jakarta as polluted in 2012 and 73 % of them were described as heavily
polluted(BPLHD, 2012).
Jakarta is very vulnerable to flooding and it occurs almost every rainy season (December-
March). The historical record shows flooding has occurred since the colonial era in the
17th century with major or severe flooding in Jakarta in 1621, 1654 and 1918, then in
1976, 1996, 2002, 2007 and 2013. The master plan of the city flood prevention and its im-
plementation started in 1854 and continues. It includes building canals, dykes and reser-
voirs however in spite of this due to ongoing land use changes in the catchments,
increased population and value of developments in the megapolitan area, land subsidence
(115 cm/year in Jakarta with some parts 26 cm/year (Abidin et al., 2011; Ng et al., 2012)),
rapid river sedimentation and trash damage caused by flooding has increased. In addition,
based on some research, there is also a significant sea level rise occurring in the Java Sea.
Windupranata et al. (2014) using both altimetry satellite data and in-situ tide observation
observed a sea level rise of up to 7 mm/year between 19922014.
Land subsidence is driven by four factors; groundwater extraction, loading by con-
struction, natural land consolidation and tectonic factors. Groundwater extraction is
shown to be the driving factor of land subsidence (Abidin et al., 2011).
The government has a developed plan to eliminate or reduce flooding and started
construction in 2015 of a 35 km giant sea wall on the offshore side to function as a
dyke controlling water levels of Jakarta Bay and protecting the Jakarta megapolitan
area. Furthermore, the water inside the wall will also be used as a water supply. Rec-
lamation is planned between the wall and the existing coastline to be used as new resi-
dential and business areas for 3 million peoples. Transportation infrastructure and
facilities to link throughout Jakarta will also be developed. The wall is expected to pro-
tect about 4 million people and US$ 103 Billion in economic value from future flood-
ing. It is projected to be in full operation by 2030 at a projected cost of US$ 910
billion. Initial conflicts emerged over the overlapping of governance of the central
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government, represented by the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, and the re-
gional government, represented by the government of Special Capital of Jakarta, this re-
sulted in debates about the authorisation of the projects already underway and they
were shut-down.
While this mega project promised a technical solution to floods and fresh water
shortages they introduced more demand on spaces for multiple users and new conflicts
are emerging. The potential impacts of losses of important natural habitats (mangrove
and coral reefs), increased sedimentation and further water quality degradation behind
the sea wall due to changes in water circulation patterns (Pranowo et al., 2014), social-
economic consequences, particularly for the Bays fish and mussel dependent commu-
nities (Zulham et al., 2014) who will be inevitably displaced by these reclamations (and
are expected to cause new conflicts (Putri et al., 2015).
Mitigating these conflicts through governance, integration of science and community-
based approaches and recognition that emerging problems are likely is critical. For ex-
ample, the giant sea wall itself will be neither sufficient nor effective in managing flooding
in Jakarta without also controlling ground extractions water that drive land subsidence.
Similarly, riparian inputs contain pollutants that are likely to contaminate fresh water
storages unless wastewater management and inter-state cooperation along the watershed
is dramatically improved. The people living around the Bay require new livelihoods, alter-
native jobs and support to ensure they have the capacity to adapt and transform their
Jakarta harbour shows conflicts emerging when a rapidly growth pressures the
current multiple competing uses and is multiplied by uncertainties about the possible
futures. This rapid change, largely informal urbanisation and massive infrastructure
projects compete for space in areas subject to subsidence and flooding. For these rea-
sons, of all the harbours in this paper, Jakarta would appear to be the one that faces the
greatest challenges and risk of worsening conflict.
Plymouth Sound, United Kingdom, a lasting heritage
Plymouth is a coastal city in the southwest of the United Kingdom, located on
Plymouth Sound; a drowned river valley with steeply sloping sides and rocky coastline
to the east and west. It has a long maritime history starting in the Bronze Age (2,500-
800 BC) before becoming a trading post of the Roman Empire (27476 AD), and major
trade port during the 16
Century. In the 17th Century, a naval base was established
which today is the largest in Western Europe (Knights et al., 2016). Plymouth also
serves as commercial docks, coaling station, shipbuilding yard, and cruise liner ter-
minal. Its commercial and recreational importance has led to the area becoming
densely populated despite its relatively small size (Table 1)).
Non-maritime industry has left a lasting legacy on Plymouth Sound and its rivers.
Notably, the mining industry is of historical and continued importance; peak produc-
tion during World War II supplied two-thirds of global copper and in recognition, the
region was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006. As a result, high levels of
residual contamination by arsenic, copper, lead and zinc in the rivers continue to flow
into Plymouth Sound at an order of magnitude greater than other regions of the UK
(Colbourn et al., 1975). Nutrient loads are also high as a result of diffuse sources
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including sewerage and agricultural run-off, in some instances, levels in the surface wa-
ters reach 3,477 kg N km
/year (Tappin et al., 2013), greatly exceeding legislated levels
(Burt et al., 2011; Howden and Burt, 2009). The harbour continues to be heavily used
by recreational, commercial and military vessels (>1,500 visits yr
, QHM, pers comm)
leading to leaks of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons into water and sediments at con-
centrations exceeding 200 μgl
in some instances (Dissanayake and Bamber, 2010;
King et al., 2004).
Despite this, Plymouth Sound and its associated estuaries are of considerable bio-
logical importance and provide one of the finest examples of salinity-graded communi-
ties in the UK. Sedimentary and reef habitats are of international marine conservation
importance, and the Sound is home to a number of rare or unusual species for the UK
(Knights et al. in review) and species rich (Table 1). As such, the estuary is protected by
UK and EU legislation including as: a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its
coastal cliff exposures of slate and limestone; Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and
European Marine Site (EMS) under the EU Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) for its sand-
bank, estuarine, marsh, reef, shallow bay and inlet communities; Special Protection
Area (SPA) under the EU Birds Directive (79/409/EEC); and Site of Community Im-
portance (SCI; UK byelaw) to protect bedrock reefs from damage by fishing gear.
Conflict in the 1990s involving the changing interests of the Royal Navy, commercial
shipping, recreational boaters, scientific researchers, fishermen and public generally
were largely resolved by the Dockyard Port of Plymouth Order 1999 (regulated by the
Queens Harbour Master). This explicitly recognised the needs of multiple end-users
and places a number of controls on them to ensure public health and safety. In
addition, the Tamar Estuaries Consultative Forum (TECF; see http://www.plymouth.go- ) has an important facilitative role for dialogue and consultation between
stakeholders. The members of TECF are afforded statutory powers, who together, de-
velop and deliver integrated management of the Tamar estuaries and surrounding
coasts by way of partnership action. In this relatively small harbour, consultation of
stakeholders coupled with transparent action underpins the decision-making process
(Knights et al., 2014), such that conflict is minimal.
Plymouth Harbour provides an example of an older harbour, steeped in historical and
natural values and a contamination legacy. The multiple heritage and legal measures
are unusual compared to other harbours in this paper and reflect an active listing
process in the UK. The methods and approaches to minimise conflict appear successful
such that the harbour remains commercially successful while the important biological,
chemical, and physical features of the harbour are protected. It may therefore provide
an ideal approach that could be effective in harbours worldwide.
Auckland, New Zealand, participation as an approach
Auckland Harbour (also known as WaitematāHarbour), is a drowned river valley,
reshaped by volcanic craters and lava flows, to form tidal flats and mangroves in the
upper reaches and sandy bays with sandstone cliffs along the eastern shores (Aguirre
et al., 2016). The Harbour is widely used both recreationally and commercially, with a
diverse range of stakeholders and an adjacent population of 1.42 million who contrib-
ute to a waste water disposal problem that has profoundly damaged the natural
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environment (Kelly, 2014). Other uses include recreational boating, agriculture, com-
mercial and recreational fishing, volunteer restoration projects and military and port
activities. The Port of Auckland provides container, conventional, and passenger facil-
ities and handles 37 % of New Zealands total seaport trade (Kelly et al., 2014). The port
has expanded through reclamation and its managers plan further reclamation, prompt-
ing considerable local debate and controversy. Auckland is also the gateway for inter-
national tourism and the waterfront rejuvenation is a showcase for Aucklands diversity
as it transitions from industrial and maritime work to mixed-use areas that combine
traditional fishing, port and marine uses with residential and business areas and new
public spaces and facilities (Xie and Gu, 2015).
Māori are Tangata Whenua, or first nation peoples of New Zealand, and have trad-
itional roles as Kaitiaki or guardians of natural resources for future generations that are
increasingly recognized in New Zealands resource management laws and co-
governance. In this area local Māori (Ngāti Whātua and 12 other iwi), the Crown and
regional and territorial authorities that collectively manage Auckland Harbour and
Hauraki Gulf are working together.
The latest State of the Gulf report indicated that the Auckland Harbour and greater
Hauraki Gulf Marine Park are experiencing ongoing degradation and depletion of re-
sources (Kelly et al., 2014). The range of management actions and differing jurisdictions
in the gulf results in diverse governance with a lack of integration. Policies range from
those that are either focused on reducing impacts or some perversely increase pressure
on the marine resources and potentially speed-up environmental degradation. In re-
sponse, the Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari planning process is currently being devel-
oped to deliver a spatial plan for the region by September 2015 to conserve the
environment, mitigate degradation, and inform how the Hauraki Gulf is shared, used
and stewarded for future generations(Sea Change - Tai Timu Tai Pari, 2014).
Sea ChangeTai Timu Tai Pari is a stakeholder-led process in partnership with mana
whenua. This approach recognises how communities already have the knowledge and
capability to solve pressing ecological problems, and aims to coordinate input from
stakeholders and the public that will shape the development of the spatial plan
( One approach for enhancing stakeholder input is Voluntary
Geographic Information (VGI) Systems. VGI is becoming increasingly used around the
world by non-experts to provide spatially explicit information on how different
people use and relate to conservation landscapes (Brown, 2012; Raymond et al., 2009;
Whitehead et al., 2014). Through VGI, survey participants are asked to drop markers
on a map to indicate areas that are important to them and they assign values to these
locations. These spatial data layers can be combined with ecological and economic
data to better account for the social dimensions of conservation and enhance group
decision making (Haklay et al., 2002).
Jarvis et al. (2015) conducted an extensive VGI survey of visitor use, values, and local
knowledge across Auckland Harbour and the greater Hauraki Gulf Marine Park to pro-
vide high resolution participatory data to inform the Sea Change planning process.
Users identified areas that were important to them, and indicated how they used and
valued different areas across the region. This data was used to highlight hotspots of
good and degrading environmental health (Jarvis et al., 2015), and hotspots of biocen-
tric and anthropocentric values that can be used to assist managers in decision-making
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(Jarvis et al., 2016). The incorporation of diverse local knowledge and values can be
used to better balance multiple-use across the planning space and identify areas of
potential conflict and collaboration across the planning space. In addition, incorpor-
ating social data in spatial decision-making can assist in bridging management plan-
ning with local efforts while providing the opportunity to identify and address
citizen concerns.
By encouraging a participatory approach to planning in Auckland Harbour and Hauraki
Gulf Marine Park, planners can broaden engagement and inclusion. Such an approach
can be used to minimise potential conflicts where stakeholders may have otherwise felt
marginalised from the decision process. In addition, a participatory approach can also in-
crease scientific awareness and promote environmental stewardship. Furthermore, by in-
tegrating local knowledge, use and values in planning processes, decision-makers can
identify new management opportunities with strong social support.
Heraklion, SE Mediterranean, Greece, an intensely used port
The harbour of Heraklion is the midpoint of the main navigation route linking the At-
lantic and Western Mediterranean with the Red Sea and Indo-Pacific Ocean for over
5,000 years. Heraklion has a population of over 304,000 inhabitants and its economy
has growing over the last decade peaking in 2008 with a GDP of 6,510.30 Mand then
decreasing in the years of recession (5,786.33 Min 2011). It is one of Greeces largest
cities and third in order of port traffic with annual passenger traffic of 2 million and
300,000 vehicles (MAPMED Consortium, 2014).
The port of Heraklion is a relatively small harbour (0.87 Km
, Table 1) hosting the ac-
tivities of several different and often contradictory users in tight proximity. There are
leisure boats, sailing boats, artisanal and medium scale fishing boats, large cruise boats,
cargo boats and cranes, military ships, as well as a shipyard. Furthermore, the port re-
ceives a significant impact from Heraklion city. Officially no fresh water inflows to the
port exist, however a couple of old sewage pipelines and an old seasonal stream seem
to flow inside the port (Heraklion Port Authority, personal communication). The fre-
quency and the composition of these effluents is completely unknown and there is no
control or monitoring about their impact in the marine environment.
The few studies on the environment inside the port of Heraklion have investigated
the effects of the organic enrichment to the soft-bottom meiofaunal communities
(Papadopoulou et al., 1998), reported the water column and sediment chemistry
(Lampadariou et al., 2000) and has described the soft-bottom macrobenthic communi-
ties and related them to physical and chemical environment of the water column and
sediments (MAPMED Consortium, 2014). Areas used by tourist ferries, cruise boats
and cargo ships had a relatively good environmental status, indicating that such activ-
ities have no significant negative environmental impact on the water and sediment
quality of the port and the surrounding areas. In contrast, the more enclosed sector of
the port, where the leisure and fishing boats are moored had a higher organic and
hydrocarbon pollution. The far end (east side) of the port was damaged by untreated
effluents and wastes of the shipyard activities detected as increased organic, heavy
metal (Al, As, Fe, Ni and Zn), hydrocarbon pollution and damaged macrobenthic com-
munities (MAPMED Consortium, 2014).
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The Heraklion Port Authority, which is responsible for the management of the port,
attempts to highlight the high aesthetic value and the rich archaeological and cultural
heritage of the harbour (i.e. Venetian harbour, Koules castle) and at the same time to
combine them with the currently increased rate of economical and touristic develop-
ment. The port is divided in five operational sectors from west to east: 1) leisure and
small-scale fisheries boats, 2) passenger ships/ferries, 3) maritime and cargo ships, 4)
military and naval ships, and 5) shipyard. Although the defined port sectors are separat-
ing all these diverse activities, several conflicts are often arising between the different
users. One important issue is the competition for space: the demand for berthing places
in the docks for sailing boats is greater than the available space, thus resulting in the
loss of a valuable source of income from the touristic sector and an increase of the
docking costs for the existing places.
The number of stakeholders involved in the port activities contributes to conflicts
that require resolution. The Heraklion Port Authority acts as the general management
body of the port and develops a contingency environmental plan to deal with any pos-
sible accidents, the Coast Guard deals with the security of the coastal area, the Region
of Crete is the local governmental body working on the touristic development of the
port and the maintenance of its environmental quality and the Decentralised Adminis-
tration of Crete represents the Ministry of the Environment. Also involved in port ac-
tivities are the Tourist Authority, the Greek Navy, the Industrial and Commercial
Chamber of Crete, the Maritime and Shipping Companies and Trusts and the Fisheries
Association. Therefore, when a conflict arises between the different user groups there
is a delay in resolution until all the involved stakeholders, one at a time, find a solution
that brings less harm to as many user groups as possible.
A synthesis of the existing environmental sustainability knowledge in the Mediterranean
Sea Basin by MAPMED consortium (2014) was to help Heraklion through the promotion
of a long term cooperation between Institutions, users, scientists and new management
tools. The project started with an integrated multidisciplinary approach, based on the
skills and expertise of the scientists, technicians, socio-economic and legal experts, to gen-
erate a transferable model for the Mediterranean. The project activity included learning
about the social, cultural, economic and political conditions of different stakeholders and
resulted a more efficient and concrete management plan for the Heraklion port informed
by the scientific experts, more effective protection of the marine environment, additional
docking areas and modifications to increased circulation in the fishing port. The new
management plan of Heraklion port has been approved by the Greek State but its imple-
mentation has not yet started.
The Greek state has been the sole owner, manager and provider of port services
through the operation of limited liability companies supervised by the Ministry of
Mercantile Marine. It has recently transferred the ownership of many ports. including
Heraklion, to the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund on a pathway to majority
privatisation and is currently gathering expressions of interest. So far the Heraklion
Port Authority, the Coast Guard and the Region of Crete are all involved in the balan-
cing of the emerging conflicts of interests.
Concerns are rising about how the privatisation and concessional agreements will im-
pact the different users and conflict may be avoided or ameliorated by additional re-
search, careful legislative protections and adequately resourced institutions. Additional
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research is required in order to assess the ecological status of the marine habitats
hosted in the port area and to establish standards regarding the point of ecological
quality that should be achieved in the port. An inter-stakeholder body with a conflict
resolving mandate should be legally established to facilitate the transformations in-
volved in privatisation. Heraklion is an example of a small but intensely used harbour
that is being changed by international forces.
Each of the harbours in this synthesis contributes insights to harboursconflict and
management. Jakarta Bay, Qingdaos Jiaozhou Bay and Ria De Vigo highlight the diffi-
cult conflicts between land-based pollution and traditional fisheries. Plymouth and
Sydney are dealing with the legacy of pollution while managing new user expectations.
Aucklands governance system is reengaging with traditional owners.
In preparing this paper the authors reached a strong consensus: understanding con-
flict amongst harbour users through comparison shows that many of the patterns, con-
flicts, and threats are shared. Harbours geographically focus uses and conflicts of
interest. There are new research opportunities to integrate existing conflict frameworks
such as conflict matrices (Fig. 1) and other systemic frameworks, risk management, and
more participatory approaches. Sharing this knowledge with the maritime community
will improve research and management. The evidence elicited from experts shows that,
to understand and manage conflict, requires knowledge of harbours that integrates the
history of management, the values, powers and roles of conflicting agents and the dy-
namics of conflicts. Research done through synthesis of coastal zones case studies
showed the power of explicitly considering conflict and transferring that knowledge to
even more pressured environments (Stepanova and Bruckmeier, 2013).
The integration and implementation of research on harbours could be organised
using the systemic driver-pressure-state-impact-response framework (Sekovski et al.,
2012) because the framework appears to capture the key processes and be flexible
enough to adapt to this additional aspect. This approach improves the understanding
and emphasis on linkages, indicators and benchmarks, giving managers the confidence
to manage undesirable environmental trends or situations (Jennerjahn and Mitchell,
2013; Knights et al., 2014; Knights et al., 2013) and opens opportunities for users to
participate in and contribute to more of the strategic and operational decisions that
dominate harbours.
Even in harbours where experts could find little expression of conflict the regulatory
frameworks showed governance and power was used to achieve the apparent serenity
and further work is needed on how latent conflicts could re-emerge. Comprehensive
indicators, for use across the causal framework of Drivers, Pressures, States, Impacts
and Responses (DPSIR), are required to enable users and their conflicts to be better
understood by researchers and managers. These indicators need to be sensitive to chan-
ging conflicts in time and location and will help understand the marginal benefits of
specific management activities.
Risk-based approaches (Knights et al., 2015) and management actions that could be
developed and tested a priori (Piet et al., 2015) need to be further developed. Users of
harbours appear to engage so intensively that management success could be achieved
through a robust evaluation of threats. This could enable prioritisation and
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subsequently trade-off between those threats (Goodsir et al., In Press; Knights et al.,
2014), rather than the overly confident applications of single-focus prescriptions.
Astles (2015) contributes an example of the risk management approach to Sydney
Harbour that identified risks around stresses, ecological processes and gaps in the
knowledge. She identified shortcomings in previous work that focused on ecological
process risk and that generated a management response focused on statistical valid-
ity and monitoring rather than integration, actionable knowledge, education, and
capacity building. Expanding consideration to humans and the ecosystem scales is
fostered by integration, participation, ecosystem and DPSIR based management
The ability to cope and thrive with inevitable conflict requires advances in both
natural and social sciences. Adaptive and innovative approaches (Dietz et al., 2003) to
resolve conflicts borne of complexity (Berkes, 2006) are urgently needed. In harbours,
where governments are likely be in the roles of developer, polluter, tax-collector,
planner, protector and vendor, implementing stronger rules-of-law or market-like re-
forms tends to reinforce existing trends rather than solve long-term conflicts. The
harbour case studies suggest that transformations and opportunities for adaptive gov-
ernment could occur in harbours where new knowledge becomes available, good
leadership or volunteerism thrives, where a social licence is revoked or crises open
The use of spatial management the geography of exclusion zoning, marine pro-
tected areas and citizen-derived maps may be part of the solution. However over-
reliance on one approach can lead to privatization or central government control and
loss of community support. So community and self-regulation are also important
checks to simplistic responses (Berkes, 2006). Centralisation (Plymouth) and privatisa-
tion (such as in the Harbour Heraklion) poses new complexities of ownership, govern-
ance and adaptive possibilities.
The sharing of insights between harbours by users and people seeking to manage the
changing ownership of harbours would benefit from a global perspective. The import-
ance of anticipating, mitigating, ameliorating and adapting to change are important
functions for harbour-based research to inform and support. Building institutional and
individual capacities to ensure desirable environmental, economic, social, and sustain-
able results is a serious test in these massively valuable and dynamic environments.
The comparisons showed the nature of harbour investment and use indicates that
international research groups are an appropriate way to promote understanding. We
are also realistic that some argument and conflict is desirable.
The importance of knowledge gaps about harbours in both research and manage-
ment alike suggests these are indeed fertile areas for on-going effort (Astles, 2015).
There is a need for hard-edged analysis of impact where complex conflicts are man-
aged to a resolution (finding a full and final solution) or adaptation (amelioration or
mitigation). Although the environmental problems in harbours were substantial, none
of the experts concluded the direction of trend or magnitude of responses were hav-
ing the desired result. Most found particularly challenging situations for governance,
for example the lack of enforcement of regulations was deemed a greater pressure
than the lack of regulations. We think that this problem requires diverse participa-
tion. DPSIR provides a well-known holistic framework that can report the adequacy
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of responses. An adaptive or learning focus is likely to be essential in achieving more
desired results in future.
Based on the case studies reported by the expert authors (Tables 1 and 2), and the
available parallel literature, we recommend that future research on harbours should be
guided by an explicit awareness of conflict analysis. Future research and management
should contribute to adaptive management of these domains;
issues that cross harbour-urban-marine-rural boundaries
complex problem management
understanding nested scales - geographically, temporally and administratively
enhanced quality of stakeholder engagement
power, asymmetries and relevance
uncertainties and learning
scenarios of desirable and undesirable futures
Future work, to develop the descriptions of port and harbour conflicts is needed
and this can draw on SECOA dimensions of theme, actors, temporal involvement,
phases of management, forums, strategies (exclusion, integration, nesting and priori-
tising) and management outcomes or outputs (Morf et al., 2013). Although we agree
that better description precedes improved diagnosis and prescription of methods
and treatment pathways (Morf et al., 2013) we are also aware the imperatives of
harbour decision-making demands contemporaneous adaption of scientific research
Harbours are the focus of uses that inevitably conflict yet there is a gap in research that
informs managers about management options. In this research, there is consensus
amongst the experts considering seven quite different harbours that conflict is an im-
portant characteristics of harbours. The role of harbours in surfacing the environmental
and social systems and the intensity of different and often conflicting uses is not yet
matched by research efforts to inform decision-makers, research investors, or re-
searchers. Harbours are included in many coastal conflict analyses, but have not re-
ceived specific attention to see if extending these coastal research and management
solutions into harbours is valid.
This preliminary expert analysis of case studies shows harbours are sites of intense
conflict and are less likely to be successfully understood and managed by single discip-
linary projects or integrated coastal zone management approaches that exclude analysis
of conflict. Further research underway will work with users to focus on shared desirable
futures as people prepare for ongoing change in the worlds harbours. Explicitly en-
gaging in research about conflict and this first recognition that conflict is both charac-
teristic of harbours and often an opportunity for engaging with different harbour users,
sets a new foundational understanding for harbour-related research. Already research
about the future of harbour conflict has directed attention to poverty and indigenous
users and toward Asian and African harbours. Research using methods of scenario de-
velopment, futures and participatory engagement are now underway in the World
Harbour Project.
Pearson et al. Maritime Studies (2016) 15:10 Page 19 of 23
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There is a worldwide opportunity to share insights and responses to conflicts in har-
bours to enhance the fair, sustainable, effective, and efficient use of them. It is an urgent
challenge especially in rapidly developing harbours like Jakarta and Qingdao. Further-
more, this research synthesis identified in all harbours the challenge of engaging social
sciences as researchers and stakeholders in the identification of problems and en-
gaging in the research needed to resolve conflicts. Policies driving rapid develop-
ment of harbours in this period of maritime globalisation, port privatisation (Ng,
2013) and the expanding maritime ambitions of nations all require urgent attention
of researchers.
Competing interests
Stuart Pearson as lead and corresponding author has contacted all the authors and there are no competing interests
from the authors of this paper.
SP is the corresponding author. SP was the lead author and developed the concept, wrote the introduction and
recruited and briefed the expert authors and rewrote the submissions from these other experts. The other expert
authors provided material related to specific harbours. JB and PS provided overall comments and JB provided copy
edits. AMK made editorial comments throughout. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
This project was nurtured and supported by the World Harbour Project which is funded by The Ian Potter Foundation
and The SIMS Foundation. This is a publication of Sino-Australian Research Centre for Coastal Management (SARCCM).
Ma Yingies and Stuart Pearsons contributions were supported by Social Science Research Foundation of Education
Ministry of China, 2013JDPY01. The paper is improved by the suggestions of two reviewers.
Author details
School of Physical, Environmental and Mathematical Sciences, University of New South Wales, Canberra 2600,
Coastal and Oceanic Zone Science and Engineering System Research Group, Faculty of Earth Science and
Technology, Bandung Institute of Technology, Bandung, Indonesia.
Agency for Marine Affairs and Fisheries Research
and Development, Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Jakarta, Indonesia.
School of Law and Politics, Ocean
University of China, Qingdao 266100, Peoples Republic of China.
Geocoastal Research Group, School of Geosciences
F09, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.
Faculty of Marine Science, University of Vigo, Campus do
Mar, 36310 Vigo, Spain.
Sydney Institute of Marine Science, World Harbour Project Coordinator, Sydney, Australia.
Research Centre School of Marine Science and Engineering, Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK.
School of
Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK.
Research Centre School of Marine
Science and Engineering, Plymouth University, Plymouth, United Kingdom.
Institute of Natural and Mathematical
Sciences Albany Campus, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand.
Sydney Institute of Marine Science, World
Harbour Project Leader, Sydney, Australia.
Institute of Marine Biology, Biotechnology and Aquaculture, Hellenic
Centre for Marine Research, 71003 Crete, Greece.
Received: 29 December 2015 Accepted: 9 June 2016
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... Yet, the coastal and ocean spaces around which ports are constructed all over the world are not only scarce resources, but also places with cultural meanings, complex values and competing interests (Pearson et al. 2016). Thus, the increasing competition for space for port development on the one hand and other objectives including recreation and the provision of cultural services amidst growing concerns about the social and environmental consequences of these projects on local communities have made port infrastructure projects prone to conflicts (Wiegmans and Louw 2011;Ravesteijn, He, and Chen 2014). ...
... Port infrastructure projects, however necessary they are, are often associated with multiple and conflicting values and interests (Ravesteijn, He, and Chen 2014). While ports are generally considered as catalysts for economic growth (Rodrigue, Comtois, and Slack 2017), research has also shown that port development and operational activities are associated with adverse impacts on neighbouring communities that could trigger protests and conflicts (see OECD 2011; van Den Houten 2017;Koppenol 2014;De Langen 2006;Parola and Maugeri 2013;Pearson et al. 2016;Galvao, Wang, and Mileski 2016;Ravesteijn, He, and Chen 2014). ...
... In this way, inputs of local stakeholders do not have any real or significant influence on actual decisions. Thus contrary to the expectations that inclusive port development will help to create value for all stakeholders (Ravesteijn, He, and Chen 2014;Dooms 2010), avoid conflicts (Koppenol 2014;Pearson et al. 2016;Ravesteijn, He, and Chen 2014;Parola and Maugeri 2013) and build a sustainable future for all stakeholders (Freeman, Harrison, and Zyglidopoulos 2018;Hörisch, Freeman, and Schaltegger 2014), local communities were harmed as they lost valuable cultural resources that cannot be expressed in monetary terms. ...
Balancing economic activities with socio-environmental considerations has become a global standard for the construction of large scale infrastructure projects, including ports. In this discourse, stakeholder participation and environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) have been stressed as important tools that can help port managers to co-create values, avoid conflicts and promote inclusive growth. Drawing on qualitative research tools and stakeholder theory, this paper explores whether and to what extent local stakeholders' inclusion has substantial influence on addressing their socio-cultural concerns and interest. This is illustrated with a case study of an ongoing port expansion project at Ghana's largest port of Tema. The findings suggest that although the port authority conducted an ESIA and engaged local stakeholders as part of the planning process, this did not translate into preventing the loss of valuable cultural resources of the local communities. The port authority did not place 'value' on cultural resources of the local communities that cannot be expressed in monetary terms. Further, lack of good faith engagement with local stakeholders led to conflicts in some cases that triggered a court action and delays. The paper concludes that stake-holder participation if not applied well, can become a 'post-political' tool.
... They also listed three different categories of consequences: immediate fatalities and injuries, medium and long-term health effects and economic impacts. Important to mention is that, terrorist attacks in ports have mainly other hazard sources such as the unauthorized access to port premises Chlomoudis et al. (2016), Pallis (2017), Pearson et al. (2016) and Ronza et al. (2009) stated that political instability, wars or social characteristics of the country could potentially be a risk factor affecting port activities. Besides, Mokhtari et al. (2012) and Pearson et al. (2016) argued that business or trade related factors could also disturb these systems. ...
... Important to mention is that, terrorist attacks in ports have mainly other hazard sources such as the unauthorized access to port premises Chlomoudis et al. (2016), Pallis (2017), Pearson et al. (2016) and Ronza et al. (2009) stated that political instability, wars or social characteristics of the country could potentially be a risk factor affecting port activities. Besides, Mokhtari et al. (2012) and Pearson et al. (2016) argued that business or trade related factors could also disturb these systems. ...
... They reached to a conclusion that human factors are one of the main sources of contamination in coastal areas. Moreover,Pearson et al. (2016), Valdor, Gómez, Velarde, Puente (2016 and mentioned the increased environmental risk related to oil spills in ports, which could cause ecological and public damage. Furthermore,Belamarić et al. (2016),Rømer et al. (1993) and Zhang, Teixeira, Guedes Soares, Yan, Liu (2016) evaluated the type of accidents that can lead to oil spillage including collisions, groundings, structural damage and fires or explosions.Likewise, Bouda et al. (2016) and Zhang et al. (2014) evaluated the environmental risk associated with ballast waters carried by ships originating mainly from loading activities at ports. ...
Full-text available
Seaports are centers of trade which contribute significantly to sustaining growth and development of the economy. They generate business activity through their operations and are critical interfaces between sea and land supply infrastructures. Due to their complex operations, the heterogeneity of stakeholders and critical location, seaports are exposed to a wide range of developing and changing risks. Unforeseen or underestimated hazards can lead to complications that will most likely result in human, environmental, material or economic damages. This research work aims to identify suitable risk assessment methods that can be applied in seaports. The methodology for the literature review involves the consultation of two databases in an evaluation period from 1980 to 2017. The exploration is based on a set of keywords and phrases to extract significant data. After the data screening, refinement process and evaluation of the information, 58 research articles are acquired for the analysis. This study helps to summarize the hazard sources which are classified into: natural and man-made; factors of risk which are enlisted in different categories: climate, operational, safety, technical, organizational, environmental, socio-economic and political. Moreover, a review of the different qualitative, semi-quantitative and quantitative approaches to assess risks in port areas is presented in order to suggest a particular set of suitable methods that could be used by the different stakeholders at seaports. In addition, based on the results of the analysis, future research areas are recommended with a focus on an empirical study.
... There is no sign of slow-down in urbanisation of coastal areas (Haslett, 2009;Seto et al., 2011;Widmer and Underwood, 2004). One consequence of increased urbanization of the world's coastlines is greater anthropogenic pressure and risks to the environment (Pearson et al., 2016), from expanding commercial and recreational use of coastal waterways. This includes tourism, which is one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world (ECORYS, 2015;UNWTO, 2017). ...
... Larger ports routinely have access to, and can employ, a range of environmental management tools. However, these management strategies are rare in smaller ports or marinas Pearson et al., 2016;Parra et al., 2018), and as such management practices can be sub-optimal (Kuznetsov et al., 2015). There is a need for an elementary approach to collecting information about the nature and extent of impacts from the boating sector and to estimate both the independent and cumulative risk to coastal waters of these operations (Goodsir et al., 2015). ...
Estimating the potential environmental risks of worldwide coastal recreational navigation on water quality is an important step towards designing a sustainable global market. This study proposes the creation of a global atlas of the environmental risk of marinas on water quality by applying the Marina Environmental Risk Assessment (MERA) procedure. Calculations integrate three main risk factors: Pressure, State and Response. Applying the MERA approach to 105 globally distributed marinas has confirmed the utility, versatility and adaptability of this procedure as a novel tool to compare the environmental risks within and among regions (i.e. for area-based management), to identify the world's best practices (i.e. to optimize existing management) and to understand and adjust global risks in future development (i.e. improved planning).
... There is no sign of slow-down in urbanisation of coastal areas (Haslett, 2009;Seto et al., 2011;Widmer and Underwood, 2004). One consequence of increased urbanization of the world's coastlines is greater anthropogenic pressure and risks to the environment (Pearson et al., 2016), from expanding commercial and recreational use of coastal waterways. This includes tourism, which is one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world (ECORYS, 2015;UNWTO, 2017). ...
... Larger ports routinely have access to, and can employ, a range of environmental management tools. However, these management strategies are rare in smaller ports or marinas Pearson et al., 2016;Parra et al., 2018), and as such management practices can be sub-optimal (Kuznetsov et al., 2015). There is a need for an elementary approach to collecting information about the nature and extent of impacts from the boating sector and to estimate both the independent and cumulative risk to coastal waters of these operations (Goodsir et al., 2015). ...
Estimating the potential environmental risks of worldwide coastal recreational navigation on water quality is an important step towards designing a sustainable global market. This study proposes the creation of a global atlas of the environmental risk of marinas on water quality by applying the Marina Environmental Risk Assessment (MERA) procedure. Calculations integrate three main risk factors: Pressure, State and Response. Applying the MERA approach to 105 globally distributed marinas has confirmed the utility, versatility and adaptability of this procedure as a novel tool to compare the environmental risks within and among regions (i.e. for area-based management), to identify the world's best practices (i.e. to optimize existing management) and to understand and adjust global risks in future development (i.e. improved planning).
... bays, ports and estuaries), have long served as the focal points of human settlement. Historically, harbours served as central hubs for trade and transport, with many locations also supporting commercial fishing industries (Pearson et al., 2016;Steinberg et al., 2016). More recently, human population growth and tourism around harbours has been fuelled by their high recreational and aesthetic value (Ghermandi and Nunes, 2013). ...
... boating, swimming, recreational fishing, jogging/walking on the foreshore), culture (e.g. festivals, social gatherings or indigenous links) and by living nearby (Pearson et al., 2016). In terrestrial and coastal environments, a positive relationship exists between connection to place, including amount of time spent there by non-residents (Kelly and Hosking, 2008), and for residents, residency length (McCool and Martin, 1994). ...
Marine harbours are the focus of a diverse range of activities and subject to multiple anthropogenically induced pressures. Support for environmental management options aimed at improving degraded harbours depends on understanding the factors which influence people's perceptions of harbour environments. We used an online survey, across 12 harbours, to assess sources of variation people's perceptions of harbour health and ecological engineering. We tested the hypotheses: 1) people living near impacted harbours would consider their environment to be more unhealthy and degraded, be more concerned about the environment and supportive of and willing to pay for ecological engineering relative to those living by less impacted harbours, and 2) people with greater connectedness to the harbour would be more concerned about and have greater perceived knowledge of the environment, and be more supportive of, knowledgeable about and willing to pay for ecological engineering, than those with less connectedness. Across twelve locations, the levels of degradation and modification by artificial structures were lower and the concern and knowledge about the environment and ecological engineering were greater in the six Australasian and American than the six European and Asian harbours surveyed. We found that people's perception of harbours as healthy or degraded, but not their concern for the environment, reflected the degree to which harbours were impacted. There was a positive relationship between the percentage of shoreline modified and the extent of support for and people's willingness to pay indirect costs for ecological engineering. At the individual level, measures of connectedness to the harbour environment were good predictors of concern for and perceived knowledge about the environment but not support for and perceived knowledge about ecological engineering. To make informed decisions, it is important that people are empowered with sufficient knowledge of the environmental issues facing their harbour and ecological engineering options.
... These activities can be commercial (e.g., fishing, aquaculture, shipping), recreational (e.g., swimming, boating, fishing) and/or cultural (e.g., indigenous heritage sites) (e.g., Banks et al., 2016). Consideration of potential sources of conflict and how these may be managed and overcome is critical to development of successful management strategies (Pearson et al., 2016). ...
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Globally, there is growing interest in restoring previously widespread oyster reefs to reinstate key ecosystem services such as shoreline protection, fisheries productivity and water filtration. Yet, since peak expiration of oysters in the 1800s, significant and ongoing environmental change has occurred. Estuaries and coasts are undergoing some of the highest rates of urbanization, warming and ocean acidification on the planet, necessitating novel approaches to restoration. Here, we review key design considerations for oyster reef restoration projects that maximize the probability that they will meet biological and socio-economic goals not only under present-day conditions, but into the future. This includes selection of sites, and where required, substrates and oyster species and genotypes for seeding, not only on the basis of their present and future suitability in supporting oyster survival, growth and reproduction, but also based on their match to specific goals of ecosystem service delivery. Based on this review, we provide a road map of design considerations to maximize the success of future restoration projects.
... What a few years ago seemed to be futuristic use of the sea is now becoming reality (Krzemińska et al. 2019). These patterns pose significant risks of habitat destruction (Bugnot et al. 2020), pollution (Birch et al. 2020, Von Glasow et al. 2013, conflicts in use (Pearson et al. 2016), and loss of ecosystem services (Costanza et al. 2014), all exacerbated by acute climate change impacts and coastal hazards (Reguero et al. 2019). Meeting the multiple needs and desires of coastal populations while preserving some of the natural ocean environment is one of the greatest challenges of our times. ...
Urban and periurban ocean developments impact 1.5% of the global exclusive economic zones, and the demand for ocean space and resources is increasing. As we strive for a more sustainable future, it is imperative that we better design, manage, and conserve urban ocean spaces for both humans and nature. We identify three key objectives for more sustainable urban oceans: reduction of urban pressures, protection and restoration of ocean ecosystems, and support of critical ecosystem services. We describe an array of emerging evidence-based approaches, including greening gray infrastructure, restoring habitats, and developing biotechnologies. We then explore new economic instruments and incentives for supporting these new approaches and evaluate their feasibility in delivering these objectives. Several of these tools have the potential to help bring nature back to the urban ocean while also addressing some of the critical needs of urban societies, such as climate adaptation, seafood production, clean water, and recreation, providing both human and environmental benefits in some of our most impacted ocean spaces. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Marine Science, Volume 13 is January 3, 2021. Please see for revised estimates.
... The other relevant body of literature dedicated to seaports has its origins in emerging preoccupations with the ecological impacts of port activity during the 1980s. This research comes from a diverse disciplinary background, spanning across marine ecology (Katsanevakis et al. 2014), oceanography (Tournadre 2014), environmental planning and coastal management (Nebot et al. 2017;Pearson et al. 2016), maritime policy (Acciaro et al. 2014;Poulsen et al. 2018), environmental and coastal engineering (Grifoll et al. 2011), environmental and ecological economics (Carić 2016;Saz-Salazar et al. 2012) and industrial and urban ecology (Cerceau et al. 2014;Darbra et al. 2005;Mat et al. 2016;Puig et al. 2014). Most of this scholarship focuses on the negative impacts of the shipping industry on human and non-human communities, proposing technical or policy solutions, but rarely addressing questions of power relations, environmental injustices, or social conflict. ...
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Shipping carries virtually all internationally traded goods. Major commercial ports are fully integrated into transnational production and distribution systems, enabling the circulation of massive flows of energy and materials in the global economy. Port activity and development are usually associated with positive socio-economic effects, such as increased GDP and employment, but the industry’s continuous expansion produces adverse outcomes including air and water pollution, the destruction of marine and coastal environments, waterfront congestion, health risks, and labor issues. In its quest to marry economic growth and environmental sustainability in the maritime industries, proponents of the newly coined blue growth paradigm assume the negative impacts of ports and shipping to be fixable mostly through technological innovation. This paper questions the validity of the premise that the unlimited growth of the port and shipping industries is compatible with environmental sustainability and analyses the feasibility of technological improvements to offset the sector’s associated negative impacts. Based on insights from ecological economics and political ecology, ports can be described as power-laden assemblages of spaces, flows, and actors, which produce unequally distributed socio-ecological benefits and burdens at multiple scales. Focusing on the case of the Port of Barcelona, this study argues that the continuous expansion of port activity increases seldom accounted-for negative socio-environmental impacts, acquiring an uneconomic character for port cities and regions. In contrast, de-growth is presented as a radical sustainability alternative to ocean-based growth paradigms. The paper concludes by discussing its prospective ‘blue’ articulation in the context of maritime transportation while offering some avenues for future research and policymaking.
... For example, the co-occurrence of increased freshwater extraction and increased drought severity is thought to have created saline conditions in San Francisco estuary that benefitted a non-indigenous zooplankton species (Winder et al. 2011). Anthropogenic activities and associated stressors tend to be a common problem and may establish a particular set of conditions that are replicated in harbours around the globe , Knights et al. 2013, Pearson et al. 2016. NIS are transported from multiple locations, but it is possible that these locations may have similar water quality conditions because they are busy ports or marinas, usually characterized by low flow, high turbidity, low DO and high nutrient conditions. ...
The dissertation analyses the transitioning of the port sector towards sustainability in environmental and social terms. In specific, it explores how port authorities in Europe and West Africa engage with the globalising green port idea, and what role is played by contextual factors in determining the choice of policy measures and technological tools they adopt or implement. The dissertation further examines the extent to which sustainability-oriented network(ing) bring to bear positive influence on sustainability practices of participating ports (authorities) and facilitates environmental upgrading along the maritime value chain. Finally, it interrogates outcomes of stakeholder-inclusive port development discourses and mechanisms. It does this by combining concepts and theories such as policy mobilities, sustainability fix and critical debates on network theory and network governance. Methodologically, the dissertation draws on information collected through a triangulation of qualitative research methods and document analysis. The findings show that sustainability schemes and green initiatives of ports are crucially 'translocal', and draws attention to contested outcomes in port networks and stakeholder-inclusive initiatives and discourses of ports.
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Biodiversity conservation is a major issue in ports and harbours as scientists, managers and the public become increasingly aware of the importance of healthy ecosystems to the wellbeing of urban populations. Sydney's Harbour provides essential environmental, social and economic values to community, government and industry. Recent systematic reviews of the biological and physical characteristics of Sydney Harbour revealed high environmental and conservation value, especially considering the large numbers of people using its resources. However, like many coastal areas, the harbour has been subject to stressors such as habitat loss, metal, organic and nutrient pollution, the introduction of non-indigenous species, foreshore construction and commercial and recreational fishing. Here we outline the environmental assets of the harbour and the major threats, and report on current and developing conservation strategies. By learning about the progress of environmental management in Sydney Harbour, the difficulties faced and new planning strategies implemented, coastal and harbour environmental managers within the region can be better prepared when faced with similar challenges.
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The Ría de Vigo, located at the northern border of the Iberia-NW Africa eastern boundary upwelling ecosystem, is an incised deep (45 m maxim depth) valley originated by the combined action of tectonic and erosive processes. Upwelling events promote a quick renewal (3–4 days) of the volume of water in the Ría, which is replaced by cold, oxygenated and nutrient-rich subsurface oceanic water, giving rise to nutrient fertilization of the embayment that translates into high primary production rates (ca. 3 g C m−2 d−1). This high productivity allows the development of an important shellfish exploitation activity. The Ría de Vigo has 529 rafts where 37000 tons of mussels are produced annually. This territory has been subjected to an increasing human pressure since the early XX century deriving in an intense landscape transformation. The city of Vigo showed a six-fold increase in the number of inhabitants from 1900 to 2001 and more than 21 % of the land in the study area is currently artificial. Therefore, urban and industrial activities coexist with local fisheries and shellfish mariculture that accounts for ca. 7 % of the income and employment in this urban region. Incomplete depuration of wastewater in treatment plants, explain the relatively high contribution (22%) of sewage-derived nutrients to the total allochtonous fertilization in the Ría. Furthermore, and given the importance of shellfish production, microbial pollution originated from urban wastewater is considered as the main environmental threat of the Ría de Vigo. The dependence of the local economy on marine renewable resources together with the limitation of the natural productivity of the Rías imposed by anthropogenic pressure lies behind a significant fraction of the conflicts occurring in the region during the past two decades. The characteristics of Ría de Vigo, described in this review, confer this coastal ecosystem unique, conditions as a natural laboratory where the interaction between human activity and marine ecological processes can be studied within the framework of the World Harbour Project.
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The values of conservationists and planners will affect their decisions, tools, and practice, while the values of the public will affect the social acceptability of different management actions and, consequently, the likely success of implementation. This study investigates how voluntary geographic information systems (VGI) can be used to identify areas important for anthropocentric and biocentric values across a spatial planning region to inform place-based conservation planning. The study also identified anthropocentric–biocentric areas where both anthropocentric and biocentric values were assigned to the same location. Differences in local knowledge and number of visits were observed between value orientations. Differences in distance to marine reserves, conservation land, and residential areas were also observed. The study highlighted how VGI can be a useful tool to encourage awareness and engagement initial stages of the planning cycle while providing spatial data to identify place-based conservation opportunities across diverse conservation values.
Sydney’s Harbour is an integral part of the city providing natural, social, and economic benefits to 4.84 million residents. It has significant environmental value including a diverse range of habitats and animals. A range of anthropogenic and environmental pressures threatens these including loss and modification of habitats, oversupply of nutrients and introduction of pollutants such as metals, organics, and microplastics, introduction of non-indigenous species and the impacts of recreational fishing. Many people now recognise not only the environmental value of Sydney Harbour, but also the economic and social benefits a healthy harbour provides. Over 80% of residents recognise the importance of maintaining a pollution-free coastal environment and conserving the Harbour’s abundant and diverse marine life. A recent review gathered information to make some first estimates of economic revenues and values associated with Sydney Harbour. Port and maritime revenues ($430 million/yr), ferries ($175 million/yr), cruise ship expenditure ($1025 million/yr), major foreshore events such as New Year’s Eve and the Sydney Festival ($400 million/yr), and also income from culture, heritage, arts and science (over $33 million/yr) inject considerable funds into the Australian economy. Notably, proximity to the harbour enhances Sydney domestic real estate capital by an estimated $40 billion, equivalent to $3775 million/yr and biological ecosystem services were valued at $175 million/yr. Here we provide i) a synthesis of our current understanding of the natural, social, and economic resources of Sydney Harbour, ii) the threats and pressures these resources face, and finally iii) how a new marine management framework is being used to address these threats to the natural, social and economic wellbeing of Sydney Harbour. This review clearly shows that Sydney Harbour is a valuable and valued environment that deserves continuing scientific, social, and economic research to support management now and in the future.
Plymouth Sound and adjacent estuaries, UK has been used as a working harbour throughout the ages and has a place in maritime history as the port from where the Pilgrim Fathers left for North America in 1620 on the Mayflower and Charles Darwin departed from on the HMS Beagle on his trip to Galapagos in 1831. Today, it remains a working harbour, home to the largest naval base in Western Europe, the host of numerous cruise ships and recreational boats, yet its complex of estuaries (Tamar, Plym, Lynher) and creeks is nationally and internationally recognised as of conservation importance due to its physical characteristics and flora and fauna. Here, we briefly recount the history and importance of Plymouth through the ages in terms of its historic use as a harbour, its marine science heritage and importance on the international stage. We also briefly describe its ecology.
The Earth's human population is expected to pass eight billion by the year 2025, while rapid growth in the global economy will spur ever increasing demands for natural resources. The world will consequently face growing scarcities of such vital renewable resources as cropland, fresh water, and forests. Thomas Homer-Dixon argues in this sobering book that these environmental scarcities will have profound social consequences--contributing to insurrections, ethnic clashes, urban unrest, and other forms of civil violence, especially in the developing world. Homer-Dixon synthesizes work from a wide range of international research projects to develop a detailed model of the sources of environmental scarcity. He refers to water shortages in China, population growth in sub-Saharan Africa, and land distribution in Mexico, for example, to show that scarcities stem from the degradation and depletion of renewable resources, the increased demand for these resources, and/or their unequal distribution. He shows that these scarcities can lead to deepened poverty, large-scale migrations, sharpened social cleavages, and weakened institutions. And he describes the kinds of violence that can result from these social effects, arguing that conflicts in Chiapas, Mexico and ongoing turmoil in many African and Asian countries, for instance, are already partly a consequence of scarcity. Homer-Dixon is careful to point out that the effects of environmental scarcity are indirect and act in combination with other social, political, and economic stresses. He also acknowledges that human ingenuity can reduce the likelihood of conflict, particularly in countries with efficient markets, capable states, and an educated populace. But he argues that the violent consequences of scarcity should not be underestimated--especially when about half the world's population depends directly on local renewables for their day-to-day well-being. In the next decades, he writes, growing scarcities will affect billions of people with unprecedented severity and at an unparalleled scale and pace. Clearly written and forcefully argued, this book will become the standard work on the complex relationship between environmental scarcities and human violence.