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The research program Sustainable Coastal Zone Management (SUCOZOMA), which was started in 1996 by the Swedish Foundation of Strategic Environmental Research, was motivated by the recognition of increasingly severe global, regional and national coastal problems. The program approached the complex issues of coastal eutrophication, fishing practices, and overexploited coastal resources, with a concerted effort involving multidisciplinarity, stakeholder cooperation, and a focus on the problems perceived as most serious by the public and decision-makers. As the program was concluded in 2004 it had resulted in the completion or near-completion of 22 doctoral dissertations and approximately one hundred publications. More than 40 scientists were involved in the program. Göteborg University was the host university, but important research teams have also been located at Stockholm University, the Beijer Institute, and the Kristineberg Marine Research Station of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and within the National Board of Fisheries. During the program, networks of stakeholders were established and SUCOZOMA had contributed to numerous political and administrative processes relevant for integrated coastal zone management (ICZM). SUCOZOMA program results can be grouped into different categories. Many of the projects in the two phases of the program produced results which can be defined as technical or practical and available for direct implementation in, e.g. mussel cultivation, restoration and safeguarding of spawning areas, seal-safe fishing gear or sustainable fishing of underexploited species. Other results can be characterized as policy oriented, and the impact of these can only be fairly evaluated as new policies are put into effect. SUCOZOMA resulted in important new knowledge regarding coastal science and management, but also concerning the organization required to conduct an end-user oriented multidisciplinary program effectively.
Within the Swedish research program SUCOZOMA (Sustainable Coastal Zone Management) several conflict studies have been carried out. Whereas the detailed results of these studies are published separately, this paper reviews important results from conflict research in combination with a summarizing and generalizing discussion of approaches and main results of SUCOZOMA's resource and conflicts studies. After an analysis of interdisciplinary and theoretical research about environmental and resource use conflicts, the methodology used in SUCOZOMA is presented, a combined stakeholder and conflict analysis. It can be summarized in four main points: i) to map the stakeholders and their interests; ii) to analyse the conflicts; iii) to develop methods for conflict mitigation and cooperation with stakeholders; iv) to integrate these components in a system for the management of natural resources. Exemplary case studies of resource use conflicts have been carried out at the Swedish west and east coast including coastal fishery, mussel culture, coastal planning and specific conflicts such as between species protection (seals) and coastal fishery. Researchers are involved as experts and as conflicting parties, and the role of scientists as stakeholders deserves special attention in conflict research. Conflict management is not only for the solution of present conflicts, but part of integrated resource management systems where knowledge transfer, institutional development, collective learning of scientific, political and administrative actors, and cooperation between scientists and resource users can occur.
This article analyses four main models of participation in Swedish natural resource management and assesses strengths and weaknesses of one model (participation in physical/spatial planning) based on empirical studies of coastal resource conflicts in two Swedish west coast municipalities. In comparison to other administrative and planning procedures, physical planning offers possibilities to coordinate land and water management across sectors and resources and to broaden stakeholder participation. Local influence on coastal management increases with participation beyond the statutory minimum requirements, although management frameworks and practice of participation need to be developed further. Besides educating professionals and experimenting with combinations of existing procedures, in the long run an adaptation of legislation to the requirements of integrated and sustainable coastal management will be necessary.
This paper describes the overfishing of the seas, in particular for cod in Sweden. It discusses policy instruments such as individual quotas, labelling and marine reserves. A tentative conclusion is that something needs to be done to the very structure of the policy instruments used. Information on stock depletion is available but goes unheeded and is counteracted by fishermen who want to fish more and who are routinely supported by “the political establishment” who appear to be most concerned about (shortterm) employment. The whole debate is taking place before the eyes of a general public that does not care sufficiently and difficult international bureaucracy. In this situation, the most important changes may be to strengthen both the rights and the duties of the fishermen. The integrity of fish stocks must be given absolute priority, but it is also important to motivate the fishermen with a greater stake and interest in the stock by giving them quotas that have, as far as possible, the characteristics of property.
Most of the Swedish coastal fisheries are not sustainable from either a social, economic or ecological point of view. We propose the introduction of local fisheries management (LFM) as a tool for restructuring the present large-scale management system in order to achieve sustainability. To implement LFM two questions need to be answered: How to distribute the resource fish among different resource user groups? How to restructure present fisheries management to meet the criteria of sustainability? Starting from these questions we describe possible forms of LFM for Swedish coastal fishery supported by recent research. The biological and social preconditions for restructuring fisheries management are derived from an analysis of the ecological and managerial situation in Swedish fishery. Three types of LFM—owner based, user based, and community based management—are analyzed with regard to the tasks to be carried out in LFM, the roles of management groups, and the definition and optimal size of management areas.
The participation of fishermen in fisheries management is discussed with varying ideas under the notions of “comanagement”, “participatory management” or “local management”. Empirical studies within Swedish fishery have thrown new light on the preconditions for fishermen's participation in fisheries management. Among the important factors influencing failure or success are the two which we discuss here: the question of articulation, organization and representation of interests of fishermen and the question of trust between the groups that are usually cooperating in resource management, fishermen, governmental administrators and researchers. The research summarized has addressed the interests of fishermen with regard to resource management, local fisheries management, and participation of fishermen. The overarching question connecting the three themes is: How can the interests of fishermen be represented better within fisheries management? Interests and trust, “soft facts”, can be as important for the success or failure of fisheries management and participation as can “hard facts” such as ownership rights, quantity and quality of resources or monetary value of resources.
The pattern for distribution of genetic variation within and between populations is referred to as the genetic population structure of the species. To avoid depletion of genetic resources sustainable management should be based on knowledge of this structure. We discuss key aspects of genetic population structure in the context of identifying biological units for fisheries management, suggesting three basic types of structuring: distinct populations; continuous change; and no differentiation. The type of structure determines how units for genetically sustainable management are to be identified. We also review what is currently known regarding the genetic population structure of fishes exploited in the Swedish part of the Baltic Sea, and conclude that sufficient genetic information is lacking for most of the species. This is a serious problem, particularly considering that populations of several commercially exploited fishes are declining and some exhibit recruitment problems. For six species, Atlantic herring, Atlantic salmon, brown trout, European eel, turbot, and pike, sufficient genetic data are available to provide at least basic information on genetic structure and genetic units for biologically sustainable use. Current management practices do not sufficiently consider these data.
Pikeperch Sander lucioperca (L.) were tagged in an area where ten small independent management units regulate fisheries, in order to analyze the relevance of migrations for the management. A total of 465 fishes were tagged in connection with the spawning migration. The number of recaptures was 96. The distribution of recaptures between areas and that of total catches, estimated from questionnaire to housholds and, individuals in the survey area, were correlated. The comparison of tagging and recapture dates showed that the same pikeperch migrated to the spawning areas at the same time in two subsequent years, indicating the existence of individual spawning behavior. A modified yield/recruit-model demonstrated that in situations where the dispersal area of a pikeperch stock overlaps with several management areas, the risk of overfishing is very high. Management of this kind of fisheries needs cooperation between units as well as sound data on the movements of pikeperch to define the effects of fishing regulations.
We studied the effects of boating and navigation activities on the recruitment of coastal fish in the Stockholm archipelago in the NW Baltic proper. The impacts were quantified by sampling metamorphosed young-of-the-year (Y-O-Y) fish in inlets adjacent to i) routes for medium-sized passenger ferries; ii) berths (small marinas) with small boats; and iii) references. Species with high preference for vegetation were negatively influenced by boating and navigation activities and species with low preference positively influenced. Pike (Esox lucius) Y-O-Y were significantly more abundant in reference areas, while bleak (Alburnus alburnus) were more abundant in dredged marinas. No statistically significant patterns were identified for perch (Perca fluviatilis) although there was a trend of low abundance along ferry routes. Many species of nearshore fishes are dependent on submerged vegetation as spawning and larval substrate, structural refuge and feeding habitat. Our results suggest that the negative effects from boating and navigation activities on the coverage and height of vegetation, especially on species of Chara and Potamogeton spp., may contribute to changes in the Y-O-Y fish community.
Eutrophication of coastal waters is a serious environmental problem with high costs for society globally. In eastern Skagerrak, reductions in eutrophication are planned through reduction of nitrogen inputs, but it is unclear how this can be achieved. One possible method is the cultivation of filter-feeding organisms, such as blue mussels, which remove nitrogen while generating seafood, fodder and agricultural fertilizer, thus recycling nutrients from sea to land. The expected effect of mussel farming on nitrogen cycling was modeled for the Gullmar Fjord on the Swedish west coast and it is shown that the net transport of nitrogen (sum of dissolved and particulate) at the fjord mouth was reduced by 20%. Existing commercial mussel farms already perform this service for free, but the benefits to society could be far greater. We suggest that rather than paying mussel farmers for their work that nutrient trading systems are introduced to improve coastal waters. In this context an alternative to nitrogen reduction in the sewage treatment plant in Lysekil community through mussel farming is presented. Accumulation of bio-toxins has been identified as the largest impediment to further expansion of commercial mussel farming in Sweden, but the problem seems to be manageable through new techniques and management strategies. On the basis of existing and potential regulations and payments, possible win-win solutions are suggested.
Bivalves are ancient animals that feed by filtering large volumes of water. In this way, phytoplankton, bacteria and viruses from the water column are greatly concentrated in the mussels. The hazards associated with the consumption of mussels are thus dependent on the occurrence and composition of toxic algae and human microbial pathogens in the areas where shellfish are grown. Diarrheic shellfish toxins have occurred regularly in Sweden during the past 27 years. Peaks of toxins in mussels are mostly recorded from October to December, but the pattern can differ signi ficantly due to location and year, making it hard to predict toxin levels in mussels. With an expansion of aquaculture and a subsequent increase in seafood consumption, better risk management is needed to minimize the effects on humans of algal toxins and human pathogens. New control strategies that have to be implemented are: i) proper site selection of culture installations; ii) regular and costefficient monitoring of algae, bacteria and viruses; iii) new indicators for fecal contamination, suitable for the specific locations where shellfish grow; iv) rapid dissemination of information to the industry and public, including risk assessment and advice on how to cope with the situation.
This paper reviews the use of stable nitrogen isotopes (δ15N) to delineate the influence of sewage nitrogen (N) in coastal ecosystems, drawing extensively on the case of Himmerfjärden, a Baltic Sea bay that receives 15N-enriched tertiary treated sewage that is discharged mainly as dissolved inorganic N (DIN). Gradients of δ15N in macroalgae (Fucus vesiculosus) and surface sediments traced sewage-derived N to 24 km from the outfall but elevated δ15N values (> 7‰) indicated that the sewage influence was most pronounced within 10 km. Comparison of macroalgal δ15N values before and after enhanced tertiary treatment showed a decrease in the spatial impact of sewage N from about 24 km to 12 km from the outfall and a decrease to more marine δ15N values in more recent growth tissues. Sedimentary δ15N records showed that sewage has had a dominant influence on organic matter production in the bay with dramatic increases in sedimentary δ15N during the years of maximum sewage N loads. In cases where sewage N introduces a distinct isotopic signature into a system and where it has had a dominant influence on organic matter production, δ15N values in biota and sediments can be used to trace the spatial and temporal influence of sewage N in aquatic ecosystems.
Eutrophication in the coastal waters of the northern part of the Swedish west coast is causing structural and functional changes to the coastal ecosystems. Large-scale mussel farming is proposed in the Program of Measures, required by the EU Water Framework Directive to reduce the nutrients in the coastal water and improve water quality over a transition period of 10–20 years. Ownership, land parcelling, conflicts of interest, and the protection of coastal water are obstructing accessibility to suitable water areas for the establishment of mussel farming plants. This paper studies the obstacles and possibilities in the relevant laws and legal regulations governing the accessibility to coastal waters for large-scale mussel farming. Alternative ways to solve the problem are shown and discussed, within the framework of the Planning and Building Act, the Environmental Code and the laws concerning land-parceling and property. It is shown that the Planning and Building Act, when used in a proper manner, can provide useful instruments for society to gain access to coastal water for mussel farming plants with the purpose of improving the ecological status of the water.
The implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive and the achievement of its water quality objectives will to a large degree depend on scientific knowledge about the sources and status of water resources and the effects of mitigative measures. Coastal waters will be of central interest, since the management of whole river basins may be affected if coastal water status is not satisfactory. The Water Directive's general directions on what information the water authorities need and on suitable methods for obtaining such information leave it to the Member states to decide on more precise instructions. Improved legal mechanisms are needed to assist and guide the managers and scientists charged with implementing the directive and achieving its water quality objectives, particularly when faced with insufficient information, flawed knowledge, or changed circumstances. We assess progress in the current process of implementing the Water Directive in Sweden, focussing on coastal waters, and on general problems arising using this type of legal technique.
This article confronts present main stream planning approaches against the perspective of ecological sustainability, as relevant for Rule of Law countries and based on a modern environmental law approach. It discusses the setting and implementation of environmental goals against the general experience of massive implementation deficits regarding environmental policies all over the world. In this confrontation, environmental planning, with at least some principles picked up from New Zealand's Resource Management Act, and much more taken from modern environmental law theory on legal operationalisation, is compared to adaptive management approaches which also allow for modifying the environment related goal if implementation fails or seems very difficult. The concept of adaptive environmental planning (AEP) is suggested as a possible road to choose for planning for sustainability, while maximizing development within the framework legally defined by means of environmental limits. This article presents five criteria, all of which must be met by AEP planning. One of these relates to a planning hierarchy which, among other things, leads to the conclusion that coastal planning, if it is intended to aim at sustainability, can not be dealt with in isolation, although such planning might have to meet very complex problems at the regional level.
The Swedish coastal zone is a scene of conflicting interests about various goods and services provided by nature. Open-access conditions and the public nature of many services increase the difficulty in resolving these conflicts. “Sustainability” is a vague but widely accepted guideline for finding reasonable trade-offs between different interests. The UN view of sustainable development suggests that coastal zone management should aim at a sustainable ecological, economic, and social-cultural development. Looking closer at economic sustainability, it is observed that economic analyses about whether changes in society imply a gain or a loss should take into account the economic value of the environment. Methods used for making such economic valuation in the context of the Swedish coastal zone are briefly reviewed. It is noted that the property rights context matters for the results of a valuation study. This general background is followed by a concise presentation of the design and results of four valuation studies on Swedish coastal zone issues. One study is on the economic value of an improved bathing water quality in the Stockholm archipelago. The other studies are a travel cost study about the economic value of improved recreational fisheries in the Stockholm archipelago, a replacement cost study on the value of restoring habitats for sea trout, and a choice experiment study on the economic value of improved water quality along the Swedish westcoast.
A primary aim of the SUCOZOMA research program has been the transfer of knowledge from the scientific community to research users. This paper describes the intentions and ambitions regarding knowledge transfer within the program, reflecting the aim of its financier, the Swedish Foundation of Strategic Environmental Research, but also a general trend within research policy. The study investigates the areas in which SUCOZOMA has actively tried to transfer knowledge, reaching out to management and different practitioners. Many examples of communication and participation of research users in the program are described. The paper also identifies the bottlenecks and limits to communication.