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Perceptions of Shellfish Growers towards Marine Protected Areas An exploratory study…. Dr Rick Rollins Department of Tourism and Recreation Malaspina University-College.

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Presentation on theme: "Perceptions of Shellfish Growers towards Marine Protected Areas An exploratory study…. Dr Rick Rollins Department of Tourism and Recreation Malaspina University-College."— Presentation transcript:

1 Perceptions of Shellfish Growers towards Marine Protected Areas An exploratory study…. Dr Rick Rollins Department of Tourism and Recreation Malaspina University-College Carleigh Randall, MA Department of Tourism and Recreation Malaspina University-College

2 Purpose of Study 1. What is the level of shellfish growers awareness about MPA’s 2. Attitude towards MPA’s 3. What issues and opportunities did they face as an industry 4. What recommendations could they make to assist marine protected area planning

3 Methodology Focus Group Method Focus Group Method –Opportunity for voice of the shellfish growers to be heard and capture points of view Purposive sampling Purposive sampling –data lists obtained from the B.C. Shellfish Growers Association, Land and Water British Columbia Inc., and the Hul'qumi'num Treaty Group. – A total of 44 shellfish growers were contacted, with 21 shellfish growers ultimately participating –3 focus groups in November 2003 at Malaspina University-College

4 Results: Awareness and Understanding of MPA’S clear lack of understanding about the NMCA resulting in a number of concerns clear lack of understanding about the NMCA resulting in a number of concerns concerns that First Nations have not been consulted about the National Marine Conservation Area. concerns that First Nations have not been consulted about the National Marine Conservation Area. "…the federal government is not communicating with us, they just went ahead and did it without First Nations consultations and we always find out after the fact that they are in place and that makes it really hard for us to accept what is out there."

5 Who benefits? Who benefits? Status of the NMCA – was it a “done deal” Status of the NMCA – was it a “done deal” Does geographical location i.e. high use area imply removal of industry and that residents stay Does geographical location i.e. high use area imply removal of industry and that residents stay Why is the government saving an already degraded, denuded environment? Why is the government saving an already degraded, denuded environment? Results: Awareness and Understanding of MPA’S

6 Results: Attitude Towards MPAs Advantages: First Nations saw few advantages and those were viewed as a doubled edged sword First Nations saw few advantages and those were viewed as a doubled edged sword Ie. exclusive harvesting rights will lead to commercial and recreational pressures and public perception of preferential treatment Curtailment of Impact: distributed equitably Curtailment of Impact: distributed equitably “There must be some rationale for establishing the park in the first place and I guess that I am curious as to what constitutes the rationale for - this is a good example it is a really high residential, high industrial use area so you put a park here that means industry goes away and the residents stays…"

7 Results: Attitude Towards MPAs Advantages: Benefits accrue to waterfront owner and recreationist Benefits accrue to waterfront owner and recreationist “ The baby boomers looking for their little paradise in the Gulf Islands - so they are the ones - I feel a bit cynical - but they are the ones that this park is being created for. I am just being straight - I think this is a pile of crap to be honest. I think sometimes, that although there lots of good ecological, there are demonstrative ecological arguments for having parks, but I would certainly like to see those laid out for the Southern Gulf Islands."

8 Results: Attitude Towards MPAs Disadvantages: creates another set of borders that further impedes First Nation harvest and access to the benefits of the water creates another set of borders that further impedes First Nation harvest and access to the benefits of the water "To me I think its just more borders put on First Nations. Because right now the treaty process, they are putting borders where before there wasn't any borders - we could go as far north and south - but now we are designated borders and with these parks - there's more borders - that's how I feel about it.“

9 Results: Attitude Towards MPAs Disadvantages: creation of an MPA is added leverage by the public to stop commercial activity within park boundaries: creation of an MPA is added leverage by the public to stop commercial activity within park boundaries: "Other thing that I see is a real danger is that when a marine park is created, like any other park, the first thing that the uneducated masses will start screaming for is no commercial activity. ….If you add a marine protected area on top of it, then they will use that against us."

10 Results : Issues and Opportunities Distinct themes emerged 1. Shellfish Growers and Government Relationships 2. Public Perceptions and Misperceptions 3. Benefits of Shellfish Aquaculture within a Marine Protected Area 4. Constraints and Disadvantages to Shellfish Aquaculture within a Marine Protected Area 5. Perceptions of Threats to Water Quality 6. Commitment to Shellfish Aquaculture

11 Results: Theme of Government Relationships conflicting provincial and federal government agendas often leaves shellfish aquaculture growers feeling disempowered and not listened to amongst differing government mandates, creating stress for shellfish growers and communities conflicting provincial and federal government agendas often leaves shellfish aquaculture growers feeling disempowered and not listened to amongst differing government mandates, creating stress for shellfish growers and communities "Conflicting agendas lead to turf wars between agencies with the 'little voices' of shellfish aquaculture in the middle.“ a high degree of skepticism in dealing with government, a high degree of skepticism in dealing with government, “Over the years, I have been around a little while, we have taken part in all kinds of fisheries initiatives, put information forward and every time it stopped us from doing work “

12 Results: Government Relationships Participants feel strongly that what is needed is for government to "seek the truth" about shellfish aquaculture; without the truth, shellfish aquaculture growers are concerned that they may be excluded from the park: Participants feel strongly that what is needed is for government to "seek the truth" about shellfish aquaculture; without the truth, shellfish aquaculture growers are concerned that they may be excluded from the park: “I think one of the first things that will be excluded from marine parks is shellfish aquaculture, which is what we do for a living and there's only one place in the Gulf of Georgia that is experiencing increased wildlife populations and better water quality than 50 years ago and that place is right where the main activity is in shellfish farming in Baynes Sound “

13 Results: Public Perceptions Participants were also concerned about misperceptions by government agencies that have tremendous impact on their industry: Participants were also concerned about misperceptions by government agencies that have tremendous impact on their industry: "Department of Fisheries and Oceans' perception that shellfish aquaculture cannot occur where there's eelgrass, where in reality, shellfish farming actually stabilizes bed and eelgrass grows, there's a lack of understanding by DFO". This type of misperception stops them from working."

14 Results: Public Perceptions Another concern was that shellfish aquaculture was often labeled and lumped in with fishfarms, stating a clear need to distinguish between finfish and shellfish aquaculture: Another concern was that shellfish aquaculture was often labeled and lumped in with fishfarms, stating a clear need to distinguish between finfish and shellfish aquaculture: "[people] camping on the beach, looking out, walking on the beach, sailing by…some people don't like it…don't know what's going - is that a fish farm? Fishfarms have a bad name and we get labeled with that."

15 Results: Public Perceptions: Participants are also concerned that the general public will equate marine protected areas with having no shellfish aquaculture creating future problems : Participants are also concerned that the general public will equate marine protected areas with having no shellfish aquaculture creating future problems : "That the idea of a marine park starts people talking and it is another piece of the equation to fight you". “But what we have to be concerned is with the general public's general ignorance on the subject that they will equate marine protected areas with no shellfish, so what we are saying is you make it a marine protected area, the next thing you will have is a very self important group lobbying the government to stop all the commercial activity in that area and what we do is very visible, so they will come after us immediately."

16 Results: Theme - Benefits The need to convey benefits to the wider public. The need to convey benefits to the wider public. –environmental, economic and social benefits Shellfish aquaculture may supplement band members' food sources. Also, shellfish aquaculture may supplement, contribute, or improve faltering band economies through job creation and First Nations' shellfish product. Shellfish aquaculture may supplement band members' food sources. Also, shellfish aquaculture may supplement, contribute, or improve faltering band economies through job creation and First Nations' shellfish product. –"For our reserve, we have 90-95% unemployment rate, for some of them that's their livelihood. Indian sweaters that's gone down the road, it’s out the door now, carving was hot for a while, but now its not because just like the Indian sweaters its gone out the door …we have an abundance of carvers, abundance of sweaters …. so that's why we got into leasing"

17 Results: Constraints and Disadvantages Attitudes of resident Saltspring Islanders and Islands Trust - NIMBYism Attitudes of resident Saltspring Islanders and Islands Trust - NIMBYism "It's hard not be a little skeptical about this even from the point of view of course, we know the attitude of Saltspring Islanders and Islands Trust and generally its pretty legendary. …Basically its any sort of industrial activity or anybody that has shades of industrial activity is basically attempted to be pushed out of existence. That's traditional industry, logging or aquaculture in general. Just ask anybody, Chris Hatfield runs a salmon farm on Saltspring Island, just ask him what, how pleasant life has been on Saltspring.“ "Nobody wants us in their backyard."

18 Constraints and Disadvantages Park Restrictions: Park Restrictions: "so the real issue is who is restricted by the park. It is not going to be the water front property owners in any sense and that's the concern right.“ Upland waterfront owners with little or no local knowledge, little understanding of the issues and what they are entitled to when they buy water front property. Upland waterfront owners with little or no local knowledge, little understanding of the issues and what they are entitled to when they buy water front property. "I think it is a class struggle - it is as old as the serfs, I think it is really that simple because its people who are quite wealthy that are moving into the traditional areas that are shellfish growing and we annoy them.”

19 Results: Perception of water quality Participants felt the water quality within the Gulf Islands area generally ranged from poor to heavily polluted Participants felt the water quality within the Gulf Islands area generally ranged from poor to heavily polluted There's very little suitable water available for shellfish aquaculture, and a need for greater effort at all levels to reduce pollution of our water. There's very little suitable water available for shellfish aquaculture, and a need for greater effort at all levels to reduce pollution of our water.

20 Results: Theme – Commitment to Shellfish Aquaculture History of past generations of families working together. History of past generations of families working together. Shellfish aquaculture to them personally and to communities by way of job creation and benefits to the environment. Shellfish aquaculture to them personally and to communities by way of job creation and benefits to the environment. "A lot of people don't want you around, but if we don't do it right we self eliminate…. The majority of people want to stay in this business."

21 Results: Shellfish Growers’ Recommendations Refine and clarify government agendas Refine and clarify government agendas Input Input Education about shellfish aquaculture Education about shellfish aquaculture Proposed Working Models Proposed Working Models Use Agreements Use Agreements Compensation Compensation Consultation with First Nations' bands one to one to improve communication and poor level of understanding. Consultation with First Nations' bands one to one to improve communication and poor level of understanding.

22 Recommendations Cont’d Clarification as to how the park is to be managed in light of declining budgets. Clarification as to how the park is to be managed in light of declining budgets. Need for co-management ideas to come forth, need for meaningful management in this proposed marine park. Need for co-management ideas to come forth, need for meaningful management in this proposed marine park. Clarification of ecological arguments for creation of park. Clarification of ecological arguments for creation of park. Clarification of the benefits of the park. Clarification of the benefits of the park. Create a no dumping zone in the Gulf Islands. Create a no dumping zone in the Gulf Islands.


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