Establishing attitudes and perceptions of recreational boat users based in the River Hamble Estuary, UK, towards Marine Conservation Zones

Sarah Mcauliffe, Jonathan Potts, Rosaline Canessa, Brian Baily

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Abstract

Research was completed focusing on a population of recreational boat users with moorings on the River Hamble Estuary, United Kingdom. Issues explored include: (1) boater setting preferences; (2) sources of perceived conflict; and (3) understanding and support for Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs). Several sources of perceived conflict emerged. Action taken to address conflict must be problem specific, targeting the individual as opposed to the activity in general. Results suggest that there is little awareness and a lack of understanding and support amongst recreational boaters with regards to the role of MCZs. The MCZ Project was set up in 2009 in order to work with sea users and interest groups to make site recommendations. Many participants in this research stated that the MCZ Project has: taken an unbalanced approach, represents overregulation, and poses a threat to safe anchorages. It is apparent that compliance and support for management tools being employed will be achieved only if the process is transparent and inclusive. An appropriate and equitable mechanism must be developed in order to move beyond ‘public consultation’ to ensure stakeholders are more fully engaged in both the implementation and management of MCZs. Such strategies will help to alleviate feelings of powerlessness as is so often the case in public consultation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-107
JournalMarine Policy
Volume45
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014

Keywords

  • Recreational boating
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Marine conservation zones
  • Questionnaire
  • Marine planning

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