Trends and management implications of ocean-based recreation in marine protected areas: Managers' perspectives on the US National Marine Sanctuaries System

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are magnets for ocean recreation. Marine ecotourism is expanding worldwide, raising concerns for the degradation and loss of ocean ecosystem services and resulting consequences on human wellbeing. Despite observed increase, there remains a dearth of usable information on types of recreational activities and the locations in which they occur. This unprecedented study surveyed MPA Superintendents in the US National Marine Sanctuary (NMS) System. The survey was designed to utilise NMS Superintendent expert knowledge and perspectives to create a baseline understanding of the status and trends of ocean recreation in US MPAs. Results indicate that demands for increased recreation in MPAs appear as inevitable and managers are growing concerned about the ecological, cultural, social and economic impacts of recreation in MPAs. In addition to identifying data gaps that require address in future studies, baseline data compiled by the survey indicates that new approaches to marine recreation research and management are necessary and pertinent. The study has provided novel insight into the trends of recreation and concerns of managers in US MPAs, and demonstrates an innovative investigative approach that may be applied to assess recreational uses in other MPA systems, and towards sustainable recreational management in the global system of MPAs.

Promotor(s) & Supervisor: Charles Wahle

ISCED Categories

The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0522 - Conservation and environmental management", "1015 - Coastal and marine tourism