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, Volume 580, Issue 1, pp 181–191


The artificial reef AR complex of the Algarve Southern Portugal, deployed for the purpose of restoring and enhancing fisheries resources, is currently the largest structure of its kind in Europe, extending for over 43.5 km. Such a structure can be expected to have had both positive and negative impacts. To evaluate the overall perception of the effects of deployment, a survey of stakeholders’ opinions was undertaken based on a set of questions addressing various dimensions environmental, social, and economic. The survey covered 44 key-stakeholder representatives distributed in six groups: commercial fishermen associations, anglers associations and clubs, diving schools and clubs, fisheries and environmental administrators, natural and social scientists, and local council representatives in the fisheries and-or environmental sectors. The opinions of stakeholders were measured using summated rating scales. The results obtained reflect the most important issues be impacted and the possibility of using them as indicators of relative success or failure. From a total of 12 factor-sets of impacts, the results showed that in general the environmentally related were the ones having had the most positive results. The overall perception of the environmental factor-sets specified as the ‘deployment area use’ revealed that the artificial reefs were an incentive to users and that the structures were perceived as a satisfactory tool to support the fishery and its management. In both cases divers were the strongest supporters. A closer look at the results presented in the form of an AMOEBA plot showed that there were other factor-sets perceived as impacting positively in other dimensions. Such examples are the factor-sets ‘opinion’ and ‘production and benefits’ lying respectively in the social and economic dimensions. The latter factor-set was even the only one having the support of five out of six stakeholder-types. As expected, in general different stakeholder-types take somewhat different positions and attitudes towards AR impacts: usually scientists are the most optimistic, whereas fishermen take the most sceptic view.

KeywordsArtificial reefs ARs Impact analysis Fisheries Indicators for management  Download fulltext PDF

Autor: Jorge Ramos - Miguel N. Santos - David Whitmarsh - Carlos C. Monteiro


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