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5.5.12 Parc Naturel Marin d'Iroise: Scenarios experience sharing

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Advantages and disadvantages

Having some short-term objectives specified in the '2014-9271' regional regulation facilitated the kelp harvesters involvement in the scenario development.

The stakeholders who asked to participate in the VALMER exercise were mainly related to the kelp sector. But the VALMER staff also participated in meetings outside of the VALMER project, with other users groups, in order to analyze the debates around the kelp harvesting and, in some cases, to inform the public of both the active management plan and the current VALMER study.

 

Difficulties encountered

One major difficulty encountered with the local fisheries committee was explaining that the Parc Naturel Marin d'Iroise was not trying to take-over the fishermen’s organization in the management of fisheries process.

It was essential to show that the assessment and scenarios were, in the VALMER context, “exploratory” and built to evaluate the effects of decisions taken.

Moreover, VALMER was an experimental project managed outside the common institutional context. It must be remembered that stakeholders were invited to join an exercise they did not ask for. It was a quite long process to convince them of the project’s value. As these stakeholders also collaborate in many of the Park’s current actions, the risk of consultation fatigue was real.

In addition, kelp-harvesting management was a very topical issue during the scenario-building phase. After a stormy 2014 winter that brought a sharp decline of the L. digitata standing biomass, the settlement of new banned L. hyperborea harvesting areas for ecological reasons was strongly debated, before the benefits of this new system could have been evaluated.

Even when the discussions with kelp harvesters were robust and challenging for both parties they conceded that they do need scientific advice for ascertaining production objectives, particularly when the standing biomass is affected by extreme hydrodynamic events. They saw the model development managed during VALMER as an opportunity that must be grasped.

During this particular year, the VALMER team also observed some recovery possibilities for the fishery. Such an experience illustrates the need to have a flexible ecosystem services assessment tool, in order to quickly inform the debates. In VALMER, the Parc Naturel Marin d'Iroise relied on the “interviews” and “participative approach” for choosing and building scenarios.

 

Tips

The technical scenarios guidelines provided interesting information on stakeholder’s engagement and scenario building methods. However, these tools were not used directly in the Parc Naturel Marin d'Iroise study site for building scenarios. The assessing and comparing of “real-life” scenarios were more specifically based on modelling.

  • Involve stakeholders as early as possible in the process because scenario building needs a learning phase. It is also important to run the exercise without disruption to the stakeholder’s day-to-day commercial activity.
  • Scenario development is strongly dependent on the local context
  • Carefully refine the scope of the ecosystem services assessment during the Triage Glasses icon in order to analyse the factors of change in the system and to develop the exploratory scenarios

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