Management measures for the North Devon Marine Pioneer area

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Image Courtesy of Heather Lowther (Centre for Ecology & Hydrology)


Nick Phillips and I met with Dr Gill Ainsworth Social Scientist from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology CEH Edinburgh to represent Combe Martin Sea Angling Club in an hour long filmed interview that will form part of a film for the below project that gives Marine stakeholders an opportunity to voice their views on the Marine Environment and what matters to them and their communities.

Cultural values, experiences, identities and capabilities relating to marine ecosystem services

Project introduction: This Community Voice Method (CVM) project is being undertaken in collaboration between the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) and the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) as part of the Marine Ecosystems Research Programme (MERP). The project goal is to identify potential management measures for the North Devon Marine Pioneer area and views on the future of the marine environment in the Southwest. We aim to do this by gathering people’s views about the benefits, experiences and capabilities they gain from conducting different activities in the marine environment and how these might be affected by a range of possible future scenarios.

How the Community Voice Method works: This project aims to gather stakeholder views about potential marine management options and enable deliberation on those options. The method involves filming interviews in order to produce a documentary film to be shown during a stakeholder workshop later in the year. This will inform the design of marine management in the Southwest, and ensure different community voices are represented more effectively when policy options are being considered, alongside ecological and economic evidence.

The Marine Pioneer: The Marine Pioneer is an area of the Celtic Seas that joins the existing North Devon Biosphere along the coast and extends to approximately 20 nautical miles beyond Lundy. Defra chose the Marine Pioneer in 2016 as part of its 25 Year Environment Strategy to deliver growth in our natural environment and in the social and economic well-being of the North Devon area.

Who is being interviewed? We are approaching people for interview based on their knowledge or involvement in relevant marine industries or sea user groups as well as trying to ensure that we capture as full a range of views and values as possible. We are intentionally selecting people who we know are engaged in, care about, or are impacted by the marine management process, and who represent a range of views on and interests in marine resource use, management and conservation.

Image courtesy of Heather Lowther (Centre for Ecology & Hydrology)

The films will be used later as a focus point at workshops where stakeholders have the opportunity to work together to find a way forward to ensure a marine environment that balances the needs for all involved.