Harmful algal blooms: the impacts on cultural ecosystem services and human well-being in a case study setting, Cornwall, UK

Willis, C, Papathanasopoulou, E, Russel, D and Artioli, Y 2018 Harmful algal blooms: the impacts on cultural ecosystem services and human well-being in a case study setting, Cornwall, UK. Marine Policy. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2018.06.002

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Whilst harmful algal blooms (HABs) are a natural phenomenon, the impacts of these events can have devastating impacts on human societies. To date, these have largely been studied with reference to economic and health impacts, which can be significant and have impact at both individual and community levels. This paper builds on previous work and addresses recent calls to more fully understand the nuanced human impacts of HABs. Using a framework of cultural ecosystem services, the paper explores how HABs can impact human well-being through disruptions to therapeutic and inspirational opportunities in the natural environment, opportunities for recreation, aesthetic enjoyment, and losses to traditional ways of life, sense of place and collective identity. A snapshot is gleaned into the lived realities of six local residents of St Austell bay, Cornwall, UK, an area frequently affected by HABs via interviews which illustrate how the impacts of HABs can be felt at a much deeper level than are revealed through economic and health analysis. Whilst it is acknowledged the sample size here is limited, the findings nonetheless point to some of the key impacts of HABs in this specific setting and indicate a need for continued research to incorporate local experiences into decisions about how to respond to environmental shocks and what safeguards could help to buffer against the worst of these. It is argued that locally-directed management policies can be developed at scales more appropriate to coastal communities to better respond to their specific needs when considering HAB impacts.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Subjects: Economics
Social Sciences
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > National Capability categories > Added Value
Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Sea and Society
Depositing User: Dr Eleni Papathanasopoulou
Date made live: 18 Jun 2018 10:31
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2020 09:59
URI: https://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/7920

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