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Perceived risks and benefits of recreational visits to the marine environment: Integrating impacts on the environment and impacts on the visitor
Wyles, K.J.; Pahl, S.; Thompson, R.C. (2014). Perceived risks and benefits of recreational visits to the marine environment: Integrating impacts on the environment and impacts on the visitor. Ocean Coast. Manag. 88: 53-63. hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2013.10.005
In: Ocean & Coastal Management. Elsevier Science: Barking. ISSN 0964-5691, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Wyles, K.J.
  • Pahl, S.
  • Thompson, R.C.

Abstract
    Marine environments provide a range of important ecosystem goods and services. To ensure the sustainability of this environment, we require an integrated understanding of the activities taking place in coastal environments that takes into account the benefits to human visitors but also the risks to the environment. This paper presents two studies on the perceived risks and benefits associated with recreational visits to rocky shores in the UK and internationally. Marine experts and recreational users of the coast responded to questionnaires that explored the marine awareness and wellbeing effects of different activities on the visitor and, in turn, the perceived harmfulness of these activities to the environment. Two studies found that a visit to a rocky shore was seen to improve visitors' awareness regarding the marine environment as well as their wellbeing (with some activities being calming such as sunbathing and relaxing, and others exciting such as rock pooling). However, this was perceived to be at a cost to the environment, as some activities were noted to have detrimental effects on the habitat. Marine experts and coastal users gave very similar answers, as did British (Study 1) and international respondents (Study 2). Using an integrative approach, the perceived impacts on both the environment and visitor were then explored together. Walking and rock pooling were seen to provide considerable wellbeing benefits but had high negative impacts on the environment. In contrast, resource focussed activities such as fishing, bait collecting and crabbing were perceived as less important for visitor wellbeing yet also had negative environmental impacts. Using this integrative approach, this analysis begins to suggest priorities for management that benefits both the environment and the recreational users.

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