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Social-Ecological Systems Meta-Analysis Database: Variables

Variable TypeText
Variable Component TypeNatural Resource Unit, Natural Resource System
Variable KindInteraction
ThemeTechnology (learn about themes)
ProjectsSESMAD, Fiji fisheries
QuestionPlease include here a description of those aspects of human-made infrastructure and technology that you found to be particularly important to understand the use and/or management of the commons. Use the close-ended questions below as a guide to what you might consider.
Select Options
Importance"Human constructed facilities can have a diverse assortment of effects on environmental governance. Storage tends to enhance prospects for sustainable governance (Schlager et al. 1994); while roads may increase market access and encourage overharvesting. This includes any physical elements of the commons that have to be maintained in order to use or manage a commons. This would include irrigation ditches, water pumps, reservoirs, a beach in a developed coastal area, etc."

"Human-constructed or maintained facilities or tools that are in some way related to harvesting, storing, processing, transporting or emitting a resource or pollutant. Examples include fish farms, roads, dams etc. This variable is associated to the particular use that actor groups make of the commons (e.g., fishing or irrigation technologies)"


Theory Usages

TheoryValue Used

Case Usages

CaseInteraction TypeComponentValue UsedExplanation
Forests in IndonesiaGovernanceForests in IndonesiaForests were remote, and the construction of infrastructure, including roads, ports and processing plants was essential to the commercial exploitation of this resource.
Forests in IndonesiaGovernanceForests in IndonesiaIncreasing road construction allowed greater access to remote areas during this period, enabling the growth of export oriented plantations and timber extraction. Export oriented platnations (particularly palm oil) came to play an increasing role during this period.
Galapagos Marine ReserveBiophysicalGalapagos Sea Cucumber 
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT)GovernanceWestern Atlantic Bluefin Tuna  
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT)GovernanceEastern Atlantic Bluefin TunaAtlantic Bluefin Tuna are harvested by large industrial sized
Community D (Fiji Fisheries)GovernanceCommunity D Fish Resources 
Community G (Fiji Fisheries)GovernanceCommunity G Fish ResourcesMissing
Montreal ProtocolBiophysicalOzoneThe most significant technological development during this snapshot is the rapid development of substitutes for ozone depleting substances. Additional developments allowed scientists to better monitor ozone conditions.
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT)GovernanceEastern Atlantic Bluefin TunaSpotting planes have been used to locate tuna; storage facilities are used to store live tuna.
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR coral coverBoats and diving or snorkeling gear are necessary for people to get to and see coral reefs. Coastal infrastructure (boat launches, marinas) are thus important.
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR target fishFisheries gear technology changing. GPS and other tracking technology changing. Monitoring technology changing.
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR coral coverBoats and diving or snorkeling gear are necessary for people to get to and see coral reefs. Coastal infrastructure (boat launches, marinas) are thus important.
Montreal ProtocolBiophysicalOzoneUse of CFCs and other ozone depleting substances for refrigeration, solvents, and other industrial uses has contributed to ODS emissions and ozone declines.
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR target fish 
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceMacquarie Island Royal PenguinInfrastructure has not had an appreciable impact on royal penguin populations on Macquarie Island. Penguin harvesting facilities have been closed for almost one hundred years and human settlements and facilities are concentrated on one area of the island. .
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi coral coverDestructive fishing technologies; Diving technologiesSome fishing technologies are destructive, including dynamite and cyanide. Boats allow access to the reef. Diving equipment is important both for the enjoyment of cultural ES from coral reefs, and also for ecological monitoring of coral cover.
Community H (Fiji Fisheries)GovernanceCommunity H Fish ResourcesMissing
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceLight Mantled AlbatrossLongline fishing boats; as well as other fishing activities can have a fairly significant impact on the light mantled albatross as well as other seabirds. Estimates suggest that 4,125 light mantled albatross were caught as bycatch by Japanese longliners between 1981-1986 (ACAP 2012). The toothfish fishery around Macquarie island includes rules designed to limit bycatch, and leads to a fisheries closure if 2 are taken in any one year,
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Marine National MonumentGovernanceNWHI Lobster Fishery Lobsters are PIT tagged for capture, recapture surveys and long-term monitoring
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi Green TurtleUse of nylon nets has increased (Clifton 2013)Turtles caught opportunistically mainly by Bajau net fishers, and use of nylon nets has increased (Clifton 2013). Infrastructure not a major driver of change in this environmental commons - no evidence to suggest that coastal development is a major impact or that resource users employ sophisticated technologies to harvest adult turtles or eggs.
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernancePatagonian Toothfish The ability to freeze fish onboard is important as the toothfish is sold in large part to markets in Japan and the US. The fishing vessels also used advanced fishing technologies to capture toothfish.
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceCalifornia Humpback WhaleLine-transect surveys, GPS, biopsy and photography, acoustic depth sounders, sonobuoys, satellite tags, cell phone applications, GIS
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Marine National MonumentGovernanceNWHI Trophic DensityResearch stations on Midway Atoll and Tern island Vessel Monitoring SystemResearchers have conducted most of the research on biodiversity in the MPA
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Sea CucumberSea cucmbers are fished easily with boats and limited equipment. They are then boiled, dried and salted. No high-tech equipment used in monitoring (on-board observers and GPS trackers).
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi fish spawningLow technology extraction. Diving equipment used to monitor numbers of fish in aggregations.Relatively low-technology fishery associated with aggregating fish. Anything caught for live trade is kept in ponds rather than in sophisticated technologies. Nylon nets and mechanised fishing boats (Clifton 2013) These include the introduction of cheap and durable nylon nets have enabled fishermen to operate individually rather than within groups organised by a limited number of net owners. Mechanised fishing boats increase the range of fishing grounds available to individuals and reduces the limitations imposed by seasonal climatic variations (Clifton 2013)
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Sharks 
Community A (Fiji fisheries)GovernanceCommunity A Fish ResourcesMissing
Community E (Fiji Fisheries)GovernanceCommunity E Fish ResourcesMissing
Community C (Fiji Fisheries)GovernanceCommunity C Fish ResourcesMissing
Community F (Fiji Fisheries)GovernanceCommunity F Fish ResourcesMissing
Community B (Fiji Fisheries)GovernanceCommunity B Fish ResourcesMissing
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat Reef Fish Community involvementCommunity involvement in designation and management/monitoring of MPAs
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard Polar BearBoats, Helicopters, GPSTravel to Svalbard, and especially the East Svalbard Nature Reserves, is often challenging due to the polar climate and sea-ice. Larger, more powerful boats with ice-breaking capabilities have increased accessibility to this region. Helicopters and GPS tags have enabled monitoring (although still very expensive) and spatial awareness of the population.
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat Green Turtlebeach patrols; alternative communal meat sourceBeach patrols and enforcement for reducing poaching, in addition to the provision of an alternative communal meat source (pigs)
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Marine National MonumentGovernanceNWHI Green TurtleResearch station on Midway Atoll and Turner Island, and temporary camps on other islandsSatellite tracking of turtles to understand migration routes Genetic analysis to understand population dynamics
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Sea Lion Pups are counted from cliffs - some are dificult to access, but no major use of technology
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceCalifornia Groundfish HabitatFuel-Efficient Vessels, GPS Devices, Depth-Fish finders, On-board refrigeration, Communication efforts (e.g. smart phones), Acoustic buoys, Ice capacities
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Southern Bluefin TunaImproved - boat technology, transportation/satellite technology, fishing technology-fuel efficient vessels, refrigeration technology, GPS and tracking technology for fish finding -mariculture technology improvements - transfer and containment of SBT
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceCalifornia Rocky Shores Ecosystem HealthGPS is important for managing shipping lanes, and for monitoring projects.
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Southern Right WhaleGPS and GIS, photography, passive acoustic monitoring (PAM), satellite tagging and biopsy collection, use of boats and aircrafts for research and monitoringThe infrastructure mentioned above have been used to study the distribution, abundance, population structure, survival, behaviour of Australian southern right whales.
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceLight Mantled AlbatrossLong-line fishing vesselsAll albatross are highly vulnerable to being caught in long-line operations, but management measures have reduced albatross bycatch around Heard and McDonald Islands to almost zero. Four seabirds were killed in 2013, but none of them were light mantled albatross.
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Green Turtlesatellite telemetry of turtles to understand migration routes. Capure-recapture surveys for population estimatesTurtles from Galapagos found to migrate to Central America and oceanic water SW of Galapagos (Seminoff et al. 2008)
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard ShrimpLarger Boats Multiple Trawls Other species and small shrimp are protected by mandatory sorting grids and by the temporary closing of areas with excessive by-catchThere has been a trend from many smaller fishing boats, to fewer larger fishing boats. Larger boats with greater horsepower and on-board freezing have allowed them to stay at sea for longer period of time. In addition, greater horsepower allows boats to tow two or three (or sometimes four) trawls simultaneously. Research surveys about population estimates use the same type of gear as fishermen.
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR Green TurtleAll commercial vessels are equipped with a VMS (vessel monitoring system) which allows satellite tracking of the vessels. Trawls are required to have turtle excluder devices/bycatch reduction devices in order to reduce bycatch of turtles (and other large fauna). Scientists have commonly used satellite telemetry to better understand turtle movements and migration habits.
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard KittiwakeTravel to Svalbard, and especially the East Svalbard Nature Reserves, is often challenging due to the polar climate and sea-ice. Larger, more powerful boats with ice-breaking capabilities have increased accessibility to this region.
Cenderwasih National ParkGovernanceCenderwasih coral cover 
Seaflower MPAGovernanceSeaflower coral reefsUnderwater monitoring programs - used to assess the status of this commons.
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceKing PenguinSatellite technology has increasingly been used to monitor other penguin (and other animals) throughout the Southern Ocean, however, it can be costly and has not been used to monitor King Penguins on the Heard and McDonald Islands. The lack of infrastructure on the islands and difficulty in accessing them, provides management challenges.
Falkland Islands squidGovernancePatagonian squid (Loligo gahi)Factory Trawlers, Electronic Logbooks, Radio, VMSProcessing occurs at sea. "fishery squid are cleaned, processed, and frozen at sea in 25 kg blocks for delivery to wholesaler clients. The blocks are prepared by packing the squid into freezer pans, whereby size categories are packed separately. Vessels typically use a scale of 6 to 8 categories, e.g., mantle lengths 7–10, 10–12, 12–16, 16–19, 19–22, and 22+ cm. Packing is done by hand, which implies some individual judgment by the vessel crew." (Winter and Arkhipkin 2015)
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernancePatagonian Toothfish industrial vessels; sophisticated fishing gear; on board freezing technologyUsing industrial fishing vessels makes it possible (and cost-effective) to travel such great distances (thousands of km) to access HIMI toothfish. Sophisticated fishing techniques make it possible to catch large quantities of toothfish (e.g., one longline can span 1800m; vessels can set 10-40,000 hooks per day; AFMA 2014). Freezing capacity on board, makes it possible to catch and store fish for extended periods of time and to ship them to distant markets (e.g., Japan and the United States).
New Zealand squidGovernanceArrow Squid (Nototodarus spp.) Most important technology is SLED design and deployment. Many aspects to this that are debated and tested. Manufacturer works with industry to develop better floats, designs, depths, etc. Recent innovative biomechanical testing and modelling (much like crash test dummy trials used to test vehicle safety) on the ability of Sea Lion Excluder Devices (SLEDs) to cause life-threatening mild traumatic brain injuries or concussion in sea lions (E.A. Abraham, unpublished data) suggests that the number of fishing-related fatalities is so low that uncertainty in productivity parameters is not as problematic as once thought (Cryer et al. 2016).
Cenderwasih National ParkGovernanceCenderwasih target fish No specific technology or infrastructure used in this case.
California squidGovernanceCalifornia market squid (Loligo opalescens) Ports are key, as well as transportation and ice. Offload squid into trucks at dock. Vessels, round haul, fish finders, GPS important.
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat Coral CoverBoats have been important for patroling the MPAs; many studies on endemism (genetics) - new species discovered increases the appeal of Raja Ampat as a destination for tourism
Seaflower MPAGovernanceSeaflower groupersSCUBA