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Community values and traditional knowledge for coastal ecosystem services management in the “satoumi” seascape of Himeshima island, Japan

Chakraborty, Shamik, Gasparatos, Alexandros
Ecosystem services 2019 v.37 pp. 100940
coastal ecosystems, ecosystem services, fisheries management, focus groups, foodways, habitats, household surveys, indigenous knowledge, interviews, livelihood, resource management, shrimp culture, technological change, tourism, traditional foods, Japan
This paper combines primary and secondary data to highlight the history of resource use and ongoing change in a coastal social-ecological system (SES) in Japan. We focus on Himeshima island, whose local community both depends on coastal ecosystem services and has developed over generations resource management practices informed by a rich body of traditional and local knowledge (TLK). By engaging with local resource users through focus group discussions (FGDs), household surveys and expert interviews we identify 14 ecosystem services that contribute manifold to the wellbeing of the local community. While provisioning services are key for the livelihoods of most community members, some of the cultural services related to the traditional food culture and food-sharing practices are a source of pride and cohesion for the local community. However, respondents indicated that several key provisioning and cultural ecosystem services have degraded over time through the combined effects of habitat change/loss and overexploitation. Underlying drivers include demographic, economic and technological change that has eroded TLK practices associated with fisheries management. New economic activities based on shrimp mariculture and tourism seek to revitalize Himeshima, but eventually create important ecosystem services trade-offs that could affect substantially the local community.