Sharing a Crowded Ocean: Making Tradeoffs Transparent to Support Informed Ocean Use
COMPASS and SeaPlan brought together scientists, managers, and stakeholders to explore how science can support more transparent and efficient decision-making. Tradeoffs are made in every management decision. In many cases, those tradeoffs are never made explicit. In other cases, stakeholders perceive a "strong" tradeoff-- ie, a negative outcome for one user at the expense of another-- where none exists. Making tradeoffs explicit before a decision is made can help focus discussion on the true implications of that decision and avoid protracted debate over perceived tradeoffs that may not be real.
Dr. Crow White and Dr. Les Kaufman presented results of emerging research that applies so-called ecosystem services tradeoff frameworks to some of the many activities taking place in New England waters. Dr. White demonstrated how a traditional economic analysis known as an "efficiency fronteir" can make clear the tradeoffs between any two or more activities, even when those activities are measured in different, non-monetary ways, such as pounds of lobers vs kilowatts of power generation (download paper here). This approach can accomodate any number of different interests, and helps elucidate how each use impacts and experiences impacts by other users.
- Chad English, Director of Science Policy Outreach for COMPASS
- Stephanie Moura, Executive Director of SeaPlan
A panel of managers and stakeholders provided additional perspectives to the conversation
- John Webber, Ocean Planning Director for the Northeast Regional Ocean Council
- Joel Whitman, CEO of Global Marine Energy
- Bill Adler, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Loberstermen's Association