Rapid assessment of coastal underwater spots for their use as recreational scuba diving sites

Rapid assessment of coastal underwater spots for their use as recreational scuba diving sites Coastal zone management requires consideration of not only conservation efforts, but also the sustainable use of their natural resources for human purposes. Therefore, there is a growing consensus on the importance of designing new multidisciplinary, economically affordable, and effective approaches to address these needs. In this study, a rapid assessment methodology is proposed to generate habitat characterization that works as a baseline for management. Several rocky-shallow sites located in Bahia de Navidad were assessed from the point of view of “landscape quality” for the practice of recreational scuba diving, to provide an overview of the state of physical, biological and environmental features and to evaluate their potential for tourism use. More than 30 sites were sampled over a year, grouped in 7 zones, covering three periods: an aftermath period of a circumstantial category 2 hurricane (November and December 2011), a dry season (February–June 2012), and a rainy season (July–December 2012). The sites were described using 40 variables considered appealing for the practice of recreational scuba diving, sub classified in four criteria: abiotic factors, anthropogenic impact, biotic factors, and accessibility. An expert criterion was used as a weighting factor to enhance the most significant variables defining the quality of a dive experience, then the data were analyzed from a zonal classification approach, followed by a non-metric MDS analysis conducted to corroborate the emerged patterns and a PERMANOVA analysis to identify significant differences between zones and seasons. As a result, an integrated zoning pattern oriented for management was determined, where the zones are hierarchically identified accord to their quality scores for the recreational scuba diving practice, and their required skill level is recommended as well. The results also showed evidence of a high ecosystem resilience and low disturbance after the hurricane passed, factors that actually improved the quality of diving experience in this particular case. In addition, the fact that the rainy season showed more favorable features than the dry season (better visibility, warmer sea water and more fauna) was also observed. Finally, the features observed and their relevance for the definition of the quality of the diving experience of the sites and their zones are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ocean & Coastal Management Elsevier

Rapid assessment of coastal underwater spots for their use as recreational scuba diving sites

Loading next page...
 
/lp/elsevier/rapid-assessment-of-coastal-underwater-spots-for-their-use-as-nvpzBVZ1h0
Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0964-5691
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2017.11.005
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Coastal zone management requires consideration of not only conservation efforts, but also the sustainable use of their natural resources for human purposes. Therefore, there is a growing consensus on the importance of designing new multidisciplinary, economically affordable, and effective approaches to address these needs. In this study, a rapid assessment methodology is proposed to generate habitat characterization that works as a baseline for management. Several rocky-shallow sites located in Bahia de Navidad were assessed from the point of view of “landscape quality” for the practice of recreational scuba diving, to provide an overview of the state of physical, biological and environmental features and to evaluate their potential for tourism use. More than 30 sites were sampled over a year, grouped in 7 zones, covering three periods: an aftermath period of a circumstantial category 2 hurricane (November and December 2011), a dry season (February–June 2012), and a rainy season (July–December 2012). The sites were described using 40 variables considered appealing for the practice of recreational scuba diving, sub classified in four criteria: abiotic factors, anthropogenic impact, biotic factors, and accessibility. An expert criterion was used as a weighting factor to enhance the most significant variables defining the quality of a dive experience, then the data were analyzed from a zonal classification approach, followed by a non-metric MDS analysis conducted to corroborate the emerged patterns and a PERMANOVA analysis to identify significant differences between zones and seasons. As a result, an integrated zoning pattern oriented for management was determined, where the zones are hierarchically identified accord to their quality scores for the recreational scuba diving practice, and their required skill level is recommended as well. The results also showed evidence of a high ecosystem resilience and low disturbance after the hurricane passed, factors that actually improved the quality of diving experience in this particular case. In addition, the fact that the rainy season showed more favorable features than the dry season (better visibility, warmer sea water and more fauna) was also observed. Finally, the features observed and their relevance for the definition of the quality of the diving experience of the sites and their zones are discussed.

Journal

Ocean & Coastal ManagementElsevier

Published: Feb 1, 2018

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve Freelancer

DeepDyve Pro

Price
FREE
$49/month

$360/year
Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed
Create lists to
organize your research
Export lists, citations
Read DeepDyve articles
Abstract access only
Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles
Print
20 pages/month
PDF Discount
20% off