Attitudinal Factors and Personal Characteristics Influence Support for Shellfish Aquaculture in Rhode Island (US) Coastal Waters
This study explores public interests associated with shellfish aquaculture development in coastal waters of Rhode Island (US). Specifically, we examine (1) the levels of public support for (or opposition to) shellfish aquaculture development and (2) factors driving the levels of support, using survey data and ordinal logistic regressions. Results of the analysis identify several key attitudinal factors affecting individual’s support for shellfish aquaculture in Rhode Island (RI). The level of support is positively associated with attitudes related to shellfish aquaculture’s benefits to the local economy and its role as a nutritional food option, and negatively influenced by attitudes related to aquaculture farms’ effects on aesthetic quality and their interference with other uses. Findings highlight that support for (or opposition to) aquaculture in RI is driven more by attitudes associated with social impacts than by those associated with environmental impacts. The level of support is also affected by personal characteristics related to an individual’s participation in recreational activities. For instance, bicycle riders tend to be supportive of shellfish aquaculture while respondents who participate in sailing and birding are less supportive. By identifying the broader public’s interests in shellfish aquaculture, findings from this study and others like it can be used to address public concerns, incorporate public perceptions and attitudes into permitting decisions, and develop outreach targeted at specific stakeholder groups.
KeywordsAquaculture Shellfish Public interest Environmentally significant behavior
We thank Joseph Dwyer, Allie Katzanek, Sarina Lyon, and Maria Vasta for help with data collection. This research was funded by the Rhode Island Sea Grant (NA14OAR4170082) with additional support from the URI College of Environment and Life Sciences and the Marine Policy Center at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Aiken L (2002) Definitions, History, and Behavior Prediction. Attitudes and Related Psychosocial Constructs Theories, Assessment, and Research. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CAGoogle Scholar
- Beutel D (2015) Aquaculture in Rhode Island: 2015 Annual Status Report. RI Coastal Resources Management Council, Wakefield, RIGoogle Scholar
- Birkland T (2001) An Introduction to the Policy Process: Theories, Concepts, and Models of Public Policy Making. M.E. Sharpe Inc, Armonk, NYGoogle Scholar
- Coleman J (1990) Foundations of social theory. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
- Cranford PJ, Kamermans P, Krause G, Mazurié J, Buck B, Dolmer P, Fraser D, Van Nieuwenhove K, O’Beirn FX, Sanchez-Mata A, Thorarinsdóttir GG, Strand O (2012) An ecosystem-based approach and management framework for the integrated evaluation of bivalve aquaculture impacts. Aquacult Environ Interact 2:193–213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- D’Anna LM, Murray GD (2015) Perceptions of shellfish aquaculture in British Columbia and implications for well-being in marine social-ecological systems. Ecol Soc 20:57-67Google Scholar
- Dalton T, Thompson R, Patrolia E (2015) Understanding perceptions of recreational uses in RI’s coastal salt ponds. In: Proceedings of International Congress on Coastal and Marine Tourism, CMT Congress, HawaiiGoogle Scholar
- Depellegrin D (2016) Assessing cumulative visual impacts in coastal areas of the Baltic Sea Ocean and Coastal Management 119:184-198 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2015.10.012
- Dillman DA, Smyth JD, Christian LM (2009) Internet, mail and mixed mode surveys: the tailored design method, 3rd edn. John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJGoogle Scholar
- Filgueira R, Comeau LA, Guyondet T, McKindsey CW, Byron CJ (2015) Modelling carrying capacity of bivalve aquaculture: a review of definitions and methods, Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology. Springer Science+Business Media, New York, NYGoogle Scholar
- Heberlein TA (2012) Navigating environmental attitudes. Oxford University Press, New York, NYGoogle Scholar
- Hines JM, Hungerford HRTomera AN (1987) Analysis and synthesis of research on responsible environmental behavior: a meta-analysis. J Environ Educ 18:18Google Scholar
- Knapp G, Rubino MC (2016) The political economics of marine aquaculture in the United States Reviews in Fisheries Science and Aquaculture 24:213-229 https://doi.org/10.1080/23308249.2015.1121202
- Long JS, Freese J (2001) Regression Models for Categorical Dependent Variables Using Stata. Stata Press, College Station, TXGoogle Scholar
- National Research Council (NRC) (2005) Decision making for the environment. National Academies Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
- NOAA (2008) Offshore Aquaculture in the United States: Economic Considerations, Implications and Opportunities. NOAA, Silver Spring, MDGoogle Scholar
- NOAA (2017) Commercial Fisheries Statistics. Office of Science and Technology, NOAA Fisheries, Silver Spring, MD, http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/commercial-fisheries/index
- Olli E, Grendstad G, Wollebaek D (2001) Correlates of environmental behaviors: Bringing Back Social Context. Environ Behav 33:181Google Scholar
- RI Coastal Management Program (CMP), 300.11(D), Rhode IslandGoogle Scholar
- RI Coastal Resources Management Council (2014) Rhode Island Shellfish Management Plan. RI General Laws. Title 20: Fish and Wildlife. Chapter 20-10: AquacultureGoogle Scholar
- Stern PC, Dietz T, Kalof L, Guagnano GA (1995) Values, beliefs, and proenvironmental action - attitude formation toward emergent attitude objects. J Appl Soc Psychol 25:1611–1636. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1559-1816.1995.tb02636.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Vaske JJ (2008) Survey research and analysis: Applications in parks, recreation, and human dimensions. Venture Publishing, State College, PAGoogle Scholar
- Vasta M (2015) Shellfish farms as agritourism destinations: the growers' perspective. Open Access Master's Theses Paper 535 http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/theses/535
- Wilson C, Dowlatabadi H (2007) Models of decision making and residential energy use. In: Annual Review of Environment and Resources, vol 32. Annual Review of Environment and Resources. Annual Reviews, Palo Alto, pp 169–203. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.energy.32.053006.141137