The Blue Economy in the European Union: Valuation of Spanish Small-Scale Fishers’ Perceptions on Environmental and Socioeconomic Effects
European coastline has undergone a transformation in becoming a significant sector of the economy. The economic importance of aquaculture, coastal and maritime tourism, and industry based on oceanic energy is crucial for explaining that transformation. The European “blue growth” generates employment and economic opportunities but could have major environmental effects on coastal zones. This could become inimical to small-scale fishing and those communities that depend heavily on fishing. This paper studies the Spanish fishers’ perceptions to the linkages between the Blue Growth and small-scale fishing. Results show a significantly positive attitude toward potential contribution of blue growth to socioeconomic development and a significantly negative perception on environmental impact of such activities. Interactions are identified as well as possible opportunities that Blue Growth could offer to small-scale fishing. Recommendations for Blue Growth strategy are provided.
Keywords: Perceptions and attitudes, Environmental-economic synergies, Blue economy, Small-scale fishing, Coastal management.
JEL: C13, Q01, Q56.