chapter  3
22 Pages

People, Place and Fish: Exploring the Cultural Ecosystem Services of Inshore Fishing through Photography

The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA, 2005) set out a framework for understanding the benefits that humans derive from the environment in order to inform decision making. It categorized these benefits as: provisioning services, such as food, water, timber; regulating services, such as climate control, waste, water quality; supporting services, such as soil formation, photosynthesis, nutrient cycling; and cultural services, such as recreational, spiritual and aesthetic benefits. Since then there has been a plethora of research and wider interest in devising ways of assessing and measuring those services (Haines-Young and Potschin, 2009; Sagoff, 2011; Shan and Swinton, 2011), often involving economic valuation techniques devised by economists and ecologists. While these can be useful for assessing the provisioning, supporting and regulating services, measuring or assessing the cultural services that humans receive from ecosystems has proved to be more problematic. However, there is increasing recognition of the role of multiple disciplines in understanding the complex and multi-faceted ways that ecosystems shape culture and cultural value.