CONFLICT AND COASTAL AQUATIC SPORTS: A MANAGEMENT PERSPECTIVE
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This comprehensive study of Coastal Aquatic Sports (CAS) has been undertaken because recorded evidence suggests that the growth of CAS is beginning to hinder the interconnectivity of dynamic coastal and estuarine systems. Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) and Sustainable Development were selected as the framework for the development of this research. One of the main CAS related areas of concern was first exposed from a pilot study which indicated site saturation is occurring, causing conflict and confliction. Furthermore, evidence suggested that CAS is evolving in isolation from terrestrial sport and social recreational management procedures. Social change and government initiatives have caused an upsurge of participation in CAS. Contributing factors included the redistribution of wealth, new technologies, cultural change, accessibility and the 'sport for all' initiative instigated by the Sports Councils in the 1970s. Further to this CAS economic drivers have become intensely operational and these are stimulating further growth. For instance, the coupling of 'outdoor sport and CAS' to tourism and the outdoor leisure market, as well as the attachment of CAS to the manufacturing and service industries (particularly the fashion industry) have all created the climate for the commercialisation of CAS. The work reported here demonstrates that economic developments are aggravating the sustainable progression of CAS development. For instance, economic drivers encourage cultural division and this impacts upon the social cohesions of CAS. Because of the complexity that exists within CAS, this work examined both grass root and executive management structures that govern it. Evidence indicates that Government legislation and CAS related management initiatives, such as bylaw or self regulation, are inadequate for the current CAS. Compounding this is the emergence of newer technologies that are affecting CAS speeds and manoeuvrability. These developments are clearly out of step with the development of contemporary CAS management programmes and guides for good practice. This study demonstrates that one cause for this is a lack of marine and maritime expertise in CAS related government departments and the low priority given to CAS by local authority. Lack of marine expertise within the management hierarchy has been further aggravated by the blurring of executive management roles and also by numerous barriers to free communication. For instance, the role of National Governing Bodies (NGB) is endorsed by central government to produce Sport Codes of Practice. This NGB role is frustrated because NOB are commercially driven, leading to a high probability that the associated economic drivers and potential internal competition (two NOB claiming responsibility over one CAS) will negatively impact upon the sustainable development of CAS management practices. This study therefore suggests that there has been little progress by central Government towards a clearly defined framework to underpin the sustainable development of CAS and that an overarching CAS/Marine Transport management structure with a clear mechanism for a transparent communication process is lacking. Hence, the work reported here examines a number of solutions generated through systematic qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis. In this study it is argued that the implementation of these solutions will contribute to the development of sustainable management practices for multi-use CAS and recreation. The solutions are represented by two distinctive models. The first is based on comparability matrices and recommendations for their implementation into grass-root CAS management structures. The second provides an executive management model that will act as a catalyst for the development of sustainable CAS management practices.
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