Understanding the mental constructs underlying people’s social responses, decisions and behaviors is crucial to defining the governance challenges faced in dealing with marine anthropogenic litter. Using interactive governance theory, this study provides qualitative insights into how a small group of Arab-Israeli artisanal fishermen perceive marine litter and its impact (system to be governed) in the context of the socio-institutional structures (governing system) which manage waste and aim to protect the surrounding environment. It demonstrates that, until the relationships between local people and the various governing institutions are transformed, there is little hope for citizen cooperation in reducing marine litter long-term in the case-study site. More generally, underlying narratives and politics playing out at a local level need to be understood in order to identify which interventions are likely to be effective and which are not. An intervention checklist to assess the potential effectiveness of a marine litter intervention is proposed.
Ruth E. Brennan, Michelle E. Portman, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Available online 14 December 2016, In Press