||Meijles, E.; Daams, M.; Ens, B.; Heslinga, J.; Sijtsma, F.,
||Using AIS tracking to assess recreational pressures in relation to ecologically sensitive areas in coastal marine environments
||The 10th MMV Conference: Managing outdoor recreation experiences in the Anthropocene – Resources, markets, innovations
||In nature rich coastal areas, increasing numbers of recreationists may exceed ecological capacities. At the same time, recreation in such areas may increase nature awareness and appreciation by the general public, ultimately leading to a more sustainable landscape management (Libosada, 2009). In order to balance nature-based tourism and natural values, careful monitoring of visitor flows is a prerequisite for nature and recreational management (Meijles et al, 2014). The monitoring traditionally takes place based on visual observation and patrolling, but this is time consuming and does not provide full temporal coverage or overview of the entire coastal area. With this paper, we show how recreational boating can be monitored throughout the recreational season using the globally available data from the automatic identification system (AIS) for vessels. We have developed a method to convert AIS data to easily interpretable information on visitor flows and investigated whether AIS can provide insightful visitor monitoring information by overlaying ship movement data with nature conservation policy targets and ecological value maps.
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