Human Perceptions and Attitudes Regarding Geoduck Aquaculture in Puget Sound, Washington: A Q Methodology Approach
Rudell, Paul Nielson
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Geoduck (<italic>Panopea generosa</italic>) clam aquaculture on Washington State tidelands is causing disagreement and debate among coastal stakeholders. This study uses Q methodology to investigate the subjective perceptions and attitudes of 36 coastal stakeholders involved in the geoduck aquaculture debate and to identify central issues. A total of 1,338 potential Q statements were generated resulting in a set of 55 Q statements that were chosen to represent the full range of viewpoints. Analysis discovered two social perspectives held by participants, emphasized areas of consensus and disagreement and identified four highly contentious issues. Those following Perspective 1 generally thought favorably about the potential growth of geoduck culture and included participants identified as managers, academic scientists, shellfish growers, tribal members, and students. Those following Perspective 2 were generally against further development of geoduck culture and included waterfront landowners and non-governmental organizations. This study demonstrates the ability of Q methodology to provide framework and structure to the geoduck aquaculture debate, and highlight promising areas to be addressed by research and outreach.
- Marine affairs