Marine dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is a large (660 Pg C) reactive carbon reservoir that mediates the oceanic microbial food web and interacts with climate on both short and long timescales. Carbon isotopic content provides information on the DOC source via δ13C and age via Δ14C. Bulk isotope measurements suggest a microbially sourced DOC reservoir with two distinct components of differing radiocarbon age. However, such measurements cannot determine internal dynamics and fluxes. Here we analyze serial oxidation experiments to quantify the isotopic diversity of DOC at an oligotrophic site in the central Pacific Ocean. Our results show diversity in both stable and radio isotopes at all depths, confirming DOC cycling hidden within bulk analyses. We confirm the presence of isotopically enriched, modern DOC cocycling with an isotopically depleted older fraction in the upper ocean. However, our results show that up to 30% of the deep DOC reservoir is modern and supported by a 1 Pg/y carbon flux, which is 10 times higher than inferred from bulk isotope measurements. Isotopically depleted material turns over at an apparent time scale of 30,000 y, which is far slower than indicated by bulk isotope measurements. These results are consistent with global DOC measurements and explain both the fluctuations in deep DOC concentration and the anomalous radiocarbon values of DOC in the Southern Ocean. Collectively these results provide an unprecedented view of the ways in which DOC moves through the marine carbon cycle.
Coral reef islands have a self-sustaining mechanism that expands and maintains the islands through the deposition of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) by marine organisms. However, the human societies established on such low-lying coral reef islands are vulnerable to rapid sea-level rises. Enhancing the self-sustaining mechanism of coral reefs will become one of the required sustainable countermeasures against sea-level rise. We examined the feasibility of mass culturing the large benthic foraminifera Baculogypsina sphaerulata, which is known as “living sand.” We developed a rearing system with the key components of an artificial lawn as a habitat and a stirring device to create vertical water currents. Batches of B. sphaerulata in two different size groups were reared to examine size growth and reproduction under the culture conditions. All culture batches reproduced asexually following generations over 6 months in culture. The small-sized group exhibited steady growth, whereas the large-sized group underwent a reduction in mean size because large individuals (> 1.5 mm2) died off. Similar traits of size structure between the culture batches and natural populations indicate that our culturing conditions can successfully reproduce environments similar to the habitat of this species. Reproduction, consistent size growth, and size structure similar to the natural population indicate that the examined rearing system is viable for culturing Foraminifera at a large scale.
Twenty-first century conservation is centered on negotiating trade-offs between the diverse needs of people and the needs of the other species constituting coupled human-natural ecosystems. Marine forage fishes, such as sardines, anchovies, and herring, are a nexus for such trade-offs because they are both central nodes in marine food webs and targeted by fisheries. An important example is Pacific herring, Clupea pallisii in the Northeast Pacific. Herring populations are subject to two distinct fisheries: one that harvests adults and one that harvests spawned eggs. We develop stochastic, age-structured models to assess the interaction between fisheries, herring populations, and the persistence of predators reliant on herring populations. We show that egg- and adult-fishing have asymmetric effects on herring population dynamics - herring stocks can withstand higher levels of egg harvest before becoming depleted. Second, ecosystem thresholds proposed to ensure the persistence of herring predators do not necessarily pose more stringent constraints on fisheries than conventional, fishery driven harvest guidelines. Our approach provides a general template to evaluate ecosystem trade-offs between stage-specific harvest practices in relation to environmental variability, the risk of fishery closures, and the risk of exceeding ecosystem thresholds intended to ensure conservation goals are met.
Catches in the groundfish hook and line fishery in British Columbia on Canada's west coast have been monitored since 2006 with an interrelated suite of technical components. These include, but are not limited to, full (100%) independent dockside monitoring, full video capture of fishing events and vessel monitoring at sea, 10% partial review of the video imagery from each trip, and full coverage of fisher logbooks. The monitoring also relies on complete retention of the over 30 species of rockfish (Sebastes spp.). Each component, in spite of its weaknesses as a stand-alone monitoring tool, makes an essential contribution without which the overall programme would fail. The programme has surpassed expectations in providing accurate, defensible, and timely estimates of total catch for all quota and many non-quota species. This document summarizes contextual and process ingredients, which contributed to implementation, the key being a “carrot and stick” approach wherein industry support was facilitated by the “carrot” of coincident full introduction of individual vessel quotas (ITQs). The “stick” was that Government support was conditional on improving catch monitoring with the proviso that ITQs would not be considered and the fishery would be closed until the monitoring was improved. Also important was the fact that previous failures to solve management and catch monitoring in this fishery with overly simple solutions had created an understanding by all participants that an effective and lasting solution would be complex and require a major commitment of time and funds.
The Faroe Islands are currently struggling to find their feet in a new context of globalisation and changing international requirements on fishery management best practices, as exemplified by United Nations protocols and agreements. We introduce the Faroese fisheries effort management system for cod, haddock and saithe, which represents an innovative attempt to tackle the challenges of mixed fisheries by means of a combination of total allowable effort implemented through days-at-sea and extensive use of closed or limited access areas. Subsequently, we present and discuss controversies concerning the system’s ability (or lack thereof) to achieve a level of fishing effort that produces long-term sustainability. Over the years the system has proved able to evolve and overcome challenges, and the Faroe Islands are currently considering adding a proper fisheries management plan to the system to achieve fishing at maximum sustainable yield. However, finding support for this plan presents a challenge due particularly to an enduring gap between the perspectives of scientists and actors in the catching sector. Finally, we outline some actions that could be taken to reduce the gap and hence facilitate reform of the system: 1) integration of the consultative/advisory process; 2) obtaining tailor-made advice for the Faroese effort management system from the relevant scientific body; 3) establishment of a transparent mechanism for monitoring and regulating fishing effort; 4) clarifying the efficacy of the prevalent system of closed areas.
On June 9, 2014 the Committee of Fisheries (COFI) of FAO adopted the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF-Guidelines). For millions of small-scale fisheries people around the world, this was no doubt a historic event and a potential turning point. The challenge now is to make sure that they will be implemented. As the SSF-Guidelines address issues that are politically contentious, there are reasons to expect that they will be met both with enthusiastic acclamation and criticism, as already happened in the negotiations of the text. This paper discusses the opportunities and obstacles for their implementation.
Fisheries often fall prey to overfishing and the exhaustion of stock. Fishing governance is an ongoing attempt to prevent such an outcome. Over time, fisheries regulation has generally moved from controls on inputs to controls on output, such as catch limits and Individual Transferable Quotas. Individual Transferable Quotas have reduced overcapitalization, and have in some cases allowed stocks to rebuild. However, because they enable market trading of catch shares which tends to concentrate fisheries in fewer hands.
This paper proposes applying a duty of stewardship to the existing fisheries governance structure. “Stewardship” is an obligation to be responsible for taking care of another person’s property. The concept of stewardship easily applies to fisheries, because fisheries are natural resources which belong to the public. Current regimes, such as Individual Transferable Quotas (“ITQs”) do not do enough to prevent the employment of destructive fishing practices and place the burden of natural resource management on the government. Assigning a duty of stewardship upon fishers, whether they own or lease an ITQ, would require fishers to be stewards of common resources and use responsible fishing practices.
Understanding ocean use patterns can improve decision-making and planning in the marine environment by contributing vital foundational information. Engaging communities that use the ocean to provide this important foundational information has the added value of linking people to the planning process and building confidence in the results. The participatory mapping method described throughout this guidebook offers a proven approach for practitioners who are looking to make more informed decisions for the marine environment and the communities that depend on healthy marine ecosystems.
In planning a PGIS process, remember that the guidelines set forth in this document are just suggestions and that each process needs to be flexible and molded to best meet local needs. Keep in mind that the power of the process comes through building relationships with the target use community and learning about the history of planning and the hot-button issues that affect the daily lives of workshop participants. Remember that collecting data is one thing, and connecting with people and earning their trust is something entirely different. To successfully capture the data, make time to listen to participants’ perspectives, frustrations, and concerns, and encourage dialogue about often tricky and sensitive topics. Be honest, genuine, and transparent when messaging about the project, and prepare staff members with skills to facilitate communication on often contentious topics and with challenging personalities.
Remember that the communities participating in the workshops will continue on after the project ends. Consider what you are contributing to these participants and how the process can best serve them into the future. Always deliver on what you promise your partners and participants, and deliver it when you promise it.
Lastly, it is important to remember that every place is unique. Lessons learned in one locale, while they can indeed inform the process in another, should be modified to address the unique characteristics of the target community.
For more information, please visit www.marinecadastre.gov/oceanuses.
The establishment of policies relevant to the oceanic area in Brazil aims to guide the rational planning of resources of marine space (Blue Amazon), ensuring the quality of coastal population life and the effective protection of ecosystems and resources within it. Therefore, it appears as a major factor in the formalization of coastal and marine policies and, especially, in the training of human resources to work in the area. The concern of political regulation of the Brazilian government with the use of marine resources and coastal areas emerged in the 1970s, parallel to the emergence of an environmental viewpoint in state planning held in the country. The Special Department of Environment of the Presidency was created in 1973, which was a significant milestone in its institutional history. A year later, the Inter-Ministerial Commission of Sea Resources was created, aimed at coordinating issues that would lead to a national policy for the coastal region of Brazil. However, only with the Constitution of the Federative Republic of Brazil ratified in 1988, and with the ratification of the country to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1994, did the legal issues related to marine environment areas take form and effect.
The marine Natura 2000 network provides Member States with a legislative tool to protect our marine biodiversity, however many countries have been extremely slow at designating protected areas for seabirds, especially at sea. The lack of progress in completing the network means that seabirds are not being properly safeguarded, and are facing threats such as by-catch by fishing vessels, prey depletion or disturbance at their breeding colonies. There remains, therefore, an urgent need for countries to identify and designate sites at sea to ensure that seabirds are protected.
Within the EU, the BirdLife Partnership has been at the forefront of site identification for seabirds. Using cutting edge science and rigorous scientific criteria, BirdLife has identified Marine Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (marine IBAs) recognised as a ‘shadow list’ of sites for Natura 2000 designation.
This report represents the most accurate assessment of seabird protection in the European Union. We have assessed the 23 coastal EU states based on the level of protection afforded to marine IBAs through EU Special Protected Areas (terrestrial, inshore and offshore waters).
This report demonstrates that:
- Only 59% of the area identified as marine IBAs is currently protected in the EU, and many countries are still lagging behind in identifying areas at sea.
- Scandinavian and Baltic countries are leading the way for at sea protection, with significant areas at sea protected in Germany, Poland, Estonia and Denmark and progress being made in Latvia, Lithuania and Finland.
- Coastal extension areas have not yet been designated in many countries, such as in France, the UK , Ireland and Sweden.
- 2/3 of EU countries only protect 3% or less of their Marine Area (territorial sea & Exclusive Economic Zone).
- Urgent action is required in those countries where marine IBAs inventories have been rigorously identified but where Member States have failed to designate them as SPAs.
- A large proportion of marine SPAs are currently lacking management plans, which urgently need to be drawn up and implemented.