This paper provides a synthesis of results obtained as part of a long-term collaborative study involving biologists, fishers, and resource managers—centring on the occurrence of killer whales in the Crozet Archipelago before and after the implementation of a demersal longline fishery for Patagonian toothfish. Depredation behaviour was reported as soon as the fishery was initiated, with dramatic effects on both the demographic trajectories of the killer whales and on the amount of fish lost by the fishers. Killer whales interacting with the fishery exhibited very high mortality rates when illegal fishing took place, while killer whales not interacting were unaffected. However, after illegal fishing ended, killer whales interacting with the fishery exhibited both higher fecundity and survival rates compared with killer whales not interacting. Since whales typically removed fish entirely from the hooks, an adapted methodology that did not rely on determining the number of damaged fish was developed to estimate depredation rates. In the Crozet EEZ over a 10-year period, 33.9% of the total amount of Patagonian toothfish caught, representing a total of 28 million €, was estimated to be lost due to the combined effects of killer whale and sperm whale depredation. In an effort to reduce depredation losses, modifications to fishing methods, such as changing the fishing season, changing fishing areas when exposed to depredation and changing longline length and hauling speed were successfully tested. Acoustic deterrent devices were ineffective in deterring killer whales from depredating longlines. Alternative fishing gears, such as fish pots, were also tested. However, while providing encouraging results regarding the suppression of depredation and seabird bycatch, fish pots were not efficient enough to sustain an economically viable fishery. In conclusion, we discuss how the findings of this comprehensive study can be used elsewhere in fisheries confronted with depredation.
Satellite data show a steady increase, in the last decades, of the surface temperature (upper few millimetres of the water surface) of the Mediterranean Sea. Reports of mass mortalities of benthic marine invertebrates increased in the same period. Some local studies interpreted the two phenomena in a cause-effect fashion. However, a basin-wide picture of temperature changes combined with a systematic assessment on invertebrate mass mortalities was still lacking. Both the thermal structure of the water column in the Mediterranean Sea over the period 1945–2011 and all documented invertebrate mass mortality events in the basin are analysed to ascertain if: 1- documented mass mortalities occurred under conditions of positive temperature trends at basin scale, and 2- atypical thermal conditions were registered at the smaller spatial and temporal scale of mass mortality events. The thermal structure of the shallow water column over the last 67 years was reconstructed using data from three public sources: MEDAR-MEDATLAS, World Ocean Database, MFS-VOS programme. A review of the mass mortality events of benthic invertebrates at Mediterranean scale was also carried out. The analysis of in situ temperature profiles shows that the Mediterranean Sea changed in a non-homogeneous fashion. The frequency of mass mortalities is increasing. The areas subjected to these events correspond to positive thermal anomalies. Statistically significant temperature trends in the upper layers of the Mediterranean Sea show an increase of up to 0.07°C/yr for a large fraction of the basin. Mass mortalities are consistent with both the temperature increase at basin scale and the thermal changes at local scale, up to 5.2°C. Our research supports the existence of a causal link between positive thermal anomalies and observed invertebrate mass mortalities in the Mediterranean Sea, invoking focused mitigation initiatives in sensitive areas.
New coastal and marine management strategies have recently been developed in many countries and regions. From an ecosystem approach perspective, the aim of such strategies is the maintenance of ecosystem integrity while enabling the sustainable use of ecosystem goods and services. There is, however, a need for harmonized definitions and standardized processes to deal not only with the interjurisdictional and multidisciplinary complexities that are associated with such strategies but also with the extensive timelines and resources implicated in the planning and implementation of these strategies. The ecosystem-based management system proposed here is based on three pillars that facilitate the integration of an ecosystem approach to coastal and oceans policy development, regardless of the ecosystem or administrative scales. The managerial pillar is based on classical risk-management systems that incorporate environmental considerations and objectives within a continuous improvement cycle of adaptive management. The managerial pillar is supported by governance structures that provide oversight and thereby ensure that planning and implementation activities adhere to modern environmental principles. The information pillar ensures that data and scientific advice are based on current knowledge, and the participation pillar brings together communication and consultation requirements as indicated by the principles of the ecosystem approach.
Stakeholder social network analysis can be used to help planning efforts identify the net-work that presently exist, as well as stakeholders whose preferences and knowledge are missing from the policy process thereby assisting in the identification of constituencies for change that can propel planning efforts forward and increase the likelihood of compliance or implementation. Throughout the last century, people have begun to understand the importance of coastal zone management and have seen the necessity to assess and address the needs of stakeholders within specific areas as part of the policy formulation and implementation process.
After the success of the Rhode Island (RI) Ocean Special Area Management Plan (Ocean SAMP), Rhode Island set out to complete a Beach SAMP that will revise statewide policies for shore management, as well as a Shellfish Management Plan (SMP) that updates state regulations on the harvesting and management of shellfish with strong stakeholder involvement. Academic institutions are currently working with federal, state and local governments to understand the needs of the shellfish and aquaculture industries. The goal of the SMP is to create a sustainable way to manage our shellfish resource while not impairing harvester livelihoods. Institutions such as the Coastal Resources Center (CRC) are working to identify stakeholders and find a unified way to drive this planning effort forward. This SMP effort must demonstrate the involvement of the stakeholders throughout the process to date and insure that decisions were made with stakeholder input. This study conducted a stakeholder network analysis of the SMP process, showing the peak attendance events, attendance numbers, and “betweenness” of members at individual events, a measure of the centrality of each participant within the process. The resulting network diagrams provide a visual representation of the successful stakeholder engagement in the SMP, and constitute a potential metric for helping managers to identify trends and utilize an understanding of the effectiveness of stakeholder engagement for meetings going forward. This meth-od has the ability to be generalized and utilized in many management fields involving stakeholder engagement.
The 21st Century Catch Toolkit is a product of the INTERREG IVa 2 Seas project GIFS (Geography of Inshore Fishing and Sustainability). Work on the GIFS project was completed between January 2012 and September 2014 and was undertaken by a collaboration of six partners from four European countries bordering the Southern North Sea and English Channel. GIFS aimed to understand and capture the social, economic and cultural importance of inshore fishing to better inform fisheries policy, coastal regeneration strategies and sustainable community development. The project has involved a range of research projects, regeneration activities and case studies across southern England, northern France, Flanders and the southern Netherlands (Figure 1). GIFS partners have worked with local stakeholders and communities to explore the geographical diversity and similarities of fishing ports, harbours and people along the Channel and Southern North Sea.
Today scores of coastal communities are seeing more frequent flooding during high tides. As sea level rises higher over the next 15 to 30 years, tidal flooding is expected to occur more often, cause more disruption, and even render some areas unusable — all within the time frame of a typical home mortgage.
An analysis of 52 tide gauges in communities stretching from Portland, Maine to Freeport, Texas shows that most of these communities will experience a steep increase in the number and severity of tidal flooding events over the coming decades, with significant implications for property, infrastructure, and daily life in affected areas.
Given the substantial and nearly ubiquitous rise in the frequency of floods at these 52 locations, many other communities along the East and Gulf Coasts will need to brace for similar changes.
In this report, we conclude that a fundamental overhaul of the regulation of aquaculture in Nova Scotia is called for. We conclude that this overhaul should be guided by the idea that aquaculture that integrates economic prosperity, social well-being and environmental sustainability is one that is low impact and high value. By this, we mean aquaculture that combines two fundamental attributes: it has a low level of adverse environmental and social impact, which decreases over time; and from the use of coastal resources it produces a positive economic and social value, which is high and increases over time.
Marine protected areas (MPAs) aim to mitigate anthropogenic impacts by conserving biodiversity and preventing overfishing. The effectiveness of MPAs depends on population connectivity patterns between protected and non-protected areas. Remote islands are endemism hotspots for coral reef fishes and provide rare examples of coral reefs with limited fishing pressure. This study explored population genetic connectivity across a network of protected and non-protected areas for the endemic wrasse, Coris bulbifrons, which is listed as “vulnerable” by the IUCN due to its small, decreasing geographic range and declining abundance. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and microsatellite DNA (msatDNA) markers were used to estimate historic and contemporary gene flow to determine the level of population self-replenishment and to measure genetic and genotypic diversity among all four locations in the species range (south-west Pacific Ocean)—Middleton Reef (MR), Elizabeth Reef (ER), Lord Howe Island (LHI) and Norfolk Island (NI). MPAs exist at MR and LHI and are limited or non-existent at ER and NI, respectively. There was no obvious differentiation in mtDNA among locations, however, msatDNA revealed differentiation between the most peripheral (NI) and all remaining locations (MR, ER and LHI). Despite high mtDNA connectivity (M = 259–1,144), msatDNA connectivity was limited (M = 3–9) with high self-replenishment (68–93 %) at all locations. NI is the least connected and heavily reliant on self-replenishment, and the absence of MPAs at NI needs to be rectified to ensure the persistence of endemic species at this location. Other endemic fishes exhibit similar patterns of high self-replenishment across the four locations, indicating that a single spatial management approach consisting of a MPA network protecting part of each location could provide reasonable protection for these species. Thus, the existing network of MPAs at this endemic hotspot appears adequate at some locations, but not at all.
Depending upon the institutional framework, coral reef ecosystems and local economic development can be synergistic. When managed properly through local institutions, coral reef systems can deliver ecosystem services that create livelihoods and increase local prosperity in dependent communities. This study compares two community-based reef management institutions. One is located in a community with a reef struggling to recover from destructive fishing, the other in a community that has experienced a remarkable recovery. Using mixed methods, long-form interviews, and surveys of reef tourism stakeholders, this uses institutional characteristics to predict reef quality. Certain institutional components hypothesized to predict reef quality did not; these include universal membership requirements for reef stakeholders, stakeholder familiarity with leadership and hierarchies, and transparent decision-making and implementation of management policy. This means that one size fits all prescriptions for local reef management institutions should be viewed with caution. Instead, the success of management institutions may depend upon both the path toward economic development, access to technology that facilitates coral recovery, and communication of conservation strategies to tourist visitors.
The collective impact of humans on biodiversity rivals mass extinction events defining Earth’s history, but does our large population also present opportunities to document and contend with this crisis? We provide the first quantitative review of biodiversity-related citizen science to determine whether data collected by these projects can be, and are currently being, effectively used in biodiversity research. We find strong evidence of the potential of citizen science: within projects we sampled (n = 388), ∼1.3 million volunteers participate, contributing up to $2.5 billion in-kind annually. These projects exceed most federally-funded studies in spatial and temporal extent, and collectively they sample a breadth of taxonomic diversity. However, only 12% of the 388 projects surveyed obviously provide data to peer-reviewed scientific articles, despite the fact that a third of these projects have verifiable, standardized data that are accessible online. Factors influencing publication included project spatial scale and longevity and having publically available data, as well as one measure of scientific rigor (taxonomic identification training). Because of the low rate at which citizen science data reach publication, the large and growing citizen science movement is likely only realizing a small portion of its potential impact on the scientific research community. Strengthening connections between professional and non-professional participants in the scientific process will enable this large data resource to be better harnessed to understand and address global change impacts on biodiversity.