International agreements and guidelines provide the overall goals of sustainable development and healthy ecosystems, but it is at the national level that these must be implemented while addressing the interests of the nation and its citizens with decisions that affect people as well as the environment. This chapter summarizes the approaches taken by Australia, Norway and Canada during the past 1–2 decades to meet the challenges of ecosystem-based management of fisheries and biodiversity, looking at: developments in legislation and policy, and convergence between fisheries and biodiversity management; methods to address and prioritize issues for ecosystem-based fisheries management; and integrated cross-sectoral management. These three countries have put significant effort into addressing sustainable fishery development and integrated oceans management however, with policies explicitly endorsing ecosystem-based approaches.
Well-designed and effectively managed networks of marine reserves can be effective tools for both fisheries management and biodiversity conservation. Connectivity, the demographic linking of local populations through the dispersal of individuals as larvae, juveniles or adults, is a key ecological factor to consider in marine reserve design, since it has important implications for the persistence of metapopulations and their recovery from disturbance. For marine reserves to protect biodiversity and enhance populations of species in fished areas, they must be able to sustain focal species (particularly fishery species) within their boundaries, and be spaced such that they can function as mutually replenishing networks whilst providing recruitment subsidies to fished areas. Thus the configuration (size, spacing and location) of individual reserves within a network should be informed by larval dispersal and movement patterns of the species for which protection is required. In the past, empirical data regarding larval dispersal and movement patterns of adults and juveniles of many tropical marine species have been unavailable or inaccessible to practitioners responsible for marine reserve design. Recent empirical studies using new technologies have also provided fresh insights into movement patterns of many species and redefined our understanding of connectivity among populations through larval dispersal. Our review of movement patterns of 34 families (210 species) of coral reef fishes demonstrates that movement patterns (home ranges, ontogenetic shifts and spawning migrations) vary among and within species, and are influenced by a range of factors (e.g. size, sex, behaviour, density, habitat characteristics, season, tide and time of day). Some species move <0.1–0.5 km (e.g. damselfishes, butterflyfishes and angelfishes), <0.5–3 km (e.g. most parrotfishes, goatfishes and surgeonfishes) or 3–10 km (e.g. large parrotfishes and wrasses), while others move tens to hundreds (e.g. some groupers, emperors, snappers and jacks) or thousands of kilometres (e.g. some sharks and tuna). Larval dispersal distances tend to be <5–15 km, and self-recruitment is common. Synthesising this information allows us, for the first time, to provide species, specific advice on the size, spacing and location of marine reserves in tropical marine ecosystems to maximise benefits for conservation and fisheries management for a range of taxa. We recommend that: (i) marine reserves should be more than twice the size of the home range of focal species (in all directions), thus marine reserves of various sizes will be required depending on which species require protection, how far they move, and if other effective protection is in place outside reserves; (ii) reserve spacing should be <15 km, with smaller reserves spaced more closely; and (iii) marine reserves should include habitats that are critical to the life history of focal species (e.g. home ranges, nursery grounds, migration corridors and spawning aggregations), and be located to accommodate movement patterns among these. We also provide practical advice for practitioners on how to use this information to design, evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of marine reserve networks within broader ecological, socioeconomic and management contexts.
The report has been commissioned by the Nordic Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) network under the auspices of the Nordic Marine Group (HAV). It presents a step in an ongoing process of Nordic capacity development and collaboration on sustainable management of the marine environment. The report summarises the results of a workshop conducted in 2013 on Iceland with the aims to connect experts and to develop common principles and a collaboration platform for Nordic MSP. It also takes a step beyond and can be both red as a knowledge update and as an input to an on-going discussion in Nordic MSP.
Designing effective management plans requires understanding fishers' behaviour under that plan, because fishers change their behaviour in response to economic and management incentives, which in turn will lead to different fishery outcomes. This study presents a modelling framework for management strategy evaluations which takes into account the response of fishers to management schemes. Based on the upcoming discard ban, two discard prevention strategies were tested for the North Sea saithe fishery, where fleet segments have either no or a generally low quota for cod. Costs and benefits were assessed under the current management, a non-flexible system, where fleet segments had to stop fishing once the cod quota was reached and a flexible system where quota of saithe could be used to cover over-quota catch of cod at a ratio 1:5. The flexible scenario was beneficial both in protecting the North Sea saithe and cod stock and in increasing net profits of fleet segments in the long term. The avoidance behaviour of fleet segments to over-quota catch led to a high SSB level of saithe and cod in the long term, ensuring high long-term catches and profits. A non-flexible scenario had a negative impact on the saithe stock, because mainly juvenile saithe before spawning were caught reducing the spawning-stock biomass in the longer term. A non-flexible scenario was costly in terms of up to 29% lower net profits for individual fleet segments generating little economic incentive to be compliant.
The difficulty of ensuring adequate statistical coverage of whole fleets is a challenge for the implementation of observer programmes and may reduce the usefulness of the data they obtain for management purposes. This makes it necessary to find cost-effective alternatives. Electronic monitoring (EM) systems are being used in some fisheries as an alternative or a complement to human observers. The objective of this study was to test the use and reliability of EM on the tropical tuna purse-seine fishery. To achieve this objective, seven trips of tuna purse seiners operating in the three Oceans were closely monitored to compare the information provided by EM and on-board observers to determine if EM can reliably document fishing effort, set type, tuna catch, and bycatch. Total tuna catch per set was not significantly different between EM and observer datasets; however, regarding species composition, only main species matched between EM and observers. Success on set-type identification using EM varied between 98.3 and 56.3%, depending on the camera placement. Overall, bycatch species were underestimated by EM, but large bodied species, such as billfishes, were well documented. The analyses in this study showed that EM can be used to determine the fishing effort (number of sets) and total tuna catch as reliably as observers can. Set-type identification also had very promising results, but indicated that refinement of the methods is still needed. To be fully comparable with observer data, improvements for accurately estimating the bycatch will need to be developed in the application and use of the EM system. Operational aspects that need to be improved for an EM programme to be implemented include standardizing installation and on-board catch handling methodology as well as improvements in video technology deployment.
We report global long-term trends in surface ocean pH using a new pH data set computed by combining fCO2 observations from the Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas (SOCAT) version 2 with surface alkalinity estimates based on temperature and salinity. Trends were determined over the periods 1981–2011 and 1991–2011 for a set of 17 biomes using a weighted linear least squares method. We observe significant decreases in surface ocean pH in ~70% of all biomes and a global mean rate of decrease of –0.0018 ± 0.0004 yr-1 for 1991–2011. We are not able to calculate a global trend for 1981–2011 because too few biomes have enough data for this. In two-thirds of the biomes, the rate of change is commensurate with the trends expected based on the assumption that the surface ocean pH change is only driven by the surface ocean carbon chemistry remaining in a transient equilibrium with the increase in atmospheric CO2. In the remaining biomes deviations from such equilibrium may reflect changes in the trend of surface ocean fCO2, most notably in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, or changes in the oceanic buffer (Revelle) factor. We conclude that well-planned and long-term sustained observational networks are key to reliably document the ongoing and future changes in ocean carbon chemistry due to anthropogenic forcing.