With the passage of the Oceans Act (1996), the Government of Canada has committed to an integrated, ecosystem-based approach to oceans and coastal management. One important element of this approach is the identification of Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas (EBSAs), which are areas of especially high ecological or biological significance where greater risk aversion is required in the management of activities. EBSAs are considered in a broad range of management processes, including the development of marine protected area networks. This report describes a refined set of EBSAs for the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, which falls within the DFO Maritimes Region. It builds on past studies and outlines the ecological or biological rationale for how each area satisfies the DFO EBSA criteria. Two types of EBSAs are described, including: (i) broadly-distributed, single-feature EBSAs, which are discrete significant features or processes that occur throughout the Atlantic coast sub-region (e.g. Piping Plover critical habitat) and (ii) site-specific, multiple-feature EBSAs, which are areas identified for their unique combination of exceptional features. Thirty-eight site-specific, multiple-feature EBSAs are described.
The review and update included a comprehensive assessment of progress to date in meeting the requirements established by the Oceans Act and the initial Ocean Plan, as well as extensive public and expert participation efforts. Along with public hearings, six technical work groups made up of nearly 100 scientists and experts were convened to review scientific data and identify and characterize important trends in ocean resources and uses. Two public workshops were held to share information and solicit input on the findings and recommendations of the work groups. In addition, public meetings with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center were held on offshore wind and transmission, and workshops convened by the Coastal Erosion Commission in May and June 2014 served as forums for dialogue and feedback.
On September 24, 2014, a draft plan including the proposed updates was released, launching a 60-day public comment period. Five regional public hearings were held in Ipswich, Hyannis, New Bedford, Vineyard Haven and Boston to solicit feedback. More than 75 organizations and individuals provided written and oral comments on the draft plan. With consensus guidance from the Ocean Advisory Commission and Ocean Science Advisory Council, adjustments to the draft ocean plan were deliberated and made.
The 2015 ocean plan released today contains the following updates to the original plan:
- Science and Data - The new plan identifies trends in and new data for ocean habitats and ecosystem components, human uses, economics, cultural and archeological aspects and climate change, as well as a series of 11 science and data priorities for the next five years of ocean plan implementation.
- Offshore Wind Project Transmission - Preliminary transmission corridor routes for further investigation have been identified that address concerns raised by commercial fishing interests and local communities and support “smart” offshore wind development to streamline the process for the wind industry.
- Offshore Sand for Beach Nourishment - Many coastal communities are experiencing severe erosion, flooding and storm damage.
Beach nourishment and dune restoration can offer an important alternative for shoreline protection that works with the natural system. Recognizing this, the 2015 Ocean Plan advances initial planning for appropriate potential locations for offshore sand areas, taking into account important criteria including compatible sand resources, potential environmental impacts, interactions with existing water-dependent uses and consideration of other key factors. The 2015 Ocean Plan also calls for the formation of an Offshore Sand Task Force to provide further consultation and recommendations for the potential use of offshore sand for beach nourishment.
- Ocean Development Mitigation Fee - The plan includes a proposed fee structure and accompanying guidance for the determination of mitigation fees for ocean development projects required by the Oceans Act.
Plastics are the most common form of debris found along the Argentine coastline. The Río de la Plata estuarine area is a relevant case study to describe a situation where ample policy exists against a backdrop of plastics disposed by populated coastal areas, industries, and vessels; with resultant high impacts of plastic pollution on marine turtles and mammals. Policy and institutions are in place but the impact remains due to ineffective waste management, limited public education and awareness, and weaknesses in enforcement of regulations. This context is frequently repeated all over the world. We list possible interventions to increase the effectiveness of policy that require integrating efforts among governments, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and the inhabitants of coastal cities to reduce the amount of plastics reaching the Río de la Plata and protect threatened marine species. What has been identified for Argentina applies to the region and globally.
This study presents estimates of the impact adaptation costs due to damage to coastal and marine structures located along the Mediterranean coast of Israel caused by sea-level rise in the 21st century. The study examines the effects on various types of constructions, including seaports, power plants, marinas, desalination plants, sea walls, detached breakwaters, and bathing beach infrastructures for sea-level rises of 0.5 m and 1 m. To this end, we conduct an analysis of hydrodynamic forces on the structures and an uncertainty analysis of their occurrence. The study find that the impact of wave overtopping of breakwaters can lead to extensive damage to port infrastructure and to the vessels moored inside. Adaptation costs are computed as the corrective measures to be taken to maintain the functionality of the structures.
For ecosystem-based fisheries management, the identification of different strategies for the spatial and temporal use of resources is key. Such strategies are related to the fleet operation dynamics and can be identified from catch data per season and fishing area, for each target species. In Mexico, such data are reported in fishing trip tickets; in this article, we use these data to map the Pacific calico scallop (Argopecten ventricosus) fishery in the Magdalena-Almejas Bay region, Baja California Sur. Three distinctive zones were identified within the bay based on physiographic features. Fishing zones were defined based on catch size, economic value and record frequency between 1998 and 2010. The zones were validated through a survey of fishermen's local knowledge. The resulting maps display fishing activity patterns related to temporal variations in scallop availability.
One of the challenges of coastal governance is to connect a variety of knowledge systems. The purpose of this paper is to show how a coastal governance practice can emerge and stabilize, such that actors with disparate knowledge systems collaborate towards the shared goal of sustainable resource use. We analyze this stabilization in terms of the coproduction of knowledge and policy. This paper is empirically informed by a case study on the transition towards a sustainable mussel fishery in the Dutch Wadden Sea. Our study illuminates the difficulties of underpinning a coastal governance practice with scientific research, since the relevance, quality, and results of research are interpreted differently from the perspectives of resource users and conservationists. Furthermore, our analysis shows that such a governance practice can stabilize through a combination of rule negotiation, legal, societal, and political pressure, along with collaborative knowledge creation. Based on our analysis, we identify several aspects of collaborative knowledge creation that enable the formation of a shared knowledge base for governance in a context of controversy. These include the shared ownership of research, knowledge creation as an integral part of governance, a focus on data and basic facts, and the close involvement of trusted experts. The findings of this study suggest that a controversial setting strongly structures knowledge creation, while at the same time knowledge creation enables coastal governance as a way of dealing with conflicts.
The Ecospace model has been developed from the Ecopath with Ecosim food web model to add a spatial dimension for investigating marine ecosystems. In this study, we evaluated the sensitivity of an Ecospace model developed for the North Sea ecosystem to some of its key parameters, and we examined this model's capability to reproduce trends in spatial time-series of fish biomass and fishing effort. We measured the fit between the spatiotemporal model predictions and the corresponding data of biomass for 12 species and effort for three fishing fleets. Our results suggest that the Ecospace model for the North Sea can predict quite successfully the species distribution, but not the distribution of fishing effort. We hypothesise that the reason might be that Ecospace assumes spatial effort distribution to be driven mainly by profit, while other factors might be more important in our system at the spatiotemporal scale explored. The model might thus fail to capture fisher's behaviour accurately for this system. Despite the limitations of our ad hoc approach for sensitivity analysis, these results hint that some problems exist in our model, which might extend to other Ecospace models and perhaps to the framework in general. This study highlights the importance of validating Ecospace models with data if their results are used for management advice. We suggest that, in order to make of Ecospace a more robust tool for management advice, some critical improvements are needed: the development of an algorithm for parameter optimisation through fitting the model predictions to data, and advancement of the effort distribution model.
Appropriate integration of remote sensing technologies into ecosystem services concepts and practices leads to potential practical benefits for the protection of biodiversity and the promotion of sustainable use of Earth's natural assets. The last decade has seen the rapid development of research efforts on the topic of ecosystem services, which has led to a significant increase in the number of scientific publications. This systematic review aims to identify, evaluate and synthesise the evidence provided in published peer reviewed studies framing their work in the context of spatially explicit remote sensing assessment and valuation of ecosystem services. Initially, a search through indexed scientific databases found 5920 papers making direct and/or indirect reference to the topic of “ecosystem services” between the years of 1960 and 2013. Among these papers, 211 make direct reference to the use of remote sensing. During the search we aimed at selecting papers that were peer-reviewed publications available through indexed bibliographic databases. For this reason, our literature search did not include books, grey literature, extended abstracts and presentations. We quantitatively present the growth of remote sensing applications in ecosystem services’ research, reviewing the literature to produce a summary of the state of available and feasible remote sensing variables used in the assessment and valuation of ecosystem services. The results provide valuable information on how remotely sensed Earth observation data are used currently to produce spatially-explicit assessments and valuation of ecosystem services. Using examples from the literature we produce a concise summary of what has been done, what can be done and what can be improved upon in the future to integrate remote sensing into ecosystem services research. The reason for doing so is to motivate discussion about methodological challenges, solutions and to encourage an uptake of remote sensing technology and data where it has potential practical applications.
To determine fishermen’s perspectives on these changes, the Center for American Progress contracted with Edge Research to conduct a survey of New England commercial fishermen in summer 2014. Edge Research completed telephone surveys of nearly 600 permit holders in the northeast multispecies fishery—better known as the groundfishery because it targets bottom-dwelling fish such as cod, haddock, and flounders—as well as the lobster fisheries in Maine and Massachusetts. The results clearly show that although fishermen generally tend to be politically conservative, they believe climate forces such as ocean warming and acidification are not only happening but also rank among the gravest environmental threats to their employment and the future of their industry and their communities.
This report covers 21 coastal states of interest as identified by The Nature Conservancy: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. The team did not review the policies of Alaska, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, and the Great Lakes states.