2015-02-18

Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia: Envisioning a Future Science Landscape

McAfee S, Robinson E, Whiteman L eds. Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia: Envisioning a Future Science Landscape. Oakland, California: California Ocean Science Trust; 2015. Available from: http://westcoastoah.org/new-release-envisioning-a-future-science-landscape/
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

Concerns are growing at multiple levels of government about the effects of ocean acidification and increasing hypoxia events on ecosystems along the coasts of California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Thoughtful and strategic research and monitoring will be essential to improve understanding of these impacts and to develop effective management and mitigation options.

This report seeks to assist decision-makers across the public sector in supporting science to address ocean acidification and hypoxia. Working with the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel and other thought leaders, the California Ocean Science Trust has developed this vision for the future state of knowledge and role of science in improving our ability to understand and manage these threats on the West Coast.

Legal Frameworks for MPA Enforcement in the Caribbean: Challenges and Opportunities

Anon. Legal Frameworks for MPA Enforcement in the Caribbean: Challenges and Opportunities. Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute; 2015 p. 61. Available from: http://eli-ocean.org/mpa/caribbean-mpa-enforcement/
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

In 2012, with support from NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP), the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) organized the first regional peer-to-peer workshop on ‘Building Compliance and Enhancing Enforcement for Marine Protected Areas in the Caribbean’, hosted by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and facilitated by MPA Enforcement International. Twenty-two MPA managers from fourteen countries and territories attended. In the course of the workshop, the participating MPA managers identified a common need to better understand best practices in MPA legislation. They expressed an interest in comparing MPA legislation across the Caribbean and in promoting the adoption of successful legislative techniques in their home countries so as to help achieve a more uniform approach to MPA enforcement throughout the region. This report seeks to address this need and to inform future efforts by Caribbean MPA managers and policy-makers to strengthen MPA enforcement.

Spatially Prioritizing Seafloor Mapping for Coastal and Marine Planning

Battista T, O’Brien K. Spatially Prioritizing Seafloor Mapping for Coastal and Marine Planning. Coastal Management [Internet]. 2015 ;43(1):35 - 51. Available from: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08920753.2014.985177
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Coastal and marine areas provide vital services to support the economic, cultural, recreational, and ecological needs of human communities, but sustaining these benefits necessitates a balance between growing and often competing uses and activities. Minimizing coastal zone conflict and reducing human-induced impacts to ecological resources requires access to consistent spatial information on the distribution and condition of marine resources. Seafloor mapping provides a detailed and reliable spatial template on the structure of the seafloor that has become a core data need for many resource management strategies. The absence of detailed maps of the seafloor hinders the effectiveness of priority setting in marine policy, regulatory processes, and marine stewardship. For large management areas, the relatively high cost of seafloor mapping and limited management budgets requires careful spatial prioritization. In order to address this problem, a consensus based approach, aided by decision-support tools, and participatory geographic information systems (GIS), was implemented in Long Island Sound to spatially prioritize locations, define additional data collection efforts needed, and identify products needed to inform decision-making. The methodology developed has utility for other states and regions in need of spatially prioritizing activities for coastal planning, and organizations charged with providing geospatial services to communities with broad informational needs.

Network Governance from the top – The case of ecosystem-based coastal and marine management

Sandström A, Bodin Ö, Crona B. Network Governance from the top – The case of ecosystem-based coastal and marine management. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2015 ;55:57 - 63. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X15000202
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Contemporary environmental policy incorporates a collaborative approach, and conservation management commonly denotes the formation of governance networks on the sub-national level. This trend toward networks implies a shift in the mode of public governance since state-centered top-down control is replaced by a primary focus on governing networks from the top. Previous research has studied the performance of collaborative networks while the role of the state in these settings has been acknowledged to a lesser extent. Thus, prevailing knowledge concerning how public agencies can govern networks towards the fulfillment of environmental objectives is restricted. This issue is addressed in this paper through an empirical case study of a state-initiated process aimed at implementing the ideas of ecosystem-based management, by means of collaboration networks, in five coastal regions in Sweden. What governance strategies were adopted by the environmental protection agency, and how can the governance outcome be described in terms of ecosystem-based management and stakeholder support? Based on the empirical findings, the influence of the chosen governance approach on the outcomes is discussed. The results clearly illustrate the particular tradeoffs that occur as various governance strategies interact and how these influence both social and ecological aspects. The application of extensive and rigorous governance strategies enhance the fulfillment of ecosystembased management while vagueness and flexibility enable local adaptation and enhance stakeholder support. Governing networks from the top involve a balancing act, and the idea of fulfilling environmental objectives through the dynamic of network is appealing albeit challenging in practice.

Can institutional change theories contribute to the understanding of marine protected areas?

de Morais GWeber, Schlüter A, Verweij M. Can institutional change theories contribute to the understanding of marine protected areas?. Global Environmental Change [Internet]. 2015 ;31:154 - 162. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378015000102
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The debate about the governance aspects of marine protected areas has increased considerably over the last few years. Growing pressure on coastal and marine resources, international conservation targets set for 2020, and the persistence of ‘paper parks’ (i.e. only nominally declared) are some of the main reasons behind this trend. Based on the assumption that the prevalence of paper parks is associated with shortcomings in their institutional design, this article explores how institutional change theories, mainly from historical institutionalism, could add to the understanding of marine protected area governance. First, mechanisms leading to either stability or change of institutions are reviewed. Then, examples from existing literature are used to illustrate how these mechanisms might be preventing or enhancing the progress of marine protected areas. The focus is on developing countries where poorly functioning marine protected areas seem to be the norm rather than the exception. The analysis reveals that institutional change theories can be a helpful analytical tool to examine how institutions encompassing well-known challenges of marine protected areas, such as terrestrial conservation poorly adapted to marine ecosystems, imported conservation paradigms not fitting local realities, and difficulties posed by an incoherence of policies and top-down approaches to management, have developed over time. Conditions leading actors to notice these problems and take action to solve them as well as how they go about implementing changes are also explored. Finally, it is suggested that the issues raised here regarding the persistence of problems and how they are being tackled, especially those concerning the political process, can be beneficial to other fields of environmental governance.

Spatial mismatch between marine protected areas and dugongs in New Caledonia

Cleguer C, Grech A, Garrigue C, Marsh H. Spatial mismatch between marine protected areas and dugongs in New Caledonia. Biological Conservation [Internet]. 2015 ;184:154 - 162. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320715000099
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are a powerful tool for conserving marine biodiversity when designed using ecological information and conservation goals and targets. Dugongs (Dugong dugon) were not an explicit target in the design of the network of MPAs in New Caledonia, despite being one of the region’s World Heritage values. Our study retrospectively assessed the capacity of the New Caledonia MPA network to protect dugongs from anthropogenic threats. We developed a spatially explicit model of dugong distribution and relative density based on information collected from ∼10 years of aerial surveys. We quantified the amount of overlap between areas supporting high densities of dugongs and MPAs. We found that most of the important dugong habitats of New Caledonia had a low coverage of MPAs that provide high levels of restriction on anthropogenic activities. We identified several important dugong habitats along the west and the north-east coast that were not covered by MPAs and should be a priority for future management. The spatial mismatch between MPAs and dugongs was likely caused by weaknesses in the planning process, including the: (1) lack of explicit conservation goals and targets; (2) omission of spatial information on species’ distribution; (3) mismatch of spatial scales; (4) cost considerations; and (5) incorrect application of the IUCN protected area categories. We provide guidance on how these shortcomings can be avoided for marine species of conservation concern in New Caledonia and other regions.

Modelling carbon deposition and dissolved nitrogen discharge from sea cage aquaculture of tropical spiny lobster

Lee S, Hartstein ND, Jeffs A. Modelling carbon deposition and dissolved nitrogen discharge from sea cage aquaculture of tropical spiny lobster. ICES Journal of Marine Science [Internet]. 2014 . Available from: http://icesjms.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/02/14/icesjms.fsu189.abstract
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The tropical spiny lobster, Panulirus ornatus, is farmed in floating sea cages situated in shallow coastal waters in many parts of the Asia-Pacific region. Despite the rapid expansion of this aquaculture activity, very little is known about its environmental impacts. This study combines computer modelling with previous laboratory measures to provide information on benthic carbon deposition and the production of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) from hypothetical sea cage aquaculture of spiny lobsters. Modelling scenarios were run with two different lobster aquaculture stocking densities (3 and 5 kg m−3) and various feed conversion ratios (FCRs) using natural seafood or artificial lobster diet (FCR 1.28–28). Simulations from the model showed that cumulative benthic carbon deposition varied from 0.1 to over 0.8 kg C m−2 year−1, while the mean DIN levels around sea cages ranged from 5.6 up to 25 µg N l−1 and the maximum DIN levels ranged from 10.8 to 165 µg N l−1. The results showed that feeding lobsters with seafood resulted in a markedly higher benthic carbon loading and release of DIN when compared with artificial lobster feed. Therefore, the elimination of the use of trash fish would greatly reduce the environmental impacts of spiny lobster aquaculture. Overall, the effects from spiny lobster aquaculture were spatially localized with the highest concentrations of carbon deposition and DIN directly beneath the sea cages. Therefore, it seems unlikely that spiny lobster aquaculture in sea cages will cause adverse environmental effects unless the lobsters are heavily stocked and supplied with poor quality feed.

The role of marine protected areas in maintaining sustainable fisheries in the Egyptian Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea

Mabrouk AMohamed Ha. The role of marine protected areas in maintaining sustainable fisheries in the Egyptian Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea. East Lansing: Michigan State University; 2015 p. 237. Available from: http://gradworks.umi.com/36/72/3672457.html
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Thesis

The Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) declared Ras Mohamed National Park the first Marine Protected Area (MPA) in Egypt in 1983 to conserve the Gulf of Aqaba coral reef ecosystem, sustain artisanal fisheries and encourage tourism activities in this region. The European Commission helped, initially, by providing the needed funding for the establishment of this MPA and for the establishment of two others, one in Nabq and the other in Abu Gallum. The creation of these managed resource protected areas established the entire Egyptian marine sector in the Gulf of Aqaba as a protected area by 1996. Artisanal fisheries were permitted in selected areas in these marine protected areas which were only conducted by the local people (Bedouin). This research assessed the role of the marine protected areas in conserving the fish populations of target and nontarget families in four regions of the Gulf of Aqaba, all of which were subjected to different regulations and fishing pressures over the last decade. In addition, I evaluated the impact of fishing and the catch dynamics at Nabq to ascertain whether specialized fishing regulations of take and no-take zones was effective in conserving the fisheries. Lastly, I conducted a pilot study on the dependency of the Bedouin fishers on the Nabq fisheries and their attitude towards the initiative of conservation measures and perceived needs for change to increase their effectiveness.

I found that the coral reef fish populations have changed over the years since the protected areas came into existence in terms of species richness, diversity, abundance and size; a result of changing fishing pressure due to changes in the effectiveness of law enforcement and conservation. Nabq, which was relatively lightly fished in 2002, was the most affected region where species richness, total fish abundance, and the abundance of target and non-target families significantly declined by 2012 due to heavy fishing pressure and noncompliance to the regulations that applied to the no take zones in the region. In contrast, Dahab, the heavily fished region in 2002, exhibited an increase in species richness, diversity, total fish abundance, the abundances of the least commercially targeted herbivore families and other non-target fish families, by 2012; a result of reduced fishing pressure and increased law enforcement in this region. Additionally Ras Mohamed, which originally did not allow fishing, was found to have experienced illegal fishing beginning by 2003 ultimately resulting in a decline in the abundance of commercially valuable fish families by 2012.

Fishers from Nabq and Dahab depend on the Nabq fisheries for food security and livelihoods. However, many of the fishers were willing to change their occupations and work for tourism or other governmental secured job, as the fisheries currently were very poor. Although the local fishers were aware of the regulations for the protected area and noted the significant decline in the fisheries resources, they disagreed on the way that Nabq fisheries should be managed mainly due to the real and perceived lack of local engagement and enforcement. Lastly, it appears that tourism development that focused on having an intact healthy coral reef system and public awareness can play a role in reducing fishing pressure, increasing fish abundance and maintaining fish diversity in the future, and provide alternative sources of livelihoods for the local people.

Fall 2014/Winter 2015 Newswave

Tihansky A ed. Fall 2014/Winter 2015 Newswave. [Internet]. 2015 . Available from: http://www.doi.gov/pmb/ocean/news/Newswave/index.cfm
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Newsletter

Table of Contents:

  • Adapting to Climate Change
  • National Ocean Policy
  • Cultural Resource Risks
  • Bay-Delta Science Conference
  • UPDATE: Deepwater Horizon
  • Visualizing Wetland Change
  • Marine Monument Expansion
  • WOW! Record Salmon
  • Quick Guide Climate Change
  • Threatened Red Knot
  • Whale Sculptures
  • MARES Artic Study
  • Conserving Coastal Wetlands
  • Pacific Islands Climate Change
  • Chukchi Sea Research
  • World Parks Congress
  • Waterbird Society Session
  • Aloha from Maui!
  • Carbon Sequestration Report.
  • #StrongAfterSandy
  • Tribal GIS Training
  • Tracking Nitrate to the Gulf
  • Coral Reef Initiatives
  • Coastal Defense Tool
  • Methane Seepage Discovery
  • Science for Society
  • Swan Days at Mattamuskeet
  • Adaptive Coastal Park
  • That’s Wrack
  • Gulf of Mexico Shipwrecks
  • Renewable Energy
  • Envisioning Sea-Level Rise
  • Regional News
  • Eating Invasive Species
  • The Surfing Bison

Case study on the use of participatory three-dimensional modelling to facilitate effective contribution of civil society in the Caribbean islands in planning for action on climate change

Bobb-Prescott N. Case study on the use of participatory three-dimensional modelling to facilitate effective contribution of civil society in the Caribbean islands in planning for action on climate change. Laventille: Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI); 2014. Available from: http://www.canari.org/documents/401CasestudyP3DM_000.pdf
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

Tools, such as participatory three-dimensional modeling (P3DM), participatory video and the facilitated development of photo journals and civil society plans for action on climate change, can be used across the Caribbean islands to facilitate effective participation by local communities and other stakeholders. These tools are needed by people in the Caribbean to facilitate the identification of general policy priorities, as well as specific policies and actions needed on-the-ground and at the landscape and site level to address the impacts of climate change and extreme climatic events. These tools bring relevant knowledge - both traditional and indigenous knowledge - into consideration when decisions are being made about climate change. This approach to decision-making also contributes to increasing capacity of community groups, facilitates coordination and collaboration across sectors, and builds buy-in for plans for action on climate change.

Download the related Policy Brief at http://www.canari.org/documents/CANARIPolicyBrief15English_000.pdf

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