Here we discuss how different life history strategies may affect the feasibility of achieving the three requirements for effective long-term conservation (self-seeding, connectivity, and protection). While sedentary organisms with a pelagic larval phase (most reef fishes and invertebrates), readily achieve this trinity (Planes et al., 2009), animals where dispersal only occurs as adults inevitably fail to meet all three requirements simultaneously (Figure 1). Here we propose a potential solution focusing on incorporating information on how habitat shapes adult dispersal to increase connectivity within networks of MPAs.
The implementation of effective no-take marine reserves or marine protected areas (MPAs) is a central goal of modern fisheries science. Accordingly, a number of studies have been conducted to understand broad rules for the creation of MPAs and have tested the effects of marine reserves for specific regions of interest. However, there still exist many challenges for implementing effective MPAs. Deducing theoretical conditions guaranteeing that the introduction of MPAs will increase fishing yields in age-structured population dynamics is one such challenge. To derive such conditions, a simple mathematical model is developed that follows the metapopulation dynamics of a sedentary species. The obtained results suggest that moderate recruitment success of an individual's eggs is a necessary condition for an MPA plan to increase biomass yields. Furthermore, numerical simulations of the optimal fishing regime with MPAs aiming at maximizing the fishing yields suggest that biomass yields monotonically decrease with the fraction of the MPAs. The optimal fishing mortality rate suddenly jumps to a very high value, leading to a sudden decline in the population biomass, to a lower level than in a fishing regime with a constant fishing mortality rate. The decline in the population biomass is never observed in the fishing regime with a constant fishing mortality.
Prioritizing social indicators of wellbeing and linking them to specific marine resource management contexts requires ongoing consideration of local community values, social change drivers and dynamic governance goals and objectives. As coastal communities undertake new initiatives to develop marine spatial plans, anticipate renewable energy development projects or examine ecosystem service trade-offs in the context of fishery declines or climate change, this study provides timely insight into the full complexity, political nature, and institutionalized constraints of social assessment integration. Using a qualitative case study of Pacific Fishery Management Council briefing books to assess the Council's current use of socioeconomic data as well as a quantitative survey of other integrated human wellbeing assessment projects from around the world, this study 1) compares the priority domains of wellbeing being promoted in different socio-ecological system governance contexts, 2) outlines a preferred methodology for selecting human and social wellbeing metrics that are reflective of community needs, and 3) makes suggestions for improving the integration of human wellbeing research in U.S. Fishery Management Council processes.
There are many islands in the ocean surrounding Taiwan which can provide rich resources for the people such as fisheries. However, Taiwan is facing environmental issues from increasing human activities and the functions of natural systems that are weakened large anthropogenic disturbances. The concept of resilience is introduced to explain the unbalanced interactions and feedbacks between social and ecological system would impede recovery in the natural process and negatively impact on the social system. This study examines the Social Ecological System（SES）approach as a tool, which gives the decision maker a holistic picture of the complexity of the interactions between the human system and the natural environment system regarding the Marine Protected Areas (MPA) designation. To apply this idea to a real world case, this research examines three case studies in Taiwan, i.e., the Green Island case as a failure in establishing a MPA; the Dongsha Atoll National Park as a successful case of marine national park establishment in Taiwan. By reviewing these two examples, this study applies lessons two cases to the proposed Four Islands of Southern Penghu National Park. Among the key factors that affect the Marine Protected Area (MPA) designation in Taiwan, stakeholder engagement is the focus of this study. Stakeholder analysis is a main method to clarify different perspectives of stakeholders toward the MPA development because stakeholder support was critical in defeating the Green Island proposal but important in the success of Dongsha National Park. Stakeholder interviews are performed to better understand the conflicts among different parties and how they are involved in the designation processes. The results are mainly based on discussion of the stakeholders' perspectives and engagement in the case of the Four Island of Southern Penghu National Park. In the end, the conclusions show the importance of the enhancing adaptive capacity of the government, including stakeholder engagement in the designation process, and the Socio-Ecological System (SES) framework application in the context of MPA designation.
In the Portuguese Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ) (NE Atlantic), little survey effort dedicated to cetacean species has been carried out in offshore waters. As a consequence, data on their occurrence, distribution and habitat preferences is scarce. In this area, 48 sea surveys along fixed transects within Continental Portugal and Madeira Island were performed in 2012 and 2013, from July to October, using platforms of opportunity. We used an environmental envelope approach and GAM habitat models to identify the role of oceanographic, topographic and geographical variables in shaping cetacean distribution. Results demonstrate the richness of offshore waters in this area as in 10,668 nmi sampled, we recorded 218 sightings from at least nine cetacean species, resulting in an overall ER of 2.04 sightings/100 nmi. The interaction of topographic and oceanographic features was shown to influence the distribution of the species/groups along the routes. Among the sighted species, only common dolphin showed a preference for coastal waters, while for all the other species high seas proved to be determinant. This result reinforces the need to address conservation issues in open ocean. This preliminary assessment showed the importance of the entire area for the distribution of different cetacean species and allowed the identification of several species/group specific potential suitable habitats.
Considering the Habitats Directive resolutions, ACCOBAMS priorities, EEZ extension for the area and Maritime Spatial Planning Directive, and the urgent need for management plans, we suggest that the sampling strategy here presented is a cost-effective method to gather valuable data, to be used to improve cetacean habitat models in the area.
This paper provides a comprehensive review of the current state of the art of the economics and socio-economics of ocean renewable energy (ORE); the many ways in which the viability and impacts of an ORE project are assessed, and an analysis of the current weaknesses, issues or inappropriateness of the metrics and methodologies used in their definition and presentation. The outcomes of this paper are anticipated to benefit the ORE and wider renewable sector as a whole. The review revealed that, for the most part, the current study of economics and socio-economics of ORE remain separate and discrete areas of research. The economic methods utilised appear to be comprehensive but are limited to project (or private investor) level. The methods identified for socioeconomic assessment fall between traditional, and now routine, environmental assessment approaches and more novel holistic approaches such as ecosystem services and life cycle assessment. The novel section of the paper explored the connectivity between the economics and socio-economics of ORE in relation to project developments and policy/planning. A visualisation method was created of concentric rings intersected by related axis of economic, socio-economic and environment, and enabled the examination of the benefits arising from the connectivity between the two spheres. The concept of sustainable development process and the integration of environmental assessment for ORE was also explored and how it responds to differing stakeholder aspirations and interpretations. The analysis revealed that there was a divergence between public and private economic and socioeconomic assessments for ORE: environmental assessment is primarily a public responsibility but with significant inputs from the private developer involved while economic assessments are conducted primarily by the developer and/or investor at their own behest. However, the two spheres of economic and socio-economic for ORE are highly connected and synergistic and must be examined in a holistic manner.
Bayesian Belief Networks (BBNs) are being increasingly used to develop a range of predictive models and risk assessments for ecological systems. Ecological BBNs can be applied to complex catchment and water quality issues, integrating multiple spatial and temporal variables within social, economic and environmental decision making processes. This paper reviews the essential components required for ecologists to design a best-practice predictive BBN in an ecological risk assessment (ERA) framework for aquatic ecosystems, outlining: (1) how to create a BBN for an aquatic ERA?; (2) what are the challenges for aquatic ecologists in adopting the best-practice applications of BBNs to ERAs?; and (3) how can BBNs in ERAs influence the science/management interface into the future? The aims of this paper are achieved using three approaches. The first is to demonstrate the best-practice development of BBNs in aquatic sciences using a simple nutrient model. The second is to discuss the limitations and challenges aquatic ecologists encounter when applying BBNs to ERAs. The third is to provide a framework for integrating best-practice BBNs into ERAs and the management of aquatic ecosystems. A quantitative review of the application and development of BBNs in aquatic science from 2002 to 2014 was conducted to identify areas where continued best-practice development is required. We outline a best-practice framework for the integration of BBNs into ERAs and study of complex aquatic systems.
One of the challenges of offshore wind energy farms lies in their reduced availability relative to onshore facilities. In effect, with wave heights over 1.5 m impeding workboats access, sea conditions often cause delays to operation & maintenance tasks, and thereby impact on the availability for power production of the farm. The most immediate consequence is larger non-operational periods, which could translate into lower power production and, therefore, a reduction of their economic viability. By deploying wave energy converters along the periphery of the wind farm, wave height within the park can be reduced, and the accessibility for operation & maintenance tasks improved. The aim of this work is to analyse this synergy between wave and wind energy through the comparison of four case studies, and more specifically, to investigate how this synergy can be materialised under different conditions in terms of: (i) location (depth and distance from the coast), (ii) sea climate, and (iii) wind farm layout. It was found that the combination of wave and offshore wind energy results in enhanced accessibility for operation & maintenance tasks in all the cases considered, with accessibility values of up to 82%.
Institutions matter within natural resource management. While there are many examples of analyses of the nature and influence of institutions within fisheries, there are fewer examples of how institutions inform the practice and outcomes of co-management. This article reports on analysis of institutions and fisheries co-management in East African and Malawi inland fisheries informed by Critical Institutionalism. It concludes that relations between fisheries departments and local co-management structures, and between local government/traditional authorities and local co-management structures, and social, power, and gender relations within and beyond fisheries communities, particularly impact on the practice and outcomes of co-management.
Like most coastlines the world over, Ghana's coast has been receding, requiring management interventions to protect coastal communities and assets of national importance. In order to adopt sound management interventions that would have a long lasting positive impact on the coastal zone, an understanding of the historic pattern of coastline change and coastal dynamics is required. This paper presents an analysis of the historic trends in coastline changes along the Elmina, Cape Coast and Moree area of Ghana using three shoreline data that spans a period of 38 years using ArcGIS and Digital Shoreline Analysis System tools. The study found that the Elmina, Cape Coast and Moree area had been eroding at a rate of 1.22 m/year ± 0.16 m from 1974 to 2012. It was identified that the widespread practice of beach sand mining in the area has significantly contributed to the erosion of several sections of the coastline. The study also identified the lack of an existing coastline management plan for Ghana's coast as the reason for the poor coastal erosion management techniques often used by coastal managers in response to the threat of coastal erosion, which eventually causes an acceleration of local erosion rates. The study finally makes a case for the adoption of a proactive and coordinated coastline management plan for Ghana's coast similar to that of the United Kingdom shoreline management plans because of the numerous known advantages.