2015-03-11

International Ocean Governance Policy Brief

Anon. International Ocean Governance Policy Brief. World Ocean Council; 2014 p. 21. Available from: http://www.oceancouncil.org/site/business_forum/index.php?page=report
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

There are a range of legal instruments, institutions, and organizations that collectively establish rules and policies for managing, conserving, and using the ocean. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) provides the overarching legal framework for ocean governance and management on a global scale, but there are a number of other important ocean governance-related institutions, instruments and processes.

This document provides a brief overview of those institutions and processes that are most relevant to multi-sectoral business and industry interests, with a particular emphasis on opportunities for industry to get involved in the policy-making process. It does not include policies, institutions, and processes that are primarily relevant to a single sector. After first reviewing key aspects of UNCLOS, this document discusses other key ocean policy and governance processes and bodies. A glossary of terms is provided at the end of the document (items defined in the glossary are indicated in bold within the text). For reference, Table 1 provides a more inclusive list of ocean governance instruments, processes, and institutions and indicates which of these are covered in detail in this document.

The significance and management of natural carbon stores in the open ocean

Laffoley D, Baxter JM, Thevenon F, Oliver J eds. The significance and management of natural carbon stores in the open ocean. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN; 2014 p. 124. Available from: https://portals.iucn.org/library/node/44905
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

This report focuses on the open ocean, which is often referred to in the literature as the largest carbon sink on Earth. The report has been produced to promote better understanding of how atmospheric carbon is captured, stored and mobilized in the ocean, and how this has a significant bearing on sustainability, the welfare of people, and the future scale and intensity of climate change and ocean acidification. Whilst there has been a significant effort on managing carbon in natural environments on land in places such as forest and peatlands, we have been largely ignoring the ocean that is now responding to the full impact of the consequences of our activities.

The report sets out the importance of carbon in the open ocean and, through examples, illustrates the significance and values of some of its major carbon pools and sinks. This analysis ranges from microscopic organisms in the plankton that drive the biological pump, which take CO2 out of the air and ultimately trap a proportion of solid carbon permanently in the sediments of the deep ocean, through to groups of animals, which perhaps hitherto have not been considered as very relevant in carbon management, such as krill and fish – and in so doing introduces the notion of ‘mobile carbon units’. The report ranges in its attention from the surface waters, where carbon capture is powered by photosynthetic activities, through to the deep ocean. It describes the role and importance of deep sea microbes, and the recently discovered, increasingly important chemosynthetic pathways through which carbon is converted in the deep dark ocean to organic matter.

One size does not fit all: Importance of adjusting conservation practices for endangered hawksbill turtles to address local nesting habitat needs in the eastern Pacific Ocean

Liles MJ, Peterson MJ, Seminoff JA, Altamirano E, Henríquez AV, Gaos AR, Gadea V, Urteaga J, Torres P, Wallace BP, et al. One size does not fit all: Importance of adjusting conservation practices for endangered hawksbill turtles to address local nesting habitat needs in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Biological Conservation [Internet]. 2015 ;184:405 - 413. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320715000877
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Conservation biologists frequently use data from the same or related species collected in diverse geographic locations to guide interventions in situations where its applicability is uncertain. There are dangers inherent to this approach. The nesting habitats of critically endangered hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) cover a broad geographic global range. Based on data collected in the Caribbean and Indo-Pacific, conservationists assume hawksbills prefer open-coast beaches near coral reefs for nesting, and that individual hawksbills are highly consistent in nest placement, suggesting genetic factors partially account for variation in nest-site choice. We characterized nest-site preferences of hawksbills in El Salvador and Nicaragua, where >80% of nesting activity occurs for this species in the eastern Pacific, and ∼90% of hawksbill clutches are relocated to hatcheries for protection. We found hawksbills preferred nest sites with abundant vegetation on dynamic beaches within mangrove estuaries. Nests in El Salvador were located closer to the ocean and to the woody vegetation border than nests in Nicaragua, suggesting female hawksbills exhibit local adaptations to differences in nesting habitat. Individual hawksbills consistently placed nests under high percentages of overstory vegetation, but were not consistent in nest placement related to woody vegetation borders. We suggest conservation biologists use caution when generalizing about endangered species that invest in specific life-history strategies (e.g., nesting) over broad ranges based on data collected in distant locations when addressing conservation issues.

Biological effects, conservation potential, and research priorities of shark diving tourism

Gallagher AJ, Vianna GMS, Papastamatiou YP, Macdonald C, Guttridge TL, Hammerschlag N. Biological effects, conservation potential, and research priorities of shark diving tourism. Biological Conservation [Internet]. 2015 ;184:365 - 379. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320715000622
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Shark diving tourism is a burgeoning, global industry. The growing perception that sharks can be worth more alive for tourism than dead in a fish market has become one of the leading contemporary arguments for shark conservation. However, there still exists concern that many aspects of shark-related tourism (e.g., provisioning) may alter natural behaviors and foraging areas, as well as pose a threat to humans by associating people with food. These concerns are largely driven by the previously limited scientific knowledge regarding the effects of shark diving tourism on shark biology, the marine environment and human interactions. Here we review and summarize previous research in these areas and evaluate the potential effects of dive tourism on shark behavior, ecology and subsequent human dimensions. To assist the development of future research, we provide a set of research questions. Taken together, we conclude that under the right conditions and if done in a precautionary, responsible manner, shark diving can provide a net conservation benefit (i.e., garnering of protective measures, raising awareness, instilling a conservation ethic) for a handful of species.

A GIS modelling framework to evaluate marine spatial planning scenarios: Co-location of offshore wind farms and aquaculture in the German EEZ

Gimpel A, Stelzenmüller V, Grote B, Buck BH, Floeter J, Núñez-Riboni I, Pogoda B, Temming A. A GIS modelling framework to evaluate marine spatial planning scenarios: Co-location of offshore wind farms and aquaculture in the German EEZ. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2015 ;55:102 - 115. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X15000238
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The concept of co-location of marine areas receives an increased significance in the light of sustainable development in the already heavily used offshore marine realm. Within this study, different spatial co-location scenarios for the coupling of offshore aquacultures and wind farms are evaluated in order to support efficient and sustainable marine spatial management strategies. A Geographic Information System (GIS) and multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) techniques were combined to index suitable co-sites in the German exclusive economic zone of the North Sea. The MCE was based on criteria such as temperature, salinity or oxygen. In total, 13 possible aquaculture candidates (seaweed, bivalves, fish and crustaceans) were selected for the scenario configuration. The GIS modelling framework proved to be powerful in defining potential co-location sites. The aquaculture candidate oarweed (Laminaria digitata) revealed the highest suitability scores at 10–20 m depth from April to June, followed by haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) at 20–30 m depth and dulse (Palmaria palmata) and Sea belt (Saccharina latissima) at 0–10 m depth between April and June. In summary, results showed several wind farms were de facto suitable sites for aquaculture since they exhibited high suitability scores for Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) systems combining fish species, bivalves and seaweeds. The present results illustrate how synergies may be realised between competing needs of both offshore wind energy and offshore IMTA in the German EEZ of the North Sea. This might offer guidance to stakeholders and assist decision-makers in determining the most suitable sites for pilot projects using IMTA techniques.

Capturing the complexity of biodiversity: A critical review of economic valuation studies of biological diversity

Bartkowski B, Lienhoop N, Hansjürgens B. Capturing the complexity of biodiversity: A critical review of economic valuation studies of biological diversity. Ecological Economics [Internet]. 2015 ;113:1 - 14. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800915000701
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Biodiversity is a highly complex and abstract ecological concept. Even though it is not one physical entity, it influences human well-being in multiple ways, mostly indirectly. While considerable research effort has been spent on the economic valuation of biodiversity, it remains to be a particularly challenging ‘valuation object’. Valuation practitioners therefore have to use proxies for biodiversity, many of which are very simple (single species, habitats). This paper presents a comprehensive and critical review of biodiversity valuation studies with special emphasis on biodiversity valuation in order to depict the state-of-the-art in this research field. It develops evaluation criteria so as to identify best-practice applications and shows that the field of biodiversity valuation studies is rather heterogeneous regarding both valuation objects and valuation methods. On the basis of our evaluation criteria and best-practice studies we suggest that to account for the complexity and abstractness of biodiversity, multi-attribute approaches with encompassing information provision should be used that emphasise the roles biodiversity plays for human well-being.

Mapping cumulative impacts on Hong Kong's pink dolphin population

Marcotte D, Hung SK, Caquard S. Mapping cumulative impacts on Hong Kong's pink dolphin population. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. 2015 ;109:51 - 63. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569115000393
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins have historically inhabited the northern waters off Lantau Island, Hong Kong; however their numbers have significantly decreased over the past decade, while human pressure has simultaneously increased. Based on a spatio-temporal analysis using a Geographic Information System (GIS), this study aims to assess the cumulative human impacts of local activities on this dolphin population since 1996. After introducing and discussing the multiple approaches, difficulties, and limitations to cumulative effects assessments (CEA), this paper outlines our proposed CEA methodology. Our methodology involves mapping and analysis of anthropogenic marine impacts in relation with historical dolphin distributions in the area. Local scale results show evidence of a relationship between the addition of new high-speed ferry (HSF) routes into the cumulative environment and the decrease in dolphins in a specific region known as the Brothers Islands. These results coincide with past research showing that whales and dolphins are significantly disrupted in the presence of high vessel traffic, which continues to grow in the northern waters off Lantau Island, Hong Kong and in many other places around the world.

The factors affecting stakeholders' acceptance of offshore wind farms along the western coast of Taiwan: Evidence from stakeholders' perceptions

Chen J-L, Liu H-H, Chuang C-T, Lu H-J. The factors affecting stakeholders' acceptance of offshore wind farms along the western coast of Taiwan: Evidence from stakeholders' perceptions. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. 2015 ;109:40 - 50. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569115000599
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Stakeholder participation is an important concept in marine environmental management; thus, their acceptance and opinions might influence policy decision making and effectiveness. This paper explores the factors that affect stakeholders' (traditional ocean users, including fishers and aquaculture farmers) acceptance and conducts an empirical analysis to determine the relationship among stakeholders' perceptions and acceptance. A total of 238 respondents completed a survey that was conducted in six coastal counties in western Taiwan. We used principle component analysis and two logistic regression models for the analysis: one model does not consider perception factors, while the other model estimates perception factors. The empirical results reveal that three perception factors related to the benefits of offshore wind farms significantly affect stakeholders' acceptance. Furthermore, the explanatory power, goodness-of-fit, and the predicted probability are greater when perception factors are considered in the logistic model. As a result, stakeholders' perceptions are important factors that influence their acceptance of OWFs along the western coast of Taiwan. According to our findings, recommendations are offered to resolve the user conflicts regarding OWF turbine construction and operation, including (1) communicating effectively and integrating stakeholder participation and (2) offering benefits to ocean users and local communities.

Developing social-ecological system indicators using group model building

Vugteveen P, Rouwette E, Stouten H, van Katwijk MM, Hanssen L. Developing social-ecological system indicators using group model building. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. 2015 ;109:29 - 39. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569115000587
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

In many coastal regions, activities of multiple users present a growing strain on the ecological state of the area. The necessity of using integrative system approaches to understand and solve coastal problems has become obvious in the last decades. Integrated management strategies for social-ecological systems (SESs) call for the development of SES indicators that help (i) to identify and link the states and processes of social, economic and ecological subsystems and (ii) to balance different stakeholder objectives over the long-term within natural limits. Here we use a system dynamics modeling approach called group model building (GMB) as a diagnostic participative tool for understanding the determinants of characteristic SES issues in the Dutch Wadden Sea region and exploring salient SES indicators for management. We used GMB in two separate workshops for two distinct cases: sustainable mussel fisheries and tourism development. Follow-up online questionnaires elicited relevant variables for deriving SES indicators. In both modeling cases participants identified and connected the variables that expressed fundamental SES dynamics driving each issue. In the mussel fisheries model the central part of the structure was the interaction between the model variables ‘extent of mussel habitat with high natural value’, ‘mussel cultivation efficiency’, and ‘market supply’. In the tourism model a key driving force for explaining tourist development was the reciprocal relation between the model variables ‘natural value’, ‘experience value’, and ‘number of tourists’. Application of GMB revealed SES issue complexity and explicitly identified key linkages and potential SES indicators for policy and management in the Dutch Wadden Sea area. As a tool for stakeholder involvement in integrated coastal management the approach enables the joint building of system understanding and the exchange of individual perspectives. Participants agreed with the jointly created models and highly appreciated the way the structured approach facilitated communication and learning about complex and contested issues.

A novel hybrid MCDM approach for offshore wind farm site selection: A case study of Iran

Fetanat A, Khorasaninejad E. A novel hybrid MCDM approach for offshore wind farm site selection: A case study of Iran. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. 2015 ;109:17 - 28. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569115000423
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The multi criteria decision making (MCDM) has been applied in Integrated Energy Planning (IEP) and Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) frameworks. In this paper, a novel hybrid MCDM approach based on the fuzzy analytic network process (ANP), fuzzy decision making trail and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) and fuzzy elimination and choice expressing the reality (ELECTRE) methodologies is applied to assist in the site selection of offshore wind farm (OWF) as the renewable energy in the IEP and the ICM frameworks. The aim of this study is to find the best site selection of offshore wind farm for four sites (alternatives) in Bandar Deylam on the Persian Gulf in southwest of Iran. Six criteria (depths and heights, environmental issues, proximity to facilities, economic aspects, resource technical levels and culture) and the related sub-criteria are considered to select proper sites for power station of OWF. The fuzzy ANP method is employed for standpoints of the site selection (goal) subject to the criteria and is performed the criteria subject to the sub-criteria. In addition, due to considering the influences of the criterion to another criterion, the fuzzy DEMATEL is employed in criteria and sub-criteria sections. Moreover, the fuzzy ELECTRE is applied to calculate the decision making matrices of sub-criteria to alternatives. The results show that the alternative A3 is the best site of OWF for Bandar Deylam. Then A2, A4 are the best alternatives and finally alternative A1 is the worst site. Also, a sensitivity analysis is performed to investigate the robustness of the outcomes of decision making by changing the priorities of the criteria. The results indicate the robustness of this method when the experts’ opinions subject to the criteria change. The evaluation criteria and this methodology could be applied to other coastal cities for promoting the progress of ICM towards the goal of sustainability.

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