2015-04-22

Incorporating Community into Regional Ocean Planning

Battista N, Uchenna RClark. Incorporating Community into Regional Ocean Planning. Rockland, ME: Island Institute; 2015. Available from: http://www.islandinstitute.org/resource/incorporating-community-regional-ocean-planning
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

New England’s working waterfront communities have strong economic and cultural ties to the ocean. The economic health of these communities relies on having a healthy ocean and coastal ecosystem. Changes in the marine environment and how humans are using it impact these communities. 

The existence of many fishing communities can be tied to the ability to fish in a particular area. The loss of that ability can mean the decline or disappearance of an entire community. The specific places in the ocean that these communities rely on are determined in part by the size of their boats, the species being sought, fishing pressure from other communities, and government regulations. Many fishermen are only able to fish in a relatively small part of the region. If it is not carefully undertaken, ocean planning has the potential to cause tangible economic and cultural impacts to these communities, particularly the smaller and more remote communities. The potential for these impacts can create fear and suspicion about ocean planning among those most impacted within these communities. 

Ensuring that the plan includes concrete ways of addressing these fears will help create a more cooperative and collaborative process. A plan that helps ensure the existence of these communities and gives them more control over their own future is more likely to last. Fortunately, in New England, there is still time to include a few key data layers and provisions in the regional ocean plan that will support these communities and help make better informed decisions about changing ocean uses.

Fish Assemblages of Mediterranean Marine Caves

Bussotti S, Di Franco A, Francour P, Guidetti P. Fish Assemblages of Mediterranean Marine Caves. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2015 ;10(4):e0122632. Available from: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0122632
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Fish assemblages associated with 14 marine caves and adjacent external rocky reefs were investigated at four Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) along the coasts of Italy. Within the caves sampling was carried out in different sub-habitats: walls, ceilings, bottoms and ends of caves. On the whole, 38 species were recorded inside the 14 caves investigated. Eighteen species were exclusively found inside the caves: they were mainly represented by speleophilic (i.e. species preferentially or exclusively inhabiting caves) gobids (e.g. Didogobius splechtnai) and nocturnal species (e.g. Conger conger). Forty-one species were censused outside, 20 of which were shared with cave habitats. Apogon imberbis was the most common fish found in all 14 caves investigated, followed by Thorogobius ephippiatus (recorded in 13 caves), and Diplodus vulgaris and Scorpaena notata (both censused in 12 caves). Distinct fish assemblages were found between external rocky reefs and the different cave sub-habitats. New data on the distribution of some speleophilic gobids were collected, showing the existence of a pool of species shared by marine caves on a large scale (i.e. hundreds of km). Considering the uniqueness of cave fishes (18 exclusive species and different assemblage structures), the inclusion of marine caves among the habitats routinely investigated for fish biodiversity monitoring could facilitate the achievement of more comprehensive inventories. Due to their contribution to local species diversity and the shelter they provide to species valuable for conservation, marine caves should be prioritized for their inclusion not only within future MPAs through the Mediterranean Sea, but also into larger management spatial planning.

Myths that Continue to Impede Progress in Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management

Patrick WS, Link JS. Myths that Continue to Impede Progress in Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management. Fisheries [Internet]. 2015 ;40(4):155 - 160. Available from: http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/Assets/ecosystems/ebfm/Patrick_and_Link_2015.pdf
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Ecosystem-based fisheries management has been perceived as something desirable but pragmatically unachievable due to several impediments identified earlier during its implementation phase. Over the years, many of these impediments have been resolved but not well communicated to stakeholders, managers, scientists, and policymakers. As a result, several past impediments to implementing ecosystem-based fisheries management have taken on a mythical status. Here we identify six common myths, address why they in fact no longer impede ecosystem-based fisheries management, and propose solutions for moving forward. We assert that these myths need not continue to exist and that improved approaches for fisheries are indeed feasible.

The concept of the Portuguese National Ecological Reserve: constraints and impossibilities in the Azores Archipelago

Vergílio MHorta de S, Calado HMaria Greg. The concept of the Portuguese National Ecological Reserve: constraints and impossibilities in the Azores Archipelago. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management [Internet]. 2015 ;58(6):1015 - 1033. Available from: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09640568.2014.907134
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The biophysical features of small islands (SI) distinguish them from other territories; isolation, small size and several anthropogenic pressures reduce the resilience of ecosystems and increase their vulnerability to global changes. Many SI have a shortage of infrastructures, institutions and technical/financial resources that hinder planning and require different integrated solutions. In Portugal, the National Ecological Reserve (NER) is legally binding for spatial planning instruments. It aims to defend natural values and areas of ecological value, or sensibility, or susceptible to natural hazards. However, the criteria for the design of NER are strictly set for mainland territory, not taking into account specific features of small islands. A case study of the Azores Archipelago is used to demonstrate that spatial planning instruments should be adapted to island contexts. Such adaptation will increase the effectiveness of their implementation in relation to the protection of natural resources, stability of biophysical structures and prevention of natural hazards. Observing the main differences between mainland and the Azores Archipelago it is possible to define a methodological transposition of the NER aims and goals into an island context. This approach is an answer to the constraints in effective adaptation of spatial planning instruments for islands.

Opportunities and Strategies to Incorporate Ecosystem Services Knowledge and Decision Support Tools into Planning and Decision Making in Hawai‘i

Bremer LL, Delevaux JMS, Leary JJK, Cox LJ, Oleson KLL. Opportunities and Strategies to Incorporate Ecosystem Services Knowledge and Decision Support Tools into Planning and Decision Making in Hawai‘i. Environmental Management [Internet]. 2015 ;55(4):884 - 899. Available from: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00267-014-0426-4
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Incorporating ecosystem services into management decisions is a promising means to link conservation and human well-being. Nonetheless, planning and management in Hawai‘i, a state with highly valued natural capital, has yet to broadly utilize an ecosystem service approach. We conducted a stakeholder assessment, based on semi-structured interviews, with terrestrial (n = 26) and marine (n = 27) natural resource managers across the State of Hawai‘i to understand the current use of ecosystem services (ES) knowledge and decision support tools and whether, how, and under what contexts, further development would potentially be useful. We found that ES knowledge and tools customized to Hawai‘i could be useful for communication and outreach, justifying management decisions, and spatial planning. Greater incorporation of this approach is clearly desired and has a strong potential to contribute to more sustainable decision making and planning in Hawai‘i and other oceanic island systems. However, the unique biophysical, socio-economic, and cultural context of Hawai‘i, and other island systems, will require substantial adaptation of existing ES tools. Based on our findings, we identified four key opportunities for the use of ES knowledge and tools in Hawai‘i: (1) linking native forest protection to watershed health; (2) supporting sustainable agriculture; (3) facilitating ridge-to-reef management; and (4) supporting statewide terrestrial and marine spatial planning. Given the interest expressed by natural resource managers, we envision broad adoption of ES knowledge and decision support tools if knowledge and tools are tailored to the Hawaiian context and coupled with adequate outreach and training.

Mapping and characterizing ecosystem services of social–ecological production landscapes: case study of Noto, Japan

Hashimoto S, Nakamura S, Saito O, Kohsaka R, Kamiyama C, Tomiyoshi M, Kishioka T. Mapping and characterizing ecosystem services of social–ecological production landscapes: case study of Noto, Japan. Sustainability Science [Internet]. 2015 ;10(2):257 - 273. Available from: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11625-014-0285-1
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Improving our understanding about ecosystem production, function, and services is central to balancing both conservation and development goals while enhancing human well-being. This study builds a scientific basis for conservation and development planning by exploring the types, abundance, and spatial variation in ecosystem services in the Noto Peninsula of Japan, a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems. Although the Noto Peninsula is recognized as an important social–ecological production landscape, limited quantitative information about ecosystem services is available. This study evaluates and maps ecosystem services and explores their spatial variation using original data obtained through questionnaire surveys and secondary data from literature, statistics, and geographic information systems. The hilly and mountainous geography of the Noto Peninsula and its remoteness from large consumption markets work as constraints for agricultural provisioning services by limiting water resources, labor productivity, and choice of economically viable crops. However, the rich forests, and marine and coastal resources provide various economic opportunities for forest-, fishery-, and livestock-related provisioning services. Geographical conditions such as land use and cover type also play an important role in differentiating the spatial variation of regulating services, a variation that starkly differs to distribution patterns in other areas. Unlike provisioning and regulating services, natural and artificial landscape components including traditional and cultural constructions such as shrines and temples work as an anchor to help people appreciate intangible and tangible cultural services, linking different services to specific locales across the Noto Peninsula.

Ecosystem services and poverty alleviation: A review of the empirical links

Suich H, Howe C, Mace G. Ecosystem services and poverty alleviation: A review of the empirical links. Ecosystem Services [Internet]. 2015 ;12:137 - 147. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212041615000236
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

We present the results of a review of the empirical evidence and of the state of knowledge regarding the mechanisms linking ecosystem services and poverty alleviation. The review was undertaken to determine the state of current knowledge about the scale and nature of these linkages, and focus the future research agenda. Research has, to date, focussed largely on provisioning services, and on just two poverty dimensions concerning income and assets, and food security and nutrition. While many papers describe links between ecosystem services and dimensions of poverty, few provide sufficient context to enable a thorough understanding of the poverty alleviation impacts (positive or negative), if any. These papers contribute to the accumulating evidence that ecosystem services support well-being, and perhaps prevent people becoming poorer, but provide little evidence of their contribution to poverty alleviation, let alone poverty elimination. A considerable gap remains in understanding the links between ecosystem services and poverty, how change occurs, and how pathways out of poverty may be achieved based on the sustainable utilisation of ecosystem services.

Expectations and Outcomes of Reserve Network Performance following Re-zoning of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

Emslie MJ, Logan M, Williamson DH, Ayling AM, M. MacNeil A, Ceccarelli D, Cheal AJ, Evans RD, Johns KA, Jonker MJ, et al. Expectations and Outcomes of Reserve Network Performance following Re-zoning of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Current Biology [Internet]. 2015 ;25(8):983 - 992. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982215001372
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Networks of no-take marine reserves (NTMRs) are widely advocated for preserving exploited fish stocks and for conserving biodiversity. We used underwater visual surveys of coral reef fish and benthic communities to quantify the short- to medium-term (5 to 30 years) ecological effects of the establishment of NTMRs within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP). The density, mean length, and biomass of principal fishery species, coral trout (Plectropomus spp., Variola spp.), were consistently greater in NTMRs than on fished reefs over both the short and medium term. However, there were no clear or consistent differences in the structure of fish or benthic assemblages, non-target fish density, fish species richness, or coral cover between NTMR and fished reefs. There was no indication that the displacement and concentration of fishing effort reduced coral trout populations on fished reefs. A severe tropical cyclone impacted many survey reefs during the study, causing similar declines in coral cover and fish density on both NTMR and fished reefs. However, coral trout biomass declined only on fished reefs after the cyclone. The GBRMP is performing as expected in terms of the protection of fished stocks and biodiversity for a developed country in which fishing is not excessive and targets a narrow range of species. NTMRs cannot protect coral reefs directly from acute regional-scale disturbance but, after a strong tropical cyclone, impacted NTMR reefs supported higher biomass of key fishery-targeted species and so should provide valuable sources of larvae to enhance population recovery and long-term persistence.

Evaluation and optimisation of underwater visual census monitoring for quantifying change in rocky-reef fish abundance

Jones T, Davidson RJ, Gardner JPA, Bell JJ. Evaluation and optimisation of underwater visual census monitoring for quantifying change in rocky-reef fish abundance. Biological Conservation [Internet]. 2015 ;186:326 - 336. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320715001445
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Monitoring is essential for effective conservation and management but the ability of monitoring to deliver accurate and precise measures of changes in abundance is often not evaluated, particularly in marine studies. Here we use long-term datasets from three New Zealand marine reserves to evaluate the capacity of underwater visual census monitoring to quantify trends in abundance for four reef-fish species. Simulations parameterized by the observed data were used to evaluate multiple monitoring configurations based on statistical power and trend-estimate precision and accuracy. These results were then used to identify optimal monitoring designs that maximized power, precision or accuracy within budgetary constraints. Power and trend-estimate accuracy and precision were highest for abundant species and lowest for species exhibiting low and/or highly variable abundances. For the least abundant species, trend estimates were less accurate and precise for negative compared to positive trends, highlighting a reduced ability to identify ongoing declines in depleted populations. Optimal monitoring configurations varied amongst species, locations and whether assessments were based on power, precision or accuracy. In general, higher within-site replication was required for the least abundant species, whereas greater site replication was required for more spatially heterogeneous species/locations. In addition, we found that for some species the optimal monitoring approach changes through time, highlighting the need for an adaptive approach to monitoring. Finally, we recommend that future monitoring evaluations focus on assessing precision and accuracy, rather than power, as this places greater emphasis on the assessment of biological rather than statistical significance.

Seabird–wind farm interactions during the breeding season vary within and between years: A case study of lesser black-backed gull Larus fuscus in the UK

Thaxter CB, Ross-Smith VH, Bouten W, Clark NA, Conway GJ, Rehfisch MM, Burton NHK. Seabird–wind farm interactions during the breeding season vary within and between years: A case study of lesser black-backed gull Larus fuscus in the U. Biological Conservation [Internet]. 2015 ;186:347 - 358. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S000632071500138X
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The marine environment is increasingly pressured from human activities, such as offshore renewable energy developments. Offshore wind farms may pose direct risks to seabirds at protected breeding sites. However, changes in food availability may influence foraging behaviour and habitat use during the breeding season or between years. Consequently, seabird–wind farm interactions, and risks posed to populations, may vary over longer time scales, but this has seldom been quantified. We used GPS-telemetry to study the movements of 25 lesser black-backed gulls from the Alde–Ore Special Protection Area (SPA), UK between 2010 and 2012, while birds were associated with their breeding colony. Variation in movements away from the colony, offshore, and in operational, consented and proposed Offshore Wind Farm Areas (“OWFAs”) was investigated: (1) between years and (2) across the breeding season, addressing: (3) sex-specific, (4) individual and (5) diurnal/nocturnal differences. The extent of overlaps with OWFAs varied between years, being greatest in 2010 (7/10 birds showing connectivity; area overlap: 6.2 ± 7.1%; time budget overlap: 4.6 ± 6.2%) and least in 2012. Marine habitats close to the colony were used before breeding. Birds spent little time offshore as incubation commenced, but offshore usage again peaked during the early chick-rearing period, corresponding with use of OWFAs. Individuals differed in their seasonal interactions with OWFAs between years, and males used OWFAs significantly more than females later in the breeding season. This study demonstrates the importance of tracking animals over longer periods, without which impact assessments may incorrectly estimate the magnitude of risks posed to protected populations.

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