In July 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service announced a new policy interpretation for the Endangered Species Act. According to the Act, a species must be listed as threatened or endangered if it is determined to be threatened or endangered in a significant portion of its range. The 1973 law does not define “significant portion of its range,” leading to concerns that interpretations of “significant” by federal agencies and the courts could be inconsistent. The 2014 policy seeks to provide consistency by establishing that a portion of the range should be considered significant if the associated individuals’ “removal would cause the entire species to become endangered or threatened.” Here, we review quantitative techniques to assess whether a portion of a species’ range is significant according to the new guidance. Our assessments are based on the “3R” criteria – Redundancy (i.e., buffering from catastrophe), Resiliency (i.e., ability to withstand stochasticity), and Representation (i.e., ability to evolve) – that the Fish and Wildlife Service uses to determine if a species merits listing. We identify data needs for each quantitative technique and indicate which methods might be implemented given the data limitations typical of rare species. We also identify proxies that may be used with limited data. To assess potential data availability, we evaluate seven example species by assessing the data in their Species Status Assessments, which document all the information used during a listing decision. Our evaluation suggests that resiliency assessments will likely be most constrained by limited data. While we reviewed quantitative techniques for the US Endangered Species Act, other countries have legislation requiring identification of significant areas that could benefit from this research.
Coastal populations and tourism are growing worldwide. Consequently outdoor recreational activity is increasing and diversifying. While Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are valuable for mitigating anthropogenic impacts, recreational uses are rarely monitored and studied, resulting in a lack of knowledge on users' practices, motivation and impacts. Based on boat counts and interview data collected in New Caledonia, we i) explored factors affecting user practices and motivations, ii) constructed fine-scale pressure indices covering activities and associated behaviors, and iii) assessed the relationships between user practices and site selection. User practices were found to depend on protection status, boat type and user characteristics. Pressure indices were higher within no-take MPAs, except for fishing. We found significant relationships between user practices and settings characteristics. In the context of increasing recreational uses, these results highlight options for managing such uses through settings management without jeopardizing the social acceptance of MPAs or the attainment of conservation goals.
The ‘Study on International Best Practices for Cross-Border MSP’ has been designed to assist the European Commission (EC) and Member States in the implementation of the MSP Directive through the identification of good practices of MSP, with a particular focus on cross-border cooperation; and to elaborate recommendations that can support the promotion and exchange of MSP at the international level, relevant to the implementation of the EC International Ocean Governance Agenda.
Over the last few years, an increasing number of nations have begun to implement MSP at various scales, from local initiatives to transnational efforts, motivated by opportunities for new maritime industries, the reversal of negative environmental trends and the improved coordination of sectors among others. In Europe, the European Directive to establish a framework for MSP (the “MSP Directive”) is considered as a step forward in the adoption of MSP principles and good practices by EU Member States. This directive can support not only a more efficient sustainable development of marine and coastal resources, but also strengthen cross-border cooperation, and therefore improve ocean governance.
This study has centred its work on four main objectives or phases: Firstly, the review of existing guidance and MSP processes, and compilation of a detailed inventory of MSP implementation outside the EU, the Study’s ‘Global MSP Inventory’, 1 which provides a description of MSP processes and identifies common practice, including approaches to cross-border cooperation. Secondly, an in-depth comparative analysis of four case studies of MSP implementation, 2 including literature review, site visits and key informant interviews, that identifies lessons learned in MSP, and good practices in support of cross-border cooperation. Thirdly, the formulation of recommendations on the international exchange of MSP, including recommendations on the application of MSP in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ). Fourthly, the presentation of preliminary findings at the 2nd International MSP Conference (March 2017, Paris), partly coordinated and supported by the Study team.
This report presents the final publication of the Study and presents findings associated with these four objectives.