2017-09-13

Fishing the Boundaries of Law: How the Exclusivity Clause in EU Fisheries Agreements was Undermined

Vulperhorst V, Malarky L, Cornax MJosé, Lowell B. Fishing the Boundaries of Law: How the Exclusivity Clause in EU Fisheries Agreements was Undermined. Oceana; 2017. Available from: http://usa.oceana.org/press-releases/eu-countries-authorized-their-vessels-fish-unlawfully-african-waters
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

The European Union (EU) recently agreed on a reform of the legal framework for its external fleet that fishes outside of EU waters. EU vessels fish in third-country waters under different arrangements; one such arrangement is the official EU-funded bilateral agreements—termed (Sustainable) Fisheries Partnership Agreements or (S)FPAs—that allow EU vessels to fish for surplus stocks in the coastal State’s waters. However, under the previous governing framework, there was a catch: EU vessels could also fish in foreign waters under private agreements without EU oversight or standards, while enjoying the same EU market access as EU vessels with official access agreements.

To show the importance of effective implementation of the future legal framework, especially regarding the lack of EU-wide control for private agreements, and as part of its efforts to bring transparency to commercial fishing, Oceana used Global Fishing Watch (http://globalfishingwatch.org/) to investigate the fishinga activity of EU vessels operating in the waters of the eight countries with “dormant” (S)FPAs. When there is an active (S)FPA, EU-flagged vessels are forbidden to fish under private agreements. This is also known as “the exclusivity clause” (see annex 1 for full definition). This exclusivity clause also applies if the fisheries agreement is considered “dormant” (i.e. there is no protocol, and therefore no fishing under the agreement is allowed, but the agreement itself is not denounced).

Benthic community structure on coral reefs exposed to intensive recreational snorkeling

Renfro B, Chadwick NE. Benthic community structure on coral reefs exposed to intensive recreational snorkeling Chen CAllen. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2017 ;12(9):e0184175. Available from: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0184175
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Chronic anthropogenic disturbances on coral reefs in the form of overfishing and pollution can shift benthic community composition away from stony corals and toward macroalgae. The use of reefs for recreational snorkeling and diving potentially can lead to similar ecological impacts if not well-managed, but impacts of snorkeling on benthic organisms are not well understood. We quantified variation in benthic community structure along a gradient of snorkeling frequency in an intensively-visited portion of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. We determined rates of snorkeling in 6 water sections and rates of beach visitation in 4 adjacent land sections at Akumal Bay, Mexico. For each in-water section at 1–3 m depth, we also assessed the percent cover of benthic organisms including taxa of stony corals and macroalgae. Rates of recreational snorkeling varied from low in the southwestern to very high (>1000 snorkelers d-1) in the northeastern sections of the bay. Stony coral cover decreased and macroalgal cover increased significantly with levels of snorkeling, while trends varied among taxa for other organisms such as gorgonians, fire corals, and sea urchins. We conclude that benthic organisms appear to exhibit taxon-specific variation with levels of recreational snorkeling. To prevent further degradation, we recommend limitation of snorkeler visitation rates, coupled with visitor education and in-water guides to reduce reef-damaging behaviors by snorkelers in high-use areas. These types of management activities, integrated with reef monitoring and subsequent readjustment of management, have the potential to reverse the damage potentially inflicted on coral reefs by the expansion of reef-based recreational snorkeling.

Naturalness as a basis for incorporating marine biodiversity into life cycle assessment of seafood

Farmery AK, Jennings S, Gardner C, Watson RA, Green BS. Naturalness as a basis for incorporating marine biodiversity into life cycle assessment of seafood. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment [Internet]. 2017 ;22(10):1571 - 1587. Available from: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11367-017-1274-2
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $39.95
Type: Journal Article

Purpose

Methods to quantify biodiversity impacts through life cycle assessment (LCA) are evolving for both land- and marine-based production systems, although typically independently from each other. An indicator for terrestrial food production systems that may be suitable to assess marine biodiversity, and is applicable across all food production systems, is a measure of hemeroby or distance from the natural state. We explore the possibility of adapting this approach to marine systems to assess the impact of fishing on seawater column and seafloor systems.

Methods

The terrestrial hemeroby concept is adapted here for marine ecosystems. Two commercial fishery case studies are used to trial the effectiveness of hemeroby in measuring the influence exerted by fishing practices on marine biodiversity. Available inventory data are used to score areas to a hemeroby class, following a semi-quantitative scoring matrix and a seven-point scale, to determine how far the seafloor and seawater column are from their natural state. Assessment can progress to the impact assessment stage involving characterisation of the hemeroby score, to determine the Naturalness Degradation Potential (NDP) for use in calculating the Naturalness Degradation Indicator (NDI). The method builds on well-established processes for assessing fisheries within the ecosystem-based fisheries management framework and is designed to enhance assessment of fishing impacts within LCA.

Results and discussion

Australian fisheries case studies were used to demonstrate the application of this method. The naturalness of these fisheries was scored to a hemeroby level using the scoring matrix. The seafloor of the Northern Prawn Fishery and the seawater column of the South Australian Sardine Fishery were both classified as partially close to nature. Impact assessment was carried out following the process outlined for the NDI. The naturalness degradation results were highly sensitive to area calculation method and data. There was also variation in results when using annual or averaged data for catch. Results should therefore be interpreted in the context of these sensitivities.

Conclusions

Adaptation of the hemeroby concept to marine habitats may present an opportunity for more informed comparison of impacts between terrestrial and marine systems. Incorporating a measure of naturalness into assessments of food production can be useful to better understand the cost, in terms of transforming ecosystems from natural to more artificial, of meeting growing food demand. Biodiversity is a broad concept not easily captured through one indicator, and this method can complement emerging biotic LCA indicators, to provide a suite of indicators capable of capturing the full impact of fishing on marine biodiversity.

Facing the future: Conservation as a precursor for building coastal territorial cohesion and resilience

Goussard J-J, Ducrocq M. Facing the future: Conservation as a precursor for building coastal territorial cohesion and resilience. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems [Internet]. 2017 ;27:151 - 161. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/aqc.2823/abstract
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article
  1. On a global scale, most of the coastal zones in the world are undergoing rapid and accelerating changes. This coastal syndrome combines two major trends: one linked to the growth of coastal populations, habitat, transport and industrial infrastructures (assets); the other linked to the influence of climate change and its effects in terms of sea-level rise, increased frequency of extreme weather events, acidification and increase in ocean surface temperature, both affecting the health of coastal ecosystems. This situation is also reflected in the increase in coastal engineering solutions, which have significant impacts on coastal hydrodynamics and natural ecosystems.
  2. This extremely dynamic context calls for an evolution in conservation and spatial planning strategies in order to better anticipate changes that may affect not only the sustainability of both the distribution and health of natural ecosystems, but also the relevance of conservation efforts. Marine and coastal protected areas help preserve ecological services, and reduce the risks faced by coastal communities. Therefore, it can be argued that the effectiveness of these conservation units will depend on the ability, (i) to take into account their territorial context, and also (ii) to base the management decisions on a prospective and sufficiently anticipated (future-oriented) approach. MPA management must be proactive to cope with such rapid changes.
  3. The Nexus approach, promoted by the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management - coastal ecosystem group (CEM/CEG), places marine and coastal spatial planning as a key integrative element linking conservation, adaptation to climate change and coastal risk reduction, and as a part of no-regret adaptation strategies. This paper highlights the main factors that characterize current coastal dynamics, and then briefly presents three future-oriented pilot operations, implemented in Western Africa at different scales. These operations illustrate how MPAs must become structuring elements for the organization and development of coastal territories if they are to contribute to the resilience of coastal systems and to ensure their own long-term sustainability.

Lightning Enhancement Over Major Oceanic Shipping Lanes

Thornton JA, Virts KS, Holzworth RH, Mitchell TP. Lightning Enhancement Over Major Oceanic Shipping Lanes. Geophysical Research Letters [Internet]. 2017 . Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2017GL074982/abstract
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Using twelve years of high resolution global lightning stroke data from the World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN), we show that lightning density is enhanced by up to a factor of two directly over shipping lanes in the northeastern Indian Ocean and the South China Sea as compared to adjacent areas with similar climatological characteristics. The lightning enhancement is most prominent during the convectively active season, November-April for the Indian Ocean and April-December in the South China Sea, and has been detectable from at least 2005 to the present. We hypothesize that emissions of aerosol particles and precursors by maritime vessel traffic lead to a microphysical enhancement of convection and storm electrification in the region of the shipping lanes. These persistent localized anthropogenic perturbations to otherwise clean regions are a unique opportunity to more thoroughly understand the sensitivity of maritime deep convection and lightning to aerosol particles.

The potential to integrate blue carbon into MPA design and management

Howard J, Mcleod E, Thomas S, Eastwood E, Fox M, Wenzel L, Pidgeon E. The potential to integrate blue carbon into MPA design and management. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems [Internet]. 2017 ;27:100 - 115. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/aqc.2809/abstract
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article
  1. Oceans and coasts provide a wide array of services to humans, including climate regulation, food security, and livelihoods. Managing them well is vital to human well-being as well as the maintenance of marine biodiversity and ocean-dependent economies.
  2. Carbon sequestration and storage is increasingly recognized as a valuable service provided by coastal vegetation. Carbon sequestered and stored by mangrove forests, tidal marshes, and seagrass meadows is known as ‘blue’ carbon. These habitats capture and store carbon within the plants themselves and in the sediment below them. When the habitats are destroyed, much of their carbon is released back to the atmosphere and ocean contributing to global climate change.
  3. Therefore, blue carbon ecosystem protection is becoming a greater priority in marine management and is an area of interest to scientists, policy makers, coastal communities, and the private sector including those that contribute to ecosystem degradation but also those that are looking to reduce their carbon footprint. A range of policy and management responses aim to reduce coastal ecosystem loss, including the establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs).
  4. This paper explores how MPA design, location, and management could be used to protect and increase carbon sequestration and ensure integrity of carbon storage through conservation and restoration activities. While additional research is necessary to validate the proposed recommendations, this paper describes much needed first steps and highlights the potential for blue carbon finance mechanisms to provide sustainable funding for MPAs.

Pathways for implementation of blue carbon initiatives

Herr D, von Unger M, Laffoley D, McGivern A. Pathways for implementation of blue carbon initiatives. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems [Internet]. 2017 ;27:116 - 129. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/aqc.2793/abstract
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article
  1. Coastal blue carbon activities are being implemented by a variety of countries, using different approaches. Existing regulatory regimes, including on coastal protection, are still very useful tools to protect and conserve mangroves, seagrasses and saltmarshes, and preserve their carbon value and role. These approaches suffer, however, from ‘traditional’ issues such as lack of enforcement, human and financial constraints as well as unclear or misguiding government mandates.
  2. Successes are witnessed using a community-based carbon project approach, ensuring high stakeholder participation via direct or indirect incentive programmes. Comprehensive coastal zone management approaches seem very promising, but success overall, and regarding carbon specifically, are yet to be reported.
  3. The Paris Agreement has introduced new tools which could serve as means to trigger more and better coastal adaptation and mitigation efforts. Their implementation details are, however, still under negotiation and their impacts can only be expected in a few years.

Identifying a network of priority areas for conservation in the Arctic seas: Practical lessons from Russia

Solovyev B, Spiridonov V, Onufrenya I, Belikov S, Chernova N, Dobrynin D, Gavrilo M, Glazov D, Krasnov Y, Mukharamova S, et al. Identifying a network of priority areas for conservation in the Arctic seas: Practical lessons from Russia. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems [Internet]. 2017 ;27:30 - 51. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/aqc.2806/abstract
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Innovative financing for the High Seas

Thiele T, Gerber LR. Innovative financing for the High Seas. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems [Internet]. 2017 ;27:89 - 99. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/aqc.2794/abstract
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article
  1. Innovative financing, that is the development of new funding sources and mechanisms including from the private sector, can be used to deliver promising ocean conservation opportunities. Capital markets are increasingly accessible for sustainable development and climate finance, and are gaining traction for biodiversity conservation. Such financing concepts could also be applied in the High Seas. Drawing on natural capital economics as a way to ascribe economic value, specific marine investment opportunities can be identified and made accessible to new financiers and funding processes.
  2. International waters cover nearly half of the planet's surface, yet governance deficiencies have meant that marine habitats and ecosystems are rapidly deteriorating. Improved governance through the proposed Marine Biodiversity Implementing Agreement discussed under the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular ocean goal 14, will require additional financial support for High Seas solutions, including for the effective management of marine reserves.
  3. For projects to be attractive to funders they need to be clearly structured and deliver quantifiable benefits. A comprehensive ocean data infrastructure could be put in place to support large-scale marine conservation monitoring cost-effectively. This infrastructure could serve also other ocean users, thereby defraying the cost and could be delivered through public–private partnerships. Development finance and climate finance provide examples for relevant pathways for such integrated approaches.
  4. Existing efforts to find additional funding for ocean solutions can be enhanced through the range of specific innovative ocean finance mechanisms that are identified. These offer the prospect of long-term support.
  5. This review draws on progress made at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Honolulu, Hawai'i in September 2016 and builds on the momentum created by the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Nickel and ocean warming affect scleractinian coral growth

Biscéré T, Lorrain A, Rodolfo-Metalpa R, Gilbert A, Wright A, Devissi C, Peignon C, Farman R, Duvieilbourg E, Payri C, et al. Nickel and ocean warming affect scleractinian coral growth. Marine Pollution Bulletin [Internet]. 2017 ;120(1-2):250 - 258. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X17304113
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $39.95
Type: Journal Article

The sensitivity of corals and their Symbiodinium to warming has been extensively documented; however very few studies considered that anthropogenic inputs such as metal pollution have already an impact on many fringing reefs. Thus, today, nickel releases are common in coastal ecosystems. In this study, two major reef-building species Acropora muricata and Pocillopora damicornis were exposed in situ to ambient and moderate nickel concentrations on a short-term period (1 h) using benthic chamber experiments. Simultaneously, we tested in laboratory conditions the combined effects of a chronic exposure (8 weeks) to moderate nickel concentrations and ocean warming on A. muricata. The in situ experiment highlighted that nickel enrichment, at ambient temperature, stimulated by 27 to 47% the calcification rates of both species but not their photosyntheticperformances. In contrast, an exposure to higher nickel concentration, in combination with elevated temperature simulated in aquaria, severely depressed by 30% the growth of A. muricata.

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