Determining the extent of repeatable differences in the behavior of animals and the factors that influence behavioral expression is important for understanding individual fitness and population processes, thereby aiding in species conservation. However, little is known about the causes of variation in the repeatability of behavioral differences among species because rarely have comparative studies been undertaken to examine the repeatability of behavioral differences among individuals within their natural ecological settings. Using two species of endemic subtropical anemonefishes, Amphiprion mccullochi and A. latezonatus at Lord Howe and North Solitary Islands, Australia, we conducted an in situ comparative analysis of personality traits, examining the repeatability of boldness, sociability and aggression as well as the potential role of environmental and social factors on behavioral expression. For A. mccullochi, only boldness and aggression were highly repeatable and these behaviors formed a behavioral syndrome. For A. latezonatus, none of the three behaviors were repeatable due to low-inter-individual variation in behavior. We suggest that the harsher and more variable environmental and social conditions experienced by A. latezonatus have resulted in reduced repeatability in behavior, in contrast to A. mccullochi which typically inhabits a more stable lagoonal reef environment. Additionally, group size and size rank, rather than nearest-neighbor distance and anemone size, influenced the expression of these behaviors in both species, suggesting that behavioral variation was more sensitive to social than environmental factors. Overall, differences in repeatability between these closely related species likely reflect adaptations to contrasting environmental and social conditions, although alternative explanations must be considered. The differences in behavioral consistency between these two endemic anemonefishes could lead to disparity in their resilience to environmental or social change in the future.
On August 2–3, 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a workshop titled Preparing for a Rapid Response to Major Offshore Oil Spills: A Workshop on Research Needs to Protect the Health and Well-Being of Communities. Its objectives were to explore research needs and other opportunities for improving public health preparedness, response, and protection related to oil spills; consider how to work within and how to complement the existing oil spill response framework to improve the protection of community health and well-being; to inform discussions about how the Gulf Research Program and other divisions of the National Academies can support these efforts; and to foster connections among public health, oil spill practitioners, disaster research communities, and leaders from communities affected by oil spills. This publication briefly summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.
This article presents an innovative collaborative approach, which aims to reinforce and institutionalize the field of the political anthropology of the sea combined with the natural sciences. It begins by relating the evolution in coastal areas, from integrated coastal zone management to the notion of adaptive co-management. It then sets out what contribution the social sciences of politics may bring to our understanding of the government/governance of the sea in terms of sustainable development, starting with political science and then highlighting the importance of a deep anthropological and socio-historical approach. Finally, it gives us a glimpse of the benefits of combining the human and social sciences with the natural sciences to produce a critical analysis of the categories of thought and action associated with the systemic management of the environment, especially the coastal areas.
Coralligenous habitats are an important ‘hot spot’ of species diversity in the Mediterranean and grant a variety of valuable ecosystem services. Currently, these areas are under threat due to human activities such as unsustainable and destructive fishing practices, environmental phenomena, and other significant pressures related to global environmental change. The coralligenous habitats are also endangered by practices that result in the presence of abandoned, lost, or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) at sea, a worldwide phenomenon only recently stigmatized whose impacts on marine habitats and coralligenous areas are serious.
The aim of this paper is to investigate the economic value of restoration strategies promoted to safeguard and improve biodiversity in these coralligenous habitats through a contingent valuation survey administered to a sample of 4000 Italians. Households’ willingness to pay (WTP) for biodiversity restoration and conservation ranges between €10.30 and €64.02 depending on the assumptions underlying the different models. The main positive and significant determinants of WTP are a previous knowledge or familiarity with coralligenous habitats and biodiversity issues, income, education, environmental attitudes, and the knowledge that indiscriminate fishing may be dangerous for biodiversity in a coralligenous habitat.
This article has an empirical focus on energy transition using the emerging offshore renewable energy (ORE) industries in the context of global governance. First, it explores and assesses pertinent discussions on sustainability and transformation within energy systems and the marine space. Then, it studies potential policy linkages within ORE governance which, although relying on clearly defined objectives and targets (e.g. climate change mitigation, increased share of renewable energy, energy security), could translate into polycentricity and institutional complexity/fragmentation. Previous research has focused on the technical, legal and policy challenges of deploying ORE technologies, however there is not any systematic review of who are its global governors. Certainly, the importance of the International Renewable Energy Agency and other renewable energy intergovernmental institutions has not been overlooked. Nevertheless, there are other international organisations whose mandate extends beyond renewable energy and several non-state actors who claim a role in ORE governance. This article puts forward a comprehensive analysis of the institutional architecture of global ORE governance with emphasis on the EU in order to shed a light on how ORE is being governed and who is involved. Results should advance knowledge on the scope, type and function of the institutions currently governing the exploration and exploitation of offshore renewable resources.
The Marine Protected Area Governance (MPAG) framework was developed to offer a structured, empirical approach for analysing governance and has been applied to marine protected areas (MPAs) around the world. This study sees the novel application of the MPAG framework to a small-scale mangrove crab fishery in northwest Madagascar. The country typifies developing country environmental governance challenges, due to its poverty, political instability and lack of state capacity, with bottom-up approaches often identified as a potential solution. In this context, small-scale fisheries (SSF) play a vital role in food security and poverty alleviation but are vulnerable to over-exploitation. The case study examines community-based management, including the role of three nascent fishing association managing portions of the fishery, within a mangrove ecosystem. Despite issues with underrepresentation of fishers in local resource management organizations that have partial responsibility for the mangrove habitats, some management measures and incentives have been applied, including the replantation of mangroves and fishery-wide gear restrictions. However, the analysis highlights market forces and migration are drivers with negative synergistic effects that cannot be controlled by bottom-up management. Incentives identified as needed or in need or strengthening require the support of external actors, the state, industry and or NGO(s). Thus, governance approaches should seek integration and move away from polarised solutions (top-down vs- bottom-up). As shown by other MPAG case studies, effective governance is dependent on achieving 'resilience through diversity', in terms of the diversity of both the actors and the incentives they are able to collectively employ.
Local point source pollution and/or nutrient enrichment has been a recognised source of stress to coral reef habitats for a number of years. It has been documented to lead to increased algal growth and an overall reduction in habitat resilience. These local sources, although potentially contributing to regional eutrophication phenomenon, generally appear to only have effects on a local level. Of greater concern are larger regionally influential sources of nutrients from heavily populated areas of South America and the Gulf states. Recently there has been growing evidence of previously understudied nutrient sources emanating with seasonal river plumes from the Amazon, and to a lesser extent the Orinoco. These plumes, laden with nutrient rich water accentuated by deforestation and agricultural run-off, have recently been suggested as the cause of large algal blooms that spread over vast areas in the Caribbean in 2009 and 2010. Other studies have also documented these plumes as the source of unprecedented amounts of Sargassum that washed ashore fouling local beaches in 2011 and again in 2014/2015. Although the long-term ecological effects of these events are unknown, and the short term picture is that excessive nutrients are metabolised and ultimately sink to the sea floor, it does highlight for the first time this significant contributor to regional eutrophication that up until now was largely attributed to local sources. Furthermore, water current patterns appear to be at least partially recirculating nutrient rich water back into the Caribbean, or at times inhibiting its departure from the region. It is theorised that this may be causing an overall nutrient build up, explaining why the river plumes now produce an observable bloom, or ‘green water event’, that would previously have mixed with ocean waters and dissipated without causing such an event. The secondary effects of these nutrients are largely detrimental in nature and create tertiary stresses, some of which may interact synergistically with other multiple stressors, and lead to increased habitat degradation and contribute to the ultimate loss of a once diverse ecosystem. Although management of regional nutrient sources will involve multi-national intervention, mitigation measures on a local level can be introduced by managers, even in small island nations with limited financial and logistical resources.
The disease Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HSMI) is causing substantial economic losses to the Norwegian salmon farming industry where the causative agent, piscine orthoreovirus (PRV), is reportedly spreading from farmed to wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) with as yet undetermined impacts. To assess if PRV infection is epidemiologically linked between wild and farmed salmon in the eastern Pacific, wild Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus sp.) from regions designated as high or low exposure to salmon farms and farmed Atlantic salmon reared in British Columbia (BC) were tested for PRV. The proportion of PRV infection in wild fish was related to exposure to salmon farms (p = 0.0097). PRV was detected in: 95% of farmed Atlantic salmon, 37–45% of wild salmon from regions highly exposed to salmon farms and 5% of wild salmon from the regions furthest from salmon farms. The proportion of PRV infection was also significantly lower (p = 0.0008) where wild salmon had been challenged by an arduous return migration into high-elevation spawning habitat. Inter-annual PRV infection declined in both wild and farmed salmon from 2012–2013 (p ≤ 0.002). These results suggest that PRV transfer is occurring from farmed Atlantic salmon to wild Pacific salmon, that infection in farmed salmon may be influencing infection rates in wild salmon, and that this may pose a risk of reduced fitness in wild salmon impacting their survival and reproduction.
Evaluating progress towards environmental sustainability goals can be difficult due to a lack of measurable benchmarks and insufficient or uncertain data. Marine settings are particularly challenging, as stakeholders and objectives tend to be less well defined and ecosystem components have high natural variability and are difficult to observe directly. Fuzzy logic expert systems are useful analytical frameworks to evaluate such systems, and we develop such a model here to formally evaluate progress towards sustainability targets based on diverse sets of indicators. Evaluation criteria include recent (since policy enactment) and historical (from earliest known state) change, type of indicators (state, benefit, pressure, response), time span and spatial scope, and the suitability of an indicator in reflecting progress toward a specific objective. A key aspect of the framework is that all assumptions are transparent and modifiable to fit different social and ecological contexts. We test the method by evaluating progress towards four Aichi Biodiversity Targets in Canadian oceans, including quantitative progress scores, information gaps, and the sensitivity of results to model and data assumptions. For Canadian marine systems, national protection plans and biodiversity awareness show good progress, but species and ecosystem states overall do not show strong improvement. Well-defined goals are vital for successful policy implementation, as ambiguity allows for conflicting potential indicators, which in natural systems increases uncertainty in progress evaluations. Importantly, our framework can be easily adapted to assess progress towards policy goals with different themes, globally or in specific regions.
Since its implementation as public law in the United States in 1972, the theoretical foundation of coastal management has moved forward in diverse directions. Given the time elapsed since the passage of this influential legislation and the growing number of disciplines and scientific papers published on the topic, this work employed bibliometric and social network analysis methods to quantitatively and qualitatively assess coastal management literature published during the period from 1975-2014. The results indicate that coastal management research has increased significantly over time. The emergence of the topic in scholarly work coincides with passage of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (US Public Law 92–583), and increases in productivity can often be tied to the passage of important legislation or the publication of major policy documents for action on coastal issues. Social network analyses (SNA) indicate loosely connected networks of researchers and institutions, with highly collaborative subgroups that have a significant impact on the field. SNA results also highlight the importance of federal governments and international organizations in driving research and encouraging integrated management. The results indicate that the discipline is evolving to focus more on cross-boundary management strategies, systems perspectives, and consideration of both marine and terrestrial environments.