Shark depredation, where a shark consumes a hooked fish before it can be retrieved to the fishing vessel, can occur in recreational fisheries. This may cause higher mortality rates in target fish species, injuries to sharks from fishing gear and negatively impact the recreational fishing experience. This study quantified spatial variation and frequency of shark depredation in a recreational fishery in the Ningaloo Marine Park and Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia, by surveying 248 fishing boats at west coast boat ramps and 155 boats at Exmouth Gulf boat ramps from July 2015 to May 2016. Shark depredation occurred on 38.7% of fishing trips from west coast boat ramps and 41.9% of trips from Exmouth Gulf boat ramps. The mean (±95% CI) shark depredation rate per trip was 13.7 ± 3.3% for demersal fishing (n = 185) and 11.8 ± 6.8% for trolling (n = 63) for west coast boat ramps, compared to 11.5 ± 2.8% (n = 128) and 7.2 ± 8.4% (n = 27) for Exmouth Gulf ramps. Depredation rates varied spatially, with higher depredation in areas which received greater fishing pressure. A novel application of Tweedie generalised additive mixed models indicated that depth, the number of other boats fishing within 5 km and survey period influenced depredation rates for fishing trips from west coast boat ramps. For the Exmouth Gulf ramps, fishing pressure and decreasing latitude positively affected the number of fish depredated. These results highlight the important influence of spatial variation in fishing pressure. The occurrence of higher depredation rates in areas which receive greater fishing pressure may indicate the formation of a behavioural association in the depredating sharks. This study is the first quantitative assessment of shark depredation in an Australian recreational fishery, and provides important insights that can assist recreational fishers and managers in reducing depredation
Ocean acidification (OA), the gradual decline in ocean pH and [ ] caused by rising levels of atmospheric CO2, poses a significant threat to coral reef ecosystems, depressing rates of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) production, and enhancing rates of bioerosion and dissolution. As ocean pH and [ ] decline globally, there is increasing emphasis on managing local stressors that can exacerbate the vulnerability of coral reefs to the effects of OA. We show that sustained, nutrient rich, lower pH submarine groundwater discharging onto nearshore coral reefs off west Maui lowers the pH of seawater and exposes corals to nitrate concentrations 50 times higher than ambient. Rates of coral calcification are substantially decreased, and rates of bioerosion are orders of magnitude higher than those observed in coral cores collected in the Pacific under equivalent low pH conditions but living in oligotrophic waters. Heavier coral nitrogen isotope (δ15N) values pinpoint not only site-specific eutrophication, but also a sewage nitrogen source enriched in 15N. Our results show that eutrophication of reef seawater by land-based sources of pollution can magnify the effects of OA through nutrient driven-bioerosion. These conditions could contribute to the collapse of coastal coral reef ecosystems sooner than current projections predict based only on ocean acidification.
Plain Language Summary
We show that sustained, nutrient rich, lower pH submarine groundwater discharging onto nearshore coral reefs off west Maui lowers the pH of seawater and exposes corals to nitrate concentrations 50 times higher than ambient. Rates of coral calcification are substantially decreased, and rates of bioerosion are orders of magnitude higher than those observed in coral cores collected in the Pacific. With many of Maui's coral reefs in significant decline reducing any stressors at a local scale is important to sustaining future coral reef ecosystems and planning for resiliency.
Tidal response to sea-level rise (SLR) varies in different coastal systems. To provide a generic pattern of tidal response to SLR, a systematic investigation was conducted using numerical techniques applied to idealized and realistic estuaries, with model results cross-checked by analytical solutions. Our results reveal that the response of tidal range to SLR is nonlinear, spatially heterogeneous, and highly affected by the length and bathymetry of an estuary and weakly affected by the estuary convergence with an exception of strong convergence. Contrary to the common assumption that SLR leads to a weakened bottom friction, resulting in increased tidal amplitude, we demonstrate that tidal range is likely to decrease in short estuaries and in estuaries with a narrow channel and large low-lying shallow areas.
To minimize the impacts of climate change on human wellbeing, governments, development agencies, and civil society organizations have made substantial investments in improving people’s capacity to adapt to change. Yet to date, these investments have tended to focus on a very narrow understanding of adaptive capacity. Here, we propose an approach to build adaptive capacity across five domains: the assets that people can draw upon in times of need; the flexibility to change strategies; the ability to organize and act collectively; learning to recognize and respond to change; and the agency to determine whether to change or not.
Plastics and spilled oil pose a critical threat to marine life and human health. As a result of wind forcing and wave motions, theoretical and laboratory studies predict very strong velocity variation with depth over the upper few centimeters of the water column, an observational blind spot in the real ocean. Here we present the first-ever ocean measurements of the current vector profile defined to within 1 cm of the free surface. In our illustrative example, the current magnitude averaged over the upper 1 cm of the ocean is shown to be nearly four times the average over the upper 10 m, even for mild forcing. Our findings indicate that this shear will rapidly separate pieces of marine debris which vary in size or buoyancy, making consideration of these dynamics essential to an improved understanding of the pathways along which marine plastics and oil are transported.
Coastal oceans are increasingly eutrophic, warm and acidic through the addition of anthropogenic nitrogen and carbon, respectively. Among the most sensitive taxa to these changes are scleractinian corals, which engineer the most biodiverse ecosystems on Earth. Corals’ sensitivity is a consequence of their evolutionary investment in symbiosis with the dinoflagellate alga, Symbiodinium. Together, the coral holobiont has dominated oligotrophic tropical marine habitats. However, warming destabilizes this association and reduces coral fitness. It has been theorized that, when reefs become warm and eutrophic, mutualistic Symbiodinium sequester more resources for their own growth, thus parasitizing their hosts of nutrition. Here, we tested the hypothesis that sub-bleaching temperature and excess nitrogen promotes symbiont parasitism by measuring respiration (costs) and the assimilation and translocation of both carbon (energy) and nitrogen (growth; both benefits) within Orbicella faveolata hosting one of two Symbiodinium phylotypes using a dual stable isotope tracer incubation at ambient (26 °C) and sub-bleaching (31 °C) temperatures under elevated nitrate. Warming to 31 °C reduced holobiont net primary productivity (NPP) by 60% due to increased respiration which decreased host %carbon by 15% with no apparent cost to the symbiont. Concurrently, Symbiodinium carbon and nitrogen assimilation increased by 14 and 32%, respectively while increasing their mitotic index by 15%, whereas hosts did not gain a proportional increase in translocated photosynthates. We conclude that the disparity in benefits and costs to both partners is evidence of symbiont parasitism in the coral symbiosis and has major implications for the resilience of coral reefs under threat of global change.
A brief history of marine fisheries is presented which emphasizes the expansion of industrial fleets in the 20th century, and their inherent lack of sustainability. In contrast, small scale fisheries, i.e. artisanal, subsistence and recreational fisheries could become part of a blue economy, given that care is taken to reduce incentives for building up fishing effort. However, they usually receive little attention from policy makers, as reflected by the almost complete absence from the catch data submitted by member countries to the FAO. While industrial fisheries tend to lack the features that would make them compatible with a blue economy, small-scale fisheries possess most of these features, and thus may represent the future of sustainable fisheries.
The vast and complex coast of the Magellan Region of extreme southern Chile possesses a diversity of habitats including fjords, deep channels, and extensive kelp forests, with a unique mix of temperate and sub-Antarctic species. The Cape Horn and Diego Ramírez archipelagos are the most southerly locations in the Americas, with the southernmost kelp forests, and some of the least explored places on earth. The giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera plays a key role in structuring the ecological communities of the entire region, with the large brown seaweed Lessonia spp. forming dense understories. Kelp densities were highest around Cape Horn, followed by Diego Ramírez, and lowest within the fjord region of Francisco Coloane Marine Park (mean canopy densities of 2.51 kg m-2, 2.29 kg m-2, and 2.14 kg m-2, respectively). There were clear differences in marine communities among these sub-regions, with the lowest diversity in the fjords. We observed 18 species of nearshore fishes, with average species richness nearly 50% higher at Diego Ramírez compared with Cape Horn and Francisco Coloane. The number of individual fishes was nearly 10 times higher at Diego Ramírez and 4 times higher at Cape Horn compared with the fjords. Dropcam surveys of mesophotic depths (53–105 m) identified 30 taxa from 25 families, 15 classes, and 7 phyla. While much of these deeper habitats consisted of soft sediment and cobble, in rocky habitats, echinoderms, mollusks, bryozoans, and sponges were common. The southern hagfish (Myxine australis) was the most frequently encountered of the deep-sea fishes (50% of deployments), and while the Fueguian sprat (Sprattus fuegensis) was the most abundant fish species, its distribution was patchy. The Cape Horn and Diego Ramírez archipelagos represent some of the last intact sub-Antarctic ecosystems remaining and a recently declared large protected area will help ensure the health of this unique region.
Ocean acidification (OA) leads to significant changes in seawater carbon chemistry, broadly affects marine organisms, and considered as a global threat to the fitness of marine ecosystems. Due to the crucial role of copepods in marine food webs of transferring energy from primary producers to higher trophic levels, numerous studies have been conducted to examine the impacts of OA on biological traits of copepods such as growth and reproduction. Under OA stress, the copepods demonstrated species-specific and stage-dependent responses. Notably, different populations of the same copepod species demonstrated different sensitivities to the increased pCO2. In copepods, the deleterious effects of OA are also reinforced by other naturally occurring co-stressors (e.g., thermal stress, food deprivation, and metal pollution). Given that most OA stress studies have focused on the effects of short-term exposure (shorter than a single generation), experiments using adults might have underestimated the damaging effects of OA and the long-term multigenerational exposure to multiple stressors (e.g., increased pCO2 and food shortage) will be required. Particularly, omics-based technologies (e.g., genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics) will be helpful to better understand the underlying processes behind biological responses (e.g., survival, development, and offspring production) at the mechanistic level which will improve our predictions of the responses of copepods to climate change stressors including OA.
2017 was the warmest year on record for the global ocean according to an updated Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IAP, CAS; http://english. iap.cas.cn/) ocean analysis. The oceans in the upper 2000 m were 1.51 × 1022 J warmer than the second warmest year of 2015 and 19.19×1022 J above the 1981–2010 climatological reference period (Fig. 1). For comparison, total electricity generation in China in 2016 was 0.00216 × 1022 J, which is 699 times smaller than the increase in ocean heat in 2017.