Notwithstanding their potential benefit as a non-carbon-emitting energy source, the number and the size of marine renewable energy (MRE) farms increases conflict uses, creating a kind of private occupation of the sea space. The multipurpose marine cadastre (MMC) seems to be an efficient tool to determine a better way to allocate exclusive rights to ocean energy developers, in accordance with other users rights. The United-States are the pioneers with their marinecadastre.gov website, which has been set clearly to promote offshore renewable energy, and many others countries are studying this concept, as a complement to marine spatial planning.
Seafood provides the most important source of protein on the planet, and millions in coastal communities depend on this sector for nutrition, livelihoods, and cultural values. Despite seafood's important role, in many locations the contributions of fisheries and aquaculture to local food security have not been accurately assessed. An overview is provided of current and future contributions of seafood to food security in Hawai‘i through metrics using a supply chain approach from hook-to-plate, encompassing production and consumption. Hawai‘i's local seafood production is nearly 21,000 metric tons per year, with ~90% sourced from pelagic fisheries, and 6% from reef fisheries. Seafood is a bright spot in the overall Hawai‘i food system, providing a relatively higher degree of self-sufficiency than other food sources. Annual local production of seafood in Hawai‘i is estimated at 20,424,243 ± 1,958,488 kg (μ ± SD). Accounting for imports and exports, the total locally available seafood (32,450,820 kg ± 1,571,905 kg) accounts for about 134 ± 6.5 million meals available every year. Wild-capture fisheries (pelagic and nearshore) in Hawai‘i are modeled to be able to meet 45% or less of the growing seafood demand in Hawai‘i by 2040, compared to an estimated 55% in 2015. A projected 20% increase in total seafood demand by 2040 would exceed current average annual local production by up to 37%. Improvement in sustainable fisheries, aquaculture, and innovations in value and supply chains are critical if Hawai‘i is to improve its seafood security and the food provisioning functions of ocean and coastal environments.
For the past two decades, the need to shield strategic maritime interests, to tackle criminality and terrorism at or from the sea and to conserve valuable marine resources has been recognized at the highest political level. Acknowledging and accounting for the interplay between climate change, the vulnerability of coastal populations and the occurrence of maritime criminality should be part of any ocean governance process. Still, given the complex interactions between climate change and socio-economic components of the marine realm, it has become urgent to establish a solid methodological framework, which could lead to sound and effective decisions. We propose that any such framework should not be built from scratch. The adaptation of well tested, existing uncertainty-management tools, such as Cumulative Effect Assessments, could serve as a solid basis to account for the magnitude and directionality of the dependencies between the impacts of climate change and the occurrence of maritime criminality, offering spatial explicit risk evaluations. Multi-Criteria Decision Making could then be employed to better and faster inform decision-makers. These mechanisms could provide a framework for comparison of alternative mitigation and adaptation actions and are essential in assessing responses to tackle maritime crime in the context of climate change.
Marine managers and conservationists increasingly emphasize the importance of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) as a key tool for sustaining ocean ecosystems. The designation of MPAs often meets with resistance from stakeholders for reasons that include loss of access, unclear benefits, and misunderstanding of the nature of the intervention. In this chapter, we use case studies from two small MPAs on the east coast of Canada to illustrate the issues surrounding planning, implementing, and demonstrating their efficacy.
In 2015, an online survey was conducted to investigate public attitudes and perceptions toward key cetacean (whale, dolphin, and porpoise) conservation and “hot topic” issues such as legislative protection and whaling (n = 858). The vast majority of the participants in this study indicated their permanent residence was the United States (n = 577) or India (n = 251). Perceptions of participants on the conservation priority of cetacean species did not match with the factual IUCN status, where most participants assumed that the larger and more charismatic whales (blue whale, 24.01%; humpback whale, 22.14%; and killer whale, 23.43%) were more endangered or more important to conserve than the small cetacean species such as the Vaquita or Hector's dolphin. Additionally, 39.74% of participants indicated that they thought bottlenose dolphin was the most important to conserve. More members of the public highlighted non-existent (fake) species (e.g., pygmy short-fined whale, lump-headed dolphin, and majestic spotted dolphin) as being of conservation concern than certain species of actual, genuine concern. The majority of participants considered dolphins and whales to be “under protected” or only “slightly protected” (29.95%; 41.96%, respectively) and expressed that marine mammal conservation laws and policies were “very important” or “important” (47.43 and 37.88%, respectively). In addition, 86.83% of participants expressed opposition to the hunting of dolphins and whales (57.93% “strongly opposed” and 28.90% “opposed”); however, only 47.44% of participants were aware that several countries are still involved in whaling. A lack of awareness of the conservation status of whales and dolphins and continued whaling activities suggests that greater outreach to the public about the conservation status of whale and dolphin species is needed.
Marine spatial planning (MSP) is designed partly to implement the ecosystem-based approach to the management of marine resources worldwide. This article focuses on the principles of good governance to which MSP is tied: principles of transparency and participation. With increasing efforts to analyse the impact of MSP, it is timely to explore its commitment to these principles of good governance. Guided by governance theory this paper explores the opportunities that exist in Scotland's MSP system for communities to voice their opinions in decision-making processes. Whilst authorities in Scotland are doing a good job of transferring the National Marine Plan to local planning regions, there are some issues relating to planning partnerships in these regions and the activities of the Crown Estate. Further analysis is offered by considering terrestrial planning in Scotland, where communities often feel excluded and are challenging the status quo in planning processes through alternative, informal governance arrangements. The roles and rights of communities have taken centre stage in land reform debates, which has not been the case in MSP. By looking outward (and inland) it might be possible to design a more adaptable and inclusive MSP system.
Coastal zone is of great importance in the provision of various valuable ecosystem services. However, it is also sensitive and vulnerable to environmental changes due to high human populations and interactions between the land and ocean. Major threats of pollution from over enrichment of nutrients, increasing metals and persistent organic pollutants (POPs), and climate change have led to severe ecological degradation in the coastal zone, while few studies have focused on the combined impacts of pollution and climate change on the coastal ecosystems at the global level. A global overview of nutrients, metals, POPs, and major environmental changes due to climate change and their impacts on coastal ecosystems was carried out in this study. Coasts of the Eastern Atlantic and Western Pacific were hotspots of concentrations of several pollutants, and mostly affected by warming climate. These hotspots shared the same features of large populations, heavy industry and (semi-) closed sea. Estimation of coastal ocean capital, integrated management of land-ocean interaction in the coastal zone, enhancement of integrated global observation system, and coastal ecosystem-based management can play effective roles in promoting sustainable management of coastal marine ecosystems. Enhanced management from the perspective of mitigating pollution and climate change was proposed.
The French initial assessment of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) highlighted the lack of reliable data concerning offshore areas. During the planning of the monitoring programmes, the scientists therefore proposed to partially cover this gap by using existing fisheries research vessel surveys deployed for the purposes of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). This paper describes ways of improving the effectiveness of these surveys and making them better suited to delivering the information needed for the MSFD. The process took two years and became operational at the beginning of the year 2016. Testing phases from October 2013 to August 2015 had to be organized to fit within the ongoing fisheries tasks without significantly increasing the workload in terms of both time and human resources. Six fisheries research surveys henceforth collect new data, with or without additional sampling techniques. Specific examples are given with litter and hydrological data which will be used to assess the environmental status of French marine waters. The paper also identifies certain limitations regarding this approach. This French experiment enabled more efficient and effective use of current data collection efforts, while optimising vessel time and implementing an ecosystem approach in collecting data for fisheries management.
Regime shifts from one ecological state to another are often portrayed as sudden, dramatic, and difficult to reverse given the extent of substantial reorganizations in system structure, functions and feedbacks. However, most assessments of regime shifts in terrestrial and aquatic systems have emphasized their physical and/or biological dimensions. Our objective is to illustrate how equivalent concern with ecological and social processes can enhance our ability to understand and navigate ‘social-ecological’ regime shifts. We draw on two coastal lagoon systems experiencing rapid change to provide an empirical foundation for an initial analytical framework. Key issues we address include: 1) distinguishing underlying versus proximate drivers of rapid change (ecological and social); 2) considering appropriate scales of intervention; 3) considering the appropriate unit(s) for understanding regime shifts; 4) reflecting on social equity and the distribution of impacts (and benefits) of regime shifts; 5) assessing the influence of social power in the framing of and response to regime shifts; and 6) clarifying the role of management and governance in the context of rapid social-ecological change. Effective responses to social-ecological regime shifts will require a transition towards interdisciplinary research, inclusion of integrative and scale-specific suite of attributes for assessment, and interventions in management and governance approaches that are more multi-level, collaborative and adaptive.
Effective management of coral reefs requires strategies tailored to cope with cumulative disturbances from human activities. In Brazil, where coral reefs are a priority for conservation, intensifying threats from local and global stressors are of paramount concern to management agencies. Using a cumulative impact assessment approach, our goal was to inform management actions for coral reefs in Brazil by assessing their exposure to multiple stressors (fishing, land-based activities, coastal development, mining, aquaculture, shipping, and global warming). We calculated an index of the risk to cumulative impacts: (i) assuming uniform sensitivity of coral reefs to stressors; and (ii) using impact weights to reflect varying tolerance levels of coral reefs to each stressor. We also predicted the index in both the presence and absence of global warming. We found that 16% and 37% of coral reefs had high to very high risk of cumulative impacts, without and with information on sensitivity respectively, and 42% of reefs had low risk to cumulative impacts from both local and global stressors. Our outputs are the first comprehensive spatial dataset of cumulative impact on coral reefs in Brazil, and show that areas requiring attention mostly corresponded to those closer to population centres. We demonstrate how the relationships between risks from local and global stressors can be used to derive strategic management actions.