The Ecosystem-based Fisheries Management (EBFM) paradigm has been incorporated in the new Chilean Fisheries Act, requiring Chile to transition into EBFM. Chile is a major fishing nation and has substantial industrial and artisanal fleets that provide significant social and economic benefits to Chile and its coastal communities. With Chile facing global challenges, such as food security and climate change, transitioning to EBFM is seen as a mechanism for improved management of Chile's marine resources. Using Chile as an example to review coherence, strategies and implication of policies for transitioning toward EBFM. In Chile, the implementation of EBFM, in general, appears to be making progress and should be able to be applied for all fisheries (and aquaculture). Despite positive outcomes, there are weaknesses that can harm the successful implementation of EBFM. Changes such as management councils and scientific committees structured around ecosystems rather than single species, the engagement of broader types of stakeholders, and the use of appropriate reference points are necessary for a strong implementation of EBFM. Incorporating these modifications under the current management framework would enable Chile to improve its implementation of EBFM and prepare its fisheries to address future management challenges under scenarios of change.
European policy-makers are increasingly aware of the ecological and socioeconomic relevance of marine recreational fisheries(MRF), but there are still gaps in the information needed to achieve sustainable management. How is the current management of European MRF performed? Is it promoting the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF)? The management of MRF in Europe was reviewed by analyzing how different European regulations align with the EAF in different geographic and administrative scales. Text mining tools were used to identify key concepts and analyze the text of legal regulations on MRF in the European Union (EU), Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom (UK). Also, the Ecosystem Fisheries Legal Assessment (EFLA) framework was used to assess the alignment of the regulations with the EAF. The number of regulations about MRF in Spain and Portugal is higher than in the UK and the EU, probably because the relative higher importance of regional regulations in Spain and Portugal, and the limitations imposed to recreational fishers in marine protected areas (MPAs). The lack of specific regulations on MRF in the EU, and open-access in the UK for recreational fishers, except for Atlantic salmon Salmo salar, explain their lower number of regulations. The EFLA framework showed that the European public policies on MRF follow the EAF principles. Enough attention is payed to ecological components, but socio-economic sustainability could be improved. However, policy efficiency could be lower than expected because potential institutional misfits derived from the eventual confluence of different spatial scales.
Across the Pacific Islands, declining natural resources have contributed to a cultural renaissance of customary ridge-to-reef management approaches. These indigenous and community conserved areas (ICCA) are initiated by local communities to protect natural resources through customary laws. To support these efforts, managers require scientific tools that track land-sea linkages and evaluate how local management scenarios affect coral reefs. We established an interdisciplinary process and modeling framework to inform ridge-to-reef management in Hawai‘i, given increasing coastal development, fishing and climate change related impacts. We applied our framework at opposite ends of the Hawaiian Archipelago, in Hā‘ena and Ka‘ūpūlehu, where local communities have implemented customary resource management approaches through government-recognized processes to perpetuate traditional food systems and cultural practices. We identified coral reefs vulnerable to groundwater-based nutrients and linked them to areas on land, where appropriate management of human-derived nutrients could prevent increases in benthic algae and promote coral recovery from bleaching. Our results demonstrate the value of interdisciplinary collaborations among researchers, managers and community members. We discuss the lessons learned from our culturally-grounded, inclusive research process and highlight critical aspects of collaboration necessary to develop tools that can inform placed-based solutions to local environmental threats and foster coral reef resilience.
Mineral extraction from the seabed has experienced a recent surge of interest from both the mining industry and marine scientists. While improved methods of geological investigation have enabled the mapping of new seafloor mineral reserves, the ecological impacts of mining in both the deep sea and the shallow seabed are poorly known. This paper presents a synthesis of the empirical evidence from experimental seabed mining and parallel industries to infer the effects of seabed mineral extraction on marine ecosystems, focusing on polymetallic nodules and ferromanganese concretions. We use a problem-structuring framework to evaluate causal relationships between pressures caused by nodule extraction and the associated changes in marine ecosystems. To ensure that the rationale behind impact assessments is clear, we propose that future impact assessments use pressure-specific expert elicitation. We further discuss integrating ecosystem services in the impact assessments and the implications of current methods for environmental risk assessments.
Links between corruption and illegal practices within fisheries are recognised in existing literature but little reference has been made to how these interconnected practices affect the performance and legitimacy of fisheries comanagement. Research in the three countries bordering Lake Victoria, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, found that corruption is systemic and that members of all stakeholder groups – fishers, fisheries officers, police and the judiciary – are implicated. It was confirmed that corruption is strongly linked to illegalities and that corruption in this context should be viewed as a collective action problem, with fishers reluctant to invest in legal gears and methods when they perceive illegalities and corruption to be prevalent. It was also found that corrupt practices linked to illegalities discourages local level fisheries management structures – the Beach Management Units – from enforcing regulations and contributes to a lack of trust between fishers and government. Linked corruption and illegal fisheries practices were therefore found to be undermining the performance and legitimacy of co-management. This article concludes that whilst co-management offers opportunities for collusive corruption through collaborative arrangements, any management system will be susceptible to the harmful effects of corruption where it is systemic and is not formally recognised or appropriately addressed. Greater official recognition of the links between corruption and illegalities, and a range of appropriate actions taken to this collective action problem, is essential if co-management is to have a chance of success.
Women play an important role within small-scale fishing communities in the South Pacific, contributing to food security and income. Yet, decisions on the management of coastal fisheries are mostly taken by male community leaders. Given that women and men interact with marine spaces differently, there is a need to further analyze women’s and men’s differentiated roles and participation in marine resource use and governance. This study does so by drawing on qualitative data from a case study in Solomon Islands. In the fishing community studied here, women had crucial and differentiated effects on social, economic, and ecological sustainability. Our study reveals that women provided significant social and economic benefits to their families and the broader community. At the same time, we find that some women were inclined towards breaking local marine management rules (i.e., potentially lowering positive ecological effects of the conservation efforts) because (1) women had been little involved in the decision-making with regard to local marine management; (2) women had partly lost trust in the local male leadership due to a perceived misuse of money; and (3) women were more constrained in their fishing activities because a marine closure was located where mainly women used to fish. Our study highlights the importance of paying attention to women’s needs and actions in the governance of the fishery—including both the positive as well as potentially negative consequences thereof. Furthermore, our study shows that, besides gender, other socio-cultural variables (i.e., religious denomination and place of birth) shaped a person’s role and interactions in the fishery. It thus adds weight to intersectional approaches to gender.
Ecosystem‐based fisheries management (EBFM) has been considered to be a solution to the multifarious problems of fisheries management in areas within and beyond national jurisdictions. However, the literature has introduced different versions of EBFM and there are controversies among commentators concerning the legal status of EBFM in international fisheries law. This article seeks to examine the legal status of EBFM. It also explores the essential features that an EBFM model should incorporate to function effectively. The article argues that the implementation of EBFM has been gaining ground as a legal obligation in international fisheries law.
A major problem associated with marine spatial planning (MSP) involves the difficult and time-consuming practice of creating a scenario that encompasses complex datasets in near real time via the use of a simple spatial analysis method. Moreover, decision-makers require a reliable, user-friendly system to quickly and accessibly acquire accurate spatial planning information. The development of national spatial data infrastructure (NSDI), which links the spatial data of a nation’s many diverse institutions, may pave the way for the development of a tool that can better utilize spatial datasets, such as a spatial decision support system (SDSS). Thus, this project aimed to develop an SDSS for MSP and to evaluate the feasibility of its integration within the NSDI framework. The seaweed culture was selected as an example due to its economic and technological acceptance by traditional fishers. Additionally, a multi-criteria analysis was used to develop the tool. Furthermore, a feasibility evaluation of its implementation within the NSDI framework was conducted based on the Delphi method. The results of the assessment indicated that the SDSS can be incorporated into the NSDI framework by addressing the policy issue – one map policy, updating custodians’ decree and data, and improve the standard and protocol.
Many recent studies have focused their attention on the physiological stress experienced by marine organisms in measuring ecotoxicological responses. Here we suggest a new approach for investigating the effects of an anthropogenic pollutant on Life-History (LH) traits of marine organisms, to provide stakeholders and policy makers an effective tool to evaluate the best environmental recovery strategies and plans. A Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB), coupled with a biophysical model was used to predict the effects of a six-month oil spill on Mytilus galloprovincialis' LH traits and to test two potential recovery strategies in the central Mediterranean Sea. Oxygen consumption rates were used to check for increasing energetic maintenance costs [ṗM] respectively in oil-polluted system treatments (∼76.2%) and polluted systems with physical (nano-bubbles ∼32.6%) or chemical treatment (dispersant ∼18.4%). Our model outputs highlighted a higher growth reduction of intertidal compared to subtidal populations and contextually an effect on the reproductive output and on the maturation time of this latter. The models also enabled an estimation of the timing of the disturbance affecting both the intertidal and subtidal populations' growth and reproduction. Interestingly, results led to the identification of the chemical dispersant as being the best remediation technique in contexts of oil spill contamination.
Faced with the overexploitation reality of many of the world fish stocks and climate change, understanding the relationships between catches, fishing strategies and environmental conditions becomes crucial. In this context, this study aimed to describe the correlations between operational and environmental variables in landings of the main fish categories by pair trawl fisheries off the coast of southeastern Brazil. Catch composition varied greatly between 2003 and 2011. This change was mainly related to the shift of the fishing area to greater latitudes and variations in sea surface temperature and chlorophyll concentrations. The physical characteristics of the vessels and fishing gear did not change during the study period. Environmental variables most likely influence stock catchability, primarily by changing their distribution pattern, indicating a shift in ocean characteristics that will influence this dynamic. This draws attention to the need to maintain monitoring programs to apply adequate management measures for the protection of fish populations, consequently ensuring fishing activities in the area.