Incorporating the perception and attitudes of key stakeholders into conservation management can contribute to biodiversity conservation and has the potential to resolve human-wildlife conflicts. To this end, there is scope to enhance conservation outcomes by improving the capture and analysis of stakeholders perceptions and translating these into the management decision making process. Here, an ecosystem services approach (i.e. the benefits people obtain from nature) is used to assess the societal benefits derived from a specialized and rare behavior exhibited by bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus gephyreus) that cooperatively forage with artisanal fishers in Laguna, southern Brazil. From interviews, we identified ecosystem services based on the perception of artisanal fishers who take part in this interaction. The perceived benefits of cooperative fishing with dolphins, identified from these interviews, were grouped into eight ecosystem services assigned into cultural (n = 7) and provisioning (n = 1) related services. The results showed that experienced fishers were more likely to identify multiple and diverse ecosystem services, while fishers exposed to tourists tended to focus on tourism and recreation leisure as benefits from fishing with dolphins. Our findings show that the human component is a key element in this system and support the proposal that future conservation decisions and management plans of Laguna's bottlenose dolphins should involve artisanal fishers to be more effective. Our findings indicate that an ecosystem services approach could help decision-makers to better integrate social, economic and cultural aspects of human-wildlife interactions into conservation and management strategies for wildlife in a wider context.
This study investigates where coastal green infrastructure (CGI) can provide highest potential coastal protection benefits, while considering its vulnerability to environmental conditions. CGI provides important coastal protection benefits, however, influenced by climate change and human activities, these benefits are highly threatened. This vulnerability of CGI was not considered in the previous studies. This study provides a framework and an indicator-based methodology to fill this gap. A review of the literature was conducted to identify the parameters used to measure CGI's coastal protection benefits and vulnerability. The content of the references that contained specific parameters related to CGI's role in coastal protection and vulnerability were systematically reviewed. A total of 11 indicators were identified and organized into two indices: CGI coastal protection index, and CGI vulnerability index. The indices were synthesized using a 2 × 2 matrix to identify areas with the highest coastal protection potential. Analysis was conducted for the 74 most populated coastal communities in the Salish Sea region. Results indicate that the British Columbia communities in the Salish Sea region have high potential to utilize CGI for coastal protection. CGI in 59% of the communities in British Columbia and 36% in Washington State can provide high coastal protection benefits, even when vulnerability is accounted for.
The ecological management effectiveness (EME) of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is the degree to which MPAs reach their ecological goals. The significant variability of EME among MPAs has been partly explained by MPA design, management and implementation features (e.g. surface area, enforcement, age of protection). We investigated EME variability by employing, for the first time, Organization Science. Eight Mediterranean MPAs were taken into account as case studies to explore the relationships between EME and MPA features, such as: 1) organizational size (i.e. the ratio between the number of full-time employees and the total MPA surface area), 2) management performance (i.e. the level of effort exerted to enhance and sustain the MPA management, including enforcement), 3) total surface area, and 4) MPA age. The log-response ratios of fish biomass and density in protected vs unprotected (control) areas were used as a proxy of EME. Management performance, organizational size and, to a lesser extent, MPA age were positively correlated with the log-response ratio of fish biomass, whereas total surface area did not display a significant role. None of the four features considered was significantly correlated with the log-response ratio of fish density. Based on our findings, we argue that the employment of Organization Science in the management effectiveness assessment can assist MPA managers to reach MPAs goals more effectively, with a more efficient use of available resources.
The protection of marine biodiversity is considered a global priority, as exemplified in the Convention on Biological Diversity's Aichi targets and in Sustainable Development Goal 14. Marine protected areas (MPAs) are considered to be effective conservation and fisheries management tools that generate various ecological and social-economic benefits. MPAs come in all types and sizes, and are managed following different principles, users' needs, and preferences. Madagascar's unique marine biodiversity is currently protected under a range of MPA regimes that emerged comparatively recently, long after the terrestrial protected areas. This study describes the historical outline of the MPA development process in Madagascar, and proposes inputs for the future management of MPAs. A policy arrangement approach to structure an iterative Delphi survey was used to analyse how discourse, actors, rules and resources have shaped MPA development in Madagascar. The findings suggest that international initiatives and funding have played a key role in the early days of MPA emergence, while currently co-management between governmental and non-governmental actors shows mixed results regarding conservation effectiveness. Challenges include a better coordination of efforts among various stakeholders, granting a large responsibility to local communities, e.g. in the successful locally managed marine areas (LMMAs), and integrating customary law into the set of regulations for marine conservation and sustainable management in Madagascar.
In global ocean simulations, forward (non-data-assimilative) tide models generally feature large sea-surface-height errors near Hudson Strait in the North Atlantic Ocean with respect to altimetry-constrained tidal solutions. These errors may be associated with tidal resonances that are not well resolved by the complex coastal-shelf bathymetry in low-resolution simulations. An online two-way nesting framework has been implemented to improve global surface tides in the HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM). In this framework, a high-resolution child domain, covering Hudson Strait, is coupled with a relatively low-resolution parent domain for computational efficiency. Data such as barotropic pressure and velocity are exchanged between the child and parent domains with the external coupler OASIS3-MCT. The developed nesting framework is validated with semi-idealized basin-scale model simulations. The M2 sea-surface heights show very good accuracy in the one-way and two-way nesting simulations in Hudson Strait, where large tidal elevations are observed. In addition, the mass and tidal energy flux are not adversely impacted at the nesting boundaries in the semi-idealized simulations. In a next step, the nesting framework is applied to a realistic global tide simulation. In this simulation, the resolution of the child domain (1/75°) is three times as fine as that of the parent domain (1/25°). The M2 sea-surface-height root-mean-square errors with tide gauge data and the altimetry-constrained global FES2014 and TPXO9-atlas tidal solutions are evaluated for the nesting and no-nesting solutions. The better resolved coastal bathymetry and the finer grid in the child domain improve the local tides in Hudson Strait and Bay, and the back-effect of the coastal tides induces an improvement of the barotropic tides in the open ocean of the Atlantic.
A commonly held view is that co-management enhances the success of marine protected areas (MPA). The idea of co-management is to create a permanent forum in which a common strategy is initiated, negotiated and exercised in a collaborative way. It explicitly emphasizes the inclusion of wide ranging stakeholder interests and the attempt to balance those. The related literature maintains that the ideal state of co-management is a situation where government institutions and non-governmental stakeholders are equal partners. This study focuses on a co-management arrangement for a Philippine MPA from a critical perspective and systematically analyzes the formally granted rights of local fishers in co-management, and their actual influence on the management. The results show that, despite the legal stipulation of an equitable co-management arrangement including governmental and non-governmental stakeholders, the local fishers’ influence remains low. This discrepancy is mainly caused by i) flaws in the procedural rules of the co-management arrangement, ii) existing power imbalances emanating from local socio-political realities, and iii) drawbacks in non-governmental stakeholder organization and representation. Points of leverage are identified through which the legal design of co-management can be improved for helping to provide the grounds for equitable marine resource management in practice.
Timing of reproduction may be of crucial importance for fitness, particularly in environments that vary seasonally in food availability or predation risk. However, for animals with spatially separated feeding and breeding habitats, optimal reproductive timing may differ between parents and their offspring, leading to parent-offspring conflict. We assume that offspring have highest survival and fitness if they are spawned around a fixed date, and use state-dependent life-history theory to explore whether variation in conditions affecting only parents (food availability and survival) may influence optimal timing of reproduction. We apply the model to Pacific herring (Clupea palasii) in Puget Sound, USA, where 20 subpopulations spawn at different times of the year. Our model suggests that relatively small differences in adult food availability can lead to altered prioritization in the trade-off between maternal fecundity and what from the offspring’s perspective is the best time to be spawned. Our model also shows that observed among-population variability in reproductive timing may result from adults using different feeding grounds with divergent food dynamics, or from individual variation in condition caused by stochasticity at a single feeding ground. Identifying drivers of reproductive timing may improve predictions of recruitment, population dynamics, and responses to environmental change.
Decades of billfish tagging studies have been hindered by below-par conventional tag recovery rates and high rates of premature satellite pop-up tag shedding. With hopes of obtaining long-term tracking data, we performed the world’s first archival tagging study on an istiophorid, surgically implanting 99 archival tags into the peritoneal cavity of striped marlin (Kajikia audax) off the coast of Baja California, Mexico. Marlin were also tagged externally with a conventional tag before release. Ten archival tags (10.1%) were recovered with days at liberty (DAL) ranging from 400 to 2795. Nine recoveries were from Mexican waters, whereas one marlin was recaptured off Ecuador. In total, 100% of the light stalks on the archival tags failed, with nine failing within the first 3 months of deployment; because the light data are used to estimate the geographic position of the tagged fish, tracking data were compromised. The absence of conventional tags on all recaptured marlin indicates that studies of marlin using conventional tags have been hindered by tag shedding rather than tagging-associated mortality or underreporting. Our high recapture rate and long DAL suggest istiophorid science could be greatly advanced by archival tagging if new tag designs or methods can eliminate tag failure.
This study aims to examine the composition and the spatial/tidal changes of marine debris caught with a fishing net during a fishery survey in two different areas of a sand beach at the northeast of Brazil. Samples were conducted weekly, at each moon phase, for two months using a beach seine net in the surf zone. Abundance of debris were estimate by swept area (items·km−1 and g·km−1). A total of 12 categories of debris were recorded. Plastic – both hard and soft types - was the most abundant debris category. Most fragments were classified as macro (20–100 mm) and mega debris (>100 mm). Significant differences (P < 0.05) between areas and tides were registered for plastic, metal and cloth. Spring tides were responsible for the high rates of marine debris found in the surf zone of Miramar beach. The results demonstrate the occurrence and abundance of litter in this fish nursery area and reinforce the need and importance of environmental protection and educational programs.
Plastic debris is a major global threat to marine ecosystems and species. However, our knowledge of this issue may be incomplete due to a lack of a standardized method for quantifying ingested ultrafine particles (1 μm – 1 mm) in wildlife. This study provides the first quantification of ultrafine plastic in seabirds using chemical and biological digestion treatments to extract plastic items from seabird gizzards. The alkaline agent, potassium hydroxide, outperformed the enzyme corolase, based on cost and efficiency (e.g., digestion time). Ultrafine plastics were observed in 7.0% of Flesh-footed Shearwater (Ardenna carneipes) gizzards collected from Lord Howe Island, Australia and accounted for 3.6% of all plastic items recovered (13 out of 359 items). Existing methods for extracting ingested plastic from seabirds do not account for ultrafine particles, therefore our results indicate current seabird plastic loads, and the associated physical and biological impacts, are underestimated.