2019-06-05

Lessons learned from offshore oil and gas incidents in the Arctic and other ice-prone seas

Necci A, Tarantola S, Vamanu B, Krausmann E, Ponte L. Lessons learned from offshore oil and gas incidents in the Arctic and other ice-prone seas. Ocean Engineering [Internet]. 2019 ;185:12 - 26. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0029801819302471
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Specific risks to offshore oil and gas operations manifest in the Arctic and other harsh environments. Such extreme operating conditions can disrupt the offshore infrastructure and cause major accidents, posing a great challenge to operators. A thorough investigation of past incidents helps to learn lessons to ensure that a recurrence of serious accidents affecting workers and the environment can be prevented.

The analysis of past incidents is divided into two parts. First, we offer a statistical analysis of offshore incidents triggered by natural events in the Arctic and in similar harsh environments. The analysis, organised by location, cause, and type of damage, failure mechanisms, and consequences, is based on data from the World Offshore Accident Database (WOAD). Second, we analyse a selection of accidents that occurred in the recent past in ice-prone seas, with particular attention to potential deficiencies in safety measures, design requirements and design methodologies, operations planning and component reliability.

Based on the analysis, important lessons were identified which stress the need for further efforts to ensure the safety of workers and of assets and to get all actors involved in offshore operations engaged towards achieving a safer future for the exploitation of oil and gas resources.

Organic matter derived from kelp supports a large proportion of biomass in temperate rocky reef fish communities: Implications for ecosystem‐based management

Udy J, Wing S, O'Connell‐Milne S, Kolodzey S, McMullin R, Durante L, Frew R. Organic matter derived from kelp supports a large proportion of biomass in temperate rocky reef fish communities: Implications for ecosystem‐based management. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems [Internet]. 2019 . Available from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/aqc.3101
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $42.00
Type: Journal Article
  1. The relative availability of alternative organic matter sources directly influences trophic interactions within ecological communities. As differences in trophic ecology can alter the productivity of communities, understanding spatial variability in trophic structure, and the drivers of variability, is vital for implementing effective ecosystem‐based management.
  2. Bulk stable isotope analysis (δ13C and δ15N) and mass balance calculations were used to examine patterns in the contribution of organic matter derived from macroalgae to food webs supporting temperate reef fish communities in two contrasting coastal waterways on the South Island of New Zealand: Fiordland and the Marlborough Sounds. Ten fish species common to both regions were compared, with up to 40% less organic matter from macroalgae supporting omnivorous species in the Marlborough Sounds. The largest differences in trophic position were found in those species exploited by fisheries.
  3. Furthermore, stratified surveys of abundance and species biomass combined with trophic position data were used to calculate regional differences in the contribution of macroalgae to whole fish communities in terms of density of biomass. In Fiordland, over 77% of the biomass of exploited reef fishes was supported by macroalgae, compared with 31% in the Marlborough Sounds.
  4. Surveys of macroalgal density and species composition in the two regions indicated that regional differences in trophodynamics may be explained by a lack of macroalgal inputs to the food web in the Marlborough Sounds.
  5. The findings demonstrate large regional differences in the incorporation of benthic and pelagic sources of organic matter to food webs supporting reef fish communities, highlighting the need for ecosystem‐based approaches to management to recognize spatial variability in primary production supporting coastal food webs.

Top predators induce habitat shifts in prey within marine protected areas

Bond ME, Valentin-Albanese J, Babcock EA, Heithaus MR, Grubbs RD, Cerrato R, Peterson BJ, Pikitch EK, Chapman DD. Top predators induce habitat shifts in prey within marine protected areas. Oecologia [Internet]. 2019 . Available from: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00442-019-04421-0
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $39.95
Type: Journal Article

Emerging conservation efforts for the world’s large predators may, if successful, restore natural predator–prey interactions. Marine reserves, where large predators tend to be relatively common, offer an experimental manipulation to investigate interactions between large-bodied marine predators and their prey. We hypothesized that southern stingrays—large, long-lived and highly interactive mesopredators—would invest in anti-predator behavior in marine reserves where predatory large sharks, the primary predator of stingrays, are more abundant. Specifically, we predicted southern stingrays in marine reserves would reduce the use of deep forereef habitats in the favor of shallow flats where the risk of shark encounters is lower. Baited remote underwater video was used to survey stingrays and reef sharks in flats and forereef habitats of two reserves and two fished sites in Belize. The interaction between “protection status” and “habitat” was the most important factor determining stingray presence. As predicted, southern stingrays spent more time interacting with baited remote underwater videos in the safer flats habitats, were more likely to have predator-inflicted damage inside reserves, and were less abundant in marine reserves but only in the forereef habitat. These results are consistent with a predation-sensitive habitat shift rather than southern stingray populations being reduced by direct predation from reef sharks. Our study provides evidence that roving predators can induce pronounced habitat shifts in prey that rely on crypsis and refuging, rather than active escape, in high-visibility, heterogeneous marine habitats. Given documented impacts of stingrays on benthic communities it is possible restoration of reef shark populations with reserves could induce reef ecosystem changes through behavior-mediated trophic cascades.

Quantifying biases in marine‐protected‐area placement relative to abatable threats

Kuempel CD, Jones KR, Watson JEM, Possingham HP. Quantifying biases in marine‐protected‐area placement relative to abatable threats. Conservation Biology [Internet]. 2019 . Available from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/cobi.13340
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are a critical defense against biodiversity loss in the world's oceans, but to realize near‐term conservation benefits, they must be established where major threats to biodiversity occur and can be mitigated. We quantified the degree to which MPA establishment has targeted stoppable threats (i.e., threats that can be abated through effectively managed MPAs alone) by combining spatially explicit marine biodiversity threat data in 2008 and 2013 and information on the location and potential of MPAs to halt threats. We calculated an impact metric to determine whether countries are protecting proportionally more high‐ or low‐threat ecoregions and compared observed values with random protected‐area allocation. We found that protection covered <2% of ecoregions in national waters with high levels of abatable threat in 2013, which is ∼59% less protection in high‐threat areas than if MPAs had been placed randomly. Relatively low‐threat ecoregions had 6.3 times more strict protection (International Union for Conservation of Nature categories I–II) than high‐threat ecoregions. Thirty‐one ecoregions had high levels of stoppable threat but very low protection, which presents opportunities for MPAs to yield more significant near‐term conservation benefits. The extent of the global MPA estate has increased, but the establishment of MPAs where they can reduce threats that are driving biodiversity loss is now urgently needed.

Modeling impacts of climate change on the potential habitat of an endangered Brazilian endemic coral: Discussion about deep sea refugia

de Oliveira UDiego Rodr, Gomes PBraga, Cordeiro RTarciso Si, de Lima GVanessa, Pérez CDaniel. Modeling impacts of climate change on the potential habitat of an endangered Brazilian endemic coral: Discussion about deep sea refugia Farooq S. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2019 ;14(5):e0211171. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6529159/?tool=pmcentrez&report=abstract
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Climate and environmental conditions are determinant for coral distribution and their very existence. When changes in such conditions occur, their effects on distribution can be predicted through species distribution models, anticipating suitable habitats for the subsistence of species. Mussismilia harttii is one of the most endangered Brazilian endemic reef-building corals, and in increasing risk of extinction. Herein, species distribution models were used to determine the present and future potential habitats for Mharttii. Estimations were made through the maximum entropy approach, predicting suitable habitat losses and gains by the end of the 21st century. For this purpose, species records published in the last 20 years and current and future environmental variables were correlated. The best models were chosen according to the Akaike information criterion (AIC) and evaluated through the partial ROC (AUCratio), a new approach which uses independent occurrence data. Both approaches showed that the models performed satisfactorily in predicting potential habitat areas for the species. Future projections were made using the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios for 2100, with different levels of greenhouse gas emission. Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) were used to model the Future Potential Habitat (FPH) of Mharttii in two different scenarios: stabilization of emissions (RCP 4.5) and increase of emissions (RCP 8.5). According to the results, shallow waters to the south of the study area concentrate most of the current potential habitats for the species. However, in future scenarios, there was a loss of suitable areas in relation to the Current Potential Habitat (RCP 4.5 46% and RCP 8.5 59%), whereas there is a southward shift of the suitable areas. In all scenarios of FPH, the temperature was the variable with the greatest contribution to the models (> 35%), followed by the current velocity (> 33%) and bathymetry (>29%). In contrast, there is an increase of deep (50–75 m) suitable areas FPH scenarios, mainly in the southern portion of its distribution, at Abrolhos Bank (off Espirito Santo State). These deeper sites might serve as refugia for the species in global warming scenarios. Coral communities at such depths would be less susceptible to impacts of climate change on temperature and salinity. However, the deep sea is not free from human impacts and measures to protect deeper ecosystems should be prioritized in environmental policies for Brazilian marine conservation, especially the Abrolhos Bank, due to its importance for Mharttii.

Evolution of global marine fishing fleets and the response of fished resources

Rousseau Y, Watson RA, Blanchard JL, Fulton EA. Evolution of global marine fishing fleets and the response of fished resources. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [Internet]. 2019 :201820344. Available from: http://www.pnas.org/lookup/doi/10.1073/pnas.1820344116
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $10.00
Type: Journal Article

Previous reconstructions of marine fishing fleets have aggregated data without regard to the artisanal and industrial sectors. Engine power has often been estimated from subsets of the developed world, leading to inflated results. We disaggregated data into three sectors, artisanal (unpowered/powered) and industrial, and reconstructed the evolution of the fleet and its fishing effort. We found that the global fishing fleet doubled between 1950 and 2015—from 1.7 to 3.7 million vessels. This has been driven by substantial expansion of the motorized fleet, particularly, of the powered-artisanal fleet. By 2015, 68% of the global fishing fleet was motorized. Although the global fleet is dominated by small powered vessels under 50 kW, they contribute only 27% of the global engine power, which has increased from 25 to 145 GW (combined powered-artisanal and industrial fleets). Alongside an expansion of the fleets, the effective catch per unit of effort (CPUE) has consistently decreased since 1950, showing the increasing pressure of fisheries on ocean resources. The effective CPUE of most countries in 2015 was a fifth of its 1950s value, which was compared with a global decline in abundance. There are signs, however, of stabilization and more effective management in recent years, with a reduction in fleet sizes in developed countries. Based on historical patterns and allowing for the slowing rate of expansion, 1 million more motorized vessels could join the global fleet by midcentury as developing countries continue to transition away from subsistence fisheries, challenging sustainable use of fisheries' resources.

Categorizing ocean conservation targets to avoid a potential false sense of protection to society: Portugal as a case-study

Costa BHorta e, Gonçalves JManuel dos, Franco G, Erzini K, Furtado R, Mateus C, Cadeireiro E, Gonçalves EJoão. Categorizing ocean conservation targets to avoid a potential false sense of protection to society: Portugal as a case-study. Marine Policy [Internet]. In Press :103553. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X1830616X?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

Current international commitments on ocean protection targets include protecting 10% of the ocean through marine protected areas (MPAs) until 2020, while also complying with efficiency and equity requirements. This has led to a race to designate large MPAs, but despite the valid marine conservation efforts, conferring adequate protection is still at risk. While fully protected areas are considered the most efficient tools to effectively protect the integrity of ecosystems, most existing or proposed MPAs are far from being fully or strongly protected. Portugal, with the 20th largest EEZ of the world is well positioned to lead ocean conservation efforts and provides a suitable case study for analysis of protection conferred by existing MPAs. To this end, Portuguese MPAs were assessed according to different types of classification systems and it was found that most MPAs confer little or no additional protection compared to outside areas. The results differ according to the classification system used, revealing the importance of finding a common system for evaluating progress in ocean conservation. The relevance of adequately labelling and understanding the levels of protection in place is demonstrated. Not differentiating the type of protection conferred by MPA regulations, while rushing towards international targets, may give a potentially false impression to society.

Diversity, contestation, participation in Aotearoa New Zealand‘s multi-use/user marine spaces

Le Heron E, Logie J, Allen W, Le Heron R, Blackett P, Davies K, Greenaway A, Glavovic B, Hikuroa D. Diversity, contestation, participation in Aotearoa New Zealand‘s multi-use/user marine spaces. Marine Policy [Internet]. In Press :103536. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X18309680?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

Coastal nations and islands have featured a participatory turn this century directed to resolving conflicts in multi-use/user marine spaces. Yet, few conceptual and empirical studies focus on participation as an institutional form to engage with the pressures of diverse and contesting uses and user interests in marine environments. These spaces are volatile arenas of power and politics, challenging available regulatory, governance and managerial models. The paper first reviews understandings of the nature of the relational field of diversity-contestation-participation in the international literature and second draws on empirical findings from five case studies of marine participatory process configurations in contemporary Aotearoa New Zealand. The nation is a unique ecological, political, social, cultural and economic setting. Maori (the indigenous people) have developed holistic intergenerational resource nurturing principles and practices (Vision Matauranga (VM)) that are actively shaping marine futures. This momentum has markedly altered the nature and terms of engagement of participation in Aotearoa New Zealand's shallow marine regulatory context. The country is thus an ideal setting to examine the rise of quasi-independent Participatory initiatives, contextualise and examine their diversity, contestation, participation interactions, confront relational and co-production aspects of agency that are an integral part of real-time participatory processes, and to reflect on van Kerkhoff and Lebel's (2015) contention that different possible futures hang on people asking new questions and being brave enough to experiment with process, collaboration, and their own conceptualisations and knowledges'.

Selenium Health Benefit Values Provide a Reliable Index of Seafood Benefits vs. Risks

Ralston NVC, J. Kaneko J, Raymond LJ. Selenium Health Benefit Values Provide a Reliable Index of Seafood Benefits vs. Risks. Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology [Internet]. In Press . Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0946672X19300124?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

Background

Methylmercury (CH3Hg) toxicity causes irreversible inhibition of selenium (Se)-dependent enzymes, including those that are required to prevent and reverse oxidative damage in the brain. Fish consumption provides numerous essential nutrients required for optimal health, but is also associated with CH3Hg exposure risks, especially during fetal development. Therefore, it is necessary to assess the amounts of both elements in seafood to evaluate relative risks or benefits. Consumption of ocean fish containing Se in molar excess of CH3Hg will prevent interruption of selenoenzyme activities, thereby alleviating Hg-exposure risks. Because dietary Se is a pivotal determinant of CH3Hg’s effects, the Selenium Health Benefit Value (HBV) criterion was developed to predict risks or benefits as a result of seafood consumption. A negative HBV indicates Hg is present in molar excess of Se and may impair Se availability while a positive HBV indicates consumption will improve the Se status of the consumer, thus negating risks of Hg toxicity.

Objective

This study examined the Hg and Se contents of varieties of seafood to establish those with positive HBV’s offering benefits and those having negative HBVs indicating potential consumption risks.

Methods

The Hg and Se molar concentrations in samples of meat from pilot whale, mako shark, thresher shark, swordfish, bigeye tuna, and skipjack tuna were used to determine their HBV’s in relation to body weight.

Results

The HBVs of pilot whale, mako shark, and swordfish were typically negative and inversely related to body weight, indicating their consumption may impair Se availability. However, the HBV’s of thresher shark, bigeye tuna, and skipjack tuna were uniformly positive regardless of body weights, indicating their consumption counteracts Hg-dependent risks of selenoenzyme impairment.

Conclusions

The HBV criterion provides a reliable basis for differentiating seafoods whose intake should be limited during pregnancy from those that should be consumed to obtain health benefits.

Abbreviations

HBV

Health Benefit Value

Hg

Mercury

CH3Hg

Methylmercury

HgSe

Mercury selenide

ppm

Parts per million

PCB

Polychlorobiphenyls

Se

Selenium

Fur seals and fisheries in Tasmania: an integrated case study of human-wildlife conflict and coexistence

Cummings CR, Lea MA, Lyle JM. Fur seals and fisheries in Tasmania: an integrated case study of human-wildlife conflict and coexistence. Biological Conservation [Internet]. 2019 . Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0006320718307523?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

Cultivating more harmonious ways of interacting with top predators is a major challenge in sustainably managing and developing fisheries. In-depth, interdisciplinary case studies represent important tools for highlighting emergent properties in complex human-predator relationships. In this study we integrate original social research with detailed secondary historic and natural-scientific information on a long-standing case of human-wildlife conflict: the relationship between fur seals and fisheries in Tasmania. Stakeholders were targeted and surveyed via anonymous questionnaire about their experiences and perceptions of seal-fishery interactions and seals in the ecosystem. The most frequently cited outcomes of interactions for both commercial and recreational fishers were damaged gear, lost catch, and damaged catch. Most fishers indicated that they believed population-level controlled culling or targeted removal of problem individuals would be the most effective strategies to manage and reduce interactions. In contrast, the general public and resource/environmental managers indicated strong preferences for non-lethal forms of management, with culling the lowest ranked strategy in terms of perceived effectiveness. Perceptions of ongoing rapid population increase evident in fishing sub-groups contrast with available seal population data. Such discrepancy suggests that reported increasing seal-fishery interactions may be more reflective of behavioural change, with seals becoming habituated to certain fishing activities. Areas of promise identified for future research and management focus on: technical mitigation to minimise direct interactions, building tolerance in fishing communities, and targeted ecological research to disentangle the effects of pinniped abundance, distribution (including seasonal population flux between breeding regions), and habituation on interactions. Documenting the contemporary status of this relationship is an integral step in managing such conflicts.

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