Ocean acidification is an emerging consequence of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. The full extent of the biological impacts are currently not entirely defined. However, it is expected that invertebrate species that rely on the mineral calcium carbonate will be directly affected. Despite the limited understanding of the full extent of potential impacts and responses there is a need to identify potential pathways for human societies to be affected by ocean acidification. Research on these social implications is a small but developing field. This research contributes to this field by using an impact assessment framework, informed by a biophysical model of future species distributions, to investigate potential impacts facing Atlantic Canadian society from potential changes in shellfish fisheries driven by ocean acidification and climate change. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are expected to see declines in resource accessibility but are relatively socially insulated from these changes. Conversely, Prince Edward Island, along with Newfoundland and Labrador are more socially vulnerable to potential losses in fisheries, but are expected to experience relatively minor net changes in access.
The Natura 2000 Network is the world’s largest coordinated network of protected areas. The PNSACV is part of the 168 protected sites established under the Natura 2000 Network in Portugal. Direct interactions between large marine vertebrates, such as sea turtles, cetaceans and seabirds and the world fisheries are very common and can be a serious threat to many populations. Interviews were conducted between September and December of 2018 to gather information on the fishing fleet operating in the park, the presence of marine protected species (MPS) and the eventual conflicts between the marine life and the fisheries. The majority of the fishers interviewed operating in the park reported to use bottom set nets (38.7%), the rest operated pots and traps (18.7%), longlines (16%) and purse seine (6.7%). From all the fishermen interviewed (n=75), one fifth (20%) reported to operate polyvalent boats. The most sighted species in the PNSACV were the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis), the yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis) and the northern gannet (Morus bassanus). All the fishermen interviewed reported to have some kind of interaction with the MPS studied, being the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) and the northern gannet (Morus bassanus) reported as the most interactive species. Although interactions do not seem to have a significant economic impact to the fishermen, some relevant bycatch events of some species in specific gears (e.g bottlenose dolphins and northern gannet in bottom set nets, common dolphins and yellow-legged gull in purse seine) were observed. This is a consequence of the obvious overlap between their distribution range and the more frequently used fishing grounds and arises some awareness on continuing efforts to monitor closely the impact of coastal fisheries on the mortality of marine protected species.
- Protected areas are central to biodiversity conservation. For marine fish, marine protected areas (MPAs) often harbour more individuals, especially of species targeted by fisheries. But precise pathways of biodiversity change remain unclear. For example, how local‐scale responses combine to affect regional biodiversity, important for managing spatial networks of MPAs, is not well known. Protection potentially influences three components of fish assemblages that determine how species accumulate with sampling effort and spatial scale: the total number of individuals, the relative abundance of species and within‐species aggregation. Here, we examined the contributions of each component to species richness changes inside MPAs as a function of spatial scale.
- Using standardized underwater visual survey data, we measured the abundance and species richness of reef fishes in 43 protected and 41 fished sites in the Mediterranean Sea.
- At both local and regional scales, increased species evenness caused by added common species in MPAs compared to fished sites was the most important proximate driver of higher diversity.
- Site‐to‐site variation in the composition (i.e. β‐diversity) of common species was also higher among protected sites, and depended on sensitivity to exploitation. There were more abundant exploited species at regional scales than at local scales, reflecting a tendency for different protected sites to harbour different exploited species. In contrast, fewer abundant unexploited species were found at the regional scale than at the local scale, meaning that relative abundances at the regional scale were less even than at the local scale.
- Synthesis and applications. Although marine protected areas (MPAs) are known to strongly influence fish community abundance and biomass, we found that changes to the relative abundance of species (i.e. increased evenness) dominated the biodiversity response to protection. MPAs had more relatively common species, which in turn led to higher diversity for a given sampling effort. Moreover, higher β‐diversity of common species meant that local‐scale responses were magnified at the regional scale due to site‐to‐site variation inside protected areas for exploited species. Regional conservation efforts can be strengthened by examining how multiple components of biodiversity respond to protection across spatial scales.
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are a conservation tool designed to adequately manage and protect marine resources threatened by human activity by addressing both biological and socioeconomic needs. The Irish Sea is a busy waterway under the jurisdiction of six entities (Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scotland, England, and Wales). Within this body of water there are almost 200 conservation designations across 111 MPA sites, with many sites having multiple designations (national, EU, and international). Data is lacking on the effectiveness of these protected areas in reaching their conservation objectives due to sites being inadequately monitored. The race to meet the 10% marine protected area target set by the Conservation on Biological Diversity, however, may be compromising effective planning. Do multiple designations ensure better protection of the marine environment, or is the Irish Sea home to paper parks, offering little protection? Metadata compiled from the World Database on Protected Areas and conservation reports from MPA managers were used to investigate this question. The results show a positive correlation between the number of designations of a site and the existence of a publicly available management plan. The presence of a management plan was also linked to whether or not site assessments were conducted by the relevant authorities, and sites having multiple designations was weakly correlated with favourable assessment outcomes. The results of this study highlight the need to better understand the requirements of national, regional and international-level conservation designations and how they interact with each other.
Case studies of different approaches to managing shipping reviewed in this report include, 1) the Beaufort Sea Large Ocean Management Area (LOMA), 2) the Bering Strait Two-Way Shipping Routes, 3) the Imappivut Marine Management Plan, 4) the Indigenous Community Boat Volunteer Pilot Program (ICBVPP), 5) the Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area (PNCIMA), 6) the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Seaway System, 7) the Newfoundland and Labrador (NFL) Port Readiness Program, 8) the Panama Canal, 9) the Torres Strait & Great Barrier Reef (GBR) Region, and 10) the Malacca & Singapore Straits. “Key findings and strengths” as well as “Areas for improvement” for each approach are described using themes that emerged during the literature and information review process, and included: Shipping operations, Marine Safety, Training, Economic opportunities, Marine environment protection, and Technology and information.
Some key findings and strengths that emerged most prominently throughout the analysis of multiple case studies were related to; traffic lanes, voluntary routing measures and shipping corridors; use of aids to navigation; emergency, operational and/or environmental response training; subsistence activities that support local economies; protected and/or significant areas and resources; and use of AIS, GPS, GIS and/or VTS to improve navigational safety and/or support research. Some Areas for improvement that emerged among the examples were related to; outdated infrastructure, and lack of research and Indigenous community involvement; lack of aids to navigation and inadequate boundaries for SAR; outdated response training; poor marketing scheme; and insufficient oil spill response.
Marine megafauna has always elicited contrasting feelings. In the past, large marine animals were often depicted as fantastic mythological creatures and dangerous monsters, while also arousing human curiosity. Marine megafauna has been a valuable resource to exploit, leading to the collapse of populations and local extinctions. In addition, some species have been perceived as competitors of fishers for marine resources and were often actively culled. Since the 1970s, there has been a change in the perception and use of megafauna. The growth of marine tourism, increasingly oriented towards the observation of wildlife, has driven a shift from extractive to non-extractive use, supporting the conservation of at least some species of marine megafauna. In this paper, we review and compare the changes in the perception and use of three megafaunal groups, cetaceans, elasmobranchs and groupers, with a special focus on European cultures. We highlight the main drivers and the timing of these changes, compare different taxonomic groups and species, and highlight the implications for management and conservation. One of the main drivers of the shift in perception, shared by all the three groups of megafauna, has been a general increase in curiosity towards wildlife, stimulated inter alia by documentaries (from the early 1970s onwards), and also promoted by easy access to scuba diving. At the same time, environmental campaigns have been developed to raise public awareness regarding marine wildlife, especially cetaceans, a process greatly facilitated by the rise of Internet and the World Wide Web. Currently, all the three groups (cetaceans, elasmobranchs and groupers) may represent valuable resources for ecotourism. Strikingly, the economic value of live specimens may exceed their value for human consumption. A further change in perception involving all the three groups is related to a growing understanding and appreciation of their key ecological role. The shift from extractive to non-extractive use has the potential for promoting species conservation and local economic growth. However, the change in use may not benefit the original stakeholders (e.g. fishers or whalers) and there may therefore be a case for providing compensation for disadvantaged stakeholders. Moreover, it is increasingly clear that even non-extractive use may have a negative impact on marine megafauna, therefore regulations are needed.
Somali waters have high fisheries production potential, but the sustainability of those fisheries is compromised by the presence of foreign fishing vessels, many of them fishing illegally. The Somali domestic fishing sector is small and relatively nascent, but foreign vessels have fished in Somali waters for at least seven decades. Some foreign vessels and their crew have been a direct, physical threat to Somali artisanal fishers. Many foreign vessels directly compete for fish, reducing fish populations and destroying marine habitat through bottom trawling. In this paper, we reconstruct foreign catch in Somali waters from 1981–2014 and classify the health of seventeen commercial fish stocks. Foreign fishing has increased more than twenty-fold since 1981, and the most rapid increase occurred during the 1990s after the collapse of the Federal government and ensuing civil war. We estimate foreign fishing vessels caught 92,500 mt of fish in 2014, almost twice that caught by the Somali domestic fleet. Iran (48%) and Yemen (31%) accounted for the vast majority of foreign fish catch in the most recent year of analysis. Although responsible for only 6% of total foreign catch, trawl vessels disproportionately impact public perception of foreign fishing. We find they trawled over 120,000 km2 of marine seabed in nearshore waters during 2010–2014. Foreign IUU fishing in Somali waters is fueling public anger and perpetuating conflict in five ways: by directly competing with the domestic fishery; through links to piracy; through nearshore illegal and destructive bottom trawling; by contributing to regional political conflict over vessel licensing; and by reducing long-term livelihood security. Significant levels of foreign fishing combined with inconsistent governance means Somalis are not fully benefiting from the exploitation of their marine resources at a local or national level, leading to insecurity at both scales.
Transboundary conservation has an important, yet often undervalued, role in the international conservation regime. When applied to the legally ambiguous and interconnected marine environment this is magnified. The lack of clear guidance for transboundary marine conservation from the international conservation community exacerbates this problem, leaving individual initiatives to develop their own governance arrangements. Yet, well-managed transboundary marine protected areas (MPAs) have the potential to contribute significantly to global conservation aims. Conversely, in a period where there is increasing interest in marine resources and space from all sectors, the designation of MPAs can create or amplify a regional conflict. In some instances, states have used MPAs to extend rights over disputed marine resources, restrict the freedom of others and establish sovereignty over maritime space. Six case studies were taken from Europe, North Africa and the Middle East to illustrate how states have interpreted and utilized different legislative mechanisms to either come together or diverge over the governance of marine resources or maritime space. Each of the case studies illustrates how different actors have used the same legislative tools, but with different interpretations and applications, to justify their claims. It is clear that the role of science combined with a deeper engagement with stakeholders can play a critical role in tempering conflict between states. Where states are willing to cooperate, the absence of clear guidelines at the global level means that often ad hoc measures are put into place, with the international frameworks then playing catch up. Balancing different jurisdictional claims with the conservation of the marine environment, whilst considering the increasing special economic interests will become increasingly difficult. Developing a transboundary conservation tool, such as the simple conservation caveats found in the Barcelona Convention and Antarctic Convention, which allow for the establishment of intergovernmental cooperation without prejudicing any outstanding jurisdictional issue, would provide a framework for the development of individual transboundary MPAs.
Coral reefs worldwide are declining at an accelerating rate due to multiple types of human impacts. Meanwhile, new technologies with applications in reef science and conservation are emerging at an ever faster rate and are simultaneously becoming cheaper and more accessible. Technology alone cannot save reefs, but it can potentially help scientists and conservation practitioners study, mitigate, and even solve key challenges facing coral reefs. We examine how new and emerging technologies are already being used for coral reef science and conservation. Examples include drones, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), 3D mapping and modeling tools, high resolution and nano satellite imagery, and a suite of monitoring and surveillance tools that are revolutionizing enforcement of sustainable reef fisheries. We argue that emerging technologies can play a pivotal role in tackling many of the critical issues facing coral reef conservation science and practice, but maximizing the impact of these technologies requires addressing several significant barriers. These barriers include lack of awareness of technologies and tools, prohibitive cost, lack of transferability across systems and/or scales, lack of technical expertise, and lack of accessibility. We discuss where analogous challenges have been overcome in another system and identify insights that can provide guidance for wise application of emerging technologies to coral reef science and conservation. Thoughtful consideration of, and adaptation to, these challenges will help us best harness the potential of emerging and future technological innovations to help solve the global coral reef crisis.
Underwater gliders have become widely used in the last decade. This has led to a proliferation of data and the concomitant development of tools to process the data. These tools are focused primarily on converting the data from its raw form to more accessible formats and often rely on proprietary programing languages. This has left a gap in the processing of glider data for academics, who often need to perform secondary quality control (QC), calibrate, correct, interpolate and visualize data. Here, we present GliderTools, an open-source Python package that addresses these needs of the glider user community. The tool is designed to change the focus from the processing to the data. GliderTools does not aim to replace existing software that converts raw data and performs automatic first-order QC. In this paper, we present a set of tools, that includes secondary cleaning and calibration, calibration procedures for bottle samples, fluorescence quenching correction, photosynthetically available radiation (PAR) corrections and data interpolation in the vertical and horizontal dimensions. Many of these processes have been described in several other studies, but do not exist in a collated package designed for underwater glider data. Importantly, we provide potential users with guidelines on how these tools are used so that they can be easily and rapidly accessible to a wide range of users that span the student to the experienced researcher. We recognize that this package may not be all-encompassing for every user and we thus welcome community contributions and promote GliderTools as a community-driven project for scientists.
Tomorrow’s smart lakes and oceans will be able to, among other things, predict changes in the water environment and produce information critical to proper management and planning. Smart Lake Erie – a proof of concept – will integrate data from distributed sensors using resilient networks to feed adaptive, predictive analytics that define and perhaps even perform necessary management actions. This paper presents the Smart Lake Erie pilot as a series of steps that include convening innovation competitions, engaging stakeholders, securing the core observation system, and designing then building a sustainable early warning system for harmful algal blooms. The pilot’s data platform will show what is needed to serve new data contributors, service providers, stakeholders and consumers of the data and information service paradigm. Lessons learned from the early implementation of the pilot will be applicable to the overall Great Lakes region, other regional associations within the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), and the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS).
Multidisciplinary ocean observing activities provide critical ocean information to satisfy ever-changing socioeconomic needs and require coordinated implementation. The upper oxycline (transition between high and low oxygen waters) is fundamentally important for the ecosystem structure and can be a useful proxy for multiple observing objectives connected to eastern boundary systems (EBSs) that neighbor oxygen minimum zones (OMZs). The variability of the oxycline and its impact on the ecosystem (VOICE) initiative demonstrates how societal benefits drive the need for integration and optimization of biological, biogeochemical, and physical components of regional ocean observing related to EBS. In liaison with the Global Ocean Oxygen Network, VOICE creates a roadmap toward observation-model syntheses for a comprehensive understanding of selected oxycline-dependent objectives. Local to global effects, such as habitat compression or deoxygenation trends, prompt for comprehensive observing of the oxycline on various space and time scales, and for an increased awareness of its impact on ecosystem services. Building on the Framework for Ocean Observing (FOO), we present a first readiness level assessment for ocean observing of the oxycline in EBS. This was to determine current ocean observing design and future needs in EBS regions (e.g., the California Current System, the Equatorial Eastern Pacific off Ecuador, the Peru–Chile Current system, the Northern Benguela off Namibia, etc.) building on the FOO strategy. We choose regional champions to assess the ocean observing design elements proposed in the FOO, namely, requirement processes, coordination of observational elements, and data management and information products and the related best practices. The readiness level for the FOO elements was derived for each EBS through a similar and very general ad hoc questionnaire. Despite some weaknesses in the questionnaire design and its completion, an assessment was achievable. We found that fisheries and ecosystem management are a societal requirement for all regions, but maturity levels of observational elements and data management and information products differ substantially. Identification of relevant stakeholders, developing strategies for readiness level improvements, and building and sustaining infrastructure capacity to implement these strategies are fundamental milestones for the VOICE initiative over the next 2–5 years and beyond.
Despite efforts to aid recovery, Eastern North Pacific blue whales faces numerous anthropogenic threats. These include behavioral disturbances and noise interference with communication, but also direct physical harm – notably injury and mortality from ship strikes. Factors leading to ship strikes are poorly understood, with virtually nothing known about the cues available to blue whales from nearby vessels, behavioral responses during close encounters, or how these events may contribute to subsequent responses. At what distance and received levels (RLs) of noise whales respond to potential collisions is difficult to observe. A unique case study of a close passage between a commercial vessel and a blue whale off Southern California is presented here. This whale was being closely monitored as part of another experiment after two suction-cup archival tags providing acoustic, depth, kinematic, and location data were attached to the whale. The calibrated, high-resolution data provided an opportunity to examine the sensory information available to the whale and its response during the close encounter. Complementary data streams from the whale and ship enabled a precise calculation of the distance and acoustic cues recorded on the tag when the whale initiated a behavioral response and shortly after at the closest point of approach (CPA). Immediately before the CPA, the whale aborted its ascent and remained at a depth sufficient to avoid being struck for ∼3 min until the ship passed. In this encounter, the whale may have responded to a combination of cues associated with the close proximity of the vessel to avoid a collision. Long-term photo-identification records indicate that this whale has a long sighting history in the region, with evidence of previous ship encounters. Therefore, experiential factors may have facilitated the avoidance of a collision. In some instances these factors may not be available, which may make some blue whales particularly susceptible to deadly collisions, rendering efforts for ship-strike reduction even more challenging. The fine-scale information made available by the integration of these methods and technologies demonstrates the capacity for detailed behavioral studies of blue whales and other highly mobile marine megafauna, which will contribute to more informed evaluation and mitigation strategies.
This study provides a synthesis of current scientific evidence on the ecological and socio-economic effects of highly protected marine areas (HPMAs), primarily in temperate waters. The aim was to establish if HPMAs can provide benefits beyond those afforded by other types of marine protected area (MPA). We identify critical interactions within and between ecological and socio-economic effects to help marine planners and managers make informed decisions about the trade-offs of alternate management actions or measures for MPAs. Well-designed and enforced MPAs with high levels of protection (HPMAs) often provide conservation benefits within their boundaries beyond those afforded by other types of MPA. Much remains to be learned about the socio-economic effects of HPMAs. Empirical evidence to date suggests that potential benefits cannot all be maximised simultaneously because potentially conflicting trade-offs exist not only between but also within ecological and socio-economic effects. Marine planners and managers must be able to evaluate the impact and distribution of trade-offs for differing management regimes; to make informed decisions about levels of protection required in MPAs to ensure sustainable use of marine resources and meet conservation objectives. One of the main challenges remains providing evidence of the societal benefits from restricting use in these areas.
Environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding is a new approach for assessing marine biodiversity that may overcome challenges of traditional monitoring and complement both existing surveys and biodiversity assessments. There are limited eDNA studies that evaluate vertebrate biodiversity in the marine environment or compare patterns of biodiversity with traditional methods. This study uses eDNA metabarcoding of the mitochondrial 12S rRNA genes present in seawater samples to characterize vertebrate biodiversity and distribution within National Marine Sanctuaries located in the California Current upwelling ecosystem. The epipelagic community in the study region has been monitored using traditional (mid-water trawl and marine mammal) survey methods since 1983. During 2016 and 2017, we concurrently sampled the epipelagic community using traditional survey methods and water for eDNA analysis to assess agreement among the methods. We collected replicate eDNA samples from 25 stations at depths of 10, 40, and 80 m, resulting in 131 small volume (1 L) environmental water samples to examine eDNA sequences. Across the eDNA and traditional survey methods, 80 taxa were identified. Taxa identified by eDNA partially overlapped with taxa through trawl and marine mammal surveys, but more taxa were identified by eDNA. Diversity and distribution patterns of marine vertebrates inferred from eDNA sequences reflected known spatial distribution patterns in species occurrence and community structure (e.g., cross-shelf and alongshore patterns). During both years, we identified fishery taxa Sebastes (rockfish), Merluccius (hake), Citharichthys(sanddab), and Engraulis (anchovy) across the majority of the stations using eDNA metabarcoding. The marine vertebrate assemblage identified by eDNA in 2016 was statistically different from the 2017 assemblage and more marine mammals were identified in 2017 than in 2016. Differences in assemblages identified by eDNA were coincident with different oceanographic conditions (e.g., upwelling and stratification). In 2016, weak upwelling and warmer than average conditions were measured, and vertebrate assemblages were not different among ecological regions [Point Reyes, Pescadero, and Monterey Bay]. While in 2017, average upwelling conditions returned, vertebrate assemblages differed at each region. This study illustrates that eDNA provides a new baseline for vertebrate assessments that can both augment traditional biomonitoring surveys and aid our understanding of changes in biodiversity.
Globally, anomalously warm temperature events have increased by 34% in frequency and 17% in duration from 1925 to 2016 with potentially major impacts on coastal ecosystems. These “marine heatwaves” (MHWs) have been linked to changes in primary productivity, community composition and biogeography of seaweeds, which often control ecosystem function and services. Here we review the literature on seaweed responses to MHWs, including 58 observations related to resistance, bleaching, changes in abundance, species invasions and local to regional extinctions. More records existed for canopy-forming kelps and bladed and filamentous turf-forming seaweeds than for canopy-forming fucoids, geniculate coralline turf and crustose coralline algae. Turf-forming seaweeds, especially invasive seaweeds, generally increased in abundance after a MHW, whereas native canopy-forming kelps and fucoids typically declined in abundance. We also found four examples of regional extinctions of kelp and fucoids following specific MHWs, events that likely have long term consequences for ecological structure and functioning. Although a relatively small number of studies have described impacts of MHWs on seaweed, the broad range of documented responses highlights the necessity of better baseline information regarding seaweed distributions and performance, and the need to study specific characteristics of MHWs that affect the vulnerability and resilience of seaweeds to these increasingly important climatic perturbations. A major challenge will be to disentangle impacts caused by the extreme temperature increases of MHWs itself from co-occurring potential stressors including altered current patterns, increasing herbivory, changes in water clarity and nutrient content, solar radiation and desiccation stress in the intertidal zone. With future increases anticipated in the intensity, duration and frequencies of MHWs, we expect to see more replacements of large long-lived habitat forming seaweeds with smaller ephemeral seaweeds, reducing the habitat structure and effective services seaweed-dominated reefs can provide.
Marine heatwaves (MHWs) are extreme climatic events in oceanic systems that can have devastating impacts on ecosystems, causing abrupt ecological changes and socioeconomic consequences. Several prominent MHWs have attracted scientific and public interest, and recent assessments have documented global and regional increases in their frequency. However, for proactive marine management, it is critical to understand how patterns might change in the future. Here, we estimate future changes in MHWs to the end of the 21st century, as simulated by the CMIP5 global climate model projections. Significant increases in MHW intensity and count of annual MHW days are projected to accelerate, with many parts of the ocean reaching a near-permanent MHW state by the late 21st century. The two greenhouse gas (GHG) emission scenarios considered (Representative Concentration Pathway 4.5 and 8.5) strongly affect the projected intensity of MHW events, the proportion of the globe exposed to permanent MHW states, and the occurrence of the most extreme MHW events. Comparison with simulations of a natural world, without anthropogenic forcing, indicate that these trends have emerged from the expected range of natural variability within the first half of the 21st century. This discrepancy implies a degree of “anthropogenic emergence,” with a departure from the natural MHW conditions that have previously shaped marine ecosystems for centuries or even millennia. Based on these projections we expect impacts on marine ecosystems to be widespread, significant and persistent through the 21st century.
Marine heatwaves (MHWs) are extreme ocean warming events that can have devastating impacts, from biological mortalities to irreversible redistributions within the ocean ecosystem. MHWs are an added concern because they are expected to increase in frequency and duration. To date, our understanding of these extreme ocean temperature events is mainly limited to the surface layers, despite some of the consequences they are known to have on the deep marine environment. In this paper, using data from sea surface temperature (SST) and in situ observations from Argo floats, we investigate the anomalous water characteristics during MHWs down to 2000 m in the western Tasman Sea which is located off the east coast of Australia. Focusing on their vertical extensions, characteristics and potential drivers, we break MHWs down into three categories (1) shallow [0–150 m], (2) intermediate [150–800 m], and (3) deep events [>800 m]. Only shallow events show a relationship between surface temperature anomalies and depth extent, in agreement with a likely surface origin in response to anomalous air-sea fluxes. By contrast, deep events have greater and deeper maximum temperature anomalies than their surface signal (mean of almost 3.4°C at 165 m depth) and are more frequent than expected (>45%), dominating MHWs in winter. They predominantly occur within warm core eddies, which are deep mesoscale anticyclonic structures carrying warm water-mass from the East Australian Current (EAC). This study highlights the importance of MHWs down to 2000 m and the influence of oceanographic circulation on their characteristics. Consequently, we recommend a complementary analysis of sea level anomalies and SST be conducted to improve the prediction of MHW characteristics and impacts, both physical and biological.
Following more than a decade of informal de- liberations, States at the United Nations (UN) are currently negotiating an “international legally binding instrument for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in ar- eas beyond national jurisdiction” (“BBNJ Agreement”). The negotiations aim to strengthen the international legal framework for the protection and management of the global ocean by addressing gaps in the current framework and building on existing obligations under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to cooperate to protect and preserve the marine environment and conserve marine living re- sources.
This policy brief explores how integrated ecosystem-based management (EBM) in marine areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) can be advanced at the regional level and how the BBNJ Agreement can build on experiences in other legally binding agreements to strengthen region- al cooperation, coordination and coherence. To this end, five building blocks are identified: 1. A robust global body such as a Conference of Parties capable of taking decisions and adopt- ing recommendations; 2. A suite of regional mechanisms for integrated policy development and coordination; 3. Effective science-policy advisory mechanisms; 4. Overarching environ- mental obligations and principles; and 5. Operational principles to ensure good governance.
A review of the current President’s draft text of the BBNJ Agreement highlights where the text could be strengthened to advance EBM. In particular, the BBNJ Agreement could draw inspiration from a range of existing instruments and craft specific obligations to: cooperate to promote in-situ conservation of ecosystems and natural habitats; mainstream biodiversity into all decision-making bodies and processes; and strengthen regional cooperation by supporting existing institutions and by building cross-sectoral platforms for cooperation.
The specific objectives of this document are:
- To initiate a sustainable socio-economic approach applied to the context of Mediterranean MPAs.
- To strengthen the socio-economic role of Mediterranean MPAs.
- To guide MPA managers and stakeholders towards income generating activities in MPAs and surrounding territories.
- To change the perception of decision-makers on MPAs as a natural capital investment project.
- To guide integrated marine and coastal conservation policies in the Mediterranean.
To the extent, this document represents an interesting piece of work for MPAs programme staff, economists, scientists, decision-makers in charge of the management of marine and coastal natural resources in the Mediterranean countries that are Contracting Parties in the Barcelona Convention.