Since the last Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) effort to review biological effects of the exposure to organohalogen compounds (OHCs) in Arctic biota, there has been a considerable number of new Arctic effect studies. Here, we provide an update on the state of the knowledge of OHC, and also include mercury, exposure and/or associated effects in key Arctic marine and terrestrial mammal and bird species as well as in fish by reviewing the literature published since the last AMAP assessment in 2010. We aimed at updating the knowledge of how single but also combined health effects are or can be associated to the exposure to single compounds or mixtures of OHCs. We also focussed on assessing both potential individual as well as population health impacts using population-specific exposure data post 2000. We have identified quantifiable effects on vitamin metabolism, immune functioning, thyroid and steroid hormone balances, oxidative stress, tissue pathology, and reproduction. As with the previous assessment, a wealth of documentation is available for biological effects in marine mammals and seabirds, and sentinel species such as the sledge dog and Arctic fox, but information for terrestrial vertebrates and fish remain scarce. While hormones and vitamins are thoroughly studied, oxidative stress, immunotoxic and reproductive effects need further investigation. Depending on the species and population, some OHCs and mercury tissue contaminant burdens post 2000 were observed to be high enough to exceed putative risk threshold levels that have been previously estimated for non-target species or populations outside the Arctic. In this assessment, we made use of risk quotient calculations to summarize the cumulative effects of different OHC classes and mercury for which critical body burdens can be estimated for wildlife across the Arctic. As our ultimate goal is to better predict or estimate the effects of OHCs and mercury in Arctic wildlife at the individual, population and ecosystem level, there remain numerous knowledge gaps on the biological effects of exposure in Arctic biota. These knowledge gaps include the establishment of concentration thresholds for individual compounds as well as for realistic cocktail mixtures that in fact indicate biologically relevant, and not statistically determined, health effects for specific species and subpopulations. Finally, we provide future perspectives on understanding Arctic wildlife health using new in vivo, in vitro, and in silico techniques, and provide case studies on multiple stressors to show that future assessments would benefit from significant efforts to integrate human health, wildlife ecology and retrospective and forecasting aspects into assessing the biological effects of OHC and mercury exposure in Arctic wildlife and fish.
World leaders signed the Paris Agreement in 2015 to keep global temperatures well below 2 °C. This Paris Agreement will facilitate achieving Sustainable Development Goal-13 (Climate Action) by 2030. However, without collective action, it is quite impossible to achieve the terms of this agreement. In this regard, the mass media can contribute to making people aware of the subsequent effect of climate change at all levels. The mass media, as a source of information, might play a significant role in raising public awareness and understanding of climate sciences. This paper examines the influence of the mass media on awareness, attitudes and knowledge of climate change, which may lead to environmentally friendly behaviour. This paper employs structural equation modelling to examine the relationship among the studied variables. The results reveal that the mass media influences awareness, attitudes and knowledge of climate change. This study also finds mediating effects of awareness, attitudes and knowledge of climate change between the mass media and environmentally friendly behaviour. The results imply that the mass media contributes to creating awareness, enhancing understating and shaping favourable attitudes towards climate change. The findings could guide policymakers to take appropriate steps to promote a greater awareness of climate change using the mass media.
Djiboutian coral reefs are poorly studied, but are of critical importance to tourism and artisanal fishing in this small developing nation. In 2014 and 2016 we carried out the most comprehensive survey of Djiboutian reefs to date, and present data on their ecology, health and estimate their vulnerability to future coral bleaching and anthropogenic impacts. Reef type varied from complex reef formations exposed to wind and waves along the Gulf of Aden, to narrow fringing reefs adjacent to the deep sheltered waters of the Gulf of Tadjoura. Evidence suggests that in the past 35 years the reefs have not previously experienced severe coral bleaching or significant human impacts, with many reefs having healthy and diverse coral and fish populations. Mean coral cover was high (52%) and fish assemblages were dominated by fishery target species and herbivores. However, rising sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and rapid recent coastal development activities in Djibouti are likely future threats to these relatively untouched reefs.
Humans interact with the oceans in diverse and profound ways. The scope, magnitude, footprint and ultimate cumulative impacts of human activities can threaten ocean ecosystems and have changed over time, resulting in new challenges and threats to marine ecosystems. A fundamental gap in understanding how humanity is affecting the oceans is our limited knowledge about the pace of change in cumulative impact on ocean ecosystems from expanding human activities – and the patterns, locations and drivers of most significant change. To help address this, we combined high resolution, annual data on the intensity of 14 human stressors and their impact on 21 marine ecosystems over 11 years (2003–2013) to assess pace of change in cumulative impacts on global oceans, where and how much that pace differs across the ocean, and which stressors and their impacts contribute most to those changes. We found that most of the ocean (59%) is experiencing significantly increasing cumulative impact, in particular due to climate change but also from fishing, land-based pollution and shipping. Nearly all countries saw increases in cumulative impacts in their coastal waters, as did all ecosystems, with coral reefs, seagrasses and mangroves at most risk. Mitigation of stressors most contributing to increases in overall cumulative impacts is urgently needed to sustain healthy oceans.
The replacement of natural marine habitats with less structurally complex human infrastructure has been linked to the homogenisation of epibenthic assemblages and associated changes in fish assemblages. To mitigate these impacts, eco-engineering efforts have focussed on increasing the physical and biogenic complexity of artificial structures, in the form of crevices added to seawalls and the seeding of the substrate with habitat-forming organisms such as oysters. While these studies have assessed how these interventions affect epibenthic assemblages, the effect of these strategies on the behaviour, such as feeding and habitat use, of different functional groups of fish (e.g. cryptobenthic and pelagic) remains uncertain. To do this, we manipulated complexity on seawalls by adding concrete tiles with different physical (flat or structured with crevices and ridges) and biogenic (seeding with two common habitat-forming species or naturally recruited fouling) complexities. We assessed pelagic and cryptobenthic fish species composition, abundance, interaction time with the tiles and number of feeding bites on three occasions 8–12 months after deployment. Cryptobenthic fish interacted more with physically complex tiles than flat tiles, regardless of biogenic complexity. In contrast, cryptobenthic fish fed more from flat tiles compared to physically complex tiles, and also appeared to feed more from tiles seeded with oysters. Pelagic fish interacted and fed more from naturally fouled tiles compared to unfouled control tiles, regardless of physical complexity. This study showed that manipulating complexity at the scales used here affects behaviour of fish, but it does not affect fish community. Increasing physical complexity facilitated fish use of seawalls as habitat by providing refuge, while it also hindered fish feeding by providing refuge for their prey. Cryptobenthic fish are important trophic linkages in their ecosystems and we have shown that by changing habitat complexity, we can change the habitat use and feeding activity of these fish, allowing them to fulfil this essential ecosystem role.
Beaches' development on small islands has become increasingly important due to touristic appeals on their unique landscapes and natural endowments. However, compared with large islands and continental areas, the natural conditions of these islands are quite poor, their degree of development is relatively low, and they are insufficiently managed. Therefore, it is urgently necessary to undertake comprehensive management activities for tourist beaches on small islands. Three small islands in China, i.e. Meizhou, Gulang, and Weizhou, were selected as case studies to develop a preliminary beach management strategy. On the basis of a literature search, field observation, interviews with relevant officers, visits to shopkeepers and residents, tourist questionnaires and internet comment collection, this study summarizes the status of tourist beach management on small islands, analyzes tourist perceptions, and establishes a SWOT framework. A comprehensive tourist beach management system is developed with natural environmental, facility-cultural, and management sub-systems that are highly interactive and interrelated. The development pathway of tourist beach management on small islands can be subdivided into three individual stages, namely, passive, positive, and balanced development stages. Management should focus on the island's unique advantages and infrastructure building in the stage of passive development, management facilities improvement, recreational activities, policies and regulations in the stage of positive development, and balance tourist numbers against the ecological environment, the needs of residents and the tourist experience in the stage of balanced development. Moreover, the beach management being appropriate for a small island is highly correlated with its natural and/or cultural landscapes.
Globally, coral reefs are degrading rapidly due to the combined impact of wide-scale anthropogenic activities and climate change. Similarly, coral reefs in India are facing an existential threat because of intensified environmental degradation, which challenges reef ecosystem resilience and socio-ecological stability. Recently, Govt. of India has taken up the ‘SagarMala Programme’ aiming to increase its port capacity by the expansion of existing ports, construction of several new ports and allied infrastructure development by 2025. Synergistic impact of coastal development coupled with the on-going environmental changes is deemed to accelerate coral reef degradation in Indian reefs. Therefore, the present article aims to highlight the urgency of positive intervention and initiation of long-term holistic coral reef restoration program as an active reef management tool. Along with conventional management practices, reef restoration program could curtail further reef degradation and will ensure the persistence of Indian coral reefs and the services they provide.
Managing fisheries to meet social, economic and ecological objectives is a fundamental problem encountered in fisheries management worldwide. In Australia, fisheries management involves a complex set of national and sub-national policy arrangements, including those designed to deliver against ecologically sustainable development (ESD) objectives. The complex policy framework makes ensuring policy coherence and avoiding unintended consequences difficult, particularly where potential trade-offs are not made explicit. Coherence, or potential policy weakness, of Australian fisheries management in relation to ESD objectives was examined in a subset of Australian wild capture fisheries, at national and jurisdictional scales. Coherent policy frameworks with ESD objectives were found to be more likely at the legislative-level across jurisdictions (horizontal coherence), than other levels of implementation. Many fisheries had problems demonstrating coherence between legislation and management plans due to lack of inclusion of ESD policy themes at management and operational levels. Case studies revealed substantial variation in the likelihood for horizontal and vertical coherence between fisheries policy frameworks managing the same species. The lack of explicit ESD objectives observed in many Australian fisheries suggests a high likelihood of incoherence in fisheries management, or alternatively that managers may be informally persuing higher levels of policy coordination and coherence than can be detected. Lack of detectability of coherence is problematic for demonstrating accountability and transparency in decision-making and public policy. Furthermore, use of discretion by managers when developing management plans, in order to overcome policy weakness, may lead to drifts in individual management direction within a jurisdiction.
This article aims to provide a critical view of the global scientific production involved in cruise tourism study. Global references in this field were identified and emphasised for managing existing data to establish ‘bridges’ among researchers. Scientometric analysis was conducted on publications about cruise tourism in mainstream journals integrated into Web of Science. This methodology enabled us to identify current topics, relevant journals, authors, institutions, profitable countries, ‘visible’ and ‘invisible’ collaborative colleges and the research areas considered as the epicentre of the cruise tourism debate. A significant contribution of this work is the use of indicators at the three levels of scientometric complexity, i.e. scientific activity, impact and relational character.
Effectively managing ecosystems is an information intensive endeavour. Yet social, cultural, and economic barriers can limit who is able to access information and how knowledge is exchanged. We draw on social network theory to examine whether co-management institutions break down these traditional barriers. We examined the factors that predict information access and knowledge exchange using interview and knowledge sharing network data from 616 Kenyan coral reef fishers operating in four communities with formal co-management institutions. For access to fisheries management information, we found disparities in fisher's age, leadership status, and wealth. Yet once we accounted for formal engagement in the co-management process, only wealth disparities remained significant. In contrast, knowledge exchange was insensitive to whether or not we accounted for engagement in co-management. We found that community leaders and external actors, such as NGO representatives, were primary sources of fisheries-related knowledge. Among fishers, knowledge exchange tended to occur more often between those using the same landing site. Fishers engaged in the co-management process and community leaders were likely to transfer knowledge widely (acting as ‘central communicators’), yet only leaders bridged disconnected groups (acting as ‘brokers’). Ethnic minorities and those with higher levels of education were more likely to fall on the periphery of the knowledge exchange networks. Taken together, our results suggest that co-management can break down traditional social and cultural – but perhaps not economic – barriers to information access; while social, cultural, and economic factors remain important for structuring knowledge exchange.
Sunscreens can induce ecotoxicological effects and may cause significant impacts in the aquatic ecosystem. In spite of that, ecotoxicological responses of key marine species to sunscreens are scarcely studied in Mediterranean ecosystems, and literature data are lacking. Furthermore, changes in water salinity induced by global warming could significantly affect the ecotoxicological responses of marine species exposed to sunscreens. This research focuses on the evaluation of ecotoxicological responses of Phaeodactylum tricornutum (algae), Corophium orientalis(macroinvertebrate), and Paracentrotus lividus (echinoderms) exposed to sunscreens, which include both chemical- and physical-based. This study, also, analyzes the changes in ecotoxicological responses of the tested species linked to increase in salinity. Results showed that salinity stress significantly increases the toxicity of sunscreens on the tested marine species. Physical-based sunscreens resulted in more toxicity at higher salinity than chemical-based ones toward C. orientalis and P. tricornutum. This study evidenced that risk classifications of sunscreens recorded under standard salinity conditions could be significantly different from that recorded in the natural environment under salinity stress. The collection of a complete dataset on the ecotoxicological effects of sunscreens on marine species tested under salinity stress could be useful to correctly weigh risks for the marine environment under possible future ecological changing scenarios following the global changing driver.
A major challenge in analysis of huge amounts of ocean data is the complexity of the data and the inherent complexity of ocean dynamic process. Interactive visual analysis serves as an efficient complementary approach for the detection of various phenomenon or patterns, and correlation exploring or comparing multiple variables in researchers daily work. Firstly, this paper presents a basic concept of ocean data produced from numerous measurement devices or computer simulations. The characteristics of ocean data and the related data processing techniques are also described. Secondly, the main tasks of ocean data analysis are introduced. Based on the main analysis tasks in ocean domain, the survey emphasizes related interactive visualization techniques and tools from four aspects: visualization of multiple ocean environmental elements and multivariate analysis, ocean phenomena identification and tracking, patterns or correlation discovery, ensembles and uncertainties exploration. Finally, the opportunities are discussed for future studies.
We present the first objective quantitative assessment of the threats to all 359 species of seabirds, identify the main challenges facing them, and outline priority actions for their conservation. We applied the standardised Threats Classification Scheme developed for the IUCN Red List to objectively assess threats to each species and analysed the data according to global IUCN threat status, taxonomic group, and primary foraging habitat (coastal or pelagic). The top three threats to seabirds in terms of number of species affected and average impact are: invasive alien species, affecting 165 species across all the most threatened groups; bycatch in fisheries, affecting fewer species (100) but with the greatest average impact; and climate change/severe weather, affecting 96 species. Overfishing, hunting/trapping and disturbance were also identified as major threats to seabirds. Reversing the top three threats alone would benefit two-thirds of all species and c. 380 million individual seabirds (c. 45% of the total global seabird population). Most seabirds (c. 70%), especially globally threatened species, face multiple threats. For albatrosses, petrels and penguins in particular (the three most threatened groups of seabirds), it is essential to tackle both terrestrial and marine threats to reverse declines. As the negative effects of climate change are harder to mitigate, it is vital to compensate by addressing other major threats that often affect the same species, such as invasive alien species, bycatch and overfishing, for which proven solutions exist.
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have been used to protect species in need of conservation and as a fisheries management tool. It has been suggested MPAs can benefit mobile stocks by protecting spawning grounds whilst also allowing yields to be maintained as mature fish move out of the protected areas. However, the robustness of this claim in mixed species fisheries has yet to be established. We use a simulation model to explore the efficacy of spatial closures and effort regulation when other forms of fishery control (e.g., Total Allowable Catches) are absent or non-enforced as ways of addressing management objectives that are difficult to reconcile due to the contrasting life-histories of a target and a bycatch, conservation species in a two-species fishery. The mobility of each stock in such a fishery affects the benefits conferred by an MPA. The differing management objectives of the two species can be partially met by effort regulations or closures when the species exhibit similar mobility. However, a more mobile conservation species prevents both sets of aims being met by either management tool. We use simulations to explore how spatial closures and effort regulation can be used to seek compromise between stakeholders when the mobility of one stock prevents conflicting management objectives to be fully met. Our results demonstrate that stock mobility is a key factor in considering whether an MPA can meet conflicting aims in a multispecies fishery compromised of stocks with differing life histories and mobilities.
Environmental degradation is a major obstacle to economic development, especially for coastal communities. Environmental degradation has an incremental adverse impact on the lives and livelihoods of marine park communities (MPCs), the development process of human societies, and the preservation of natural resources. Despite the obvious connection between ecological preservation and economic development, little effort has been devoted to ensure sustainable utilisation of coastal and marine resources. Marine protected areas (MPAs) suffer from poor socioeconomic conditions and environmental degradation; MPCs are most severely affected since they depend on marine and coastal resources. These are the main impediments to sustainable coastal community development. This chapter proposes an integrated management policy framework for the effective and sustainable management of MPAs, from the economic, social, and environmental perspectives. This policy framework will help policymakers to preserve, conserve, and protect marine resources as well as uplift the socioeconomic status of MPCs.
In recent years, with the rapid development of China's economy, the coastal environment is facing large pressure. However, the coastal environment pollution has not attracted much attention as air pollution and land water pollution. Based on the data on economic development and marine ecosystem environmental pollution which collected from the National Bureau of Statistics and China's coastal marine environmental monitoring, the paper analyzes the overall coastal ecosystem environment pollution in China as well as the four sea areas the Bohai Sea, the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea and South China Sea. The paper finds that the coastal marine environment pollution differ in different sea areas, taking the seawater quality, over-standard pollutants, water quality of rivers entering seas and coastal marine environmental disasters, such as red tide as index. Couple of policy suggestions provided based on research findings.
Migration is a widespread but highly diverse component of many animal life histories. Fish migrate throughout the world's oceans, within lakes and rivers, and between the two realms, transporting matter, energy, and other species (e.g., microbes) across boundaries. Migration is therefore a process responsible for myriad ecosystem services. Many human populations depend on the presence of predictable migrations of fish for their subsistence and livelihoods. Although much research has focused on fish migration, many questions remain in our rapidly changing world. We assembled a diverse team of fundamental and applied scientists who study fish migrations in marine and freshwater environments to identify pressing unanswered questions. Our exercise revealed questions within themes related to understanding the migrating individual's internal state, navigational mechanisms, locomotor capabilities, external drivers of migration, the threats confronting migratory fish including climate change, and the role of migration. In addition, we identified key requirements for aquatic animal management, restoration, policy, and governance. Lessons revealed included the difficulties in generalizing among species and populations, and in understanding the levels of connectivity facilitated by migrating fishes. We conclude by identifying priority research needed for assuring a sustainable future for migratory fishes.
Sociality—collective living—confers multiple advantages to oceanic dolphins, including enhanced foraging, predator avoidance, and alloparental care and may be particularly important in oceanic environments where prey is patchy and refuge nonexistent. This chapter covers broad aspects of the social lives of the delphinid community that inhabits the vast eastern tropical Pacific Ocean (ETP). Our approach is socio-ecological: the chapter ties dolphin social structure and mating systems to environmental factors, including oceanographic patterns, distribution of prey, and risk of predation that shape behavior. By merging a top-down look at schools distributed over a variable environment, with a bottom-up look from the perspective of subgroups that comprise schools, a picture of fission–fusion societies emerges. We also consider impacts of the tuna purse seine fishery on the socio-ecology of affected dolphins and discuss likely effects on behavior, learning, social bonds, and population dynamics.
ETP dolphin societies are diverse, spatially and compositionally fluid (pure or mixed species), yet socially complex and structured. They have distinct schooling, reproductive, and sexual characteristics, different patterns of association with other species, and differing degrees of interaction with the tuna purse seine fishery. Individuals may have distinct roles (older, experienced, and post-reproductive females), form stable or at least semi-stable subgroups (female/young, adult male, juvenile), and leave or join the company of others in response to a variety of social and ecological factors, including distribution of prey and risk of predation. In some taxa, individuals school with a small number of companions who may be related and recognize one another (common bottlenose, Tursiops truncatus; Risso’s, Grampus griseus; rough-toothed, Steno bredanensis; and striped dolphins, Stenella coeruleoalba), while in other species school size is larger, membership is fluid, and unrelated individuals abound (pantropical spotted, Stenella attenuata; spinner, Stenella longirostris; and common dolphins,Delphinus delphis). Mating systems are variable among species and sometimes within species, likely reflecting differences in habitat productivity. In some taxa, e.g., eastern spinners (S. l. orientalis), a few sexually mature males may be responsible for most mating, while in other taxa, e.g., “whitebelly” spinners, large relative testes suggest a more “open” mating system where many males in the school engage in copulation.
For pantropical spotted and spinner dolphins in the ETP, the behavior of schooling with large tuna that has led to their ecological success and abundance has also led to their depletion by making them a target of purse seiners. Schooling and sociality, normally adaptive traits, have caused ETP dolphins to become collateral damage in the tuna fishery. Yet dolphins have learned some things from their experiences with purse seiners. Some individuals know how to evade capture or, alternatively, how to await a lowering of the net (“backdown”) to escape. But, behavior that helps to avoid capture can cause high stress, exertion, or social separation and disruption, and these could be factors slowing or inhibiting population recovery. Survival and reproductive success of oceanic dolphins likely depends largely on social and behavioral factors that may also help determine their ability to recover from severe depletion caused by human activities.
Cold-water corals (CWCs) were found to occur in association with authigenic carbonates in a cold seep area on the northern continental slopes of the South China Sea (SCS). The taxa identified were: Balanophyllia (Balanophyllia) sp., Balanophyllia (Eupsammia) sp., Lochmaeotrochus sp., Enallopsammia sp., Crispatotrochussp.1 and Crispatotrochus sp.2. The δ13C (−7.36‰ to −1.15‰, V-PDB) and 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.709126–0.709184) indicated that CWC aragonite skeletons had been precipitated from seawater without the involvement of seeping fluids. The presence and growth of CWCs on the slopes of the submarine seamounts in the south-western (SW) Dongsha area could be directly linked with the hard substrates provided by exhumed hydrocarbon-imprinted authigenic carbonates and fed by the food particles enhanced by high-velocity internal tides and near-bottom currents. A multi-step process for CWC colonization was proposed that encompassed cold-seepage processes as a driver for hard-substrate generation of CWC, as well as the subsequent settlement and maintenance of CWC larvae under the persistent influence of bottom currents.
Without drastic efforts to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate globalized stressors, tropical coral reefs are in jeopardy. Strategic conservation and management requires identification of the environmental and socioeconomic factors driving the persistence of scleractinian coral assemblages—the foundation species of coral reef ecosystems. Here, we compiled coral abundance data from 2,584 Indo-Pacific reefs to evaluate the influence of 21 climate, social and environmental drivers on the ecology of reef coral assemblages. Higher abundances of framework-building corals were typically associated with: weaker thermal disturbances and longer intervals for potential recovery; slower human population growth; reduced access by human settlements and markets; and less nearby agriculture. We therefore propose a framework of three management strategies (protect, recover or transform) by considering: (1) if reefs were above or below a proposed threshold of >10% cover of the coral taxa important for structural complexity and carbonate production; and (2) reef exposure to severe thermal stress during the 2014–2017 global coral bleaching event. Our findings can guide urgent management efforts for coral reefs, by identifying key threats across multiple scales and strategic policy priorities that might sustain a network of functioning reefs in the Indo-Pacific to avoid ecosystem collapse.