This study explored public perceptions of the marine environment in three coastal communities in Greece and further investigated intentions to adopt behaviors that contribute to marine conservation. We used the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) to study the psychological determinants of behavioral intentions. The findings indicated that respondents have positive attitudes, moderate knowledge of marine issues, and they value the marine environment for the multiple ecosystem services that it provides. Litter and pollution from industry were considered as the most important marine threats, followed by fishing and farming. Participants suggested that informing the public and giving prominence to environmental education can contribute to marine conservation efforts. They felt that research centers and scientific community were more competent than governmental authorities and the private sector concerning the management and protection of the marine environment. Intention to adopt environmental behaviors was influenced by normative considerations, attitudes toward marine biodiversity and perceived behavioral control beliefs. The results may: 1) help inform policymakers to improve marine resource management towards a more sustainable relationship between people and the sea; 2) support the development of marine strategies that fit the social preferences, needs, and priorities to increase the likelihood of public support; and 3) support marine spatial planning efforts to uncover the intrinsic complexity of societal interactions with the marine environment. The findings further support policymakers that wish to promote behavior change through communication strategies that deliver environmental messages that focus on enhancing normative considerations, behavioral control beliefs, and corresponding attitudes.
Commercial fisheries yield essential foods, sustain cultural practices, and provide widespread employment around the globe. Commercially harvested species face a myriad of anthropogenic threats including degraded habitats, changing climate, overharvest, and pollution. Microplastics are pollutants of increasing concern, which are pervasive in the environment and can harbor or adsorb pollutants from surrounding waters. Aquatic organisms, including commercial species, encounter and ingest microplastics, but there is a paucity of data about those caught and cultured in North America. Additional research is needed to determine prevalence, physiological effects, and population‐level implications of microplastics in commercial species from Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Investigations into possible human health effects of microplastic exposure from seafood are also greatly needed. This synthesis summarizes current knowledge, identifies data gaps, and provides future research directions for addressing microplastics effects in commercially valuable North American fishery species.
Microplastics are an ecological stressor with implications for ecosystem and human health when present in seafood. We quantified microplastic types, concentrations, anatomical burdens, geographic distribution, and temporal differences in Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) and Pacific razor clams (Siliqua patula) from 15 Oregon coast, U.S.A. sites. Microplastics were present in organisms from all sites. On average, whole oysters and razor clams contained 10.95 ± 0.77 and 8.84 ± 0.45 microplastic pieces per individual, or 0.35 ± 0.04 pieces g−1 tissue and 0.16 ± 0.02 pieces g−1 tissue, respectively. Contamination was quantified but not subtracted. Over 99% of microplastics were fibers. Material type was determined using Fourier‐transform infrared spectroscopy. Spring samples contained more microplastics than summer samples in oysters but not razor clams. Our study is the first to document microplastics in Pacific razor clams and provides important coast‐wide data to compare microplastic burden across species, seasons, and sites.
The exploration of gradients of development stages of coral reef ecosystems is a subject poorly studied, especially when they exhibit multiple degrees of geomorphological or structural development or both. The objective of the present work was to study the gradient of functional and structural maturity of the Mexican Caribbean coral reefs (CM). Here we analyzed three geomorphological zones that cover a gradient of 400 km in length in order to obtain coral reefs with different geomorphologies. Thirteen reefs were selected, for which 12 ecosystem development attributes and five topological indices were analyzed. The development attributes of coral reefs were estimated from trophic models constructed using Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE), while the topological indices were calculated from the predator-prey matrix obtained from each EwE model. Through a partial redundancy analysis (RDA) seven of the 12 development attributes (ascendency, overhead, development capacity, net primary production, ascendency/development capacity, overhead/development capacity and richness of functional group) were selected due their low or null collinearity. Using the developmental attributes selected in a non-metric multidimensional scaling (stress: 0.1) and analysis of similarities (r global: 0.828 and p: 0.001), we found a gradient of maturity that increases from north to south, i.e., northern coral reefs (e.g. Puerto Morelos) are less mature than southern coral reefs (e.g. Mahahual). On other hand, through a non-parametric ANOVA and a partial redundancy analysis (first axis: F-ratio = 62.054, p = 0.012; second axis: F-ratio = 1.591, p = 0.014; 100% of the total variance explained by the first two canonical axes) we detected that topological indices respond to development stages, in this way the control flow increases with the maturity while the intermediation, number of connections and number of interactions depredator-prey are inverse to maturity; therefore, topological indices can be used to describe development stages. The determination of a gradient of maturity in MC coral reefs should be considered in management and conservation policies, therefore different strategies must be implemented in ecosystems, because resilience and ecosystem response depend on them.
This paper reviews literature relating to Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and human well-being. It finds that explicit studies on human well-being from MPAs are limited and empirical studies quantifying these relationships are rare. Most MPA papers, including those examining MPA effectiveness, focus on just a few aspects of well-being in the context of a sub-set of stakeholders, and consider only a single type of MPA. They mostly focus on conventional objective measures that are not comprehensive or systematically selected. This review argues for a systematic and integrative framework to ensure future MPA assessments are equipped to capture MPAs’ contributions to human well-being more adequately and comprehensively. Such a framework can also allow for cross-MPA comparisons that can capture differences in well-being across different types of MPAs, and information gained can be useful for MPA practitioners and policy makers, particularly in reaching current global targets, such as the CBD, Aichi Target 11.
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are effective resource management and conservation measures, but their success is often hindered by non-compliant activities such as poaching. Understanding the risk factors and spatial patterns of poaching is therefore crucial for efficient law enforcement. Here, we conducted explanatory and predictive modelling of poaching from recreational fishers within no-take zones of Australia's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) using Boosted Regression Trees (BRT). Combining patrol effort data, observed distribution of reported incidents, and spatially-explicit environmental and human risk factors, we modeled the occurrence probability of poaching incidents and mapped poaching risk at fine-scale. Our results: (i) show that fishing attractiveness, accessibility and fishing capacity play a major role in shaping the spatial patterns of poaching; (ii) revealed key interactions among these factors as well as tipping points beyond which poaching risk increased or decreased markedly; and (iii) highlight gaps in patrol effort that could be filled for improved resource allocation. The approach developed through this study provide a novel way to quantify the relative influence of multiple interacting factors in shaping poaching risk, and hold promises for replication across a broad range of marine or terrestrial settings.
Seafloor Geomorphology as Benthic Habitat: GeoHab Atlas of Seafloor Geomorphic Features and Benthic Habitats, Second Edition, provides an updated synthesis of seabed geomorphology and benthic habitats. This new edition includes new case studies from all geographic areas and habitats that were not included in the previous edition, including the Arctic, Asia, Africa and South America. Using multibeam sonar, the benthic ecology of submarine features, such as fjords, sand banks, coral reefs, seamounts, canyons, mud volcanoes and spreading ridges is revealed in unprecedented detail. This timely release offers new understanding for researchers in Marine Biodiversity, environmental managers, ecologists, and more.
Multiple lines of evidence, ranging from time series field observations to climate change stimulation experiments demonstrate the negative effects of global warming and ocean acidification (OA) on bivalve molluscs. The impact of global warming on bivalve aquaculture has recently been reviewed. However, the impact of OA on bivalve aquaculture has received relatively less attention. Although there are many reports on the effects of OA on bivalves, this information is poorly organized and the connection between OA and bivalve aquaculture is unclear. Therefore, understanding the potential impact of acidification on ecosystems and bivalve aquaculture is of prime importance. Here, we provide a comprehensive scientific review of the impact of OA on bivalves and propose mitigation measures for future bivalve farming. This information will help to establish aquaculture and fisheries management plans to be implemented in commercial fisheries and nature conservation. In general, scientific evidence suggests that OA threatens bivalves by diminishing the availability of carbonate minerals, which may adversely affect the development of early life stages, calcification, growth, byssus attachment and survival of bivalves. The Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) approach is a useful method in slowing the effects of climate change, thereby providing longer adaptation period for bivalves to changing ocean conditions. However, for certain regions that experience intense OA effects or for certain bivalve species that have much longer generational time, IMTA alone may not be sufficient to protect bivalves from the adverse effects of climate change. Therefore, it is highly recommended to combine IMTA and genetic breeding methods to facilitate transgenerational acclimation or evolution processes to enhance the climate resilience of bivalves.
By 2050 the world population is expected to reach 10 billion people. This population needs food, water and energy. Increasingly, opportunities are sought out at sea to accommodate these needs. As there is already competition for space, especially in the near-shore, opportunities for multi-use, including the combination of, for example, food and energy production in a single location, are sought. One issue that needs to be addressed to allow for multi-use at sea is safety. Existing frameworks for (marine) risk assessment tend to be rather sector specific and, although existing models and frameworks for risk analysis provide useful elements for an integrated analysis, none of the approaches fully caters for the need of having a framework based on a cyclical process of stakeholder input in all steps of the process of risk identification, risk management and risk evaluation and communication, identifying actions to be taken and providing tools useful in each of the steps, while integrating the three perspectives of maritime safety, food (and feed) safety, and environmental impact assessment and the different perspectives of the actors involved. This study developed a common framework for the risk assessment of multi-use at sea, consisting of six steps (Exploring, Understanding, Appraising, Deciding, Implementing and Evaluating & Communication). The framework encompasses and integrates an analysis of food and feed safety aspects, the safety of people and equipment, and environmental safety aspects. For each step, actions are defined, tools that can be of help to stakeholders are presented, and stakeholder participation measures are described. The framework is iterative and dynamic in its nature; with constant communication and evaluation of progress, decisions can be taken to either take a step forward or back. The framework is developed to assist operators and producers, policymakers, and other stakeholders in assessing and managing risks of multi-use at sea.
In this study, the occurrence and distribution of microplastics in artificial reefs around the Ma’an Archipelago, a national marine ranching area in China, were investigated. The abundance of microplastics ranged from 0.2 ± 0.1 to 0.6 ± 0.2 items L−1 in surface water, 30.0 ± 0.0 to 80.0 ± 14.1 items kg−1 dry weight in the sediment, and 2.3 ± 1.5 to 7.3 ± 3.5 items individual−1 in fish. Most of the detected microplastics were fiber-shaped, blue or transparent, and smaller than 1 mm. Polyethylene, polypropylene, and poly(ethylene:propylene:diene) copolymer were the most abundant polymer types in the surface water samples, whereas cellophane was dominant in the sediment and fish. The appearance of microplastic pollution around the artificial reefs could be attributed mainly to the activities of the fisheries in the area, whereas the microplastic ingestion by fish was affected by the extent of microplastic contamination of the sediment. The results highlight the widespread presence of microplastics in the water, sediment, and biota of the artificial reefs around the Ma’an Archipelago, thereby improving understanding of the environmental risks posed by microplastics to marine artificial reef ecosystems and fisheries in general.
Incising continental margins, submarine canyons are key issue for understanding shelf/deep sea exchange of particulate pollutant, impact on marine ecosystem and global geochemical cycling. The occurrence and distribution of 100 priority and emerging micropollutants were investigated in sediments within the first 25 km of the Capbreton submarine area. The most predominant compounds were polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), trace metals and metalloid (TMs) (e.g. mercury, lead and arsenic), synthetical musks (e.g. musk ketone, galaxolide), UV filters (e.g. octocrylene and 2-ethylhexyl 4-methoxycinnamate, EHMC) as well as some pharmaceuticals (e.g. azithromycin, acetaminophen). Highest concentrations were measured in submarine canyon sediments, distant from the coast and were correlated with both organic carbon and fine fraction contents, where PAHs, EHMC and musk ketone concentrations up to 7116, 32 and 7 ng g−1 dry weight, respectively. Those results likely demonstrate, that atmospheric inputs of pyrogenic PAHs, and both trapping and transporting of polluted particles along the continuum shore/deep sea by the Capbreton Canyon, might lead to an accumulation of anthropogenic micropollutants. The ecological risk assessment indicates that priority pollutants raise a potentially high risk for benthic organisms (e.g. PAHs, TMs). This might raised a specific concern about how the human can impact this ecosystem.
This chapter analyzes the contribution of Participative Management Plans (PMP) for the identification of ecosystem services and the protection of conservation objects from the multiple-use protected coastal marine areas (MU-CMPA). The objective of these areas is to conserve the natural capital and cultural patrimony without restricting traditional productive activities such as fishing, mollusks and algae extraction, and energy resources. There are ten MU-CMPAs areas in Chile, but their implementation has been slow and 14 years after the first areas were legally declared, some of them still do not have management plans. Here we analyze the experiences of Isla Grande de Atacama MU-CMPA (MU-CMPA IGA) in the north of Chile, including the complexities of implementing PMPs and the challenges and opportunities of generating an ecosystem perspective in the management plans for protected areas. Administrative problems and conflicts of interest have worn social relationships generating little community participation regarding the design of a management plan. Nevertheless, there is a consensus among local social actors about the benefits of the ecosystems of the MU-CMPA IGA due to the high economic and social values given by the community to the services provided by the area.
Marine shrimp fishing is an economic activity of global importance due to its high profitability, but it also presents several environmental and socioeconomic problems. In a context of increasing need for fishery sustainability, scientific basis supporting fishery resources management is essential. However, evidence-based information is frequently scarce or generated by developed countries, even when resources are most abundant in areas of developing economy. Here we present a bibliometric analysis to map each country’s scientific production in relation to its marine shrimp fishery yield, along with a hurdle model with socioeconomic factors that could influence publication of articles on this subject. We observed a geographic mismatch between research needs and the places that produce them, once tropical and subtropical regions account for most of fishery yield while knowledge is produced in temperate regions where the most developed countries are concentrated. Accordingly, our model reveled that GDP was the most influential factor in number of articles, while population density had a negative effect. Concurrently, key research interests about marine shrimp fisheries tend to be basic biology topics, despite the need for conservation solutions.
This study aims to assess the role of CTI-CFF in handling marine ecosystem problems that include coral reef conservation, fisheries, and food security in Indonesia. To achieve the objective, the research method used is a qualitative study using library research data collection techniques. The result of this study indicates that the role of CTI-CFF in environmental conservation in Indonesia can be divided into three aspects of CFF itself namely on coral reefs, fisheries and food security. A number of conservation efforts have been carried out with the implementation of national action plan and have significant impacts on the sustainability of society and the environment. On coral reefs issues, CTI-CFF runs particular programs namely CTI-COREMAP and Marine Protected Areas (MPA). On fisheries issues, CTI-CFF has a particular program called Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM). CTI-CFF in Indonesia plays an important role in implementing the strategic steps of the regional action plan which is later adopted into the national plan of actions. These plans are used as a parameter of the involvement of the CTI-CFF in efforts to save marine ecosystems in Indonesia.
Ocean acidification (OA) and heavy metals are common stress factors for marine ecosystems subject to anthropogenic impacts. OA coupled with the heavy metal is likely to affect marine species. This study investigated the single and combined effects of OA (1500 ppm) and cadmium (Cd; 0.4, 1.2 mg/L) on the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum under 7 d exposure. The results clearly indicated that either OA or Cd stress (1.2 mg/L) alone inhibited the growth of P. tricornutum. However, under the combined OA-Cd stress, the growth inhibition disappeared, and the intracellular oxidative damage was mitigated. These results indicated a significantly enhanced tolerance of P. tricornutum to Cd while under OA conditions, which could be beneficial to the survival of this diatom. This study will ultimately help us understand the responses of marine organisms to multiple stressors and have broad implications for the potential ecological risks of Cd under future OA conditions.
While fisheries science in the USA has in the past been dominated by mode 1 knowledge production that is discipline-specific and focused on basic research, it has increasingly opened up to concerns with relevance, participation, and interdisciplinary inquiry. We consider how this transition has been experienced through the analysis of oral histories conducted with marine scientists, looking at the changes they have seen to their role as scientists and to the practice of doing science at the interface of knowledge production and policy. In particular, we examine scientists’ ideas about and experiences of collaboration, public responsibility, freedom and politics in science, diversity and outreach, involvement, and relevance to society. In so doing, we explore the implications of the co-production of science and policy as traditional domain boundaries are increasingly problematized.
Life for many of the world’s marine fish begins at the ocean surface. Ocean conditions dictate food availability and govern survivorship, yet little is known about the habitat preferences of larval fish during this highly vulnerable life-history stage. Here we show that surface slicks, a ubiquitous coastal ocean convergence feature, are important nurseries for larval fish from many ocean habitats at ecosystem scales. Slicks had higher densities of marine phytoplankton (1.7-fold), zooplankton (larval fish prey; 3.7-fold), and larval fish (8.1-fold) than nearby ambient waters across our study region in Hawai‘i. Slicks contained larger, more well-developed individuals with competent swimming abilities compared to ambient waters, suggesting a physiological benefit to increased prey resources. Slicks also disproportionately accumulated prey-size plastics, resulting in a 60-fold higher ratio of plastics to larval fish prey than nearby waters. Dissections of hundreds of larval fish found that 8.6% of individuals in slicks had ingested plastics, a 2.3-fold higher occurrence than larval fish from ambient waters. Plastics were found in 7 of 8 families dissected, including swordfish (Xiphiidae), a commercially targeted species, and flying fish (Exocoetidae), a principal prey item for tuna and seabirds. Scaling up across an ∼1,000 km2 coastal ecosystem in Hawai‘i revealed slicks occupied only 8.3% of ocean surface habitat but contained 42.3% of all neustonic larval fish and 91.8% of all floating plastics. The ingestion of plastics by larval fish could reduce survivorship, compounding threats to fisheries productivity posed by overfishing, climate change, and habitat loss.
Biological invasions are one of the leading causes of biodiversity loss worldwide. Given that eradication of invasive species is not usually a practical option, conservationists may attempt to limit their impacts through the designation and management of protected areas. Here, we investigate the effect of marine protected areas on the habitat suitability of an invasive species, the round goby (Neogobius melanostomus). By modelling its environmental niche space in the Baltic Sea, we demonstrated that gobies prefer shallow, warmer waters, sheltered from significant wave action. They are more likely to be found near areas of intense shipping, this being their primary method of long-distance dispersal. Comparison of the goby's occurrences inside/outside protected areas indicated that suitable habitats within protected areas are more resistant to the round goby's invasion compared to adjacent unprotected areas, however the opposite is true for suboptimal habitats. This has important ecosystem management implications with marine conservation areas providing mitigation measures to control the spread of round goby in its optimal habitats in the Baltic Sea environment. Being subjected to reduced human impacts, native species within protected areas may be more numerous and diverse, helping to resist invasive species incursion.
Eco-engineering and the installation of green infrastructure such as artificial floating islands (AFIs), are novel techniques used to support biodiversity. The European Convention on Biological Diversity highlighted the development of green infrastructure as a key method of enhancement in degraded habitats. Research specifically on AFIs in marine environments has largely focused on their ecological functioning role and engineering outcomes, with little consideration for the social benefits or concerns. The aim of this study was to gain an understanding of public perception of coastal habitat loss in the UK and AFIs as a method of habitat creation in coastal environments. This was achieved via a survey, consisting of six closed and two open questions. Of the 200 respondents, 94.5% were concerned about the loss of coastal habitats in the UK, but less than a third were aware of habitat restoration or creation projects in their area of residence. There was a positive correlation between proximity of residency to the coast and knowledge of habitat restoration or creation projects. The majority of the respondents understood the ecological functioning role of AFIs and 62% would preferably want successful plant growth and avian species utilising the AFI. Nearly a third of the respondents had concerns about AFI installations, such as the degradation of the plastic matrix, long term maintenance and disturbance of native species. Despite 90.9% of the respondents supporting the installation of AFIs, the concerns of the public must be addressed during the planning stages of any habitat creation project.
Most assessments of coastal vulnerability are undertaken from the perspective of the risk posed to humans, their property and activities. This anthropocentric view is based on widespread public perception (a) that coastal change is primarily a hazard to property and infrastructure and (b) that sea defences (whether soft or hard) are required to mitigate and eliminate coastal hazards. From the perspective of coastal ecosystems such a view is both perverse and damaging. In this paper we present an alternative approach to coastal assessment that centres on the physical integrity of the coast and its associated ecosystems both now and in the near-future. The shoreline health approach represents a new paradigm for coastal management and is intended to provide a much-needed ecosystem perspective. Its premise is to categorize coasts on the degree to which their ability to function morphodynamically has been compromised by human intervention. We present an expert assessment approach involving five categories that range from "Good Heath" (with "Heath Warning" and "Minor Wounds" sub-divisions), through "Minor Injury", "Major Injury", "On Life Support" to "Deceased". We illustrate the concept using tabulated examples of each category from cliffed, clastic and delta coasts and demonstrate its utility through two applications. This approach has the potential to quantify the degree to which coastal ecosystems have been damaged and to focus attention on the cumulative impact of human activities on coastal ecosystems.