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Conclusions: Benefits, lessons learned, and future challenges of marine spatial planning

Citation Information: Marine Policy; Volume 32, Issue 5, September 2008, Pages 840–843

Author: Charles Ehler

Abstract: This article summarizes briefly the principal conclusions from papers presented in this special issue on marine spatial planning. It identifies potential economic, ecological, and administrative benefits (and costs) that might be realized from the implementation of MSP. Finally, the article summarize lessons learned and identifies future challenges and directions for MSP, including the development of international guidelines for its implementation.

The need and practice of monitoring, evaluating and adapting marine planning and management—lessons from the Great Barrier Reef

Citation Information: Marine Policy; Volume 32, Issue 5, September 2008, Pages 823–831

Author: Jon Day

Abstract: An increasing number of scientists and resource managers recognise that successful marine management approaches, including marine spatial planning (MSP), cannot occur without effective monitoring, evaluation and adaptation. These basic components are necessary to ensure that any marine planning or marine management measures are both effective and efficient. While a number of fundamental principles for marine monitoring, evaluation and adaptive management exist, there are varying levels of understanding about how these should be undertaken and what they may achieve. Challenges include the development of realistic and measurable objectives and indicators against which effectiveness can be practically measured. The matter becomes even more complicated as the focus of marine planning and management strategies changes from ‘single species’ to ‘habitats’ and ‘ecosystems’ that may enable a diversity of permitted uses consistent with a variety of overall objectives. Over the last 30 years, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) has successfully established a multiple-use spatial management approach that allows both high levels of environmental protection and a wide range of human activities. Drawing on this unique long-term experience in the GBRMP, this article discusses key aspects of effective monitoring and evaluation, and summarises lessons learned from over two decades of adaptive management.

Implementing marine spatial planning: A policy perspective

Citation Information: Marine Policy; Volume 32, Issue 5, September 2008, Pages 811–815

Author: Ir. Cathy Plasman

Abstract: Marine spatial planning is often confronted with different types of hurdles that make the implementation of plans and strategies more difficult than scientists and planners—who have done most of the preparatory work—have foreseen. How does this situation come about? Is it due to the lack of interest or will of politicians? Are the technical proposals and plans too complex or too far from reality? Do they cost too much without comparable benefits? What can be done to avoid this? Based on recent experience within Belgium, some suggestions for more effective implementation of marine spatial plans are presented in this paper from a policy-making perspective.

The international legal framework for marine spatial planning

Citation Information: Marine Policy; Volume 32, Issue 5, September 2008, Pages 797–810

Author: Frank Maes

Abstract: Increasing demand for ocean resources, both living and non-living, have already lead to loss of biodiversity, habitat depletion and irreversible damage to the marine environment. Furthermore, introduction of new kinds of sea uses, spatial extension of ongoing sea uses and the need to better protect and conserve the marine biological diversity will result in increasing conflicts among the various users, as well as between the users and the environment. Marine spatial planning as a process to allocate space for specific uses can help to avoid user conflicts, to improve the management of marine spatial claims, and to sustain an ecosystem-based management of ocean and seas. This article explores the rights and duties towards exploitation and protection of the marine environment under the jurisdiction of coastal states as reflected in two important global conventions, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Convention on Biological Diversity. Both Conventions provide the main legal framework for marine spatial planning that have to be taken into account in planning at the regional and national level.

Marine Policy journal special issue on The Role of Marine Spatial Planning in Implementing Ecosystem-based, Sea Use Management - Introduction

Citation Information: Marine Policy; Volume 32, Issue 5, September 2008, Pages 759–761

Authors: Fanny Douvere and Charles Ehler

Abstract: When the authors of the Preamble to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) wrote this prescient phrase in 1982, few people realized how relevant it would become to the marine world of today. Scientists are calling increasingly to manage marine areas from an ecosystem perspective instead of the commonly used sector-by-sector approach, and considerable work has already been done on developing the conceptual aspects. In fact, conceptual work has dominated ecosystem-based management and the debate has too often remained scientific for the lack of practical evidence of what works and what does not.

Top 10 List: 
Marine Spatial Planning (MSP)

Global marine conservation policy versus site-level implementation: the mismatch of scale and its implications

Citation Information: Marine Ecology Progress Series (2005); Volume: 300, Pages: 242-248

Author: Tundi Agardy

Abstract: The ecosystem-based approach (EA) to the managementof marine resources has been the focus of severalrecent publications (e.g. Browman Stergiou 2004,Pikitch et al. 2004, Beddington Kirkwood 2005, Daanet al. 2005). Despite this flurry of articles, the oftenover-riding importance of political and socio-economicforces in establishing and implementing the EA havenot been adequately addressed (but see Turrell 2004).Thus, we canvassed experts who are familiar with thisside of the EA issue, and managers involved in thedecision to adopt it as national/international policy.Our goal was to provide marine scientists with insightsinto the forces driving the adoption of policies such asthe EA, and the mechanisms through which they areoperationalized (or not). We sought contributions fromcolleagues who have been engaged in the interactionof politics with science, and sought to cover as manyperspectives as possible: non-governmental organizations(NGOs), government, research institutes and universities.The contributors to this Theme Section (TS) describethe structural, technical, administrative, operational,socio-economic and scientific complexities associatedwith the adoption and implementation of a holistic EA.`Ecosystem services', and the need to assess the cumulativeimpacts of all activities (extractive or otherwise)on the ecosystem, are emphasized in several of the contributions.The Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) conceptemerges as a possible practical structure upon whichthe EA could be operationalized. The role of uncertaintyat various levels of the science-policy interface,and its relation to implementing the EA, are taken upfrom various perspectives. Estimating fish abundance,and characterizing/predicting ecosystem structure andfunction, are inherently difficult, and the result will...

Casting off the chains that bind us to ineffective ocean management

Citation Information: Ocean Yearbook, Volume 22; p. 1–17

Author: Tundi Spring Agardy

Abstract: Coastal nations and coastal communities have been struggling with how to manage our use of and impacts on the oceans for some time. Yet for far too long we have been stuck in a paradigm that has us investing great amounts of time and money in ineffective management of ocean resources and space. We have boosted efforts to manage, indeed, but primarily by throwing more money at escalating problems, hoping that any inefficiencies will be resolved purely by increased funding. Our current paradigm is built on the false assumption that the seas are just like the land, but wetter. Related to this is the systemic problem of focusing our management on provision of goods (as if we were dealing with agricultural lands) as opposed to ecosystem services, which in the conglomerate are ultimately much more important. It is as if we were obsessed with the look of things, the structure, as opposed to the function and how well they work. This conventional yet misguided approach is also bolstered by fear: fear of the unknown, fear of new tools, approaches, and even perspectives, and fear of failure. The end result has been discord between users, between nations, and between those who look to our small-scale successes and say everything is fine, and those who look at the big picture and say alas, it is not. We are desperately in need of a way forward that will unite fractious management interests to work towards common goals.

Mind the gap: Addressing the shortcomings of marine protected areas through large scale marine spatial planning

Citation Information: Marine Policy; Volume 35, Issue 2, March 2011, Pages 226–232

Authors: Tundi Agardy, Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara, Patrick Christie

Abstract: A blind faith in the ability of MPAs to counteract loss of biodiversity is fraught with risk, especially when MPAs are poorly planned and when the consequences of establishing MPAs are not adequately thought out. MPA shortcomings are categorized as one of five main types: (1) MPAs that by virtue of their small size or poor design are ecologically insufficient; (2) inappropriately planned or managed MPAs; (3) MPAs that fail due to the degradation of the unprotected surrounding ecosystems; (4) MPAs that do more harm than good due to displacement and unintended consequences of management; and (5) MPAs that create a dangerous illusion of protection when in fact no protection is occurring. A strategic alternative, which fully utilizes the strengths of the MPA tool while avoiding the pitfalls, can overcome these shortcomings: integrating marineprotectedarea planning in broader marine spatial planning and ocean zoning efforts.

Marine Spatial Planning in the Context of Convention on Biological Diversity

Citation Information: UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/INF/18; 2 April 2012

Authors: Tundi Agardy; Patrick Christie; Eugene Nixon

Summary: This report synthesizes available information on the scope of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) activities around the world, the lessons learned about the utility of spatial planning and management processes and tools, and criteria for success at various scales. It explores spatial management as a means to protect marine and coastal biodiversity while at the same time addressing human needs, concentrating especially on valuable ecosystem services in coasts, estuaries and deltas, nearshore environments, and open oceans. The report reviews conventional planning processes, identifies innovative new tools, and discusses the potential MSP has -- as yet not fully realized, -- in aligning conservation and development interests while protecting vital ecosystems, the services they deliver, and the biodiversity they support.

Ocean Zoning: Making Marine Management More Effective

Citation Information: 240 p.; Routledge (July 28, 2010)

Author: Tundi Agardy

ISBN: 1844078221

Description: Our knowledge of the oceans is increasing rapidly, as more powerful tools for exploration and exploitation make it easier to locate valuable resources, such as fish stocks, oil and gas reserves, or sites for wind and hydropower schemes. At the same time competition for space has intensified, affecting marine life and people's livelihoods. Much has been written about marine management using marine protected areas, but MPAs are only a small subset of spatial management tools available. MPAs and MPA networks are better seen as starting points for more comprehensive spatial management, facilitated by ocean zoning. This logical scaling up from discreet piecemeal protected areas to larger and more systematic planning is happening around the world, but few are aware that we are entering a brave new world in ocean management with zoning at its core. This book provides guidance on using ocean zoning to improve marine management. It reviews the benefits of ocean zoning in theory, reviews progress made in zoning around the world through a wide range of case studies, and derives lessons learned to recommend a process by which future zoning can be maximally effective and efficient. Published with MARES, Forest Trends and UNEP.

Top 10 List: 
Marine Spatial Planning (MSP)

Time line of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and HELCOM regional implementation platform activities in the Baltic Sea

Citation Information: Helsinki Commission: Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission

Description: The Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) is an intergovernmental organization of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the EU and a regional environmental policy maker in the Baltic Sea area. HELCOM’s work on the protection of the marine environment is based on the globally agreed ecosystembased approach to the management of human activities. Eight of the nine HELCOM countries are also members of the European Union which gives reason for HELCOM to link tightly to European policies.

Top 10 List: 
Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM)

Draft Overview of ICES work in relation to Marine Strategy Framework Directive

Citation Information: ICES ICOM Meeting, November 2011


1.1 Background information on MSFDSG

The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) is a framework within which Member States (MS) shall take the necessary measure to achieve or maintain good environmental status in the marine environment by the year 2020 at the latest [1].

The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) is cross-cutting and will have implications for most of ICES work. In March 2011 following a request from the MSFDSG, the Chair of SCICOM and ACOM added the following Terms of Reference (ToR) to all Expert Groups (EGs) during 2011:

1.2 Scope of Report

The aim of this report is to give an account of the ongoing work being carried out by ICES Expert Groups (EG) and the ICES community that is relevant to Member States implementation of the MSFD. From the responses received from the EGs it appears that there is a substantial body of current and planned work within the ICES network that has a significant potential to contribute to the delivery of the Directive.

Given the broad range of relevant work identified by the EGs, the structure of this overview follows the structure of the Directive i.e. the responses are, as far as possible, attributed to the various Articles and Annexes of the Directive.

1.3 Acknowledgments

This report is predominantly the work of ICES Experts Groups and their Chairs in response to the Terms of Reference provided by the SCICOM and ACOM Chairs. The work of Eavan Mongey and Christina Kelly, both of the Marine Institute, Ireland, in compiling and editing relevant sections of the Expert Group Reports is acknowledged.

OSPAR Regional Implementation Framework for the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive - MSFD Road Map

Citation Information: OSPAR Commission, 2010

ISBN: 978-907390-42-5

Summary: This road map of the OSPAR Commission outlines what and how OSPAR countries should do on coordination and cooperation of the implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive within the OSPAR Convention in the period 2010 – 2020, taking account of their national obligations under the Directive. The road map is a snap shot at the time of its publication and serves as a living document. Certain aspects may develop over time and change.

Top 10 List: 
Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM)

Ecosystem-based marine spatial management: Review of concepts, policies, tools, and critical issues

Citation Information: Ocean & Coastal Management; Volume 54, Issue 11, November 2011, Pages 807–820

Authors: Stelios Katsanevakis; Vanessa Stelzenmüller; Andy South; Thomas Kirk Sørensen; Peter J.S. Jones; Sandy Kerr; Fabio Badalamenti; Christos Anagnostou; Patricia Breen; Guillem Chust; Giovanni D’Anna; Mike Duijn; Tatiana Filatova; Fabio Fiorentino; Helena Hulsman; Kate Johnson; Aristomenis P. Karageorgis; Ingrid Kröncke; Simone Mirto; Carlo Pipitone; Susan Portelli; Wanfei Qiu; Henning Reiss; Dimitris Sakellariou; Maria Salomidi; Luc van Hoof; Vassiliki Vassilopoulou; Tomás Vega Fernández; Sandra Vöge; Anke Weber; Argyro Zenetos; Remment ter Hofstede

Abstract: Conventional sectoral management and piecemeal governance are considered less and less appropriate in pursuit of sustainable development. Ecosystem based marine spatial management (EB-MSM) is an approach that recognizes the full array of interactions within an ecosystem, including human uses, rather than considering single issues, species, or ecosystem services in isolation. Marine spatial planning and ocean zoning are emerging concepts that can support EB-MSM. EB-MSM is driven by high-level goals that managers aim to achieve through the implementation of measures. High-level goals and objectives need to be translated into more operational objectives before specific targets, limits and measures can be elaborated.

Monitoring, evaluation and adaptation are necessary to ensure that marine management measures are both effective and efficient. Solid monitoring frameworks are the foundation of adaptive management, as they provide the necessary information to evaluate performance and the effectiveness of management actions. Marine protected areas (MPAs) - possibly set up in networks - constitute a key component in EB-MSM policies and practises and have been applied as a cornerstone in conservation of marine biodiversity, management of fish populations, development of coastal tourism, etc. Moreover, MPA experiences have provided methods and concepts (such as zoning) to a wider EB-MSM context. The assignment of values to biophysical features of the marine environment allows the direct assessment of related management choices and may assist EB-MSM.

Top 10 List: 
Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM)
Marine Spatial Planning (MSP)

Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report 2009

Citation Information: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority; July 2009

ISBN: 978 1 876945 89 3 (pbk.)

Description: The Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report 2009 is a stock-take of the Great Barrier Reef, its management and its future.

The aim of the Outlook Report is to provide information about:

  • The condition of the ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef Region (including the ecosystem outside the Region where it affects the Region)
  • Social and economic factors influencing the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem
  • Management effectiveness of the Great Barrier Reef, and...
  • Risk-based assessment of the long-term outlook for the Region.

The Report underpins decision-making for the long term protection of the Great Barrier Reef. It was prepared by the GBRMPA based on the best available information and was independently peer reviewed. Many people contributed to the development of the Outlook Report including:

  • Australian and Queensland Government agencies
  • Leading Great Barrier Reef scientists and researchers
  • Industry representatives
  • Advisory committees
  • Members of regional communities and the public.

The publication of an Outlook Report was a key recommendation of the review of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975. A report is to be prepared every five years and given to the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities for tabling in both houses of the Australian Parliament.

The Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report 2009 is the first of these reports.

Top 10 List: 
Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM)

Marine ecosystem-based management: from characterization to implementation

Citation Information: 2006; Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 4: 525–532

Authors: Katie K. Arkema, Sarah C. Abramson, and Bryan M. Dewsbury.

Abstract: Over the past decade, policy makers, management agencies, and academic scientists have shown increasing interest in ecosystem-based management (EBM). Yet, the extent that EBM principles, deemed important by scientists, are adopted by managers is still uncertain. Here, we review scientific definitions of EBM and management plans for eight marine and coastal ecosystems to determine if management agencies and academics are approaching EBM in a similar manner. Although the scientific literature outlines specific ecological and social principles of EBM, we find that these details are only loosely incorporated into management plans and actions. Our results indicate that some principles of EBM are being put into practice, but the gap between the scientific literature and management plans suggests that these concepts need to be more effectively translated. Our results also reveal a need for operational tools to make scientific principles easier to put into practice, to further the implementation of EBM.

Top 10 List: 
Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM)

Integrated Ecosystem Assessments: Developing the Scientific Basis for Ecosystem-Based Management of the Ocean

Citation Information: 2009;PLoS Biol 7(1): e1000014


Authors: Levin PS, Fogarty MJ, Murawski SA, Fluharty D

Abstract: A series of prominent and controversial papers about the state of marine ecosystems has occupied the pages of high-profile journals over the last decade [1–7]. While some might quarrel with the specific conclusions of these papers, there is no dispute that managers of ocean and coastal habitats confront a growing diversity of very serious challenges [8] that, if left unattended, threaten the ability of marine ecosystems to supply the goods and services required or desired by humans [9].

The tenets of ecosystem-based management (EBM) now occupy center stage in our efforts to rebuild marine ecosystems. Indeed, over the last several decades EBM has evolved from a vague principle to a central paradigm underlying living marine resource policy in the United States [10,11]. EBM differs from conventional resource management in that it defines management strategies for entire systems, not simply individual components of the ecosystem [12]. As a consequence, EBM takes into account interactions among ecosystem components and management sectors, as well as cumulative impacts of a wide spectrum of ocean-use sectors [13]. Importantly, EBM considers humans as an integral part of the ecosystem, since humans derive a portfolio of services from the ecosystem and also act as a driver influencing ecosystem processes. Thus, a key aspect of EBM is illuminating trade-offs among ecosystem services and management goals [14]. After years of debating about the meaning of EBM, and whether EBM is possible or even needed, we have arrived at a turning point where large-scale, comprehensive EBM is broadly accepted as crucial for effective marine conservation and resource management [15].

Top 10 List: 
Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM)

Ocean and Coastal Ecosystem-Based Management: Implementation Handbook

Citation Information: Environmental Law Institute; 2009

Authors: Kathryn Mengerink, Adam Schempp, and Jay Austin

Summary: With support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and input from many ocean and coastal management experts, the Environmental Law Institute produced this Handbook to identify successful approaches to implementing marine ecosystem-based management (EBM), describe their limitations, and highlight opportunities to apply them in the future. This Handbook provides a spectrum of examples that take steps toward EBM. It is designed to share a variety of approaches that may be useful in different settings depending upon regional needs and opportunities.

Top 10 List: 
Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM)

Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 2 for the South Atlantic Region

50 CFR Part 622

Docket No.: 110831547–1736–02

RIN: 0648–BB26

Agency: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

Action: Final rule.

Summary: NMFS issues this final rule to implement the Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 2 (CE–BA 2) to implement the following South Atlantic fishery management plan (FMP) amendments: Amendment 1 to the FMP for Pelagic Sargassum Habitat of the South Atlantic Region (Sargassum FMP); Amendment 7 to the FMP for Coral, Coral reefs, and Live/Hard Bottom Habitats of the South Atlantic Region (Coral FMP); and Amendment 25 to the FMP for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Snapper-Grouper FMP), as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council); as well as Amendment 21 to the FMP for Coastal Migratory Pelagic (CMP) Resources (CMP FMP) as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Councils. This rule modifies the fishery management unit (FMU) for octocorals in the South Atlantic exclusive economic zone (EEZ), establishes an annual catch limit (ACL) for octocorals, modifies management in special management zones (SMZs) off South Carolina, and modifies sea turtle and smalltooth sawfish release gear specifications in the South Atlantic region. CE–BA 2 also designates new Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for Sargassum, and EFH-Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (EFH–HAPCs) for the Snapper-Grouper, Coral FMPs. This rule specifies ACLs for species not undergoing overfishing (octocorals), implements management measures to ensure overfishing does not occur for these species but optimum yield may be achieved, and conserves and protects habitat in the South Atlantic region.

Dates: This rule is effective January 30, 2012.

Exploitable marine ecosystems: Their behaviour and management

Citation Information: FISHING NEWS BOOKS, OXFORD (UK). 1996.

ISBN: 0852382251

Authors: Taivo Laevastu, Dayton L. Alverson, and Richard J. Marasco

Description: Comprehensive, concise, and authoritative, and based on critical examination of hundreds of scientific studies, Marine Ecosystems: Behaviour and Management is an in-depth appraisal of the nature and dynamics of marine ecosystems; their productivity, their basis for fisheries, and ecosystem management. The various types of marine ecosystems are described, and the ways in which they function are analysed, with emphasis on the behaviour of fish ecosystems, and the possible effects of man on marine resources. The effects of fishing on stocks and the marine ecosystems at large are explained and critically compared to naturally occurring fluctuations of fish stocks and marine ecosystems.


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