Marine protected areas (MPAs) aim to mitigate anthropogenic impacts by conserving biodiversity and preventing overfishing. The effectiveness of MPAs depends on population connectivity patterns between protected and non-protected areas. Remote islands are endemism hotspots for coral reef fishes and provide rare examples of coral reefs with limited fishing pressure. This study explored population genetic connectivity across a network of protected and non-protected areas for the endemic wrasse, Coris bulbifrons, which is listed as “vulnerable” by the IUCN due to its small, decreasing geographic range and declining abundance. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and microsatellite DNA (msatDNA) markers were used to estimate historic and contemporary gene flow to determine the level of population self-replenishment and to measure genetic and genotypic diversity among all four locations in the species range (south-west Pacific Ocean)—Middleton Reef (MR), Elizabeth Reef (ER), Lord Howe Island (LHI) and Norfolk Island (NI). MPAs exist at MR and LHI and are limited or non-existent at ER and NI, respectively. There was no obvious differentiation in mtDNA among locations, however, msatDNA revealed differentiation between the most peripheral (NI) and all remaining locations (MR, ER and LHI). Despite high mtDNA connectivity (M = 259–1,144), msatDNA connectivity was limited (M = 3–9) with high self-replenishment (68–93 %) at all locations. NI is the least connected and heavily reliant on self-replenishment, and the absence of MPAs at NI needs to be rectified to ensure the persistence of endemic species at this location. Other endemic fishes exhibit similar patterns of high self-replenishment across the four locations, indicating that a single spatial management approach consisting of a MPA network protecting part of each location could provide reasonable protection for these species. Thus, the existing network of MPAs at this endemic hotspot appears adequate at some locations, but not at all.
Depending upon the institutional framework, coral reef ecosystems and local economic development can be synergistic. When managed properly through local institutions, coral reef systems can deliver ecosystem services that create livelihoods and increase local prosperity in dependent communities. This study compares two community-based reef management institutions. One is located in a community with a reef struggling to recover from destructive fishing, the other in a community that has experienced a remarkable recovery. Using mixed methods, long-form interviews, and surveys of reef tourism stakeholders, this uses institutional characteristics to predict reef quality. Certain institutional components hypothesized to predict reef quality did not; these include universal membership requirements for reef stakeholders, stakeholder familiarity with leadership and hierarchies, and transparent decision-making and implementation of management policy. This means that one size fits all prescriptions for local reef management institutions should be viewed with caution. Instead, the success of management institutions may depend upon both the path toward economic development, access to technology that facilitates coral recovery, and communication of conservation strategies to tourist visitors.
The collective impact of humans on biodiversity rivals mass extinction events defining Earth’s history, but does our large population also present opportunities to document and contend with this crisis? We provide the first quantitative review of biodiversity-related citizen science to determine whether data collected by these projects can be, and are currently being, effectively used in biodiversity research. We find strong evidence of the potential of citizen science: within projects we sampled (n = 388), ∼1.3 million volunteers participate, contributing up to $2.5 billion in-kind annually. These projects exceed most federally-funded studies in spatial and temporal extent, and collectively they sample a breadth of taxonomic diversity. However, only 12% of the 388 projects surveyed obviously provide data to peer-reviewed scientific articles, despite the fact that a third of these projects have verifiable, standardized data that are accessible online. Factors influencing publication included project spatial scale and longevity and having publically available data, as well as one measure of scientific rigor (taxonomic identification training). Because of the low rate at which citizen science data reach publication, the large and growing citizen science movement is likely only realizing a small portion of its potential impact on the scientific research community. Strengthening connections between professional and non-professional participants in the scientific process will enable this large data resource to be better harnessed to understand and address global change impacts on biodiversity.
International agreements and guidelines provide the overall goals of sustainable development and healthy ecosystems, but it is at the national level that these must be implemented while addressing the interests of the nation and its citizens with decisions that affect people as well as the environment. This chapter summarizes the approaches taken by Australia, Norway and Canada during the past 1–2 decades to meet the challenges of ecosystem-based management of fisheries and biodiversity, looking at: developments in legislation and policy, and convergence between fisheries and biodiversity management; methods to address and prioritize issues for ecosystem-based fisheries management; and integrated cross-sectoral management. These three countries have put significant effort into addressing sustainable fishery development and integrated oceans management however, with policies explicitly endorsing ecosystem-based approaches.
Well-designed and effectively managed networks of marine reserves can be effective tools for both fisheries management and biodiversity conservation. Connectivity, the demographic linking of local populations through the dispersal of individuals as larvae, juveniles or adults, is a key ecological factor to consider in marine reserve design, since it has important implications for the persistence of metapopulations and their recovery from disturbance. For marine reserves to protect biodiversity and enhance populations of species in fished areas, they must be able to sustain focal species (particularly fishery species) within their boundaries, and be spaced such that they can function as mutually replenishing networks whilst providing recruitment subsidies to fished areas. Thus the configuration (size, spacing and location) of individual reserves within a network should be informed by larval dispersal and movement patterns of the species for which protection is required. In the past, empirical data regarding larval dispersal and movement patterns of adults and juveniles of many tropical marine species have been unavailable or inaccessible to practitioners responsible for marine reserve design. Recent empirical studies using new technologies have also provided fresh insights into movement patterns of many species and redefined our understanding of connectivity among populations through larval dispersal. Our review of movement patterns of 34 families (210 species) of coral reef fishes demonstrates that movement patterns (home ranges, ontogenetic shifts and spawning migrations) vary among and within species, and are influenced by a range of factors (e.g. size, sex, behaviour, density, habitat characteristics, season, tide and time of day). Some species move <0.1–0.5 km (e.g. damselfishes, butterflyfishes and angelfishes), <0.5–3 km (e.g. most parrotfishes, goatfishes and surgeonfishes) or 3–10 km (e.g. large parrotfishes and wrasses), while others move tens to hundreds (e.g. some groupers, emperors, snappers and jacks) or thousands of kilometres (e.g. some sharks and tuna). Larval dispersal distances tend to be <5–15 km, and self-recruitment is common. Synthesising this information allows us, for the first time, to provide species, specific advice on the size, spacing and location of marine reserves in tropical marine ecosystems to maximise benefits for conservation and fisheries management for a range of taxa. We recommend that: (i) marine reserves should be more than twice the size of the home range of focal species (in all directions), thus marine reserves of various sizes will be required depending on which species require protection, how far they move, and if other effective protection is in place outside reserves; (ii) reserve spacing should be <15 km, with smaller reserves spaced more closely; and (iii) marine reserves should include habitats that are critical to the life history of focal species (e.g. home ranges, nursery grounds, migration corridors and spawning aggregations), and be located to accommodate movement patterns among these. We also provide practical advice for practitioners on how to use this information to design, evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of marine reserve networks within broader ecological, socioeconomic and management contexts.
The management of common pool resources and publicly-owned areas is fraught with difficulty. This book explores the long, complex, and frequently contentious history of public lands management in the United States in order to draw lessons for the emerging field of marine spatial planning (MSP).
The author first establishes that these two seemingly different settings are in fact remarkably similar, drawing on established theories of policy analysis. The work then examines the management of US National Forests over the past 120 years, including three place-based case studies, to discover recurring themes. The analysis shows how different management approaches evolved over time in response to changing laws and cultural norms, producing outcomes favored by different constituencies. This history also reveals the ambiguities and contradictions inherent in multiple-use management of any public space. Next, the book analyzes recent efforts to advance MSP, both in the US and globally, showing how they mirror past experiences in National Forest management, including similar disagreements among stakeholders.
In conclusion the author suggests how those within ocean-related sectors – government, academia, industry, and environmental groups – might achieve their individual and collective goals more effectively based on lessons from the public lands setting.
The report has been commissioned by the Nordic Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) network under the auspices of the Nordic Marine Group (HAV). It presents a step in an ongoing process of Nordic capacity development and collaboration on sustainable management of the marine environment. The report summarises the results of a workshop conducted in 2013 on Iceland with the aims to connect experts and to develop common principles and a collaboration platform for Nordic MSP. It also takes a step beyond and can be both red as a knowledge update and as an input to an on-going discussion in Nordic MSP.
Designing effective management plans requires understanding fishers' behaviour under that plan, because fishers change their behaviour in response to economic and management incentives, which in turn will lead to different fishery outcomes. This study presents a modelling framework for management strategy evaluations which takes into account the response of fishers to management schemes. Based on the upcoming discard ban, two discard prevention strategies were tested for the North Sea saithe fishery, where fleet segments have either no or a generally low quota for cod. Costs and benefits were assessed under the current management, a non-flexible system, where fleet segments had to stop fishing once the cod quota was reached and a flexible system where quota of saithe could be used to cover over-quota catch of cod at a ratio 1:5. The flexible scenario was beneficial both in protecting the North Sea saithe and cod stock and in increasing net profits of fleet segments in the long term. The avoidance behaviour of fleet segments to over-quota catch led to a high SSB level of saithe and cod in the long term, ensuring high long-term catches and profits. A non-flexible scenario had a negative impact on the saithe stock, because mainly juvenile saithe before spawning were caught reducing the spawning-stock biomass in the longer term. A non-flexible scenario was costly in terms of up to 29% lower net profits for individual fleet segments generating little economic incentive to be compliant.
The difficulty of ensuring adequate statistical coverage of whole fleets is a challenge for the implementation of observer programmes and may reduce the usefulness of the data they obtain for management purposes. This makes it necessary to find cost-effective alternatives. Electronic monitoring (EM) systems are being used in some fisheries as an alternative or a complement to human observers. The objective of this study was to test the use and reliability of EM on the tropical tuna purse-seine fishery. To achieve this objective, seven trips of tuna purse seiners operating in the three Oceans were closely monitored to compare the information provided by EM and on-board observers to determine if EM can reliably document fishing effort, set type, tuna catch, and bycatch. Total tuna catch per set was not significantly different between EM and observer datasets; however, regarding species composition, only main species matched between EM and observers. Success on set-type identification using EM varied between 98.3 and 56.3%, depending on the camera placement. Overall, bycatch species were underestimated by EM, but large bodied species, such as billfishes, were well documented. The analyses in this study showed that EM can be used to determine the fishing effort (number of sets) and total tuna catch as reliably as observers can. Set-type identification also had very promising results, but indicated that refinement of the methods is still needed. To be fully comparable with observer data, improvements for accurately estimating the bycatch will need to be developed in the application and use of the EM system. Operational aspects that need to be improved for an EM programme to be implemented include standardizing installation and on-board catch handling methodology as well as improvements in video technology deployment.
We report global long-term trends in surface ocean pH using a new pH data set computed by combining fCO2 observations from the Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas (SOCAT) version 2 with surface alkalinity estimates based on temperature and salinity. Trends were determined over the periods 1981–2011 and 1991–2011 for a set of 17 biomes using a weighted linear least squares method. We observe significant decreases in surface ocean pH in ~70% of all biomes and a global mean rate of decrease of –0.0018 ± 0.0004 yr-1 for 1991–2011. We are not able to calculate a global trend for 1981–2011 because too few biomes have enough data for this. In two-thirds of the biomes, the rate of change is commensurate with the trends expected based on the assumption that the surface ocean pH change is only driven by the surface ocean carbon chemistry remaining in a transient equilibrium with the increase in atmospheric CO2. In the remaining biomes deviations from such equilibrium may reflect changes in the trend of surface ocean fCO2, most notably in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, or changes in the oceanic buffer (Revelle) factor. We conclude that well-planned and long-term sustained observational networks are key to reliably document the ongoing and future changes in ocean carbon chemistry due to anthropogenic forcing.
The world’s coastal zones are experiencing rapid development and an increase in storms and flooding. These hazards put coastal communities at heightened risk, which may increase with habitat loss. Here we analyse globally the role and cost effectiveness of coral reefs in risk reduction. Meta-analyses reveal that coral reefs provide substantial protection against natural hazards by reducing wave energy by an average of 97%. Reef crests alone dissipate most of this energy (86%). There are 100 million or more people who may receive risk reduction benefits from reefs or bear hazard mitigation and adaptation costs if reefs are degraded. We show that coral reefs can provide comparable wave attenuation benefits to artificial defences such as breakwaters, and reef defences can be enhanced cost effectively. Reefs face growing threats yet there is opportunity to guide adaptation and hazard mitigation investments towards reef restoration to strengthen this first line of coastal defence.
Restoration of degraded land is recognized by the international community as an important way of enhancing both biodiversity and ecosystem services, but more information is needed about its costs and benefits. In Cambridgeshire, U.K., a long-term initiative to convert drained, intensively farmed arable land to a wetland habitat mosaic is driven by a desire both to prevent biodiversity loss from the nationally important Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve (Wicken Fen NNR) and to increase the provision of ecosystem services. We evaluated the changes in ecosystem service delivery resulting from this land conversion, using a new Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment (TESSA) to estimate biophysical and monetary values of ecosystem services provided by the restored wetland mosaic compared with the former arable land. Overall results suggest that restoration is associated with a net gain to society as a whole of $199 ha−1y−1, for a one-off investment in restoration of $2320 ha−1. Restoration has led to an estimated loss of arable production of $2040 ha−1y−1, but estimated gains of $671 ha−1y−1 in nature-based recreation, $120 ha−1y−1 from grazing, $48 ha−1y−1 from flood protection, and a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worth an estimated $72 ha−1y−1. Management costs have also declined by an estimated $1325 ha−1y−1. Despite uncertainties associated with all measured values and the conservative assumptions used, we conclude that there was a substantial gain to society as a whole from this land-use conversion. The beneficiaries also changed from local arable farmers under arable production to graziers, countryside users from towns and villages, and the global community, under restoration. We emphasize that the values reported here are not necessarily transferable to other sites.
The present study evaluates the role of marine aquaculture in the conversion of mangrove forests into shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei, Boone, 1931) farms using remote sensing and geographic information system techniques and analyzes the productivity of the installed farms in the mangroves and adjacent coastal plateau. The extension of the shrimp ponds was quantified using satellite image analysis, and the water quality of the shrimp farms was analyzed based on measurements of dissolved oxygen concentration, temperature, pH, and salinity. The productivity of the farms was measured using biometric data. The data were analyzed using ANOVA with Tukey's post-test. The results indicated that shrimp farms cover an area of ∼0.8 km2 (approximately 0.4% of Brazilian ponds), of which 29.4% are located within areas of mangroves, and 70.6% are located in the coastal plateau. Saltwater aquaculture contributed to the conversion of 0.53 km2 of the mangroves into rearing ponds, which represents only 0.007% of the total area of the Amazonian mangroves. The installations in the mangrove presented significantly higher pH, temperature, transparency, and salinity compared with the ponds installed in the coastal plateau, although coastal plateau ponds had higher dissolved oxygen concentrations. Based on these differences, the mean sizes of the shrimp raised in the mangrove and coastal plateau ponds were 5.7 g and 4.3 g, respectively. However, the estimated value of one hectare of mangrove is much higher than its potential value in the production of shrimp. The considerable value of the ecosystem services provided by the mangroves indicates that the production of shrimp in the coastal plateau is relatively less damaging in ecological and economic terms. Thus, we can consider that the production of shrimp in the coastal plateau instead of in mangrove areas is less damaging to the long-term conservation of mangrove forests, which follows the management best practices established by international organizations. The coastal zone is considered a common resource that belongs to all citizens in Iberoamerican countries, and it is defined as a zone of non-building. Therefore, we conclude that mangroves are more valuable intact than converted into aquaculture ponds. Hence, aquaculture activities in the Amazon coastal plain are not sustainable from environmental and socioeconomic perspectives.
Dredged sediments derived by the low course and estuary of the metropolitan river of Athens (Kifissos River) were dumped every day for 21 months to an open-sea site in the Saronikos Gulf. The spoil-ground and surrounding area was monitored prior, during and post to dumping for 24 months, over 6-month intervals. Dumping significantly changed the granulometry of the pre-existing superficial sediments to finer-grained only in the spoil ground and increased the sediment contamination load (aliphatic, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heavy metals) throughout the study area. Microtox® SPT showed that sediment toxicity levels were high at almost all sampling stations. During dumping, burial of natural soft-bottom habitats degraded severely the communities of the spoil-ground resulting in an almost azoic state, as well as significantly declined the species number and abundance of benthic communities in locations up to 3.2 km away from the spoil-ground, due to dispersion of the spoil and smothering. Benthic indices on the surrounding sites were significantly correlated with hydrocarbon concentrations and sediment toxicity levels. Post to dumping, the macrofauna communities of the spoil-ground were still significantly degraded, but the surrounding areas showed patterns of recovery. However, the high concentrations of aliphatic, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and levels of toxicity persisted in the sediments after the ceasing of dumping operations in the study area, implying the ecological hazard imposed on the area.
The aim of this study is to predict changes in the distribution and extent of habitat forming species defined as “Priority Marine Habitats” (PMHs) in the North-East (NE) Atlantic under future scenarios of climate-induced environmental change. A Species Distribution Modelling method was used for each PMH to map the potential distribution of “most suitable” habitat. The area and percentage cover was calculated within each country׳s Exclusive Economic Zone for the baseline (2009) and the projected (2100) years. In addition, a conservation management score was calculated based on the number of PMHs that co-occur in assessment units. Overall, this study reveals the potential for movement and/or change in the extent of some PMHs across the NE Atlantic under an increased ocean temperature scenario (4 °C) by 2100. There are regional differences in the predicted changes and some countries will experience greater/different changes than others. The movement of biodiversity hotspots (where one or more PMHs occur in the same broad area) provides both opportunities and risks for conservation management that are discussed. Co-operation between neighbouring countries and marine regions will require substantial enhancement in order to provide a robust adaptive management strategy going forward.
Large-scale extraction of power from tidal streams within the Pentland Firth is expected to be underway in the near future. The Inner Sound of Stroma in particular has attracted significant commercial interest. To understand potential environmental impacts of the installation of a tidal turbine array a case study based upon the Inner Sound is considered. A numerical computational fluid dynamics model, Fluidity, is used to conduct a series of depth-averaged simulations to investigate velocity and bed shear stress changes due to the presence of idealised tidal turbine arrays. The number of turbines is increased from zero to 400. It is found that arrays in excess of 85 turbines have the potential to affect bed shear stress distributions in such a way that the most favourable sites for sediment accumulation migrate from the edges of the Inner Sound towards its centre. Deposits of fine gravel and coarse sand are indicated to occur within arrays of greater than 240 turbines with removal of existing deposits in the shallower channel margins also possible. The effects of the turbine array may be seen several kilometres from the site which has implications not only on sediment accumulation, but also on the benthic fauna.
This paper assesses operational impacts of large-scale ocean wave energy development in the US Pacific Northwest. High-resolution wave power production and forecasting data is synthesized for wave energy arrays spatially-distributed along the region's coast. Geographic diversification is found to limit the rate at which production variability scales with installed capacity, over timescales ranging from minutes to hours. The reduced variability makes it easier to forecast short-term wave generation accurately. When modeled within the operational structure of the region's primary balancing area authority, large-scale wave energy is found to provide a relatively high capacity value and costs less to integrate than equivalent amounts of wind energy.
This paper reports the methodology established in the application of a numerical wave model for hindcasting of wave conditions around the United Kingdom, in particular for Scottish waters, for the purpose of wave energy resource assessment at potential device development sites. The phase averaged MIKE 21 Spectral wave model has been adopted for this study and applied to the North Atlantic region bounded by latitudes 10° N–70° N and longitudes 10° E−75° W. Spatial and temporal wind speeds extracted from the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) have been utilised to drive the wave model. A rigorous calibration and validation of the model has been carried out by comparing model results with buoy measurements for different time periods and locations around Scotland. Significant wave height, peak wave period and peak wave direction obtained from the model correlated very well with measurements. Spatially varying statistical mean and maximum values of the significant wave height and wave power obtained based on a one-year wave hindcasting are in good agreement with the UK Marine Atlas values. The wave model can be used with high level of confidence for wave hindcasting and even forecasting of various wave parameters and wave power at any desired point locations or for regions. The wave model could also be employed for generating boundary conditions to small scale regional wave and tidal flow models.
In Belize, beginning in 2011 at Glover's Reef Marine Reserve, and in 2012 at Port Honduras Marine Reserve, fishers have been required to keep logbooks to document their catch and effort. A Bayesian depletion model including in-season recruitment was applied to the standardized catch per unit effort (cpue) of Caribbean spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) from the logbooks to estimate the abundance and fishing mortality of lobsters at both sites. Two alternative subsets of the cpue data were used to account for changes in targeting caused by the opening and closing of the queen conch (Strombus gigas) season. At Glover's Reef, a typical model estimated abundance ∼66–79 000 lobsters. Of these, ∼60–85% were present at the beginning of the season and the rest recruited into the fished population later in the season. The depletion model applied to data from the 2012 season at Port Honduras found an abundance of ∼12 000 lobsters, and in-season recruitment was not supported by the data. That in-season recruitment was present at Glover's Reef and not at Port Honduras may be explained by the fact that Glover's Reef has more unfished areas that could serve as a source of adult lobsters during the season. Glover's Reef has a larger no-take zone (20% of the reserve area, compared with 5% at Port Honduras), and it is surrounded by a deep wall reef where lobsters are found below the depth accessible to fishers. The models estimated a harvest fraction of ∼70% in both reserves.
Measuring the success or failure of natural resource management is a key challenge to evaluate the impact of conservation for ecological, economic and social outcomes. Marine reserves are a popular tool for managing coastal ecosystems and resources yet surprisingly few studies have quantified the social-economic impacts of marine reserves on food security despite the critical importance of this outcome for fisheries management in developing countries. Here, I conducted semi-structured household surveys with 113 women heads-of-households to investigate the influence of two old, well-enforced, no-take marine reserves on food security in four coastal fishing communities in Kenya, East Africa. Multi-model information-theoretic inference and matching methods found that marine reserves did not influence household food security, as measured by protein consumption, diet diversity and food coping strategies. Instead, food security was strongly influenced by fishing livelihoods and household wealth: fishing families and wealthier households were more food secure than non-fishing and poorer households. These findings highlight the importance of complex social and economic landscapes of livelihoods, urbanization, power and gender dynamics that can drive the outcomes of marine conservation and management.