Literature Library

Currently indexing 7018 titles

Cross-border cooperation in Maritime Spatial Planning

Carneiro G, Thomas H, Olsen S, Benzaken D, Fletcher S, Méndez-Roldán S, Stanwell-Smith D. Cross-border cooperation in Maritime Spatial Planning. Brussels: European Commission; 2017. Available from: https://ec.europa.eu/easme/en/news/study-what-are-best-practices-cross-border-maritime-spatial-planning
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

The ‘Study on International Best Practices for Cross-Border MSP’ has been designed to assist the European Commission (EC) and Member States in the implementation of the MSP Directive through the identification of good practices of MSP, with a particular focus on cross-border cooperation; and to elaborate recommendations that can support the promotion and exchange of MSP at the international level, relevant to the implementation of the EC International Ocean Governance Agenda.

Over the last few years, an increasing number of nations have begun to implement MSP at various scales, from local initiatives to transnational efforts, motivated by opportunities for new maritime industries, the reversal of negative environmental trends and the improved coordination of sectors among others. In Europe, the European Directive to establish a framework for MSP (the “MSP Directive”) is considered as a step forward in the adoption of MSP principles and good practices by EU Member States. This directive can support not only a more efficient sustainable development of marine and coastal resources, but also strengthen cross-border cooperation, and therefore improve ocean governance.

This study has centred its work on four main objectives or phases: Firstly, the review of existing guidance and MSP processes, and compilation of a detailed inventory of MSP implementation outside the EU, the Study’s ‘Global MSP Inventory’, 1 which provides a description of MSP processes and identifies common practice, including approaches to cross-border cooperation. Secondly, an in-depth comparative analysis of four case studies of MSP implementation, 2 including literature review, site visits and key informant interviews, that identifies lessons learned in MSP, and good practices in support of cross-border cooperation. Thirdly, the formulation of recommendations on the international exchange of MSP, including recommendations on the application of MSP in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ). Fourthly, the presentation of preliminary findings at the 2nd International MSP Conference (March 2017, Paris), partly coordinated and supported by the Study team.

This report presents the final publication of the Study and presents findings associated with these four objectives.

Marine reserves can mitigate and promote adaptation to climate change

Roberts CM, O’Leary BC, McCauley DJ, Cury PMaurice, Duarte CM, Lubchenco J, Pauly D, Sáenz-Arroyo A, Sumaila URashid, Wilson RW, et al. Marine reserves can mitigate and promote adaptation to climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [Internet]. 2017 :201701262. Available from: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/05/31/1701262114
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $10.00
Type: Journal Article

Strong decreases in greenhouse gas emissions are required to meet the reduction trajectory resolved within the 2015 Paris Agreement. However, even these decreases will not avert serious stress and damage to life on Earth, and additional steps are needed to boost the resilience of ecosystems, safeguard their wildlife, and protect their capacity to supply vital goods and services. We discuss how well-managed marine reserves may help marine ecosystems and people adapt to five prominent impacts of climate change: acidification, sea-level rise, intensification of storms, shifts in species distribution, and decreased productivity and oxygen availability, as well as their cumulative effects. We explore the role of managed ecosystems in mitigating climate change by promoting carbon sequestration and storage and by buffering against uncertainty in management, environmental fluctuations, directional change, and extreme events. We highlight both strengths and limitations and conclude that marine reserves are a viable low-tech, cost-effective adaptation strategy that would yield multiple cobenefits from local to global scales, improving the outlook for the environment and people into the future.

Quantitative argument for long-term ecological monitoring

Giron-Nava A, James CC, Johnson AF, Dannecker D, Kolody B, Lee A, Nagarkar M, Pao GM, Ye H, Johns DG, et al. Quantitative argument for long-term ecological monitoring. Marine Ecology Progress Series [Internet]. 2017 ;572:269 - 274. Available from: http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/meps/v572/p269-274/
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Although it seems obvious that with more data, the predictive capacity of ecological models should improve, a way to demonstrate this fundamental result has not been so obvious. In particular, when the standard models themselves are inadequate (von Bertalanffy, extended Ricker etc.) no additional data will improve performance. By using time series from the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science Continuous Plankton Recorder, we demonstrate that long-term observations reveal both the prevalence of nonlinear processes in species abundances and an improvement in out-of-sample predictability as the number of observations increase. The empirical results presented here quantitatively demonstrate the importance of long-term temporal data collection programs for improving ecosystem models and forecasts, and to better support environmental management actions. 

User fees across ecosystem boundaries: Are SCUBA divers willing to pay for terrestrial biodiversity conservation?

Roberts M, Hanley N, Cresswell W. User fees across ecosystem boundaries: Are SCUBA divers willing to pay for terrestrial biodiversity conservation?. Journal of Environmental Management [Internet]. 2017 ;200:53 - 59. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301479717305431
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $41.95
Type: Journal Article

While ecological links between ecosystems have been long recognised, management rarely crosses ecosystem boundaries. Coral reefs are susceptible to damage through terrestrial run-off, and failing to account for this within management threatens reef protection. In order to quantify the extent to that coral reef users are willing to support management actions to improve ecosystem quality, we conducted a choice experiment with SCUBA divers on the island of Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands. Specifically, we estimated their willingness to pay to reduce terrestrial overgrazing as a means to improve reef health. Willingness to pay was estimated using the multinomial, random parameter and latent class logit models. Willingness to pay for improvements to reef quality was positive for the majority of respondents. Estimates from the latent class model determined willingness to pay for reef improvements of between $31.17 - $413.18/year, dependent on class membership. This represents a significant source of funding for terrestrial conservation, and illustrates the potential for user fees to be applied across ecosystem boundaries. We argue that such across-ecosystem-boundary funding mechanisms are an important avenue for future investigation in many connected systems.

Tourism as a driver of conflicts and changes in fisheries value chains in Marine Protected Areas

Lopes PFM, Mendes L, Fonseca V, Villasante S. Tourism as a driver of conflicts and changes in fisheries value chains in Marine Protected Areas. Journal of Environmental Management [Internet]. 2017 ;200:123 - 134. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301479717305650
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $41.95
Type: Journal Article

Although critical tools for protecting ocean habitats, Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are sometimes challenged for social impacts and conflicts they may generate. Some conflicts have an economic base, which, once understood, can be used to resolve associated socioenvironmental problems. We addressed how the fish trade in an MPA that combines no-take zones and tourist or resident zones creates incentives for increased fisheries. We performed a value chain analysis following the fish supply and trade through interviews that assessed consumer demand and preference. The results showed a simple and closed value chain driven by tourism (70% of the consumption). Both tourists and local consumers preferred high trophic level species (predators), but the former preferred large pelagics (tuna and dolphinfish) and the latter preferred reef species (barracuda and snapper). Pelagic predators are caught with fresh sardines, which are sometimes located only in the no-take zone. Pelagic species are mainly served as fillet, and the leftover fish parts end up as waste, an issue that, if properly addressed, can help reduce fishing pressure. Whereas some of the target species may be sustainable (e.g., dolphinfish), others are more vulnerable (e.g., wahoo) and should not be intensively fished. We advise setting stricter limits to the number of tourists visiting MPAs, according to their own capacity and peculiarities, in order to avoid conflicts with conservations goals through incentives for increased resource use.

Limited Contribution of Small Marine Protected Areas to Regional Biodiversity: The Example of a Small Canadian No-Take MPA

Novaczek E, Howse V, Pretty C, Devillers R, Edinger E, Copeland A. Limited Contribution of Small Marine Protected Areas to Regional Biodiversity: The Example of a Small Canadian No-Take MPA. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2017 ;4. Available from: http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmars.2017.00174/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Over 5,000 marine protected areas (MPAs) exist around the world. Most are small (median size of ~2 km2) and designed primarily for the conservation of a single flagship species. Internationally, there is an increasing focus on ecologically representative conservation; however the contribution of these small MPAs to the protection of regional biodiversity is often unknown. This paper presents a benthic habitat mapping exercise and reports on measures of biodiversity in the Eastport MPA and the nearby area of Newman Sound in Eastern Canada. The Eastport MPA is a 2.1 km2 no-take reserve designated in 2005, based on a voluntary fishery closure implemented by the local community in 1997. The primary goal of the Eastport MPA is to protect and sustain the American lobster (Homarus americanus) population, supporting a local commercial fishery. Benthic habitats were characterized and mapped using multibeam echosounder data and seafloor videos. Three statistically distinct benthic habitats were identified within the boundaries of the MPA: “shallow rocky,” “sand and cobble,” and “sand.” The distribution of species is primarily driven by depth and substrate type. The shallow rocky habitat (48% of the study area) contains complex bedrock and boulder features with high macroalgal cover. These characteristics are associated with juvenile and adult American lobster habitat. However, comparison of the MPA habitats to the surrounding Newman Sound area indicate that this small MPA contributes little to the conservation of the regional marine biodiversity. We recommend that adaptive management mechanisms be used to review such MPAs and expand them to better protect ecosystems representative of their regions.

The ‘responsiveness gap’ in RFMOs: The critical role of decision-making policies in the fisheries management response to climate change

Pentz B, Klenk N. The ‘responsiveness gap’ in RFMOs: The critical role of decision-making policies in the fisheries management response to climate change. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. 2017 ;145:44 - 51. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569117305033
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

The impacts of climate change, owing to their potentially vast reach and scale, embody a critical challenge for fisheries management organizations. We conduct a systematic literature review to present an overview of how the peer-reviewed academic literature recommends fisheries management frameworks should respond to the climate change-driven uncertainty, vulnerability and risk facing resource bases. Our review identifies 21 different potential management responses. Adaptive management was the most commonly identified strategy, with institutional capacity development and input/output controls also frequently cited. We contrast our findings with illustrative cases characterizing management practice and outcomes in RFMOs, and argue that the ability of RFMOs to implement the climate change mitigation strategies identified in our review is a function of an organization's decision-making rules. We argue that consensus-based decision-making policies limit adaptiveness, and that a ‘responsiveness gap’ exists between consensus and majority-based decision-making frameworks. This gap will become more evident, and increase in importance, as the impacts of climate change shift from potential to kinetic. Considering that decision-making rules in RFMOs are unlikely to change, we argue that increased analytical effort concentrated on institutional contexts and member state interest complexes may promote adaptive management, expediting the pace at which scientific recommendations and findings inform policy and practise in RFMOs.

Consistent multi-level trophic effects of marine reserve protection across northern New Zealand

Edgar GJ, Stuart-Smith RD, Thomson RJ, Freeman DJ. Consistent multi-level trophic effects of marine reserve protection across northern New Zealand. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2017 ;12(5):e0177216. Available from: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0177216
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Through systematic Reef Life Survey censuses of rocky reef fishes, invertebrates and macroalgae at eight marine reserves across northern New Zealand and the Kermadec Islands, we investigated whether a system of no-take marine reserves generates consistent biodiversity outcomes. Ecological responses of reef assemblages to protection from fishing, including potential trophic cascades, were assessed using a control-impact design for the six marine reserves studied with associated reference sites, and also by comparing observations at reserve sites with predictions from random forest models that assume reserve locations are fished. Reserve sites were characterised by higher abundance and biomass of large fishes than fished sites, most notably for snapper Chrysophrys auratus, with forty-fold higher observed biomass inside relative to out. In agreement with conceptual models, significant reserve effects not only reflected direct interactions between fishing and targeted species (higher large fish biomass; higher snapper and lobster abundance), but also second order interactions (lower urchin abundance), third order interactions (higher kelp cover), and fourth order interactions (lower understory algal cover). Unexpectedly, we also found: (i) a consistent trend for higher (~20%) Ecklonia cover across reserves relative to nearby fished sites regardless of lobster and urchin density, (ii) an inconsistent response of crustose coralline algae to urchin density, (iii) low cover of other understory algae in marine reserves with few urchins, and (iv) more variable fish and benthic invertebrate communities at reserve relative to fished locations. Overall, reef food webs showed complex but consistent responses to protection from fishing in well-enforced temperate New Zealand marine reserves. The small proportion of the northeastern New Zealand coastal zone located within marine reserves (~0.2%) encompassed a disproportionately large representation of the full range of fish and benthic invertebrate biodiversity within this region.

Through the sands of time: Beach litter trends from nine cleaned north cornish beaches

Watts AJR, Porter A, Hembrow N, Sharpe J, Galloway TS, Lewis C. Through the sands of time: Beach litter trends from nine cleaned north cornish beaches. Environmental Pollution [Internet]. 2017 ;228:416 - 424. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0269749117303123
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

Marine litter and its accumulation on beaches is an issue of major current concern due to its significant environmental and economic impacts. Yet our understanding of spatio-temporal trends in beach litter and the drivers of these trends are currently limited by the availability of robust long term data sets. Here we present a unique data set collected systematically once a month, every month over a six year period for nine beaches along the North Coast of Cornwall, U.K. to investigate the key drivers of beach litter in the Bude, Padstow and Porthcothan areas. Overall, an average of 0.02 litter items m−2 per month were collected during the six year study, with Bude beaches (Summerleaze, Crooklets and Widemouth) the most impacted (0.03 ± 0.004 litter items m−2 per month). The amount of litter collected each month decreased by 18% and 71% respectively for Padstow (Polzeath, Trevone and Harlyn) and Bude areas over the 6 years, possibly related to the regular cleaning, however litter increased by 120% despite this monthly cleaning effort on the Padstow area beaches. Importantly, at all nine beaches the litter was dominated by small, fragmented plastic pieces and rope fibres, which account for 32% and 17% of all litter items collected, respectively. The weathered nature of these plastics indicates they have been in the marine environment for an extended period of time. So, whilst classifying the original source of these plastics is not possible, it can be concluded they are not the result of recent public littering. This data highlights both the extent of the marine litter problem and that current efforts to reduce littering by beach users will only tackle a fraction of this litter. Such information is vital for developing effective management strategies for beach and marine litter at both regional and global levels.

Quantifying the risk that marine debris poses to cetaceans in coastal waters of the 4-island region of Maui

Currie JJ, Stack SH, McCordic JA, Kaufman GD. Quantifying the risk that marine debris poses to cetaceans in coastal waters of the 4-island region of Maui. Marine Pollution Bulletin [Internet]. 2017 . Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X17304174
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $39.95
Type: Journal Article

Marine debris poses considerable threat to biodiversity and ecosystems and has been identified as a stressor for a variety of marine life. Here we present results from the first study quantifying the amount and type of debris accumulation in Maui leeward waters and relate this to cetacean distribution to identify areas where marine debris may present a higher threat. Transect surveys were conducted within the 4-island region of Maui, Hawai'i from April 1, 2013 to April 15, 2016. Debris was found in all areas of the study region with higher concentrations observed where the Au'au, Kealaikahiki, and Alalakeiki channels converge. The degree of overlap between debris and cetaceans varied among species but was largest for humpback whales, which account for the largest portion of reported entanglements in the 4-island region of Maui. Identifying areas of high debris-cetacean density overlap can facilitate species management and debris removal efforts.

Our Shared Seas: A 2017 Overview of Ocean Threats and Conservation Funding

Anon. Our Shared Seas: A 2017 Overview of Ocean Threats and Conservation Funding.; 2017. Available from: https://www.packard.org/insights/resource/global-ocean-report/
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

The global ocean is at a crossroads with pressure coming from many sides. Climate change, overfishing, pollution, shipping, coastal development: there is no shortage of threats facing the marine environment. Recently, an increasing number of philanthropists and aid agencies have risen to the challenge to support solutions that are within reach. Given the urgency, how can funders and advocates understand the most pressing threats and promising solutions and therefore prioritize where to make an impact? Our Shared Seas: A 2017 Overview of Ocean Threats and Conservation Funding was commissioned by The David and Lucile Packard Foundation to provide a guide to the primary ocean threats, trends, and solutions to help funders, advocates and governments make better, faster, and more informed decisions. The message that emerges from this synthesis is clear: when managed well, ocean resources have the potential to simultaneously support thriving ecosystems, sustainable development, and increased fishing profits. But human impacts are swiftly pushing the ocean to its brink. There are many issues of interest in this guide. For our foundation, three topics in particular strike us as essential for the future health of our ocean: tackling overfishing caused by illegal, unregulated and unreported activities; mitigating and addressing the effects of climate change on the ocean; and improving our scientific capacity to understand and manage all of these compounding pressures.

An evaluation of semi-automated methods for collecting ecosystem-level data in temperate marine systems

Griffin KJ, Hedge LH, González-Rivero M, Hoegh-Guldberg OI, Johnston EL. An evaluation of semi-automated methods for collecting ecosystem-level data in temperate marine systems. Ecology and Evolution [Internet]. 2017 . Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ece3.3041/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Historically, marine ecologists have lacked efficient tools that are capable of capturing detailed species distribution data over large areas. Emerging technologies such as high-resolution imaging and associated machine-learning image-scoring software are providing new tools to map species over large areas in the ocean. Here, we combine a novel diver propulsion vehicle (DPV) imaging system with free-to-use machine-learning software to semi-automatically generate dense and widespread abundance records of a habitat-forming algae over ~5,000 m2 of temperate reef. We employ replicable spatial techniques to test the effectiveness of traditional diver-based sampling, and better understand the distribution and spatial arrangement of one key algal species. We found that the effectiveness of a traditional survey depended on the level of spatial structuring, and generally 10–20 transects (50 × 1 m) were required to obtain reliable results. This represents 2–20 times greater replication than have been collected in previous studies. Furthermore, we demonstrate the usefulness of fine-resolution distribution modeling for understanding patterns in canopy algae cover at multiple spatial scales, and discuss applications to other marine habitats. Our analyses demonstrate that semi-automated methods of data gathering and processing provide more accurate results than traditional methods for describing habitat structure at seascape scales, and therefore represent vastly improved techniques for understanding and managing marine seascapes.

California dreaming: Challenges posed by transposing science-based marine protected area planning processes in different political contexts

De Santo EM. California dreaming: Challenges posed by transposing science-based marine protected area planning processes in different political contexts. Environmental Science & Policy [Internet]. 2017 ;75:38 - 46. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1462901117303088
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

In response to direct and indirect pressures on the marine environment posed by increased development and climate change, the international community has been planning and implementing networks of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in national waters. This paper critically assesses the role of evidence in marine conservation planning in the United Kingdom (UK), a process that drew heavily on the example set by California’s Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) planning process. Whereas a science advisory panel played a constructive role and facilitated MPA planning in the Californian context, the outcome in the UK was quite different; evidence became a sticking point hampering the process. The actual designation of sites in the UK has been slower than expected, and none of the Reference Areas (i.e., no-take MPAs) proposed by stakeholder-led consultations have been implemented. Drawing on interviews with participants in the UK process and on theoretical debates surrounding evidence-based decision-making, this paper provides recommendations for effective science-driven marine conservation.

Will communities “open-up” to offshore wind? Lessons learned from New England islands in the United States

Klain SC, Satterfield T, MacDonald S, Battista N, Chan KMA. Will communities “open-up” to offshore wind? Lessons learned from New England islands in the United States. Energy Research & Social Science [Internet]. 2017 ;34:13 - 26. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214629617301172
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

National-scale polls demonstrate high levels of public support for developing renewable energy while local opposition has led to delays and cancelations of renewable energy projects around the world. What makes for robust public engagement processes to reject or site renewable energy projects? A literature review reveals numerous considerations, with complexity that impedes their application by practitioners. In this study, we conducted interviews and document analysis to assess the extent to which design principles from the analytic-deliberative process literature arose during public engagement on three New England islands adjacent to proposed offshore wind farms. In our study sites—amongst the array of criteria in the literature—good public engagement boiled down to two key themes: enabling bidirectional deliberative learning and providing community benefit. Decision processes perceived as effective occurred when (1) participants, including experts and local stakeholders, learned from each other while reconciling technical expertise with citizen values; and (2) outcomes included the provision of collaboratively negotiated community benefits. Our findings highlight that community benefits are not the same as benefits to groups of individuals. Attending to these key themes may improve the quality of interactions among communities, government authorities and developers when deciding if and where to site renewable energy infrastructure.

Fiscal reforms for sustainable marine fisheries governance: Delivering the SDGs and ensuring no one is left behind

Mohammed EYassin, Steinbach D, Steele P. Fiscal reforms for sustainable marine fisheries governance: Delivering the SDGs and ensuring no one is left behind. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2017 . Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X17301574
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

Governments adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed at ushering in a new era of sustainable development where ‘no one is left behind.’ They include a specific goal — SDG 14 — to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources. While policymakers can use a number of legal, regulatory and economic tools to do so, there should be more focus on harnessing fiscal instruments such as taxes, subsidies and conditional transfers to provide the necessary incentives. Provided these approaches strike an appropriate balance between economic, social and ecological considerations, they could play an important role in making SDG 14 a reality. It must be noted that fiscal instruments or reforms do not operate in a vacuum. Their effective implementation requires adequate institutional frameworks to be in place. It is argued that (i) building or strengthening both technical and institutional capacity for fiscal administration; (ii) enhancing compliance through either (or a combination of) incentives and/or punitive measures; (iii) promoting transparency and accountability to win legitimacy and thereby cooperation from all stakeholders involved; and (iv) clearly defining use and access rights of marine and coastal resources either by recognising traditional or customary rights or through a participatory and equitable approach are very critical for an effective implementation of fiscal instruments their reforms.

Invasive lionfish had no measurable effect on prey fish community structure across the Belizean Barrier Reef

Hackerott S, Valdivia A, Cox CE, Silbiger NJ, Bruno JF. Invasive lionfish had no measurable effect on prey fish community structure across the Belizean Barrier Reef. PeerJ [Internet]. 2017 ;5:e3270. Available from: https://peerj.com/articles/3270/
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Invasive lionfish are assumed to significantly affect Caribbean reef fish communities. However, evidence of lionfish effects on native reef fishes is based on uncontrolled observational studies or small-scale, unrepresentative experiments, with findings ranging from no effect to large effects on prey density and richness. Moreover, whether lionfish affect populations and communities of native reef fishes at larger, management-relevant scales is unknown. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of lionfish on coral reef prey fish communities in a natural complex reef system. We quantified lionfish and the density, richness, and composition of native prey fishes (0–10 cm total length) at sixteen reefs along ∼250 km of the Belize Barrier Reef from 2009 to 2013. Lionfish invaded our study sites during this four-year longitudinal study, thus our sampling included fish community structure before and after our sites were invaded, i.e., we employed a modified BACI design. We found no evidence that lionfish measurably affected the density, richness, or composition of prey fishes. It is possible that higher lionfish densities are necessary to detect an effect of lionfish on prey populations at this relatively large spatial scale. Alternatively, negative effects of lionfish on prey could be small, essentially undetectable, and ecologically insignificant at our study sites. Other factors that influence the dynamics of reef fish populations including reef complexity, resource availability, recruitment, predation, and fishing could swamp any effects of lionfish on prey populations.

Responses of bottlenose dolphins and harbor porpoises to impact and vibration piling noise during harbor construction

Graham IM, Pirotta E, Merchant ND, Farcas A, Barton TR, Cheney B, Hastie GD, Thompson PM. Responses of bottlenose dolphins and harbor porpoises to impact and vibration piling noise during harbor construction. Ecosphere [Internet]. 2017 ;8(5):e01793. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ecs2.1793/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The development of risk assessments for the exposure of protected populations to noise from coastal construction is constrained by uncertainty over the nature and extent of marine mammal responses to man-made noise. Stakeholder concern often focuses on the potential for local displacement caused by impact piling, where piles are hammered into the seabed. To mitigate this threat, use of vibration piling, where piles are shaken into place with a vibratory hammer, is often encouraged due to presumed impact reduction. However, data on comparative responses of cetaceans to these different noise sources are lacking. We studied the responses of bottlenose dolphins and harbor porpoises to both impact and vibration pile driving noise during harbor construction works in northeast Scotland, using passive acoustic monitoring devices to record cetacean activity and noise recorders to measure and predict received noise levels. Local abundance and patterns of occurrence of bottlenose dolphins were also compared with a five-year baseline. The median peak-to-peak source level estimated for impact piling was 240 dB re 1 μPa (single-pulse sound exposure level [SEL] 198 dB re 1 μPa2 s), and the r.m.s. source level for vibration piling was 192 dB re 1 μPa. Predicted received broadband SEL values 812 m from the piling site were markedly lower due to high propagation loss: 133.4 dB re 1 μPa2 s (impact) and 128.9 dB re 1 μPa2 s (vibration). Bottlenose dolphins and harbor porpoises were not excluded from sites in the vicinity of impact piling or vibration piling; nevertheless, some small effects were detected. Bottlenose dolphins spent a reduced period of time in the vicinity of construction works during both impact and vibration piling. The probability of occurrence of both cetacean species was also slightly less during periods of vibration piling. This work provides developers and managers with the first evidence of the comparative effects of vibration and impact piling on small cetaceans, enabling more informed risk assessments, policy frameworks, and mitigation plans. In particular, our results emphasize the need for better understanding of noise levels and behavioral responses to vibration piling before recommending its use to mitigate impact piling.

Persistent spatial structuring of coastal ocean acidification in the California Current System

Chan F, Barth JA, Blanchette CA, Byrne RH, Chavez F, Cheriton O, Feely RA, Friederich G, Gaylord B, Gouhier T, et al. Persistent spatial structuring of coastal ocean acidification in the California Current System. Scientific Reports [Internet]. 2017 ;7(1). Available from: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-02777-y
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The near-term progression of ocean acidification (OA) is projected to bring about sharp changes in the chemistry of coastal upwelling ecosystems. The distribution of OA exposure across these early-impact systems, however, is highly uncertain and limits our understanding of whether and how spatial management actions can be deployed to ameliorate future impacts. Through a novel coastal OA observing network, we have uncovered a remarkably persistent spatial mosaic in the penetration of acidified waters into ecologically-important nearshore habitats across 1,000 km of the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem. In the most severe exposure hotspots, suboptimal conditions for calcifying organisms encompassed up to 56% of the summer season, and were accompanied by some of the lowest and most variable pH environments known for the surface ocean. Persistent refuge areas were also found, highlighting new opportunities for local adaptation to address the global challenge of OA in productive coastal systems.

Balancing yield with resilience and conservation objectives in harvested predator-prey communities

Tromeur E, Loeuille N. Balancing yield with resilience and conservation objectives in harvested predator-prey communities. Oikos [Internet]. 2017 . Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/oik.03985/full
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $38.00
Type: Journal Article

The global overexploitation of fish stocks is endangering many marine food webs. Scientists and managers now call for an ecosystem-based fisheries management, able to take into account the complexity of marine ecosystems and the multiple ecosystem services they provide. By contrast, many fishery management plans only focus on maximizing the productivity of harvested stocks. Such practices are suggested to affect other ecosystem services, altering the integrity and resilience of natural communities. Here we show that while yield-maximizing policies can allow for coexistence and resilience in predator-prey communities, they are not optimal in a multi-objective context. We find that although total prey and predator maximum yields are higher with a prey-oriented harvest, focusing on the predator improves species coexistence. Also, moderate harvesting of the predator can enhance resilience. Furthermore, increasing maximum yields by changing catchabilities improves resilience in predator-oriented systems, but reduces it in prey-oriented systems. In a multi-objective context, optimal harvesting strategies involve a general trade-off between yield and resilience. Resilience-maximizing strategies are however compatible with quite high yields, and should often be favored. Our results further suggest that balancing harvest between trophic levels is often best at maintaining simultaneously species coexistence, resilience and yield.

Does Aquaculture Support the Needs of Nutritionally Vulnerable Nations?

Golden CD, Seto KL, Dey MM, Chen OL, Gephart JA, Myers SS, Smith M, Vaitla B, Allison EH. Does Aquaculture Support the Needs of Nutritionally Vulnerable Nations?. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2017 ;4. Available from: http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmars.2017.00159/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Aquaculture now supplies half of the fish consumed directly by humans. We evaluate whether aquaculture, given current patterns of production and distribution, supports the needs of poor and food-insecure populations throughout the world. We begin by identifying 41 seafood-reliant nutritionally vulnerable nations (NVNs), and ask whether aquaculture meets human nutritional demand directly via domestic production or trade, or indirectly via purchase of nutritionally rich dietary substitutes. We find that a limited number of NVNs have domestically farmed seafood, and of those, only specific aquaculture approaches (e.g., freshwater) in some locations have the potential to benefit nutritionally vulnerable populations. While assessment of aquaculture's direct contribution via trade is constrained by data limitations, we find that it is unlikely to contribute substantially to human nutrition in vulnerable groups, as most exported aquaculture consists of high-value species for international markets. We also determine that subpopulations who benefit from aquaculture profits are likely not the same subpopulations who are nutritionally vulnerable, and more research is needed to understand the impacts of aquaculture income gains. Finally, we discuss the relationship of aquaculture to existing trends in capture fisheries in NVNs, and suggest strategies to create lasting solutions to nutritional security, without exacerbating existing challenges in access to food and land resources.

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