The Government of Indonesia, through the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, considers an ecosystem approach to fisheries management (EAFM) to be the preferred option and best practice for the long-term sustainability of fisheries and the ecosystem services provided to society. Recognizing that an appropriate legal, policy and institutional framework must be in place for an EAFM, this paper presents a review of current Indonesian laws and policies for an EAFM; an assessment to identify gaps, challenges and opportunities for an EAFM; and recommendations for EAFM implementation. A strong co-management structure of the fishery management area (FMA) governance is at the heart of EAFM implementation. It is also critical to mention the governance or institution structure of Fishery Management Council of FMA in Indonesian waters in the new proposed fishery law.
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are used as tools to increase marine biodiversity and their concomitant ecosystem services that benefit human wellbeing. It is important to assess whether they are in fact delivering socio-economic benefits to the surrounding communities beyond increasing fish biomass. The Socio-Economic Assessment Tool (SEAT) was developed to measure these benefits. While there are existing tools, most of them are difficult to accomplish and require extensive data gathering, thus are not utilized enough by MPA managers in the country. SEAT is designed to complement the MPA Effectiveness Assessment Tool (MEAT), the primary framework being used to assess MPA governance effectiveness in the Philippines. The tool builds on the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Framework of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, with a focus on whether MPAs increase financial, human and social capital of MPA management bodies and the surrounding communities. SEAT was pilot-tested in several MPAs across the country, and the results were used to develop incentive schemes, i.e. recognition awards, as a sustainability mechanism for MPA management. On an individual level, the results can provide guidelines on how MPAs can better be designed, managed or even expanded to increase socio-economic outcomes. At the national level, the SEAT results can further enrich the existing MPA database being maintained by the MPA Support Network of the Philippines, which will allow for a more comprehensive assessment on the effectiveness of MPAs in improving human wellbeing.
Climate change has exacerbated the occurrence of large-scale sea-surface temperature anomalies, or marine heatwaves (MHW) - extreme phenomena often associated with mass mortality events of marine organisms. Using a combination of citizen science and federal datasets, we investigated the causal mechanisms of the 2014/15 die-off of Cassin's Auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus), a small zooplanktivorous seabird, during the NE Pacific MHW of 2013-2015. Carcass deposition followed an effective reduction in the energy content of mesozooplankton, coincident with the loss of cold-water foraging habitat caused by the intrusion of the NE Pacific MHW into the nearshore environment. Models examining interannual variability in effort-controlled carcass abundance (2001-2014) identified the biomass of lipid-poor zooplankton as the dominant predictor of increased carcass abundance. In 2014, Cassin's Auklets dispersing from colonies in British Columbia likely congregated into a nearshore band of cooler upwelled water, and ultimately died from starvation following the shift in zooplankton composition associated with onshore transport of the NE Pacific MHW. For Cassin's Auklets, already in decline due to ocean warming, large-scale and persistent MHWs might represent a global population precipice.
Microplastics (MPs) pollution has become a problem that affects all aquatic, atmospheric and terrestial environments in the world. In this study, we looked into whether MPs in seas and lakes reach consumers through table salt. For this purpose, we obtained 16 brands of table salts from the Turkish market and determined their MPs content with microscopic and Raman spectroscopic examination. According to our results, the MP particle content was 16–84 item/kg in sea salt, 8–102 item/kg in lake salt and 9–16 item/kg in rock salt. The most common plastic polymers were polyethylene (22.9%) and polypropylene (19.2%). When the amounts of MPs and the amount of salt consumed by Turkish consumers per year are considered together, if they consume sea salt, lake salt or rock salt, they consume 249–302, 203–247 or 64–78 items per year, respectively. This is the first time this concerning level of MPs content in table salts in the Turkish market has been reported.
Microplastic and microfiber pollution has been documented in all major ocean basins. Microfibers are one of the most common microparticle pollutants along shorelines. Over 9 million tons of fibers are produced annually; 60% are synthetic and ∼25% are non-synthetic. Non-synthetic and semi-synthetic microfibers are infrequently documented and not typically included in marine environment impact analyses, resulting in underestimation of a potentially pervasive and harmful pollutant. We present the most extensive worldwide microparticle distribution dataset using 1-liter grab samples (n = 1393). Our citizen scientist driven study shows a global microparticle average of 11.8 ± 24.0 particles L−1 (mean ± SD), approximately three orders of magnitude higher than global model predictions. Open ocean samples showed consistently higher densities than coastal samples, with the highest concentrations found in the polar oceans (n = 51), confirming previous empirical and theoretical studies. Particles were predominantly microfibers (91%) and 0.1–1.5 mm in length (77%), a smaller size than those captured in the majority of surface studies. Using μFT-IR we determined the material types of 113 pieces; 57% were classified as synthetic, 12% as semi-synthetic, and 31% as non-synthetic. Samples were taken globally, including from coastal environments and understudied ocean regions. Some of these sites are emerging as areas of concentrated floating plastic and anthropogenic debris, influenced by distant waste mismanagement and/or deposition of airborne particles. Incorporation of smaller-sized microfibers in oceanographic models, which has been lacking, will help us to better understand the movement and transformation of synthetic, semi-synthetic and non-synthetic microparticles in regional seas and ocean basins.
Two waves of choice experiment surveys were carried out to capture preferences on recreational attributes of a coastal Marine Protected Area in England. A significant effect on preferences after a management intervention targeting recreation was observed. A mixed logit model with status quo as a random parameter showed that in 2014, the status quo had a negative effect, suggesting visitors were not satisfied by the status quo. However by 2015, after investments on a nature reserve, the status quo variable is highly significant and positive. The average benefits, measured in willingness to pay, generated by a refurbished visitor centre and other improvements is equal to £9.18 per visit per person. The study also found that key management attributes for future MPAs that will generate increased economic benefits from recreational activity are those that promote the diversity of wildlife and the provision of educational information. As expected the donation and the restriction attributes decrease the benefits, but on average their effects are smaller than wildlife improvements. From a policy and management perspective, especially in the context of public funding pressures, these results are particularly important as they provide evidence on management strategies that support conservation objectives and maximise economic benefits.
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are a key management tool for the conservation of biodiversity and restoration of marine communities. While large, well-designed and enforced MPAs have been found to be effective, results from small MPAs vary. The Hawkesbury Shelf, a coastal bioregion in New South Wales, Australia, has ten small, near-shore MPAs known as Aquatic Reserves with a variety of protection levels from full no-take to partial protection. This study assessed the effectiveness of these MPAs and analysed how MPA age, size, protection level, wave exposure, habitat complexity, and large canopy-forming algal cover affected fish, invertebrate and benthic communities. We found aspect, protection level, complexity and algal canopy to be important predictors of communities in these MPAs. Most MPAs, however, were not effective in meeting their goals. Only full no-take protection (three out of ten MPAs) had a significant impact on fish assemblages. One no-take MPA—Cabbage Tree Bay—which is naturally sheltered from wave action and benefits from an active local community providing informal enforcement, accounted for most of the increased richness of large fish and increased biomass of targeted fish species. Our findings suggest that small MPAs can enhance biodiversity and biomass on a local scale but only if they have full no-take protection, are in sheltered locations with complex habitat, and have positive community involvement to engender support and stewardship. These results provide a baseline for robust assessment of the effectiveness of small MPAs and inform future management decisions and small MPA design in other locations.
The global loss of biodiversity threatens unique biota and the functioning and services of ecosystems essential for human wellbeing. To safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services, designating protected areas is crucial; yet the extent to which the existing placement of protection is aligned to meet these conservation priorities is questionable, especially in the oceans. Here we investigate and compare global patterns of multiple biodiversity components (taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional), ecosystem services and human impacts, with the coverage of marine protected areas across a nested spatial scale. We demonstrate a pronounced spatial mismatch between the existing degree of protection and all the conservation priorities above, highlighting that neither the world’s most diverse, nor the most productive ecosystems are currently the most protected ecosystems. Furthermore, we show that global patterns of biodiversity, ecosystem services and human impacts are poorly correlated, hence complicating the identification of generally applicable spatial prioritization schemes. However, a hypothetical “consensus approach” would have been able to address all these conservation priorities far more effectively than the existing degree of protection, which at best is only marginally better than a random expectation. Therefore, a holistic perspective is needed when designating an appropriate degree of protection of marine conservation priorities worldwide.
Marine spatial planning (MSP) seeks to reduce conflicts and environmental impacts, and promote sustainable use of marine ecosystems. Existing MSP approaches have successfully determined how to achieve target levels of ocean area for particular uses while minimizing costs and impacts, but they do not provide a framework that derives analytical solutions in order to co-ordinate siting of multiple uses while balancing the effects of planning on each sector in the system. We develop such a framework for guiding offshore aquaculture (bivalve, finfish, and kelp farming) development in relation to existing sectors and environmental concerns (wild-capture fisheries, viewshed quality, benthic pollution, and disease spread) in California, USA. We identify > 250,000 MSP solutions that generate significant seafood supply and billions of dollars in revenue with minimal impacts (often < 1%) on existing sectors and the environment. We filter solutions to identify candidate locations for high-value, low-impact aquaculture development. Finally, we confirm the expectation of substantial value of our framework over conventional planning focused on maximizing individual objectives.
With global science-policy conventions for biodiversity and ecosystem services in place, much effort goes into monitoring and reporting on the progress toward policy targets. As conservation actions happen locally, can such global monitoring and reporting efforts effectively guide conservation actions at subnational level? In this paper we explore three different perspectives: policy reporting for policy implementation; scientific knowledge for empowerment and actions; and from past trends to influencing the future. Using these three perspectives, we identify ways forward for both decision makers and scientists on how to engage, inform and empower a larger diversity of actors who make decisions on the future of biodiversity and ecosystem services at multiple scales.
This paper emphasises the long-term historical trajectories of marine resource use in the Philippines through an examination of successive environmental fixes. Based on fieldwork from coastal Mindoro province, the paper shows how the technological intensification and geographical expansion of fisheries, the development of aquaculture and the promotion of tourism represent three forms of environmental fixes that aim to address the problems caused by marine resource declines and subsequent lack of availability of means of production. All three fixes have struggled to reduce environmental pressure or provide a long-term basis for livelihoods. The paper argues that viewing how successive types of environmental fixes unfold over long periods of time highlights how marine resource declines are part of much wider economic and historical processes, with consequent implications for livelihoods and governance.
Scenarios can help individuals, communities, corporations and nations to develop a capacity for dealing with the unknown and unpredictable, or the unlikely but possible. A range of scientific methods for developing scenarios is available, but we argue that they have limited capacity to investigate complex social-ecological futures because: 1) non-linear change is rarely incorporated and: 2) they rarely involve co-evolutionary dynamics of integrated social-ecological systems. This manuscript intends to address these two concerns by applying the method of science fiction prototyping to developing scenarios for the future of global fisheries in a changing global ocean. We used an empirically informed background on existing and emerging trends in marine natural resource use and dynamics to develop four ‘radical ocean futures,' incorporating and extrapolating from existing environmental, technological, social and economic trends. We argue that the distinctive method as applied here can complement existing scenario methodologies and assist scientists in developing a holistic understanding of complex systems dynamics. The approach holds promise for making scenarios more accessible and interesting to non-academics and can be useful for developing proactive governance mechanisms.
Humans strongly impact the dynamics of coastal systems, yet surprisingly few studies mechanistically link management of anthropogenic stressors and successful restoration of nearshore habitats over large spatial and temporal scales. Such examples are sorely needed to ensure the success of ecosystem restoration efforts worldwide. Here, we unite 30 consecutive years of watershed modeling, biogeochemical data, and comprehensive aerial surveys of Chesapeake Bay, United States to quantify the cascading effects of anthropogenic impacts on submersed aquatic vegetation (SAV), an ecologically and economically valuable habitat. We employ structural equation models to link land use change to higher nutrient loads, which in turn reduce SAV cover through multiple, independent pathways. We also show through our models that high biodiversity of SAV consistently promotes cover, an unexpected finding that corroborates emerging evidence from other terrestrial and marine systems. Due to sustained management actions that have reduced nitrogen concentrations in Chesapeake Bay by 23% since 1984, SAV has regained 17,000 ha to achieve its highest cover in almost half a century. Our study empirically demonstrates that nutrient reductions and biodiversity conservation are effective strategies to aid the successful recovery of degraded systems at regional scales, a finding which is highly relevant to the utility of environmental management programs worldwide.
Marine litter is a major form of pollution in the Mediterranean, but despite legislative requirements, additional information is still needed to evaluate basin-scale amounts, trends, and potential threats for the biota, especially for Habitats Directive listed species, such as cetaceans. Through repeated sampling of floating macro-litter along a fixed transect between Spain and Italy, this study provided detailed data within four marine sectors of the Western Mediterranean Sea, characterized by seasonal variability in oceanographic/ecological conditions and anthropogenic pressure. Moreover, we identified the areas of major overlap between high density of plastic and cetacean sightings. Litter was composed of plastic for more than 65%, with more diverse compositions occurring in the Balearic and Sardinian Sea compared to the semi-enclosed Bonifacio and Tyrrhenian sectors. The average amount of macro-litter ranged between 1.9 and 2.8 items km−2 and reached the highest values in spring/summer in all basins, suggesting a relationship with the increasing of touristic and maritime activities, both in coastal and offshore waters. The Balearic and Bonifacio sectors showed higher amounts and larger accumulation areas for plastic, likely due to a combination of multiple sources and oceanographic processes influencing the distributional patterns. Cetacean sightings were recorded in all sectors with fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) and striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) as the most frequent species. The presence of cetaceans in areas with high densities of plastic emerged mostly during spring/summer in the Balearic and Bonifacio sectors, but other specific areas of potential exposure were identified, indicating the need for a dynamic definition of this threat.
There is limited evidence on the rate at which the shark populations of coral reefs can rebound from over-exploitation, the baselines that might signify when recovery has occurred and the role of no-take Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in aiding this process. We surveyed shark assemblages at Ashmore Reef in Western Australia using baited remote underwater video stations in 2004 prior to enforcement of MPA status and then again in 2016 after eight years of strict enforcement. We found an increase in the relative mean abundance of Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos from 0.16 ± 0.06 individuals h−1 in 2004 to 0.74 ± 0.11 individuals h−1 in 2016, a change that was also accompanied by a shift in the assemblage of sharks to greater proportions of apex species (from 7.1% to 11.9%) and reef sharks (from 28.6% to 57.6%), and a decrease in the proportional abundance of lower trophic level species (from 64.3% to 30.5%). Abundances and trophic assemblage of sharks at Ashmore Reef in 2004 resembled those of the Scott Reefs, where targeted fishing for sharks still occurs, whereas in 2016, abundances and trophic structures had recovered to resemble those of the Rowley Shoals, a reef system that has been a strictly enforced MPA for over 25 years. The shift in abundance and community structure coincident with strict enforcement of the MPA at Ashmore Reef has occurred at a rate greater than predicted by demographic models, implying the action of compensatory processes in recovery. Our study shows that shark communities can recover rapidly after exploitation in a well-managed no-take MPA.
Vaccination is considered crucial for disease prevention and fish health in the global salmon farming industry. Nevertheless, some aspects, such as the efficacy of vaccines, can be largely circumvented during natural coinfections. Sea lice are ectoparasitic copepods that can occur with a high prevalence in the field, are frequently found in co-infection with other pathogens, and are highly detrimental to fish health. The aim of this case-control study was to evaluate the interaction between the detrimental effects of coinfection and the protective effects of vaccination in fish. We used the interaction between the sea louse Caligus rogercresseyi, the bacterial pathogen Piscirickettsia salmonis, and their host, the Atlantic salmon Salmo salar, as a study model. Our results showed that coinfection decreased the accumulated survival (AS) and specific growth rate (SGR) of vaccinated fish (AS = 5.2 ± 0.6%; SGR = −0.05 ± 0.39%) compared to a single infection of P. salmonis (AS = 42.7 ± 1.3%; SGR = 0.21 ± 0.22%). Concomitantly, the bacterial load and clinical signs of disease were significantly increased in coinfected fish. Coinfection may explain the reduced efficacy of vaccines in sea cages and highlights the need to test fish vaccines in more diverse conditions rather than with a single infection.
Over a decade ago, the ecosystem approach to aquaculture (EAA) emerged from discussions between the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and international aquaculture experts on how to move aquaculture development towards greater sustainability. The purpose of this review is to critically examine the use and mainstreaming of the EAA in aquaculture development to date and consider its possible evolution in the next decade. We systematically searched citations of key EAA publications in the academic and related literature for the period 2007–2016 and analysed all relevant FAO publications and project documents. We assessed the lessons learnt from the past decade of EAA experiences, the opportunities the EAA has created and the links between the EAA and the new development agenda. Our review suggests that mainstreaming the EAA in planning processes has raised awareness of the usefulness of holistic and participatory approaches in aquaculture and helped to steer the sector towards greater sustainability. However, the approach has had varying degrees of resonance and uptake with different user groups. The emphasis on spatial planning that has developed as part of the EAA implementation efforts, and close links between the EAA and initiatives such as ‘blue growth’, constitute significant opportunities for the future of the approach, although its ability to tackle increasingly complex governance issues may be limited. Thus, it is now opportune to reconsider the EAA's raison d’être, taking into account ongoing developments within and outside the aquaculture sector.
We assess progress towards Aichi Biodiversity Target 6, which aims to achieve global fisheries sustainability by 2020. Current trends suggest that the proportion of fish stocks within safe ecological limits is likely to decline until 2020. While model projections show a considerable reduction in overexploited stocks by 2050 if climate change is not considered, there will be a substantial increase in the risk of overexploited fish stocks if climate change is taken into account. Overall, although there is progress toward rebuilding fisheries in some developed nations, this improvement is insufficient to meet the Aichi Target by 2020; there is a need for substantial changes to current fisheries policy and management if Target 6 is to be met.
Analysis of coastal climate change adaptation requires combining environmental and resource economics with other disciplines. Sea level rise, ocean warming and acidification, and increased storminess threaten to alter or intensify biophysical coastal changes. Communities respond in ways that neither maximize total economic value nor apply the appropriate spatial scale of policy response. Focusing on coastline change, particularly in North Carolina, we synthesize modeling approaches and empirical studies to identify research that is needed to support coastal climate adaptation policy. Modeling coastlines as coupled human–natural systems explains historical patterns of coastline change, clarifies the need for empirical estimates, and provides a roadmap for interdisciplinary policy analysis. Despite the extensive literature on coastal amenities, hazards, and ex post policy evaluation, more empirical information is needed to parameterize coupled models of complex coastal environments facing climate change. Extending coupled models of coastal adaptation to incorporate spatial dynamics and market and nonmarket values highlights fundamental problems with current governance structures. We conclude that to maximize total economic value in the coastal zone, adaptation will require governance coordination across multiple levels, attention to intensive and extensive margins of adaptation, and trade-offs across market and nonmarket values. These findings echo recent advances in fisheries bioeconomics.
Ecosystem Services (ES) – the direct (e.g., food and natural medicines) and indirect (e.g., cultural diversity and aesthetic values) benefits people obtain from various ecosystems – need to be assessed to aid decision makers and concerned public in creating policies that ensure continuous flow of ES to their beneficiaries (e.g., fisheries, food, income, livelihood, and traditional way of life to fishers and consumers). However, to date, ES assessments in Philippine reefs are mostly concentrated only on fisheries and tourism or on few areas in the Philippines (e.g., Pangasinan and Bohol Marine Triangle). This study fills research gaps by assessing coral reefs across 15 regions in the Philippines by estimating the following: (1) potential reef fisheries and Willingness-To-Pay (WTP) biodiversity values using underwater surveys and literature data, (2) reef fisheries value using Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and literature data, (3) tourism value using Department of Tourism (DOT) and literature data, and (4) Total Economic Value (TEV). The TEV of Philippine reefs' ES amounted to 4 billion US$/yr or 140,000 US$/km2/yr. Furthermore, in each region of the Philippines, annual TEV ranged from 100 to 800 million US$, with potential reef fisheries value contributing the most in the TEV, followed by reef fisheries, tourism, and WTP biodiversity values. In addition, the Visayas regions have the highest values of benefits from coral reefs. Although the Philippines is deriving millions to billions of dollars of economic benefits from coral reefs, the observed degradation and temporal decline in coastal ecosystems could lead to a decline in the potential reef fisheries value, subsequently the TEV. The Philippines need to improve accounting and managing the derived benefits from coral reefs to ensure the sustainability and continuous flow of these benefits for present and future Filipino beneficiaries.