Coastal ecosystems provide a broad range of ecosystem services, which can be used to justify habitat conservation. The cultural ecosystem services of coastal ecosystems are generally underappreciated, and this is particularly the case when quantifying their scientific value. We created a tiered set of indicators to quantify scientific value spatially, and tested them using the case study of the island nation of Singapore. We conducted a systematic review of research papers, book chapters, conference reports and academic theses produced across 10 coastal ecosystems in Singapore, including mangroves, seagrasses, coral reefs, beaches and artificial coastal structures. At least 656 articles have been produced on Singapore’s coastal zone, with 2201 unique observations, showing that scientific value is spatially variable along Singapore’s coastline. Novel indicators such as the Site Impact Factor are able to differentiate scientific value between sites. This method has shed light on an under-recognised, but important cultural ecosystem service, and is applicable to other spatially-bounded coastal, marine and terrestrial landscapes.
Substantial perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) production still occurs in China, and the consumption of aquatic products is a critical exposure pathway of PFAAs in humans. In this study, specimens of 16 freshwater and 40 marine species were collected in the river-estuary-sea environment affected by a mega fluorochemical industry park in China in 2015, and the edible tissues of these organisms were analyzed for PFAA levels. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) was the dominating contaminant with an overall contribution of more than 90%, and concentrations as high as 2161 ng/g wet weight (measured in the freshwater winkle). All species with the greatest PFOA levels were benthic. The trophic magnification factor (TMF) of PFOA was 1.10 for freshwater species and 1.28 for marine species, indicating that PFOA was slightly magnifying. Analysis of carbon source indicated that freshwater species were more benthic feeding, while marine species were more pelagic feeding. Aquatic food consumption screening values of PFOA were modified according to estimated daily intake (EDI) values, which generated recommendations for limited meal categories and the do-not-eat category. Thus, this study provides recommendations for mitigating the health risks of PFAA-contaminated aquatic food, ranging from food selection to consumption frequency and proper food processing.
This study focused on the distribution, combined pollution, potential source and risk assessment of 17 antibiotics in an aquaculture ecosystem surrounding the Yellow sea, North China. Antibiotics were detected in various matrices (seawater, sediment/biofilm, organism and feed) in different aquaculture modes (greenhouse and outdoor aquaculture) during the wet and dry seasons in coastal areas of Shandong province. The innovation points of the study were as follows: (1) To the best of our knowledge, this study was one of the few to investigate the occurrence and distribution of antibiotics in mariculture environments along the Yellow Sea coast; (2) Biofilms, a focus of the study, might act as a sink for antibiotics in the aquaculture ecosystem; and (3) The correlation of heavy metals and antibiotic concentrations was proved, which could correspondingly be used as an indicator for antibiotic concentrations in the studied area.
The levels of antibiotics in water were observed to be relatively low, at the ng/L level. Trimethoprim was the most prevalent antibiotic, and was detected in all water samples. Oxytetracycline was detected at high concentrations in biofilms (up to 1478.29 ng/g). Moreover, biofilms exhibited a higher antibiotic accumulation capacity compared to sediments. Concentrations of oxytetracycline and doxycycline were high in feed, while other antibiotics were almost undetected. Tetracycline was widely detected and the concentration of enrofloxacin was highest in organisms.
Correlation analysis demonstrated that environmental parameters and other coexisting contaminants (e.g. heavy metals) significantly affected antibiotic concentrations. In addition, the concentration of Zn was significantly correlated with the total antibiotic concentration and was proportional to several antibiotics in water and sediment (biofilm) samples (p < 0.01). High Mn concentrations were closely related to total and individual (e.g. sulfadiazine, sulfamethazine and enrofloxacin) antibiotic levels, which may result in the combined contamination of the environment. Antibiotics in estuaries and groundwater generally originated from aquaculture wastewater and untreated/treated domestic sewage. Most of the detected antibiotics posed no risk to the environment. Ciprofloxacin and enrofloxacin found in water may present high ecological and resistance risks, while the two antibiotics observed to accumulate in fish may pose a considerable risk to human health through diet consumption. All antibiotics detected in seafood were lower than the respective maximum residue limits. This study can act as a reference for the government for the determination of antibiotic discharge standards in aquaculture wastewater and the establishment of a standardized antibiotic monitoring and management system.
A natural experiment was conducted to determine effects of a fossil-fueled power plant on home ranges of east Pacific green turtles Chelonia mydas in an urban foraging ground. The power plant, located in south San Diego Bay, California, USA, co-existed with a resident foraging aggregation of ~60 green turtles for ~50 yr. It was decommissioned during a long-term green turtle monitoring study, thus providing a rare opportunity to evaluate how the cessation of warm-water effluent affected turtle movements and habitat use in the area. During pre- and post-decommissioning of the power plant, 7 and 23 green turtles, respectively, were equipped with GPS-enabled satellite transmitters. Useful data were obtained from 17 turtles (4 for pre- and 13 for post-decommissioning). Core use areas (50% utilization distribution [UD]) increased from 0.71 to 1.37 km2 after the power plant decommissioning. Increase in post-power plant 50% UD was greater during nighttime (0.52 to 1.44 km2) than daytime (1.32 to 1.43 km2). Furthermore, UDs moved from the effluent channel to an area closer to seagrass pastures, a presumed foraging habitat of the turtles. The observed expansion of green turtle home ranges may increase turtle-human interactions, such as boat strikes, within the foraging ground; this underscores how seemingly innocuous human actions contribute to inadvertent consequences to wildlife. Possible management and conservation actions include increasing awareness of the public regarding turtle presence in the area through signage and education as well as legislating for a reduction in boat speeds in select areas of the bay.
In Brazil, smallholder farmers living in rural settlements face poverty and food insecurity. To alleviate such problems, Brazilian government has used policy instruments to stimulate farmers to adopt fish production. It is expected that the adoption of fish production provides better nutrition for households and increase farmers’ income. However, the adoption rate is beyond governmental expectations. A possible explanation for the low adoption rate is that policy instruments overlook how farmers in rural settlements decide to adopt novel production activities, such as fishing. Theory of planned behavior was used to deeper the understanding of how farmers can be motivated to adopt fish production. The objectives were: to identify the impact of socio-psychological constructs (i.e. attitude, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control and self-identity) on farmers’ intention to adopt fish production; and to identify the salient beliefs underlying farmers’ intention to adopt fish production. Results suggest that self-identity, attitude, and subjective norms impact on farmers’ intention to adopt fish production. Salient behavioral beliefs that represent possible outcomes of adopting fish production were: “having an increase on farm income”, “having an additional source of food for own consumption”, “having a better quality of life”. Salient normative beliefs that represent important others for farmers were based upon the opinion of “sons/daughters”, “spouse”, “friends”, “neighbors”, “rural cooperatives”, “farmers’ unions”, “farmers’ associations”, “governmental institutions”. Salient control beliefs that represent factors that would facilitate farmers to adopt fish production were: “having an easy way to sell fish production”, “having financial incentive from government”, “Having free technical assistance”, “Having more knowledge about fish production”, and “Having river water flowing in the rural lot”. From a policy perspective, our results highlight the importance of interventions targeted to prime an identity of fish farmers. Interventions will also benefit from strategies to develop more favorable attitude towards adoption of fish production and to increase social support.
Kelp forests are in decline globally and large-scale intervention could be required to halt the loss of these valuable ecosystems. To date kelp forest restoration has had limited success and been expensive and unable to address the increasing scale of ecosystem deterioration. Here we developed and tested a new approach: “green gravel”. Small rocks were seeded with kelp and reared in the laboratory until 2–3 cm, before out-planting to the field. The out-planted kelp had high survival and growth over 9 months, even when dropped from the surface. This technique is cheap, simple, and does not require scuba diving or highly trained field workers. It can be up-scaled to treat large areas or even used to introduce genes from more resilient kelp populations onto vulnerable reefs. Green gravel thus overcomes some of the current major limitations of kelp restoration and provides a promising new defense against kelp forest decline.
Norway is the world's leader in the production and export of farmed Atlantic salmon, and authorities there recently established a new management regime for the industry with a view to promoting substantial long-term growth in the industry. The decision by the government suggests broad acceptance for the industry in Norway, but there have been some danger signs with respect to the industry's social acceptance. This paper examines the comments submitted by a wide variety of key stakeholders on the 2014 management proposal to extract the major concerns of Norwegian stakeholders, map how wide-spread these are and evaluate whether they suggest a problem for the social acceptance of the industry at the general and local levels. Findings are analyzed using Wüstenhagen et al.’s three-fold classification of social acceptance: socio-political, community and market acceptance. In addition, findings are compared to six factors commonly suggested to affect community acceptance for innovations such as aquaculture sites. Results suggest that there are widespread environmental and socio-economic concerns with respect to the salmon aquaculture industry. Stakeholder concerns regarding issues of distributional justice may be addressed while stakeholders with strong concerns about the environmental impact of the industry are unlikely to be appeased, especially if environmental concerns are related to issues of identity or aesthetics. Submissions from Northern Norway, likely to be a major area for industry expansion indicate, a strong division on the social acceptability of the industry.
The promotion of tourism has been considered to be a key strategy in reducing people's dependence on marine resources and for creating alternative livelihoods for the communities living in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). This paper studies the determinants for the decision of participation in tourism-related activities and examines whether tourism could be regarded as an alternative livelihood for the local people living in the MPAs. The propensity score matching approach is employed and a case study of Nha Trang Bay MPA is used for analysis with data from 140 locals. The results show that the tourism industry in the MPAs does not secure a better income for the local people if they stop their traditional livelihoods and enter the tourism industry. In other words, tourism should not be viewed in isolation with other existing income generating activities. Furthermore, low education, long distances between home and tourism destinations, and the pressure of supporting the whole family are the primary rationales preventing local people living in MPAs from participating in tourism industry. This paper discusses implications for the management of MPAs in developing countries, where tourism is used as the main strategy to diversify the local people out of traditional fishing or aquaculture.
The objective of this report is to review the existing models of temporal/spatial dynamics of coral communities available for the Great Barrier Reef (the Reef), with the specific aim at evaluating their strengths and weaknesses for the assessment and reporting of coral reef health within the Reef 2050 Integrated Monitoring and Reporting Program (RIMReP). Focusing on peer-reviewed articles available by 28 February 2018, we found that a variety of modeling approaches exists yet with different scope, level of complexity, and ability to represent the various processes driving the dynamics of coral populations. Tools available to model Reef coral population dynamics also vary in their capacity to capture the spatial heterogeneity of coral populations and their environment, the variability of disturbance impacts and the uncertainty around current reef state and possible future trajectory. The various characteristics and properties exhibited by coral reef models means they have different capacities to complement reef monitoring and assessment on the Reef. This review provides guidance for integrating a modeling component to RIMReP by identifying the modeling approaches that offer the strongest support to reef monitoring and management.
The report is organised as follows: In section 1, we list the potential benefits of ecological models for monitoring programs and explain how models can complement monitoring data and support the assessment of reef status and trends across the Reef. Section 2 provides an overview of the general characteristics and properties of ecological models, with the aim of facilitating the technical comparison of available coral reef models. In section 3, we summarise what we think are the key processes that influence the dynamics of coral populations. This provides a mechanistic framework allowing a comparison of models based on their ecological realism, i.e. their ability to reproduce changes in coral populations from the compounded action of individual demographic mechanisms. Section 4 provides an overview of the candidate coral models for the Reef, with their summary characteristics (model type, state variables, time steps), the ecological processes embedded, their parametrisation and model’s ability to capture the spatial dynamics of corals in a heterogeneous environment. For each model we highlight their strengths and weaknesses in complementing monitoring data to inform about status and trends across the Reef. Finally, we synthesise in section 5 the best candidate models, highlight their ability to inform management priorities for the Reef and make a number of recommendations for a successful integration into RIMReP.
The Coral Reef Expert Group (CREG) was one of eight expert groups, which all followed a prescribed process to recommend a design for their thematic component.
The tasks of the expert groups included:
- Synopsis of the theme, to include discussion on current state, primary drivers, pressures and responses using DPSIR framework.
- Review of all current monitoring and modelling activities relevant to the expert group theme.
- Identify candidate indicators that can be monitored and would provide information about trend, status or forecasting of value or the system.
- Evaluation of the adequacy and confidence of current monitoring and modelling of candidate indicators, determined by their ability to meet the objectives of the RIMReP and management needs provided by the Authority.
- Identification and discussion of gaps and opportunities in current monitoring and modelling of such indicators.
- Evaluation of new monitoring technologies for their potential to increase efficiency or statistical power and their compatibility with long-term datasets.
- Recommendations for monitoring design including consideration of primary indicators, continuity of data sets, how the design addresses management needs, modification to existing programs, costing and transition strategies.
Marine litter is a major global challenge, even in the remote reaches of the Arctic. Monitoring temporal trends in litter loadings and composition is key to designing effective preventative and mitigative measures, and to assess their impact. Few data are available, however, by which to do this in the Arctic region. Citizen science data organised by the local waste management company in the Lofoten archipelago in the Norwegian Sea is an exception to this. We analysed volunteer cleanup data (total weight and counts of select litter types, standardised to density per 100 m) from over 200 locations from 2011 to 2018. Results indicate a general decline in beach litter in the region, and particularly in litter types related to private use, such as beverage bottles. These declines are most likely the combined result of extensive cleanup activities and a considerable reduction in local litter inputs.
Over the last 2 decades, cleaner fishes have been employed to remove external sea lice parasites from Atlantic salmon Salmo salar in sea cages. Norway, Scotland, Ireland, and the Faroe Islands combined now use ~60 million cleaner fish per year. While small-scale experiments demonstrate the efficacy of cleaner fishes, industrial-scale sea cages have multiple structures and conditions that create different environments, which may impact cleaner fish efficacy and welfare. Here, in commercial sea cages, we investigated if 4 different anti-lice strategies impacted the delousing efficacy, physical condition, and behaviour of cleaner fish (corkwing wrasse Symphodus melops). The strategies tested were: (1) cleaner fishes only; (2) cleaner fishes and functional feed; (3) cleaner fishes, functional feed, and deep lights and feeding; and (4) cleaner fishes, functional feed, deep lights and feeding, and lice skirts. Corkwing wrasse were sampled from 3 cage-level replicates of each anti-lice strategy 3 times over 2 mo. Lice levels on salmon were recorded every 3 to 4 wk. Only 11% of corkwing wrasse had salmon lice in their gut, with individual wrasse having up to 72 lice in their stomach. Wrasse in cages encircled by lice skirts consumed one-ninth as many lice as those in other anti-lice treatments and had less overall impact on the number of lice per salmon. Fin, skin, mouth and eye condition, K factor, and observed cleaning behaviours of corkwing wrasse were similar across all anti-lice strategies. Our results demonstrate that different in-cage anti-lice strategies altered the magnitude of lice consumption in corkwing wrasse at this site and for this production period. Moreover, while a small proportion of corkwing wrasse appear to target lice as prey, most individual corkwing wrasse were ineffective biological control agents in a full-scale farm setting.
As “Canada’s Ocean Playground” Nova Scotia relies on a healthy ocean to support its economy and citizens’ livelihoods. As part of the economic development strategy, the province is seeking to significantly increase its tourism industry from $2 billion CAD to $4 billion CAD by 2024. Because much of the province’s tourism products is nature-based an increase in tourism will result in more pressure being put on coastal and marine ecosystems. With the government of Canada recently announcing the protection of 13.8 per cent of its ocean, the creation of marine protected areas (MPAs) may provide the opportunity for growth in ecotourism. As stakeholders, the view of tourism operators regarding marine protected areas and ecotourism are important to understand because they conduct their business in coastal areas that could become MPAs in the future. A case study method was used to describe tourism businesses perceptions of ecotourism and MPAs. Perceptions were derived from interviews with five tourism operators. Each case provided unique insights to the potential opportunities and concerns related to MPA designation in Nova Scotia. Although there are concerns about restricting regulations and the need for proper management and planning, ecotourism in MPAs provide a unique opportunity to advance conservation objectives and support the local economy of communities simultaneously through using MPAs may be a useful marketing tool for ecotourism leading to increased employment, cultural exchange, and environmental education.
The development of marine protected areas (MPAs) in Canada is increasing in order to maintain and conserve important fish and marine mammal species and habitats. However, with protection comes certain regulations that affect the use of marine spaces. Regulations can restrict access and use of the marine environment, including certain fishing practices or the harvesting of specific species and some are designated to be no-go and no-take areas. While MPAs are important for the conservation of marine ecosystems, it is important that the rights and values of Indigenous peoples are not being violated with their implementation. This study examines the British Columbia Northern Shelf Bioregion (NSB) MPA network to identify opportunities and constraints in the current process to identify governance mechanisms that can be incorporated to enhance MPA effectiveness and uphold Indigenous inherent and Treaty rights. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with First Nations staff and individuals, and federal and provincial government representatives to understand the perception of Indigenous participation in the MPA network process. Analysis of the interviews, along with evaluations of current MPA network strategies being used in the NSB have identified capacity building, respect and trust and past NSB initiatives as opportunities while existing governance structures and the non-inclusivity of all relevant First Nations in the NSB were highlighted as constraints. These findings have been used to inform management recommendations for the MPA process.
It is increasingly recognized that fisheries management should take a more holistic approach toward full spectrum sustainability that includes ecological, social, and economic considerations. The Canadian Fisheries Research Network (CFRN) has developed an evaluation framework for comprehensive fisheries management, derived from Canadian policy and international commitments. In the changing landscape of resource management, third party market certification has grown where there are perceived management gaps and increasingly exerts pressure on management considerations. Increasingly, there is a need to integrate coastal management and to consider consistent management objectives across sectors. In this study, the CFRN framework is used as a lens with which to compare certification schemes (fisheries, aquaculture, and forestry) of relevance to activities in southwest New Brunswick. This analysis reveals (1) that the three certification schemes differ in the scope of their objectives; (2) that a number of CFRN framework elements are not addressed in the certification schemes; and (3) that the certification scheme that most closely matches the CFRN framework is from the forestry sector and that the Marine Stewardship Council certifications scheme for fisheries is most different from the CFRN because it lacks consideration of social and economic aspects. We are thus challenged to consider why fisheries management and certification continue to fall behind in the consideration of a broad spectrum of management objectives and we are provided with an opportunity to learn from the strengths of other sectors.
Illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing is widespread; it is therefore likely that illicit trade in marine fish catch is also common worldwide. We combine ecological-economic databases to estimate the magnitude of illicit trade in marine fish catch and its impacts on people. Globally, between 8 and 14 million metric tons of unreported catches are potentially traded illicitly yearly, suggesting gross revenues of US$9 to US$17 billion associated with these catches. Estimated loss in annual economic impact due to the diversion of fish from the legitimate trade system is US$26 to US$50 billion, while losses to countries’ tax revenues are between US$2 and US$4 billion. Country-by-country estimates of these losses are provided in the Supplementary Materials. We find substantial likely economic effects of illicit trade in marine fish catch, suggesting that bold policies and actions by both public and private actors are needed to curb this illicit trade.
Small-scale fisheries are an important economic sector in terms of employment, national food security, enterprise development and foreign exchange earnings. Overfishing is one of the main impacts directly affecting fisheries. However, there are other kinds of global impacts not frequently considered. The ecological footprint indicator is not new but has been mostly overlooked by scholars in the artisanal fishing sector. The aim of this study was to evaluate the corporate ecological footprint of small-scale fisheries through a fishing cooperative at La Cruz de Loreto in Mexico, and determine its eco-efficiency as non-direct global impacts.
The Compound Method Based on Financial Accounts (MC3.V.2 for its acronym in Spanish, version 2) was used. It includes the categories of emissions, materials, resources, services and contracts, land use and waste.
Eco-efficiency, determined by the organization´s ecological footprint, was 0.6 t/ha and its carbon footprint was 0.2 t/tCO2 per year, a low one when compared to others. The consumption category that contributed most to the footprint was indirect emissions and the ecosystem’s fossil energy, which could be explained by the characteristics of the fishing cooperative analyzed.
The corporate ecological footprint for La Cruz de Loreto fishing cooperative is low when compared to others, but it indicates that they should improve in the category of indirect emission (reduce the consumption of electricity generated by fossil fuel and use of alternative energy) and should invest in the “forest” type of ecosystem to increase carbon sinks and mitigate the impacts.
Many commercial species of the world are overexploited resulting in substantial reductions of biomass and ecological changes. Spatial-temporal restrictions of fishing activities are important measures used for the management of marine stocks. However, evidence of whether fishing bans benefit whole ecosystems is still scant. Here, we developed a food-web model approach using the Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) model representing the Fisheries Restricted Area (FRA) of the Gulf of Lion ecosystem (CoSEGoL model) prior to the establishment of the fisheries restrictions (2006-2008) to characterize the structure and functioning of the ecosystem before and after its establishment. The constructed food-web model was, then, fitted to available time series of data from 2008 to 2016 to verify whether this FRA has contributed to recovery of target demersal species and the demersal community. The fitted model was used to explore alternative future management scenarios to explore feasible management options in order to ensure a full ecosystem recovery under climate change conditions. Both small positive and negative ecosystem changes occurred between prior and after the establishment of the FRA, potentially revealing a lack of protection efficiency and/or enforcement. Scenarios of management options under plausible climate futures revealed possible recovery of targeted species, especially European hake. The study highlighted the importance of considering trophic interactions between predators and prey to identify trade-offs and synergies in fisheries management outcomes and the need to consider both fishing and climate dynamics.
Producing more hatchery Chinook salmon juveniles has recently been proposed in Washington State with hopes of enhanced ecosystem and fisheries benefits. However, it has recently been shown that even the vast North Pacific Ocean cannot support an infinite number of salmon (Ruggerone and Irvine 2018), and it appears that mortality of salmon in the Salish Sea can also be density dependent (Ruggerone and Goetz 2004). Density-dependent effects between pink salmon in particular (the most numerous species, but also chum salmon) and Chinook salmon have been documented by an increasing number of studies (e.g., Ruggerone and Nielsen 2004; Ruggerone et al. 2003), suggesting that salmon compete for food in the ocean, which can lead to reduced growth, delayed age at maturation, and lower survival rates (Ruggerone and Irvine 2018). Preliminary analyses of the relationships between Chinook salmon hatchery production and numbers surviving to adulthood suggest reduced Chinook survival in years when large numbers of juvenile pink salmon also out-migrate. In some regions, this density-dependent mortality may be so strong that large increases in hatchery releases may limit the number of returning adults.
We propose to evaluate the following questions: what Chinook salmon juvenile release abundance values are associated with greatest marine survival rates? How do survival rates vary with different numbers of juvenile pink salmon out-migrating in the Salish Sea? How do these relationships differ among Chinook salmon stocks from various regions of the Salish Sea?
WWF has developed a comparative analysis of the actions countries have taken in implementing conservation policies and creating effective marine protected areas.