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Sea-turtle bycatch management in rights-based fisheries under stock uncertainty

Citation Information: Iowa State University, Department of Economics, Working Paper No. 12014, August 2012.

Authors: Rajesh Singh, Quinn Weninger

Abstract: We develop a stochastic general equilibrium framework that facilitates performance evaluation of quota- and non-quota-based management plans in fisheries exposed to socially costly bycatch of non-market species. We examine harvesting behavior, bycatch, and bio-economic performance in a stochastic production environment with and without observability of bycatch, and with and without trade in harvest quotas and bycatch caps. Our results suggest that a precise implementation of a socially optimal plan is only possible if bycatch is observable and a market for trade in fish quotas and bycatch cap functions costlessly. Non-quota-based regulations, which can be implemented without observability, do not achieve first-best bycatch avoidance and therefore raise fishing costs. The Gulf of Mexico longline reef fish fishery is examined to demonstrate key policy insights from our model.

Depth distribution of larvae critically affects their dispersal and the efficiency of marine protected areas

Citation Informaiton: Corell H, Moksnes PO, Engqvist A, Döös K, Jonsson PR (2012) Depth distribution of larvae critically affects their dispersal and the efficiency of marine protected areas. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 467:29-46

Abstract: This study aims to improve estimates of dispersal by including information on larval traits, and in particular to explore how larval depth distribution affects connectivity and MPA (marine protected area) functionality in the Baltic Sea. A field survey showed that both invertebrates and fish differed in their larval depth distribution, ranging from surface waters to >100 m. A biophysical model of larval dispersal in the Baltic Sea showed that decreased depth distribution increased average dispersal distance 2.5-fold, decreased coastal retention and local recruitment, and substantially increased connectivity. Together with pelagic larval duration (PLD), depth distribution explained 80% of total variation in dispersal distance, whereas spawning season, and geographic and annual variations in circulation had only marginal effects. Median dispersal distances varied between 8 and 46 km, with 10% of simulated trajectories dispersing 30 to 160 km depending on drift depth and PLD. In the Baltic Sea, the majority of shallow Natura 2000 MPAs are <8 km in diameter. In the present study, only 1 of the 11 assessed larval taxa would have a recruitment >10% within MPAs of this size. Connectivity between MPAs was expected to be low for most larval trait combinations. Our simulations and the empirical data suggest that the MPA size within the Natura 2000 system is considerably below what is required for local recruitment of most sessile invertebrates and sedentary fish. Future designs of MPA networks would benefit from spatially explicit biophysical models that consider dispersal and connectivity for complex circulation patterns and informed larval traits.

From biomass mining to sustainable fishing — using abundance and size to define a spatial management framework for deep-water lobster

Citation Information: African Journal of Marine Science; Volume 34, Issue 4, 2012

Authors: JC Groeneveld, SP Kirkman, M Boucher & D Yemane

Abstract: Based on the assumption that depleted stocks would have recovered during a six-year layoff from fishing, trapping for deep-water spiny lobster Palinurus delagoae and slipper lobster Scyllarides elisabethae off eastern South Africa resumed in 2004 until 2007. A generalised linear modelling approach was used to investigate the effects of year, sampling area, depth, month and trap soak-time on catch and lobster size, and to construct standardised abundance indices. The renewed trapping rapidly reversed partially restored nominal catch rates. Fishing strategy changed from targeting spiny lobsters during the first months of each fishing season to targeting slipper lobsters during later months. Small spiny lobsters were abundant in the southern area, identified as a recruitment hotspot. Spiny lobster abundance and size in this area increased over four years of fishing, but conversely, large adult spiny lobsters predominated in the central and northern areas, where trapping depleted their abundance over time. The adult populations in the central and northern areas are upstream from the recruitment hotspot, and are presumably a source of larvae. Slipper lobster abundance peaked in 2005, remained relatively constant across areas, and increased with depth. Trapping for deep-water lobster is unlikely to be sustainable in its present form. However, the clear gradients in spiny lobster size and abundance by sampling area and depth provide a good framework for spatial management planning.

Advancing marine conservation planning in the Mediterranean Sea

Citation Information: Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries; December 2012, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 943-949

Authors: Sylvaine Giakoumi, Tessa Mazor, Simonetta Fraschetti, Salit Kark, Michelle Portman, Marta Coll, Jeroen Steenbeek, Hugh Possingham

Abstract: Twenty leading scientists in the field of marine conservation planning attended the first international workshop on conservation planning in the Mediterranean Sea. This globally significant biodiversity hotspot has been subjected to human exploitation and degradation for 1,000s of years. Recently, several initiatives have tried to identify priority areas for conservation across the Mediterranean Sea. However, none of these efforts have led to large-scale actions yet. The aim of the workshop was to establish a network of scientists who are involved in large-scale conservation planning initiatives throughout the Mediterranean basin to promote collaboration and reduce redundancy in conservation initiatives. The three focus groups of the workshop build on existing efforts and intend to deliver: (1) a roadmap for setting conservation priorities, (2) a methodological framework for linking threats, actions and costs to improve the prioritization process, and (3) a systematic conservation planning process tailored to complex environments such as the Mediterranean Sea. Joining forces and involving more scientists (especially from the South-eastern part of the region) in following meetings, the participants endeavour to provide guidelines on how to bridge the science-policy gap and hence aid decision-makers to take efficient conservation actions.

The Challenge of Managing Marine Biodiversity: A Practical Toolkit for a Cartographic, Territorial Approach

Citation Information: Bianchi, C.N.; Parravicini, V.; Montefalcone, M.; Rovere, A.; Morri, C. The Challenge of Managing Marine Biodiversity: A Practical Toolkit for a Cartographic, Territorial Approach. Diversity 2012, 4, 419-452.

Abstract: An approach to the management of marine biodiversity was developed based on two levels of environmental diagnostics: (1) the characterization (to identify types), and (2) the evaluation (to define status and values). Both levels involve the production of maps, namely: (i) morphobathymetry and sedimentology; (ii) habitats; (iii) natural emergencies; (iv) degradation and risk; (v) weighted vulnerability; (vi) environmental quality; and, (vii) susceptibility to use. A general methodological aspect that must be stated first is the need of dividing the mapped area in territorial units corresponding to submultiples of the UTM grid and having different sizes according to the scale adopted. Territorial units (grid cells) are assigned to one of five classes of evaluation, ranging from high necessity of conservation or protection to non-problematic, unimportant or already compromised (according to the specific map) situations. Depending on the scale, these maps are suited for territorial planning (small scales, allowing for a synoptic view) or for administration and decision making (large scales, providing detail on local situations and problems). Mapping should be periodically repeated (diachronic cartography) to assure an efficient tool for integrated coastal zone management.

Frequency and intensity of productivity regime shifts in marine fish stocks

Citation Information: PNAS January 29, 2013 vol. 110 no. 5 1779-1784

Authors: Katyana A. Vert-pre, Ricardo O. Amoroso, Olaf P. Jensen, and Ray Hilborn

Abstract: Fish stocks fluctuate both in abundance and productivity (net population increase), and there are many examples demonstrating that productivity increased or decreased due to changes in abundance caused by fishing and, alternatively, where productivity shifted between low and high regimes, entirely unrelated to abundance. Although shifts in productivity regimes have been described, their frequency and intensity have not previously been assessed. We use a database of trends in harvest and abundance of 230 fish stocks to evaluate the proportion of fish stocks in which productivity is primarily related to abundance vs. those that appear to manifest regimes of high or low productivity. We evaluated the statistical support for four hypotheses: (i) the abundance hypothesis, where production is always related to population abundance; (ii) the regimes hypothesis, where production shifts irregularly between regimes that are unrelated to abundance; (iii) the mixed hypothesis, where even though production is related to population abundance, there are irregular changes in this relationship; and (iv) the random hypothesis, where production is random from year to year. We found that the abundance hypothesis best explains 18.3% of stocks, the regimes hypothesis 38.6%, the mixed hypothesis 30.5%, and the random hypothesis 12.6%. Fisheries management agencies need to recognize that irregular changes in productivity are common and that harvest regulation and management targets may need to be adjusted whenever productivity changes.

Ecological consequences of body size decline in harvested fish species: positive feedback loops in trophic interactions amplify human impact

Citation Information: Biol. Lett. 23 April 2013 vol. 9 no. 2 20121103

Authors: Asta Audzijonyte, Anna Kuparinen, Rebecca Gorton and Elizabeth A. Fulton

Abstract: Humans are changing marine ecosystems worldwide, both directly through fishing and indirectly through climate change. One of the little explored outcomes of human-induced change involves the decreasing body sizes of fishes. We use a marine ecosystem model to explore how a slow (less than 0.1% per year) decrease in the length of five harvested species could affect species interactions, biomasses and yields. We find that even small decreases in fish sizes are amplified by positive feedback loops in the ecosystem and can lead to major changes in natural mortality. For some species, a total of 4 per cent decrease in length-at-age over 50 years resulted in 50 per cent increase in predation mortality. However, the magnitude and direction in predation mortality changes differed among species and one shrinking species even experienced reduced predation pressure. Nevertheless, 50 years of gradual decrease in body size resulted in 1–35% decrease in biomasses and catches of all shrinking species. Therefore, fisheries management practices that ignore contemporary life-history changes are likely to overestimate long-term yields and can lead to overfishing.

Benefits and opportunity costs of Australia's Coral Sea marine protected area: A precautionary tale

Citation Information: Marine Policy, Volume 39, May 2013, Pages 352–360

Author: Colin Hunt

Abstract: The paper analyses the benefits and costs of the Coral Sea Marine Reserve which, together with the contiguous Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, creates the largest marine protected area in the world. The benefits are found to be minimal, in both anthropocentric and ecocentric terms. Nevertheless establishment and management costs could be in the order of $A20 million and $A13 million, respectively. Meanwhile, serious depletion of the vital fish stocks of the largest tuna fishery in the world in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean—in which Australia is a management partner—continues, as does the rapid erosion of the unique and outstanding values of the Great Barrier Reef. It is concluded that current investment in the creation and management of the Coral Sea Reserve—in the face of the demonstrably urgent needs for investment in the management of marine resources in the near region and in Australia – is problematic.

Fishers as advocates of marine protected areas: a case study from Galicia (NW Spain)

Citation Information: Marine Policy, Available online 23 January 2013

Author: Lucia Perez de Oliveira

Abstract: After years of facing problems such as overfishing, illegal fisheries and the consequences of the Prestige oil spill, the fishermen's association (cofradia) of Lira, a small town in the coast of Galicia (NW Spain), has pioneered a co-management initiative in the region by proposing the creation of a marine reserve. The proposal was designed and developed by the fishers in partnership with biologists and social scientists, environmentalists and members of the autonomous government of Galicia in a highly participatory process. The views of different stakeholders on the implementation process for the marine reserve were assessed through a programme of semi-structured interviews. These findings were also used to analyse issues related to the implementation process employing a governance analysis framework. It was observed that the inclusion of fishers in the decision-making and the use of their traditional ecological knowledge in the design of the reserve promoted a better understanding of its benefits and an improved compliance with the fishing regulations. The effectiveness of the marine reserve was very high during the first years but it has been recently undermined due to the reduction of financial state support for enforcement in the light of the current economic recession. Whilst this marine reserve was driven by the stakeholders, the prospects depend on an adequate state enforcement capacity.

Marine conservation in remote small island settings: Factors influencing marine protected area establishment in the Azores

Citation Information: Marine Policy, Volume 40, July 2013, Pages 1–9

Authors: Rita Costa Abecasis, Nancy Longnecker, Luisa Schmidt, Julian Clifton

Abstract: This paper examines the establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs) in remote small island settings with specific reference to the Portuguese island of Corvo in the Azores. This case study represents different approaches to marine conservation, ranging from an informal community-based no-take MPA to a government-driven multi-purpose natural park, involving diverse local and external actors interacting over an extended period of time. In-depth interviews were used to explore the perceptions of local and expert stakeholders about positive and negative aspects of MPA establishment. This demonstrated how differing approaches have led to varying degrees of MPA effectiveness. From the community-based MPA, several key ingredients for effective MPA establishment were identified, including engaging and empowering local communities, clear definition of goals, visible MPA outputs and community enforcement based on high levels of support and peer group pressure. However, in a context of complex marine resource use, the limitations of community-based initiatives prevent them from achieving broad ecosystem conservation goals. These might be better achieved through government-driven MPAs, provided that they are integrated in a wider regional marine strategy and that there is political will to effectively implement conservation measures and to allocate resources for management, enforcement and monitoring.

Advice to the Scottish Government on the selection of Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) for the development of the Scottish MPA network

Citation Information: Scottish Natural Heritage and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee. (2012). Advice to the Scottish Government on the selection of Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) for the development of the Scottish MPA network. Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No. 547

Description: This document sets out the formal advice from SNH and JNCC to Marine Scotland on the identification of Nature Conservation Marine Protected Area (MPA) proposals to protect biodiversity and geodiversity in Scotland’s seas. These MPA proposals will also help fulfil Scotland’s contribution to wider networks of MPAs at a European and global scale. Where we use ‘we’, ‘us’ or ‘our’ in this advice we mean SNH and JNCC.

Scotland’s marine environment is dynamic and varied and supports not only a wide diversity of animals and plants but also provides a range of vital ecosystem services including food, renewable energy, leisure and recreational opportunities.

The Scottish MPA Project helps deliver the Scottish Government’s commitment to delivering a ‘clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse marine and coastal environment that meets the long term needs of people and nature’. The Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 contains provisions to designate Nature Conservation MPAs, Demonstration and Research MPAs and Historic MPAs within territorial waters. The UK Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 contains provisions to designate MPAs for the conservation of nationally important marine wildlife, habitats, geology and undersea landforms in offshore waters. This report addresses the selection of Nature Conservation MPAs in all of Scotland’s seas, under both Acts. Our advice does not cover Historic MPAs or Demonstration and Research MPAs. Historic Scotland is providing advice on the former and Marine Scotland on the latter.

Our proposals for Nature Conservation MPAs build on the existing network of areas including Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), Special Protection Areas (SPA), Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and existing fisheries restrictions (see Figure E1). Thirty-three Nature Conservation MPA proposals are recommended, with further work proposed for four MPA search locations where there is currently insufficient evidence to make firm proposals.

Does Trophic Status Enhance or Reduce the Thermal Tolerance of Scleractinian Corals? A Review, Experiment and Conceptual Framework

Citation Information: Fabricius KE, Cséke S, Humphrey C, De’ath G (2013) Does Trophic Status Enhance or Reduce the Thermal Tolerance of Scleractinian Corals? A Review, Experiment and Conceptual Framework. PLoS ONE 8(1): e54399. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0054399

Abstract: Global warming, and nutrient and sediment runoff from coastal development, both exert increasing pressures on coastal coral reefs. The objective of this study was to resolve the question of whether coastal eutrophication may protect corals from thermal stress by improving their nutritional status, or rather diminish their thermal tolerance through the synergy of dual stressors. A review of previous studies on the topic of combined trophic status and heat exposure on the thermal tolerance of corals reveals a broad range of outcomes, including synergistic, additive and antagonistic effects. We conducted a 90-day long experiment exposing corals to realistic levels of elevated nutrients and sediments, and heat stress. Colonies of two common scleractinian corals (Acropora millepora and Montipora tuberculosa) were kept in coastal seawater, or coastal seawater that was further organically and nutrient enriched (OE), and/or enriched with nitrate. Batches of OE were created daily, facilitating nutrient uptake, plankton succession and organic enrichment as observed in coastal waters. After 10 days of acclimation, 67% of the colonies had their temperature gradually increased from 27° to 31.2°C. After 3–7 weeks of heat stress, colonies of both species had significantly greater reductions in fluorescence yields and lower survival in OE than without addition of OE. Furthermore, photophysiological recovery was incomplete 31–38 days after ending the heat stress only in the OE treatments. Nitrate alone had no measurable effect on survival, bleaching and recovery in either species. Skeletal growth rates were reduced by 45% in heat-stressed A. millepora and by 24% in OE-exposed M. tuberculosa. We propose a conceptual trophic framework that resolves some of the apparently contradictory outcomes revealed by the review. Our study shows that management actions to reduce coastal eutrophication can improve the resistance and resilience of vulnerable coastal coral reefs to warming temperatures.

Predicting the Impact of Climate Change on Threatened Species in UK Waters

Citation Information: Jones MC, Dye SR, Fernandes JA, Frölicher TL, Pinnegar JK, et al. (2013) Predicting the Impact of Climate Change on Threatened Species in UK Waters. PLoS ONE 8(1): e54216. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0054216

Abstract: Global climate change is affecting the distribution of marine species and is thought to represent a threat to biodiversity. Previous studies project expansion of species range for some species and local extinction elsewhere under climate change. Such range shifts raise concern for species whose long-term persistence is already threatened by other human disturbances such as fishing. However, few studies have attempted to assess the effects of future climate change on threatened vertebrate marine species using a multi-model approach. There has also been a recent surge of interest in climate change impacts on protected areas. This study applies three species distribution models and two sets of climate model projections to explore the potential impacts of climate change on marine species by 2050. A set of species in the North Sea, including seven threatened and ten major commercial species were used as a case study. Changes in habitat suitability in selected candidate protected areas around the UK under future climatic scenarios were assessed for these species. Moreover, change in the degree of overlap between commercial and threatened species ranges was calculated as a proxy of the potential threat posed by overfishing through bycatch. The ensemble projections suggest northward shifts in species at an average rate of 27 km per decade, resulting in small average changes in range overlap between threatened and commercially exploited species. Furthermore, the adverse consequences of climate change on the habitat suitability of protected areas were projected to be small. Although the models show large variation in the predicted consequences of climate change, the multi-model approach helps identify the potential risk of increased exposure to human stressors of critically endangered species such as common skate (Dipturus batis) and angelshark (Squatina squatina).

Trophic indicators in fisheries: a call for re-evaluation

Citation Information: Biol. Lett. 23 February 2013 vol. 9 no. 1 20121050

Authors: Sara Hornborg, Andrea Belgrano, Valerio Bartolino, Daniel Valentinsson and Friederike Ziegler

Abstract: Mean trophic level (MTL) of landings and primary production required (PPR) by fisheries are increasingly used in the assessment of sustainability in fisheries. However, in their present form, MTL and PPR are prone to misinterpretation. We show that it is important to account for actual catch data, define an appropriate historical and spatial domain, and carefully consider the effects of fisheries management, based on results from a case study of Swedish fisheries during the past century.

Joint analysis of stressors and ecosystem services to enhance restoration effectiveness

Citation Information: December 17, 2012, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1213841110; PNAS January 2, 2013 vol. 110 no. 1 372-377

Authors: J. David Allan, Peter B. McIntyre, Sigrid D. P. Smith, Benjamin S. Halpern, Gregory L. Boyer, Andy Buchsbaum, G. A. Burton, Jr., Linda M. Campbell, W. Lindsay Chadderton, Jan J. H. Ciborowski, Patrick J. Doran, Tim Eder, Dana M. Infante, Lucinda B. Johnson, Christine A. Joseph, Adrienne L. Marino, Alexander Prusevich, Jennifer G. Read, Joan B. Rose, Edward S. Rutherford, Scott P. Sowa, and Alan D. Steinman

Abstract: With increasing pressure placed on natural systems by growing human populations, both scientists and resource managers need a better understanding of the relationships between cumulative stress from human activities and valued ecosystem services. Societies often seek to mitigate threats to these services through large-scale, costly restoration projects, such as the over one billion dollar Great Lakes Restoration Initiative currently underway. To help inform these efforts, we merged high-resolution spatial analyses of environmental stressors with mapping of ecosystem services for all five Great Lakes. Cumulative ecosystem stress is highest in near-shore habitats, but also extends offshore in Lakes Erie, Ontario, and Michigan. Variation in cumulative stress is driven largely by spatial concordance among multiple stressors, indicating the importance of considering all stressors when planning restoration activities. In addition, highly stressed areas reflect numerous different combinations of stressors rather than a single suite of problems, suggesting that a detailed understanding of the stressors needing alleviation could improve restoration planning. We also find that many important areas for fisheries and recreation are subject to high stress, indicating that ecosystem degradation could be threatening key services. Current restoration efforts have targeted high-stress sites almost exclusively, but generally without knowledge of the full range of stressors affecting these locations or differences among sites in service provisioning. Our results demonstrate that joint spatial analysis of stressors and ecosystem services can provide a critical foundation for maximizing social and ecological benefits from restoration investments.

To split or not to split: Assessment of Georges Bank sea scallops in the presence of marine protected areas

Citation Information: Fisheries Research, Available online 14 December 2012

Authors: Deborah R. Hart, Larry D. Jacobson, Jiashen Tang

Abstract: Marine protected areas (MPAs) may create challenges for stock assessments because most models are based on the assumption that fishing mortality is uniform in space. Using both actual data and simulations, we explored two approaches to the stock assessment of Georges Bank Atlantic sea scallops (Placopecten magellanicus), where fishery closures were implemented in December 1994. One approach modeled the stock in “aggregate”, using domed commercial selectivity functions for the time periods when the MPAs were closed to scallop fishing. In the second “split” approach, separate models were used for the scallops inside (closed areas) and outside (open areas) the MPAs. The aggregate model converged only in 17% of the simulated runs, compared with 93% convergence for the open and closed runs using the split approach. With actual data, and in those simulations where both methods converged, the two approaches gave similar results, although biomass estimates in the most recent years from the aggregate model tended to be biased low. The closed area model, and to a lesser extent the aggregate model, estimated natural mortality M fairly precisely, but open area model estimates of M were poorly defined. Retrospective patterns were reduced using the split approach and when natural mortality was estimated. We conclude that the split assessment approach is better for sea scallops, but it may be best to use both approaches for comparative purposes.

Marine protected areas: Re-thinking their inception

Citation Information: Marine Policy, Volume 39, May 2013, Pages 234–240

Authors: Ratana Chuenpagdee, Jose J. Pascual-Fernández, Emese Szeliánszky, Juan Luis Alegret, Julia Fraga, Svein Jentoft

Abstract: When marine protected areas (MPAs) do not succeed, which is often the case, their failure is mostly attributed to factors related to their design and operation. In this paper, it is argued that reasons for lack of success must be sought in the process that leads up to their establishment, i.e., the initial stage when the idea was conceived, communicated, and discussed among stakeholders. To illustrate the significance of the ‘step zero’, the creation of four MPAs in Spain and México is analyzed. These case studies show how MPA proposals can easily be drawn not only into power struggles between stakeholders but also into political issues that extend far beyond the MPA itself. For this reason, the governance of MPAs requires broad considerations of the potential political risks and pitfalls. MPAs are, after all, not just a technical management measure, but a socio-political enterprise.

Small-Scale Spatial Variation in Population Dynamics and Fishermen Response in a Coastal Marine Fishery

Citation Information: Wilson JR, Kay MC, Colgate J, Qi R, Lenihan HS (2012) Small-Scale Spatial Variation in Population Dynamics and Fishermen Response in a Coastal Marine Fishery. PLoS ONE 7(12): e52837. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0052837

Abstract: A major challenge for small-scale fisheries management is high spatial variability in the demography and life history characteristics of target species. Implementation of local management actions that can reduce overfishing and maximize yields requires quantifying ecological heterogeneity at small spatial scales and is therefore limited by available resources and data. Collaborative fisheries research (CFR) is an effective means to collect essential fishery information at local scales, and to develop the social, technical, and logistical framework for fisheries management innovation. We used a CFR approach with fishing partners to collect and analyze geographically precise demographic information for grass rockfish (Sebastes rastrelliger), a sedentary, nearshore species harvested in the live fish fishery on the West Coast of the USA. Data were used to estimate geographically distinct growth rates, ages, mortality, and length frequency distributions in two environmental subregions of the Santa Barbara Channel, CA, USA. Results indicated the existence of two subpopulations; one located in the relatively cold, high productivity western Channel, and another in the relatively warm, low productivity eastern Channel. We parameterized yield per recruit models, the results of which suggested nearly twice as much yield per recruit in the high productivity subregion relative to the low productivity subregion. The spatial distribution of fishing in the two environmental subregions demonstrated a similar pattern to the yield per recruit outputs with greater landings, effort, and catch per unit effort in the high productivity subregion relative to the low productivity subregion. Understanding how spatial variability in stock dynamics translates to variability in fishery yield and distribution of effort is important to developing management plans that maximize fishing opportunities and conservation benefits at local scales.

Contested Forms of Governance in Marine Protected Areas: A study of co-management and adaptive co-management

Citation Information: Routledge, Jan 17, 2013 - Technology & Engineering - 216 pages

ISBN: 978-0-415-50064-7 and 978-0-203-13358-3

Authors: Natalie Bown, Tim S. Gray, Selina M. Stead

Description: In this book, the authors examine the governance of marine protected areas (MPA), and in particular they compare two different forms of governance – co-management (CM) and adaptive co-management (ACM). CM is characterized by the decentralization of the decision-making process, incorporating the governed as well as the government. ACM is characterized by the dynamic process whereby co-management decision-making is made continuously responsive to the changing ecological and socio-economic circumstances of the MPA.

The authors carry out a comprehensive critical analysis of CM and ACM before applying these concepts to the case study of the Cayos Cochinos Marine Protected Area off Honduras to assess two successive management cycles, 2004-9 and 2008-13. The area was designated as an MPA in 1993, a governmental decision which was met with resentment by local communities. CM was introduced in 2004 to involve these local stakeholders in the decision-making process, but achieved limited success. In an attempt to deal with these deficiencies, ACM was adopted in the second management plan in 2008, but whereas the position of the local communities improved, it tipped the scales too far away from conservation. A third management plan is currently being prepared that promises to strike a better balance between ecological and socio-economic objectives. A central theme of the book is to examine how far the CCMPA adhered to the principles of CM and ACM respectively in its first two management plans.

Sea cucumbers in the Seychelles: effects of marine protected areas on high-value species

Citation Information: Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems; 21 January 2013; DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2316

Authors: Nicoletta Cariglia, Shaun K. Wilson, Nicholas A. J. Graham, Rebecca Fisher, Jan Robinson, Riaz Aumeeruddy, Rodney Quatre, Nicholas V. C. Polunin


  1. In tropical regions all over the world, holothurian (sea cucumber) fisheries are an important source of income for local communities.
  2. Almost all fisheries targeting holothurians are considered fully exploited or in decline, and several fisheries have collapsed.
  3. This study examined the differences in abundance of commercially exploited and ecologically important coral reef holothurian species between long established marine protected areas (MPAs) and unprotected areas in the inner islands of the Seychelles.
  4. Over a period of 1 month, 21 sites across the inner islands of the Seychelles were surveyed, nine of which were within MPAs.
  5. The probability of observing holothurians in areas protected from fishing (~80%) was twice that in areas subjected to fishing.
  6. The probability of observing holothurians of high or medium commercial value in counts was 10-fold greater inside rather than outside MPAs.
  7. Habitat was an important determinant of holothurian presence: occurrence of high and medium value holothurians was associated with rock and coral habitats.
  8. MPAs may help conserve high densities of holothurians of economic importance.


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