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Dispersal in Marine Organisms without a Pelagic Larval Phase

Citation Information: Integr. Comp. Biol. (2012) 52 (4): 447-457. doi: 10.1093/icb/ics040

Author: Judith E. Winston

Abstract: In contrast to marine organisms whose offspring go through an extended planktonic stage, the young of others develop directly into benthic juveniles or into yolky nonfeeding larvae that spend only a few hours in the plankton before settling. Yet, paradoxically, many such species have geographic distributions that are comparable to those with a pelagic dispersal stage. This article reviews some of the ways in which these organisms can expand their distributions: drifting, rafting, hitchhiking, creeping, and hopping. Drifting applies to species in which larvae may be short-lived, but adults can detach or be detached from their benthic substratum and be passively carried to new areas, floating at the water’s surface or below it. Many encrusting species and mobile species can spread by rafting, settling on natural or artificial floating substrata which are propelled by wind and currents to new regions. Hitchhiking applies to those attaching to vessels or being carried in ballast water of ships to a distant region in which their offspring can survive. Other marine species extend their distributions by hopping from one island of hard substratum or favorable sedimentary microhabitat to another, while creeping species extend their distributions along shores or shelves where habitats remain similar for long distances.

Enhancing Social Capital for Sustainable Coastal Development: is Satoumi the answer?

Citation Information: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science; Available online 23 September 2012; In Press, Accepted Manuscript

Author: Yves Henocque

Abstract: Social capital constitutes the cultural component of modern societies. Building social capital has typically been seen as a task for ‘second generation’ economic reform, but unlike economic policies and institutions, social capital is not created or shaped by public policy but is inherited throughout local communities successive generations. Enhancing social capital therefore is about promoting local knowledge deeply rooted into local communities’ practices on land and at sea. In Japan, the culturally specific interaction of humans with nature has led to the emergence of specific socio-ecosystems called ‘satoyama’ on the land side and ‘satoumi’ on the coast and sea side. Here, characteristics of related local knowledge include information about consumed products like wild edible plants or seaweeds, and learning by doing practices like traditional rice cultivation or sea ranching. This knowledge has been developed over centuries and has been handed down from generation to generation. There are actually other types of satoyama and satoumi which have been flourishing around the world though the latter (satoumi) probably has no equivalent in other countries’ coastal areas because of the unique Japanese fishing rights system. First largely ignored as a social capital, satoumi has emerged as a new concept only a few years ago. In the frame of the recently adopted national ocean policy such a social capital, like it may be found in other countries, should not be ignored when addressing integrated coastal zone management processes and tools for the sake of sustainable coastal development in Japan and elsewhere in the world.

California’s Marine Life Protection Act Initiative: Supporting implementation of legislation establishing a statewide network of marine protected areas

Citation Information: Ocean & Coastal Management; Available online 23 September 2012; In Press, Accepted Manuscript

Authors: John Kirlin, Meg Caldwell, Mary Gleason, Mike Weber, John Ugoretz, Evan Fox, Melissa Miller-Henson

Abstract: California enacted the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) in 1999 to redesign and improve the state’s system of marine protected areas (MPAs), which the State Legislature found created the illusion of protection while falling far short of its potential to protect and conserve living marine life and habitat. In 2004, after two unsuccessful attempts to implement the MLPA, California created the MLPA Initiative through a memorandum of understanding among two state agencies and a privately-funded foundation that established objectives for a planning process, set out a timeline for deliverables, and established roles and responsibilities for key bodies.

This paper analyzes how recommendations developed through the Initiative supported regulatory decisions by the California Fish and Game Commission to greatly expand the network of marine protected areas. That network includes 124 MPAs, covering 16.0% of state waters outside of San Francisco Bay, including 9.4% of state waters in "no-take" areas. Such an extensive network of MPAs that consciously incorporates science-based design guidelines is an important achievement worldwide and is a rare example of a sub-national government creating MPAs.

Successful implementation of formally adopted public policies is well recognized as a complex process critical to achieving policy goals. The Initiative’s Blue Ribbon Task Force played a significant role in guiding the planning process to its successful conclusion in providing the State the information it needed to redesign its system of MPAs. Additional elements of the Initiative’s success included: effective statutes, adequate funding and professional capacity, robust stakeholder engagement, strong science guidance, effective decision support tools, transparent decision making, and sustained support from top state officials and private foundations.

The Ocean Economy of the United States: Measurement, Distribution, & Trends

Citation Information: Ocean & Coastal Management; Available online 23 September 2012; In Press, Accepted Manuscript

Author: Charles S. Colgan


  • Consistent measurement of economic activity associated with the oceans can contribute to ocean management.
  • Arranging public data is an efficient way providing information on ocean economic activity.
  • In the U.S. such data shows ocean economic activity comprised 2% of employment and 1.7% of GDP.
  • Economic activity can also be measured at various levels of regional and industrial detail.
  • Limits in public data include data coverage and the need to protect confidentiality of individuals.

Spatial ecology of krill, micronekton and top predators in the central California Current: implications for defining ecologically important areas

Citation Information: Progress in Oceanography; Available online 19 September 2012; In Press, Accepted Manuscript

Authors: Jarrod A. Santora, John C. Field, Isaac D. Schroeder, Keith M. Sakuma, Brian K. Wells, William J. Sydeman

Abstract: Marine spatial planning and ecosystem models that aim to predict and protect fisheries and wildlife benefit greatly from syntheses of empirical information on physical and biological partitioning of marine ecosystems. Here, we develop spatially-explicit oceanographic and ecological descriptions of the central California Current region. To partition this region, we integrate data from 20 years of shipboard surveys with satellite remote-sensing to characterize local seascapes of ecological significance, focusing on krill, other micronekton taxa, and top predators (seabirds and marine mammals). Specifically, we investigate if micronekton and predator assemblages co-vary spatially with mesoscale oceanographic conditions. The first principal component of environmental and micronekton seascapes indicates significant coupling between physics, primary productivity, and secondary and tertiary marine consumers. Subsequent principal components indicate latitudinal variability in niche-community space due to varying habitat characteristics between Monterey Bay (deep submarine canyon system) and the Gulf of the Farallones (extensive continental shelf), even though both of these sub-regions are located downstream from upwelling centers. Overall, we identified 5 ecologically important areas based on spatial integration of environmental and biotic features. These areas, characterized by proximity to upwelling centers, shallow pycnoclines, and high chlorophyll-a and krill concentrations, are potential areas of elevated trophic focusing for specific epipelagic and mesopelagic communities. This synthesis will benefit ecosystem-based management approaches for the central California Current, a region long-impacted by anthropogenic factors.

Applications of Estuarine and Coastal Classifications in Marine Spatial Management

Citation Information: Pittman SJ, Connor DW, Radke L, and Wright DJ (2011) Application of Estuarine and Coastal Classifications in Marine Spatial Management. In: Wolanski  E and McLusky DS (eds.) Treatise on Estuarine and Coastal Science, Vol 1, pp. 163–205. Waltham: Academic Press.

Abstract: Coastal and marine classifications, both spatially explicit in the form of maps and nonspatial representations of the environment, are critical to  the effective implementation of management strategies such as marine spatial planning. This chapter provides a wide range of classifications and classified maps developed to simplify and communicate biological, physical, social, and economic patterns in support of enhanced management decision making. Examples are provided from around the world and span a range of spatial scales from global classifications to those for individual bays and estuaries. Limitations, future challenges, and priority management needs are discussed. 

Special thanks to OpenChannels user SJPittman for submitting this content!

Review of the various proposals for the European offshore grid

Citation Information: Renewable Energy; Volume 49, January 2013, Pages 58–62; Selected papers from World Renewable Energy Congress - XI

Authors: Jan De Decker, Achim Woyte

Abstract: The integration of large amounts of renewable power, the will to create a single European Energy Market, and the requirements for system adequacy and security of supply are strong drivers towards more electricity interconnection infrastructure in Europe. This is especially true for the European seas with the North Sea in particular.

During the last years, various proposals for an offshore grid in Europe have been published in the public domain, varying from research proposals to long-term visions or more concrete projects. Taken up by policymakers and other stakeholders, they have resulted in a number of ongoing initiatives like the Adamowitsch Working Group, the ENTSO-E Regional North Sea Group and the North Seas Countries’ Offshore Grid Initiative.

The paper provides the background on offshore grids and an extensive overview of the various proposals. Furthermore, the remaining challenges are discussed and explained in the context of the different initiatives.

Integrating Commercial and Recreational Sectors in Fishery Management

Citation Information: Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California at Santa Barbara, 2008.

Student Team: Choy, Steven; Guerin, Sean; Myers, Erin; Ng, Ming; Patterson, Jesse

Abstract: The combination of economic inefficiencies, competition for resources, and ecological declines in many of the world’s fisheries has led to growing pressure to reform fisheries management. Two possible reform tools are the incorporation of market-oriented incentives and ecosystem-based approaches into management plans. In response, catch share programs are being increasingly implemented in commercial fisheries. Catch share programs are market-based fishery management programs that provide an individual fisherman, cooperative, or community the exclusive privilege to harvest a specified quantity (quota) of fish at any time within the fishing season or exclusive privileges to harvest within a specified area. Catch shares is an umbrella term that includes dedicated access privilege (DAP) programs, limited access privilege programs (LAPP), and individual transferable quota (ITQs) among others. Catch share programs are tailored to the specific economic, political, and biological conditions of a given fishery, and in some programs, such as ITQs, access privileges can be traded among vessels in the commercial fishery and between commercial and recreational sectors. Catch share management programs in the United States were first implemented in 1990 and have led to increased profits, decreased costs of gear and labor, and a safer and more stable industry (Dunnigan, 2005).

Lowering Barriers to Alternative Management Strategies and Collaborative Fisheries Research

Citation Information: Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California at Santa Barbara, 2009.

Student Team: Apel, Ashley; Faloon, Kristine; Panitz, Dave; Scarborough, Courtney; Shelton, Clare

Abstract: Historically, California nearshore fisheries have been managed within a rigid, precautionary framework based on complicated and data-intensive stock assessments. This group project analyzed an alternative management strategy, the Decision Tree, which simplifies the assessment method and aligns the scale of management with the scale of biological function. The Decision Tree also integrates marine protected areas into fisheries assessment as an unfished baseline and increases available fisheries data though collaboration between scientists and fishermen, at minimal cost to management bodies. Economic analysis shows data collection costs fishermen $95.22 per day, which translates into an overall cost to the fishery of $1,904.04 per year. Both research set asides and an increase in regional total allowable catch limits are management tools that may be used to recoup data collection costs through an increase in fishing quota. Working with local nearshore fishermen, this project developed new technology that streamlines the data collection process into fishermen workflow while simultaneously increasing data accuracy and reliability. Additionally, effective implementation of the Decision Tree is most efficiently accomplished in conjunction with a cohesive fishery organization. We conceptualized this as an organic, step-wise process from the current organizational structure under University Funded Collaborative Research, progressing in complexity to an Association, and finally a Cooperative. Within a cooperative framework, data collection and management goals are achieved, and the burden of management responsibility can be shared between the California Department of Fish and Game and local fishermen. The Decision Tree management strategy has the capacity to transition the nearshore finfish fishery from precautionary to science-based management, while simultaneously increasing collaboration between fishery stakeholders, fulfilling legal mandates, and improving economic and biological sustainability.

Pathway to Self-Funding: A Case Study on the California Commercial Spiny Lobster Fishery

Citation Information: Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California at Santa Barbara, 2009.

Student Team: Hess, Lauren; Johnson, Philip; Karasek, Theresa; Port-Minner, Samantha; Radhakrishnan, Uthra

Abstract: We investigated the economic, social, and political feasibility of developing and implementing a self-funding mechanism known as the “Lobster Stamp” in the California commercial spiny lobster fishery. The Lobster Stamp is an annual fee collected from every California commercial spiny lobster fisherman that will fund various projects of interest and utility to the fishery. The results of our economic model indicate that the fishery could profitably fund Marine Stewardship Council Certification. After ten years, the net benefits of certification ranged from $912 to $45,676 per fisherman. We created a survey using the information from our economic model and sent it to all commercial lobster permit holders. We found high support for the Lobster Stamp (65%) and the pursuit of Marine Stewardship Council Sustainability Certification (79%) among fishery respondents. The majority of respondents (58%) were willing to pay $300 annually for the Lobster Stamp. We then evaluated the legal and political feasibility of implementing self-funding legislation by analyzing existing fishery self-funding legislation and speaking with fishery leaders, California Department of Fish and Game representatives, nongovernmental organization representatives, and fishery lawyers. Our group synthesized the fishery’s concerns and objectives with the results of our cost-benefit analysis, survey analysis, and legal analysis to make final fishery-specific recommendations concerning the legislation of the Lobster Stamp. These recommendations include: setting a $300 price point, making the stamp mandatory for all permit holders, establishing an advisory committee capable of legally binding decisions, minimizing overhead costs, requiring periodic votes to renew the stamp, and pre-establishing activities eligible for funding.

From Sea to Table: Recommendations for Tracing Seafood

Citation Information: Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California at Santa Barbara, 2010.

Student Team: Gibbon, James; Hastings, Connor; Hirsch, Tucker; Hislop, Kristen; Stevens, Eric

Abstract: The seafood industry currently lacks a standardized, widespread tracing method to easily track seafood products as they move through the chain of custody. With global overfishing leading to declining fish stocks around the world, it is vital for seafood providers to be able to credibly identify products that come from well-managed sustainable fisheries that target abundant species and fish or farm in environmentally responsible ways. As part of their effort to promote the sale of sustainable seafood, Monterey Bay Aquarium has created partnerships with members of the seafood industry throughout the United States. These partnerships encourage members of the supply chain to identify the source and trace the movements of the seafood products they purchase. This project provides a set of recommendations for a verifiable tracing system that would meet the needs of a wide variety of these industry members. We developed a tiered approach that includes recommendations for immediate implementation, as well as future steps to be taken once the initial system is established. Online Reporting can initially be used alone and then later paired with Product Tagging and Third Party Verification to produce a tracing system that is effective, comprehensive, and verifiable, and will meet the needs of Monterey Bay Aquarium and its partners.

Integrating Tribal Resource Use in California's Marine Life Protection Act Initiative

Citation Information: Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California at Santa Barbara, 2011.

Student Team: Effron, Micah; Manna, Jeannine; Robertson, Andrea; Stevens, Billie Jo; Umezawa, Miho; Wyer, Holly

Abstract: California’s Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) requires the state to establish a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) with the goal of protecting natural marine resources. This project worked with the MLPA Initiative, a stakeholder-driven planning process designed to implement the act in the north coast region, to collect data on tribal marine resource use for incorporation into the planning of the MPA network. In addition to data collection, the work of this project included an examination of tribal participation throughout the MLPA process, an evaluation of the final MPA network proposals submitted to the Fish and Game Commission, and a discussion of the implications of accommodating tribal uses in the MLPA process. Examination of the planning process revealed that certain tribal groups tended to participate more than others regardless of the forum, and that the input received was inconsistent and varied in specificity, resulting in information gaps. However, tribal input was incorporated and greatly influenced MPA network design by affecting MPA location, size, and boundaries, and the number and types of uses allowed within MPAs. Incorporation of tribal input did limit the MPA network’s ability to meet scientific guidelines for MPA size, spacing, and habitat replication and representation. Not all tribal requests were met, resulting in a restriction of some tribal gathering and harvesting within MPA boundaries, but specific language included in the final proposals could facilitate a system of tribal exemption in the future. Based on these conclusions and firsthand experiences of group members working within the MLPA process, this project offers a set of recommendations for improving tribal consultation, outreach, representation, and relationships for future marine spatial planning processes.

Reducing the Risk of Vessel Strikes to Endangered Whales in the Santa Barbara Channel: An Economic Analysis and Risk Assessment of Potential Management Scenarios

Citation Information: Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California at Santa Barbara, 2011.

Student Team: Betz, Sarah; Bohnsack, Karen; Callahan, Renee; Campbell, Lauren; Green, Sarah; Labrum, Kate

Abstract: Endangered blue, fin, and humpback whales migrate through the Santa Barbara Channel region, an area that also receives some of the highest densities of commercial maritime shipping traffic in the world. This co-occurrence of ships and whales likely carries a risk of lethal vessel strikes to whales, as demonstrated by several confirmed deaths due to ship strikes in the region. The purpose of this project is to provide a framework for the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to evaluate the economic impacts and risk implications of different management scenarios for reducing the risk of lethal vessel strikes to whales by re-routing or slowing ships in the Channel region. We developed two models, one that estimates the change in relative risk of a lethal strike based on predicted whale distributions and a second that calculates the change in total cost to the shipping industry. We applied these models to four management scenarios. We conclude that a mandatory speed reduction has potential to be the most cost effective management option, but that further research is needed to refine our risk analysis. Ultimately, the project provides a basic methodology for analyzing the cost effectiveness of potential management scenarios for reducing the risk of vessel strikes to whales in any region where strikes occur.

Spatial Planning and Bio-Economic Analysis for Offshore Shrimp Aquaculture in Northwestern Mexico

Citation Information: Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California at Santa Barbara, 2011.

Student Team: Clemence, Michaela; Hurd, Frank; Lahr, Heather; Mahdi, Asma; Tresham, Audrey; Young, Jeffrey

Abstract: Global demand for shrimp is currently met through fishing and farming practices, both of which are frequently environmentally and economically unsustainable. Offshore aquaculture is an emerging alternative that shows promise for reducing or eliminating many concerns embedded in existing capture fishery and land-based aquaculture practices. Aquapods are a new offshore aquaculture cage system that could provide a path to sustainable shrimp production, but little is known regarding the optimal placement strategy or economic viability of this new technology. This project uses an innovative spatial bio-economic analysis to provide a strategic framework for implementing offshore shrimp aquaculture with greater certainty of success. To better inform the planning, management, and research priorities of Aquapod operations in Northwest Mexico, this project couples marine spatial planning with bio-economic modeling and sensitivity analyses to identify suitable sites for Aquapod implementation and evaluate the economic viability of Aquapod operations. Our model indicates that only a small proportion of our study areas are suitable for Aquapod implementation and that none of the potential locations are expected to be profitable under a “business-as-usual” scenario. We found that profitability is driven by both spatial variability and operational decisions, thus, managers can achieve positive profits and ensure the economic viability of Aquapod operations by locating Aquapods close to shore and reducing feed and labor costs.

Salmon Aquaculture in Southern Chile: A Bioeconomic Model of Farming Practices

Citation Information: Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California at Santa Barbara, 2012.

Student Team: Willow Battista, John Ellis, Kelsey Jacobsen, Lindsey Kaplan, Jennifer Price, Marisa Villareal

Abstract: Rising global demand for salmon has led to aquaculture practices that can have important environmental and socioeconomic impacts. After explosive growth of the salmon farming industry in Chile, lax regulations and a lack of scientific information resulted in ecological degradation and, in 2007, an outbreak of a salmon virus that caused a virtual industry collapse. As the industry rebuilds and expands into Chile’s pristine southernmost region, the Magallanes, there is a need to identify management practices that will lead to favorable trade-offs between “outcomes of interest” including ecological health, Concession Profit, and artisanal fishing profits. Our project offers a bioeconomic model that predicts the magnitude of those outcomes caused by individual salmon farming concessions. Our model identifies practices that have the strongest effect on the outcomes and should therefore be targeted for changes in management. We also used the model to predict the outcomes of concessions already approved for the Magallanes, demonstrating the model’s ability to aid managers in choosing between future concession applications. Then, we identified combinations of farming practices that can lead to more overall benefit than those approved concessions. Lastly, we identified model parameters that warrant future research in order to improve the reliability of the model’s results. Importantly, our model provides a framework that can be built upon to include greater detail and scope, and can be tailored to describe salmon aquaculture in other parts of the world. Our tool can help managers identify favorable trade-offs that maximize overall benefits from this rapidly expanding global industry.

Saving Nemo: Mariculture and Market-based Solutions to Reform the Marine Ornamental Trade

Citation Information: Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California at Santa Barbara, 2012.

Student Team: Clara Cartwright, Stephanie Horii, Niki Mazaroli, Amanda Nelson, Katherine Nixon, Ariadne Reynolds

Abstract: The marine ornamental trade for aquaria is currently on an economically and environmentally unsustainable trajectory. Producers in the Coral Triangle often use destructive methods to harvest species in an attempt to meet worldwide demand. In the process, coral reef habitats can be destroyed; additionally, harvested species have a higher mortality in transit, which can contribute to higher retail prices. Producers receive low prices for their catch, motivating overharvesting to increase revenue. We investigated mariculture as an option to alleviate the negative impact to coral reef ecosystems while increasing revenue for producer communities. First, we conducted an economic analysis of United States’ demand to provide recommendations for domestic economic interventions that might increase sustainability throughout the supply chain. Second, we created a guidance document for non-governmental organizations interested in sustainable aquaculture to benefit producer livelihoods. Our analysis indicated that a novel combination of post-larval capture and culture (PCC) and offshore grow-out using Micropod™ technology could provide a sustainable alternative to wild capture. We conducted a cost-feasibility assessment of this method and determined under which market scenarios producers could make a profit. We concluded that community-based mariculture can become a viable option for increasing the sustainability of the trade.

Ecosystem-based Adaptation to Climate Change: A Cost-Benefit Analysis

Citation Information: Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California at Santa Barbara, 2012.

Student Team: Sarah Clark, Teo Grossman, Nicholas Przyuski, Cassidee Shinn, Danielle Storz

Abstract: The global climate is changing rapidly due to the accumulation of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) in the atmosphere. Planned adaptation is society’s a priori defense against climate-driven threats. Conservation and development organizations are seeking a way to aid communities in their planned adaptation efforts, while trying to conserve ecosystems. These organizations are interested in the use of Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA), which is defined as reducing the impacts of climate change through the conservation and restoration of natural ecosystems. This project addresses planned adaptation to increased sea level rise and tropical cyclone variability for coastal communities in the South Pacific islands. Our project aims to fill the information gap pertaining to the economics of EbA in comparison to traditional engineered approaches to adaptation. Specifically, we assessed the role of mangrove forests and seawalls in coastal protection and conducted a Cost-Benefit Analysis to compare their economic efficiency.

Ecological Restoration for Protected Areas: Principles, Guidelines, and Best Practices

Citation Information: Keenleyside, K.A., N. Dudley, S. Cairns, C.M. Hall, and S. Stolton (2012). Ecological Restoration for Protected Areas: Principles, Guidelines and Best Practices. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN. x + 120pp.

Description: This publication provides guidance for terrestrial, marine, and freshwater protected area managers at both system and site levels on the restoration of natural and associated values of protected areas. As this sometimes necessitates restoration beyond protected area borders (e.g., to address ecosystem fragmentation and maintain well-connected protected area systems), this guide uses the term ‘restoration for protected areas’ for activities within protected areas and for activities in connecting or surrounding lands and waters that influence protected area values. It provides information on principles and best practice, with examples, and advice on the process of restoration, but is not a comprehensive restoration manual and does not give detailed methodologies and techniques. Some manuals are listed in the bibliography.

The guide starts by introducing key concepts relating to restoration and protected area management and provides a brief explanation of when and where restoration might be the best option (Chapter 2). It then summarizes principles and guidelines for restoration (Chapter 3), to help in setting restoration policies, goals, and objectives, and in implementation. The aim is to encourage consistency with underlying principles, while allowing for biome-, site- or issue-specific variation in implementation. The document draws on global experience to identify best practice methods and techniques for restoration projects (Chapter 4). Finally, a seven-phase framework recommends decision-making processes for carrying out ecological restoration for protected areas (Chapter 5) (see Figure 1).

ProtectedPlanet Report 2012: Tracking progress towards global targets for protected areas

Citation Information: Bastian Bertzky, Colleen Corrigan, James Kemsey, Siobhan Kenney, Corinna Ravilious, Charles Besançon and Neil Burgess (2012) Protected Planet Report 2012: Tracking progress towards global targets for protected areas. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and UNEP-WCMC, Cambridge, UK.

Description: Protected areas remain one of the cornerstones for promoting biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being. Today protected areas cover 12.7% of the world’s terrestrial area and 1.6% of the global ocean area. They store 15% of the global terrestrial carbon stock, assist in reducing deforestation, habitat and species loss, and support the livelihoods of over one billion people.

At the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) world leaders reaffirmed the value of biological diversity, its critical role in maintaining ecosystem services and the urgency to implement actions to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity.

The Protected Planet Report is a new initiative that tracks global progress towards Target 11 of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Achieving this ambitious target, which calls for at least 17% of the world’s terrestrial areas and 10% of marine areas to be equitably managed and conserved by 2020, will require strong and effective partnerships: this report is an excellent example.

It has been compiled by the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas and a wide range of organisations that build on the work of the CBD-mandated Biodiversity Indicators Partnership. Several of these indicators also regularly contribute to the Global Environment Outlook and Global Biodiversity Outlook assessments, as well as the Millennium Development Goals reports – they have a role to play in the development of Sustainable Development Goals post 2015 too.

The Protected Planet Report 2012 underlines the successes of countries, communities and nongovernmental organisations with respect to protected areas – since 1990, for example, protected areas have increased in number by 58% and in their extent by 48%. However, many protected areas face management, governance and financial challenges and half of the world’s most important sites for biodiversity are still unprotected.

Guidelines for Applying the IUCN Protected Area Management Categories to Marine Protected Areas

Citation Information: Day J., Dudley N., Hockings M., Holmes G., Laffoley D., Stolton S. & S. Wells, 2012. Guidelines for applying the IUCN Protected Area Management Categories to Marine Protected Areas. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN. 36pp.

Description: IUCN has developed a set of guidelines which define a protected area and categorise a protected area through six management types and four governance types (Dudley, 2008)8. These supplementary guidelines provide additional advice on using the IUCN guidance in marine protected areas (MPAs). To qualify for one or more of the IUCN categories, a site must meet the IUCN definition of a protected area, as given in the 2008 Guidelines:

“A protected area is a clearly defined geographical space, recognised, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values”

The appropriate IUCN category is assigned based on the primary stated management objective of the MPA (which must apply to at least 75% of the MPA – see section 5.1), or a zone within an MPA (the zone must be clearly mapped, recognised by legal or other effective means, and have distinct and unambiguous management aims that can be assigned to a particular protected area category – see section 5.4). The primary objectives of each IUCN category are listed in Table 1 as described in the 2008 Guidelines. A more detailed explanation is presented in section 4 of this document and in the 2008 Guidelines.

Spatial areas which may incidentally appear to deliver nature conservation but DO NOT HAVE STATED nature conservation objectives should NOT automatically be classified as MPAs, as defined by IUCN. These include:


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