Literature Library

Currently indexing 7626 titles

Modelling of ship engine exhaust emissions in ports and extensive coastal waters based on terrestrial AIS data – An Australian case study

Goldsworthy L, Goldsworthy B. Modelling of ship engine exhaust emissions in ports and extensive coastal waters based on terrestrial AIS data – An Australian case study. Environmental Modelling & Software [Internet]. 2015 ;63:45 - 60. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S136481521400262X
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

A model is developed to calculate and spatially allocate ship engine exhaust emissions in ports and extensive coastal waters using terrestrial Automatic Identification System data for ship movements and operating modes. The model is applied to the Australian region. The large geographical extent and number of included ports and vessels, and anomalies in the AIS data are challenging. Particular attention is paid to filtering of the movement data to remove anomalies and assign correct operating modes. Data gaps are filled by interpolation and extrapolation. Emissions and fuel consumption are calculated for each individual vessel at frequent intervals and categorised by ship type, ship size, operating mode and machinery type. Comparisons of calculated port emissions with conventional inventories and ship visit data are favourable. Estimations of ship emissions from regions within a 300 km radius of major capital cities suggest that a non-negligible percentage of air pollutants may come from ships.

An overview of methods to evaluate uncertainty of deterministic models in decision support

Uusitalo L, Lehikoinen A, Helle I, Myrberg K. An overview of methods to evaluate uncertainty of deterministic models in decision support. Environmental Modelling & Software [Internet]. 2015 ;63:24 - 31. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364815214002813
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

There is an increasing need for environmental management advice that is wide-scoped, covering various interlinked policies, and realistic about the uncertainties related to the possible management actions. To achieve this, efficient decision support integrates the results of pre-existing models. Many environmental models are deterministic, but the uncertainty of their outcomes needs to be estimated when they are utilized for decision support. We review various methods that have been or could be applied to evaluate the uncertainty related to deterministic models' outputs. We cover expert judgement, model emulation, sensitivity analysis, temporal and spatial variability in the model outputs, the use of multiple models, and statistical approaches, and evaluate when these methods are appropriate and what must be taken into account when utilizing them. The best way to evaluate the uncertainty depends on the definitions of the source models and the amount and quality of information available to the modeller.

Kaikōura Marine Strategy 2012: Sustaining our sea

Anon. Kaikōura Marine Strategy 2012: Sustaining our sea. Kaikōura Coastal Marine Guardians; 2012.
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

The Te Korowai vision can be summarised as:

By perpetuating the mauri and wairua of Te Tai ō Marokura
The community act as kaitiaki of Tangaroa’s tāonga
To achieve a flourishing, rich and healthy environment
Where opportunities abound
To sustain the needs of present and future generations

We have worked with local knowledge and the best science available to define how to achieve this vision. We have applied a philosophy of gifts and gains where each stakeholder group has gifted concessions to sustain the integrity of the whole resource for the future. We have described four key outcomes and the specific steps required to achieve them. We have also described four broad actions that cut across and support all the outcomes.

Clean Energy Finance Through the Bond Market: A New Option for Progress

Milford L, Saha D, Muro M, Sanders R, Rittner T. Clean Energy Finance Through the Bond Market: A New Option for Progress. Brookings-Rockefeller; 2014 p. 17.
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

State and local bond finance represents a powerful but underutilized tool for future clean energy investment.

For 100 years, the nation’s state and local infrastructure finance agencies have issued trillions of dollars’ worth of public finance bonds to fund the construction of the nation’s roads, bridges, hospitals, and other infrastructure—and literally built America. Now, as clean energy subsidies from Washington dwindle, these agencies are increasingly willing to finance clean energy projects, if only the clean energy community will embrace them.

So far, these authorities are only experimenting. However, the bond finance community has accumulated significant experience in getting to scale and knows how to raise large amounts for important purposes by selling bonds to Wall Street. The challenge is therefore to create new models for clean energy bond finance in states and regions, and so to establish a new clean energy asset class that can easily be traded in capital markets. To that end, this brief argues that state and local bonding authorities and other partners should do the following:

  • Establish mutually useful partnerships between development finance experts and clean energy officials at the state and local government levels
  • Expand and scale up bond-financed clean energy projects using credit enhancement and other emerging tools to mitigate risk and through demonstration projects
  • Improve availability of data and develop standardized documentation so that the risks and rewards of clean energy investments can be better understood
  • Create a pipeline of rated and private placement deals, in effect a new clean energy asset class, to meet the demand by institutional investors for fixed-income clean energy securities

Traditional Marine Management Areas of the Pacific in the Context of National and International Law and Policy

Vierros M, Tawake A, Hickey F, Tiraa A, Noa R. Traditional Marine Management Areas of the Pacific in the Context of National and International Law and Policy. Darwin, Australia: United Nations University, Institute of Advanced Studies, Traditional Knowledge Initiative; 2010 p. 93.
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

The report concludes that traditional marine management contributes to the attainment of international targets related to protected areas and marine conservation, and that its role in this regard should be fully recognised. Such recognition should include support for and reinforcement of pre-existing systems of traditional resource management, while allowing the incorporation of cooperative management strategies in adapting to contemporary circumstances. Recognition of community ownership and control of marine areas and resources, as well as the importance of local and traditional knowledge, are essential components of best management practice in the Pacific Islands.

Final Report of the 15th Session of the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission

Anon. Final Report of the 15th Session of the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission. FAO, Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission; 2014 p. 43. Available from: http://www.fao.org/3/a-i3790t.pdf
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

The Fifteenth Session of the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission was held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, from 26 to 28 March 2014. The meeting was kindly hosted by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and officially opened by H.E. Anthony Carmona President and H.E. Devant Maharaj, Minister for Food Production of Trinidad and Tobago.

The Commission considered the review of the state of fisheries and aquaculture in the WECAFC region in document WECAFC/XV/2014/2. Members appreciated the report, described additional information available and offered to supply it to the Secretariat. The EU offered to make available to the Commission the data and information of all its members fishing in the WECAFC area, in order to contribute to the improvement of scientific advice. Members underlined the needs for: improved data and information collection; the reduction of uncertainty levels on the state of the fisheries resources; and incorporation of members’ management efforts in the review, especially for the main commercial species. It was acknowledged that declining catches could be an indication of management decisions rather than of overfishing. On the other hand inflated production data that is contrary to the known status of given stocks could trigger the misinterpretation of data and result in its erroneous use. Noting that the status report focuses on the countries that harvest the most fish, it was emphasized that the special needs of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) should be taken into account as well and that a separate reporting mechanism for SIDS should eventually be created.

Towards Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management in the California Current System – Predators and the Preyscape: A Workshop Report to National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Ainley D, Adams P, Jahncke J. Towards Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management in the California Current System – Predators and the Preyscape: A Workshop Report to National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Petaluma, CA: Point Blue Conservation Science; 2014 p. 47.
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report
  • Most California Current System (CCS) predators are generalists, very few are krill specialists (e.g. blue whales). Owing to the variability inherent in the CCS, predators must engage in prey switching at both temporal (decadal to seasonal) and spatial (region to local) scales;
     
  • There are foraging hotspots in the CCS, and while their general location may be similar from year to year (e.g., Northern Channel Islands to Point Conception, Gulf of the Farallones-Monterey Bay, Cape Blanco to Heceta Bank, Strait of Juan de Fuca), they are subject to temporal (decadal to seasonal) and spatial (meso- to micro-scale) variability in their relative importance, which contributes to the prey switching behavior of the predators;
     
  • While the classic “forage species” are prevalent in predator diets of the CCS (e.g. anchovy, herring, sardine), juveniles of important federal FMP species (e.g., salmon, rockfish, hake) as well as several invertebrates (krill, market squid, octopus) are equally prevalent;
     
  • Where human and “wild” predators coincide, based on experimental evidence, the human fishers are far more efficient in their prey harvesting activities, putting “wild” predators at a disadvantage;
     
  • Current modeling to assess fish stocks generally takes a single-species approach, which fails to incorporate the importance of the temporal and spatial availability of key prey species; however, incorporating these prey species into stock assessment modeling (or other types) presents its own suite of challenges and cannot be based on reserving some portion of the exploited biomass alone, but rather must also address availability to predators (biomass does not equal availability);
     
  • Undertaking further, complex modeling will require the expensive collection of additional data not currently available.

Restoration Returns: The Contribution of Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program and Coastal Program Restoration Projects to Local U.S. Economies

Laughland D, Phu L, Milmoe J. Restoration Returns: The Contribution of Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program and Coastal Program Restoration Projects to Local U.S. Economies. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 2013. Available from: http://www.fws.gov/southeast/es/r4-partners/pdf/RestorationReturnsFINAL.pdf
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
Yes
Type: Report

The Partners for Fish and Wildlife (PFW) Program and Coastal Program are the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s premier conservation delivery tools for voluntary, citizen and community‐based fish and wildlife habitat restoration activities across the matrix of public and privately owned land. The programs work directly with partners to implement vital on‐the‐ground habitat restoration projects across the nation and in U.S. territories.

The PFW and Coastal Programs channel government and private dollars to local communities where they create work to support new jobs and provide income to local contractors and other industries. Money spent in support of projects circulates through the economy, creating more jobs and generating economic activity. The impacts of PFW and Coastal Program funds are multiplied in two dimensions. First, the program expertise and funding is able to leverage additional resources from other partners that support projects. Second, spending creates work, generates tax revenues, and stimulates economic activity as wages and purchases flow through the economy. Together these impacts are known as the “multiplier effect.” This report focuses on the effects of PFW and Coastal program‐related spending on projects completed in fiscal year 2011 to provide an example of the economic impacts of the Programs. This report does not address many other aspects of the PFW and Coastal Programs that improve human welfare, such as ecological services, improved recreational opportunities, land acquisition, in‐kind contributions, or the effect of open space on land values.

Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program 2014 Report to Congress

Anon. Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program 2014 Report to Congress. U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service; 2014 p. 54. Available from: http://www.habitat.noaa.gov/protection/corals/deepseacorals.html
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

This report features an overview of the Program’s continuing regional three-year field studies. Accompanying the details of the fieldwork are stunning video footage and still photos of this unique marine life in all regions of the U.S.

Throughout the country, the Councils are increasingly engaged in developing methods to manage potential impacts of fisheries to deep-sea coral areas, recognizing these habitats’ role in the ecosystem. And yet, the geographic distribution of deep-sea corals and the full extent of their function as fish habitats have not been adequately studied, thus limiting some Councils’ ability to design management measures. In 2012 and 2013, the Program made considerable progress in filling these knowledge gaps by locating and characterizing deep-sea coral sites and submitting the findings to the Councils.

At $2.46 million in fiscal year 2012 and $2.37 million in fiscal year 2013, NOAA’s Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program is cost-effective in generating information of immediate use to Regional Fishery Management Councils and other resource managers in conserving structurally complex habitats formed by deep-sea corals.

Small Scales, Big Value: Creating a Value Chain to support Atlantic Canada's sustainable fisheries

Anon. Small Scales, Big Value: Creating a Value Chain to support Atlantic Canada's sustainable fisheries. Halifax: Ecology Action Centre; 2014 p. 44. Available from: https://www.ecologyaction.ca/issue-area/small-scales-big-value-creating-value-chain-support-atlantic-canada%E2%80%99s-sustainable
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

While demand for sustainable seafood has increased over the past decade, much of the emphasis has been on seafood buyers and retailers to rethink their seafood supply chain and has generally focused on third party certification schemes or sustainability ranking programs. There has been less emphasis on bringing existing supply to the market and fishermen have tended to be left out of the picture, despite their role as primary resource harvesters.

This report summarizes the findings and record of discussion from a workshop entitled “Creating a Sustainable Value Chain For Atlantic Canada’s Small-scale Fisheries “ held in Halifax, Nova Scotia on October 16th and 17th, 2013. The workshop brought together 43 fishermen, representatives from fishing associations and unions, buyers, distributors and processors of sustainable seafood under the common goal of creating a seafood value chain that ultimately benefits all players in the seafood system, from the ocean, to fishermen to end consumers. The motivation for the workshop was to explore ways that small-scale fisheries and fishermen who are actively engaged in conservation, specifically the Atlantic Canadian owner-operator fleet, could better access markets that value high quality, social and economic sustainability and genuine connections with food producers, with the end goal of achieving improved livelihoods for fishermen and fishing communities, as well as access to sustainably harvested seafood for local and regional consumers.

State of the Scotian Shelf Report

MacLean M, Breeze H, Walmsley J, Corkum J eds. State of the Scotian Shelf Report. Dartmouth, Nova Scotia: Fisheries and Oceans Canada; 2013 p. 370. Available from: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Library/352339.pdf
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

The Scotian Shelf is a rich ecosystem characterized by a diversity of marine life, communities and habitats. There are a variety of human activities that occur on the shelf, some year-round and others on a seasonal basis.

The State of the Scotian Shelf Report provides information on priority issues for environmental management, decision-making and education. The report is a modular document made up of a context document and a series of theme papers. The context document provides an introduction to the natural and socio-economic environment, providing an overview of the Scotian Shelf. The theme papers provide a more in-depth look at important issues. The themes were selected based on priorities identified through the Eastern Scotian Shelf Integrated Management Initiative. Theme papers will be updated on a regular basis. This technical report is a compilation of the context document and the theme papers completed to date.

From Fish Spawning Aggregations to Effective Marine Protected Areas in Brazil

Freitas MOliveira, Previero M, Minte-Vera CViviana, Francini-Filho RBastos, Fortunato C, Cervi F. From Fish Spawning Aggregations to Effective Marine Protected Areas in Brazil. Conservation Leadership Programme; 2013 p. 42. Available from: http://www.conservationleadershipprogramme.org/ViewProject.asp?ProjectID=F0248011
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

This project, initiated in 2004, resulted in a substantial advance on the biology of major species of groupers and snappers, which are the largest reef fish exploited by fisheries in the Abrolhos Shelf. This follow-up initiative aimed to provide support for the expansion and adaptive co-management of the Abrolhos Bank Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) network, Brazil. Results from the initial award supported proposals for an additional MPA (first one in mangroves) and buffer zones for the two existing coral reef MPAs. As new MPAs are still required and management is needed for those that are already in place, sound scientific knowledge and broad community engagement are imperative, therefore we gathered and disseminated information from fish landing surveys, habitat mapping, and underwater assessments and incorporated local support. These major targets were achieved with a strong participation of community members in all phases of the project, from research to policy-making. The data collected also provided the basis for capacity-building activities carried out with our partners. The beneficiaries of this effort since 2005 include four undergraduate Biology students, three Masters students in Zoology and Ecology, and one Ph.D. candidate, whose projects included aspects of the ecology of several species of snappers and groupers in Abrolhos.

Planning Scotland's Seas: Possible nature conservation marine protected areas - Analysis of consultation responses

Mulholland S, Granville S. Planning Scotland's Seas: Possible nature conservation marine protected areas - Analysis of consultation responses. Edinburgh: Marine Scotland; 2014 p. 117. Available from: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2014/04/4054/downloads#res448890
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

Planning Scotland's Seas: Possible Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas was published for consultation in July 2013 setting out proposals for a number of new Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

The consultation ran from 25th July 2013 until 13th November 2013; respondents were invited to submit their opinions and views about the development of the MPA network and on the specific planned MPAs.

Overview of respondents

The consultation attracted 14,703 responses. This included 332 standard consultation responses (216 from individuals and 116 from organisations) and 14,371 submissions from the 11 campaign texts promoted by various organisations, briefly:

  • Three relating to protection for seabirds attracting 1,626 responses.
  • Three relating to protection for whales and dolphins attracting 6,627 responses.
  • Three in support of the MPA network attracting 4,803 responses.
  • Two supporting the South Arran possible MPA attracting 1,315 responses.

Overview of analysis

The consultation posed a series of questions on the network as a whole, the Sustainability Appraisal and the individual possible Marine Protected Areas (pMPAs).

The standard consultation responses were examined and key themes, which are similar issues raised in a number of responses, were identified at each question. Sub-themes; including reasons for opinions, supporting arguments, alternative suggestions or other related comments; were also noted. The key themes were then examined to identify whether any particular theme was specific to any particular respondent group or groups; for example was the theme more prominent in responses from individuals or from any organisational sub-group.

A practical approach for putting people in ecosystem-based ocean planning

Kittinger JN, J Koehn Z, Le Cornu E, Ban NC, Gopnik M, Armsby M, Brooks C, Carr MH, Cinner JE, Cravens A, et al. A practical approach for putting people in ecosystem-based ocean planning. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment [Internet]. 2014 ;12(8):448 - 456. Available from: http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/130267
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Marine and coastal ecosystems provide important benefits and services to coastal communities across the globe, but assessing the diversity of social relationships with oceans can prove difficult for conservation scientists and practitioners. This presents barriers to incorporating social dimensions of marine ecosystems into ecosystem-based planning processes, which can in turn affect the success of planning and management initiatives. Following a global assessment of social research and related planning practices in ocean environments, we present a step-by-step approach for natural resource planning practitioners to more systematically incorporate social data into ecosystem-based ocean planning. Our approach includes three sequential steps: (1) develop a typology of ocean-specific human uses that occur within the planning region of interest; (2) characterize the complexity of these uses, including the spatiotemporal variability, intensity, and diversity thereof, as well as associated conflicts and compatibility; and (3) integrate social and ecological information to assess trade-offs necessary for successful implementation of ecosystem-based ocean planning. We conclude by showing how systematic engagement of social data – together with ecological information – can create advantages for practitioners to improve planning and management outcomes.

Sources, impacts and trends of pharmaceuticals in the marine and coastal environment

Gaw S, Thomas KV, Hutchinson TH. Sources, impacts and trends of pharmaceuticals in the marine and coastal environment. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences [Internet]. 2014 ;369(1656). Available from: http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1656/20130572.abstract
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

There has been a significant investment in research to define exposures and potential hazards of pharmaceuticals in freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. A substantial number of integrated environmental risk assessments have been developed in Europe, North America and many other regions for these situations. In contrast, comparatively few empirical studies have been conducted for human and veterinary pharmaceuticals that are likely to enter coastal and marine ecosystems. This is a critical knowledge gap given the significant increase in coastal human populations around the globe and the growth of coastal megacities, together with the increasing importance of coastal aquaculture around the world. There is increasing evidence that pharmaceuticals are present and are impacting on marine and coastal environments. This paper reviews the sources, impacts and concentrations of pharmaceuticals in marine and coastal environments to identify knowledge gaps and suggests focused case studies as a priority for future research.

Diatom Cell Size, Coloniality and Motility: Trade-Offs between Temperature, Salinity and Nutrient Supply with Climate Change

Svensson F, Norberg J, Snoeijs P. Diatom Cell Size, Coloniality and Motility: Trade-Offs between Temperature, Salinity and Nutrient Supply with Climate Change Humphries S. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2014 ;9(10):e109993. Available from: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0109993
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Reduction in body size has been proposed as a universal response of organisms, both to warming and to decreased salinity. However, it is still controversial if size reduction is caused by temperature or salinity on their own, or if other factors interfere as well. We used natural benthic diatom communities to explore how “body size” (cells and colonies) and motility change along temperature (2–26°C) and salinity (0.5–7.8) gradients in the brackish Baltic Sea. Fourth-corner analysis confirmed that small cell and colony sizes were associated with high temperature in summer. Average community cell volume decreased linearly with 2.2% per °C. However, cells were larger with artificial warming when nutrient concentrations were high in the cold season. Average community cell volume increased by 5.2% per °C of artificial warming from 0 to 8.5°C and simultaneously there was a selection for motility, which probably helped to optimize growth rates by trade-offs between nutrient supply and irradiation. Along the Baltic Sea salinity gradient cell size decreased with decreasing salinity, apparently mediated by nutrient stoichiometry. Altogether, our results suggest that climate change in this century may polarize seasonality by creating two new niches, with elevated temperature at high nutrient concentrations in the cold season (increasing cell size) and elevated temperature at low nutrient concentrations in the warm season (decreasing cell size). Higher temperature in summer and lower salinity by increased land-runoff are expected to decrease the average cell size of primary producers, which is likely to affect the transfer of energy to higher trophic levels.

Comparing Bacterial Community Composition of Healthy and Dark Spot-Affected Siderastrea siderea in Florida and the Caribbean

Kellogg CA, Piceno YM, Tom LM, DeSantis TZ, Gray MA, Andersen GL. Comparing Bacterial Community Composition of Healthy and Dark Spot-Affected Siderastrea siderea in Florida and the Caribbean Mormile MR. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2014 ;9(10):e108767. Available from: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0108767
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Coral disease is one of the major causes of reef degradation. Dark Spot Syndrome (DSS) was described in the early 1990's as brown or purple amorphous areas of tissue on a coral and has since become one of the most prevalent diseases reported on Caribbean reefs. It has been identified in a number of coral species, but there is debate as to whether it is in fact the same disease in different corals. Further, it is questioned whether these macroscopic signs are in fact diagnostic of an infectious disease at all. The most commonly affected species in the Caribbean is the massive starlet coral Siderastrea siderea. We sampled this species in two locations, Dry Tortugas National Park and Virgin Islands National Park. Tissue biopsies were collected from both healthy colonies and those with dark spot lesions. Microbial-community DNA was extracted from coral samples (mucus, tissue, and skeleton), amplified using bacterial-specific primers, and applied to PhyloChip G3 microarrays to examine the bacterial diversity associated with this coral. Samples were also screened for the presence of a fungal ribotype that has recently been implicated as a causative agent of DSS in another coral species, but the amplifications were unsuccessful. S. siderea samples did not cluster consistently based on health state (i.e., normal versus dark spot). Various bacteria, including Cyanobacteria and Vibrios, were observed to have increased relative abundance in the discolored tissue, but the patterns were not consistent across all DSS samples. Overall, our findings do not support the hypothesis that DSS in S. siderea is linked to a bacterial pathogen or pathogens. This dataset provides the most comprehensive overview to date of the bacterial community associated with the scleractinian coral S. siderea.

Kernel Density Surface Modelling as a Means to Identify Significant Concentrations of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystem Indicators

Kenchington E, Murillo FJavier, Lirette C, Sacau M, Koen-Alonso M, Kenny A, Ollerhead N, Wareham V, Beazley L. Kernel Density Surface Modelling as a Means to Identify Significant Concentrations of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystem Indicators Thrush S. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2014 ;9(10):e109365. Available from: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0109365
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The United Nations General Assembly Resolution 61/105, concerning sustainable fisheries in the marine ecosystem, calls for the protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems (VME) from destructive fishing practices. Subsequently, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) produced guidelines for identification of VME indicator species/taxa to assist in the implementation of the resolution, but recommended the development of case-specific operational definitions for their application. We applied kernel density estimation (KDE) to research vessel trawl survey data from inside the fishing footprint of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) Regulatory Area in the high seas of the northwest Atlantic to create biomass density surfaces for four VME indicator taxa: large-sized sponges, sea pens, small and large gorgonian corals. These VME indicator taxa were identified previously by NAFO using the fragility, life history characteristics and structural complexity criteria presented by FAO, along with an evaluation of their recovery trajectories. KDE, a non-parametric neighbour-based smoothing function, has been used previously in ecology to identify hotspots, that is, areas of relatively high biomass/abundance. We present a novel approach of examining relative changes in area under polygons created from encircling successive biomass categories on the KDE surface to identify “significant concentrations” of biomass, which we equate to VMEs. This allows identification of the VMEs from the broader distribution of the species in the study area. We provide independent assessments of the VMEs so identified using underwater images, benthic sampling with other gear types (dredges, cores), and/or published species distribution models of probability of occurrence, as available. For each VME indicator taxon we provide a brief review of their ecological function which will be important in future assessments of significant adverse impact on these habitats here and elsewhere.

Coral Reefs on the Edge? Carbon Chemistry on Inshore Reefs of the Great Barrier Reef

Uthicke S, Furnas M, Lønborg C. Coral Reefs on the Edge? Carbon Chemistry on Inshore Reefs of the Great Barrier Reef Kellogg CA. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2014 ;9(10):e109092. Available from: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0109092
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

While increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration alters global water chemistry (Ocean Acidification; OA), the degree of changes vary on local and regional spatial scales. Inshore fringing coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) are subjected to a variety of local pressures, and some sites may already be marginal habitats for corals. The spatial and temporal variation in directly measured parameters: Total Alkalinity (TA) and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentration, and derived parameters: partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2); pH and aragonite saturation state (Ωar) were measured at 14 inshore reefs over a two year period in the GBR region. Total Alkalinity varied between 2069 and 2364 µmol kg−1 and DIC concentrations ranged from 1846 to 2099 µmol kg−1. This resulted in pCO2 concentrations from 340 to 554 µatm, with higher values during the wet seasons and pCO2 on inshore reefs distinctly above atmospheric values. However, due to temperature effects, Ωar was not further reduced in the wet season. Aragonite saturation on inshore reefs was consistently lower and pCO2 higher than on GBR reefs further offshore. Thermodynamic effects contribute to this, and anthropogenic runoff may also contribute by altering productivity (P), respiration (R) and P/R ratios. Compared to surveys 18 and 30 years ago, pCO2 on GBR mid- and outer-shelf reefs has risen at the same rate as atmospheric values (~1.7 µatm yr−1) over 30 years. By contrast, values on inshore reefs have increased at 2.5 to 3 times higher rates. Thus, pCO2 levels on inshore reefs have disproportionately increased compared to atmospheric levels. Our study suggests that inshore GBR reefs are more vulnerable to OA and have less buffering capacity compared to offshore reefs. This may be caused by anthropogenically induced trophic changes in the water column and benthos of inshore reefs subjected to land runoff.

Residency Patterns and Migration Dynamics of Adult Bull Sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) on the East Coast of Southern Africa

Daly R, Smale MJ, Cowley PD, Froneman PW. Residency Patterns and Migration Dynamics of Adult Bull Sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) on the East Coast of Southern Africa. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2014 ;9(10):e109357. Available from: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0109357
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) are globally distributed top predators that play an important ecological role within coastal marine communities. However, little is known about the spatial and temporal scales of their habitat use and associated ecological role. In this study, we employed passive acoustic telemetry to investigate the residency patterns and migration dynamics of 18 adult bull sharks (195–283 cm total length) tagged in southern Mozambique for a period of between 10 and 22 months. The majority of sharks (n = 16) exhibited temporally and spatially variable residency patterns interspersed with migration events. Ten individuals undertook coastal migrations that ranged between 433 and 709 km (mean = 533 km) with eight of these sharks returning to the study site. During migration, individuals exhibited rates of movement between 2 and 59 km.d−1 (mean = 17.58 km.d−1) and were recorded travelling annual distances of between 450 and 3760 km (mean = 1163 km). Migration towards lower latitudes primarily took place in austral spring and winter and there was a significant negative correlation between residency and mean monthly sea temperature at the study site. This suggested that seasonal change is the primary driver behind migration events but further investigation is required to assess how foraging and reproductive activity may influence residency patterns and migration. Results from this study highlight the need for further understanding of bull shark migration dynamics and suggest that effective conservation strategies for this vulnerable species necessitate the incorporation of congruent trans-boundary policies over large spatial scales.

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