Deeper economic integration within the Caribbean has been a regional policy priority since the establishment of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the decision to create the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME). Implementation of integration initiatives has, however, been slow, despite the stated commitment of political leaders. The “implementation deficit” has led to skepticism about completing the CSME and controversy regarding its benefits. This paper analyzes how Caribbean integration has evolved, discusses the obstacles to progress, and explores the potential benefits from greater integration. It argues that further economic integration through liberalization of trade and labor mobility can generate significant macroeconomic benefits, but slow progress in completing the institutional arrangements has hindered implementation of the essential components of the CSME and progress in economic integration. Advancing institutional integration through harmonization and rationalization of key institutions and processes can reduce the fixed costs of institutions, providing the needed scale and boost to regional integration. Greater cooperation in several functional policy areas where the region is facing common challenges can also provide low-hanging fruit, creating momentum toward full integration as the Community continues to address the obstacles to full economic integration.
The Report Card 2020 summarises the latest evidence from 26 topics regarding the physical, ecological, and social and economic impacts of climate change on UK coasts and seas. New topics for this year include oxygen, cultural heritage, and transport and infrastructure.
More than 150 scientists from over 50 leading research organisations have contributed to this year’s Report Card, producing 26 peer-reviewed scientific reports which give detailed information regarding the evidence bases on UK marine climate change impacts.
Using a common experimental framework, this paper addresses both the question of the short-term and the long-lasting effects of temporary monetary and non-monetary incentive mechanisms on increasing individual contributions to the public good. The results show that both punishments and rewards significantly increase contributions compared to the baseline, but that monetary sanctions lead to the highest contributions, whereas non-monetary sanctions lead to the lowest contributions. The four types of incentives display long-lasting effects, i.e., contributions do not go back to baseline levels directly after the withdrawal of the incentives. However, rewards appear to have much stronger persistent effects than sanctions, revealing some sort of delayed reciprocity.
Arctic tourism has rapidly increased in the past two decades. We used social media data to examine localized tourism booms and quantify the spatial expansion of the Arctic tourism footprint. We extracted geotagged locations from over 800,000 photos on Flickr and mapped these across space and time. We critically examine the use of social media as a data source in data-poor regions, and find that while social media data is not suitable as an early warning system of tourism growth in less visited parts of the world, it can be used to map changes at large spatial scales. Our results show that the footprint of summer tourism quadrupled and winter tourism increased by over 600% between 2006 and 2016, although large areas of the Arctic remain untouched by tourism. This rapid increase in the tourism footprint raises concerns about the impacts and sustainability of tourism on Arctic ecosystems and communities. This boom is set to continue, as new parts of the Arctic are being opened to tourism by melting sea ice, new airports and continued promotion of the Arctic as a ‘last chance to see’ destination. Arctic societies face complex decisions about whether this ongoing growth is socially and environmentally sustainable.
Identifying strategies to maintain seafood supply is central to global food supply. China is the world’s largest producer of seafood and has used a variety of production methods in the ocean including domestic capture fisheries, aquaculture (both freshwater and marine), stock enhancement, artificial reef building, and distant water fisheries. Here we survey the outcomes of China’s marine seafood production strategies, with particular attention paid to the associated costs, benefits, and risks. Benefits identified include high production, low management costs, and high employment, but significant costs and risks were also identified. For example, a majority of fish in China’s catches are one year-old, ecosystem and catch composition has changed relative to the past, wild and farmed stocks can interact both negatively and positively, distant water fisheries are a potential source of conflict, and disease has caused crashes in mariculture farms. Reforming China’s wild capture fisheries management toward strategies used by developed nations would continue to shift the burden of production to aquaculture and could have negative social impacts due to differences in fishing fleet size and behavior, ecosystem structure, and markets. Consequently, China may need to develop novel management methods in reform efforts, rather than rely on examples from other large seafood producing countries. Improved accounting of production from fisheries and aquaculture, harmonization and centralization of historical data sets and systematic scientific surveys would improve the knowledge base for planning and evaluating future reform.
Marine debris is a solid material that is either accidentally or accidentally disposed of in a river that empties into the sea or is left directly in the sea. The research on marine debris is carried out in the estuary and mangrove forest areas of Kendari Bay which is assumed to be accommodated garbage sites that enter the coastal area. The purpose of this study is to identify the types of composition and potential sources of marine waste contributors found in several river estuaries and mangrove forest areas, to know the density of marine debris and to mapping the distribution of marine debris from several river estuaries and mangrove forest in Kendari Bay. This research was conducted by survey method and using 5x5 quadratic plots in a random sampling. The data obtained were analyzed statistically and map overlays. The results showed that the composition of marine debris types in mangrove ecosystems and estuaries in Kendari bay generally consisted of plastic (plastic bottles, plastic bags, ropes, pipettes, plastic cups), metals (beverage cans), rubber, glass (glass bottles) and others (cloth, paper and others) with the dominant amount of plastic waste. The highest total density of waste types in the four locations in the mangrove ecosystem and river estuary in Kendari Bay is at station 1 (Lahundape Mangrove Tracking Area). The density of plastic waste dominates the four locations in the mangrove ecosystem with the highest value of 3,024 items/m2 in the mangrove ecosystem around the estuary of Mandonga and Lahundape. The high distribution of marine debris in the mangrove ecosystem is found at station 1 and station 2 because it is directly related to the river flow which contributes greatly to marine debris input in Kendari Bay.
The sustainable governance and management of small-scale fisheries (SSF) is challenging, largely due to their dynamic and complex nature. Agent-based modeling (ABM) is a computational modeling approach that can account for the dynamism and complexity in SSF by modeling entities as individual agents with different characteristics and behavior, and simulate how their interactions can give rise to emergent phenomena, such as over-fishing and social inequalities. The structurally realistic design of agent-based models allow stakeholders, experts, and scientists across disciplines and sectors to reconcile different knowledge bases, assumptions, and goals. ABMs can also be designed using any combination of theory, quantitative data, or qualitative data. In this publication we elaborate on the untapped potential of ABM to tackle governance and management challenges in SSF, discuss the limitations of ABM, and review its application in published SSF models. Our review shows that, although few models exist to date, ABM has been used for diverse purposes, including as a research tool for understanding cooperation and over-harvesting, and as a decision-support tool, or participatory tool, in case-specific fisheries. Even though the development of ABMs is often time- and resource intensive, it is the only dynamic modeling approach that can represent entities of different types, their heterogeneity, actions, and interactions, thus doing justice to the complex and dynamic nature of SSF which, if ignored can lead to unintended policy outcomes and less sustainable SSF.
Coastal marine environments provide livelihoods as billions of people around the world depend greatly on sustainability efforts in the Blue Economy. In this study, we investigated how stakeholders from important Blue Economy sectors along the German North Sea coast perceive the impacts of climate change on their daily work life and the growth of the Blue Economy. In a two-stage approach we first conducted two stakeholder workshops with representatives from the regional sea food sector, science, NGOs and local authorities, in order to identify important issues linked to climate change affecting environment, society, economy and policy. In the second stage, we conducted semi-structured interviews with key knowledge holders from the Blue Economy, to evaluate and validate the most important issues identified during the first stage, and the impacts on the respective sectors. The workshop participants identified perceptible effects of climate change on their marine environment. Early career scientists showed that they possess a clear focus on measures for climate change adaptation, transdisciplinary approaches and knowledge transfer. The interviews revealed that the climate change effects could be perceived as both negative and positive, depending on the sector. Other issues, especially political decisions and developments are perceived to have a greater immediate impact on the Blue Economy than the slow progress of climate change effects. Additionally, increased human activities, in the form of new or intensified uses like marine renewable energy generation, have a greater influence and lead to conflicts between the Blue Economy sectors. Our study showed that economic and societal stakeholders in Germanys North Sea region are aware of climate change and already perceive its effects on their businesses. Synergies and conflicts between the sectors and political decisions might influence sustainable growth of the Blue Economy in highly contested regions, such as the North Sea basin, much stronger than the effects of climate change. This calls for a more flexible and adaptive approach to policymaking, taking into account the changing environmental, social and economic realities.
The importance of coral reefs (CR) within marine ecosystems has become widely recognized. Although shallow CR are not as abundant in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) as in other areas such as the Caribbean, their uniqueness, singularity, isolation, and conservation status make their conservation highly important. Corals and CR, both shallow and deep, are more widely distributed throughout the GoM than previously thought, providing new venues of research but also new challenges for their sustainable management. They are widely present in the three countries circumscribing the GoM (Cuba, Mexico, and the United States). Corals are also distributed throughout different depths, from the keys of Florida and Cuba, to the mesophotic reefs in Flower Garden Banks, Pulley Ridge, and submerged banks in the southern GoM; additional coral presence occurs even beyond mesophotic depths (∼30–150 m). Like reefs around the world, they are subject to an increased threat from anthropogenic causes, including overfishing, pollution, and climate change. But there is also hope. Some reefs in the area, such as those in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary are probably the best-preserved reefs in the region, with coral cover greater than 50%, which is unusual in the Wider Caribbean. Others are experiencing new protections through the work of government and local communities. The objectives of this manuscript are to summarize the overall status of corals and CR in the GoM, analyze some of the current and future threats, and explore opportunities for their conservation in the region. Aside from the above mentioned anthropogenic threats bleaching, coral diseases, and hurricanes have been identified as main contributors for CR declines not only in the GoM but abroad; some nowadays present but likely to increase threats are invasion by alien species or by Sargassum spp. Among some of the opportunities identified are to capitalize on existing and emerging multilateral agreements and initiatives (e.g., GoM Large Marine Ecosystem, trinational sanctuaries agreement); increase financial support for conservation through international initiatives and the private sector; and a need to comprehend the inherent interconnection among corals, CR, and deeper bank ecosystems as they do not function in isolation.
Understanding how recreational angling effort responds to regulatory adjustment is important for rebuilding overfished stocks such as Atlantic striped bass Morone saxatilis. In this paper, we use stated preference choice experiment data to evaluate how individual angler participation may respond to changes in fishing trip characteristics, particularly the number of small, medium-sized, and trophy striped bass kept and released. We use these results to simulate the aggregate effect of alternative fishing policies in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut on angler welfare, angler effort, recreational fishing mortality, and female spawning stock biomass (SSB). We find that a wide range of economically efficient policies are available if the primary management objective is to control recreational fishing mortality. In contrast, we find that the range of efficient policies is quite narrow if the primary management objective is to protect female SSB. Additionally, only one of the 36 alternative policies analyzed; a one-fish harvest slot of 28″ to 36″, is expected to achieve a non-trivial reduction in both total and female spawning stock removals relative to the actual 2015 policy of one fish, 28″ or longer. Implementing a one-fish harvest slot of 28″ to 36″ comes with minimal costs in terms of foregone angler welfare due to the relatively low rate at which trophy striped bass in excess of 36″ are encountered.
Aquaculture increasingly contributes to global seafood production, requiring new farm sites for continued growth. In France, oyster cultivation has conventionally taken place in the intertidal zone, where there is little or no further room for expansion. Despite interest in moving production further offshore, more information is needed regarding the biological potential for offshore oyster growth, including its spatial and temporal variability. This study shows the use of remotely-sensed chlorophyll-a and total suspended matter concentrations retrieved from the Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS), and sea surface temperature from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR), all validated using in situ matchup measurements, as input to run a Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) Pacific oyster growth model for a study site along the French Atlantic coast (Bourgneuf Bay, France). Resulting oyster growth maps were calibrated and validated using in situ measurements of total oyster weight made throughout two growing seasons, from the intertidal zone, where cultivation currently takes place, and from experimental offshore sites, for both spat (R2 = 0.91; RMSE = 1.60 g) and adults (R2 = 0.95; RMSE = 4.34 g). Oyster growth time series are further digested into industry-relevant indicators, such as time to achieve market weight and quality index, elaborated in consultation with local producers and industry professionals, and which are also mapped. Offshore growth is found to be feasible and to be as much as two times faster than in the intertidal zone (p < 0.001). However, the potential for growth is also revealed to be highly variable across the investigated area. Mapping reveals a clear spatial gradient in production potential in the offshore environment, with the northeastern segment of the bay far better suited than the southwestern. Results also highlight the added value of spatiotemporal data, such as satellite image time series, to drive modeling in support of marine spatial planning. The current work demonstrates the feasibility and benefit of such a coupled remote sensing-modeling approach within a shellfish farming context, responding to real and current interests of oyster producers.
Farm site selection plays a critical role in determining the productivity, environmental impact, and interactions of aquaculture activities with ecosystem services. Satellite Remote Sensing (SRS) provide spatially extensive datasets at high temporal and spatial resolution, which can be useful for aquaculture site selection. In this paper we mapped a finfish aquaculture Suitability Index (SI) applying the Spatial Multi-criteria Evaluation (SMCE) methodology. The robustness of the outcome of the SMCE was investigated using Uncertainty Analysis (UA), and in parallel we evaluate a set of alternative scenarios, aimed at minimizing the subjectivity associated with the decision process. The index is based on the outputs of eco-physiological models, which were forced using time series of sea surface temperature data, and on data concerning Significant Wave Height (SWH), distance to harbor, current sea uses, and cumulative impacts. The methodology was applied to map the suitability for farming of European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) within the Italian Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ), under three scenarios: Blue Growth, Economic and Environment. Tyrrhenian and Ionian coastal areas were found to be more suitable, compared to the Northern Adriatic and southern Sicilian ones. In the latter, and in the western Sardinia, the index is also affected by higher uncertainty. The application presented suggests that SRS data could play a significant role in designing the Allocated Zones for Aquaculture, assisting policy makers and regulators in including aquaculture within maritime spatial planning.
The most common cetacean in the North Sea is the harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). Underwater noise is increasingly recognized as a source of impact on the marine environment and seismic airguns were one of the first man-made high intensity sound source to receive attention with respect to potential impact on marine mammals. In this study, we investigate the effects of a 3D seismic survey on harbor porpoise echolocation activity in the Danish sector of the North Sea. This was achieved by deploying porpoise click detectors (C-PODs) and sound recorders (SM2M and SM3M) both inside and adjacent to the seismic survey area, before, during and after the survey over a total duration of 9 months. Three echolocation parameters were analyzed: number of clicks per minute, minutes with porpoise echolocation click trains and feeding buzz frequency in relation to all minutes with click trains. Decreases in echolocation signals were detected up to 8–12 km from the active airguns, which may indicate temporary displacement of porpoises or a change in porpoise echolocation behavior. However, no general displacement of harbor porpoises away from the seismic survey area could be detected when comparing to reference stations 15 km away from any seismic activity. Our results add to the understanding that underwater noise has the potential to affect temporarily foraging efficiency in porpoises. While the effect of seismic surveys on harbor porpoise behavior was smaller than what has been found for pile-driving, the cumulative effect of anthropogenic impacts could be assessed by evaluation of potential population level consequences.
The Arctic Ocean has been experiencing rapid warming, which accelerates sea ice melt. Further, the increasing area and duration of sea ice-free conditions enhance ocean uptake of CO2. We conducted two shipboard experiments in September 2015 and 2016 to examine the effects of temperature, CO2, and salinity on phytoplankton dynamics to better understand the impacts of rapid environmental changes on the Arctic ecosystem. Two temperature conditions (control: <3 and 5°C above the control), two CO2levels (control: ∼300 and 300/450 μatm above the control; i.e., 600/750 μatm), and two salinity conditions (control: 29 in 2015 and 27 in 2016, and 1.4 below the control) conditions were fully factorially manipulated in eight treatments. Higher temperatures enhanced almost all phytoplankton traits in both experiments in terms of chl-a, accessory pigments and diatom biomass. The diatom diversity index decreased due to the replacement of chain-forming Thalassiosira spp. by solitary Cylindrotheca closterium or Pseudo-nitzschia spp. under higher temperature and lower salinity in combination. Higher CO2 levels significantly increased the growth of small-sized phytoplankton (<10 μm) in both years. Decreased salinity had marginal effects but significantly increased the growth of small-sized phytoplankton under higher CO2 levels in terms of chl-a in 2015. Our results suggest that the smaller phytoplankton tend to dominate in the shelf edge region of the Chukchi Sea in the western Arctic Ocean under multiple environmental perturbations.
The Alaska Climate Integrated Modeling (ACLIM) project represents a comprehensive, multi-year, interdisciplinary effort to characterize and project climate-driven changes to the eastern Bering Sea (EBS) ecosystem, from physics to fishing communities. Results from the ACLIM project are being used to understand how different regional fisheries management approaches can help promote adaptation to climate-driven changes to sustain fish and shellfish populations and to inform managers and fishery dependent communities of the risks associated with different future climate scenarios. The project relies on iterative communications and outreaches with managers and fishery-dependent communities that have informed the selection of fishing scenarios. This iterative approach ensures that the research team focuses on policy relevant scenarios that explore realistic adaptation options for managers and communities. Within each iterative cycle, the interdisciplinary research team continues to improve: methods for downscaling climate models, climate-enhanced biological models, socio-economic modeling, and management strategy evaluation (MSE) within a common analytical framework. The evolving nature of the ACLIM framework ensures improved understanding of system responses and feedbacks are considered within the projections and that the fishing scenarios continue to reflect the management objectives of the regional fisheries management bodies. The multi-model approach used for projection of biological responses, facilitates the quantification of the relative contributions of climate forcing scenario, fishing scenario, parameter, and structural uncertainty with and between models. Ensemble means and variance within and between models inform risk assessments under different future scenarios. The first phase of projections of climate conditions to the end of the 21st century is complete, including projections of catch for core species under baseline (status quo) fishing conditions and two alternative fishing scenarios are discussed. The ACLIM modeling framework serves as a guide for multidisciplinary integrated climate impact and adaptation decision making in other large marine ecosystems.
De facto marine protected areas (DFMPAs) are regions of the ocean where human activity is restricted for reasons other than conservation. Although DFMPAs are widespread globally, their potential role in the protection of marine habitats, species, and ecosystems has not been well studied. In 2012 and 2013, we conducted remotely operated vehicle (ROV) surveys of marine communities at a military DFMPA closed to all civilian access since 2010 and an adjacent fished reference site at San Clemente Island, the southernmost of California’s Channel Islands. We used data extracted from ROV imagery to compare density and biomass of focal species, as well as biodiversity and community composition, between the two sites. Generalized linear modeling indicated that both density and biomass of California sheephead (Semicossyphus pulcher) were significantly higher inside the DFMPA. Biomass of ocean whitefish (Caulolatilus princeps) was also significantly higher inside the DFMPA. However, species richness and Shannon-Weaver diversity were not significantly higher inside the DFMPA, and overall fish community composition did not differ significantly between sites. Demonstrable differences between the DFMPA and fished site for two highly sought-after species hint at early potential benefits of protection, though the lack of differences in the broader community suggests that a longer trajectory of recovery may be required for other species. A more comprehensive understanding of the potential conservation benefits of DFMPAs is important in the context of marine spatial planning and global marine conservation objectives.
- Spatial connectivity is an essential process to consider in the design and assessment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). To help maintain and restore marine populations and communities MPAs should form ecologically coherent networks. How to estimate and implement connectivity in MPA design remains a challenge.
- Here a new theoretical framework is presented based on biophysical modelling of organism dispersal, combined with a suite of tools to assess different aspects of connectivity that can be integrated in MPA design. As a demonstration, these tools are applied to an MPA network in the Baltic Sea (HELCOM MPA).
- The tools are based on the connectivity matrix, which summarizes dispersal probabilities, averaged over many years, between all considered areas in the geographic target area. The biophysical model used to estimate connectivity included important biological traits that affect dispersal patterns where different trait combinations and habitat preferences will produce specific connectivity matrices representing different species.
- Modelled connectivity matrices were used to assess local retention within individual MPAs, which offers indications about the adequacy of size when MPAs are considered in isolation. The connectivity matrix also provides information about source areas to individual MPAs, e.g. sources of larvae or pressures such as contaminants. How well several MPAs act as a network was assessed within a framework of eigenvalue perturbation theory (EPT). With EPT, the optimal MPA network with respect to connectivity can be identified. In addition, EPT can suggest optimal extensions of existing MPA networks to enhance connectivity. Finally, dispersal barriers can be identified based on the connectivity matrix, which may suggest boundaries for management units.
- The assessment of connectivity for the HELCOM MPA are discussed in terms of possible improvements, but the tools presented here could be applied to any region.
- Connectivity of marine populations and ecosystems is crucial to maintaining and enhancing their structure, distribution, persistence, resilience and productivity. Artificial hard substrate, such as that associated with oil and gas platforms, provides settlement opportunities for species adapted to hard substrates in areas of soft sediment. The contribution of artificial hard substrate and the consequences of its removal (e.g. through decommissioning) to marine connectivity is not clear, yet such information is vital to inform marine spatial planning and future policy decisions on the use and protection of marine resources.
- This study demonstrates the application of a social network analysis approach to quantify and describe the ecological connectivity, informed by particle tracking model outputs, of hard substrate marine communities in the North Sea. Through comparison of networks with and without artificial hard substrate, and based on hypothetical decommissioning scenarios, this study provides insight into the contribution of artificial hard substrate, and the consequence of decommissioning, to the structure and function of marine community connectivity.
- This study highlights that artificial hard substrate, despite providing only a small proportion of the total area of hard substrate, increases the geographic extent and connectivity of the hard substrate network, bridging gaps, thereby providing ‘stepping stones’ between otherwise disconnected areas of natural hard substrate. Compared to the baseline scenario, a decommissioning scenario with full removal of oil and gas platforms results in a nearly 60% reduction in connectivity. Such reduction in connectivity may have negative implications for species’ distribution, gene flow and resilience following disturbance or exploitation of marine hard substrate communities.
- Synthesis and applications. Social network analysis can provide valuable insight into connectivity between marine communities and enable the evaluation of impacts associated with changes to the marine environment. Providing standardized, transparent and robust outputs, such a tool is useful to facilitate understanding across different disciplines, including marine science, marine spatial planning and marine policy. Social network analysis therefore has great potential to address current knowledge gaps with respect to marine connectivity and crucially facilitate assessment of the impacts of changes in offshore substrate as part of the marine spatial planning process, thereby informing policy and marine management decisions.
Image classification allows to profess a great number of images and identify specific objects within these images...
Sustainable management of coastal areas including their natural resources cannot be effectively implemented without the continued involvement of residents who are knowledgeable about the value of conservation. Carrying out long‐term conservation education programs and monitoring the impacts of such program in terms of changing people's awareness and behaviors are critical for conservation to be meaningful and sustainable. This research focused on a marine conservation education program (MCEP) offered at a junior high school in Japan that included collaboration with local fishermen. We aimed to reveal how such continuous and collaborative education program including field experience may change students' awareness and behaviors after several years. We conducted interviews with student participants, comparing their perceptions of when they were first‐graders and third‐graders, and with recent program graduates to understand their perception of the program and knowledge about the local environment. We also conducted surveys with parents and teachers at the junior high school to understand the impacts of the program. A series of studies revealed that the MCEP not only changed students' awareness and behaviors but also affected their parents and teachers.