Literature Library

Currently indexing 8050 titles

Environmental and socioeconomic assessment of a poorly known coastal section in the southern Mexican Caribbean

Figueroa-Zavala B, Correa-Sandoval J, Ruiz-Zárate M-Á, Weissenberger H, González-Solís D. Environmental and socioeconomic assessment of a poorly known coastal section in the southern Mexican Caribbean. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. 2015 ;110:25 - 37. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569115000575
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The Uvero-Punta Piedras section, a low-developed coastal strip located in the southern area of Quintana Roo, Mexico, is experiencing habitat degradation driven by unplanned population sprawl, unregulated tourism expansion and overfishing. The main objective of this study is to provide an environmental (coastal vegetation and coral reef condition) and socioeconomic (human population condition) baseline data of a poorly documented and weakly managed zone by the use of a set of rapid assessment methodologies, looking to assist the regional efforts to manage these coastal resources. To achieve this goal we used a series of surveying methods including remote sensing, geographic information systems and in situ land/underwater surveys, to allow a broad characterization of the resources' condition in the study zone. Results showed that reef habitat was dominated by macro-algae (61.2 ± 7.6%), followed by soft coral (gorgonians, 12.4 ± 4.1%), hard coral (8.2 ± 5.1%) and sponges (2.5 ± 1.3%). Zooanthids and tunicates represented less than 1% of the total; coral and macro algae estimates suggest a decline from records of 15 years ago. Highest fish densities were (144 ± 124 individuals/100 m2), while lowest were (83 ± 25 individuals/100 m2). The total average fish density recorded could also be reflecting a decrease trend in the reef community structure. The main economic activities in the area are fishing and land clearing. From December 2003, 22% (corresponding to 44 ha) of the total original vegetation cover in the studied area was deforested. By February 2007, the deforested area increased 4.4 ha more. Should this tendency continue, by 2025 it would only maintain 24% of its total coastal vegetation cover representing a huge habitat loss. The future of economic activities in these areas lie directly on the establishment of appropriate management strategies for the protection and conservation of the renowned biodiversity that this area comprises.

Spreading patterns of the invasive Caulerpa cylindracea Sonder along the west Istrian Coast (northern Adriatic Sea, Croatia)

Iveša L, Djakovac T, Devescovi M. Spreading patterns of the invasive Caulerpa cylindracea Sonder along the west Istrian Coast (northern Adriatic Sea, Croatia). Marine Environmental Research [Internet]. 2015 ;107:1 - 7. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0141113615000409
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The northern Adriatic Sea represents the northernmost and thus the coldest biogeographic sector of the Mediterranean Sea. In 2004, the invasive green alga Caulerpa cylindracea was recorded for the first time in the northern Adriatic at a site of the west Istrian Coast. Until 2010, additional C. cylindracea mats have only formed up to 7 km northward from the first colonisation site. Subsequently, the alga was also recorded at sites widespread along the entire coast. Both the first 2004 colonisation event and the 2011–2014 colonisation of distant sites occurred during periods of winter seawater temperatures higher than 9 °C. In general, algal spreading was markedly slow. Approximately 10 years after the first record, C. cylindracea has affected less than 1% of the entire west Istrian coastline. The colonisation predominantly occurred in ports and urbanised bays (seaside resorts) suggesting that anthropogenic activities might enhance algal diffusion.

Integrating socio-cultural perspectives into ecosystem service valuation: A review of concepts and methods

Scholte SSK, van Teeffelen AJA, Verburg PH. Integrating socio-cultural perspectives into ecosystem service valuation: A review of concepts and methods. Ecological Economics [Internet]. 2015 ;114:67 - 78. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800915000919
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Ecosystem service research has long been dominated by a monetary interpretation of value, neglecting other social perspectives on the importance of ecosystems for human well-being. Emphasis has been put on individual utility and rational choice, which does not adequately capture the full spectrum of social values of ecosystem services. A socio-cultural approach to value ecosystem services is increasingly advocated and is gaining more attention in the ecosystem service research agenda. The current documentation of socio-cultural perspectives on ecosystem services is, however, characterized by a conflation of the concepts of “cultural ecosystem services” and “socio-cultural values” of ecosystem services. This paper reviews (i) the concept of socio-cultural values within the ecosystem service framework, (ii) the social and ecological factors that determine socio-cultural values, and (iii) the methods by which socio-cultural values can be assessed. The clarifications of the concept of socio-cultural valuation and the structured listing of the available methods facilitate a better integration of socio-cultural values into ecosystem service assessments and help researchers to choose methods from the available portfolio.

Monetary valuation of the social cost of CO2 emissions: A critical survey

van den Bergh JCJM, Botzen WJW. Monetary valuation of the social cost of CO2 emissions: A critical survey. Ecological Economics [Internet]. 2015 ;114:33 - 46. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800915001007
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

An expanding branch of research has estimated the potential costs of climate change, which are often expressed as the “Social Cost of Carbon” (SCC) or the costs of an additional ton of CO2 emissions. Estimates of the SCC can be used by policy makers to evaluate climate change policies and greenhouse gas emission reduction projects by means of cost–benefit analyses (CBAs). Such analyses are complicated by the wide range of SCC values that have been reported in the literature, and the large uncertainties involved in estimating the potential economic impacts and related costs of climate change. This study presents a critical review of the reported SCC estimates by examining some neglected consequences of climate change, uncertain and extreme scenarios of climate change, the discounting of future climate change effects, the treatment of individual risk aversion, and assumptions about social welfare. In view of the many uncertainties and omissions in conventional cost–benefit analyses of climate impacts and the SCC, alternative approaches to decision-making should be considered for climate policy.

Australia's Oceans Policy: Past, present and future

Vince J, Smith ADM, Sainsbury KJ, Cresswell IDavid, Smith DC, Haward M. Australia's Oceans Policy: Past, present and future. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2015 ;57:1 - 8. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X15000494
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Australia has a large and diverse marine jurisdiction. A federal division of responsibilities matched with complex intergovernmental arrangements shapes management of this jurisdiction. This paper first outlines Australia׳s ocean governance arrangements and then reviews attempts to establish a national Australian Oceans Policy in the late 1990s. Notwithstanding attempts to implement an integrated policy framework across jurisdictions and sectors this ambitious policy framework has not met its original aspirations. However some new approaches have been introduced into a range of ocean sectors. The paper explores twenty plus years of oceans policy development and implementation and identifies key future challenges in implementing national oceans policy.

Video capture of crustacean fisheries data as an alternative to on-board observers

Hold N, Murray LG, Pantin JR, Haig JA, Kaiser MJ. Video capture of crustacean fisheries data as an alternative to on-board observers. ICES Journal of Marine Science [Internet]. 2015 . Available from: http://icesjms.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/doi/10.1093/icesjms/fsv030
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

For EU member states to meet the requirements of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the reformed Common Fisheries Policy, it will be necessary to improve data collection related to many fisheries that are at present subject to relatively little monitoring or scientific research. This study evaluated the use of on-board camera systems to collect data from Cancer pagurus and Homarus gammarus fisheries. We evaluated the reliability of the hardware and its ability to collect images of sufficient accuracy and precision compared with using on-board observers. Fishers and on-board observers passed animals removed from traps across a defined area. The relationship between the in situ and predicted measurements of carapace length of lobsters or carapace width (CW) of crabs was investigated. The mean difference between the predicted and real crab measurements was −0.853 mm with a standard error of 0.378 mm. Suggesting that the model tends to underestimate the real CW slightly. The mean difference between predicted and real data for lobsters was 0.085 mm with a standard error of 0.208 mm. Sex allocation for crabs based on video images was 100% accurate. All male lobsters were correctly assigned. For lobsters >86 mm in length, the correct female sex allocation was 100% accurate. For smaller lobsters, the accuracy of sex allocation decreased to a low of 51% in lobsters <70 mm. Camera systems were found to be a suitable method for collecting data on the size and sex of crabs and lobsters. The error attributable to using video data rather than manual measurement was less than 3 mm, which is sufficient to detect growth increments in these species. The requirements to collect basic species data are increasing and the ability to do so without on-board observers will reduce the cost implications of these requirements. Future computer automation of image extraction and measurements will increase the application of video systems for data collection.

Geographic Information System in a Multi-Criteria Tool for Mariculture Site Selection

Micael J, Costa AC, Aguiar P, Medeiros A, Calado H. Geographic Information System in a Multi-Criteria Tool for Mariculture Site Selection. Coastal Management [Internet]. 2015 ;43(1):52 - 66. Available from: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08920753.2014.985178
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The continuous growth in fish consumption and related activities is stressing the fishing industry worldwide. To counteract this, mariculture might represent an opportunity for consumers, industry and marine resource sustainability, as long as careful site selection is taken into consideration. The current study was developed to assess potential sites for the implementation of marine fish-cage industries on the Azores Archipelago (North Atlantic), through the application of a multi-criteria approach based on geographic information. Descriptors that may have either direct or indirect influences on the development of mariculture activity in the Açores were discriminated into factors and constraints and grouped into environmental, socioeconomic, and administrative categories. Factors were weighted and data integrated using geographic information system (GIS) methods. Suitability maps were generated and a total area of 17.7 km2 was identified as suitable for mariculture in São Miguel Island, segmented into different option levels. This multiple criteria approach provides the information necessary for stakeholders to realize the effects of each descriptor in possible implementation sites for mariculture. This will be a useful tool to improve environmental planning, management and decision-making for mariculture activities.

Framework for the National System of Marine Protected Areas of the United States of America

Anon. Framework for the National System of Marine Protected Areas of the United States of America. Silver Spring, MD: U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Protected Areas Center; 2015. Available from: http://marineprotectedareas.noaa.gov/nationalsystem/framework/
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

Recognizing the significant role that U.S. MPAs play in conserving marine resources and the need for additional MPA coordination and capacity building, Presidential Executive Order 13158 of May 26, 2000 (Order) called for the development of a National System of Marine Protected Areas (national system) (see Appendix J). The Order clearly called for a national system extending beyond federal sites, requiring collaboration with coastal states and territories, tribes, Regional Fishery Management Councils, and other entities. The Order further specified that the national system be scientifically based, comprehensive, and represent the nation’s diverse marine ecosystems and natural and cultural resources.

To provide a blueprint for building the National System of MPAs,1 the Order called for the development of a framework for a National System of MPAs and directed the establishment of a National MPA Center (MPA Center) within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to lead the system’s development and implementation. The Framework for the National System of MPAs of the United States of America (Framework) was originally developed between 2005 and 2008, with extensive input from federal and state MPA agencies, the public, and the MPA Federal Advisory Committee (MPA FAC). This updated Framework reflects the experience of the National System based on its implementation since November 2008, as well as additional recommendations from the MPA FAC.

Resource assessment for future generations of tidal-stream energy arrays

Lewis M, Neill SP, Robins PE, Hashemi MR. Resource assessment for future generations of tidal-stream energy arrays. Energy [Internet]. 2015 . Available from: www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544215001930
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Tidal-stream energy devices currently require spring tide velocities (SV) in excess of 2.5 m/s and water depths in the range 25–50 m. The tidal-stream energy resource of the Irish Sea, a key strategic region for development, was analysed using a 3D hydrodynamic model assuming existing, and potential future technology. Three computational grid resolutions and two boundary forcing products were used within model configuration, each being extensively validated. A limited resource (annual mean of 4 TJ within a 90 km2 extent) was calculated assuming current turbine technology, with limited scope for long-term sustainability of the industry. Analysis revealed that the resource could increase seven fold if technology were developed to efficiently harvest tidal-streams 20% lower than currently required (SV > 2 m/s) and be deployed in any water depths greater than 25 m. Moreover, there is considerable misalignment between the flood and ebb current directions, which may reduce the practical resource. An average error within the assumption of rectilinear flow was calculated to be 20°, but this error reduced to ∼3° if lower velocity or deeper water sites were included. We found resource estimation is sensitive to hydrodynamic model resolution, and finer spatial resolution (<500 m) is required for regional-scale resource assessment when considering future tidal-stream energy strategies.

Arctic warming: nonlinear impacts of sea-ice and glacier melt on seabird foraging

Grémillet D, Fort J, Amélineau F, Zakharova E, Le Bot T, Sala E, Gavrilo M. Arctic warming: nonlinear impacts of sea-ice and glacier melt on seabird foraging. Global Change Biology [Internet]. 2015 ;21(3):1116 - 1123. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.12811/abstract
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
Yes
Type: Journal Article

Arctic climate change has profound impacts on the cryosphere, notably via shrinking sea-ice cover and retreating glaciers, and it is essential to evaluate and forecast the ecological consequences of such changes. We studied zooplankton-feeding little auks (Alle alle), a key sentinel species of the Arctic, at their northernmost breeding site in Franz-Josef Land (80°N), Russian Arctic. We tested the hypothesis that little auks still benefit from pristine arctic environmental conditions in this remote area. To this end, we analysed remote sensing data on sea-ice and coastal glacier dynamics collected in our study area across 1979–2013. Further, we recorded little auk foraging behaviour using miniature electronic tags attached to the birds in the summer of 2013, and compared it with similar data collected at three localities across the Atlantic Arctic. We also compared current and historical data on Franz-Josef Land little auk diet, morphometrics and chick growth curves. Our analyses reveal that summer sea-ice retreated markedly during the last decade, leaving the Franz-Josef Land archipelago virtually sea-ice free each summer since 2005. This had a profound impact on little auk foraging, which lost their sea-ice-associated prey. Concomitantly, large coastal glaciers retreated rapidly, releasing large volumes of melt water. Zooplankton is stunned by cold and osmotic shock at the boundary between glacier melt and coastal waters, creating new foraging hotspots for little auks. Birds therefore switched from foraging at distant ice-edge localities, to highly profitable feeding at glacier melt-water fronts within <5 km of their breeding site. Through this behavioural plasticity, little auks maintained their chick growth rates, but showed a 4% decrease in adult body mass. Our study demonstrates that arctic cryosphere changes may have antagonistic ecological consequences on coastal trophic flow. Such nonlinear responses complicate modelling exercises of current and future polar ecosystem dynamics.

Exposures and effects in the marine environment after the Fukushima accident

J. Batlle Vi. Exposures and effects in the marine environment after the Fukushima accident. Annals of the ICRP [Internet]. 2015 . Available from: http://ani.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/03/25/0146645315576099.abstract
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Radiation doses to marine biota near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have been estimated for the immediate aftermath and subsequent period of the accident. Dose estimations using monitoring data have been complemented by means of dynamic transfer modelling, improving on the more traditional equilibrium transfer approach. Earlier assessments using equilibrium transfer models overestimated the exposures in the immediate aftermath of the accident, whereas dynamic transfer modelling brings them more in line with the doses calculated from monitored activity concentrations in the biota. On that basis, marine biota populations in the vicinity of Fukushima do not seem to be at significant risk. The situation in the late post-accident period shows a tendency for lower exposures, but radiocaesium in sediments and biota persists to this day, with some organisms inhabiting local hotspots. Little is known about how long radionuclides will continue to remain in the local environment, or the long-term effects on populations due to limited knowledge on the effects of chronic radiation exposures to marine organisms. Therefore, the marine environment at Fukushima needs further study. The Fukushima nuclear accident remains an ongoing problem for marine radioecology, requiring constant re-evaluation of the cumulative extent of contamination and effects on the environment for years to come.

Two devices for mitigating odontocete bycatch and depredation at the hook in tropical pelagic longline fisheries

Hamer DJ, Childerhouse SJ, McKinlay JP, Double MC, Gales NJ. Two devices for mitigating odontocete bycatch and depredation at the hook in tropical pelagic longline fisheries. ICES Journal of Marine Science [Internet]. 2015 . Available from: http://icesjms.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/doi/10.1093/icesjms/fsv013
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Odontocete bycatch on and depredation from tropical pelagic longlines is globally widespread, having negative impacts on the economic viability of affected fisheries and on the conservation of affected odontocete populations. Reports by fishers that depredating odontocetes avoid gear tangles has underpinned the development of simulated structures to physically deter depredating odontocetes. This study assessed the efficacy of two such devices developed to mitigate odontocete depredation and associated bycatch. Of particular interest was their impact on (i) soak depth and (ii) sink rate using truncated trials, before determining their impact under full operational conditions on rates of (iii) catch of the five most economically important fish, and (iv) odontocete depredation and bycatch, on changes in (v) fish survival and size, and (vi) setting and hauling speed. The results indicated that the inclusion of devices on longlines had negligible impact on soak depth, thus were unlikely to impact on the suite of fish specifically targeted and caught. The sink rate was slowed, perhaps by drag, trapped air, or propeller wash, although the addition of weight might remedy this if the devices were to be used in areas where seabird bycatch could occur. Most importantly, trials conducted in Australian and in Fijian waters indicated that pooled fish catch rates (i.e. albacore, yellowfin, bigeye, mahi mahi, and wahoo) increased in the presence of the devices, possibly because more fish were attracted by them or because more depredators were deterred. Catch rates on control gear next to gear with devices attached were higher than more distant control gear, suggesting the influences of the devices may have extended to adjacent branchlines. The size of caught fish was mostly unaffected, although the survival of yellowfin and bigeye increased significantly in the presence of the devices. Hauling was slowed by the use of the devices and the need for an extra crewmember during setting and hauling, which could be cost prohibitive in some fisheries, especially if economic benefits from their use are not obvious. Despite the small sample size, odontocete bycatch only occurred on unprotected fishing gear and all individuals were released alive, although their fate was uncertain; there was evidence of injuries sustained from the event. The outcomes are positive and should motivate stakeholders to view such devices as a potentially effective tool for mitigating odontocete bycatch and depredation in this and similar longline fisheries. Future efforts should focus on improving operational integration and reducing implementation costs to encourage voluntary uptake and thus avoid non-compliance and the need for costly monitoring. The use of this technology could bring about marked improvements to the conservation situation for affected odontocete populations and to the economic situation for affected longline fisheries.

Protection of functionally important parrotfishes increases their biomass but fails to deliver enhanced recruitment

O’Farrell S, Harborne AR, Bozec YM, Luckhurst BE, Mumby PJ. Protection of functionally important parrotfishes increases their biomass but fails to deliver enhanced recruitment. Marine Ecology Progress Series [Internet]. 2015 ;522:245 - 254. Available from: http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/meps/v522/p245-254/
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Burgeoning threats to coral reefs have prompted calls for management actions that can enhance ecosystem resilience, such as restoring herbivore populations whose grazing is critical to maintaining ecological function. However, lack of longitudinal datasets has hindered objective assessment of strategies aimed at recovering herbivory. Addressing this gap, we investigated the response of the Bermuda fish assemblage to a trapping ban that amounted to de facto protection of herbivorous parrotfishes (Scaridae). Hook-and-line fishing for piscivores continued during the ban, creating a natural experiment that freed scarids from both fishing mortality and adult-stage predation. Over the 9 yr study period, biomass of piscivores remained low because of the hook-and-line fishery, with the exception of trumpetfish Aulostomus maculatus whose biomass increased more than 6-fold. Although scarid post-recruit biomass increased by a factor of 3.7, there was no increase in recruits (<5 cm), contrary to our expectation of observing a stock–recruitment relationship (SRR) in a demographically closed system such as Bermuda. Although the unavoidable lack of a before-after-control-impact design in our study precludes making strong mechanistic inferences, we hypothesize that the observed increase in scarid biomass may indeed have driven a commensurate increase in larval settlement within this closed system, but density of settlers was subsequently regulated by A. maculatus, a predator of small fish that was free to respond to prey enrichment owing to the absence of large predators. Our results provide compelling evidence that scarid populations can rapidly recover from overfishing once protected, even if any SRR is decoupled.

TPEA Good Practice Guide: Lessons for Cross-border MSP from Transboundary Planning in the European Atlantic

Jay S, Gee K eds. TPEA Good Practice Guide: Lessons for Cross-border MSP from Transboundary Planning in the European Atlantic. Liverpool, UK: University of Liverpool; 2014 p. 72.
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

This Good Practice Guide is the outcome of a project co-funded by the European Commission (DG Mare) called Transboundary Planning in the European Atlantic (TPEA), which ran from December 2012 to May 2014. The aim of the project was to demonstrate approaches to transboundary maritime spatial planning (MSP) in the European Atlantic region. This is one of a series of projects exploring the opportunities and challenges of carrying out cross-border MSP in Europe’s regional seas, making connections with integrated coastal management (ICM).

TPEA focused on two pilot areas: one involving Portugal and Spain and the other Ireland and the United Kingdom. Despite distinct identities in the region relating to different traditions of planning and stages of MSP implementation, TPEA worked towards a commonly-agreed approach to transboundary MSP and developed principles of cross-border working which it is hoped will be of wider benefit. This guide presents these principles, illustrated with examples from the TPEA project.

Although TPEA ran as a stand-alone exercise, it is recognised that in a live situation transboundary MSP is an integral part of wider MSP processes, and it is expected that the project experience will benefit transboundary MSP initiatives in whatever context they may take place. This guide is intended to assist authorities with responsibility for MSP, agencies and other institutions supporting the implementation of MSP, coastal and marine stakeholders and other parties with an interest in the outcomes of MSP, and the scientific MSP community.

This project was conducted within the European Union during the preparation of EU legislation which will place a requirement on coastal Member States to conduct MSP. TPEA was not tasked with contributing specifically to this process. However, it is hoped that the project experience, and this guide in particular, will be of assistance to Member States in fulfilling their responsibilities under EU and national legislation in regard to cooperating with each other on the planning and management of adjoining waters and coastal zones. It is also intended that this guide will have wider relevance and will contribute to transboundary MSP initiatives globally. We hope that the TPEA Good Practice Guide will demonstrate the potential for cross-border MSP not just as a means of fulfilling regulatory requirements, but as a valuable contribution to MSP efforts with healthy and sustainable use of the seas and oceans in mind.

Quantifying Patterns of Change in Marine Ecosystem Response to Multiple Pressures

Large SI, Fay G, Friedland KD, Link JS. Quantifying Patterns of Change in Marine Ecosystem Response to Multiple Pressures. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2015 ;10(3):e0119922. Available from: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0119922
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The ability to understand and ultimately predict ecosystem response to multiple pressures is paramount to successfully implement ecosystem-based management. Thresholds shifts and nonlinear patterns in ecosystem responses can be used to determine reference points that identify levels of a pressure that may drastically alter ecosystem status, which can inform management action. However, quantifying ecosystem reference points has proven elusive due in large part to the multi-dimensional nature of both ecosystem pressures and ecosystem responses. We used ecological indicators, synthetic measures of ecosystem status and functioning, to enumerate important ecosystem attributes and to reduce the complexity of the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem (NES LME). Random forests were used to quantify the importance of four environmental and four anthropogenic pressure variables to the value of ecological indicators, and to quantify shifts in aggregate ecological indicator response along pressure gradients. Anthropogenic pressure variables were critical defining features and were able to predict an average of 8-13% (up to 25-66% for individual ecological indicators) of the variation in ecological indicator values, whereas environmental pressures were able to predict an average of 1-5 % (up to 9-26% for individual ecological indicators) of ecological indicator variation. Each pressure variable predicted a different suite of ecological indicator’s variation and the shapes of ecological indicator responses along pressure gradients were generally nonlinear. Threshold shifts in ecosystem response to exploitation, the most important pressure variable, occurred when commercial landings were 20 and 60% of total surveyed biomass. Although present, threshold shifts in ecosystem response to environmental pressures were much less important, which suggests that anthropogenic pressures have significantly altered the ecosystem structure and functioning of the NES LME. Gradient response curves provide ecologically informed transformations of pressure variables to explain patterns of ecosystem structure and functioning. By concurrently identifying thresholds for a suite of ecological indicator responses to multiple pressures, we demonstrate that ecosystem reference points can be evaluated and used to support ecosystem-based management.

The Seascape of Demersal Fish Nursery Areas in the North Mediterranean Sea, a First Step Towards the Implementation of Spatial Planning for Trawl Fisheries

Colloca F, Garofalo G, Bitetto I, Facchini MTeresa, Grati F, Martiradonna A, Mastrantonio G, Nikolioudakis N, Ordinas F, Scarcella G, et al. The Seascape of Demersal Fish Nursery Areas in the North Mediterranean Sea, a First Step Towards the Implementation of Spatial Planning for Trawl Fisheries. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2015 ;10(3):e0119590. Available from: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0119590
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The identification of nursery grounds and other essential fish habitats of exploited stocks is a key requirement for the development of spatial conservation planning aimed at reducing the adverse impact of fishing on the exploited populations and ecosystems. The reduction in juvenile mortality is particularly relevant in the Mediterranean and is considered as one of the main prerequisites for the future sustainability of trawl fisheries. The distribution of nursery areas of 11 important commercial species of demersal fish and shellfish was analysed in the European Union Mediterranean waters using time series of bottom trawl survey data with the aim of identifying the most persistent recruitment areas. A high interspecific spatial overlap between nursery areas was mainly found along the shelf break of many different sectors of the Northern Mediterranean indicating a high potential for the implementation of conservation measures. Overlap of the nursery grounds with existing spatial fisheries management measures and trawl fisheries restricted areas was also investigated. Spatial analyses revealed considerable variation depending on species and associated habitat/depth preferences with increased protection seen in coastal nurseries and minimal protection seen for deeper nurseries (e.g. Parapenaeus longirostris 6%). This is partly attributed to existing environmental policy instruments (e.g. Habitats Directive and Mediterranean Regulation EC 1967/2006) aiming at minimising impacts on coastal priority habitats such as seagrass, coralligenous and maerl beds. The new knowledge on the distribution and persistence of demersal nurseries provided in this study can support the application of spatial conservation measures, such as the designation of no-take Marine Protected Areas in EU Mediterranean waters and their inclusion in a conservation network. The establishment of no-take zones will be consistent with the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy applying the ecosystem approach to fisheries management and with the requirements of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive to maintain or achieve seafloor integrity and good environmental status.

Shifting elasmobranch community assemblage at Cocos Island—an isolated marine protected area

White ER, Myers MC, Flemming JMills, Baum JK. Shifting elasmobranch community assemblage at Cocos Island—an isolated marine protected area. Conservation Biology [Internet]. 2015 . Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cobi.12478/abstract
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Fishing pressure has increased the extinction risk of many elasmobranch (shark and ray) species. Although many countries have established no-take marine reserves, a paucity of monitoring data means it is still unclear if reserves are effectively protecting these species. We examined data collected by a small group of divers over the past 21 years at one of the world's oldest marine protected areas (MPAs), Cocos Island National Park, Costa Rica. We used mixed effects models to determine trends in relative abundance, or probability of occurrence, of 12 monitored elasmobranch species while accounting for variation among observers and from abiotic factors. Eight of 12 species declined significantly over the past 2 decades. We documented decreases in relative abundance for 6 species, including the iconic scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini) (−45%), whitetip reef shark (Triaenodon obesus) (−77%), mobula ray (Mobula spp.) (−78%), and manta ray (Manta birostris) (−89%) rays, and decreases in the probability of occurrence for 2 other species. Several of these species have small home ranges and should be better protected by an MPA, which underscores the notion that declines of marine megafauna will continue unabated in MPAs unless there is adequate enforcement effort to control fishing. In addition, probability of occurrence at Cocos Island of tiger (Galeocerdo cuvier), Galapagos (Carcharhinus galapagensis), blacktip (Carcharhinus limbatus), and whale (Rhincodon typus) sharks increased significantly. The effectiveness of MPAs cannot be evaluated by examining single species because population responses can vary depending on life history traits and vulnerability to fishing pressure.

Social perceptions of Colombian small-scale marine fisheries conflicts: Insights for management

Saavedra-Díaz LM, Rosenberg AA, Martín-López B. Social perceptions of Colombian small-scale marine fisheries conflicts: Insights for management. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2015 ;56:61 - 70. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X14003273
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

There is limited information about Colombian fisheries available from government sources. In consequence, as is the case for many artisanal or subsistence fisheries, fishermen, local leaders, and fisheries experts become a primary source of data for identifying priority issues for management attention. This study describes the problems that currently affect small-scale fishing activity and fishery resources in Colombia, based upon data collected from these main stakeholders. Data from extensive interviews and community meetings were carefully coded to produce a quantitative picture of the conflicts in these artisanal fisheries. Identified issues applied in three ways; across all communities, germane to one coastal area, or peculiar to individual communities. The results present the opportunity to focus management attention on key issues that can be addressed with co-management by communities in cooperation with government.

Characterising the spatial and temporal variability of the tidal-stream energy resource over the northwest European shelf seas

Robins PE, Neill SP, Lewis MJ, Ward SL. Characterising the spatial and temporal variability of the tidal-stream energy resource over the northwest European shelf seas. Applied Energy [Internet]. 2015 ;147:510 - 522. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306261915003293
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

As devices move from full-scale prototype to commercial installations, it is important that developers have detailed knowledge of the tidal energy resource. Therefore, the spatial distribution of the tidal currents over the northwest European shelf seas has been examined to improve understanding of the tidal-stream energy resource. Using a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model (ROMS) at ∼1 km spatial resolution, and applying device characteristics of the Seagen-S turbine, we show that the ratio of the amplitudes of the M2 and S2 tidal currents can lead to significant variability in annual practical power generation – variability that is not accounted for when considering only the mean peak spring tidal velocities, as is generally the case in resource feasibility studies. In addition, we show that diurnal inequalities (governed by K1 and O1 tidal constituents) and tidal asymmetries (governed by the relationship between M2 and its compound tide M4) over the northwest European shelf seas can further affect power generation at potential high-energy sites. Based on these variabilities, the spatial distribution of the tidal-stream ‘capacity factor’ has been calculated. We find that mean peak spring tidal velocities can under-estimate the resource by up to 25%, and that annual practical power generation can vary by ∼15% for regions experiencing similar mean peak spring tidal velocities, due to the influence of other tidal constituents. Therefore, even preliminary resource assessments should be based on annual average power density, rather than peak spring tidal velocity.

Identifying public land stakeholder perspectives for implementing place-based land management

Brown G, de Bie K, Weber D. Identifying public land stakeholder perspectives for implementing place-based land management. Landscape and Urban Planning [Internet]. 2015 ;139:1 - 15. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169204615000560
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Public lands provide significant environmental, economic, and social values to society across a range of classifications and tenures. Stakeholders representing multiple interests are presumed to hold different management preferences for these lands. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate how stakeholder perspectives can influence place-based management preferences for public lands. We developed a multi-dimensional public land preference scale and used cluster analysis of responses to classify individuals (n = 1507) into stakeholder groups using data collected from a large public participation GIS (PPGIS) survey in Victoria, Australia. We analyzed the results of the two largest stakeholder groups (identified as “Preservation” and “Recreation”) to assess their spatial preferences for public land conservation, access, and development. We developed a method to assess the level of spatial stakeholder agreement, with the results identifying geographic areas of both agreement and disagreement between stakeholder groups. To determine the effects of unequal stakeholder participation in mapping, we performed sensitivity analysis by weighting the responses of the Recreation stakeholder group to approximate the mapping effort of the Preservation stakeholder group. The place-based management preferences changed significantly for conservation/development and improving/limiting public land access, while preferences for increasing/limiting facility development were less sensitive to stakeholder weighting. The spatial mapping of stakeholder preferences appears effective for identifying locations with high potential for conflict as well as areas of agreement, but would benefit from further research in a range of land management applications to provide further guidance on the analysis of stakeholder group responses that result from diverse stakeholder group participation.

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