Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUV) has become a popular technique to survey fish assemblages for a wide range of purposes. BRUV methodology has, however, also varied greatly for a range of reasons. A major dichotomy occurs, in particular, in the time used to sample the fish assemblages i.e. the BRUV set time. The aim of this study was to determine whether differences in set time were likely to affect the conclusions reached by studies using different set times, and what might be the most appropriate and cost-effective set time to use to sample temperate reef fish assemblages. In this study, we test whether there were significant differences between the two main set times used (i.e. 30 and 60 min) in BRUV sampling for assemblage patterns, species diversity, and relative abundance of rocky reef fishes. In particular, we sampled fished and unfished rocky reefs to assess whether the different set times would lead to differences in the patterns or the interpretation of the subsequent data. We sampled fish assemblages on six rocky reefs (20–35 m) across two marine parks on the east coast of Australia. At each location replicate BRUVs were deployed for 30 and 60 min in a ‘no take’ area (marine sanctuary) and a fished area. The interpretations of the data across the fished and unfished zones were consistent with both set times indicating that the conclusions from both set time were comparable. Furthermore, there were no differences in fish assemblages or species richness between the set times. The relative abundances of the recreationally and commercially important snapper (Chrysophrys auratus) were greater in the longer set times, but the actual spatial patterns between zones and amongst locations were consistent. Piecewise regression analysis of the breakpoint times for species accumulation found that there were no significant differences between locations or between fished and unfished areas. Mean breakpoint, the time when species accumulation changes, occurred at 12 min ± 1.04 S.E. for all sites combined whilst the shorter set time was found to be less costly and require less field and laboratory times. This study quantifies that either 30 or 60 min will provide a reasonable estimate of rocky reef fish diversity and relative abundance for comparative purposes, on these shallow rocky reefs.
Operation and maintenance can jeopardise the financial viability of an offshore wind energy project due to the cost of downtime, repairs and, above all, the inevitable uncertainties. The variability of wave climate can impede or hinder emergency repairs when a failure occurs, and the resulting delays imply additional costs which ultimately reduce the competitiveness of offshore wind energy as an alternative to fossil fuels. Co-located wind turbines and Wave Energy Converters (WECs) are proposed in this paper as a novel solution: the reduction of the significant wave height brought about by the WECs along the periphery of the wind farm results in a milder wave climate within the farm. This reduction, also called shadow effect, enlarges weather windows for Operation & Maintenance (O&M). The objective of this paper is to investigate the increase in the accessibility time to the turbines and to optimise the layout for the co-located wind-wave farm in order to maximise this time. The investigation is carried out through a case study: Alpha Ventus, an operating offshore wind farm. To maximise the reduction of wave height in the turbine area no fewer than 15 layouts are tested using high-resolution numerical modelling, and a sensitivity analysis is conducted. The results show that, thanks to the wave energy extraction by the WECs, weather windows (access time) can increase very significantly – over 80%. This substantial effect, together with other benefits from the combination of wave and offshore wind power in a co-located farm (common electrical infrastructures, shared O&M equipment and crews, etc.) will enhance the economic viability of these marine renewables, and hence their potential to reduce our carbon footprint on the planet.
Traditional methods for assessing coastal hazards have not typically incorporated a rigorous treatment of uncertainty. Such treatment is necessary to enable risk assessments which are now required by emerging risk based coastal zone management/planning frameworks. While unresolved issues remain, relating to the availability of sufficient data for comprehensive uncertainty assessments, this will hopefully improve in coming decades. Here, we present a modelling framework which integrates geological, engineering and economic approaches for assessing the climate change driven economic risk to coastal developments. The framework incorporates means for combining results from models that focus on the decadal to century time scales at which coasts evolve, and those that focus on the short term and seasonal time scales (storm bite and recovery). This paper demonstrates the functionality of the framework in deriving probabilistic coastal hazard lines and their subsequent use to establish an economically optimal setback line for development at a case study site; the Narrabeen–Collaroy embayment in Sydney, New South Wales.
Marine debris is a pollution problem on a global scale, which causes harm to marine ecosystems and consequently results in profoundly negative influences on mankind. This type of pollution can originate from various activities such as leisure and tourism, fishery, land-based sources, and vessels, etc. In this study, it was found that derelict fishing gear (DFG) produced by oyster farming activities is being dispersed along the southwestern coast of Taiwan, consequently reducing the leisure quality and coastal amenities. In order to understand the current problem of DFG, related stakeholders were invited to undergo qualitative interviews to observe the stakeholders’ perceptions pertaining to DFG pollution and their opinions on subsequent mitigation measures. The results of the interviews were then used to explore management issues pertaining to DFG, as well as the trans-boundary pollution problems caused by DFG based on the theory of environmental resource governance and scales of management jurisdiction. Finally, suggestions were provided to effectively reduce the DFG pollution from oyster farming, including the strengthening of environmental education and propagation, sustaining management and monitoring of marine debris by the government, using policy tools, and applying solid waste management principles.
This paper details Australian research that developed tools to assist fisheries managers and government agencies in engaging with the social dimension of industry and community welfare in fisheries management. These tools are in the form of objectives and indicators. These highlight the social dimensions and the effects of management plans and policy implementation on fishing industries and associated communities, while also taking into account the primacy of ecological imperatives. The deployment of these objectives and indicators initially provides a benchmark and, over the life of a management plan, can subsequently be used to identify trends in effects on a variety of social and economic elements that may be objectives in the management of a fishery. It is acknowledged that the degree to which factors can be monitored will be dependent upon resources of management agencies, however these frameworks provide a method for effectively monitoring and measuring change in the social dimension of fisheries management.
Essentially, the work discussed in this paper provides fisheries management with the means to both track and begin to understand the effects of government policy and management plans on the social dimension of the fishing industry and its associated communities. Such tools allow the consideration of these elements, within an evidence base, into policy arrangements, and consequently provide an invaluable contribution to the ability to address resilience and sustainability of fishing industries and associated communities.
While ocean acidification (OA) poses a significant threat to ocean-related ecosystems and communities reliant on marine fisheries, aquaculture, and coral reef systems, limited public understanding and awareness can prevent coastal regions from being able to adequately assess the need for OA adaptation or mitigation. This study assessed public understanding of OA and how social and demographic factors influence the public’s concern for OA. The analysis was based on 311 questionnaires from full-time Alaska residents. The results showed that most Alaskans self-reported to have a basic awareness of OA, and subsequently were able to recognize that CO2 emissions related to human activity are the dominant driver of changing ocean conditions. However, there was a low recognition of how natural variability in the marine environment affects OA, and most respondents were not very confident in their understanding of OA-related science. Moreover, even though many communities in Alaska are reliant on commercial and subsistence fishing activities, the respondents had a low awareness of fisheries-related OA risk. Given the ongoing debate associated with climate change research, evaluating CO2 mitigation efforts through the perspective of OA could give individuals an unbiased way to assess the pros and cons of more intensive efforts to curb CO2 emissions. Furthermore, using OA communication to enhance the understanding of how natural variability influences OA around the state and the potential economic implications for Alaska fisheries would help residents and stakeholders make informed decisions when considering fisheries management plans, food security, and job diversity as OA intensifies. Solidifying the understanding that any reduction in pH and intensification of OA can have implications for marine species that are irreversible on human timescales will reinforce not only that OA is an immediate concern, but also the importance of taking action now.
Feedbacks occur when advocates engage to clarify the implementation of a policy innovation such as the requirement that federal activities be consistent with objectives of state coastal management plans. Discrete policy feedbacks include advocacy, litigation, appeals of decisions as well as other activities inserted into policy implementation by interests or government agencies acting in their behalf. Feedback analysis is applied to the time after the passage of the 1972 U.S. Coastal Zone Management Act. Conflicts after passage of the law resulted in a negative feedback in the form of a Supreme Court decision in 1984 and a subsequent positive feedback through the 1990 revision of the law effectively reversing the Court decision. New insights documented here suggest that feedback switching, wherein old disputes are moved to new arenas, provides the greatest opportunity for overcoming negative feedbacks that could diminish or eliminate the policy innovation. Furthermore observing feedbacks through time and across multiple policy spaces as demonstrated here provides a robust interpretation of policy evolution from a new perspective. This analysis demonstrates how feedbacks convert a voluntary state program into one with authority over certain federal actions. These findings will be important for other areas of coastal policy and, more broadly, policy evolution in general.
Evaluation of stocking strategies for endangered white abalone (Haliotis sorenseni) has been challenging due to limited data. The present study demonstrated an application of hierarchical demographic model for investigating population dynamics of white abalone and evaluating efficacy of hypothetical restoration strategies. The model represented demographic parameters as multi-level hierarchies, which accounted for uncertainty in parameter estimation due to limited data, and accounted for individual/sub-population variability in demographic traits in response to spatiotemporal heterogeneity. The model also accounted for the Allee effect (i.e., density-dependent fertilization success) observed in white abalone populations. In the calculation of fertilization success, we applied region-specific density estimates from three regions (Tanner Bank, Cortes Bank and San Clemente Island). Elasticity analyses showed that survival affected growth rate more than fertility, and fertility and survival of large-size individuals (>130 mm) had the most influence on growth rate; the mean elasticity to fertility decreased while the one to survival increased as the population became less abundant. Evaluation of stocking strategies suggested that restoration efforts directed at larger-size individuals may be more effective in increasing population density than efforts focusing on juveniles; the degree of increase depended on both initial population density and initial size structure. However, stocking large-size individuals led to a decrease in the intermediate-size class (90–130 mm) proportion in most cases. Efficacy of increasing intermediate-size class proportion heavily depended on initial population density. We suggest that restoration efforts may need to consider the region-specific density-dependence effect, and to balance stocking efficacy and laboratory expenses/time consumption.
The global transformation of the marine nearshore is generating profound losses of ecological and geomorphological functions and ecosystem services, as natural environments are replaced with built. With conservation a diminishing option and restoration often unrealistic, there is a need to rethink development and the potential for marine infrastructure to contribute to net environmental gain. Through analysis of 150 years of change associated with the development of three large-scale marinas in the Seattle area, this research identifies the ways in which evolving policy frameworks and ecological understanding determine the nature, efficiency and environmental outcomes of coastal marine developments. Decisions on infrastructure design, mitigation strategies and policy interpretations directly determined the ecological fate of marine biota inhabiting these structures as well as surrounding ecosystems. In spite of increasing evidence of environmental legislation driving mitigation and innovative engineering, the net ecological trajectories remained negative. There were no tested demonstrations of marine mitigation to confirm which measures would succeed. Where scientific understanding existed, the uptake into planning and legislation was slow. More broadly, this research highlights a need and opportunity to consider marine infrastructure as living laboratories to inform a policy shift from a no-net-loss paradigm to net-environmental-gain. This evolution is timely, with sea level rise requiring new approaches to coastal defenses and with marine energy infrastructure increasingly being located offshore, where there is little knowledge of the ecological changes occurring in both time and space.
Ecosystem-based fisheries management seeks to consider trade-offs among management objectives for interacting species, such as those that arise through predator–prey linkages. In particular, fisheries-targeting forage fish (small and abundant pelagic fish) might have a detrimental effect on fisheries-targeting predators that consume them. However, complexities in ecological interactions might dampen, negate, or even reverse this trade-off, because small pelagic fish can be important predators on egg stages of piscivorous fish. Further, the strength of this trade-off might depend on the extent to which piscivorous fish targeted by fisheries regulate forage species productivity. Here, we developed a novel delay-differential bioeconomic model of predator–prey and fishing dynamics to quantify how much egg predation or weak top-town control affects the strength of trade-off between forage and piscivore fisheries, and to measure how ecological interactions dictate policies that maximize steady-state profits. We parameterized the model based on ecological and economic data from the North Sea Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) and Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus). The optimal policy was very sensitive to the ecological interactions (either egg predation or weak top-down control of forage by predators) at relatively low forage prices but was less sensitive at high forage fish prices. However, the optimal equilibrium harvest rates on forage and piscivores were not substantially different from what might be derived through analyses that did not consider species interactions. Applying the optimal multispecies policy would produce substantial losses (>25%) in profits in the piscivore fishery, and the extent of loss was sensitive to ecological scenarios. While our equilibrium analysis is informative, a dynamic analysis under similar ecological scenarios is necessary to reveal the full economic and ecological benefits of applying ecosystem-based fishery management policies to predator–prey fishery systems.
This paper provides a synthesis of results obtained as part of a long-term collaborative study involving biologists, fishers, and resource managers—centring on the occurrence of killer whales in the Crozet Archipelago before and after the implementation of a demersal longline fishery for Patagonian toothfish. Depredation behaviour was reported as soon as the fishery was initiated, with dramatic effects on both the demographic trajectories of the killer whales and on the amount of fish lost by the fishers. Killer whales interacting with the fishery exhibited very high mortality rates when illegal fishing took place, while killer whales not interacting were unaffected. However, after illegal fishing ended, killer whales interacting with the fishery exhibited both higher fecundity and survival rates compared with killer whales not interacting. Since whales typically removed fish entirely from the hooks, an adapted methodology that did not rely on determining the number of damaged fish was developed to estimate depredation rates. In the Crozet EEZ over a 10-year period, 33.9% of the total amount of Patagonian toothfish caught, representing a total of 28 million €, was estimated to be lost due to the combined effects of killer whale and sperm whale depredation. In an effort to reduce depredation losses, modifications to fishing methods, such as changing the fishing season, changing fishing areas when exposed to depredation and changing longline length and hauling speed were successfully tested. Acoustic deterrent devices were ineffective in deterring killer whales from depredating longlines. Alternative fishing gears, such as fish pots, were also tested. However, while providing encouraging results regarding the suppression of depredation and seabird bycatch, fish pots were not efficient enough to sustain an economically viable fishery. In conclusion, we discuss how the findings of this comprehensive study can be used elsewhere in fisheries confronted with depredation.
Satellite data show a steady increase, in the last decades, of the surface temperature (upper few millimetres of the water surface) of the Mediterranean Sea. Reports of mass mortalities of benthic marine invertebrates increased in the same period. Some local studies interpreted the two phenomena in a cause-effect fashion. However, a basin-wide picture of temperature changes combined with a systematic assessment on invertebrate mass mortalities was still lacking. Both the thermal structure of the water column in the Mediterranean Sea over the period 1945–2011 and all documented invertebrate mass mortality events in the basin are analysed to ascertain if: 1- documented mass mortalities occurred under conditions of positive temperature trends at basin scale, and 2- atypical thermal conditions were registered at the smaller spatial and temporal scale of mass mortality events. The thermal structure of the shallow water column over the last 67 years was reconstructed using data from three public sources: MEDAR-MEDATLAS, World Ocean Database, MFS-VOS programme. A review of the mass mortality events of benthic invertebrates at Mediterranean scale was also carried out. The analysis of in situ temperature profiles shows that the Mediterranean Sea changed in a non-homogeneous fashion. The frequency of mass mortalities is increasing. The areas subjected to these events correspond to positive thermal anomalies. Statistically significant temperature trends in the upper layers of the Mediterranean Sea show an increase of up to 0.07°C/yr for a large fraction of the basin. Mass mortalities are consistent with both the temperature increase at basin scale and the thermal changes at local scale, up to 5.2°C. Our research supports the existence of a causal link between positive thermal anomalies and observed invertebrate mass mortalities in the Mediterranean Sea, invoking focused mitigation initiatives in sensitive areas.
New coastal and marine management strategies have recently been developed in many countries and regions. From an ecosystem approach perspective, the aim of such strategies is the maintenance of ecosystem integrity while enabling the sustainable use of ecosystem goods and services. There is, however, a need for harmonized definitions and standardized processes to deal not only with the interjurisdictional and multidisciplinary complexities that are associated with such strategies but also with the extensive timelines and resources implicated in the planning and implementation of these strategies. The ecosystem-based management system proposed here is based on three pillars that facilitate the integration of an ecosystem approach to coastal and oceans policy development, regardless of the ecosystem or administrative scales. The managerial pillar is based on classical risk-management systems that incorporate environmental considerations and objectives within a continuous improvement cycle of adaptive management. The managerial pillar is supported by governance structures that provide oversight and thereby ensure that planning and implementation activities adhere to modern environmental principles. The information pillar ensures that data and scientific advice are based on current knowledge, and the participation pillar brings together communication and consultation requirements as indicated by the principles of the ecosystem approach.
Stakeholder social network analysis can be used to help planning efforts identify the net-work that presently exist, as well as stakeholders whose preferences and knowledge are missing from the policy process thereby assisting in the identification of constituencies for change that can propel planning efforts forward and increase the likelihood of compliance or implementation. Throughout the last century, people have begun to understand the importance of coastal zone management and have seen the necessity to assess and address the needs of stakeholders within specific areas as part of the policy formulation and implementation process.
After the success of the Rhode Island (RI) Ocean Special Area Management Plan (Ocean SAMP), Rhode Island set out to complete a Beach SAMP that will revise statewide policies for shore management, as well as a Shellfish Management Plan (SMP) that updates state regulations on the harvesting and management of shellfish with strong stakeholder involvement. Academic institutions are currently working with federal, state and local governments to understand the needs of the shellfish and aquaculture industries. The goal of the SMP is to create a sustainable way to manage our shellfish resource while not impairing harvester livelihoods. Institutions such as the Coastal Resources Center (CRC) are working to identify stakeholders and find a unified way to drive this planning effort forward. This SMP effort must demonstrate the involvement of the stakeholders throughout the process to date and insure that decisions were made with stakeholder input. This study conducted a stakeholder network analysis of the SMP process, showing the peak attendance events, attendance numbers, and “betweenness” of members at individual events, a measure of the centrality of each participant within the process. The resulting network diagrams provide a visual representation of the successful stakeholder engagement in the SMP, and constitute a potential metric for helping managers to identify trends and utilize an understanding of the effectiveness of stakeholder engagement for meetings going forward. This meth-od has the ability to be generalized and utilized in many management fields involving stakeholder engagement.
The 21st Century Catch Toolkit is a product of the INTERREG IVa 2 Seas project GIFS (Geography of Inshore Fishing and Sustainability). Work on the GIFS project was completed between January 2012 and September 2014 and was undertaken by a collaboration of six partners from four European countries bordering the Southern North Sea and English Channel. GIFS aimed to understand and capture the social, economic and cultural importance of inshore fishing to better inform fisheries policy, coastal regeneration strategies and sustainable community development. The project has involved a range of research projects, regeneration activities and case studies across southern England, northern France, Flanders and the southern Netherlands (Figure 1). GIFS partners have worked with local stakeholders and communities to explore the geographical diversity and similarities of fishing ports, harbours and people along the Channel and Southern North Sea.
Today scores of coastal communities are seeing more frequent flooding during high tides. As sea level rises higher over the next 15 to 30 years, tidal flooding is expected to occur more often, cause more disruption, and even render some areas unusable — all within the time frame of a typical home mortgage.
An analysis of 52 tide gauges in communities stretching from Portland, Maine to Freeport, Texas shows that most of these communities will experience a steep increase in the number and severity of tidal flooding events over the coming decades, with significant implications for property, infrastructure, and daily life in affected areas.
Given the substantial and nearly ubiquitous rise in the frequency of floods at these 52 locations, many other communities along the East and Gulf Coasts will need to brace for similar changes.
In this report, we conclude that a fundamental overhaul of the regulation of aquaculture in Nova Scotia is called for. We conclude that this overhaul should be guided by the idea that aquaculture that integrates economic prosperity, social well-being and environmental sustainability is one that is low impact and high value. By this, we mean aquaculture that combines two fundamental attributes: it has a low level of adverse environmental and social impact, which decreases over time; and from the use of coastal resources it produces a positive economic and social value, which is high and increases over time.
Marine protected areas (MPAs) aim to mitigate anthropogenic impacts by conserving biodiversity and preventing overfishing. The effectiveness of MPAs depends on population connectivity patterns between protected and non-protected areas. Remote islands are endemism hotspots for coral reef fishes and provide rare examples of coral reefs with limited fishing pressure. This study explored population genetic connectivity across a network of protected and non-protected areas for the endemic wrasse, Coris bulbifrons, which is listed as “vulnerable” by the IUCN due to its small, decreasing geographic range and declining abundance. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and microsatellite DNA (msatDNA) markers were used to estimate historic and contemporary gene flow to determine the level of population self-replenishment and to measure genetic and genotypic diversity among all four locations in the species range (south-west Pacific Ocean)—Middleton Reef (MR), Elizabeth Reef (ER), Lord Howe Island (LHI) and Norfolk Island (NI). MPAs exist at MR and LHI and are limited or non-existent at ER and NI, respectively. There was no obvious differentiation in mtDNA among locations, however, msatDNA revealed differentiation between the most peripheral (NI) and all remaining locations (MR, ER and LHI). Despite high mtDNA connectivity (M = 259–1,144), msatDNA connectivity was limited (M = 3–9) with high self-replenishment (68–93 %) at all locations. NI is the least connected and heavily reliant on self-replenishment, and the absence of MPAs at NI needs to be rectified to ensure the persistence of endemic species at this location. Other endemic fishes exhibit similar patterns of high self-replenishment across the four locations, indicating that a single spatial management approach consisting of a MPA network protecting part of each location could provide reasonable protection for these species. Thus, the existing network of MPAs at this endemic hotspot appears adequate at some locations, but not at all.
Depending upon the institutional framework, coral reef ecosystems and local economic development can be synergistic. When managed properly through local institutions, coral reef systems can deliver ecosystem services that create livelihoods and increase local prosperity in dependent communities. This study compares two community-based reef management institutions. One is located in a community with a reef struggling to recover from destructive fishing, the other in a community that has experienced a remarkable recovery. Using mixed methods, long-form interviews, and surveys of reef tourism stakeholders, this uses institutional characteristics to predict reef quality. Certain institutional components hypothesized to predict reef quality did not; these include universal membership requirements for reef stakeholders, stakeholder familiarity with leadership and hierarchies, and transparent decision-making and implementation of management policy. This means that one size fits all prescriptions for local reef management institutions should be viewed with caution. Instead, the success of management institutions may depend upon both the path toward economic development, access to technology that facilitates coral recovery, and communication of conservation strategies to tourist visitors.
The collective impact of humans on biodiversity rivals mass extinction events defining Earth’s history, but does our large population also present opportunities to document and contend with this crisis? We provide the first quantitative review of biodiversity-related citizen science to determine whether data collected by these projects can be, and are currently being, effectively used in biodiversity research. We find strong evidence of the potential of citizen science: within projects we sampled (n = 388), ∼1.3 million volunteers participate, contributing up to $2.5 billion in-kind annually. These projects exceed most federally-funded studies in spatial and temporal extent, and collectively they sample a breadth of taxonomic diversity. However, only 12% of the 388 projects surveyed obviously provide data to peer-reviewed scientific articles, despite the fact that a third of these projects have verifiable, standardized data that are accessible online. Factors influencing publication included project spatial scale and longevity and having publically available data, as well as one measure of scientific rigor (taxonomic identification training). Because of the low rate at which citizen science data reach publication, the large and growing citizen science movement is likely only realizing a small portion of its potential impact on the scientific research community. Strengthening connections between professional and non-professional participants in the scientific process will enable this large data resource to be better harnessed to understand and address global change impacts on biodiversity.