Literature Library

Currently indexing 8399 titles

Marine Citizen Science: Current State in Europe and New Technological Developments

Garcia-Soto C, Seys JJC, Zielinski O, Busch JA, Luna SI, Baez JCarlos, Domegan C, Dubsky K, Kotynska-Zielinska I, Loubat P, et al. Marine Citizen Science: Current State in Europe and New Technological Developments. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2021 ;8. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2021.621472/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1599332_45_Marine_20210413_arts_A
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Marine citizen science is emerging with promising opportunities for science, policy and public but there is still no comprehensive overview of the current state in Europe. Based on 127 projects identified for the North Sea area we estimate there might be as much as 500 marine and coastal citizen science projects running in Europe, i.e., one marine citizen science project per ∼85 km of coastline, with an exponential growth since 1990. Beach-based projects are more accessible and hence most popular (60% of the projects), and the mean duration of the projects is 18–20 years. Current trends, topics, organizers, aims, and types of programme in terms of participation are presented in this overview. Progress in marine citizen science is specially enabled and promoted through technological developments. Recent technological advances and best practise examples are provided here, untapping the potential of smart mobile apps, do-it-yourself (DIY) technologies, drones, and artificial intelligence (AI) web services.

The Importance of Ocean Science Diplomacy for Ocean Affairs, Global Sustainability, and the UN Decade of Ocean Science

Polejack A. The Importance of Ocean Science Diplomacy for Ocean Affairs, Global Sustainability, and the UN Decade of Ocean Science. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2021 ;8. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2021.664066/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1599332_45_Marine_20210413_arts_A
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The ocean is highly impacted by human activities, and ambitious levels of science are urgently needed to support decision making in order to achieve sustainability. Due to the high cost and risk associated with ocean exploration and monitoring in time and space, vast areas of the oceanic social ecological system remain under-sampled or unknown. Governments have recognized that no single nation can on its own fill these scientific knowledge gaps, and this has led to a number of agreements to support international scientific collaboration and the exchange of information and capacity. This paper reviews current discussions on ocean science diplomacy, i.e., the intersection of science with international ocean affairs. Ocean science is intrinsically connected with diplomacy in supporting negotiations toward a more sustainable future. Diplomacy supports essential aspects of scientific work such as capacity building, technology and information/knowledge exchange, and access and sharing of research platforms. Ocean science diplomacy underlies the work of many intergovernmental organizations that provide scientific guidance, such as the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), and United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). To illustrate how critical science diplomacy is to global ocean affairs, this paper examines examples of the influence of ocean science diplomacy in UNCLOS. Furthermore, this paper discusses the utility of ocean science diplomacy in support of the UN 2030 agenda, and the UN Decade of Ocean Science.

Conservation Opportunities Arise From the Co-Occurrence of Surfing and Key Biodiversity Areas

Reineman DR, Koenig K, Strong-Cvetich N, Kittinger JN. Conservation Opportunities Arise From the Co-Occurrence of Surfing and Key Biodiversity Areas. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2021 ;8. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2021.663460/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1599332_45_Marine_20210413_arts_A
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services requires diverse models that empower communities to steward and benefit from resources. Here we investigate the potential of surfing resources, a new conservation asset class, and the surfing community, an underutilized conservation constituency, to conserve marine biodiversity. We conducted a spatial analysis of the overlap among Key Biodiversity Areas, Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), and 3,755 surf breaks globally. We find that 62.77% of surf breaks are not within MPAs and that 25.81% of all surf breaks are within 5 km of a Key Biodiversity Area, but are not within a MPA, suggesting that strategic conservation opportunities arise from the co-occurrence of surfing resources and biodiversity priorities. Establishing or extending protections to surfing ecosystems could increase protection for biodiversity at one-quarter of surf breaks. Sustainable management of these resources ensures their ability to provide for the character, economy, and development of coastal communities worldwide.

Perspectives on the Use of Coral Reef Restoration as a Strategy to Support and Improve Reef Ecosystem Services

Hein MY, Vardi T, Shaver EC, Pioch S, Boström-Einarsson L, Ahmed M, Grimsditch G, McLeod IM. Perspectives on the Use of Coral Reef Restoration as a Strategy to Support and Improve Reef Ecosystem Services. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2021 ;8. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2021.618303/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1599332_45_Marine_20210413_arts_A
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

In 2019, the United Nations Environment Assembly requested that the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) define best practices for coral restoration. Guidelines led by the UNEP were prepared by a team of 20 experts in coral reef management, science, and policy to catalog the best-available knowledge in the field and provide realistic recommendations for the use of restoration as a reef management strategy. Here, we provide a synthesis of these guidelines. Specifically, we present (1) a case for the value of coral reef restoration in the face of increasing frequency and intensity of disturbances associated with climate change, (2) a set of recommendations for improving the use of coral reef restoration as a reef management strategy, tailored to goals and current methods. Coral reef restoration can be a useful tool to support resilience, especially at local scales where coral recruitment is limited, and disturbances can be mitigated. While there is limited evidence of long-term, ecologically relevant success of coral reef restoration efforts, ongoing investments in research and development are likely to improve the scale, and cost-efficiency of current methods. We conclude that coral reef restoration should not be seen as a “silver bullet” to address ecological decline and should be applied appropriately, with due diligence, and in concert with other broad reef resilience management strategies.

Morphological and Genetic Recovery of Coral Polyps After Bail-Out

Chuang P-S, Ishikawa K, Mitarai S. Morphological and Genetic Recovery of Coral Polyps After Bail-Out. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2021 ;8. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2021.609287/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1599332_45_Marine_20210413_arts_A
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Contemporary advances in microfluidic and molecular techniques have enabled coral studies to shift from reef and colony scales to polyp- and molecular-level investigations. Polyp bail-out provides an alternative approach to acquire solitary polyps for studies at finer scales. Although induction of polyp bail-out has been reported in several studies, polyp health after bail-out has not been investigated. In this study, we monitored morphological and genetic changes in Pocillopora acuta polyps after bail-out induced by hyperosmosis. In isosmotic conditions, over 80% of bailed-out polyps survived, of which half regenerated normal polyp morphology within 5 days, including a polarized polyp body, extended tentacles, and a distinguishable oral disk. In contrast, the remaining polyps degenerated into tissue ball-like structures that resemble multicellular aggregates reported in earlier studies. In morphologically recovered polyps, transcriptomic analysis showed that ∼87% of genes altered during bail-out induction recovered from stress status, suggesting resumption of metabolism, cell division, and immunity, while in degenerated polyps, only ∼71% of genes recovered. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction data further demonstrated that genetic recovery of energy production, cell proliferation, and immune response was achieved in morphologically recovered polyps within 3 days after bail-out, but was not fully accomplished in degenerated polyps even after 5 days. Our findings indicate that solitary polyps generated by hyperosmosis-induced bail-out can recover rapidly from physiological stress under laboratory conditions, suggesting that bailed-out polyps could be used as new models for coral research.

Cetaceans as Ocean Health Indicators of Marine Litter Impact at Global Scale

Fossi MCristina, Baini M, Simmonds MPeter. Cetaceans as Ocean Health Indicators of Marine Litter Impact at Global Scale. Frontiers in Environmental Science [Internet]. 2020 ;8. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fenvs.2020.586627/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1599332_25_Enviro_20210413_arts_A
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Marine litter is a growing concern for marine animals, including cetaceans for which there is a developing body of evidence showing impacts of both entanglement and ingestion. Better understanding is needed of the current and predicted scales of impacts on cetacean species of both macro- and micro-litter. Some emerging methodological approaches, such as the “threefold approach,” will help address data gaps. The relationship between this form of pollution and some cetaceans is strong and the particular feeding habits, and widespread distribution of two whale species means that they can be proposed as ocean health indicators for macro- and micro-litter impacts at global scales, helping steer research. The species concerned are sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), for macro-litter at depth, and fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus), for micro-debris. Once appropriate techniques have been fully developed for non-lethal assessment, other whale species might also be used as indicators of litter pollution in their specific feeding zones.

Sea-ice response to climate change in the Bering Sea during the Mid-Pleistocene Transition

Worne S, Stroynowski Z, Kender S, Swann GEA. Sea-ice response to climate change in the Bering Sea during the Mid-Pleistocene Transition. Quaternary Science Reviews [Internet]. 2021 ;259:106918. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379121001256?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Sea-ice is believed to be an important control on climatic changes through the Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT; 0.6–1.2 Ma). However, the low resolution/short timescale of existing reconstructions prevents a full evaluation of these dynamics. Here, diatom assemblages from the Bering Sea are used to investigate sea-ice evolution on millennial timescales. We find that sea-ice was primarily controlled by ice-sheet/sea level fluctuations that modulated warm water flow into the Bering Sea. Facilitated by an amplified Walker circulation, sea-ice expansion began at ∼1.05 Ma with a step-increase during the 900 kyr event. Maximal pack ice was simultaneous with glacial maxima, suggesting sea-ice was responding to, rather than modulating ice-sheet dynamics, as proposed by the sea-ice switch hypothesis. Significant pack ice, coupled with Bering Strait closure at 0.9 Ma, indicates that brine rejection played an integral role in the glacial expansion/deglacial collapse of intermediate waters during the MPT, regulating subarctic ocean-atmospheric exchanges of CO2.

Phytoplankton shifts in the Central Bohai Sea over the last 250 years reflect eutrophication and input from the Yellow River

Li L, Wang Y, Liu D. Phytoplankton shifts in the Central Bohai Sea over the last 250 years reflect eutrophication and input from the Yellow River. Ecological Indicators [Internet]. 2021 ;126:107676. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1470160X21003411?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Phytoplankton shifts driven by the environmental changes can significantly impact the functioning of marine ecosystems. Analyzing time series data is an important way to understand how phytoplankton responds to environmental changes. Here, multiple indicators, including diatoms and dinoflagellate cysts, total organic matter, carbon and nitrogen isotopes, and biosilicate, were analyzed in the sediment core from the Central Bohai Sea. A 250-year palaeo-environment was reconstructed based on these indicators to examine the responses of phytoplankton assemblages to environmental events. Two significant shifting points were identified from the varying trend of diatoms and cysts. The first one occurred in the 1850s, when the Yellow River outlet relocated from the southern Yellow Sea to the Bohai Sea, as evidenced by finer grain size and lower sea salinity, causing a significant increase in total biomass and brackish species. The other shift happened in the 1970s, when significantly increased fertilizer usage and wastewater discharge led to more organic matter in the core and nitrogen enrichment in the water column up to the 2010s, causing a marked increase in total biomass, small-sized species, and harmful algal bloom species. Redundancy analysis between major community shifts and environmental factors indicated that the Yellow River input and nutrient enrichment had a more important role in regulating phytoplankton shifts than rising temperature after the 1970s.

Rapid deterministic wave prediction using a sparse array of buoys

Fisher A, Thomson J, Schwendeman M. Rapid deterministic wave prediction using a sparse array of buoys. Ocean Engineering [Internet]. 2021 ;228:108871. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0029801821003061?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

A long-standing problem in maritime operations and ocean development projects has been the prediction of instantaneous wave energy. Wave measurements collected using an array of freely drifting arrays of Surface Wave Instrument Float with Tracking (SWIFT) buoys are used to test methods for phase-resolved wave prediction in a wide range of observed sea states. Using a linear inverse model in directionally-rich, broadbanded wave fields can improve instantaneous heave predictions by an average of 63% relative to statistical forecasts based on wave spectra. Numerical simulations of a Gaussian sea, seeded with synthetic buoys, were used to supplement observations and characterize the spatiotemporal extent of reconstruction accuracy. Observations and numerical results agree well with theoretical deterministic prediction zones proposed in previous studies and suggest that the phase-resolved forecast horizon is between 1–3 average wave periods for a maximum measurement interval of 10 wave periods for ocean wave fields observed during the experiment. Prediction accuracy is dependent on the geometry and duration of the measurements and is discussed in the context of the nonlinearity and bandwidth of incident wave fields.

Payments for nutrient uptake in the blue bioeconomy – When to be careful and when to go for it

Hasselström L, Gröndahl F. Payments for nutrient uptake in the blue bioeconomy – When to be careful and when to go for i. Marine Pollution Bulletin [Internet]. 2021 ;167:112321. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X21003556?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Harvesting of marine biomass for various applications may generate ecosystem services that currently lack a market price. One of these is nutrient uptake, which could counteract eutrophication. Market-based instruments (MBIs) such as cap & trade, compensatory mitigation, and payment for ecosystem services could help internalize such positive externalities. However, activities of the blue bioeconomy are diverse. We show that identifiable market characteristics can provide guidance concerning when to use these instruments and not. We find that the activities most suitable for MBIs are those that have positive environmental impacts but that are not (yet) financially viable. For activities that are already profitable on the biomass market, ensuring ‘additionality’ may be a significant problem for MBIs, especially for cap & trade systems or compensatory mitigation. We provide an overview of how some current biomass options fit into this framework and give suggestions on which biomass types to target.

Key climate change stressors of marine ecosystems along the path of the East African coastal current

Jacobs ZL, Yool A, Jebri F, Srokosz M, van Gennip S, Kelly SJ, Roberts M, Sauer W, Queirós AM, Osuka KE, et al. Key climate change stressors of marine ecosystems along the path of the East African coastal current. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. 2021 ;208:105627. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569121001125?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

For the countries bordering the tropical Western Indian Ocean (TWIO), living marine resources are vital for food security. However, this region has largely escaped the attention of studies investigating potential impacts of future climate change on the marine environment. Understanding how marine ecosystems in coastal East Africa may respond to various climatic stressors is vital for the development of conservation and other ocean management policies that can help to adapt to climate change impacts on natural and associated human systems. Here, we use a high-resolution (1/4°) ocean model, run under a high emission scenario (RCP 8.5) until the end of the 21st century, to identify key regionally important climate change stressors over the East African Coastal Current (EACC) that flows along the coasts of Kenya and Tanzania. We also discuss these stressors in the context of projections from lower resolution CMIP5 models. Our results indicate that the main drivers of dynamics and the associated ecosystem response in the TWIO are different between the two monsoon seasons. Our high resolution model projects weakening of the Northeast monsoon (December–February) winds and slight strengthening of the Southeast monsoon (May–September) winds throughout the course of the 21st century, consistent with CMIP5 models. The projected shallower mixed layers and weaker upwelling during the Northeast Monsoon considerably reduce the availability of surface nutrients and primary production. Meanwhile, primary production during the Southeast monsoon is projected to be relatively stable until the end of the century. In parallel, a widespread warming of up to 5 °C is projected year-round with extreme events such as marine heatwaves becoming more intense and prolonged, with the first year-long event projected to occur as early as the 2030s. This extreme warming will have significant consequences for both marine ecosystems and the coastal populations dependent on these marine resources. These region-specific stressors highlight the importance of dynamic ocean features such as the upwelling systems associated with key ocean currents. This indicates the need to develop and implement a regional system that monitors the anomalous behaviour of such regionally important features. Additionally, this study draws attention to the importance of investment in decadal prediction methods, including high resolution modelling, that can provide information at time and space scales that are more directly relevant to regional management and policy making.

The implementation gap in Canadian fishery policy: Fisheries rebuilding and sustainability at risk

Archibald DW, McIver R, Rangeley R. The implementation gap in Canadian fishery policy: Fisheries rebuilding and sustainability at risk. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2021 ;129:104490. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X21001019?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) established the Sustainable Fisheries Framework (SFF) in 2009 to help meet Canada’s international commitments towards sustainable fisheries management. The SFF is a suite of policies and tools intended to ensure the precautionary approach (PA) is incorporated into fisheries management. Seven years later (2016) a federal government audit by the Canadian Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (CESD) found that although DFO had identified key components necessary for successful fisheries management in the SFF, it had failed to put these components in place for many stocks and did not always apply them even when they were in place. The DFO response to the CESD audit included a commitment to develop work plans with deliverables outlining priorities and timelines for implementing key aspects of the SFF: reference points, harvest control rules, management plans and rebuilding plans for critically depleted stocks. The present study evaluated progress towards meeting this commitment and found that only 38% of the expected products were completed, 14% are in progress, 40% have progress delayed and are not proceeding as anticipated, while the remaining 8% were suspended. This weak performance highlights a larger trend of inadequate and slow implementation of legislative and policy tools in the management of Canada’s fisheries and oceans. With declining health status of Canadian stocks and less than half of critical stocks with rebuilding plans, these failures are having a significant impact on the ability of good policy to promote the long-term health of Canada’s fisheries and fishing communities.

Key climate change stressors of marine ecosystems along the path of the East African coastal current

Jacobs ZL, Yool A, Jebri F, Srokosz M, van Gennip S, Kelly SJ, Roberts M, Sauer W, Queirós AM, Osuka KE, et al. Key climate change stressors of marine ecosystems along the path of the East African coastal current. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. 2021 ;208:105627. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569121001125?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

For the countries bordering the tropical Western Indian Ocean (TWIO), living marine resources are vital for food security. However, this region has largely escaped the attention of studies investigating potential impacts of future climate change on the marine environment. Understanding how marine ecosystems in coastal East Africa may respond to various climatic stressors is vital for the development of conservation and other ocean management policies that can help to adapt to climate change impacts on natural and associated human systems. Here, we use a high-resolution (1/4°) ocean model, run under a high emission scenario (RCP 8.5) until the end of the 21st century, to identify key regionally important climate change stressors over the East African Coastal Current (EACC) that flows along the coasts of Kenya and Tanzania. We also discuss these stressors in the context of projections from lower resolution CMIP5 models. Our results indicate that the main drivers of dynamics and the associated ecosystem response in the TWIO are different between the two monsoon seasons. Our high resolution model projects weakening of the Northeast monsoon (December–February) winds and slight strengthening of the Southeast monsoon (May–September) winds throughout the course of the 21st century, consistent with CMIP5 models. The projected shallower mixed layers and weaker upwelling during the Northeast Monsoon considerably reduce the availability of surface nutrients and primary production. Meanwhile, primary production during the Southeast monsoon is projected to be relatively stable until the end of the century. In parallel, a widespread warming of up to 5 °C is projected year-round with extreme events such as marine heatwaves becoming more intense and prolonged, with the first year-long event projected to occur as early as the 2030s. This extreme warming will have significant consequences for both marine ecosystems and the coastal populations dependent on these marine resources. These region-specific stressors highlight the importance of dynamic ocean features such as the upwelling systems associated with key ocean currents. This indicates the need to develop and implement a regional system that monitors the anomalous behaviour of such regionally important features. Additionally, this study draws attention to the importance of investment in decadal prediction methods, including high resolution modelling, that can provide information at time and space scales that are more directly relevant to regional management and policy making.

Comparative sensitivity of the early life stages of a coral to heavy fuel oil and UV radiation

F. Nordborg M, Brinkman DL, Ricardo GF, Agusti S, Negri AP. Comparative sensitivity of the early life stages of a coral to heavy fuel oil and UV radiation. Science of The Total Environment [Internet]. 2021 ;781:146676. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969721017447?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

During an oil spill, shallow, tropical coral reefs are likely to be simultaneously exposed to high intensities of ultraviolet radiation (UVR), which can exacerbate the toxicity of petroleum oils. While successful recruitment of corals is critical for reef recovery following disturbances, the sensitivity of several early life stages of coral to petroleum hydrocarbons has not been investigated, particularly for UVR co-exposure. Here we present the first dataset on the relative sensitivity of three early life stages (gametes, embryos and planula larvae) in a model broadcast spawning coral species, Acropora millepora, to the dissolved fraction of a heavy fuel oil (HFO), both in the absence and presence of UVR. All early life stages were negatively impacted by HFO exposure but exhibited distinct sensitivities. Larval metamorphosis was the most sensitive endpoint assessed with a 10% effect concentration of 34 μg L−1 total aromatic hydrocarbons (TAH) in the absence of UVR. The impact on fertilisation success was highly dependent on sperm density, while the fragmentation of embryos masked embryo mortality. Larval metamorphosis was conclusively the most reliable endpoint for use in risk assessments of the endpoints investigated. Putative critical target lipid body burdens (CTLBBs) were calculated for each life stages, enabling a comparison of their sensitivities against species in the Target Lipid Model (TLM) database. A. millepora had a putative CTLBB of 4.4 μmol g−1 octanol for larval metamorphosis, indicating it is more sensitive than any species currently included in the TLM database. Coexposure to UVR reduced toxicity thresholds by 1.3-fold on average across the investigated life stages and endpoints. This increase in sensitivity in the presence of UVR highlights the need to incorporate UVR co-exposure (where ecologically relevant) when assessing oil toxicity thresholds, otherwise the risks posed by oil spills to shallow coral reefs are likely to be underestimated.

Potential environmental effects of deepwater floating offshore wind energy facilities

Farr H, Ruttenberg B, Walter RK, Wang Y-H, White C. Potential environmental effects of deepwater floating offshore wind energy facilities. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. 2021 ;207:105611. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S096456912100096X?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Over the last few decades, the offshore wind energy industry has expanded its scope from turbines mounted on foundations driven into the seafloor and standing in less than 60 m of water, to floating turbines moored in 120 m of water, to prospecting the development of floating turbines moored in ~1,000 m of water. Since there are few prototype turbines and mooring systems of these deepwater, floating offshore wind energy facilities (OWFs) currently deployed, their effects on the marine environment are speculative. Using the available scientific literature concerning appropriate analogs, including fixed-bottom OWFs, land-based wind energy facilities, wave and tidal energy devices, and oil and gas platforms, we conducted a qualitative systematic review to estimate the potential environmental effects of deepwater, floating OWFs during operation, as well as potential mitigation measures to address some of the effects. We evaluated six categories of potential effects: changes to atmospheric and oceanic dynamics due to energy removal and modifications, electromagnetic field effects on marine species from power cables, habitat alterations to benthic and pelagic fish and invertebrate communities, underwater noise effects on marine species, structural impediments to wildlife, and changes to water quality. Our synthesis of 89 articles selected for the review suggests that many of these potential effects could be mitigated to pose a low risk to the marine environment if developers adopt appropriate mitigation strategies and best-practice protocols. This review takes the necessary first steps in summarizing the available information on the potential environmental effects of deepwater, floating OWFs and can serve as a reference document for marine scientists and engineers, the energy industry, permitting agencies and regulators of the energy industry, project developers, and concerned stakeholders such as coastal residents, conservationists, and fisheries.

Assessment of ecological stress caused by maritime vessels based on a comprehensive model using AIS data: Case study of the Bohai Sea, China

Liu B, Wu X, Liu X, Gong M. Assessment of ecological stress caused by maritime vessels based on a comprehensive model using AIS data: Case study of the Bohai Sea, China. Ecological Indicators [Internet]. 2021 ;126:107592. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1470160X21002570?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Increased maritime vessel activity has adversely affected the conservation of marine environments. The mobility and diverse operations of vessels increase the difficulty of marine spatial planning and protected-area management. This study proposed a “source-pathway-carrier-impact-response” (SPCIR) model to describe marine ecological stress caused by vessels (VES) and constructed a comprehensive assessment index system. The method was applied to the Bohai Sea in China using automatic identification system (AIS) data and geographic information system (GIS) spatial analysis. The results showed an obvious increase in VES from 2014 to 2018, with noise pollution, light pollution, and hydrodynamic interaction being the most prominent. Cargo vessels and oil tankers were the main stressors. Vessel activity seriously affected agriculture and fishery functions as well as marine-reserved zones in the Bohai Sea. The proposed SPCIR model can effectively identify the level and spatiotemporal characteristics of various vessel-related impacts and efficiently determine management priorities. It can provide a theoretical basis for marine area management and be conveniently adopted by management departments in various regions.

Application of the Ocean Health Index to assess ecosystem health for the coastal areas of Shanghai, China

Wu Z, Chen R, Meadows ME, Liu X. Application of the Ocean Health Index to assess ecosystem health for the coastal areas of Shanghai, China. Ecological Indicators [Internet]. 2021 ;126:107650. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1470160X21003150?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The ocean delivers many ecosystem services to human society in providing food, livelihoods, and recreation and is crucial for regulating the global climate. Coastal cities, which have become the backbone of national economies, are highly dependent on the ecosystem services supported by the ocean. As a global coastal megacity, Shanghai has benefited enormously from its relationship with the ocean but its burgeoning population and rampant economic development in recent decades have applied great pressures on the associated coastal ecosystems and have reduced the ocean's capacity to provide ecosystem services and, meanwhile, have led to the demand for greater investment in ocean ecosystem restoration. To support the goal of long-term sustainability and facilitate appropriate management decisions, it is essential to assess the current health status of the coastal ecosystems of Shanghai and evaluate potential future risks. Here we apply the Ocean Health Index (OHI) framework, with indicators and reference points adjusted based on the unique coastal environment in Shanghai. The results reveal that the city obtained an overall OHI of 59 (out of 100) for the period 2012 to 2016. Individual indicators for Clean Waters (22) and Fisheries (39) exhibit particularly low values, indicating that the coastal waters around Shanghai are heavily polluted and that marine fishing is unsustainable. The city’s highest OHI scores are in the sectors of Coastal Livelihoods and Economies (93), and Tourism and Recreation (93), indicating that Shanghai’s coastal ecosystems contribute significantly to people’s livelihoods and regional economies, while marine recreational areas and related leisure activities add considerably to the quality of life in the region. This study demonstrates the value of the OHI in assessing ocean health at the city scale and reveals its potential for application in other coastal localities. In so doing, the findings provide a valuable benchmark against which to measure progress towards the sustainable development of Shanghai's oceans.

Can vertical separation of species in trawls be utilized to reduce bycatch in shrimp fisheries?

Larsen RB, Herrmann B, Brčić J, Sistiaga M, Cerbule K, Nielsen KNolde, Jacques N, Lomeli MJM, Tokaç A, Cuende E. Can vertical separation of species in trawls be utilized to reduce bycatch in shrimp fisheries? Kimirei IAaron. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2021 ;16(3):e0249172. Available from: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0249172
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Several shrimp trawl fisheries use a Nordmöre sorting grid to avoid bycatch of fish. However, small fish can pass through the grid. Therefore, the retention of juvenile fish often remains an issue during shrimp trawling. We investigated the vertical distribution of deepwater shrimp (Pandalus borealis) and dominant bycatch species at the point where the Nordmöre grid section is installed. This was achieved using a separator frame which split the net vertically into three compartments of equal entry size. Our results showed that shrimp predominately follow the lower part of the trawl belly, whereas species such as redfish (Sebastes spp.), cod (Gadus morhua), polar cod (Boreogadus saida) and American plaice (Hippoglossoides platessoides) preferred the mid-section in the aft of the trawl. Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) primarily entered through the upper section of the trawl belly. Using these results, we predict that a vertical separation device installed forward of a 19 mm Nordmöre grid combined with a 35 mm codend would result in a significant reduction in bycatch with only minor loss of shrimp.

Ungovernable systems: The strength of informal institutions in the sea cucumber fishery in Yucatan, Mexico

Pedroza-Gutiérrez C, López-Rocha JA. Ungovernable systems: The strength of informal institutions in the sea cucumber fishery in Yucatan, Mexico Xin B. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2021 ;16(3):e0249132. Available from: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0249132
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Formal and informal institutions govern fisheries around the world. Yucatan’s sea cucumber fishery is not an exemption, the sudden and fast development of the fishery in 2010 has motivated the creation of informal and illegal forms of organization. The prices, buyers’ interest and the fishing effort substantially increased, being followed by illegal fishing-fishers and traders, creating informal fishing-trade channels and severe social and biological concerns. This article aims to give account of the emergence and dynamics of the informal institutions which currently dominate this fishery. It was sought to identify the extent to which rules and regulations are not being respected and how they are affecting fish resources and coastal communities. We considered the case of the port of Sisal, Yucatan, Mexico to illustrate our argument and here we applied a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methodologies including informal and in-depth interviews applied to 17 key informants, a questionnaire applied to 47 fishers and an estimation of the degree of compliance from three of the main management measures. Socio-biological negative impacts were identified in Yucatan’s coastal communities and its fisheries. Foreign buyers and local middlemen exert high pressure on fishers to exceed the quota and catch the highest possible volumes facilitating the fisheries decline. This and the growing economic interest motivated the development of strong informal institutions supporting illegal fishing and informal trade. Social problems emerged and women were particularly affected. The economic power of the fishery is likely to overcome any type of governance structure. The enforcement of entry rules was not effective, so the governance base was around informality and illegal actions. Local and foreign buyers are exerting pressure to increase the catch volume thus it is recommended that rules and regulations be directed at buyers and exporting companies rather than at fishers.

Understanding shifts in estuarine fish communities following disturbances using an ensemble modeling framework

Lewis DM, Thompson KA, MacDonald TC, Cook GS. Understanding shifts in estuarine fish communities following disturbances using an ensemble modeling framework. Ecological Indicators [Internet]. 2021 ;126:107623. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1470160X21002880?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Ecological disturbances may result in mortality events that alter biotic communities and ecosystems. In many coastal zones disturbances are increasing, including algal blooms and fish kills. These two disturbances are often related, with blooms releasing toxins or depleting oxygen, ultimately killing fish. Depending on the intensity, duration, and geographic extent of an algal bloom, the fish community can take days to years to recover from disturbances. To explore the relationship among environmental disturbances, sport fish, and forage fish communities, this study examines a non-toxic brown algal bloom (Aureoumbra lagunensis) occurring from December 2015 through March 2016. Using an ensemble modelling framework combining generalized linear models (GLM), Bayesian modelling, and Bayesian structural equation modeling (SEM), this complementary framework helped elucidate complex relationships among environmental variables and the fish community following a disturbance. The algal bloom crashed over a three-day period in March 2016 and resulted in a fish kill when dissolved oxygen concentrations dropped below hypoxic levels (DO < 2 mg/L). The bloom and subsequent fish kill led to shifts in both forage and sport fish communities, and their relationships, when compared to non-disturbed years. Both sport fish and forage fish abundances decreased following the bloom, but the response of the forage fish community was more rapid. When looking at direct correlations between individual sport fish and forage fish community metrics during the bloom, a large amount of variation in sport fish abundance was explained by forage fish abundance (R2 = 0.34). Also, the variation in forage fish abundance was explained well by pH (R2 = 0.72). Forage fish community dynamics were more closely related to water quality metrics than sport fish communities during non-disturbed periods. However, during this algal bloom, sport fish community dynamics were more closely associated with water quality metrics than forage fish community dynamics. Furthermore, sport fish community dynamics were strongly related to bloom dynamics during the three months prior to the fish kill. In the three months following the kill, the forage and sport fish communities were less strongly linked than in non-disturbed years. These large shifts in community dynamics and relationships following a disturbance suggest both forage and sport fish communities, food webs, and trophic dynamics may be at increasing risk of crossing ecological thresholds as algal blooms become more common in coastal ecosystems.

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