Literature Library

Currently indexing 7007 titles

Evaluating impacts of intensive shellfish aquaculture on a semi-closed marine ecosystem

Han D, Chen Y, Zhang C, Ren Y, Xue Y, Wan R. Evaluating impacts of intensive shellfish aquaculture on a semi-closed marine ecosystem. Ecological Modelling [Internet]. 2017 ;359:193 - 200. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304380017301849
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

Shellfish aquaculture production in the world, especially in China, has expanded rapidly in recent years. However, understanding of potential impacts of shellfish aquaculture on the trophic structure of ecosystem remains limited. Using an Ecopath with Ecosim model, we compared various shellfish aquaculture intensity scenarios to evaluate impacts of shellfish aquaculture on a semi-closed marine ecosystem, located in Jiaozhou Bay, China. This study showed that the Jiaozhou Bay ecosystem could be strongly impacted by the shellfish aquaculture as illustrated by the ecosystem indices such as total system throughout (TST), Finn’s cycle index (FCI), and System omnivory index (SOI). The existence of shellfish aquaculture program led to shifts of major energy sources of Jiaozhou Bay ecosystem from detritus to phytoplankton. Contribution of phytoplankton to the ecosystem energy flow could drop from 75% to 46% if the current shellfish aquaculture program was removed. Intensive shellfish aquaculture could also improve the transfer efficiency of the ecosystem and simplify the food web. In addition, consumption of phytoplankton by cultured shellfish consisted of 90% of total phytoplankton consumption in this ecosystem, indicating that cultured shellfish could exert strong top-down control on phytoplankton in the Jiaozhou Bay ecosystem. Our results demonstrated that intensive cultured shellfish program shifted Jiaozhou Bay ecosystem from a natural-organism-dominated food web into an aquaculture dominated food web. Given these caveats, cultured shellfish is not only economically efficient, but also ecologically efficient. This study suggests that it is informative and necessary to conduct holistic and integrated ecosystem analyses to improve our understanding of potential impacts of shellfish aquaculture on the ecosystem dynamics.

Economic value of ecosystem services, minerals and oil in a melting Arctic: A preliminary assessment

O'Garra T. Economic value of ecosystem services, minerals and oil in a melting Arctic: A preliminary assessment. Ecosystem Services [Internet]. 2017 ;24:180 - 186. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212041616301309?np=y&npKey=c14d454b9d020d537e12509dc0f48ab95f638e962cc2578e46d95e4ea16a97d7
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $31.50
Type: Journal Article

The Arctic region is composed of unique marine and terrestrial ecosystems that provide a range of services to local and global populations. However, Arctic sea-ice is melting at an unprecedented rate, threatening many of these ecosystems and the services they provide. This short communication provides a preliminary assessment of the quantity, distribution and economic value of key ecosystem services as well as geological resources such as oil and minerals provided by Arctic ecosystems to beneficiaries in the Arctic region and globally. Using biophysical and economic data from existing studies, preliminary estimates indicate that the Arctic currently provides about $281 billion per year (in 2016 US$) in terms of food, mineral extraction, oil production, tourism, hunting, existence values and climate regulation. However, given predictions of ice-free summers by 2037, many of the ecosystem services may be lost. We hope that this communication stimulates discussion among policy-makers regarding the value of ecosystem services and such geological resources as minerals and oil provided by the Arctic region, and the potential ecosystem losses resulting from Arctic melt, so as to motivate decisions vis a vis climate change mitigation before Arctic ice disappears completely.

The impact of coastal grabbing on community conservation - a global reconnaissance

Bavinck M, Berkes F, Charles A, Dias ACarolina E, Doubleday N, Nayak P, Sowman M. The impact of coastal grabbing on community conservation - a global reconnaissance. Maritime Studies [Internet]. 2017 ;16(1). Available from: https://maritimestudiesjournal.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40152-017-0062-8
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

"Coastal grab" refers to the contested appropriation of coastal (shore and inshore) space and resources by outside interests. This paper explores the phenomenon of coastal grabbing and the effects of such appropriation on community-based conservation of local resources and environment. The approach combines social-ecological systems analysis with socio-legal property rights studies. Evidence of coastal grab is provided from four country settings (Canada, Brazil, India and South Africa), distinguishing the identity of the 'grabbers' (industry, government) and 'victims', the scale and intensity of the process, and the resultant 'booty'. The paper also considers the responses of the communities. While emphasizing the scale of coastal grab and its deleterious consequences for local communities and their conservation efforts, the paper also recognizes the strength of community responses, and the alliances/partnerships with academia and civil society, which assist in countering some of the negative effects.

A New Subsidence Map for Coastal Louisiana

Nienhuis JH, Törnqvist TE, Jankowski KL, Fernandes AM, Keogh ME. A New Subsidence Map for Coastal Louisiana. GSA Today [Internet]. 2017 . Available from: http://www.geosociety.org/gsatoday/groundwork/G337GW/article.htm
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Coastal Louisiana has experienced catastrophic rates of wetland loss over the past century, equivalent in area to the state of Delaware. Land subsidence in the absence of rapid accretion is one of the key drivers of wetland loss. Accurate subsidence data should therefore form the basis for estimates of and adaptations to Louisiana’s future. Recently, Jankowski et al. (2017) determined subsidence rates at 274 sites along the Louisiana coast. Based on these data we present a new subsidence map and calculate that, on average, coastal Louisiana is subsiding at 9 ± 1 mm yr−1.

Surveillance and enforcement of remote maritime areas. Paper 1: surveillance technical options

Brooke S, Lim TYang, Ardron J. Surveillance and enforcement of remote maritime areas. Paper 1: surveillance technical options. USA: Marine Conservation Biology Institute; 2010 p. 39 pp.
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

Some of the most pristine marine ecosystems remaining on earth are in remote areas far from human population centers, both within national jurisdiction or beyond, on the high seas* . Unfortunately even these areas are under pressure from the effects of human activities. Recognizing this, many countries have begun to manage activities in remote maritime areas as well as seeking to conserve areas of high ecological value through the establishment of marine protected areas. In recent years some very large offshore protected areas have been established within national EEZs and in addition some are now also being established on the high seas, through the efforts of several international organizations. Without effective enforcement however, these remote managed areas will remain no more than paper management plans and paper parks.

Surveillance and enforcement is more challenging in large, remote areas than for near-shore MPAs as they are often far from populated land, and therefore difficult to reach with traditional manned patrols, radar or other short-range monitoring tools. Advanced technologies have been used successfully for surveillance of large areas, and there is great potential for expansion; however an associated response by law enforcement personnel is still essential to confirm and prosecute violations. Combining surveillance technologies into a single enforcement package has considerable cost-saving potential and is emphasized throughout this report. Additionally, the obvious and targeted presence of law enforcement reduces attempted infractions since there is a perceived significant risk of being caught. 

This document reviews and evaluates a range of existing technological options for the surveillance of remote marine managed areas. Some of these technologies are currently in use by fisheries management agencies; some are currently the purview of groups like the military or security agencies; and others have hitherto been unexplored for such purposes. As commercial fishing (regulated or otherwise) is the single greatest pressure to most remote marine ecosystems, followed by vessel-based pollution, we pay particular attention to technologies for the monitoring of such activities. The paper initially discusses surveillance technologies for cooperative vessels; that is, those that are participating in a managed activity where monitoring systems are obligatory. The majority of the paper however describes the range of sensors and platforms that can be applied to the more challenging task of monitoring non-cooperative vessels. 

Surveillance technologies alone are insufficient to ensure compliance, but they are a necessary component. This first paper in the series does not look at questions of integrating surveillance technologies into an enforcement regime; neither does it consider issues improving compliance. These are clearly key issues, and we anticipate giving these issues the space they deserve in subsequent publications.

Google Haul Out: Earth Observation Imagery and Digital Aerial Surveys in Coastal Wildlife Management and Abundance Estimation

Moxley JH, Bogomolni A, Hammill MO, Moore KMT, Polito MJ, Sette L, W. Sharp B, Waring GT, Gilbert JR, Halpin PN, et al. Google Haul Out: Earth Observation Imagery and Digital Aerial Surveys in Coastal Wildlife Management and Abundance Estimation. BioScience [Internet]. 2017 . Available from: https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/biosci/bix059
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

As the sampling frequency and resolution of Earth observation imagery increase, there are growing opportunities for novel applications in population monitoring. New methods are required to apply established analytical approaches to data collected from new observation platforms (e.g., satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles). Here, we present a method that estimates regional seasonal abundances for an understudied and growing population of gray seals (Halichoerus grypus) in southeastern Massachusetts, using opportunistic observations in Google Earth imagery. Abundance estimates are derived from digital aerial survey counts by adapting established correction-based analyses with telemetry behavioral observation to quantify survey biases. The result is a first regional understanding of gray seal abundance in the northeast US through opportunistic Earth observation imagery and repurposed animal telemetry data. As species observation data from Earth observation imagery become more ubiquitous, such methods provide a robust, adaptable, and cost-effective solution to monitoring animal colonies and understanding species abundances.

Uneven adaptive capacity among fishers in a sea of change

Stoll JS, Fuller E, Crona BI. Uneven adaptive capacity among fishers in a sea of change. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2017 ;12(6):e0178266. Available from: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0178266
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Fishers worldwide operate in an environment of uncertainty and constant change. Their ability to manage risk associated with such uncertainty and subsequently adapt to change is largely a function of individual circumstances, including their access to different fisheries. However, explicit attention to the heterogeneity of fishers’ connections to fisheries at the level of the individual has been largely ignored. We illustrate the ubiquitous nature of these connections by constructing a typology of commercial fishers in the state of Maine based on the different fisheries that fishers rely on to sustain their livelihoods and find that there are over 600 combinations. We evaluate the adaptive potential of each strategy, using a set of attributes identified by fisheries experts in the state, and find that only 12% of fishers can be classified as being well positioned to adapt in the face of changing socioeconomic and ecological conditions. Sensitivity to the uneven and heterogeneous capacity of fishers to manage risk and adapt to change is critical to devising effective management strategies that broadly support fishers. This will require greater attention to the social-ecological connectivity of fishers across different jurisdictions.

Global Ocean Science Report: The Current Status of Ocean Science around the World – Executive Summary

Anon. Global Ocean Science Report: The Current Status of Ocean Science around the World – Executive Summary. Paris, France: UNESCO; 2017. Available from: https://www.oceangov.eu/news_full/global-ocean-science-report-current-status-ocean-science-around-world-executive-summary/
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

The ocean is the largest ecosystem on our planet, regulating change and variability in the climate system and supporting the global economy, nutrition, health and wellbeing, water supply and energy. The coastal zone is home to the majority of the world population; dependency on the ecosystem services provided by the ocean is likely to increase with population growth. The ocean was once thought to be a vast and indefinitely resilient compartment of the Earth system, able to absorb practically all pressures of the human population, from resource exploitation to fisheries and aquaculture development to marine transport. However, according to the First World Ocean Assessment, 1 our civilization is running out of time to avoid the detrimental cycle of decline in ocean health that will have dramatic repercussions on the ability of the ocean to keep providing the support we need. To achieve global sustainability and adequate stewardship of the ocean, as called for in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda), ocean science is crucial to understand and monitor the ocean, predict its health status and support decision-making to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG 14) “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”.

The IOC-UNESCO Global Ocean Science Report (GOSR) aims to provide a status report on ocean science. It identifies and quantifies the elements that drive the productivity and performance of ocean science, including workforce, infrastructure, resources, networks and outputs. The report is intended to facilitate international ocean science cooperation and collaboration. It helps to identify gaps in science organization and capacity and develop options to optimize the use of scientific resources and advance ocean science and technology by sharing expertise and facilities, promoting capacity building and transferring marine technology. As the first consolidated assessment of global ocean science, the GOSR assists the science-policy interface and supports managers, policy-makers, governments and donors, as well as scientists beyond the ocean community. The GOSR offers decision-makers an unprecedented tool to identify gaps and opportunities to advance international collaboration in ocean science and technology and harness its potential to meet societal needs, address global challenges and drive sustainable development for all.

There is no commonly accepted definition of ocean science; the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea does not provide a definition of marine scientific research. For the purpose of this report, ocean science is considered to be a combination of disciplines classified into eight categories that cover integrative and interdisciplinary strategic research areas often recognized as high-level themes in national and international research strategies and policies (Figure ES1). This classification enables global comparisons and interdisciplinary analyses in line with the 2030 Agenda.

The report draws on a range of information sources. In addition to tailored questionnaires developed for the GOSR, ocean science output data (bibliometrics) by Science-Metrix and supplementary resources (e.g. web-based assessments and reports produced by intergovernmental organizations) were compiled to form the data set for the GOSR analysis.

Condominium Arrangements as a Legal Mechanism for the Conservation of the South China Sea Large Marine Ecosystem

Lim M, Liu N. Condominium Arrangements as a Legal Mechanism for the Conservation of the South China Sea Large Marine Ecosystem. Asia-Pacific Journal of Ocean Law and Policy [Internet]. 2017 ;2(1):52 - 87. Available from: http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/10.1163/24519391-00201005
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $30.00
Type: Journal Article

The South China Sea Large Marine Ecosystem is one of the world’s richest marine biodiversity areas. The sea area is however the site of increasing tensions between its ten coastal States, six of which have competing claims in the South China Sea. The expanding populations and economies of the coastal States have also resulted in the growing depletion of the Sea’s rich marine resources. Coordinated approaches are needed to protect the unique biodiversity and natural resources of the South China Sea at the appropriate ecological scale. The continuation of sovereignty disputes are detrimental to all coastal states as well as international economic interests of non-claimant states which arise as a result of the Sea’s status as a globally important trade route. This paper urges coastal states to adopt a far-sighted outlook which ensures long-term sustainable ecosystems, livelihoods and economies of the region. To do this, a shift in approach which emphasises collaborative management of marine ecosystems is required instead of a scramble for sovereignty to exclusively exploit living and non-living resources. This paper therefore explores how the shared governance arrangement of a condominium could facilitate the exercise of sovereignty for the shared benefit of all coastal States. The paper argues that the condominium approach would enable State parties to put aside thorny sovereignty disputes in favour of collaboration to protect the area’s important and unique biodiversity.

Enhancing fish Underwater Visual Census to move forward assessment of fish assemblages: An application in three Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas

Prato G, Thiriet P, Di Franco A, Francour P. Enhancing fish Underwater Visual Census to move forward assessment of fish assemblages: An application in three Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2017 ;12(6):e0178511. Available from: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0178511
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Monitoring fish assemblages is needed to assess whether Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are meeting their conservation and fisheries management goals, as it allows one to track the progress of recovery of exploited species and associated communities. Underwater Visual Census techniques (UVC) are used to monitor fish assemblages in MPAs. UVCs should be adapted to fish abundance, body-size and behaviour, which can strongly affect fish detectability. In Mediterranean subtidal habitats, however, UVC strip transects of one surface area (25x5 m2) are commonly used to survey the whole fish assemblage, from large shy fish to small crypto-benthic fish. Most high trophic level predators (HTLPs) are large shy fish which rarely swim close to divers and, consequently, their abundance may be under-estimated with commonly used transects. Here, we propose an improvement to traditional transect surveys to better account for differences in behaviour among and within species. First, we compared the effectiveness of combining two transect surface areas (large: 35x20 m2; medium: 25x5 m2) in quantifying large, shy fish within and outside Mediterranean MPAs. We identified species-specific body-size thresholds defining a smaller and a larger size class better sampled by medium and large transects respectively. Combining large and medium transects provided more accurate biomass and species richness estimates for large, shy species than using medium transects alone. We thus combined the new approach with two other transect surface areas commonly used to survey crypto-benthic (10x1 m2) and necto-benthic (25x5 m2) species in order to assess how effectively MPAs protection the whole fish assemblage. We verified that MPAs offer significant protection for HTLPs, their response in terms of biomass and density increase in MPAs was always higher in magnitude than other functional groups. Inside MPAs, the contribution of HTLP reached >25% of total fish biomass, against < 2% outside MPAs. Surveys with multiple transect surface areas allow for a more realistic assessment of the structure of the whole fish assemblage and better assessment of potential recovery of HTLPs within reserves of HTLP.

Application of environmental DNA to detect an endangered marine skate species in the wild

Weltz K, Lyle JM, Ovenden J, Morgan JAT, Moreno DA, Semmens JM. Application of environmental DNA to detect an endangered marine skate species in the wild. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2017 ;12(6):e0178124. Available from: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0178124
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Environmental DNA (eDNA) techniques have only recently been applied in the marine environment to detect the presence of marine species. Species-specific primers and probes were designed to detect the eDNA of the endangered Maugean skate (Zearaja maugeana) from as little as 1 L of water collected at depth (10–15 m) in Macquarie Harbour (MH), Tasmania. The identity of the eDNA was confirmed as Zmaugeana by sequencing the qPCR products and aligning these with the target sequence for a 100% match. This result has validated the use of this eDNA technique for detecting a rare species, Zmaugeana, in the wild. Being able to investigate the presence, and possibly the abundance, of Zmaugeana in MH and Bathurst harbour (BH), would be addressing a conservation imperative for the endangered Zmaugeana. For future application of this technique in the field, the rate of decay was determined for Zmaugeana eDNA under ambient dissolved oxygen (DO) levels (55% saturation) and lower DO (20% saturation) levels, revealing that the eDNA can be detected for 4 and 16 hours respectively, after which eDNA concentration drops below the detection threshold of the assay. With the rate of decay being influenced by starting eDNA concentrations, it is recommended that samples be filtered as soon as possible after collection to minimize further loss of eDNA prior to and during sample processing.

Shift in tuna catches due to ocean warming

Monllor-Hurtado A, Pennino MGrazia, Sanchez-Lizaso J?Luis. Shift in tuna catches due to ocean warming. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2017 ;12(6):e0178196. Available from: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0178196
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Ocean warming is already affecting global fisheries with an increasing dominance of catches of warmer water species at higher latitudes and lower catches of tropical and subtropical species in the tropics. Tuna distributions are highly conditioned by sea temperature, for this reason and their worldwide distribution, their populations may be a good indicator of the effect of climate change on global fisheries. This study shows the shift of tuna catches in subtropical latitudes on a global scale. From 1965 to 2011, the percentage of tropical tuna in longliner catches exhibited a significantly increasing trend in a study area that included subtropical regions of the Atlantic and western Pacific Oceans and partially the Indian Ocean. This may indicate a movement of tropical tuna populations toward the poles in response to ocean warming. Such an increase in the proportion of tropical tuna in the catches does not seem to be due to a shift of the target species, since the trends in Atlantic and Indian Oceans of tropical tuna catches are decreasing. Our results indicate that as populations shift towards higher latitudes the catches of these tropical species did not increase. Thus, at least in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, tropical tuna catches have reduced in tropical areas.

Management and conservation at the International Whaling Commission: A dichotomy sandwiched within a shifting baseline

B. Vernazzani G, Burkhardt-Holm P, Cabrera E, I??guez M, Luna F, Parsons ECM, Ritter F, Rodr?guez-Fonseca J, Sironi M, Stachowitsch M. Management and conservation at the International Whaling Commission: A dichotomy sandwiched within a shifting baseline. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2017 ;83:164 - 171. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X17302464
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

The International Whaling Commission's (IWC) Scientific Committee provides important advice to the IWC on a large variety of cetacean species, sub-species and populations and the issues affecting them. Cetaceans are facing increasing, non-whaling-related threats, and the Scientific Committee (SC), in accordance with the Commission's requests, has strengthened its conservation-oriented research work. A selection of the reports of the Scientific Committee from between 1986 and 2012 was assessed for its: (i) fundamental research; (ii) management; (iii) conservation; and (iv) administrative content, and to identify potential trends over time. Recommendations and their urgency were also examined, as implied from the language used by the SC in its reports. The analysis showed that the work of the Scientific Committee has increasingly been oriented towards conservation issues over the period reviewed, but at the same time this conservation work has received little funding. Increased support for conservation-related research projects is warranted to promote the long-term survival of cetaceans. Based on this review of the content and focus of the Committee reports, the analysis suggested that its issued advice be made clearer, whenever possible, and governments are urged to give due consideration to this science-based advice particularly when urgent conservation actions are needed. In addition, more consistent funding of the IWC's conservation-related research should be pursued to improve international conservation outputs regarding cetacean populations.

Angling into the Future: Ten Commandments for Recreational Fisheries Science, Management, and Stewardship in a Good Anthropocene

Elmer LK, Kelly LA, Rivest S, S. Steell C, Twardek WM, Danylchuk AJ, Arlinghaus R, Bennett JR, Cooke SJ. Angling into the Future: Ten Commandments for Recreational Fisheries Science, Management, and Stewardship in a Good Anthropocene. Environmental Management [Internet]. 2017 . Available from: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00267-017-0895-3
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $39.95
Type: Journal Article

A new geological epoch, the “Anthropocene”, has been defined as the period in which humans have had substantial geological and ecological influence on the planet. A positive future for this epoch can be referred to as the “good Anthropocene” and would involve effective management strategies and changes in human behavior that promote the sustainability and restoration of ecosystems. Recreational fisheries hold significant social, cultural, and economic value and can generate many benefits when managed sustainably and thus be an integral part of a “good Anthropocene”. Here, we list ten commandments to facilitate persistence and long-term sustainability of recreational fisheries in the “good Anthropocene”. This list includes fostering aquatic stewardship, promoting education, using appropriate capture gear, adopting evidence-based management approaches, promoting the concept of resilience, obtaining and using effort data in management, embracing the ecosystem approach, engaging in multilevel collaboration, enhancing accessibility, and embracing optimism. When used singly, or simultaneously, these ten commandments will contribute to the harmonization of sustainable fish populations and angling practices, to create recreational fisheries’ “bright spots”.

Challenges and opportunities in monitoring the impacts of tidal-stream energy devices on marine vertebrates

Fox CJ, Benjamins S, Masden EA, Miller R. Challenges and opportunities in monitoring the impacts of tidal-stream energy devices on marine vertebrates. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews [Internet]. 2017 . Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032117309395
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $37.95
Type: Journal Article

Marine tidal-stream renewable energy devices (MREDs) are beginning to move from demonstration to early commercial deployment. However, the ecological impacts which may result when large arrays of these devices are deployed are unknown. This uncertainty is placing a considerable burden on developers who must collect biological data through baseline and post-deployment monitoring programs under the Environmental Impact Assessment process. Regulators and other stakeholders are often particularly concerned about impacts on marine vertebrates (fish, seabirds and mammals) because many of these receptors are of high conservation and public concern. Unfortunately monitoring for most marine vertebrates is challenging and expensive, especially in the energetic waters where tidal-stream MREDs will be deployed. Surveys for marine vertebrates often have low statistical power and so are likely to fail to detect all but substantial changes in abundance. Furthermore, many marine vertebrate species have large geographical ranges so that even if local changes in abundance are detected, they cannot usually be related to the wider populations. Much of the monitoring currently being undertaken at tidal-stream MRED development sites is thus leading to a ‘data-rich but information-poor’ (DRIP) situation. Such an approach adds to development costs whilst contributing little to wider ecosystem-based understanding. In the present article we discuss the issues surrounding the impacts of tidal-stream MREDs on marine vertebrates and address the questions regulators, developers and other stakeholders need to consider when agreeing monitoring programs for these receptors.

Using industry ROV videos to assess fish associations with subsea pipelines

McLean DL, Partridge JC, Bond T, Birt MJ, Bornt KR, Langlois TJ. Using industry ROV videos to assess fish associations with subsea pipelines. Continental Shelf Research [Internet]. 2017 ;141:76 - 97. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278434316306483
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $39.95
Type: Journal Article

Remote Operated Vehicles are routinely used to undertake inspection and maintenance activities of underwater pipelines in north-west Australia. In doing so, many terabytes of geo-referenced underwater video are collected at depths, and on a scale usually unobtainable for ecological research. We assessed fish diversity and abundance from existing ROV videos collected along 2–3 km sections of two pipelines in north-west Australia, one at 60–80 m water depth and the other at 120–130 m. A total of 5962 individual fish from 92 species and 42 families were observed. Both pipelines were characterised by a high abundance of commercially important fishes including: snappers (Lutjanidae) and groupers (Epinephelidae). The presence of thousands of unidentifiable larval fish, in addition to juveniles, sub-adults and adults suggests that the pipelines may be enhancing, rather than simply attracting, fish stocks. The prevalence and high complexity of sponges on the shallower pipeline and of deepwater corals on the deeper pipeline had a strong positive correlation with the fish abundance. These habitats likely offer a significant food source and refuge for fish, but also for invertebrates upon which fish feed. A greater diversity on the shallower pipeline, and a higher abundance of fishes on both pipelines, were associated with unsupported pipeline sections (spans) and many species appeared to be utilising pipeline spans as refuges. This study is a first look at the potential value of subsea pipelines for fishes on the north-west shelf. While the results suggest that these sections of pipeline appear to offer significant habitat that supports diverse and important commercially fished species, further work, including off-pipeline surveys on the natural seafloor, are required to determine conclusively the ecological value of pipelines and thereby inform discussions regarding the ecological implications of pipeline decommissioning.

Plastic ingestion in oceanic-stage loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) off the North Atlantic subtropical gyre

Pham CK, Rodr?guez Y, Dauphin A, Carri?o R, Frias J?oPGL, Vandeperre F, Otero V, Santos MR, Martins HR, Bolten AB, et al. Plastic ingestion in oceanic-stage loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) off the North Atlantic subtropical gyre. Marine Pollution Bulletin [Internet]. 2017 . Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X17304885
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $39.95
Type: Journal Article

Juvenile oceanic-stage sea turtles are particularly vulnerable to the increasing quantity of plastic coming into the oceans. In this study, we analysed the gastrointestinal tracts of 24 juvenile oceanic-stage loggerheads (Caretta caretta) collected off the North Atlantic subtropical gyre, in the Azores region, a key feeding ground for juvenile loggerheads. Twenty individuals were found to have ingested marine debris (83%), composed exclusively of plastic items (primarily polyethylene and polypropylene) identified by μ-Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy. Large microplastics (1–5 mm) represented 25% of the total number of debris and were found in 58% of the individuals sampled. Average number of items was 15.83 ± 6.09 (± SE) per individual, corresponding to a mean dry mass of 1.07 ± 0.41 g. The results of this study demonstrate that plastic pollution acts as another stressor for this critical life stage of loggerhead turtles in the North Atlantic.

Addressing the Issue of Microplastics in the Wake of the Microbead-Free Waters Act? A New Standard Can Facilitate Improved Policy

McDevitt JP, Criddle CS, Morse M, Hale RC, Bott CB, Rochman CM. Addressing the Issue of Microplastics in the Wake of the Microbead-Free Waters Act? A New Standard Can Facilitate Improved Policy. Environmental Science & Technology [Internet]. 2017 . Available from: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/acs.est.6b05812
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The United States Microbead-Free Waters Act was signed into law in December 2015. It is a bipartisan agreement that will eliminate one preventable source of microplastic pollution in the United States. Still, the bill is criticized for being too limited in scope, and also for discouraging the development of biodegradable alternatives that ultimately are needed to solve the bigger issue of plastics in the environment. Due to a lack of an acknowledged, appropriate standard for environmentally safe microplastics, the bill banned all plastic microbeads in selected cosmetic products. Here, we review the history of the legislation and how it relates to the issue of microplastic pollution in general, and we suggest a framework for a standard (which we call “Ecocyclable”) that includes relative requirements related to toxicity, bioaccumulation, and degradation/assimilation into the natural carbon cycle. We suggest that such a standard will facilitate future regulation and legislation to reduce pollution while also encouraging innovation of sustainable technologies.

Guide for Planners and Managers to Design Resilient Marine Protected Area Networks in a Changing Climate

Anon. Guide for Planners and Managers to Design Resilient Marine Protected Area Networks in a Changing Climate. Montreal, Canada: Commission for Environmental Cooperation; 2012 p. 42 pp. Available from: http://www3.cec.org/islandora/en/item/10856-guide-planners-and-managers-design-resilient-marine-protected-area-networks-in
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

Climate change, along with pollution and overfishing, is one of the great challenges facing North America’s shared oceans today. Through the project Engaging Communities to Conserve Marine Biodiversity through NAMPAN (North American Marine Protected Areas Network) the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) gathered scientific information on the impact of climate change on marine protected area (MPA) networks to improve the design and management process for healthier, more resilient oceans.

Scientific Guidelines for Designing Resilient Marine Protected Area Networks in a Changing Climate

Brock RJ, Kenchington E, Martinez-Arroyo A eds. Scientific Guidelines for Designing Resilient Marine Protected Area Networks in a Changing Climate. Montreal, Canada: Commission for Environmental Cooperation; 2012 p. 95 pp. Available from: http://www3.cec.org/islandora/en/item/10820-scientific-guidelines-designing-resilient-marine-protected-area-networks-in-changing
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

Climate change, along with pollution and overfishing, is one of the great challenges facing North America’s shared oceans today. Through the project Engaging Communities to Conserve Marine Biodiversity through NAMPAN (North American Marine Protected Areas Network) the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) gathered scientific information on the impact of climate change on marine protected area (MPA) networks to improve the design and management process for healthier, more resilient oceans.

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