Literature Library

Currently indexing 7007 titles

Marine Plastic Litter on Small Island Developing States (SIDS): Impacts and Measures

F. L, C. AB, H. B, G. B, H. C, L. G, M. H, T. K, P. N. Marine Plastic Litter on Small Island Developing States (SIDS): Impacts and Measures. Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment; 2017.
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

Plastic waste that ends up in the oceans as marine litter is a tangible and urgent environmental pressure reaching even the most remote parts of the global oceans. It impacts marine life from plankton to whales and turtles to albatrosses. Public awareness on how the modern lifestyle and the use of plastics in all sectors of society has influenced the marine ecosystems in the last decades is growing, and an emerging discourse about countermeasures of all types can be seen in policies enacted by authorities in national, regional, and international policy arenas. Different coastal areas have launched Regional Action Plans (RAP) on marine litter that provide structured measures that need to be taken and general advice adapted to the respective region. However, the scale of the problem is not only global in dimension, it also cuts across all sectors in society, and until the use of materials in society becomes sustainable, plastic waste will continues to flow into the seas. This report focuses on how marine plastic litter affects Small Island Developing States (SIDS) because these are considered to be more directly vulnerable to environmental changes, including marine litter, than other countries.

This report was commissioned by the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water management and written by analysts at the Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment (affiliated with the University of Gothenburg, Lund University, and Chalmers University of Technology). In this report, it is documented how marine plastic litter reaches even the most remote parts of the oceans, such as some of the small island states, and how SIDS are especially vulnerable to environmental impacts such as climate change and marine litter. The origin and composition of marine plastic litter and its environmental and economic impacts are described. Finally, measures are discussed that can be launched to mitigate the problem, both from state agencies and private corporations. Here, measures from existing RAPs on marine litter are reviewed and examples of private initiatives are mentioned. Further, the corresponding legal framework is given and side effects of marine litter measures on the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN are debated.

Motorboat noise impacts parental behaviour and offspring survival in a reef fish

Nedelec SL, Radford AN, Pearl L, Nedelec B, McCormick MI, Meekan MG, Simpson SD. Motorboat noise impacts parental behaviour and offspring survival in a reef fish. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences [Internet]. 2017 ;284(1856):20170143. Available from: http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/284/1856/20170143
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Anthropogenic noise is a pollutant of international concern, with mounting evidence of disturbance and impacts on animal behaviour and physiology. However, empirical studies measuring survival consequences are rare. We use a field experiment to investigate how repeated motorboat-noise playback affects parental behaviour and offspring survival in the spiny chromis (Acanthochromis polyacanthus), a brooding coral reef fish. Repeated observations were made for 12 days at 38 natural nests with broods of young. Exposure to motorboat-noise playback compared to ambient-sound playback increased defensive acts, and reduced both feeding and offspring interactions by brood-guarding males. Anthropogenic noise did not affect the growth of developing offspring, but reduced the likelihood of offspring survival; while offspring survived at all 19 nests exposed to ambient-sound playback, six of the 19 nests exposed to motorboat-noise playback suffered complete brood mortality. Our study, providing field-based experimental evidence of the consequences of anthropogenic noise, suggests potential fitness consequences of this global pollutant.

Quantifying microplastic pollution on sandy beaches: the conundrum of large sample variability and spatial heterogeneity

Fisner M, Majer AP, Balthazar-Silva D, Gorman D, Turra A. Quantifying microplastic pollution on sandy beaches: the conundrum of large sample variability and spatial heterogeneity. Environmental Science and Pollution Research [Internet]. 2017 ;24(15):13732 - 13740. Available from: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11356-017-8883-y
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $39.95
Type: Journal Article

Despite the environmental risks posed by microplastic pollution, there are presently few standardized protocols for monitoring these materials within marine and coastal habitats. We provide a robust comparison of methods for sampling microplastics on sandy beaches using pellets as a model and attempt to define a framework for reliable standing stock estimation. We performed multiple comparisons to determine: (1) the optimal size of sampling equipment, (2) the depth to which samples should be obtained, (3) the optimal sample resolution for cross-shore transects, and (4) the number of transects required to yield reproducible along-shore estimates across the entire sections of a beach. Results affirmed that the use of a manual auger with a 20-cm diameter yielded the best compromise between reproducibility (i.e., standard deviation) and sampling/processing time. Secondly, we suggest that sediments should be profiled to a depth of at least 1 m to fully assess the depth distribution of pellets. Thirdly, although sample resolution did not have major consequence for overall density estimates, using 7-m intervals provides an optimal balance between precision (SD) and effort (total sampling time). Finally, and perhaps most importantly, comparing the minimum detectable difference yielded by different numbers of transects along a given section of beach suggests that estimating absolute particle density is probably unviable for most systems and that monitoring might be better accomplished through hierarchical or time series sampling efforts. Overall, while our study provides practical information that can improve sampling efforts, the heterogeneous nature of microplastic pollution poses a major conundrum to reproducible monitoring and management of this significant and growing problem.

The economic contribution of the muck dive industry to tourism in Southeast Asia

De Brauwer M, Harvey ES, Mcilwain JL, Hobbs J-PA, Jompa J, Burton M. The economic contribution of the muck dive industry to tourism in Southeast Asia. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2017 ;83:92 - 99. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X17300581
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

Scuba diving tourism has the potential to be a sustainable source of income for developing countries. Around the world, tourists pay significant amounts of money to see coral reefs or iconic, large animals such as sharks and manta rays. Scuba diving tourism is broadening and becoming increasingly popular, a novel type of scuba diving which little is known about, is muck diving. Muck diving focuses on finding rare, cryptic species that are seldom seen on coral reefs. This study investigates the value of muck diving, its participant and employee demographics and potential threats to the industry. Results indicate that muck dive tourism is worth more than USD$ 150 million annually in Indonesia and the Philippines combined. It employs over 2200 people and attracts more than 100,000 divers per year. Divers participating in muck dive tourism are experienced, well-educated, have high incomes, and are willing to pay for the protection of species crucial to the industry. Overcrowding of dive sites, pollution and conflicts with fishermen are reported as potential threats to the industry, but limited knowledge on these impacts warrants further research. This study shows that muck dive tourism is a sustainable form of nature based tourism in developing countries, particularly in areas where little or no potential for traditional coral reef scuba diving exists.

Diving beneath the surface: long-term studies of dolphins and whales

Mann J, Karniski C. Diving beneath the surface: long-term studies of dolphins and whales. Journal of Mammalogy [Internet]. 2017 ;98(3):621 - 630. Available from: https://academic.oup.com/jmammal/article-abstract/98/3/621/3855625/Diving-beneath-the-surface-long-term-studies-of?redirectedFrom=fulltext
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $42.00
Type: Journal Article

Although aquatic mammals are elusive subjects, long-term studies of cetaceans have revealed remarkable life-history traits, including long life spans, bisexual philopatry, prolonged maternal care, and even menopause. Long-term cetacean research, defined here as studies lasting ≥ 10 years, has also helped shape our understanding of large multilevel societies, fission–fusion dynamics, cultural processes, complex sociality, and cognition. Yet relative to their terrestrial counterparts, little is known about many cetacean societies, especially pelagic species; similarly, collection of biological samples (such as blood, feces, urine) from live subjects is rarely possible. Cetaceans have been severely impacted by human activities, from commercial whaling to fisheries bycatch, prey depletion, habitat loss, and chemical and noise pollution. Longitudinal research, defined as measuring the same individuals repeatedly over time, can provide vital information necessary for devising viable solutions for mitigating these impacts and promoting sustainable practices. This review evaluates key findings gleaned from continuous and systematic longitudinal studies of free-living cetaceans. We present examples for each topic, though our condensed review cannot be comprehensive. Given their adaptations to the marine environment, slow life histories, and complex societies, continued investment in long-term research is vital for both understanding and protecting this taxonomic group.

Evaluating the Visual Impact of an Offshore Wind Farm

Maslov N, Claramunt C, Wang T, Tang T. Evaluating the Visual Impact of an Offshore Wind Farm. Energy Procedia [Internet]. 2017 ;105:3095 - 3100. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1876610217307038
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The objective of this paper is to present a method that qualifies the degree of visibility of an offshore wind farm from an observer located along the coast. In many cases, the deployment of an offshore wind farm leads to public opposition. This entails the need for the development of appropriate methods that might present in the most intelligible way the impacts of an offshore wind farm. Amongst many factors to take into account, the visual impact of such farms is surely a factor to take into account. We introduce a visual operator that integrates several parameters that mainly depend on the distance of the wind farm to the coast. We apply a measure that evaluates the horizon surface impact modulated by the number of distinguishable turbines and an aesthetic index based on turbine alignments. The whole method is implemented on top of Geographical Information System (GIS) and provides a decision-aid mechanism oriented to decision-makers. The whole approach is experimented in the context of a wind farm in North West France.

An assessment of marine protected areas as a marine management strategy in Southeast Asia: A literature review

Kamil KAhmad, Hailu A, Rogers A, Pandit R. An assessment of marine protected areas as a marine management strategy in Southeast Asia: A literature review. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. 2017 ;145:72 - 81. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569117305045
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

The establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is seen as a chosen strategy in managing marine resources in Southeast Asia (SEA). The region has some of the most extensive coastline and diverse coral reef ecosystems that remain highly threatened. The need to protect these areas is definite, but establishment of a MPA often involves conflicts with its stakeholders that highly depend on the ecosystem. This paper reviews 32 studies that evaluated the MPA strategy implemented in various SEA countries since the 1980's to the present. The objective of this paper is to determine the effectiveness of the MPA strategy within the context of SEA. Biological, socioeconomic and governance indicators provided by The World Conservation Union (IUCN) were used in this paper as measures of MPA effectiveness. It was found that the MPA strategy may be ideally suited for some areas but may also be inappropriate for others. The three indicators are highly related to each other in determining a MPA success. An integrated study of these three aspects is believed to provide greater knowledge for future implementation of MPAs.

Quantitative tools for implementing the new definition of significant portion of the range in the Endangered Species Act

Earl JE, Nicol S, Wiederholt R, Diffendorfer JE, Semmens D, Flockhart DTTyler, Mattsson BJ, McCracken G, D. Norris R, Thogmartin WE, et al. Quantitative tools for implementing the new definition of significant portion of the range in the Endangered Species Act. Conservation Biology [Internet]. 2017 . Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cobi.12963/abstract
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $38.00
Type: Journal Article

In July 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service announced a new policy interpretation for the Endangered Species Act. According to the Act, a species must be listed as threatened or endangered if it is determined to be threatened or endangered in a significant portion of its range. The 1973 law does not define “significant portion of its range,” leading to concerns that interpretations of “significant” by federal agencies and the courts could be inconsistent. The 2014 policy seeks to provide consistency by establishing that a portion of the range should be considered significant if the associated individuals’ “removal would cause the entire species to become endangered or threatened.” Here, we review quantitative techniques to assess whether a portion of a species’ range is significant according to the new guidance. Our assessments are based on the “3R” criteria – Redundancy (i.e., buffering from catastrophe), Resiliency (i.e., ability to withstand stochasticity), and Representation (i.e., ability to evolve) – that the Fish and Wildlife Service uses to determine if a species merits listing. We identify data needs for each quantitative technique and indicate which methods might be implemented given the data limitations typical of rare species. We also identify proxies that may be used with limited data. To assess potential data availability, we evaluate seven example species by assessing the data in their Species Status Assessments, which document all the information used during a listing decision. Our evaluation suggests that resiliency assessments will likely be most constrained by limited data. While we reviewed quantitative techniques for the US Endangered Species Act, other countries have legislation requiring identification of significant areas that could benefit from this research.

Influence of settings management and protection status on recreational uses and pressures in marine protected areas

Gonson C, Pelletier D, Alban F, Giraud-Carrier C, Ferraris J. Influence of settings management and protection status on recreational uses and pressures in marine protected areas. Journal of Environmental Management [Internet]. 2017 ;200:170 - 185. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301479717305236
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $41.95
Type: Journal Article

Coastal populations and tourism are growing worldwide. Consequently outdoor recreational activity is increasing and diversifying. While Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are valuable for mitigating anthropogenic impacts, recreational uses are rarely monitored and studied, resulting in a lack of knowledge on users' practices, motivation and impacts. Based on boat counts and interview data collected in New Caledonia, we i) explored factors affecting user practices and motivations, ii) constructed fine-scale pressure indices covering activities and associated behaviors, and iii) assessed the relationships between user practices and site selection. User practices were found to depend on protection status, boat type and user characteristics. Pressure indices were higher within no-take MPAs, except for fishing. We found significant relationships between user practices and settings characteristics. In the context of increasing recreational uses, these results highlight options for managing such uses through settings management without jeopardizing the social acceptance of MPAs or the attainment of conservation goals.

Cross-border cooperation in Maritime Spatial Planning

Carneiro G, Thomas H, Olsen S, Benzaken D, Fletcher S, Méndez-Roldán S, Stanwell-Smith D. Cross-border cooperation in Maritime Spatial Planning. Brussels: European Commission; 2017. Available from: https://ec.europa.eu/easme/en/news/study-what-are-best-practices-cross-border-maritime-spatial-planning
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

The ‘Study on International Best Practices for Cross-Border MSP’ has been designed to assist the European Commission (EC) and Member States in the implementation of the MSP Directive through the identification of good practices of MSP, with a particular focus on cross-border cooperation; and to elaborate recommendations that can support the promotion and exchange of MSP at the international level, relevant to the implementation of the EC International Ocean Governance Agenda.

Over the last few years, an increasing number of nations have begun to implement MSP at various scales, from local initiatives to transnational efforts, motivated by opportunities for new maritime industries, the reversal of negative environmental trends and the improved coordination of sectors among others. In Europe, the European Directive to establish a framework for MSP (the “MSP Directive”) is considered as a step forward in the adoption of MSP principles and good practices by EU Member States. This directive can support not only a more efficient sustainable development of marine and coastal resources, but also strengthen cross-border cooperation, and therefore improve ocean governance.

This study has centred its work on four main objectives or phases: Firstly, the review of existing guidance and MSP processes, and compilation of a detailed inventory of MSP implementation outside the EU, the Study’s ‘Global MSP Inventory’, 1 which provides a description of MSP processes and identifies common practice, including approaches to cross-border cooperation. Secondly, an in-depth comparative analysis of four case studies of MSP implementation, 2 including literature review, site visits and key informant interviews, that identifies lessons learned in MSP, and good practices in support of cross-border cooperation. Thirdly, the formulation of recommendations on the international exchange of MSP, including recommendations on the application of MSP in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ). Fourthly, the presentation of preliminary findings at the 2nd International MSP Conference (March 2017, Paris), partly coordinated and supported by the Study team.

This report presents the final publication of the Study and presents findings associated with these four objectives.

Marine reserves can mitigate and promote adaptation to climate change

Roberts CM, O’Leary BC, McCauley DJ, Cury PMaurice, Duarte CM, Lubchenco J, Pauly D, Sáenz-Arroyo A, Sumaila URashid, Wilson RW, et al. Marine reserves can mitigate and promote adaptation to climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [Internet]. 2017 :201701262. Available from: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/05/31/1701262114
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $10.00
Type: Journal Article

Strong decreases in greenhouse gas emissions are required to meet the reduction trajectory resolved within the 2015 Paris Agreement. However, even these decreases will not avert serious stress and damage to life on Earth, and additional steps are needed to boost the resilience of ecosystems, safeguard their wildlife, and protect their capacity to supply vital goods and services. We discuss how well-managed marine reserves may help marine ecosystems and people adapt to five prominent impacts of climate change: acidification, sea-level rise, intensification of storms, shifts in species distribution, and decreased productivity and oxygen availability, as well as their cumulative effects. We explore the role of managed ecosystems in mitigating climate change by promoting carbon sequestration and storage and by buffering against uncertainty in management, environmental fluctuations, directional change, and extreme events. We highlight both strengths and limitations and conclude that marine reserves are a viable low-tech, cost-effective adaptation strategy that would yield multiple cobenefits from local to global scales, improving the outlook for the environment and people into the future.

Quantitative argument for long-term ecological monitoring

Giron-Nava A, James CC, Johnson AF, Dannecker D, Kolody B, Lee A, Nagarkar M, Pao GM, Ye H, Johns DG, et al. Quantitative argument for long-term ecological monitoring. Marine Ecology Progress Series [Internet]. 2017 ;572:269 - 274. Available from: http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/meps/v572/p269-274/
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Although it seems obvious that with more data, the predictive capacity of ecological models should improve, a way to demonstrate this fundamental result has not been so obvious. In particular, when the standard models themselves are inadequate (von Bertalanffy, extended Ricker etc.) no additional data will improve performance. By using time series from the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science Continuous Plankton Recorder, we demonstrate that long-term observations reveal both the prevalence of nonlinear processes in species abundances and an improvement in out-of-sample predictability as the number of observations increase. The empirical results presented here quantitatively demonstrate the importance of long-term temporal data collection programs for improving ecosystem models and forecasts, and to better support environmental management actions. 

User fees across ecosystem boundaries: Are SCUBA divers willing to pay for terrestrial biodiversity conservation?

Roberts M, Hanley N, Cresswell W. User fees across ecosystem boundaries: Are SCUBA divers willing to pay for terrestrial biodiversity conservation?. Journal of Environmental Management [Internet]. 2017 ;200:53 - 59. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301479717305431
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $41.95
Type: Journal Article

While ecological links between ecosystems have been long recognised, management rarely crosses ecosystem boundaries. Coral reefs are susceptible to damage through terrestrial run-off, and failing to account for this within management threatens reef protection. In order to quantify the extent to that coral reef users are willing to support management actions to improve ecosystem quality, we conducted a choice experiment with SCUBA divers on the island of Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands. Specifically, we estimated their willingness to pay to reduce terrestrial overgrazing as a means to improve reef health. Willingness to pay was estimated using the multinomial, random parameter and latent class logit models. Willingness to pay for improvements to reef quality was positive for the majority of respondents. Estimates from the latent class model determined willingness to pay for reef improvements of between $31.17 - $413.18/year, dependent on class membership. This represents a significant source of funding for terrestrial conservation, and illustrates the potential for user fees to be applied across ecosystem boundaries. We argue that such across-ecosystem-boundary funding mechanisms are an important avenue for future investigation in many connected systems.

Tourism as a driver of conflicts and changes in fisheries value chains in Marine Protected Areas

Lopes PFM, Mendes L, Fonseca V, Villasante S. Tourism as a driver of conflicts and changes in fisheries value chains in Marine Protected Areas. Journal of Environmental Management [Internet]. 2017 ;200:123 - 134. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301479717305650
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $41.95
Type: Journal Article

Although critical tools for protecting ocean habitats, Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are sometimes challenged for social impacts and conflicts they may generate. Some conflicts have an economic base, which, once understood, can be used to resolve associated socioenvironmental problems. We addressed how the fish trade in an MPA that combines no-take zones and tourist or resident zones creates incentives for increased fisheries. We performed a value chain analysis following the fish supply and trade through interviews that assessed consumer demand and preference. The results showed a simple and closed value chain driven by tourism (70% of the consumption). Both tourists and local consumers preferred high trophic level species (predators), but the former preferred large pelagics (tuna and dolphinfish) and the latter preferred reef species (barracuda and snapper). Pelagic predators are caught with fresh sardines, which are sometimes located only in the no-take zone. Pelagic species are mainly served as fillet, and the leftover fish parts end up as waste, an issue that, if properly addressed, can help reduce fishing pressure. Whereas some of the target species may be sustainable (e.g., dolphinfish), others are more vulnerable (e.g., wahoo) and should not be intensively fished. We advise setting stricter limits to the number of tourists visiting MPAs, according to their own capacity and peculiarities, in order to avoid conflicts with conservations goals through incentives for increased resource use.

Limited Contribution of Small Marine Protected Areas to Regional Biodiversity: The Example of a Small Canadian No-Take MPA

Novaczek E, Howse V, Pretty C, Devillers R, Edinger E, Copeland A. Limited Contribution of Small Marine Protected Areas to Regional Biodiversity: The Example of a Small Canadian No-Take MPA. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2017 ;4. Available from: http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmars.2017.00174/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Over 5,000 marine protected areas (MPAs) exist around the world. Most are small (median size of ~2 km2) and designed primarily for the conservation of a single flagship species. Internationally, there is an increasing focus on ecologically representative conservation; however the contribution of these small MPAs to the protection of regional biodiversity is often unknown. This paper presents a benthic habitat mapping exercise and reports on measures of biodiversity in the Eastport MPA and the nearby area of Newman Sound in Eastern Canada. The Eastport MPA is a 2.1 km2 no-take reserve designated in 2005, based on a voluntary fishery closure implemented by the local community in 1997. The primary goal of the Eastport MPA is to protect and sustain the American lobster (Homarus americanus) population, supporting a local commercial fishery. Benthic habitats were characterized and mapped using multibeam echosounder data and seafloor videos. Three statistically distinct benthic habitats were identified within the boundaries of the MPA: “shallow rocky,” “sand and cobble,” and “sand.” The distribution of species is primarily driven by depth and substrate type. The shallow rocky habitat (48% of the study area) contains complex bedrock and boulder features with high macroalgal cover. These characteristics are associated with juvenile and adult American lobster habitat. However, comparison of the MPA habitats to the surrounding Newman Sound area indicate that this small MPA contributes little to the conservation of the regional marine biodiversity. We recommend that adaptive management mechanisms be used to review such MPAs and expand them to better protect ecosystems representative of their regions.

The ‘responsiveness gap’ in RFMOs: The critical role of decision-making policies in the fisheries management response to climate change

Pentz B, Klenk N. The ‘responsiveness gap’ in RFMOs: The critical role of decision-making policies in the fisheries management response to climate change. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. 2017 ;145:44 - 51. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569117305033
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

The impacts of climate change, owing to their potentially vast reach and scale, embody a critical challenge for fisheries management organizations. We conduct a systematic literature review to present an overview of how the peer-reviewed academic literature recommends fisheries management frameworks should respond to the climate change-driven uncertainty, vulnerability and risk facing resource bases. Our review identifies 21 different potential management responses. Adaptive management was the most commonly identified strategy, with institutional capacity development and input/output controls also frequently cited. We contrast our findings with illustrative cases characterizing management practice and outcomes in RFMOs, and argue that the ability of RFMOs to implement the climate change mitigation strategies identified in our review is a function of an organization's decision-making rules. We argue that consensus-based decision-making policies limit adaptiveness, and that a ‘responsiveness gap’ exists between consensus and majority-based decision-making frameworks. This gap will become more evident, and increase in importance, as the impacts of climate change shift from potential to kinetic. Considering that decision-making rules in RFMOs are unlikely to change, we argue that increased analytical effort concentrated on institutional contexts and member state interest complexes may promote adaptive management, expediting the pace at which scientific recommendations and findings inform policy and practise in RFMOs.

Consistent multi-level trophic effects of marine reserve protection across northern New Zealand

Edgar GJ, Stuart-Smith RD, Thomson RJ, Freeman DJ. Consistent multi-level trophic effects of marine reserve protection across northern New Zealand. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2017 ;12(5):e0177216. Available from: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0177216
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Through systematic Reef Life Survey censuses of rocky reef fishes, invertebrates and macroalgae at eight marine reserves across northern New Zealand and the Kermadec Islands, we investigated whether a system of no-take marine reserves generates consistent biodiversity outcomes. Ecological responses of reef assemblages to protection from fishing, including potential trophic cascades, were assessed using a control-impact design for the six marine reserves studied with associated reference sites, and also by comparing observations at reserve sites with predictions from random forest models that assume reserve locations are fished. Reserve sites were characterised by higher abundance and biomass of large fishes than fished sites, most notably for snapper Chrysophrys auratus, with forty-fold higher observed biomass inside relative to out. In agreement with conceptual models, significant reserve effects not only reflected direct interactions between fishing and targeted species (higher large fish biomass; higher snapper and lobster abundance), but also second order interactions (lower urchin abundance), third order interactions (higher kelp cover), and fourth order interactions (lower understory algal cover). Unexpectedly, we also found: (i) a consistent trend for higher (~20%) Ecklonia cover across reserves relative to nearby fished sites regardless of lobster and urchin density, (ii) an inconsistent response of crustose coralline algae to urchin density, (iii) low cover of other understory algae in marine reserves with few urchins, and (iv) more variable fish and benthic invertebrate communities at reserve relative to fished locations. Overall, reef food webs showed complex but consistent responses to protection from fishing in well-enforced temperate New Zealand marine reserves. The small proportion of the northeastern New Zealand coastal zone located within marine reserves (~0.2%) encompassed a disproportionately large representation of the full range of fish and benthic invertebrate biodiversity within this region.

Through the sands of time: Beach litter trends from nine cleaned north cornish beaches

Watts AJR, Porter A, Hembrow N, Sharpe J, Galloway TS, Lewis C. Through the sands of time: Beach litter trends from nine cleaned north cornish beaches. Environmental Pollution [Internet]. 2017 ;228:416 - 424. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0269749117303123
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

Marine litter and its accumulation on beaches is an issue of major current concern due to its significant environmental and economic impacts. Yet our understanding of spatio-temporal trends in beach litter and the drivers of these trends are currently limited by the availability of robust long term data sets. Here we present a unique data set collected systematically once a month, every month over a six year period for nine beaches along the North Coast of Cornwall, U.K. to investigate the key drivers of beach litter in the Bude, Padstow and Porthcothan areas. Overall, an average of 0.02 litter items m−2 per month were collected during the six year study, with Bude beaches (Summerleaze, Crooklets and Widemouth) the most impacted (0.03 ± 0.004 litter items m−2 per month). The amount of litter collected each month decreased by 18% and 71% respectively for Padstow (Polzeath, Trevone and Harlyn) and Bude areas over the 6 years, possibly related to the regular cleaning, however litter increased by 120% despite this monthly cleaning effort on the Padstow area beaches. Importantly, at all nine beaches the litter was dominated by small, fragmented plastic pieces and rope fibres, which account for 32% and 17% of all litter items collected, respectively. The weathered nature of these plastics indicates they have been in the marine environment for an extended period of time. So, whilst classifying the original source of these plastics is not possible, it can be concluded they are not the result of recent public littering. This data highlights both the extent of the marine litter problem and that current efforts to reduce littering by beach users will only tackle a fraction of this litter. Such information is vital for developing effective management strategies for beach and marine litter at both regional and global levels.

Quantifying the risk that marine debris poses to cetaceans in coastal waters of the 4-island region of Maui

Currie JJ, Stack SH, McCordic JA, Kaufman GD. Quantifying the risk that marine debris poses to cetaceans in coastal waters of the 4-island region of Maui. Marine Pollution Bulletin [Internet]. 2017 . Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X17304174
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $39.95
Type: Journal Article

Marine debris poses considerable threat to biodiversity and ecosystems and has been identified as a stressor for a variety of marine life. Here we present results from the first study quantifying the amount and type of debris accumulation in Maui leeward waters and relate this to cetacean distribution to identify areas where marine debris may present a higher threat. Transect surveys were conducted within the 4-island region of Maui, Hawai'i from April 1, 2013 to April 15, 2016. Debris was found in all areas of the study region with higher concentrations observed where the Au'au, Kealaikahiki, and Alalakeiki channels converge. The degree of overlap between debris and cetaceans varied among species but was largest for humpback whales, which account for the largest portion of reported entanglements in the 4-island region of Maui. Identifying areas of high debris-cetacean density overlap can facilitate species management and debris removal efforts.

Our Shared Seas: A 2017 Overview of Ocean Threats and Conservation Funding

Anon. Our Shared Seas: A 2017 Overview of Ocean Threats and Conservation Funding.; 2017. Available from: https://www.packard.org/insights/resource/global-ocean-report/
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

The global ocean is at a crossroads with pressure coming from many sides. Climate change, overfishing, pollution, shipping, coastal development: there is no shortage of threats facing the marine environment. Recently, an increasing number of philanthropists and aid agencies have risen to the challenge to support solutions that are within reach. Given the urgency, how can funders and advocates understand the most pressing threats and promising solutions and therefore prioritize where to make an impact? Our Shared Seas: A 2017 Overview of Ocean Threats and Conservation Funding was commissioned by The David and Lucile Packard Foundation to provide a guide to the primary ocean threats, trends, and solutions to help funders, advocates and governments make better, faster, and more informed decisions. The message that emerges from this synthesis is clear: when managed well, ocean resources have the potential to simultaneously support thriving ecosystems, sustainable development, and increased fishing profits. But human impacts are swiftly pushing the ocean to its brink. There are many issues of interest in this guide. For our foundation, three topics in particular strike us as essential for the future health of our ocean: tackling overfishing caused by illegal, unregulated and unreported activities; mitigating and addressing the effects of climate change on the ocean; and improving our scientific capacity to understand and manage all of these compounding pressures.

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