Climate change is expected to result in more intense and longer-lasting droughts and increase in the frequency and intensity of heavy rainfall events. The combination of drought followed by intense rainfall increases the risk of severe flooding, with impacts on a range of natural and anthropogenic systems, including infrastructure (road washouts, damage to houses) and impacts on agriculture (soil erosion and loss of crops and livestock). Blue-Green Infrastructure (BGI) is an interconnected network of natural and designed landscape components, including water bodies and green and open spaces, which provide multiple functions such as: (i) water storage for irrigation and industry use, (ii) flood control, (iii) wetland areas for wildlife habitat or water purification, and many others. This paper provides a review of information on the impact of BGI on environments, particularly on water resources and vegetation. Efforts have been made to review the BGI development situation in different countries. Based on the research reviewed, the authors suggest the following as priorities for future research into the environmental impacts of BGI: determining the feasibility of BGI and determining the impacts of applying the BGI for major regions where there have been considerable nature-based recreation and tourism resources.
Small-scale fisheries are important for the livelihoods of millions but are vulnerable to global and local stresses. Resilient households are able to maintain, and even grow their livelihoods, despite these stresses. Improving fishers’ resilience contributes to poverty prevention and alleviation. Effective intervention requires accurate evaluation of fisher resilience, but no quantitative tool currently exists. In this study, we propose the fisheries livelihoods resilience check (FLIRES check) as a widely applicable tool to evaluate fisher livelihood resilience. This new tool combines the principles of the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach with the methodology of RAPFISH (a rapid assessment of fisheries sustainability). For the FLIRES check, 43 attributes were designed to quantify previously described qualitative factors that enable or constrain livelihoods in fishing communities in West Sumatra, Indonesia. These were grouped into six “capital” fields (financial, human, natural, institutional, physical and social) used in the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach. RAPFISH multidimensional scaling was applied to evaluate resilience in each of these fields on a scale from good (resilient) to bad (vulnerable). The FLIRES check was tested in two fishing communities in West Sumatra. The tool identified strengths and weaknesses in livelihood resilience at a household, fishing gear and village scale, for each field. The FLIRES assessment compared well with qualitative descriptions as assessed by interview. It facilitates quantitative temporal and spatial comparisons of livelihood resilience which has not previously been possible. We invite further testing, refining of the attributes and wider application of this methodology.
A growing field of sustainability science examines how environments are transformed through polycentric governance. However, many studies are only snapshot analyses of the initial design or the emergent structure of polycentric regimes. There is less systematic analysis of the longitudinal robustness of polycentric regimes. The problem of robustness is approached by focusing not only on the structure of a regime but also on its context and effectiveness. These dimensions are examined through a longitudinal analysis of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) governance regime, drawing on in-depth interviews and demographic, economic, and employment data, as well as organizational records and participant observation. Between 1975 and 2011, the GBR regime evolved into a robust polycentric structure as evident in an established set of multiactor, multilevel arrangements addressing marine, terrestrial, and global threats. However, from 2005 onward, multiscale drivers precipitated at least 10 types of regime change, ranging from contextual change that encouraged regime drift to deliberate changes that threatened regime conversion. More recently, regime realignment also has occurred in response to steering by international organizations and shocks such as the 2016 mass coral-bleaching event. The results show that structural density and stability in a governance regime can coexist with major changes in that regime’s context and effectiveness. Clear analysis of the vulnerability of polycentric governance to both diminishing effectiveness and the masking effects of increasing complexity provides sustainability science and governance actors with a stronger basis to understand and respond to regime change.
Coral-reef fisheries pose a problem for traditional forms of management because stock assessments and demographic data are limited in diverse systems. We used catch records coupled with fisher interviews to derive hierarchical indicators of fishery status by (1) characterizing catch-and-effort trends with respect to environmental factors, (2) assessing the degree to which biomass-and-abundance distributions were coupled across trophic levels, and (3) identifying key characteristics of species-based landings that were sensitive to fishing pressure and linked with management guidance. Using data across one year from a representative Pacific Island fishery, we show that catch and effort were constrained by environments, as both were disproportionally highest during favorable new moon phases in spring, but more effort was required to catch fewer fish later in the year, and the size of target species declined. The magnitude of constrained catch success provided an initial indication of status that could be compared spatially and temporally. Second, biomass-and-abundance distributions were examined within dominant fish families. Large-bodied species contributed most to biomass in low trophic positions, but small-bodied counterparts were more abundant, following expected observations from systems with less human influence. However, biomass-and-abundance distributions became coupled for invertivores and predators, as small species and individuals were most represented. The shape and fit of regressions between asymptotic lengths and proportional landings identified drivers of coupled distributions. Polynomial fits highlighted that smaller-bodied species were main components of the fishery, while linear fits suggested that larger-bodied species were still dominant, and tolerant of current fishing pressure. Last, two indicators were used to identify management objectives for target fishes, skewness of size distributions and proportional contributions to landings. Significantly skewed size distributions existed for most target fishes, suggesting high density dependence and recruitment, and the potential for size-based polices to achieve desirable fishery objectives. Meanwhile, the diminished and constrained contribution of many large species indicated their vulnerability despite non-significant shifts in size. Catch quotas, gear limitations, or temporary restrictions may be more appropriate for sustaining these species. A framework is synthesized to interact with stakeholders and consider holistic management approaches for multispecies coral-reef fisheries.
This paper examines factors influencing well-being among small-scale fishers in the Gulf of Thailand. 632 small-scale fishers were interviewed at 21 fish landing areas along the coast of Rayong Province. Data concerning respondents’ background information, perception of job satisfaction, resilience, conservation beliefs, environmental ethics, well-being and landing place context were collected. Multivariate statistical analyses of these variables are used to assess factors influencing perceptions of well-being (environmental and individual well-being components). The results demonstrate that two components of job satisfaction Basic Needs and Self-actualization are two significant variables affecting both Environmental and Individual well-being. Fishers living in areas with industrial pollution or in major urban communities are less satisfied with the environment. Similarly, fishers who are concerned about the importance of the environment and members of a fishery association at the province level have lower levels of Environmental well-being. The study also found that, fishers who feel they have the ability to get work elsewhere or who manifest a higher level of resilience are happier with their lives than those with lower resilience. An important aspect of fisheries social impact assessment concerning proposed changes, management or technological, is the impact on well-being. The findings of this study offer several practical findings that, if applied, will contribute to sustainability of fisheries in Thailand and similar locations.
Coastal areas are especially important to human well-being with half the world's population living within 60 km of the sea and three-quarters of all large cities located in the coastal zone. Supporting and regulatory ecosystem services in coastal areas have received considerable research attention given human vulnerability to climate change, but cultural ecosystem services in the coastal zone are less understood. This study describes and analyzes the distribution of cultural ecosystem values found in coastal areas in multiple countries (n = 5) and compares the results with non-coastal areas. Mapped cultural ecosystem values were collected from public participation GIS (PPGIS) processes in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Norway, and Malaysia and analyzed to identify the type and intensity of ecosystem values located in coastal areas. Mapped ecosystem values were significantly more abundant in all coastal zones, regardless of ecosystem value category, country, population, or dominant land use. Compared to cultural ecosystem values, biological and life-sustaining values were mapped less frequently in the coastal zone. Economic and social values were significantly associated with developed (built) coastal zones, while aesthetic and recreation values were more strongly associated with natural coastal zones. Coastal access, especially by road, influences the mix of perceived values from nature-based values to anthropocentric values. Coastal zones will continue to be the principle location for potential future land use conflict given their high social and cultural value relative to other ecological values. Understanding trade-offs in coastal zone planning and management requires a systematic inventory of the full range of ecosystem services, including cultural services.
Coral reefs are responsible for a wide array of ecosystem services including shoreline protection. However, the processes involved in delivering this particular service have not been fully understood. The objective of the present review was to compile the main results in the literature regarding the study of shoreline protection delivered by coral reefs, identifying the main threats climate change imposes to the service, and discuss mitigation and recovery strategies that can and have been applied to these ecosystems. While different zones of a reef have been associated with different levels of wave energy and wave height attenuation, more information is still needed regarding the capacity of different reef morphologies to deliver shoreline protection. Moreover, the synergy between the main threats imposed by climate change to coral reefs has also not been thoroughly investigated. Recovery strategies are being tested and while there are numerous mitigation options, the challenge remains as to how to implement them and monitor their efficacy.
The EU Blue Growth Agenda targets maritime economic activities that have the sea and the coasts as drivers. These activities are supported by marine Ecosystem Services (ES) in combination, or not, with abiotic outputs from the marine natural capital. This paper analyses Blue Growth activities with regards to the demand and supply of marine ES and Good Environmental Status (GES). The results show that marine provisioning ES support aquaculture and blue biotechnology, while blue energy is supported by marine provisioning ES and by abiotic provisioning, and abiotic provisioning supports extraction of marine mineral resources. Maritime, coastal and cruise tourism is supported by cultural marine ES and cultural settings dependent on marine abiotic structures. All these multi-sectoral economic activities depend on healthy marine and coastal ecosystems that are provided by regulating and maintenance ES combined with the abiotic regulation and maintenance by natural marine physical structures and processes. In order to balance concurrent sectoral interests and achieve sustainable use of marine resources there is the need to consider indicators for demand for ES, which are social and economically driven, and for the supply, which are dependent on ecosystems capacity to provide the required marine ES. Some of the actions foreseeing GES are already anticipated in legislation that underpin Blue Growth, whilst others could benefit from additional regulation, particularly in what concern the exploration and exploitation of marine mineral and biological resources. Blue Growth options require navigating trade-offs between economic, social and environmental aspects.
Changes in the Earth's environment are now sufficiently complex that our ability to forecast the emergent ecological consequences of ocean acidification (OA) is limited. Such projections are challenging because the effects of OA may be enhanced, reduced or even reversed by other environmental stressors or interactions among species. Despite an increasing emphasis on multifactor and multispecies studies in global change biology, our ability to forecast outcomes at higher levels of organization remains low. Much of our failure lies in a poor mechanistic understanding of nonlinear responses, a lack of specificity regarding the levels of organization at which interactions can arise, and an incomplete appreciation for linkages across these levels. To move forward, we need to fully embrace interactions. Mechanistic studies on physiological processes and individual performance in response to OA must be complemented by work on population and community dynamics. We must also increase our understanding of how linkages and feedback among multiple environmental stressors and levels of organization can generate nonlinear responses to OA. This will not be a simple undertaking, but advances are of the utmost importance as we attempt to mitigate the effects of ongoing global change.
Sharks play a key role in the structure of marine food webs, but are facing major threats due to overfishing and habitat degradation. Although sharks are also assumed to be at relatively high risk from climate change due to a low intrinsic rate of population growth and slow rates of evolution, ocean acidification (OA) has not, until recently, been considered a direct threat. New studies have been evaluating the potential effects of end-of-century elevated CO2 levels on sharks and their relatives' early development, physiology and behaviour. Here, we review those findings and use a meta-analysis approach to quantify the overall direction and magnitude of biological responses to OA in the species of sharks that have been investigated to date. While embryo survival and development time are mostly unaffected by elevated CO2, there are clear effects on body condition, growth, aerobic potential and behaviour (e.g. lateralization, hunting and prey detection). Furthermore, studies to date suggest that the effects of OA could be as substantial as those due to warming in some species. A major limitation is that all past studies have involved relatively sedentary, benthic sharks that are capable of buccal ventilation—no studies have investigated pelagic sharks that depend on ram ventilation. Future research should focus on species with different life strategies (e.g. pelagic, ram ventilators), climate zones (e.g. polar regions), habitats (e.g. open ocean), and distinct phases of ontogeny in order to fully predict how OA and climate change will impact higher-order predators and therefore marine ecosystem dynamics.
Rising sea levels increase the probability of future coastal flooding. Many decision-makers use risk analyses to inform the design of sea-level rise (SLR) adaptation strategies. These analyses are often silent on potentially relevant uncertainties. For example, some previous risk analyses use the expected, best, or large quantile (i.e., 90%) estimate of future SLR. Here, we use a case study to quantify and illustrate how neglecting SLR uncertainties can bias risk projections. Specifically, we focus on the future 100-yr (1% annual exceedance probability) coastal flood height (storm surge including SLR) in the year 2100 in the San Francisco Bay area. We find that accounting for uncertainty in future SLR increases the return level (the height associated with a probability of occurrence) by half a meter from roughly 2.2 to 2.7 m, compared to using the mean sea-level projection. Accounting for this uncertainty also changes the shape of the relationship between the return period (the inverse probability that an event of interest will occur) and the return level. For instance, incorporating uncertainties shortens the return period associated with the 2.2 m return level from a 100-yr to roughly a 7-yr return period (∼15% probability). Additionally, accounting for this uncertainty doubles the area at risk of flooding (the area to be flooded under a certain height; e.g., the 100-yr flood height) in San Francisco. These results indicate that the method of accounting for future SLR can have considerable impacts on the design of flood risk management strategies.
Despite the perilous status of many shark populations, rallying support for their conservation has been challenging, due in part to both long held negative perceptions and desire for shark fisheries. Recreational anglers are often advocates of conservation and can act as valuable partners with resource managers in developing fisheries management and conservation strategies. However, understanding their attitudes and perceptions, particularly towards resource status and management, is essential to developing successful management strategies and predicting outcomes. As a case study for assessing the complex challenges of sustainable shark fisheries, Florida recreational anglers were surveyed to understand how attitudes and perceptions influenced their willingness to donate for shark 1) conservation and protection or 2) fisheries sustainability. Overall, recreational angler willingness to donate was 25.5%, but attitudes and perceptions helped explain dramatic divides. For instance, willingness to donate was only 6% among the subset of anglers that perceived a growing large coastal shark population as a threat to recreational fishing opportunities. Highest support for shark conservation was shown by anglers who value seeing sharks in the wild (41.4%), and even more so among individuals who occasionally target sharks while fishing recreationally (65.8%). Pervasive among anglers unwilling to donate was a perception that shark populations were increasing, and thus not in need of further protection. These findings illustrate attitudes and perceptions that challenge shark conservation and fisheries management, as well as the critical importance of engaging anglers when developing strategies that rely on the recreational angling community for support.
The response of complex ecological communities to ocean acidification reflects interactions among species that propagate or dampen ecological change. Yet, most studies have been based on short-term experiments with limited numbers of interacting species. Both limitations tend to exaggerate measured effects and when combined with our predisposition for investigating change, we reduce insight into pathways of stability, acclimation and adaptation. Here, we review accepted and emerging insights into processes that drive ecological change (top-down and bottom-up) and the stabilizing processes by which ecological complexity may dampen change. With an emphasis on kelp forest examples, we show that boosted primary productivity from enriched CO2creates competitive imbalances that drive habitat change, but we also recognise intensifying herbivory on these habitats dampens this change. Foraging herbivores thrive on CO2 enriched plants and over successive generations their populations expand. When we consider such population level responses, we open new questions regarding density-effects (e.g. competition, susceptibility to predation and disease), as well as the bottom-up benefits to predators. Nevertheless, research on predators has lagged behind because their wide-ranging behaviour typically imposes logistical difficulties for observational and experimental research. We know that ocean warming imposes elevated metabolic costs on their foraging whilst acidification hampers navigation of their larvae towards suitable habitat and impairs their hunting and avoidance of predators as adults. Connecting such top-down with bottom-up responses is fundamental for progress, and is also contingent on understanding the mechanisms that dampen change. These stabilizers have the potential to keep pace with abiotic change and thereby influence the drivers of acclimation and adaption. Certainly, we acknowledge that investigating change is often simpler and associated bold messages appeal to citation impact. Yet, if we are to anticipate the ability of complex ecological communities to persist in changing environments, then understanding the shifting balance between the propagation of resource enrichment and its consumption across trophic levels is central to this challenge.
Distributions of Earth’s species are changing at accelerating rates, increasingly driven by human-mediated climate change. Such changes are already altering the composition of ecological communities, but beyond conservation of natural systems, how and why does this matter? We review evidence that climate-driven species redistribution at regional to global scales affects ecosystem functioning, human well-being, and the dynamics of climate change itself. Production of natural resources required for food security, patterns of disease transmission, and processes of carbon sequestration are all altered by changes in species distribution. Consideration of these effects of biodiversity redistribution is critical yet lacking in most mitigation and adaptation strategies, including the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
In global climate change scenarios, seawater warming acts in concert with multiple stress sources, which may enhance the susceptibility of marine biota to thermal stress. Here, the responsiveness to seasonal gradual warming was investigated in temperate mussels from a chronically stressed population in comparison with a healthy one. Stressed and healthy mussels were subjected to gradual temperature elevation for 8 days (1°C per day; fall: 16–24°C, winter: 12–20°C, summer: 20–28°C) and kept at elevated temperature for 3 weeks. Healthy mussels experienced thermal stress and entered the time-limited survival period in the fall, became acclimated in winter and exhibited sublethal damage in summer. In stressed mussels, thermal stress and subsequent health deterioration were elicited in the fall but no transition into the critical period of time-limited survival was observed. Stressed mussels did not become acclimated to 20°C in winter, when they experienced low-to-moderate thermal stress, and did not experience sublethal damage at 28°C in summer, showing instead signs of metabolic rate depression. Overall, although the thermal threshold was lowered in chronically stressed mussels, they exhibited enhanced tolerance to seasonal gradual warming, especially in summer. These results challenge current assumptions on the susceptibility of marine biota to the interactive effects of seawater warming and pollution.
Some societies have sustainably managed their local marine resources for centuries using traditional methods, but we are only beginning to learn how to do it at larger scales, including globally. A broad, deep and constantly growing body of ocean knowledge has developed, adding many new concepts, perspectives, management models and analytical tools into the knowledge base in a relatively short period. Such rapid growth has created a potentially confusing mash-up of ideas, acronyms, techniques, tools and regulations, demonstrated by recent titles such as, ‘Marine planning: tragedy of the acronyms’ (Ardron 2010), ‘Integrated marine science and management: wading through the morass’ (Elliott 2014), ‘Beyond rhetoric: navigating the conceptual tangle towards effective implementation of the ecosystem approach to oceans management ‘ (Engler 2015) and ‘Marine legislation – the ultimate ‘horrendogram’’ (Boyes and Elliott 2014, undated and 2016).
The purpose of this paper is to assist policy makers, marine managers and those considering careers in this area by providing a short history of ocean management, its conceptual foundation, frameworks for modern management and examples of its application at different scales. Extensive literature exists to supplement the summarized information we present.
We highlight the following terms as navigational markers through the ‘seascape’1 of marine management rhetoric: sustainability, ecosystem approach, ecosystem-based management, natural capital, ecosystem services, integrated ecosystem assessment, the causal framework DPSIR (Drivers, Pressures, States, Impacts, Responses) and its variants, indicators and reference points, marine area planning, marine spatial management (including decision support tools), adaptive ocean management and dynamic ocean management. We also point out the important roles of marine initiatives such as Blue Economy, the Ocean Health Index, Large Marine Ecosystems, Seascapes, Protected Areas and others. Understanding the similarities, differences, relationships and synergies among these activities increases the likelihood of achieving successful management processes or solutions.
Further knowledge and additional methods are still needed to safeguard the human-ocean system and the benefits it provides to people particularly with continued global population growth, but better awareness of what we already know will speed collective progress toward healthier oceans and coastlines. Working toward that goal can also be a uniting force in an increasingly divisive world, because it must necessarily breach political, geographic, economic and other differences.
The trade of live marine animals for home and public aquaria has grown into a major global industry. Millions of marine fishes and invertebrates are removed from coral reefs and associated habitats each year. The majority are imported into the United States, with the remainder sent to Europe, Japan, and a handful of other countries. Despite the recent growth and diversification of the aquarium trade, to date, data collection is not mandatory, and hence comprehensive information on species volume and diversity is lacking. This lack of information makes it impossible to study trade pathways. Without species-specific volume and diversity data, it is unclear how importing and exporting governments can oversee this industry effectively or how sustainability should be encouraged. To expand our knowledge and understanding of the trade, and to effectively communicate this new understanding, we introduce the publically-available Marine Aquarium Biodiversity and Trade Flow online database (https://www.aquariumtradedata.org/). This tool was created to communicate the volume and diversity of marine fishes and/or invertebrates imported into the US over three complete years (2008, 2009, and 2011) and three partial years (2000, 2004, 2005). To create this tool, invoices pertaining to shipments of live marine fishes and invertebrates were scanned and analyzed for species name, species quantities, country of origin, port of entry, and city of import destination. Here we focus on the analysis of the later three years of data and also produce an estimate for the entirety of 2000, 2004, and 2005. The three-year aggregate totals (2008, 2009, 2011) indicate that just under 2,300 fish and 725 invertebrate species were imported into the US cumulatively, although just under 1,800 fish and 550 invertebrate species were traded annually. Overall, the total number of live marine animals decreased between 2008 and 2011. In 2008, 2009, and 2011, the total number of individual fish (8.2, 7.3, and 6.9 million individuals) and invertebrates (4.2, 3.7, and 3.6 million individuals) assessed by analyzing the invoice data are roughly 60% of the total volumes recorded through the Law Enforcement Management Information System (LEMIS) dataset. Using these complete years, we back-calculated the number of individuals of both fishes and invertebrates imported in 2000, 2004, and 2005. These estimates (9.3, 10.8, and 11.2 million individual fish per year) were consistent with the three years of complete data. We also use these data to understand the global trade in two species (Banggai cardinalfish, Pterapogon kauderni, and orange clownfish, Amphiprion ocellaris / percula) recently considered for Endangered Species Act listing. Aquariumtradedata.org can help create more effective management plans for the traded species, and ideally could be implemented at key trade ports to better assess the global trade of aquatic wildlife.
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are widespread compounds that accumulating in polar regions canalise through trophic webs. Although several dozens of studies have been carried out in the last decades, the information is generally scattered across a large number of literature sources. This does not allow an efficient synthesis and constraints our understanding on how address future monitoring plans and environmental conservation strategies on the Polar Regions with respect to POPs. Thus, here, we present the outcome of a systematic map (SM) to scope, screen and chart evidences from literature dealing with POPs in Polar regions. The SMs strive to produce rigorous guidelines and have recently been proposed as useful and effective tools to summarise growing bodies of research that seek to reduce bias and increase reliability, particularly in the case of high priority and controversial topics. Our SM was based on 125 polar studies, focussing on the most studied target species among those listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List (IUCN Red List). To facilitate analysis of evidence, the studies were classified into Accumulation Monitoring (accounting for POP monitoring through sub-organismal, functional and population levels) and Food Web Monitoring approaches (accounting for contaminants monitoring through food webs). Our SM allowed us to assess and visualise, a set of both knowledge gaps and gluts and lastly a list was provided to address future research on POPs in Polar Regions.
It is well known that approximately 90% of all marine debris consists of reusable plastics. Small plastic particles are easily swallowed and disturb marine ecosystems. However, cleaning up marine debris is difficult because of its economic feasibility. Though there are many proven land-based recycling processes available, the high costs of gathering marine debris and transporting it adds to marine debris-related problems. Marine debris cleanup is challenging despite various studies that point to its importance. Therefore, we discuss a recycling chain that concerns gathering, transporting, classifying, recycling, and disposing of marine debris on the ocean. In this study, cost-effective ways of cleaning up large-scale marine litter such as garbage patches are studied. As plastics generate toxic materials during recycling and disposing, this study focuses on how to apply technological potential and meets the required rules and regulations for establishing an economically and environmentally friendly recycling chain for marine debris. In this study, a new type of marine platform is also studied and suggested for a low-energy consumption process and to recycle this debris into oil, gas, and raw materials.
The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) incident was the largest offshore oil spill in the history of the United States, contaminating surface waters, the water column, deep-sea corals and benthos, nearshore and coastal ecosystems, and natural resources across 5 states and an ocean area of more than 112000 km2 in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). Protected marine species—sea turtles and marine mammals, in particular—were a main focus of the DWH Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA). The DWH spill overlapped in time and space with sea turtle and marine mammal habitats and life stages throughout the northern GoM. Thus, the DWH NRDA Trustees (2016; www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration-planning/gulf-plan/) performed several activities to assess adverse effects of oil exposure on sea turtles and marine mammals to quantify the full extent and nature of the impacts to these taxa across the region. A synopsis of the Trustees’ assessment activities and conclusions is presented in the DWH NRDA Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan (DWH NRDA Trustees 2016). This Theme Section presents several of these specific sea turtle and marine mammal assessment activities and associated findings. This Overview provides a context for the Theme Section papers, introduces basic NRDA concepts and discusses generally why and how protected marine species were assessed in the DWH NRDA.