Freely-available Literature

Currently indexing 3497 freely-available titles

The following titles are freely-available, or include a link to a preprint or postprint.

The Carrying Capacity of Ecosystem Services of Mangrove Angke Kapuk Area, Jakarta Bay

Sofian A, Kusmana C, Fauzi A, Rusdiana O. The Carrying Capacity of Ecosystem Services of Mangrove Angke Kapuk Area, Jakarta Bay. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science [Internet]. 2019 ;394:012036. Available from: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1755-1315/394/1/012036
Freely available?: 
Yes
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No
Type: Journal Article

Mangrove ecosystems have an important role and provide ecosystem services that support the surrounding life, but their existence gets to experience pressure and degradation continuously. This study aims to analyze the ecosystem services carrying capacity of Angke Kapuk Mangrove (MAK) Jakarta Bay. The carrying capacity of the MAK ecosystem area was analyzed by examining the condition of ecosystem services and the carrying capacity of the protected function of the MAK and surrounding ecosystems. The condition of ecosystem services refers to the carrying capacity (D3TLH) map of the Muara Angke Kapuk mangrove ecosystem Area, Jakarta Bay, P3EJawa KLHK, while the carrying capacity of the protected function refers to the 2014 Ministry of Environment (KLH) D3TLH Guidelines and remote sensing and GIS techniques. MAK ecosystem areas are mostly in the low ecosystem services category. The results of the analysis show that the carrying capacity of the protected area of MAK ecosystem in Penjaringan District is 0.32, which means the carrying capacity of the protected function of the region is categorized damaged. These results provide an overview of the challenges and threats that occur in the MAK ecosystem area so that it requires attention and strategic efforts in maintaining the sustainability of ecosystem services.

Forces opposing sustainability transformations: institutionalization of ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management

Fortnam MP. Forces opposing sustainability transformations: institutionalization of ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management. Ecology and Society [Internet]. 2019 ;24(4). Available from: https://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol24/iss4/art33/
Freely available?: 
Yes
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Type: Journal Article

Moving toward new ways of governing ecosystems in varied contexts worldwide is likely to be a critical part of achieving the global Sustainable Development Goals, yet understanding of the tensions between forces driving and opposing such sustainability transformations is very limited. Here, I shed light on this critical research and policy domain by applying participatory actor and influence mapping (Net-Map) and innovation histories methods to understand the power relations and social processes involved in enabling and blocking the institutionalization of an ecosystem approach to fisheries management (EAFM) in the Philippines. Drawing upon a case study of an intermunicipal alliance in Lanuza Bay, the results highlight how challenges such as vested and divergent interests, corruption, weak coordination between levels of government, and the particular contingencies of place conspire to weaken and undermine initial EAFM successes. I conclude that agents of resistance, the role of power and agency, and socio-political realities need to be central to resilience conceptualizations of sustainability transformations. 

Plankton Composition in Relation to Water Quality in the Coastal Waters of Nigeria

Ajibare AO, Ayeku PO, Akinola JO, Adewale AH. Plankton Composition in Relation to Water Quality in the Coastal Waters of Nigeria. Asian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Research [Internet]. 2019 :1 - 9. Available from: http://www.journalajfar.com/index.php/AJFAR/article/view/30070
Freely available?: 
Yes
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No
Type: Journal Article

Coastal waters of Ondo State, Nigeria have diverse assemblage of fish, yet there is dearth of information on its plankton composition. This study investigates plankton components in relation to physicochemical characteristics of the coastal waters bordering Olotu, Ayetoro and Bijimi in providing baseline information that can be used for planning and implementation of policies for monitoring, impacts assessment and conservation. Surface water samples were collected on monthly basis from March to June 2015 to analyze physicochemical parameters while plankton net of 55μm mesh size was used for collection of plankton using standard methods prescribed by APHA. The light and dark bottle method was used to determine primary productivity. Shannon-wiener, Margalef and Equitability Indices were used for diversity. Values of the physicochemical parameters observed ranged as follows: temperature, 27.47±2.06-29.27±0.31ºC; turbidity, 43.43±0.91-65.33±2.52NTU; pH, 5.54±0.31-6.12±0.30; BOD, 2.20±0.29-5.43±0.54 mg/l; COD, 6.08±2.71-6.66±1.52 mg/l; dissolved oxygen, 6.39±0.39-7.78±0.19 mg/l and salinity, 2.03±0.06-3.77±0.04 mg/l. Fifteen species of phytoplankton and three developmental stages of zooplankton were recorded. Phytoplankton accounted for 83.3% as against 16.7% zooplankton. Diatoms (93.3%) and dinoflagellates (6.7%) represented phytoplankton whereas 66.7% of zooplankton belonged to the phylum Arthropoda. Primary productivity ranged between 132.194±13.48m-3hr-1 and 134.48±15.27m-3hr-1. Some dominant species recorded were Coscinodiscus, Biddulphia, Copepod, Skeletonema and Ditylum. pH and Temperature were major determinant of the composition, diversity and abundance of plankton. The observed plankton group indicates the suitability of the creeks as habitat and breeding ground for diverse aquatic species. The water quality falls within acceptable range hence the environment can be classified as healthy ecosystem.

Forces of Nature: Coastal Resilience Benefits of Mangroves in Jamaica

Castaño-Isaza J, Lee S, Dani S. Forces of Nature: Coastal Resilience Benefits of Mangroves in Jamaica. Washington, DC: The World Bank; 2019. Available from: https://www.worldbank.org/en/region/lac/publication/forces-of-nature-coastal-resilience-benefits-of-mangroves-in-jamaica
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Type: Report

Caribbean countries, including Jamaica, face substantial risks from storms and hurricanes. Coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass beds protect communities from storms, and are critical for the sustainability of many economic activities, jobs, and inclusive growth.

A recent report, “Forces of Nature,” examines the considerable flood risk reduction services that mangroves provide to Jamaica, together with benefits related to fisheries production, and carbon sequestration.

This report supports the growing interest within the development agenda to include nature-based solutions for disaster risk management and provides vital information for discussion on climate change adaptation and mitigation, insurance, and disaster recovery decisions.

Co-management Economic Solutions for Marine Protected Area in Punta Cana: a Study of Key Players and Potential Partnerships in Conserving the Coastal Marine Ecosystem

Klochko JReytai Kho, Francis B. Co-management Economic Solutions for Marine Protected Area in Punta Cana: a Study of Key Players and Potential Partnerships in Conserving the Coastal Marine Ecosystem. UF Journal of Undergraduate Research [Internet]. 2019 ;21(1). Available from: https://journals.flvc.org/UFJUR/article/view/108911
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Type: Journal Article

A comprehensive research study of Cabeza de Toro and Punta Cana’s fishing and tourism industries reveal viability of economic solutions between the hospitality industry, fishermen, and the government to reduce practices harmful to the coastal marine ecosystem. Recent research studies of Punta Cana and Cabeza de Toro’s coastal marine ecosystem demonstrate diminishing coral coverage and reduced fish populations. Causes for the decline of the coastal marine ecosystem include overfishing, illegal fishing of species conducive to coral health, and the destruction of mangrove sanctuaries. By methods of survey and in-person interview, researchers gathered data on over 20% of Cabeza de Toro’s fisherman population with the intent of further developing a co-management plan for the recently established marine protected area. Data collection included qualitative and quantitative research into income and livelihoods of Cabeza de Toro fishermen, fishing practices, interest in alternative work opportunities, and strength of social resp​​​​​​​onsibility and environmental beliefs. Findings demonstrate that viable economic applications exist in forging partnerships between fishermen, the tourism and hospitality industries, and the local government.

Geopolitics and Marine Conservation: Synergies and Conflicts

Mackelworth PCharles, Seker YTeff, Fernández TVega, Marques M, Alves FLopes, D’Anna G, Fa DA, Goldborough D, Kyriazi Z, Pita C, et al. Geopolitics and Marine Conservation: Synergies and Conflicts. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00759/full
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Yes
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Type: Journal Article

Transboundary conservation has an important, yet often undervalued, role in the international conservation regime. When applied to the legally ambiguous and interconnected marine environment this is magnified. The lack of clear guidance for transboundary marine conservation from the international conservation community exacerbates this problem, leaving individual initiatives to develop their own governance arrangements. Yet, well-managed transboundary marine protected areas (MPAs) have the potential to contribute significantly to global conservation aims. Conversely, in a period where there is increasing interest in marine resources and space from all sectors, the designation of MPAs can create or amplify a regional conflict. In some instances, states have used MPAs to extend rights over disputed marine resources, restrict the freedom of others and establish sovereignty over maritime space. Six case studies were taken from Europe, North Africa and the Middle East to illustrate how states have interpreted and utilized different legislative mechanisms to either come together or diverge over the governance of marine resources or maritime space. Each of the case studies illustrates how different actors have used the same legislative tools, but with different interpretations and applications, to justify their claims. It is clear that the role of science combined with a deeper engagement with stakeholders can play a critical role in tempering conflict between states. Where states are willing to cooperate, the absence of clear guidelines at the global level means that often ad hoc measures are put into place, with the international frameworks then playing catch up. Balancing different jurisdictional claims with the conservation of the marine environment, whilst considering the increasing special economic interests will become increasingly difficult. Developing a transboundary conservation tool, such as the simple conservation caveats found in the Barcelona Convention and Antarctic Convention, which allow for the establishment of intergovernmental cooperation without prejudicing any outstanding jurisdictional issue, would provide a framework for the development of individual transboundary MPAs.

Visualizing climate change in the Arctic and beyond: Participatory media and the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP), and interactive Indigenous Arctic media

MacKenzie S, Stenport AWesterstah. Visualizing climate change in the Arctic and beyond: Participatory media and the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP), and interactive Indigenous Arctic media. Journal of Environmental Media [Internet]. 2019 ;1(1):79 - 99. Available from: https://www.ingentaconnect.com/contentone/intellect/jem/2019/00000001/00000001/art00007#
Freely available?: 
Yes
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Type: Journal Article

Impactful communication remains a vexing problem for climate science researchers and public outreach. This article identifies a range of moving images and screen-based media used to visualize climate change, focusing especially on the Arctic region and the efforts of the United Nations. The authors examine the aesthetics of big data visualization of melting sea ice and glaciers made by NASA and similar entities; eye-witness, expert accounts and youth-produced documentaries designed for United Nations delegates to the annual COP events such as the Youth Climate ReportPlease Help the World, the dystopian cli-fi narrative produced for the UN’s COP 15; and Isuma TV’s streaming of works by Indigenous practitioners in Nunavut.

The intriguing co-distribution of the copepods Calanus hyperboreus and Calanus glacialis in the subsurface chlorophyll maximum of Arctic seas

Schmid MS, Fortier L. The intriguing co-distribution of the copepods Calanus hyperboreus and Calanus glacialis in the subsurface chlorophyll maximum of Arctic seas. Elem Sci Anth [Internet]. 2019 ;7(1):50. Available from: https://www.elementascience.org/articles/10.1525/elementa.388/
Freely available?: 
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Type: Journal Article

Studying the distribution of zooplankton in relation to their prey and predators is challenging, especially in situ. Recent developments in underwater imaging enable such fine-scale research. We deployed the Lightframe On-sight Keyspecies Investigation (LOKI) image profiler to study the fine-scale (1 m) vertical distribution of the copepods Calanus hyperboreus and C. glacialis in relation to the subsurface chlorophyll maximum (SCM) at the end of the grazing season in August in the North Water and Nares Strait (Canadian Arctic). The vertical distribution of both species was generally consistent with the predictions of the Predator Avoidance Hypothesis. In the absence of a significant SCM, both copepods remained at depth during the night. In the presence of a significant SCM, copepods remained at depth in daytime and a fraction of the population migrated in the SCM at night. All three profiles where the numerically dominant copepodite stages C4 and C5 of the two species grazed in the SCM at night presented the same intriguing pattern: the abundance of C. hyperboreus peaked in the core of the SCM while that of C. glacialis peaked just above and below the core SCM. These distributions of the same-stage congeners in the SCMs were significantly different. Lipid fullness of copepod individuals was significantly higher in C. hyperboreus in the core SCM than in C. glacialis above and below the core SCM. Foraging interference resulting in the exclusion from the core SCM of the smaller C. glacialis by the larger C. hyperboreus could explain this vertical partitioning of the actively grazing copepodite stages of the two species. Alternatively, specific preferences for microalgal and/or microzooplankton food hypothetically occupying different layers in the SCM could explain the observed partitioning. Investigating the observed fine-scale co-distributions further will enable researchers to better predict potential climate change effects on these important Arctic congeners.

Reclaimed artificial coastal territories for the development of urban areas

Shilin M, Ershova A, Matveev Y, Popov N, Mandryka O, Chusov A. Reclaimed artificial coastal territories for the development of urban areas Kalinina O. E3S Web of Conferences [Internet]. 2019 ;110:01025. Available from: https://www.e3s-conferences.org/articles/e3sconf/abs/2019/36/e3sconf_spbwosce2019_01025/e3sconf_spbwosce2019_01025.html
Freely available?: 
Yes
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Type: Journal Article

The article discusses the possibility and perspectives of using the reclaimed artificial areas in the coastal zone of marine estuaries for the sustainable development of urban infrastructure and creation of modern architectural ensembles with the background of green economy using the example of Lakhta-Center on the northern coast of the Neva Bay (St. Petersburg, Russia). The geo-ecological stability of underwater and coastal landscapes of the coastal zone of the Neva Bay is analyzed using side scan sonar. The environmental sensitivity of coastal ecosystems is estimated. The received data can be used on practice for planning the construction work and for the development of the infrastructure of urbanized coastal zone of the Neva Bay. The general geo-ecological situation in the observed area is rather stable. The coastal zone has good perspectives for the development of a sustainable urban infrastructure against the backdrop of the green economy. The special attention should be paid to migration of birds and fish, who are using the North Lakhta coast as a temporary refugium during Spring and Autumn migrations. An effective solution from both environmental and economic points of view could be the organization of the Nature Conservation Reserve, which is spatially associated with the Lakhta Center zone. Such type of the complex using of the coastal zone could be a good example of the spatial planning in the environmentally sensitive area.

Bottom trawl catch comparison in the Mediterranean Sea: Flexible Turtle Excluder Device (TED) vs traditional gear

Vasapollo C, Virgili M, Petetta A, Bargione G, Sala A, Lucchetti A. Bottom trawl catch comparison in the Mediterranean Sea: Flexible Turtle Excluder Device (TED) vs traditional gear Guerrero AMedina. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2019 ;14(12):e0216023. Available from: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0216023
Freely available?: 
Yes
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No
Type: Journal Article

The Mediterranean Sea is a biodiversity hotspot where intense fishing pressure is associated with high bycatch rates of protected species (sea turtles and cetaceans) and top predators (sharks). Since the conservation of these species has become a priority, fishery scientists are faced with the challenge of reducing incidental catch, which entails high rates of mortality. Among the species threatened by fishing activities, the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) is a charismatic species considered as “vulnerable” at the global scale. In the Mediterranean Sea trawl nets are the gears with the highest probability of catching protected species incidentally. A new flexible Turtle Excluder Device (TED) was tested for the first time on commercial bottom trawlers to assess its effectiveness in reducing bycatch in the Mediterranean Sea. Analysis of the total catches of the hauls made with and without the TED showed that the difference in terms of weight was not significant. The catch of the main commercial species showed similar rates without a significant loss of size (i.e. total length) with the exception of the largest anglerfish (Lophius spp.). The bycatch of control nets included mostly rays and sharks, but never turtles, although the authors learned from the crews of other vessels operating in the same areas at the time of the trials that they had caught some loggerhead turtles. Our study demonstrates that TED scan be adopted without significantly affecting commercial catch. This informs fishers and managers for a practical and effective means that may reduce the bycatch of threatened species in coastal Mediterranean demersal multispecies fisheries. The measures involving gear modifications require significant investment but they are technically feasible and are capable of improving the conservation prospects of these endangered species. Besides ensuring normal earnings, the TED induced a significant reduction of debris and litter in the codend, thus reducing catch sorting time and improving catch quality.

Population productivity of shovelnose rays: Inferring the potential for recovery

D’Alberto BM, Carlson JK, Pardo SA, Simpfendorfer CA. Population productivity of shovelnose rays: Inferring the potential for recovery Patterson HM. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2019 ;14(11):e0225183. Available from: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0225183
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

There is recent evidence of widespread declines of shovelnose ray populations (Order Rhinopristiformes) in heavily fished regions. These declines, which are likely driven by high demand for their fins in Asian markets, raises concern about their risk of over-exploitation and extinction. Using life-history theory and incorporating uncertainty into a modified Euler-Lotka model, the maximum intrinsic rates of population increase (rmax) were estimated for nine species from four families of Rhinopristiformes, using four different natural mortality estimators. Estimates of mean rmax, across the different natural mortality methods, varied from 0.03 to 0.59 year-1 among the nine species, but generally increased with increasing maximum size. Comparing these estimates to rmax values for other species of chondrichthyans, the species Rhynchobatus australiaeGlaucostegus typus, and Glaucostegus cemiculus were relatively productive, while most species from Rhinobatidae and Trygonorrhinidae had relatively low rmax values. If the demand for their high-value products can be addressed then population recovery for some species is likely possible, but will vary depending on the species.

Cold-related Florida manatee mortality in relation to air and water temperatures

Hardy SK, Deutsch CJ, Cross TA, de Wit M, Hostetler JA. Cold-related Florida manatee mortality in relation to air and water temperatures Hyrenbach D. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2019 ;14(11):e0225048. Available from: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0225048
Freely available?: 
Yes
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No
Type: Journal Article

Many tropical and subtropical species are sensitive to sudden temperature changes, especially drops in temperature. During winters 2009–2010 and 2010–2011, unusually cold temperatures occurred in many parts of Florida, USA, resulting in increased mortality of Florida manatees, sea turtles, fish, corals, and other species. The Florida manatee, in particular, is highly susceptible to cold stress and death when water temperatures drop below 20°C. We sought to characterize the magnitude and timing of reports of cold-related manatee carcasses in relation to fluctuations in water and air temperatures in central-east and central-west Florida during the six winters from 2008 to 2014. We used a generalized linear model to predict counts of manatee carcasses with a cold-related cause of death reported over 7-day bins in relation to various short-term (two weeks or less) and cumulative (incrementally summed from the start of the winter) heating-degree-day effects (HDD; < 20°C) and a categorical winter variable. Using water temperature data, the top-ranked model in both regions included a short-term temperature effect (14-day HDD sum) that preceded increases in reports of cold-related manatee carcasses by 7 days. Cumulative exposure to cold weather over the winter amplified effects on mortality in the central-east region. Quantifying the relationship between cold events and manatee mortality helps us prepare for rescue and salvage operations when extremely cold weather is forecast. This is especially important because anticipated loss or degradation of warm-water refuges due to human activities and sea level rise could potentially impact the manatee population in the future. These methods could also be applied to other species susceptible to cold-related mortality.

Strong time dependence of ocean acidification mitigation by atmospheric carbon dioxide removal

Hofmann M, Mathesius S, Kriegler E, van Vuuren DP, Schellnhuber HJ. Strong time dependence of ocean acidification mitigation by atmospheric carbon dioxide removal. Nature Communications [Internet]. 2019 ;10(1). Available from: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-13586-4
Freely available?: 
Yes
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No
Type: Journal Article

In Paris in 2015, the global community agreed to limit global warming to well below 2 ∘∘C, aiming at even 1.5 ∘∘C. It is still uncertain whether these targets are sufficient to preserve marine ecosystems and prevent a severe alteration of marine biogeochemical cycles. Here, we show that stringent mitigation strategies consistent with the 1.5 ∘∘C scenario could, indeed, provoke a critical difference for the ocean’s carbon cycle and calcium carbonate saturation states. Favorable conditions for calcifying organisms like tropical corals and polar pteropods, both of major importance for large ecosystems, can only be maintained if CO22 emissions fall rapidly between 2025 and 2050, potentially requiring an early deployment of CO22 removal techniques in addition to drastic emissions reduction. Furthermore, this outcome can only be achieved if the terrestrial biosphere remains a carbon sink during the entire 21st century.

Eavesdropping on dolphins: Investigating the habits of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) through fixed acoustic stations

Alessi J, Mandich A, Wurtz M, Paoli C, Bianchi CNike, Morri C, Povero P, Brunoldi M, Bozzini G, Casale A, et al. Eavesdropping on dolphins: Investigating the habits of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) through fixed acoustic stations Cimmaruta R. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2019 ;14(12):e0226023. Available from: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0226023
Freely available?: 
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No
Type: Journal Article

This study investigates the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus, Montagu 1821) habitat use in the Portofino marine protected area (NW Italy) and adjacent waters, a core area for the dolphins and a highly touristic area in the Mediterranean Sea. A permanent automated real-time passive acoustic monitoring system, able to detect and track dolphins continuously, was tested in the area within the activities of the Life+ Nature project ARION. The habits of bottlenose dolphins was investigated considering the resident rate inside the area, which quantifies the amount of time dolphins spent in these waters, by means of random forest regression. The dependency of dolphin resident rate was analyzed in relation to four explanatory variables: sea surface temperature, season, time of day, and proximity to the coast. Dolphins spent more time in the area during spring and when sea surface temperature ranged between 15–16°C. Summer resulted the season with lower dolphin residency with significant difference between working day and weekend, in the last the lowest residency was recorded. Main findings provide important information to properly manage the area in order to protect bottlenose dolphins.

Small-scale fishers as allies or opponents? Unlocking looming tensions and potential exclusions in Poland's marine spatial planning

Tafon RV. Small-scale fishers as allies or opponents? Unlocking looming tensions and potential exclusions in Poland's marine spatial planning. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning [Internet]. 2019 ;21(6):637 - 648. Available from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1523908X.2019.1661235
Freely available?: 
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Type: Journal Article

The success of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) depends on the effective participation of small-scale fishers (SSFs), and the extent to which marine governance in general can address the problems they face. As Poland's MSP in areas that are key to small-scale fisheries are yet to begin, this paper explores tensions in the country's looming coastal MSP processes through clarifying both the risks faced by SSFs and their perspectives on MSP. Using semi-structured interviews with SSFs and analytical literature reviews on small-scale fisheries, it is found that Poland's MSP is cast against a contentious history of marine resource management that shapes negative perceptions of and attitudes towards both the European Union-mediated MSP and marine scientists. Notably, SSFs believe that (1) authorities often undervalue and underutilize their experiential knowledge, (2) MSP is intended primarily to facilitate the siting of offshore wind farms and, (3) scientific knowledge is either not effectively communicated or is at the service of investors. A discussion follows that proposes measures through which planners can ensure procedural fairness. The paper concludes by offering TURF-Reserves as a novel and integrated co-management system within MSP which has potentials for empowering SSFs and revitalizing Poland's small-scale fisheries, while ensuring effective marine protection.

Carrying Capacity as a Tourism Management Strategy in a Marine Protected Area: A Political Ecology Analysis

Llausàs A, Vila-Subirós J, Pueyo-Ros J, Fraguell RM. Carrying Capacity as a Tourism Management Strategy in a Marine Protected Area: A Political Ecology Analysis. Conservation and Society [Internet]. 2019 ;17(4):366. Available from: http://www.conservationandsociety.org/article.asp?issn=0972-4923;year=2019;volume=17;issue=4;spage=366;epage=376;aulast=Llaus%E0s;type=0
Freely available?: 
Yes
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Type: Journal Article

Natural protected areas are often required to concurrently support conservation and tourism development. Estimating the ecosystem's carrying capacity and setting up visitor access limitations is a common approach in maximising resource use to avoid environmental degradation. Our research used a case study strategy and a political ecology approach to analyse the conflict surrounding a carrying capacity-based management plan implemented in a Mediterranean marine protected area under severe pressure from scuba diving. A mixed documental and discourse analysis method based on fieldwork, grey literature and 16 semi-structured interviews with representatives of seven groups of stakeholders was used. Results indicate that although the carrying capacity approach was instrumentally supported by all groups, conventional scientific ecological knowledge played only a specious role in decision-making. Factors related to path dependency, neoliberal governance frameworks, uneven distribution of power among stakeholders and regulatory weaknesses were found to be the most influential in facilitating increased visitor pressure in the reserve. We conclude that, in order to be effective and mitigate social conflict, natural resource management strategies based on the carrying capacity concept must be complemented with a precursory assessment of the biopolitical context to align the goals of planning with the possibilities of the socially constructed environment.

An ecosystem approach to kelp aquaculture in the Americas and Europe

Grebe GS, Byron CJ, Gelais ASt., Kotowicz DM, Olson TK. An ecosystem approach to kelp aquaculture in the Americas and Europe. Aquaculture Reports [Internet]. 2019 ;15:100215. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352513419300134
Freely available?: 
Yes
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Type: Journal Article

Kelp farming is increasing along the temperate coastlines of the Americas and Europe. The economic, ecological, and social frameworks surrounding kelp farming in these new areas are in contrast with the conditions of progenitor kelp farming regions in China, Japan, and Korea.

Thus, identifying and addressing the environmental and social impacts of kelp farming in these regions is vital to ensuring the industry’s long-term sustainability. Here, a conceptual model of the human and natural systems supporting this nascent kelp aquaculture sector was developed using Maine, USA as a focal region. Potential negative impacts of kelp aquaculture were identified to be habitat degradation, overfishing of wild seeds, predation and competition with wild fish and genes, and transmission of diseases. Increased food security, improved restoration efforts, greater fisheries productivity, and alternative livelihoods development were determined to be potential positive impacts of kelp aquaculture. Changes in biodiversity and productivity resulting from either negative or positive impacts of kelp aquaculture were confirmed to have downstream effects on local fisheries and coastal communities. Recommendations to improve or protect the ecosystem services tangential to kelp farming include: define ecosystem and management boundaries, assess ecosystem services and environmental carrying capacity, pursue ecologically and socially considerate engineering, and protect the health and genetic diversity of wild kelp beds. Recommendations to ensure that kelp farming improves the well-being of all stakeholders include: increase horizontal expansion, expand and teach Best Management Practices, and develop climate change resiliency. Additionally, an integrated management strategy should be developed for wild and farmed kelp to ensure that kelp aquaculture is developed in the context of other sectors and goals.

Shark conservation hindered by lack of habitat protection

Birkmanis CA, Partridge JC, Simmons LW, Heupel MR, Sequeira AMM. Shark conservation hindered by lack of habitat protection. Global Ecology and Conservation [Internet]. In Press :e00862. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2351989419303786
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Many of the world's shark populations are in decline, indicating the need for improved conservation and management. Well managed and appropriately located marine parks and marine protected areas (MPAs) have potential to enhance shark conservation by restricting fisheries and protecting suitable habitat for threatened shark populations. Here, we used shark occurrence records collected by commercial fisheries to determine suitable habitat for pelagic sharks within the Australian continental Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and to quantify the amount of suitable habitat contained within existing MPAs. We developed generalised linear models using proportional occurrences of pelagic sharks for three families: Alopiidae (thresher), Carcharhinidae (requiem), and Lamnidae (mackerel) sharks. We also considered aggregated species from the Lamnidae and Carcharhinidae families (‘combined sharks in the models). Using a set of environmental predictors known to affect shark occurrence, including chlorophyll-a concentration, salinity, sea surface temperature, and turbidity, as well as geomorphological, geophysical, and sedimentary parameters, we found that models including sea surface temperature and turbidity were ranked highest in their ability to predict shark distributions. We used these results to predict geographic regions where habitat was most suitable for pelagic sharks within the Australian EEZ, and our results revealed that suitable habitat was limited in no-take zones within MPAs. For all shark groupings, suitable habitats were found mostly at locations exposed to fishing pressure, potentially increasing the vulnerability of the pelagic shark species considered. Our predictive models provide a foundation for future spatial planning and shark management, suggesting that strong fisheries management in addition to MPAs is necessary for pelagic shark conservation.

How adequately are the critically endangered Balearic Shearwaters protected by the Special Protection Areas (SPAs) for seabirds? A case study in the Gulf of Cadiz

Arroyo GM, de la Cruz A, Delgado D. How adequately are the critically endangered Balearic Shearwaters protected by the Special Protection Areas (SPAs) for seabirds? A case study in the Gulf of Cadiz. Global Ecology and Conservation [Internet]. 2019 :e00861. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2351989419306493
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The expansion of marine protected areas in pelagic areas has been crucial to achieve sufficient protection of the oceans. However, there is still some controversy about whether these protected areas actually cover the vital areas for some species. We investigate the summer distribution of the critically endangered Balearic Shearwater and its overlap with the Special Protection Area for seabirds (SPA), using the Gulf of Cadiz as a case study. This area holds the SPA named Marine Area of Gulf of Cádiz, covering 2314.2 km2. A dataset of nine years of vessel-based surveys between 2006 and 2017 was analysed, using Kernel Density Estimation to generate the core area polygons for each year. The area located off the Bay of Cádiz, southeast of the mouth of the Guadalquivir, has revealed as a very consistent key area for this species during summer. This area, covering 1082 Km2, regularly hosted populations that exceeded the threshold for area of international importance (IBA criteria) for the species. The current SPA covers less than 40% of this new key area. The limitation in the number of years of monitoring and seasonal differences in the dataset used to establish the boundaries of the current protected area may be at the base of these discrepancies. This study emphasizes the importance of synthesizing and collecting long-term information to define marine protected areas and to assess their efficiency over the time. Furthermore, our study highlights the urgent need to expand this marine protected area to protect effectively this critically threatened species.

Night and Day: Diel Differences in Ship Strike Risk for Fin Whales (Balaenoptera physalus) in the California Current System

Keen EM, Scales KL, Rone BK, Hazen EL, Falcone EA, Schorr GS. Night and Day: Diel Differences in Ship Strike Risk for Fin Whales (Balaenoptera physalus) in the California Current System. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00730/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Collisions with ships (ship strikes) are a pressing conservation concern for fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) along western North America. Fin whales exhibit strong diel patterns in dive behavior, remaining near the surface for most of the night, but how this behavior affects ship-strike risk is unknown. We combined diel patterns of surface use, habitat suitability predictions, and ship traffic data to evaluate spatial and temporal trends in ship-strike risk to fin whales of the California Current System (CCS). We tested a range of surface-use scenarios and found that both increased use of the upper water column and increased ship traffic contribute to elevated ship-strike risk at night. Lengthening nights elevate risk during winter throughout the CCS, though the Southern California Bight experienced consistently high risk both day and night year-round. Within designated shipping lanes, total annual nighttime strike risk was twice daytime risk. Avoidance probability models based on ship speed were used to compare the potential efficacy of speed restrictions at various scales. Speed reductions within lanes may be an efficient remediation, but they would address only a small fraction (13%) of overall ship-strike risk. Additional speed restrictions in the approaches to lanes would more effectively reduce overall risk.

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