Literature Library

Currently indexing 8245 titles

Politics, environment, and fisheries: empirical evidence from Pacific salmon fisheries

Benshoof C, Baek J. Politics, environment, and fisheries: empirical evidence from Pacific salmon fisheries. Natural Resource Modeling [Internet]. 2014 ;27:300–310. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nrm.12035/abstract
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Pacific salmon have always been a lucrative commodity in Alaska history. The primary contribution of this paper is to assess the effects of statewide policy changes such as the 1959 Alaska Statehood and the 1974 Limited Entry Act on the harvest of Pacific salmon in Alaska, controlling for changes in oceanic environmental conditions such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. An autoregressive distributed lag approach is employed to annual time-series data for 1899–1996. We find that, while the 1974 Limited Entry Act has a significant effect on Alaska salmon harvests, the 1959 Alaska Statehood had little impact. In addition, the oceanic environment has an important determinant of long-run Alaska salmon harvests.

Global mapping and estimation of ecosystem services values and gross domestic product: A spatially explicit integration of national ‘green GDP’ accounting

Li G, Fang C. Global mapping and estimation of ecosystem services values and gross domestic product: A spatially explicit integration of national ‘green GDP’ accounting. Ecological Indicators [Internet]. 2014 ;46:293 - 314. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1470160X14002222
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The economic value of ecosystem services (non-market) and the market value (represented by a proxy of gross domestic product (GDP)) represent the synthetic green GDP of the earth and of different nations. Mapping and estimating national green GDPs is a challenging task. In this study, we estimated the global market and non-market monetary values using two images, GlobCover 2009 and nighttime satellite imagery, as well as a comprehensive dataset. We also developed an integrated method supported by geographic information system (GIS) techniques, focused on spatial heterogeneity and real value, to create synthetic green GDP maps at global and national scales. Our results show that in 2009, for the entire biosphere, the ecosystem services value (ESV) could be estimated at US$ 149.61 trillion. Approximately 75.15% of the ESV is contributed by marine systems. The world GDP in 2009 was about US$ 71.75 trillion (for 225 countries or regions), resulting in a ratio of total ESV to GDP of approximately 2.09–1. Nighttime satellite imagery represents a more spatially explicit indicator of market value than does GDP. We also found that the distribution of the synthetic national green GDPs follows Zipf's Law, which holds that internal coherence exists among countries. A crude but simple indicator of the %ESV indicates that the relationship between the GDP and ESV is not always in a fixed pattern. The reliability of this result was demonstrated by comparing it with previous research and other relevant indices. We found a very high degree of confidence associated with this product. The method presented here is generally applicable at the global and continental scales and is applicable at the national scale for mapping the ESV and GDP. We hope that the results of this study will inform both policy-makers and the public about national green GDPs and encourage them to incorporate these values into policy decisions.

Biodiversity data requirements for systematic conservation planning in the Mediterranean Sea

Levin N, Coll M, Fraschetti S, Gal G, Giakoumi S, Göke C, Heymans JJacomina, Katsanevakis S, Mazor T, Öztür B, et al. Biodiversity data requirements for systematic conservation planning in the Mediterranean Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series [Internet]. 2014 ;508:261 - 281. Available from: http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/meps/v508/p261-281/
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The Mediterranean Sea’s biodiversity and ecosystems face many threats due to anthropogenic pressures. Some of these include human population growth, coastal urbanization, accelerated human activities, and climate change. To enhance the formation of a science-based system of marine protected areas in the Mediterranean Sea, data on the spatial distribution of ecological features (abiotic variables, species, communities, habitats, and ecosystems) is required to inform conservation scientists and planners. However, the spatial data required is often lacking. In this review, we aimed to address the status of our knowledge for 3 major types of spatial information: bathymetry, classification of marine habitats, and species distributions. To exemplify the data gaps and approaches to bridge them, we examined case studies that systematically prioritize conservation in the Mediterranean Sea. We found that at present the data required for conservation planning is generally more readily available and of better quality for the European countries located in the Western Mediterranean Sea. Additionally, the Mediterranean Sea is lagging behind other marine regions where rigorous criteria for conservation planning has been applied in the past 20 yr. Therefore, we call upon scientists, governments, and international governmental and non-governmental organizations to harmonize current approaches in marine mapping and to develop a framework that is applicable throughout the Mediterranean region. Such coordination between stakeholders is urgently needed before more countries undertake further extensive habitat mapping, so that future conservation planning can use integrated spatial datasets.

Are marine protected areas and priority areas for conservation representative of humpback whale breeding habitats in the western South Atlantic?

de Castro FR, Mamede N, Danilewicz D, Geyer Y, Pizzorno JLuis A, Zerbini AN, Andriolo A. Are marine protected areas and priority areas for conservation representative of humpback whale breeding habitats in the western South Atlantic?. Biological Conservation [Internet]. 2014 ;179:106 - 114. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320714003309
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs) is an important component of conservation strategies for large marine vertebrates. Thus, quantitative evaluations are necessary to assess whether their habitats are protected by these areas. In this study, the representativeness of government-established MPAs and identified priority areas for conservation (PACs) relative to the Brazilian wintering habitat of humpback whales was assessed using satellite telemetry data (n = 74 individuals). Argos-derived location data were filtered and modeled using a switching state space model (SSSM) and overlaid on shapefiles for MPAs and PACs. Humpback whales occurred in only 18.31% of the 71 MPAs observed within the species range. A lower frequency of locations was recorder inside rather than outside these areas. MPAs of Integral Protection used by humpback whales correspond to only 0.64% of the species wintering habitat. In contrast, a total of 40% of the 55 PACs observed within the same area was occupied by the whales, with a higher frequency of locations documented inside the PACs. Our results suggest that PACs encompass the species habitat in a more representative manner than MPAs. Because the former do not provide legal protection, they do not effectively contribute to the species conservation. We suggest PACs used by the species, especially Abrolhos Bank PAC, can be used as basis to refine conservation efforts of humpback whales in their breeding grounds in light of increased anthropogenic stressors. We also demonstrate that animal movement data obtained from satellite telemetry studies are useful for assessing the representativeness of MPAs and to improve management of whales.

Improving the Outlook for Caribbean Coral Reefs: A Regional Plan of Action 2014 – 2019

Marshall P, Dowd A, Catzim N, Nichols K eds. Improving the Outlook for Caribbean Coral Reefs: A Regional Plan of Action 2014 – 2019. Townsville: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority; 2014 p. 32.
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

A key element of the Caribbean region’s vulnerability to climate change is the threat to coral reef ecosystems. Regional Heads of Government throughout the Caribbean have recognized the important role that coral reefs play in national economies and their crucial contribution to sustainable development. Accordingly, governments, regional leaders and coastal communities have begun to take measures to address the region’s vulnerability and build resilience to climate change.

The Coral Reef Plan of Action provides a roadmap for navigating the challenges of sustainably managing coral reefs to protect biological diversity while sustaining provision of goods and services that these ecosystems provide to the people of the Caribbean.

The plan presents a set of objectives for improving the outlook for Caribbean reefs by 2018. These are the result of regional consultations that identified the priority needs expressed by regional leaders, stakeholders, officials and experts who together have accumulated the experience required for tackling the issues faced in the sustainable management of Caribbean coral reefs. The objectives are grouped under four goals:

  1. Improve the health and resilience of Caribbean coral reefs
  2. Strengthen adaptive capacity of communities
  3. Build foundations for national and regional action
  4. Advocate globally for stronger action on climate change

Investment in achieving the goals and objectives in this plan will be further guided through development of an associated implementation plan, and a program of monitoring, evaluation and reporting. With the support of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism will lead implementation of this plan to ensure it has the best chance of building the resilience of coral reefs to the impacts of climate variability and change in the Caribbean region.

This Coral Reef Plan of Action is aligned with relevant initiatives, sub-regional strategies and plans targeted at Caribbean coral reefs. These include the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism’s Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management Strategy and Action Plan, the 2012 Report Card for the Mesoamerican Reef, and the Strategic Action Programme for the Sustainable Management of the Shared Living Marine Resources of the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystems and Adjacent Regions (CLME+SAP).

The Plan supports the vision articulated in the Liliendaal Declaration and contributes to strategic elements and goals elaborated in the Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change (Regional Framework) and its associated Implementation Plan (see Appendix 1). Through an integrated approach across these strategic initiatives, the Coral Reef Plan of Action will help build regional coordination and national commitment, motivate actions and stimulate much-needed support and investment from the international community in a coordinated effort to improve the outlook for Caribbean coral reefs.

Guidelines for Integrating Human Dimensions into MPA Planning and Management

Sowman M, Raemaekers S, Sunde J. Guidelines for Integrating Human Dimensions into MPA Planning and Management. WWF-SA and the University of Cape Town; 2014 p. 140.
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are one of the key tools used to achieve conservation, biodiversity and fisheries management objectives around the world. Increasingly though, conservation planners, MPA managers, researchers and local communities are calling for a more people-centred approach to MPA planning and management, recognising that long-term conservation and fisheries management objectives will not be realised unless human dimensions and societal concerns are adequately addressed.

To date, many MPAs have been established, planned and managed with little consideration of the human dimensions – social, cultural, economic, political and governance issues – and impact of the MPA on local communities. In order to address this challenge, WWF South Africa and the Environmental Evaluation Unit (EEU) at the University of Cape Town, undertook a three year long project looking at how to integrate human and ecological dimensions in MPA governance.

Funded by the WWF Nedbank Green Trust and based on a number of Phd and Masters dissertations, the EEU have developed a comprehensive and collaborative set of guidelines which was finalised in March 2014 around MPA planning, titled ‘Integrating Human Dimensions into MPA Planning and Management’.

This project explores how MPAs can become more meaningful to society in terms of addressing social, economic and ecological objectives. It highlights the importance of considering issues such as human values, aspirations, lifestyles, cultural heritage, livelihoods, local economic activities and institutional arrangements in the development of MPAs and their management strategies. Provided in a short and long form, the guidelines are available for download and use by all.

Seychelles Marine Spatial Planning Initiative Workshop #2

Anon. Seychelles Marine Spatial Planning Initiative Workshop #2. Seychelles Marine Spatial Planning Initiative; 2014 p. 26.
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

The Seychelles Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) Initiative is a public process focused on planning for, and management of, the sustainable and long-term use and health of the Seychelles Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), a marine area covering 1,374,000 km2 and 115 islands. The MSP Initiative is a government-led process, with planning and facilitation managed by a partnership between The Nature Conservancy, the Government of Seychelles, and the United Nations Development Programme - Global Environment Facility Programme Coordinating Unit. Funding for the Initiative is being provided by UNDP-GEF grants to the Government of Seychelles, and an Oceans 5 grant to The Nature Conservancy.

Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) provides a participatory and transparent way to focus on sustainable uses for the Seychelles marine environment and minimise spatial conflicts between uses. The Seychelles MSP Initiative takes an integrated, multi-sector approach and will balance ecological, social, cultural and economic objectives. The participatory nature of MSP encourages communities and private sector partners to provide advice, information and input to the Seychelles Initiative.

Article 38 of the Constitution of Seychelles provides the authority for planning and the guiding principles, vision and goals of the Seychelles Sustainable Development Strategy (SSDS) helps provide the framework for the MSP Initiative. The Initiative will develop an integrated, multi-use marine zoning and climate change adaptation plan to optimise the sustainable use and effective management of the Seychelles marine environment while ensuring and improving the social, cultural and economic wellbeing of its people. This marine plan will serve as the basis for guiding the strategies and decisions of the Seychelles Conservation & Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT) that was established by the Government of Seychelles for a Debt-for-Climate-Change-Adaptation swap. Phase I of the MSP Initiative (February 2014 – June 2015) will produce a suite of design options, tools and management strategies as a basis for further development and implementation of the national multi-use plan.

The Seychelles MSP Initiative was launched at a workshop on 4-5 February 2014 in Victoria. The key objectives of that workshop were to introduce the MSP Initiative being facilitated by The Nature Conservancy, and identify the key components that will support the Seychelles Blue Economy. People at the workshop identified seven sectors important to the scope of the planning process (in no particular order): biodiversity conservation, cultural heritage, fisheries, marine transportation, petroleum (mineral & aggregate) extraction, renewable energy, and tourism. Focusing on the seven sectors, participants were led through a 10-20 year visioning exercise to describe what they did and did not want to see for these sectors over this time scale. The results of the visioning exercise were refined into general goals by the workshop participants and ranked in order of low, medium, and high priority.

A website is currently being developed for the MSP Initiative (www.seychellesmarinespatialplanning.com) that will host all the relevant background documents, reports and presentations. The website will be used to keep all stakeholders updated on progress of the process and should be accessible by early July. In the interim, all related handouts and documents are included in the annex section.

Towards Reef Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods: a handbook for Caribbean reef managers

Mumby PJ, Flower J, Chollett I, Box SJ, Bozec Y-M, Fitzsimmons C, Forster J, Gill D, Griffith-Mumby R, Oxenford HA, et al. Towards Reef Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods: a handbook for Caribbean reef managers. Exeter: University of Exeter; 2014 p. 176.
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

The project has produced a handbook that aims to provide reef managers with tools, information and recommendations on management of coral reef ecosystems. The handbook sections range from ecological history and biogeography, resilience as well as climate change issues to fisheries, governance and the monitoring of coral reef ecosystems.

Within each section are practical stand-alone ‘briefs’. These briefs offer concise information on particular reef-related issues, utilising some of the most recent scientific research to inform management actions. Each of the briefings is a unique grab-and-go resource. The accessible format also provides a useful resource for students, researchers, policy-makers and anyone interested in the future of Caribbean coral reefs.

Towards Investment in Sustainable Fisheries: A framework for financing the transition

Bonzon K, de Vos K, Holmes L, Strauss K. Towards Investment in Sustainable Fisheries: A framework for financing the transition. Environmental Defense Fund and The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit; 2014 p. 86.
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

Research suggest three key enablers of sustainable and profitable fisheries that, together, provide the basis for increased value: 

  • Secure tenure aligns the incentives and empowers the fishing industry to pursue sustainable use of the resource and is a vital first step in the transition
  • Sustainable harvests determine how much fish can be caught sustainably and enable the creation of both management and investment frameworks
  • Monitoring and enforcement provide assurance that fishers will comply with sustainable management and reduce the chance of illegal activity that could undermine the transition

These conditions, particularly establishing secure tenure, provide the platform for unlocking greater social, economic and environmental value in fisheries and are vital to investment activities. With the conditions described above in place, investment can be channelled towards the three key drivers of increased fisheries value:

  • Improving stock health leads to higher long-term yields and makes fish less costly to find and catch
  • Increasing operational efficiency reduces fishing and delivery-related costs, improving profit margins and thus improving the returns from fishing as a whole
  • Increasing market value through improved market access, certification, branding and long-term partnerships returns more value to fishers 
  • A clear business case for the transition that includes a contextual analysis of the project as well as a bioeconomic and financial model of the investment proposition
  • Investable entities to act as counterparty to the investment; these can be existing, modified, or newly created entities
  • Mechanisms for capturing return from the beneficiaries of the transition to share the upside of a transitioned fishery with the investor, such as dividends, taxes, or fees
  • Risk management through appropriate identification and articulation of risks, as well as efforts to mitigate or manage risk

Structuring the investment to align and coordinate sources of capital can create a financially sustainable transition and match investors to the financial, environmental and social returns that fisheries provide. Project developers can consider two key points:

  • Sources of capital, or investors, fall along a spectrum based on, among other things, target returns, type of investment and target terms. Traditionally, fishery transitions have been funded by ‘impact-only’ investors who expect no return or little financial return
  • Combining capital to sequence, blend or layer investment structures can effectively reduce and spread risk, while leveraging larger pools of capital. Including different types of investors will ultimately unlock the resources needed to start to address the scale of the challenge that lies ahead

A Review of Conservation Trust Funds for Sustainable Marine Resources Management: Conditions for Success

Bladon A, Mohammed EYassin, Milner-Gulland EJ. A Review of Conservation Trust Funds for Sustainable Marine Resources Management: Conditions for Success. London: IIED; 2014 p. 42. Available from: http://pubs.iied.org/16574IIED
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

Conservation Trust Funds (CTFs) are a source of sustainable financing for long-term biodiversity conservation, in particular for protected areas management. Through a review of 12 case studies from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Australasia, this research report provides a broad overview of how to create a CTF, describing its legal and institutional structure, fund generation and delivery, and identifying when it might be an appropriate tool. The lessons learnt from the case studies provide guidance on best practice and an insight into the conditions for the sustainability and success of the funds, and thereby their value to conservation.

A Guide to Evaluating Marine Spatial Plans

Ehler C. A Guide to Evaluating Marine Spatial Plans. Paris: UNESCO; 2014 p. 98.
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

This guide on performance monitoring and evaluation (evaluation) is intended for practitioners responsible for planning and managing marine areas. Practitioners are the managers and stakeholders who are responsible for designing, planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating marine management plans. While its focus is on the performance monitoring and evaluation of MSP, planners and managers should know how to incorporate monitoring and evaluation considerations into the MSP process from its very beginning, and not wait until a plan is completed before thinking about how to measure “success”. Effective performance monitoring and evaluation is only possible when management objectives and expected outcomes are written in a way that is measurable, either quantitatively or qualitatively.

This guide builds on the general approach and structure of the previous UNESCO’s IOC guide, Marine Spatial Planning: a step-by-step approach toward ecosystem-based management (Ehler & Douvere 2009) available at: www.unesco-ioc-marinesp.be. Similar in organization to the first MSP guide, this one presents a logical sequence of eight steps to monitoring and evaluating the performance of management plans (and their related management actions) that are important outputs of any MSP process.

View the online Interactive Compendium to the guide here on OpenChannels at https://www.openchannels.org/msp-eval-guide.

A review of the past, the present, and the future of fishers' knowledge research: a challenge to established fisheries science

Hind EJ. A review of the past, the present, and the future of fishers' knowledge research: a challenge to established fisheries science. ICES Journal of Marine Science [Internet]. 2014 . Available from: http://icesjms.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/10/02/icesjms.fsu169.abstract
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Fishers' knowledge research is an approach to fisheries research that has a relatively long history, yet has generally failed to become integrated into the fisheries science mainstream alongside approaches that rely primarily on the knowledge of professional scientists. Its continued position on the margins of fisheries science has not however stopped fishers' knowledge researchers from publishing an expanding literature, which they often use to advocate for the greater consideration of fishers' knowledge by fisheries scientists and managers. They believe that the unique and often highly qualitative knowledge of fishers could inform better decision-making, resulting in improved socio-ecological outcomes for fisheries. This review first outlines the scope of the fishers' knowledge literature, before outlining five waves of fishers' knowledge research that have developed over the last century. For each wave, the nature of the fishers' knowledge documented during it is noted, as is the research and dissemination approach taken by its practitioners. The impact of that wave on mainstream fisheries science is then assessed. Overall, it is found that only one wave of fishers' knowledge research is beginning to have consistent success integrating with mainstream fisheries science, a wave that omits the research of many of the unique elements of fishers' knowledge. Other waves have died out, or are in danger of dying out, either because they have failed to be noticed by mainstream fisheries scientists or because mainstream fisheries scientists have not welcomed their outputs. It is summarized that fishers' knowledge research will only continue as a productive activity if mainstream fisheries scientists begin to open their discipline to other knowledge cultures and if fishers' knowledge researchers facilitate this action by disseminating their research so that it is more accessible to these scientists.

User's Guide for Evaluating Learning Outcomes from Citizen Science

Phillips T, Ferguson M, Minarchek M, Porticella N, Bonney R. User's Guide for Evaluating Learning Outcomes from Citizen Science. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; 2014 p. 58.
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

The User's Guide for Evaluating Learning Outcomes from Citizen Science was developed by Cornell Lab of Ornithology researchers for practitioners who want to evaluate learning outcomes from their citizen science projects. It includes a practical overview of evaluation techniques, tips, and best-practices for conducting evaluations, a glossary of terms, and an extensive set of templates and worksheets to help with evaluation planning and implementation.

Evaluating learning outcomes is a high priority for citizen science practitioners, but many find it to be challenging. We want this guide to make evaluation easy to understand - and easy to execute!

U.S. Mid Atlantic Coastal and Ocean Recreation Study

Anon. U.S. Mid Atlantic Coastal and Ocean Recreation Study. Surfrider Foundation, Point 97, The Nature Conservancy, Monmouth University’s Urban Coast Institute; 2014.
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

Coastal and ocean recreation provides significant economic and social benefits to coastal communities of the Mid-Atlantic, encompassing New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. It is important to understand how and where people use the coast and ocean as a first step towards better management of the natural resources integral to coastal and ocean recreation.

To address this need, and to inform regional ocean planning efforts for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body (RPB), the Surfrider Foundation (Surfrider), in partnership with Point 97 (a company of Ecotrust), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and Monmouth University's Urban Coast Institute (Monmouth) (jointly, the Team), in collaboration with MARCO, engaged 'non-consumptive&' recreational users such as divers, surfers, kayakers, beach goers, and wildlife viewers to carry out the Mid-Atlantic Coastal and Ocean Recreation Study (Study) in 2013-2014.

The Team used a web-based survey to collect data from respondents on recreational use patterns, trip expenditures, and demographics. The survey included a series of questions and an easy-to-use interactive mapping tool. Respondents marked places on maps where they recreated over the last 12 months. The Team then analyzed the resulting spatial data to develop maps indicating intensity of use for 16 recreational activities in the region.

To promote participation in the Study, the Team engaged coastal and ocean recreational stakeholders and regional planning partners like MARCO to collaboratively develop the survey instrument, deploy targeted outreach strategies, and review the resulting spatial data on coastal and ocean recreation use patterns.

The Team implemented a variety of outreach strategies designed to promote stakeholder engagement in all phases of the Study. Outreach efforts targeted non-consumptive coastal and ocean users and leveraged the collaboration of a broad set of recreational businesses, groups, and associations, as well as environmental organizations in the region. The Team's outreach also incorporated information about the regional ocean planning process and opportunities for public engagement.

In total, Mid-Atlantic respondents completed nearly 1,500 surveys resulting in over 22,000 unique data points. The data show that coastal and ocean recreation encompasses a popular and diverse group of activities in the Mid-Atlantic, resulting in major economic and social benefits to coastal communities. The average respondent who visited the Mid-Atlantic coast spent an average of $71.06 per trip.

The Team, in coordination with other relevant recreational use studies in the region, has made the data and information from the Study available on the MARCO Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal (http://portal.midatlanticocean.org/portal) and to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body (http://www.boem.gov/Mid-Atlantic-Regional-Planning-Body), as it develops a Regional Ocean Action Plan for coastal and ocean uses in the Mid-Atlantic.

For the first time, regional scale maps showing coastal and ocean recreational use patterns are available to help planners and managers make better-informed decisions in consideration of maintaining and improving recreational uses and values. The Team expects this new baseline to serve as a credible first iteration, a foundation to be updated and improved as new information on coastal and ocean recreation becomes available.

An Economic Assessment of Policy Options To Reduce Agricultural Pollutants in the Chesapeake Bay

Ribaudo M, Savage J, Aillery M. An Economic Assessment of Policy Options To Reduce Agricultural Pollutants in the Chesapeake Bay. United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service; 2014 p. 73. Available from: http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err-economic-research-report/err166.aspx
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

In 2010, a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) was established for the Chesapeake Bay, defining the limits on emissions of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment necessary to reverse declines in the Bay’s quality and associated biological resources. Agriculture is the largest single source of nutrients and sediment in the watershed. We use data on crop and animal agriculture in the watershed to assess the relative effectiveness of alternative policy approaches for achieving the nutrient and sediment reduction goals of the TMDL, ranging from voluntary financial incentives to regulations. The cost of achieving water quality goals depends heavily on which policy choices are selected and how they are implemented. We found that policies that provide incentives for water quality improvements are the most efficient, assuming necessary information on pollutant delivery is available for each field. Policies that directly encourage adoption of management systems that protect water quality (referred to as design-based) are the most practical, given the limited information that is generally available to farmers and resource agencies. Information on field characteristics can be used to target design-based policies to improve efficiency.

Cumulative Effects in Marine Ecosystems: Scientific Perspectives on its Challenges and Solutions

Murray CC, Mach ME, Martone RG. Cumulative Effects in Marine Ecosystems: Scientific Perspectives on its Challenges and Solutions. WWF-Canada and Center For Ocean Solutions; 2014 p. 60.
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

Accurately accounting for the cumulative effects of impacts, however, can be difficult. Human activities produce a range of stressors that may interact and have greater impacts than expected, compounding direct and indirect effects on individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems. In addition, natural variability in ecosystem processes may affect the manifestation of resulting impacts. Assessment of cumulative effects on marine ecosystems requires extensive scientific research that directly tests the effects of multiple stressors; however, our knowledge of cumulative effects is largely based upon studies of single stressors on single ecological components that are combined to estimate the effect of multiple stressors. Therefore, advancing cumulative effects knowledge and assessments requires embracing the complexity, uncertainty, and natural variation in ecosystems and applying the best available science to evaluate and predict cumulative effects. In this review we discuss four components of cumulative effects science and application: (1) how cumulative effects manifest in ecosystems as a result of multiple human activities; (2) challenges in applying scientific knowledge in cumulative effects assessment, including defining spatial and temporal scales, baselines, reference points, indicators, and identifying significant changes in the face of uncertainty and natural environmental variability; (3) models and tools that have been developed to assess cumulative effects; and (4) priorities for science and management of cumulative effects. Conservation of marine ecosystems and support for sustainable development requires using primary research, models, and tools in an integrated, adaptive ecosystem-based framework to address cumulative effects.

Public Preferences for Marine Protected Areas Off the U.S. West Coast: The Significance of Restrictions and Size on Economic Value

Wallmo K, Kosaka R. Public Preferences for Marine Protected Areas Off the U.S. West Coast: The Significance of Restrictions and Size on Economic Value. Silver Spring, MD: U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service; 2014 p. 96.
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

As a non-market good, the economic value of an MPA is not revealed in market data or by household production behavior (e.g., travel costs used as the price of a fishing trip); therefore, values are typically estimated from data collected from in-person, telephone, mail, or internet surveys. This research employs a stated preference choice experiment survey of households in California, Oregon, and Washington to quantify public preferences and simulate a suite of different MPA designs and their associated values. The research pertains specifically to MPAs designated in U.S. federal waters (waters 3 to 200 miles from shore) off the coasts of California, Washington, and Oregon West Coast, hereafter referred to as west coast federal waters. All permanently protected marine areas located in west coast federal waters prohibit industrial uses such as mining, oil and gas extraction, and windmill/turbine construction.

The results may be useful in helping managers understand public preferences for MPAs, particularly as they relate to key, and often contested, issues including:

  • The effect of MPA size on public economic value
  • The effect of MPA use regime on public economic value
  • Size/use combinations for MPAs that maximize public values
  • Preference heterogeneity for MPAs

The remainder of the report is organized as follows: Section II describes the methods used in the research, including survey development and implementation and choice model theory and estimation. Section III presents results of the general questionnaire and respondent demographics. Section IV presents econometric model results and value estimates associated with MPAs of different size and use configurations. Section V provides a brief discussion of the results and conclusions and recommendations stemming from the research.

Fish and Benthic Communities of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary: Science to Support Sanctuary Management

Clark R, Kracker LM, J. Taylor C, Buckel CA. Fish and Benthic Communities of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary: Science to Support Sanctuary Management. Silver Spring, MD: NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science; 2014 p. 317.
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

This report is the culmination of three years of fish and seafloor (benthic) invertebrate community observations on the East and West Flower Garden Banks. It provides baseline information on key biological communities, and can be utilized to address resource management priorities in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary(FGBNMS). The benthic and fish community surveys were designed and implemented by a team of multi-disciplinary scientists using three complementary techniques:

  1. diver surveys, using recreational and technical scuba techniques, quantified benthic and fish communities on the coral reef at depths between 18-45 m / 59-150 ft;
  2. remotely operated vehicles (ROV) conducted video surveys at depths greater than 46 m / 150 ft; and
  3. fishery acoustics (sonar) surveyed fish in the water column across all habitat types and depths.

FGBNMS is one of the least impacted, thriving coral reef ecosystems in the western Atlantic and Caribbean region. It does, however, face numerous pressures that should be recognized and responded to through informed management actions. In April of 2012, NOAA published an updated management plan for the sanctuary, representing over five years of data analysis and public participation to ensure a sound strategy for conserving and protecting sanctuary resources for the future. During the management plan review process, input on potential resource protection and management issues was collected and summarized. This process identified direct and indirect impacts of fishing activities as a priority issue for management attention. Hook and line fishing (both commercial and recreational) has always been allowed within the sanctuary. However, to better understand this and other management issues, enhanced biogeographic data are needed to determine the most appropriate management actions needed to fulfill the sanctuary goals and objectives. The sanctuary Management Plan proposes a research strategy that includes characterizing FGBNMS to obtain comprehensive baseline information on fish and benthic communities prior to any management action. A second component of the strategy includes utilizing a fully-protected research area to compare to areas where fishing and other activities occur. The process of designing the research area will build upon prior successful efforts within other sanctuaries, such as Tortugas Ecological Reserve in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, as well as the information presented in this report.

Review and evaluation of marine spatial planning in the Shetland Islands

Kelly C, Gray L, Shucksmith R, Tweddle JF. Review and evaluation of marine spatial planning in the Shetland Islands. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2014 ;46:152 - 160. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X14000293
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
Yes
Type: Journal Article

Marine spatial planning (MSP) is a fast evolving discipline signified by the European Commission׳s proposed directive to create a common framework for MSP and integrated coastal management in EU waters and coastal areas. The Shetland Islands’ Marine Spatial Plan (SMSP) first developed in 2006 is one of the most advanced in the UK. With seven years’ experience of MSP and integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) in Shetland׳s waters, and the pending statutory implementation of the SMSP in 2014, Shetland represents an exemplar case study for the monitoring and evaluation of this discipline in practice. A review was carried out in 2012 to evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of the SMSP to date. This exercise highlighted achievements to date, future challenges and opportunities and helped to guide the development of the forthcoming edition of the SMSP. The sharing of knowledge and practical experiences of MSP and ICZM ensures an adaptive approach in addressing uncertainty over time. It is also imperative to understand that early ‘pioneers’ in this discipline may not get it exactly right on the first attempt but by developing initial precedents and processes, these can be built upon in the future.

Measuring good governance for complex ecosystems: Perceptions of coral reef-dependent communities in the Caribbean

Turner RA, Fitzsimmons C, Forster J, Mahon R, Peterson A, Stead SM. Measuring good governance for complex ecosystems: Perceptions of coral reef-dependent communities in the Caribbean. Global Environmental Change [Internet]. 2014 ;29:105 - 117. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378014001447
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Good governance is widely seen as a prerequisite for effective natural resources management in the context of environmental decline and increasing anthropogenic pressures. Few studies quantitatively examine governance principles, or explore links between perceptions of community members and the governance that shapes their behaviour. Comparative work, spanning multiple sites and contexts, is rare. This paper measures community members’ perceptions of governance in twelve coral reef-dependent communities across four countries in the Wider Caribbean Region. In relation to established principles of ‘good governance’, multiple correspondence analysis indicates that perceptions can be reliably described using two themes, institutional acceptance and engagement. These explain over 50% of variation in individual perceptions. These measurable themes provide an indication of the social fit of governance arrangements, and have implications for expected outcomes, including support for management and compliance with regulations. Cluster analysis provides unique empirical evidence linking structural characteristics of governance to community perceptions; four of five good governance indicators were present in communities with positive perceptions. Results suggest a combination of supportive structures and processes are necessary to achieve governance systems positively perceived by community members. Findings are relevant to those seeking to design management systems and governance structures that are appropriate to local circumstances and will engender stakeholder support.

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