Literature Library

Currently indexing 7626 titles

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.

Using Cumulative Impact Mapping to Prioritize Marine Conservation Efforts in Equatorial Guinea

Trew BT, Grantham HS, Barrientos C, Collins T, Doherty PD, Formia A, Godley BJ, Maxwell SM, Parnell RJ, Pikesley SK, et al. Using Cumulative Impact Mapping to Prioritize Marine Conservation Efforts in Equatorial Guinea. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00717/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Marine biodiversity is under extreme pressure from anthropogenic activity globally, leading to calls to protect at least 10% of the world’s oceans within marine protected areas (MPAs) and other effective area-based conservation measures. Fulfilling such commitments, however, requires a detailed understanding of the distribution of potentially detrimental human activities, and their predicted impacts. One such approach that is being increasingly used to strengthen our understanding of human impacts is cumulative impact mapping; as it can help identify economic sectors with the greatest potential impact on species and ecosystems in order to prioritize conservation management strategies, providing clear direction for intervention. In this paper, we present the first local cumulative utilization impact mapping exercise for the Bioko-Corisco-Continental area of Equatorial Guinea’s Exclusive Economic Zone – situated in the Gulf of Guinea, one of the most important and least studied marine regions in the Eastern Central Atlantic. This study examines the potential impact of ten direct anthropogenic activities on a suite of key marine megafauna species and reveals that the most suitable habitats for these species, located on the continental shelf, are subject to the highest threat scores. However, in some coastal areas, the persistence of highly suitable habitat subject to lower threat scores suggests that there are still several strategic areas that are less impacted by human activity that may be suitable sites for protected area expansion. Highlighting both the areas with potentially the highest impact, and those with lower impact levels, as well as particularly damaging activities can inform the direction of future conservation initiatives in the region.

Humpback Whale Movements and Behavior in Response to Whale-Watching Vessels in Juneau, AK

Schuler AR, Piwetz S, Di Clemente J, Steckler D, Mueter F, Pearson HC. Humpback Whale Movements and Behavior in Response to Whale-Watching Vessels in Juneau, AK. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00710/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The whale-watching industry in Juneau, Alaska relies primarily on the presence of North Pacific humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). To meet demands from the rapidly growing tourism industry, the number of whale-watching vessels in this region has tripled over the last 18 years. As a result, increased vessel presence could have negative effects on humpback whales, ranging from short-term behavioral disturbance to long-term impacts. The current humpback whale viewing regulations are outdated and may not be as effective as they were 18 years ago, when both the whale-watching industry and humpback whale population were smaller. The present study assessed how humpback whale movement and behavioral patterns were affected by (1) vessel presence and number of vessels present, and (2) time spent in the presence of vessels. The study also determined how humpback whale behavioral state transitions were affected by vessel presence. A total of 201 humpback whale focal follows were conducted during summer 2016 and 2017. Based on linear mixed effects models, whales in the presence (vs. absence) of vessels exhibited 38.9% higher deviation in linear movement (p = 0.001), 6.2% increase in swimming speed (p = 0.047) and a 6.7% decrease in inter-breath intervals (IBI) (p = 0.025). For each additional vessel present, deviation increased by 6.2% (p = 0.022) and IBI decreased by 3.4% (p = 0.001). As time spent in the presence of vessels increased, respiration rate increased (p = 0.011). Feeding and traveling humpback whales were likely to maintain their behavioral state regardless of vessel presence, while surface active humpback whales were likely to transition to traveling in the presence of vessels. These short-term changes in movement and behavior in response to whale-watching vessels could lead to cumulative, long-term consequences, negatively impacting the health and predictability of the resource on which the industry relies. Current formal vessel approach regulations and voluntary guidelines should be revisited to reduce vessel pressure and mitigate potential negative effects of this growing whale-watching industry.

Coralline Algae in a Changing Mediterranean Sea: How Can We Predict Their Future, if We Do Not Know Their Present?

Rindi F, Braga JC, Martin S, Peña V, Le Gall L, Caragnano A, Aguirre J. Coralline Algae in a Changing Mediterranean Sea: How Can We Predict Their Future, if We Do Not Know Their Present?. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00728/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

In this paper, we aim to provide optimal parameters for micro-computed tomography scans of fish otoliths. We tested fifteen different combinations to sagittae. The images were scaled to Hounsfield units, and segmented in two distinct volumes-of-interest (external and internal). The strategy we applied, for identifying optimum scan settings for otoliths, included analyses of the sinogram, the distribution of the Hounsfield units and the signal-to-noise ratio. Based on these tests, the optimum sets of parameters for the acquisition of tomographic images of sagittal otoilths were 80 kV, 220 μA, and 0.5 mm aluminum filter. The method allowed 3D shape analysis, internal and external density distribution, layer-by-layer density segmentation, and a potential objective method to count growth rings in otoliths. It was possible to compare mean densities between species, and we observed a significant difference among them. In addition, there are ontogenic changes, which could be increasing or decreasing the density. In this study, we applied tomography for several otolith analysis, that could be of great interest for future studies in diverse areas that use otoliths as the basic structure of analysis, or represents a new research line called eco-densitometry of otoliths, where tomography could be applied to explore the density within an ecological perspective.

Bridging From Monitoring to Solutions-Based Thinking: Lessons From CalCOFI for Understanding and Adapting to Marine Climate Change Impacts

Gallo ND, Drenkard E, Thompson AR, Weber ED, Wilson-Vandenberg D, McClatchie S, J. Koslow A, Semmens BX. Bridging From Monitoring to Solutions-Based Thinking: Lessons From CalCOFI for Understanding and Adapting to Marine Climate Change Impacts. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00695/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Multidisciplinary, integrated ocean observing programs provide critical data for monitoring the effects of climate change on marine ecosystems. California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) samples along the US West Coast and is one of the world’s longest-running and most comprehensive time series, with hydrographic and biological data collected since 1949. The pairing of ecological and physical measurements across this long time series informs our understanding of how the California Current marine ecosystem responds to climate variability. By providing a baseline to monitor change, the CalCOFI time series serves as a Keeling Curve for the California Current. However, challenges remain in connecting the data collected from long-term monitoring programs with the needs of stakeholders concerned with climate change adaptation (i.e., resource managers, policy makers, and the public), including for the fisheries and aquaculture sectors. We use the CalCOFI program as a case study to ask: how can long-term ocean observing programs inform ecosystem based management efforts and create data flows that meet the needs of stakeholders working on climate change adaptation? Addressing this question and identifying solutions requires working across sectors and recognizing stakeholder needs. Lessons learned from CalCOFI can inform other regional monitoring programs around the world, including those done at a smaller scale in developing countries.

Microplastics on the Menu: Plastics Pollute Indonesian Manta Ray and Whale Shark Feeding Grounds

Germanov ES, Marshall AD, I. Hendrawan G, Admiraal R, Rohner CA, Argeswara J, Wulandari R, Himawan MR, Loneragan NR. Microplastics on the Menu: Plastics Pollute Indonesian Manta Ray and Whale Shark Feeding Grounds. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00679/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The implications of plastic pollution, including microplastics, on marine ecosystems and species are increasingly seen as an environmental disaster. Yet few reports focus on filter-feeding megafauna in regions heavily impacted by plastic pollution, such as Indonesia in the Coral Triangle, a global marine biodiversity hotspot. Here, we evaluate plastic abundance and characterize debris from feeding grounds for manta rays Mobula alfredi and whale sharks Rhincodon typus in three coastal locations in Indonesia: Nusa Penida Marine Protected Area, Komodo National Park, and Pantai Bentar, East Java. A 200 μm plankton net was used to sample the top 0.5 m of the water column (‘trawl survey’) and floating plastics were assessed along ∼440 m long transects (‘visual survey’) during the Indonesian north-west (wet) and south-east (dry) monsoon seasons during 2016–2018. Microplastics were identified visually, measured and categorized from trawl samples, and larger floating plastics were counted and categorized visually from boats. Plastic abundance ranged widely from 0.04 to 0.90 pieces m–3 (trawl survey) and 210 to 40,844 pieces km–2 (visual survey). Results from linear models showed significant seasonal and location differences in estimated plastic abundance for trawl and visual surveys in Nusa Penida and Komodo. Plastic abundance was up to ∼ 44 times higher in the wet than the dry season, with the largest seasonal effect observed in Nusa Penida. Overall, small pieces < 5 mm (≥ 78%), films and fragments (> 50% combined) were the most prevalent plastics. Theoretical plastic ingestion rates were calculated using estimated filtration volumes of manta rays and whale sharks and the mean plastic abundance in their feeding grounds. Upper plastic ingestion estimates for manta rays were ∼63 and 25 pieces h–1 for Nusa Penida and Komodo locations, respectively, and ∼137 pieces h–1 for whale sharks in Java. Analysis of manta ray egested material confirmed plastic ingestion, the consequences of which might include exposure to toxic plastic additives and adhered persistent organic pollutants. Communicating this information to communities who stand to benefit from healthy megafauna populations might help local governments as they work toward reducing plastics in the marine environment.

Introduction

Characteristics of an Advective Marine Heatwave in the Middle Atlantic Bight in Early 2017

Gawarkiewicz G, Chen K, Forsyth J, Bahr F, Mercer AM, Ellertson A, Fratantoni P, Seim H, Haines S, Han L. Characteristics of an Advective Marine Heatwave in the Middle Atlantic Bight in Early 2017. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00712/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

There has been wide interest in Marine Heatwaves and their ecological consequences in recent years. Most analyses have focused on remotely sensed sea surface temperature data due to the temporal and spatial coverage it provides in order to establish the presence and duration of Heatwaves. Using hydrographic data from a variety of sources, we show that an advective Marine Heatwave was initiated by an event in late December of 2016 south of New England, with temperature anomalies measuring up to 6°C and salinity anomalies exceeding 1 PSU. Similar features were observed off of New Jersey in February 2017, and are associated with the Shelfbreak Front migrating from its normal position to mid-shelf or further onshore. Shelf water of 34 PSU was observed just north of Cape Hatteras at the 30 m isobath and across the continental shelf in late April 2017. These observations reveal that the 2017 Marine Heatwave was associated with a strong positive salinity anomaly, that its total duration was approximately 4 months, and its advective path extended roughly 850 km along the length of the continental shelf in the Middle Atlantic Bight. The southward advective velocity implied by the arrival north of Cape Hatteras is consistent with previous estimates of alongshelf velocity for the region. The origin of this Marine Heatwave is likely related to cross-shelf advection driven by the presence of a Warm Core Ring adjacent to the shelfbreak south of New England.

A Meta-Analysis to Understand the Variability in Reported Source Levels of Noise Radiated by Ships From Opportunistic Studies

Chion C, Lagrois D, Dupras J. A Meta-Analysis to Understand the Variability in Reported Source Levels of Noise Radiated by Ships From Opportunistic Studies. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00714/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Background: Commercial shipping is identified as a major source of anthropogenic underwater noise in several ecologically sensitive areas. Any development project likely to increase marine traffic can thus be required to assess environmental impacts of underwater noise. Therefore, project holders are increasingly engaging in underwater noise modeling relying on ships' underwater noise source levels published in the literature. However, a lack of apparent consensus emerges from the scientific literature as discrepancies up to 30 dB are reported for ships' broadband source levels belonging to the same vessel class and operating under similar conditions. We present a statistical meta-analysis of individual ships' broadband source levels available in the literature so far to identify which factors likely explain these discrepancies.

Methods: We collated ships' source levels from the published literature to construct our dataset. A Generalized Linear Mixed Model was applied to the dataset to statistically assess the contribution of intrinsic (i.e., related to ships' static and dynamic attributes) and extrinsic factors (i.e., related to both the protocol for hydroacoustic data acquisition and the noise data reduction procedure) to the reported broadband source levels.

Results: Amongst intrinsic factors, ships' speed-over-ground (15.39 dB ×log10[v1 knot], p−value < 0.001)(15.39 dB ×log10[v1 knot], p−value < 0.001), ships' width (12.03 dB ×log10[b1 m];p−value < 0.001)(12.03 dB ×log10[b1 m];p−value < 0.001), and ships' class (−6.07 to 2.08 dB; p-value ∈ [< 0.001 to 0.036]) have shown the strongest correlations with broadband source levels. The hydrophone-to-source closest point of approach (−4.83dB×[CPA1nmi];p−value<0.001)(−4.83 dB ×[CPA1 nmi];p−value < 0.001) and the correction for surface-image reflections (21.73 dB; p-value = 0.002) contribute the most to explain the reported ships' broadband source levels' variability amongst extrinsic factors.

Conclusions: Our meta-analysis confirms a consensus that speed regulation can effectively reduce instantaneous ships' source levels. Neglecting Lloyd's mirror effects through the abuse of non-corrected spreading laws for propagation loss directly leads to a generalized under-estimation of the ships' source levels retrieved from the literature. This could eventually be addressed by a wider adoption of standardized methods of hydrophone-based sound recordings and of data processing to homogenize results and facilitate their interpretation to conduct environmental impact assessment.

Detecting Marine Heatwaves With Sub-Optimal Data

Schlegel RW, Oliver ECJ, Hobday AJ, Smit AJ. Detecting Marine Heatwaves With Sub-Optimal Data. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00737/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Marine heatwaves (MHWs), or prolonged periods of anomalously warm sea water temperature, have been increasing in duration and intensity globally for decades. However, there are many coastal, oceanic, polar, and sub-surface regions where our ability to detect MHWs is uncertain due to limited high quality data. Here, we investigate the effect that short time series length, missing data, or linear long-term temperature trends may have on the detection of MHWs. We show that MHWs detected in time series as short as 10 years did not have durations or intensities appreciably different from events detected in a standard 30 year long time series. We also show that the output of our MHW algorithm for time series missing less than 25% data did not differ appreciably from a complete time series, and that the level of allowable missing data could cautiously be increased to 50% when gaps were filled by linear interpolation. Finally, linear long-term trends of 0.10°C/decade or greater added to a time series caused larger changes (increases) to the count and duration of detected MHWs than shortening a time series to 10 years or missing more than 25% of the data. The long-term trend in a time series has the largest effect on the detection of MHWs and has the largest range in added uncertainty in the results. Time series length has less of an effect on MHW detection than missing data, but adds a larger range of uncertainty to the results. We provide suggestions for best practices to improve the accuracy of MHW detection with sub-optimal time series and show how the accuracy of these corrections may change regionally.

Old Tools, New Ways of Using Them: Harnessing Expert Opinions to Plan for Surprise in Marine Socio-Ecological Systems

Gladstone-Gallagher RV, Hope JA, Bulmer RH, Clark DE, Stephenson F, Mangan S, Rullens V, Siwicka E, Thomas SF, Pilditch CA, et al. Old Tools, New Ways of Using Them: Harnessing Expert Opinions to Plan for Surprise in Marine Socio-Ecological Systems. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00696/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

With globally accelerating rates of environmental disturbance, coastal marine ecosystems are increasingly prone to non-linear regime shifts that result in a loss of ecosystem function and services. A lack of early-detection methods, and an over reliance on limits-based approaches means that these tipping points manifest as surprises. Consequently, marine ecosystems are notoriously difficult to manage, and scientists, managers, and policy makers are paralyzed in a spiral of ecosystem degradation. This paralysis is caused by the inherent need to quantify the risk and uncertainty that surrounds every decision. While progress toward forecasting tipping points is ongoing and important, an interim approach is desperately needed to enable scientists to make recommendations that are credible and defensible in the face of deep uncertainty. We discuss how current tools for developing risk assessments and scenario planning, coupled with expert opinions, can be adapted to bridge gaps in quantitative data, enabling scientists and managers to prepare for many plausible futures. We argue that these tools are currently underutilized in a marine cumulative effects context but offer a way to inform decisions in the interim while predictive models and early warning signals remain imperfect. This approach will require redefining the way we think about managing for ecological surprise to include actions that not only limit drivers of tipping points but increase socio-ecological resilience to yield satisfactory outcomes under multiple possible futures that are inherently uncertain.

A Trip Upstream to Mitigate Marine Plastic Pollution – A Perspective Focused on the MSFD and WFD

Black JE, Kopke K, O’Mahony C. A Trip Upstream to Mitigate Marine Plastic Pollution – A Perspective Focused on the MSFD and WFD. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00689/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Developing and implementing effective legislation to combat plastic litter in the marine environment has proven a significant challenge. This is in large part due to an incomplete understanding of the sources and transport pathways of plastic litter and is manifested in Europe’s current disjointed legislation that governs the aquatic environment. In this article, the authors present the perspective that marine plastic pollution in European waters cannot be mitigated without increased regional integration between the dominant legislative structures and must provide specific considerations for the role rivers and land-based activities play in the accumulation of plastic litter in the marine environment.

The Future of Reef Ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico: Insights From Coupled Climate Model Simulations and Ancient Hot-House Reefs

Dee SG, Torres MA, Martindale RC, Weiss A, DeLong KL. The Future of Reef Ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico: Insights From Coupled Climate Model Simulations and Ancient Hot-House Reefs. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00691/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Shallow water coral reefs and deep sea coral communities are sensitive to current and future environmental stresses, such as changes in sea surface temperatures (SST), salinity, carbonate chemistry, and acidity. Over the last half-century, some reef communities have been disappearing at an alarming pace. This study focuses on the Gulf of Mexico, where the majority of shallow coral reefs are reported to be in poor or fair condition. We analyze the RCP8.5 ensemble of the Community Earth System Model v1.2 to identify monthly-to-decadal trends in Gulf of Mexico SST. Secondly, we examine projected changes in ocean pH, carbonate saturation state, and salinity in the same coupled model simulations. We find that the joint impacts of predicted higher temperatures and changes in ocean acidification will severely degrade Gulf of Mexico reef systems by the end of the twenty-first century. SSTs are likely to warm by 2.5–3°C; while corals do show signs of an ability to adapt toward higher temperatures, current coral species and reef systems are likely to suffer major bleaching events in coming years. We contextualize future changes with ancient reefs from paleoclimate analogs, periods of Earth's past that were also exceptionally warm, specifically rapid “hyperthermal” events. Ancient analog events are often associated with extinctions, reef collapse, and significant ecological changes, yet reef communities managed to survive these events on evolutionary timescales. Finally, we review research which discusses the adaptive potential of the Gulf of Mexico's coral reefs, meccas of biodiversity and oceanic health. We assert that the only guaranteed solution for long-term conservation and recovery is substantial, rapid reduction of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

The effects of vessel noise on the communication network of humpback whales

Dunlop RA. The effects of vessel noise on the communication network of humpback whales. Royal Society Open Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6(11):190967. Available from: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rsos.190967
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Humpback whales rely on acoustic communication to mediate social interactions. The distance to which these social signals propagate from the signaller defines its communication space, and therefore communication network (number of potential receivers). As humpback whales migrate along populated coastlines, they are likely to encounter noise from vessel traffic which will mask their social signals. Since no empirical data exist on baleen whale hearing, the consequences of this are usually assumed, being the modelled reduction in their communication space. Here, the communication space and network of migrating humpback whales was compared in increasing wind-dominated and vessel-dominated noise. Behavioural data on their social interactions were then used to inform these models. In typical wind noise, a signaller's communication space was estimated to extend to 4 km, which agreed with the maximum separation distance between groups that socially interacted. An increase in vessel noise reduced the modelled communication area, along with a significant reduction in group social interactions, probably due to a reduction in their communication network. However, signal masking did not fully explain this change in social behaviour, implying there was also an additional effect of the physical presence of the vessel on signaller and receiver behaviour. Though these observed changes in communication space and social behaviour were likely to be short term and localized, an increase in vessel activity due to tourism and coastal population growth may cause more sustained changes along the humpback whale migration paths.

Designing Monitoring Programs for Marine Protected Areas Within an Evidence Based Decision Making Paradigm

Hayes KR, Hosack GR, Lawrence E, Hedge P, Barrett NS, Przeslawski R, M. Caley J, Foster SD. Designing Monitoring Programs for Marine Protected Areas Within an Evidence Based Decision Making Paradigm. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00746/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The Evidence Based Decision Making (EBDM) paradigm encourages managers to base their decisions on the strongest available evidence, but it has been criticized for placing too much emphasis on the choice of study design method without considering the types of questions that are being addressed as well as other relevant factors such as how well a study is implemented. Here we review the objectives of Australia’s Marine Park network, and identify the types of questions and data analysis that would address these objectives. Critically, we consider how the design of a monitoring program influences our ability to adequately answer these questions, using the strength of evidence hierarchy from the EBDM paradigm to assess the adequacy of different design strategies and other sources of information. It is important for conservation managers to recognize that the types of questions monitoring programs are able to answer depends on how they are designed and how the collected data are analyzed. The socio-political process that dictates where protected areas are placed typically excludes the strongest types of evidence, Random Controlled Trials (RCTs), for certain questions. Evidence bases that are stronger than ones commonly employed to date, however, could be used to provide a causal inference, including for those questions where RCTs are excluded, but only if appropriate designs such as cohort or case-control studies are used, and supported where relevant by appropriate sample frames. Randomized, spatially balanced sampling, together with careful selection of control sites, and more extensive use of propensity scores and structured elicitation of expert judgment, are also practical ways to improve the evidence base for answering the questions that underlie marine park objectives and motivate long-term monitoring programs.

Faces of power in Integrated Coastal Zone Management: Case studies of Eilat and Aqaba

Klimašauskaitė A, Tal A. Faces of power in Integrated Coastal Zone Management: Case studies of Eilat and Aqaba. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. In Press :105031. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0964569119309019
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

What happens on the coast, does not stay on the coast. Stakeholder power to shape decisions, agendas, and interests have a wide array of global consequences. Coastal management literature, however, pays relatively little attention to discussions of how power is used among stakeholders, limiting the inquiry to elitist and pluralist perspectives — who has the power and makes decisions. Consequently, power on the coast remains understudied. In political science, power has generated a considerable amount of debate. By contrast, research in environmental politics has tended to drift away from political theories. In turn, we use two power theories to fill the gap — non-decisions and consent to domination. We employed semi-structured interviews (thirty-one in total), archival histories, and participant observations to collect rich, thick data and to compare two case studies — Eilat (Israel) and Aqaba (Jordan). Our findings suggest that questioning coastal agendas through non-decisions can be a meaningful coastal planning tool. Further, we find that building consent to domination with regards to coastal interests is very difficult, if not impossible in Eilat. Yet, in Aqaba, sustainable development rhetoric conceals contested stakeholder interests about the greater good, coral reef loss, and other development impacts. Finally, we show that stakeholders in both cities indicate mainly tangible challenges on the coast. That is, power was not seen as a threat to future coastal management efforts. In sum, we expand the explanatory limits of the chosen theories and indicate the need to research intangible challenges on the coast. In particular, how agendas and interests are shaped through non-decisions and consent to domination?

Who’s better at spotting? A comparison between aerial photography and observer-based methods to monitor floating marine litter and marine mega-fauna

Garcia-Garin O, Aguilar A, Borrell A, Gozalbes P, Lobo A, Penadés-Suay J, Raga JA, Revuelta O, Serrano M, Vighi M. Who’s better at spotting? A comparison between aerial photography and observer-based methods to monitor floating marine litter and marine mega-fauna. Environmental Pollution [Internet]. In Press :113680. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0269749119339673
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

Pollution by marine litter is raising major concerns due to its potential impact on marine biodiversity and, above all, on endangered mega-fauna species, such as cetaceans and sea turtles. The density and distribution of marine litter and mega-fauna have been traditionally monitored through observer-based methods, yet the advent of new technologies has introduced aerial photography as an alternative monitoring method. However, to integrate results produced by different monitoring techniques and consider the photographic method a viable alternative, this ‘new’ methodology must be validated. This study aims to compare observations obtained from the concurrent application of observer-based and photographic methods during aerial surveys. To do so, a Partenavia P-68 aircraft equipped with an RGB sensor was used to monitor the waters off the Spanish Mediterranean coast along 12 transects (941 km). Over 10000 images were collected and checked manually by a photo-interpreter to detect potential targets, which were classified as floating marine macro-litter, mega-fauna and seabirds. The two methods allowed the detection of items from the three categories and proved equally effective for the detection of cetaceans, sea turtles and large fish on the sea surface. However, the photographic method was more effective for floating litter detection and the observer-based method was more effective for seabird detection. These results provide the first validation of the use of aerial photography to monitor floating litter and mega-fauna over the marine surface.

Understanding community acceptance of a potential offshore wind energy project in different locations: An island-based analysis of ‘place-technology fit’

Devine-Wright P, Wiersma B. Understanding community acceptance of a potential offshore wind energy project in different locations: An island-based analysis of ‘place-technology fit’. Energy Policy [Internet]. In Press :111086. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421519306731
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $19.95
Type: Journal Article

Understanding the factors influencing community acceptance of renewable energy projects such as offshore wind farms is important for achieving a transition to low carbon energy sources. However, to date community acceptance research has concentrated on responses to actual proposals, seeking to explain local objections. ‘Upstream’ research that investigates the ‘place-technology fit’ of a potential renewable energy project before it is proposed is scarce, yet can inform technology deployment by taking local knowledge and preferences into account. We address this gap in a study conducted in Guernsey, Channel Islands. Data was collected using a survey (n = 468) co-designed with island policy makers presenting technical, economic and locational details of a potential offshore wind project. Results show that acceptance of the same project design differed significantly across alternative development locations. Regression analyses compared the roles of personal, context and project-related factors in explaining acceptance for each site. Support for using wind energy for local electricity supply was the most important predictor of acceptance, and this variable mediated the relationship between island energy security and community acceptance. We conclude that place matters for community acceptance and that security and autonomy are co-benefits of local renewable energy projects that deserve further research.

A new management framework for western Mediterranean demersal fisheries

Lizaso JLuis Sánc, Sola I, Guijarro-Garcia E, Bellido JMaria, Franquesa R. A new management framework for western Mediterranean demersal fisheries. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2020 ;112:103772. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X19306104
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The Common Fisheries Policy in the Mediterranean has been so far based on technical measures that have been relatively stable for a long time, and it did not prevent the efficiency increase in both vessels and gears that have counterbalanced the fleet reduction. The new Multiannual Plan for Demersal fish stocks in the western Mediterranean Sea introduces a fishing effort regime as a new approach to reduce significantly fishing time, allowing stocks to approach MSY in the medium term. However, different approaches to reduce fishing time may have different socio-economic impacts that have to be considered. The reduction of fishing time has to be complemented with selectivity improvements, temporal and permanent closures and local co-management plans to protect both juveniles and spawners. The combination of several measures will soften the need for effort reduction and it will contribute significantly to the sustainability of Mediterranean Fisheries.

Scientific collaboration networks in research on human threats to cetaceans in Brazil

Marega-Imamura M, Michalski F, Silva K, Schiavetti A, Le Pendu Y, Oliveira Lde Carvalh. Scientific collaboration networks in research on human threats to cetaceans in Brazil. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2020 ;112:103738. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X18305876
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

To better understand the threats posed by human activities on cetaceans, we compiled published studies and determined where, how, and by whom the research on this subject has been conducted in Brazil. We also determined which cetacean species were mostly investigated in these studies. We gathered the available scientific literature published from 1986 to 2016 that contained search terms in English that depicted major cetacean threats. Then, we developed a collaboration network among the authors' institutions and generated a distribution map of the investigated threats and study areas. From the 1047 compiled publications, we selected 103 studies that precisely addressed cetacean threats. The selected studies were carried out by 82 institutions from 12 countries. Most of these institutions were universities (n = 55), followed by non-governmental organizations (n = 15) and research institutes (n = 12). Among the two cetacean suborders, odontocetes were the most representative, with Sotalia guianensis and Pontoporia blainvillei present in 50 and 38 publications, respectively. For mysticetes, publications on Megaptera novaeangliae (n = 6) and Eubalaena australis (n = 5) were the most common. Among the addressed threats, more than half (54.4%) of the publications focused on pollution, followed by bycatch (19.4%) and vessel traffic (10.7%). Most of the study areas took place in the states of Rio de Janeiro (22.4%), São Paulo (19.7%), and Rio Grande do Sul (12.9%). Six institutions were the most prevalent in the collaboration networks, and their location corresponded to hotspots of cetacean diversity. Our findings may contribute to identifying research priorities and guide the conservation of cetacean species in Brazil.

Image-based, unsupervised estimation of fish size from commercial landings using deep learning

Álvarez-Ellacuría A, Palmer M, Catalán IA, Lisani J-L. Image-based, unsupervised estimation of fish size from commercial landings using deep learning Beyan C. ICES Journal of Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 . Available from: https://academic.oup.com/icesjms/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/icesjms/fsz216/5638881
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $45.00
Type: Journal Article

The dynamics of fish length distribution is a key input for understanding the fish population dynamics and taking informed management decisions on exploited stocks. Nevertheless, in most fisheries, the length of landed fish is still made by hand. As a result, length estimation is precise at fish level, but due to the inherent high costs of manual sampling, the sample size tends to be small. Accordingly, the precision of population-level estimates is often suboptimal and prone to bias when properly stratified sampling programmes are not affordable. Recent applications of artificial intelligence to fisheries science are opening a promising opportunity for the massive sampling of fish catches. Here, we present the results obtained using a deep convolutional network (Mask R-CNN) for unsupervised (i.e. fully automatic) European hake length estimation from images of fish boxes automatically collected at the auction centre. The estimated mean of fish lengths at the box level is accurate; for average lengths ranging 20–40 cm, the root-mean-square deviation was 1.9 cm, and maximum deviation between the estimated and the measured mean body length was 4.0 cm. We discuss the challenges and opportunities that arise with the use of this technology to improve data acquisition in fisheries.

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