Ecosystem-based fisheries-management (EBFM) is increasingly used in the United States (U.S.), including in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). Producing distribution maps for marine organisms is a critical step in the implementation of EBFM. In particular, distribution maps are important inputs for many spatially-explicit ecosystem models, such as OSMOSE models, as well as for biophysical models used to predict annual recruitment anomalies due to oceanographic factors. In this study, we applied a recently proposed statistical modelling framework to produce distribution maps for: (i) younger juveniles (ages 0–1) of red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus), red grouper (Epinephelus morio), and gag (Mycteroperca microlepis), so as to be able to define the potential larval settlement areas of the three species in a biophysical model; and (ii) the functional groups and life stages represented in the OSMOSE model of the West Florida Shelf (“OSMOSE-WFS”). This statistical modelling framework consists of: (i) compiling a large database blending all of the encounter/non-encounter data of the GOM collected by the fisheries-independent and fisheries-dependent surveys using random sampling schemes, referred to as the “comprehensive survey database;” (ii) employing the comprehensive survey database to fit spatio-temporal binomial generalized linear mixed models (GLMMs) that integrate the confounding effects of survey and year; and (iii) using the predictions of the fitted spatio-temporal binomial GLMMs to generate distribution maps. This large endeavour allowed us to produce distribution maps for younger juveniles of red snapper, red grouper and gag and nearly all of the other functional groups and life stages represented in OSMOSE-WFS, at different seasons. Using Pearson residuals, the probabilities of encounter predicted by all spatio-temporal binomial GLMMs were demonstrated to be reasonable. Moreover, the results obtained for younger juvenile fish concur with the literature, provide additional insights into the spatial distribution patterns of these life stages, and highlight important future research avenues.
Ecosystem-based Management (EBM)
Ecosystem-based management (EBM) is now widely accepted as the best means of managing the complex interactions in marine systems. However, progress towards implementing and operationalizing it has been slow. We take a pragmatic approach to EBM. Our simple definition is balancing human activities and environmental stewardship in a multiple-use context. In this paper, we present case studies on the development and implementation of EBM in Australia. The case studies (Australia’s Ocean Policy, the Great Barrier Reef, New South Wales (NSW) marine estate, Gladstone Harbour, and South Australia and Spencer Gulf) span different spatial scales, from national to regional to local. They also cover different levels of governance or legislated mandate. We identify the key learnings, necessary components and future needs to support better implementation. These include requirements for clearly identified needs and objectives, stakeholder ownership, well defined governance frameworks, and scientific tools to deal with conflicts and trade-offs. Without all these components, multi-sector management will be difficult and there will be a tendency to maintain a focus on single sectors. While the need to manage individual sectors remains important and is often challenging, this alone will not necessarily ensure sustainable management of marine systems confronted by increasing cumulative impacts.
During recent years, marine spatial planning has been the focus of considerable interest throughout the world, particularly in heavily used marine areas. Numerous attempts have been made to define the scope and nature of marine spatial planning, but few have discussed how to put it into practice. Read more
The guide uses a clear, straightforward step-by-step approach to show how marine spatial planning can be set up and applied toward achieving ecosystem-based management. Most steps are illustrated with relevant examples from the real world.
The guide aims at providing:
- Understanding what marine spatial planning is about
- Insight in the consecutive steps and tasks of setting up a successful marine spatial planning initiative that can help achieving ecosystem-based management
- Awareness of what has worked and what has not in marine spatial planning practice around the world
The 10 steps for marine spatial planning include:
Step 1 Defining need and establishing authority
Step 2 Obtaining financial support
Step 3 Organizing the process (pre-planning)
Step 4 Organizing stakeholder participation
Step 5 Defining and analyzing existing conditions
Step 6 Defining and analyzing future conditions
Step 7 Developing and approving the spatial management plan
Step 8 Implementing and enforcing the spatial management plan
Step 9 Monitoring and evaluating performance
Step 10 Adapting the marine spatial management process
Large Marine Ecosystems located around the margins of the continents provide a countless number of goods and services that sustain and fulfill human life and activities: seafood; habitats; energy sources; nutrient cycling and primary production; weather and climate regulation; coastal protection; water detoxification; sediments trapping; and cultural and economic services, among others. Of 66 Large Marine Ecosystems, ten LMEs are located along the coasts of Latin America – California Current, Gulf of California, Gulf of Mexico, Pacific Central American Coastal, Caribbean Sea, Humboldt Current, Patagonian Shelf, South Brazil Shelf, East Brazil Shelf and North Brazil Shelf. Each one possesses different characteristics that make it unique and essential for local populations. Unfortunately, these Large Marine Ecosystems are threatened by several factors such as coastal population growth, pollution, overexploitation and climate change, but most of all poor governance practice. The concept of Ecosystem Based Management aims to consider ecosystems health and importance in all aspects of the recovery and sustainability of LME goods and services. This chapter introduces a general description of the Large Marine Ecosystem approach to sustainable development of coastal ocean resources, presents the concept of Ecosystem Based Management, describes some goods and services provided by Large Marine Ecosystems and draws a picture of each Latin American Large Marine Ecosystem.
This paper explores the impact of fishing low trophic level “forage” species on higher trophic level marine predators including other fish, birds and marine mammals. We show that existing analyses using trophic models have generally ignored a number of important factors including (1) the high level of natural variability of forage fish, (2) the weak relationship between forage fish spawning stock size and recruitment and the role of environmental productivity regimes, (3) the size distribution of forage fish, their predators and subsequent size selective predation (4) the changes in spatial distribution of the forage fish as it influences the reproductive success of predators. We show that taking account of these factors generally tends to make the impact of fishing forage fish on their predators less than estimated from trophic models. We also explore the empirical relationship between forage fish abundance and predator abundance for a range of U.S. fisheries and show that there is little evidence for a strong connection between forage fish abundance and the rate of change in the abundance of their predators. We suggest that any evaluation of harvest policies for forage fish needs to include these issues, and that models tailored for individual species and ecosystems are needed to guide fisheries management policy.
The sustainable management of aquatic ecosystems requires better coordination between policies span-ning freshwater, coastal and marine environments. Ecosystem-based management (EBM) has been promoted as a holistic and integrative approach for the safekeeping and protection of aquatic biodiversity. The paper assesses the degree to which key European environmental policies for the aquatic environment, namely the Birds and Habitats Directives, Water Framework Directive and Marine Strategy Framework Directive, individually support EBM and can work synergistically to implement EBM. This assessment is based on a review of legal texts, EU guidance and implementation documents. The paper concludes that EBM can be made operational by implementing these key environmental directives. Opportunities for improving the integration of EU environmental policies are highlighted.
Ecosystems store vast quantities of wealth, but difficulties measuring wealth held in ecosystems prevent its inclusion in accounting systems. Ecosystem-based management endeavors to manage ecosystems holistically. However, ecosystem-based management lacks headline indicators to evaluate performance. We unify the inclusive wealth and ecosystem-based management paradigms, allowing apples-to-apples comparisons between the wealth of the ecosystem and other forms of wealth, while providing a headline performance index for evaluating the performance of ecosystem-based management. We project that the Baltic Sea fishery ecosystem yields increasing stores of wealth over the next 50 y under the ecosystem-based management-inspired multispecies maximum sustainable yield management beginning in 2017, whereas the previous single-species management generally results in declining wealth.
Recently, the role which fisheries play in the provision of marine ecosystem services has been more widely acknowledged, largely as a result in recent years of fisheries management organisations developing and adopting more ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management (EAFM). Accordingly, several important management and science challenges have been identified. We argue that these challenges represent a number of important steps which underpin effective science based fisheries management, and when taken together and integrated, offer a logical framework by which to best achieve an EAFM. The challenges, or steps of the framework, identified and described are, i. defining appropriate spatial management units based upon significant and coherent ecosystem production processes, ii. assessing multi-species stock dynamics, iii. developing mixed fisheries management approaches, and iv. assessing the impacts of fisheries on non-target species and ecosystem components. The paper considers how the knowledge gained from research on these challenges can be applied to a risk-based management framework as an essential step towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 with respect to the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources for sustainable development.
A generic framework (FW) for the monitoring and evaluation of spatially managed areas (here defined as marine areas subject to a planning and management regime) was developed and tested in nine marine areas of 13 European countries under the EU funded project MESMA (Monitoring and Evaluation of Spatially Managed Areas). This paper describes the lessons learned in the use of the FW and draws conclusions for its future use and development. The selected case studies represented diverse spatial scales, management status and complexity, ranging from sub-national areas to entire national coastlines, and large offshore regions. The application of the FW consisted of seven steps: starting with (i) context setting and (ii) gathering of relevant ecosystem information, human activities and management goals; it continues with (iii) indicator selection and (iv) risk assessment; and the final steps considers the (v) analysis of findings and (vi) the evaluation of management effectiveness, to end up with (vii) the revision and proposal of adaptation to current management. The lessons learnt through the application of the FW in the case studies have proved the value of the FW. However, difficulties rose due to the diversity of the nature and the different stages of development in planning and management in the case study areas; as well as, limited knowledge on ecosystem functioning needed for its implementation. As a conclusion the FW allowed for a flexible and creative application and provided important gap analyses.
Managing for sustainable development and resource extraction requires an understanding of the feedbacks between ecosystems and humans. These feedbacks are part of complex social-ecological systems (SES), in which resources, actors, and governance systems interact to produce outcomes across these component parts. Qualitative modeling approaches offer ways to assess complex SES dynamics. Loop analysis in particular is useful for examining and identifying potential outcomes from external perturbations and management interventions in data poor systems when very little is known about functional relationships and parameter values. Using a case study of multispecies, multifleet coastal small-scale fisheries, we demonstrate the application of loop analysis to provide predictions regarding SES responses to perturbations and management actions. Specifically, we examine the potential ecological and socioeconomic consequences to coastal fisheries of different governance interventions (e.g., territorial user rights, fisheries closures, market-based incentives, ecotourism subsidies) and environmental changes. Our results indicate that complex feedbacks among biophysical and socioeconomic components can result in counterintuitive and unexpected outcomes. For example, creating new jobs through ecotourism or subsidies might have mixed effects on members of fishing cooperatives vs. nonmembers, highlighting equity issues. Market-based interventions, such as ecolabels, are expected to have overall positive economic effects, assuming a direct effect of ecolabels on market-prices, and a lack of negative biological impacts under most model structures. Our results highlight that integrating ecological and social variables in a unique unit of management can reveal important potential trade-offs between desirable ecological and social outcomes, highlight which user groups might be more vulnerable to external shocks, and identify which interventions should be further tested to identify potential win-win outcomes across the triple-bottom line of the sustainable development paradigm.