Food for Thought

The Blue Acceleration: The Trajectory of Human Expansion into the Ocean

Jouffray J-B, Blasiak R, Norström AV, Österblom H, Nyström M. The Blue Acceleration: The Trajectory of Human Expansion into the Ocean. One Earth [Internet]. 2020 ;2(1):43 - 54. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2590332219302751
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Does humanity's future lie in the ocean? As demand for resources continues to grow and land-based sources decline, expectations for the ocean as an engine of human development are increasing. Claiming marine resources and space is not new to humanity, but the extent, intensity, and diversity of today's aspirations are unprecedented. We describe this as the blue acceleration—a race among diverse and often competing interests for ocean food, material, and space. Exploring what this new reality means for the global ocean and how to steer it in a sustainable and equitable way represents an urgent challenge.

Building on a Decade of the Ocean Health Index

Halpern BS. Building on a Decade of the Ocean Health Index. One Earth [Internet]. 2020 ;2(1):30 - 33. Available from: https://www.cell.com/one-earth/fulltext/S2590-3322(19)30270-2
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

With oceans under increasing pressure from human activities, sustainable development and conservation efforts are working to set meaningful targets for healthy oceans. Determining whether those targets are achieved requires indicators that measure status and progress. Here, I reflect upon lessons learned from a decade of developing and calculating the Ocean Health Index.

Short- & long-term effects of monetary and non-monetary incentives to cooperate in public good games: An experiment

Lefebvre M, Stenger A. Short- & long-term effects of monetary and non-monetary incentives to cooperate in public good games: An experiment. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2020 ;15(1):e0227360. Available from: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0227360
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Using a common experimental framework, this paper addresses both the question of the short-term and the long-lasting effects of temporary monetary and non-monetary incentive mechanisms on increasing individual contributions to the public good. The results show that both punishments and rewards significantly increase contributions compared to the baseline, but that monetary sanctions lead to the highest contributions, whereas non-monetary sanctions lead to the lowest contributions. The four types of incentives display long-lasting effects, i.e., contributions do not go back to baseline levels directly after the withdrawal of the incentives. However, rewards appear to have much stronger persistent effects than sanctions, revealing some sort of delayed reciprocity.

From sea monsters to charismatic megafauna: Changes in perception and use of large marine animals

Mazzoldi C, Bearzi G, Brito C, Carvalho I, Desiderà E, Endrizzi L, Freitas L, Giacomello E, Giovos I, Guidetti P, et al. From sea monsters to charismatic megafauna: Changes in perception and use of large marine animals. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2019 ;14(12):e0226810. Available from: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0226810
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Marine megafauna has always elicited contrasting feelings. In the past, large marine animals were often depicted as fantastic mythological creatures and dangerous monsters, while also arousing human curiosity. Marine megafauna has been a valuable resource to exploit, leading to the collapse of populations and local extinctions. In addition, some species have been perceived as competitors of fishers for marine resources and were often actively culled. Since the 1970s, there has been a change in the perception and use of megafauna. The growth of marine tourism, increasingly oriented towards the observation of wildlife, has driven a shift from extractive to non-extractive use, supporting the conservation of at least some species of marine megafauna. In this paper, we review and compare the changes in the perception and use of three megafaunal groups, cetaceans, elasmobranchs and groupers, with a special focus on European cultures. We highlight the main drivers and the timing of these changes, compare different taxonomic groups and species, and highlight the implications for management and conservation. One of the main drivers of the shift in perception, shared by all the three groups of megafauna, has been a general increase in curiosity towards wildlife, stimulated inter alia by documentaries (from the early 1970s onwards), and also promoted by easy access to scuba diving. At the same time, environmental campaigns have been developed to raise public awareness regarding marine wildlife, especially cetaceans, a process greatly facilitated by the rise of Internet and the World Wide Web. Currently, all the three groups (cetaceans, elasmobranchs and groupers) may represent valuable resources for ecotourism. Strikingly, the economic value of live specimens may exceed their value for human consumption. A further change in perception involving all the three groups is related to a growing understanding and appreciation of their key ecological role. The shift from extractive to non-extractive use has the potential for promoting species conservation and local economic growth. However, the change in use may not benefit the original stakeholders (e.g. fishers or whalers) and there may therefore be a case for providing compensation for disadvantaged stakeholders. Moreover, it is increasingly clear that even non-extractive use may have a negative impact on marine megafauna, therefore regulations are needed.

Geopolitics and Marine Conservation: Synergies and Conflicts

Mackelworth PCharles, Seker YTeff, Fernández TVega, Marques M, Alves FLopes, D’Anna G, Fa DA, Goldborough D, Kyriazi Z, Pita C, et al. Geopolitics and Marine Conservation: Synergies and Conflicts. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00759/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

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

Geopolitics and Marine Conservation: Synergies and Conflicts

Mackelworth PCharles, Seker YTeff, Fernández TVega, Marques M, Alves FLopes, D’Anna G, Fa DA, Goldborough D, Kyriazi Z, Pita C, et al. Geopolitics and Marine Conservation: Synergies and Conflicts. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00759/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

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

Population productivity of shovelnose rays: Inferring the potential for recovery

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

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

Boundary spanning among research and policy communities to address the emerging industrial revolution in the ocean

Posner SM, Fenichel EP, McCauley DJ, Biedenweg K, Brumbaugh RD, Costello C, Joyce FH, Goldman E, Mannix H. Boundary spanning among research and policy communities to address the emerging industrial revolution in the ocean. Environmental Science & Policy [Internet]. 2020 ;104:73 - 81. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S146290111930735X
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

Boundary spanning – the practice of facilitating knowledge exchange to address complex sustainability challenges – has the potential to align research and policymaking and increase the uptake of research in decision making. But the goals, methods, and outcomes of boundary-spanning activities in the environment sector can be difficult to describe, missing an opportunity to share lessons learned and improve as a community of practice. This paper describes boundary-spanning activities to integrate research about environmental sustainability with federal ocean policy dialogues in the U.S. We describe the process of organizing, facilitating, and learning from a series of meetings in which five interdisciplinary researchers engaged with federal ocean policy audiences. While the longer-term impacts of the activities associated with these meetings are subtle and remain difficult to detect, more immediate outcomes are observable. These include new professional relationships among researchers and policy staff, reported relevance of the research to general policy discourse, and a narrative that frames the opportunity for policymakers to learn from past industrialization on land as they manage an emerging industrial revolution in the ocean. By presenting the process and outcomes of our boundary-spanning activities, we aim to stimulate timely debate within ocean policy, management, and research communities about the importance of multiple benefits provided by healthy and intact ocean ecosystems and how to protect them in the face of the expanding industrialization of the ocean.

Can multi-use of the sea be safe? A framework for risk assessment of multi-use at sea

van Hoof L, van den Burg SWK, Banach JL, Röckmann C, Goossen M. Can multi-use of the sea be safe? A framework for risk assessment of multi-use at sea. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. In Press :105030. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0964569119309007
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

By 2050 the world population is expected to reach 10 billion people. This population needs food, water and energy. Increasingly, opportunities are sought out at sea to accommodate these needs. As there is already competition for space, especially in the near-shore, opportunities for multi-use, including the combination of, for example, food and energy production in a single location, are sought. One issue that needs to be addressed to allow for multi-use at sea is safety. Existing frameworks for (marine) risk assessment tend to be rather sector specific and, although existing models and frameworks for risk analysis provide useful elements for an integrated analysis, none of the approaches fully caters for the need of having a framework based on a cyclical process of stakeholder input in all steps of the process of risk identification, risk management and risk evaluation and communication, identifying actions to be taken and providing tools useful in each of the steps, while integrating the three perspectives of maritime safety, food (and feed) safety, and environmental impact assessment and the different perspectives of the actors involved. This study developed a common framework for the risk assessment of multi-use at sea, consisting of six steps (Exploring, Understanding, Appraising, Deciding, Implementing and Evaluating & Communication). The framework encompasses and integrates an analysis of food and feed safety aspects, the safety of people and equipment, and environmental safety aspects. For each step, actions are defined, tools that can be of help to stakeholders are presented, and stakeholder participation measures are described. The framework is iterative and dynamic in its nature; with constant communication and evaluation of progress, decisions can be taken to either take a step forward or back. The framework is developed to assist operators and producers, policymakers, and other stakeholders in assessing and managing risks of multi-use at sea.

Coasts in Peril? A Shoreline Health Perspective

Cooper JAG, Jackson DWT. Coasts in Peril? A Shoreline Health Perspective. Frontiers in Earth Science [Internet]. 2019 ;7. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/feart.2019.00260/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Most assessments of coastal vulnerability are undertaken from the perspective of the risk posed to humans, their property and activities. This anthropocentric view is based on widespread public perception (a) that coastal change is primarily a hazard to property and infrastructure and (b) that sea defences (whether soft or hard) are required to mitigate and eliminate coastal hazards. From the perspective of coastal ecosystems such a view is both perverse and damaging. In this paper we present an alternative approach to coastal assessment that centres on the physical integrity of the coast and its associated ecosystems both now and in the near-future. The shoreline health approach represents a new paradigm for coastal management and is intended to provide a much-needed ecosystem perspective. Its premise is to categorize coasts on the degree to which their ability to function morphodynamically has been compromised by human intervention. We present an expert assessment approach involving five categories that range from "Good Heath" (with "Heath Warning" and "Minor Wounds" sub-divisions), through "Minor Injury", "Major Injury", "On Life Support" to "Deceased". We illustrate the concept using tabulated examples of each category from cliffed, clastic and delta coasts and demonstrate its utility through two applications. This approach has the potential to quantify the degree to which coastal ecosystems have been damaged and to focus attention on the cumulative impact of human activities on coastal ecosystems.

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