Understanding changes in wave attenuation by emergent vegetation as wetlands degrade or accrete over time is crucial for incorporation of wetlands into holistic coastal risk management. Linked SLAMM and XBeach models were used to investigate potential future changes in wave attenuation over a 50-year period in a degrading, subtropical wetland and a prograding, temperate wetland. These contrasting systems also have differing management contexts and were contrasted to demonstrate how the linked models can provide management-relevant insights. Morphological development of wetlands for different scenarios of sea-level rise and accretion was simulated with SLAMM and then coupled with different vegetation characteristics to predict the influence on future wave attenuation using XBeach. The geomorphological context, subsidence, and accretion resulted in large predicted reductions in the extent of vegetated land (e.g., wetland) and changes in wave height reduction potential across the wetland. These were exacerbated by increases in sea-level from +0.217 m to +0.386 m over a 50-year period, especially at the lowest accretion rates in the degrading wetland. Mangrove vegetation increased wave attenuation within the degrading, subtropical, saline wetland, while grazing reduced wave attenuation in the temperate, prograding wetland. Coastal management decisions and actions, related to coastal vegetation type and structure, have the potential to change future wave attenuation at a spatial scale relevant to coastal protection planning. Therefore, a coastal management approach that includes disaster risk reduction, biodiversity, and climate change, can be informed by coastal modeling tools, such as those demonstrated here for two contrasting case studies.
Management and Management Effectiveness
Long-lived species share life history traits such as slow growth, late maturity, and low fecundity, which lead to slow recovery rates and increase a population’s vulnerability to disturbance. The Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus) has recently been recognized as the world’s longest-lived vertebrate, but many questions regarding its biology, physiology, and ecology remain unanswered. Here we review how current and future research will fill knowledge gaps about the Greenland shark and provide an overall framework to guide research and management priorities for this species. Key advances include the potential for specialized aging techniques and demographic studies to shed light on the distribution and age-class structure of Greenland shark populations. Advances in population genetics and genomics will reveal key factors contributing to the Greenland shark’s extreme longevity, range and population size, and susceptibility to environmental change. New tagging technologies and improvements in experimental and analytical design will allow detailed monitoring of movement behaviors and interactions among Greenland sharks and other marine species, while shedding light on habitat use and susceptibility to fisheries interactions. Interdisciplinary approaches, such as the combined use of stable isotope analysis and high-tech data-logging devices (i.e., accelerometers and acoustic hydrophones) have the potential to improve knowledge of feeding strategies, predatory capabilities, and the trophic role of Greenland sharks. Measures of physiology, including estimation of metabolic rate, as well as heart rate and function, will advance our understanding of the causes and consequences of long lifespans. Determining the extent and effects of current threats (as well as potential mitigation measures) will assist the development of policies, recommendations, and actions relevant for the management of this potentially vulnerable species. Through an interdisciplinary lens, we propose innovative approaches to direct the future study of Greenland sharks and promote the consideration of longevity as an important factor in research on aquatic and terrestrial predators.
The success of marine management initiatives and our capability for dealing with environmental change largely depend on our understanding regarding the distribution of species and their habitat preferences. In the present study, we deployed baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVs) in a portion of Brazilian central coast (i.e., Todos os Santos Bay) to describe fish species-habitat associations along an estuary-bay-continental shelf gradient. Significant variation in the fish assemblage was found among three ecosystems, four depth classes, and eight different types of habitat, confirming that the structure and composition of fish assemblages is mediated by a set of habitat characteristics forming an ecological mosaic. The highest species richness and relative abundance were found in the mangroves and reefs. The data demonstrated that some species, such as Lutjanus jocu, Lutjanus synagris, Carangoides bartholomaei, Eucinostomus argenteus and Eucinostomus melanopterus had clear ontogenetic shifts among habitats and across ecosystems. Some species (Sphoeroides greeley, L. synagris, and Eucinostomus gula) were widespread along the ecosystem-level gradient and were observed in a number of different habitats, reflecting more generalist habitat associations. By contrast, a large number of species (54; e.g., Ptereleotris randali, Decapterus macarellus and Mugil curema) were recorded in a single habitat type, indicating they were habitat specialists. Despite this apparent habitat-related pattern, the size-mediated relationships found in many species indicate cross-migration along the ecosystem gradient. Our findings have implications for the conservation and monitoring of fish assemblages highlighting the role of the connectivity of marine habitats as a conservation priority toward to an ecosystem-based management strategy.
Change is inherent in coastal systems, which are amongst the most dynamic ones on Earth. Increasing anthropogenic pressure on coastal zones interferes with natural coastal dynamics and can cause ecosystem imbalances that render the zones less stable. Furthermore, human occupation of coastal zones often requires an uncharacteristic degree of stability for these inherently dynamic coastal systems. Coastal management teams face multifaceted challenges in protecting, rehabilitating and conserving coastal systems. Diverse monitoring schemes and modelling tools have been developed to address these challenges. In this article, we explore various perspectives: the integration of biophysical, ecological and social components; the uncertainties of diverse data sources; and the development of flexible coastal interventions. We propose general criteria and guidance for an Ecosystem-based Management (EbM) to coastal management, which aims primarily at adaptation to global change and uncertainties, and to managing and integrating social aspects and biophysical components based on the flows of energy and matter.
Declining natural resources have contributed to a cultural renaissance across the Pacific that seeks to revive customary ridge‐to‐reef management approaches to protect freshwater and restore abundant coral reef fisheries. We applied a linked land–sea modeling framework based on remote sensing and empirical data, which couples groundwater nutrient export and coral reef models at fine spatial resolution. This spatially explicit (60 × 60 m) framework simultaneously tracks changes in multiple benthic and fish indicators as a function of community‐led marine closures, land‐use and climate change scenarios. We applied this framework in Hā‘ena and Ka‘ūpūlehu, located at opposite ends of the Hawaiian Archipelago to investigate the effects of coastal development and marine closures on coral reefs in the face of climate change. Our results indicated that projected coastal development and bleaching can result in a significant decrease in benthic habitat quality and community‐led marine closures can result in a significant increase in fish biomass. In general, Ka‘ūpūlehu is more vulnerable to land‐based nutrients and coral bleaching than Hā‘ena due to high coral cover and limited dilution and mixing from low rainfall and wave power, except for the shallow and wave‐sheltered back‐reef areas of Hā‘ena, which support high coral cover and act as nursery habitat for fishes. By coupling spatially explicit land–sea models with scenario planning, we identified priority areas on land where upgrading cesspools can reduce human impacts on coral reefs in the face of projected climate change impacts.
The concept of multi-use of the sea has gained popularity in recent years as a result of ocean space (coastal areas and regions with relatively small sea space in particular) becoming increasingly crowded due to the development of the maritime economy. Competing claims for space can be a source of conflict, however this may also lead to mutual benefits for different users when sustainable combinations are sought. Despite increasing European-wide efforts, on-the-ground knowledge and practice of multi-use are still limited. Therefore, with the aim of investigating opportunities for multi-use development in the European seas, 10 case studies were selected, involving different site-specific contexts. This study analyses the characteristics and development potential for ocean multi-use, integrating results from desk analysis and stakeholder perceptions from different sectors in each of the case study locations. Similarities and differences between various combinations of sea uses are also identified. The results show a high heterogeneity of multi-use opportunities between case studies, with a range of combinations identified. The investigated combinations of maritime uses share an overall balance between factors promoting (drivers) and hindering (barriers) multi-use development. Based on stakeholder opinions, expected benefits (added values) of multi-use implementation outweigh potential negative impacts. Management actions are also proposed to further exploit multi-use potential at a local, regional (sub-national) and national levels.
Springing from research on the knowledge regimes that affect small-scale fishers and scientists who engage in fisheries governance, in the Azores Islands, Portugal, this article explores how knowledge and communication practices are related to our understandings of the ocean world. It uses diverse social sciences to reframe the marine ecological crisis and re-imagine a broad mix of world views co-existing. It discusses the limitations of the ontology and epistemology born from a hegemonic way of understanding The World, which grew out of the grand narrative of modernity and the colonial power that established Europe as the centre of World History, and condemned Nature to be merely resources whose sole purpose is to serve the dominant economic system. In contrast, Southern world views acknowledge the world's ontological multiplicity, showing us the relationality, hybridity and pluriverse of socio-ecological entanglements and imaginations. Drawing upon debates amongst contemporary critical scholars and activists from an environmental sociology and political ecology perspective, this article challenges normative Northern/Western sciences and how they influence the way researchers understand marine and maritime issues. It examines the implications of ontology on the current oceanic crisis focusing specifically in marine resource management and fisheries policy. Using a diverse source of social sciences it explores the dominant assumptions of the One-World world view and suggests a framework of empathy for diverse scientists and fishers to appreciate their commonalities to better work together across otherwise seemingly insurmountable differences in ways of knowing in order to imagine and create as of yet, unimagined, governance that will support the continual wellbeing of ocean ecosystems and coastal fishing communities.
The ecological management effectiveness (EME) of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is the degree to which MPAs reach their ecological goals. The significant variability of EME among MPAs has been partly explained by MPA design, management and implementation features (e.g. surface area, enforcement, age of protection). We investigated EME variability by employing, for the first time, Organization Science. Eight Mediterranean MPAs were taken into account as case studies to explore the relationships between EME and MPA features, such as: 1) organizational size (i.e. the ratio between the number of full-time employees and the total MPA surface area), 2) management performance (i.e. the level of effort exerted to enhance and sustain the MPA management, including enforcement), 3) total surface area, and 4) MPA age. The log-response ratios of fish biomass and density in protected vs unprotected (control) areas were used as a proxy of EME. Management performance, organizational size and, to a lesser extent, MPA age were positively correlated with the log-response ratio of fish biomass, whereas total surface area did not display a significant role. None of the four features considered was significantly correlated with the log-response ratio of fish density. Based on our findings, we argue that the employment of Organization Science in the management effectiveness assessment can assist MPA managers to reach MPAs goals more effectively, with a more efficient use of available resources.
A commonly held view is that co-management enhances the success of marine protected areas (MPA). The idea of co-management is to create a permanent forum in which a common strategy is initiated, negotiated and exercised in a collaborative way. It explicitly emphasizes the inclusion of wide ranging stakeholder interests and the attempt to balance those. The related literature maintains that the ideal state of co-management is a situation where government institutions and non-governmental stakeholders are equal partners. This study focuses on a co-management arrangement for a Philippine MPA from a critical perspective and systematically analyzes the formally granted rights of local fishers in co-management, and their actual influence on the management. The results show that, despite the legal stipulation of an equitable co-management arrangement including governmental and non-governmental stakeholders, the local fishers’ influence remains low. This discrepancy is mainly caused by i) flaws in the procedural rules of the co-management arrangement, ii) existing power imbalances emanating from local socio-political realities, and iii) drawbacks in non-governmental stakeholder organization and representation. Points of leverage are identified through which the legal design of co-management can be improved for helping to provide the grounds for equitable marine resource management in practice.
The purpose of this paper is to link empowerment to the engagement of low-power stakeholders in the context of marine protected areas (MPAs) to suggest how empowerment-based engagement can be strategised to prevent and overcome management crises within a natural common good and ultimately achieve effective co-management.
This research employs a longitudinal case study methodology. The subject of the study is Torre Guaceto MPA, a natural common good, internationally recognised as a best practice of co-management.
The case study illustrates specific empowerment areas and actions that help move low-power stakeholders to higher levels of engagement to achieve effective co-management. It also suggests that the main strategic implication of empowerment-based engagement is the creation of empowered stakeholders who can serve as catalysts for sustaining the common through the development of entrepreneurial skills that satisfy joint interests.
The applied methodology of a single case and the peculiar conditions intrinsic to this case can be overcome via the inclusion and comparison of other similar commons.
The study provides a stakeholder management model of empowerment-based engagement that offers concrete evidence of empowerment strategies that can be adopted and adapted by the management of similar natural common goods.
The research fills the literature gaps related to understanding the antecedents of engagement and its strategic implications within natural common pool resources.