During winter months, humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) frequent the coastal waters of Virginia near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Located within the Bay is Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s largest naval military installation, and the Port of Virginia, the sixth busiest container port in the United States. These large seaports, combined with the presence of recreational boaters, commercial fishing vessels, and sport-fishing boats, result in a constant heavy flow of vessel traffic through the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and adjacent areas. From December 2015 to February 2017, 35 satellite tags were deployed on humpback whales to gain a better understanding on the occurrence, movements, site-fidelity, and overall behavior of this species within this high-traffic region. The tags transmitted data for an average of 13.7 days (range 2.7–43.8 days). Location data showed that at some point during tag deployment, nearly all whales occurred within, or in close proximity to, the shipping channels located in the study area. Approximately one quarter of all filtered and modeled locations occurred within the shipping channels. Hierarchical state-space modeling results suggest that humpback whales spend considerable time (82.0%) engaged in foraging behavior at or near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Of the 106 humpback whales photo-identified during this research, nine individuals (8.5%) had evidence of propeller strikes. One whale that had previously been tagged and tracked within shipping channels, was found dead on a local beach; a fatality resulting from a vessel strike. The findings from this study demonstrate that a substantial number of humpback whales frequent high-traffic areas near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, increasing the likelihood of injurious vessel interactions that can result in mortalities.
Marine/Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP)
As human use of the oceans increases, marine spatial planning (MSP) is being more widely adopted to achieve improved environmental, economic, and social outcomes. However, there is a lack of practical guidance for stakeholder driven, scientifically informed MSP processes in small island and data‐limited contexts. Here, we present an overview of MSP on the Caribbean island of Montserrat, with a focus on the scientific and technical input that helped inform the process. Montserrat presents an interesting case study of MSP in the small island context as it has ocean uses that are common to many islands, namely small‐scale fisheries and tourism, but the marine environment has been heavily impacted due to volcanic activity. We detail the methods for data collection and analysis and the decision‐making process that contributed to a marine spatial plan. We highlight aspects of the process that may be useful for other small islands embarking on MSP, and lessons learned regarding scientific support, including the need for on‐site scientific support and guidance throughout MSP, the importance of setting clear objectives, working within data limitations and making data accessible, and choosing and using appropriate decision support tools.
Maritime Cultural Heritage (MCH) today stands as a witness of early human naval endeavours. Jeopardized by modern days’ maritime activities, MCH requires a holistic planning approach for conservation management, taking into consideration the future dimension of humankind’s maritime aspirations. This need could be incorporated within a Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) framework, an emerging multidisciplinary process that seeks to prevent conflicts among maritime activities, whilst promoting environmental conservation and sustainable economic development.
This paper identifies main issues related to MCH, and addresses the role that MSP can play in the conservation of MCH, illustrated by two examples from Lebanon.
This thesis analyses the projects that are used to produce coherent transnational Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) by the EU, in accordance with the MSP directive. As the number of projects have increased, there are so many that there is a possibility that knowledge generated in the projects does not reach subsequent projects. The research was carried out by way of a qualitative content analysis, and used a framework based on planning theory, MSP theory, projectification theory, knowledge management and organisational learning. The coupling of theories allowed for identification of positive and negative consequences of using projects, and what mechanisms facilitate for knowledge management within temporary organisations such as projects. Basing the analysis on planning theory and MSP theory allowed the research to focus on what knowledge was relevant to the knowledge generating process. Together in the framework the theories made it possible to process the large amount of data in the analysis and produce comprehensible results. The findings indicate that when projects have a stable core of participating civil servants and organisations, it is easier to retain knowledge between projects. The results also point towards good knowledge retention in general between MSP projects that are designed to build on one another, but less so regarding the knowledge retention from the supporting research projects, suggesting that closer collaboration might be in order for the generated knowledge to come to good use.
- Connectivity of marine populations and ecosystems is crucial to maintaining and enhancing their structure, distribution, persistence, resilience and productivity. Artificial hard substrate, such as that associated with oil and gas platforms, provides settlement opportunities for species adapted to hard substrates in areas of soft sediment. The contribution of artificial hard substrate and the consequences of its removal (e.g. through decommissioning) to marine connectivity is not clear, yet such information is vital to inform marine spatial planning and future policy decisions on the use and protection of marine resources.
- This study demonstrates the application of a social network analysis approach to quantify and describe the ecological connectivity, informed by particle tracking model outputs, of hard substrate marine communities in the North Sea. Through comparison of networks with and without artificial hard substrate, and based on hypothetical decommissioning scenarios, this study provides insight into the contribution of artificial hard substrate, and the consequence of decommissioning, to the structure and function of marine community connectivity.
- This study highlights that artificial hard substrate, despite providing only a small proportion of the total area of hard substrate, increases the geographic extent and connectivity of the hard substrate network, bridging gaps, thereby providing ‘stepping stones’ between otherwise disconnected areas of natural hard substrate. Compared to the baseline scenario, a decommissioning scenario with full removal of oil and gas platforms results in a nearly 60% reduction in connectivity. Such reduction in connectivity may have negative implications for species’ distribution, gene flow and resilience following disturbance or exploitation of marine hard substrate communities.
- Synthesis and applications. Social network analysis can provide valuable insight into connectivity between marine communities and enable the evaluation of impacts associated with changes to the marine environment. Providing standardized, transparent and robust outputs, such a tool is useful to facilitate understanding across different disciplines, including marine science, marine spatial planning and marine policy. Social network analysis therefore has great potential to address current knowledge gaps with respect to marine connectivity and crucially facilitate assessment of the impacts of changes in offshore substrate as part of the marine spatial planning process, thereby informing policy and marine management decisions.
Jor Bay Lombok is a marine protected area (MPA) which is initiated by local communities, which have a local-driven marine management regulation called Awiq-awiq. Unfortunately, the fisheries condition has continued to decline in the past decades, where the rate of exploitation of capture fisheries in Jor Bay shows an unbalanced condition because the harvest value is still higher than the recruitments and growth. Awiq-awiq regulates all existing utilization and protection of marine resources, but yet, has not included spatial aspects, leaving a situation that leads to unsustainability for fisheries resources and other resources. Balanced zoning of ecosystems and marine resources is needed in order to ensure the sustainability of the fisheries system in Jor Bay. This paper aims to illustrate how a marine spatial planning approach in a local MPA can be built with a community-based zoning system. The integration of local systems and formal-government systems is very effective and fast in the development of MPA zoning systems by considering the optimum allocation of the existence of ecosystems that guarantee the natural metabolic processes of the fisheries system in the Bay. The implementation of the MPA zoning system is expected to be able to support the guarantee of sustainable fisheries production for the surrounding region.
Marine spatial planning aims to create a framework for the oceans and seas that minimise conflicts between economic activities within the marine environment while maintaining good environmental status. Although reports by international – and national – organisations suggest there are economic benefits to marine spatial planning this analysis has, to date, been aspatial. Employing an explorative Q methodology approach with ten participants, this paper seeks to address this spatial and distributive gap by exploring stakeholders (marine renewable energy, fishing industry, aquaculture and marine tourism) perceptions of the economic impacts of marine spatial planning across varying (local to national) geographical scales in the U.K. The paper develops a typology of three different perspectives on the economic impacts of marine spatial planning: the optimistic ‘place-makers’; the sceptical ‘place-holders’; and the utilitarian ‘place-less’. Findings highlight that participants loading onto a specific ‘type’ cannot simply be explained by stakeholder categorisation. This research contributes to the coastal management literature by identifying differing perceptions on the ‘spatial economic impact’ of marine spatial planning by economic actors utilising marine and coastal areas in the U.K.
The success of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) depends on the effective participation of small-scale fishers (SSFs), and the extent to which marine governance in general can address the problems they face. As Poland's MSP in areas that are key to small-scale fisheries are yet to begin, this paper explores tensions in the country's looming coastal MSP processes through clarifying both the risks faced by SSFs and their perspectives on MSP. Using semi-structured interviews with SSFs and analytical literature reviews on small-scale fisheries, it is found that Poland's MSP is cast against a contentious history of marine resource management that shapes negative perceptions of and attitudes towards both the European Union-mediated MSP and marine scientists. Notably, SSFs believe that (1) authorities often undervalue and underutilize their experiential knowledge, (2) MSP is intended primarily to facilitate the siting of offshore wind farms and, (3) scientific knowledge is either not effectively communicated or is at the service of investors. A discussion follows that proposes measures through which planners can ensure procedural fairness. The paper concludes by offering TURF-Reserves as a novel and integrated co-management system within MSP which has potentials for empowering SSFs and revitalizing Poland's small-scale fisheries, while ensuring effective marine protection.
The current arrangements for the management of the marine resources of Bangladesh are not adequate for sustainable management. Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) may be a tool to achieve sustainable management of marine resources. The Government of Bangladesh is planning for the development of MSP for sustainable management of the marine resources in the Bay of Bengal. However, a clear understanding of the current and required legal and institutional arrangements for the development of MSP in Bangladesh is essential for sustainable management of the marine resources. This article analyzes the current legal and institutional arrangements concerning the management of marine resources and explores potential inadequacies for the development of MSP for sustainable management. The article refers to the legal and institutional arrangements of other coastal states which have already developed MSP to find out the required arrangements for the development of MSP in Bangladesh.
Existing marine bioregions covering the Pacific Ocean are conceptualised at spatial scales that are too broad for national marine spatial planning. Here, we developed the first combined oceanic and coastal marine bioregionalisation at national scales, delineating 262 deep-water and 103 reef-associated bioregions across the southwest Pacific. The deep-water bioregions were informed by thirty biophysical environmental variables. For reef-associated environments, records for 806 taxa at 7369 sites were used to predict the probability of observing taxa based on environmental variables. Both deep-water and reef-associated bioregions were defined with cluster analysis applied to the environmental variables and predicted species observation probabilities, respectively to classify areas with high taxonomic similarity. Local experts further refined the delineation of the bioregions at national scales for four countries. This work provides marine bioregions that enable the design of ecologically representative national systems of marine protected areas within offshore and inshore environments in the Pacific.