Tools and Data

Coastal Mooring Observing Networks and Their Data Products: Recommendations for the Next Decade

Bailey K, Steinberg C, Davies C, Galibert G, Hidas M, McManus MA, Murphy T, Newton J, Roughan M, Schaeffer A. Coastal Mooring Observing Networks and Their Data Products: Recommendations for the Next Decade. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00180/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Instrumented moorings (hereafter referred to as moorings), which are anchored buoys or an anchored configuration of instruments suspended in the water column, are highly valued for their ability to host a variety of interchangeable oceanographic and meteorological sensors. This flexibility makes them a useful technology for meeting end user and science-driven requirements. Overall, societal needs related to human health, safety, national security, and economic prosperity in coastal areas are met through the availability of continuous data from coastal moorings and other complementary observing platforms within the Earth-observing system. These data streams strengthen the quality and accuracy of data products that inform the marine transportation industry, the tourism industry, fisheries, the military, public health officials, coastal and emergency managers, educators, and research scientists, among many others. Therefore, it is critical to sustain existing observing system networks, especially during this time of extreme environmental variability and change. Existing fiscal and operational challenges affecting the sustainability of observing networks will likely continue into the next decade, threatening the quality of downstream data and information products – especially those used for long-term monitoring, planning, and decision-making. This paper describes the utility of coastal moorings as part of an integrated coastal observing system, with an emphasis on stakeholder engagement to inform observing requirements and to ensure data products are tailored to user needs. We provide 10 recommendations for optimizing moorings networks, and thus downstream data products, to guide regional planners, and network operators:

1. Develop strategies to increase investment in coastal mooring networks

2. Collect stakeholder priorities through targeted and continuous stakeholder engagements

3. Include complementary systems and emerging technologies in implementation planning activities

4. Expand and sustain water column ecosystem moorings in coastal locations

5. Coordinate with operators and data managers across geographic scales

6. Standardize and integrate data management best practices

7. Provide open access to data

8. Promote environmental health and operational safety stewardship and regulatory compliance

9. Develop coastal mooring observing network performance metrics

10. Routinely monitor and assess the design of coastal mooring networks

Observing Sea States

Ardhuin F, Stopa JE, Chapron B, Collard F, Husson R, Jensen RE, Johannessen J, Mouche A, Passaro M, Quartly GD, et al. Observing Sea States. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00124/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Sea state information is needed for many applications, ranging from safety at sea and on the coast, for which real time data are essential, to planning and design needs for infrastructure that require long time series. The definition of the wave climate and its possible evolution requires high resolution data, and knowledge on possible drift in the observing system. Sea state is also an important climate variable that enters in air-sea fluxes parameterizations. Finally, sea state patterns can reveal the intensity of storms and associated climate patterns at large scales, and the intensity of currents at small scales. A synthesis of user requirements leads to requests for spatial resolution at kilometer scales, and estimations of trends of a few centimeters per decade. Such requirements cannot be met by observations alone in the foreseeable future, and numerical wave models can be combined with in situ and remote sensing data to achieve the required resolution. As today's models are far from perfect, observations are critical in providing forcing data, namely winds, currents and ice, and validation data, in particular for frequency and direction information, and extreme wave heights. In situ and satellite observations are particularly critical for the correction and calibration of significant wave heights to ensure the stability of model time series. A number of developments are underway for extending the capabilities of satellites and in situ observing systems. These include the generalization of directional measurements, an easier exchange of moored buoy data, the measurement of waves on drifting buoys, the evolution of satellite altimeter technology, and the measurement of directional wave spectra from satellite radar instruments. For each of these observing systems, the stability of the data is a very important issue. The combination of the different data sources, including numerical models, can help better fulfill the needs of users.

Potential Uses of Genetic Studies for MPA Design

Umar W, Tassakka ACMAR, Jompa J. Potential Uses of Genetic Studies for MPA Design. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science [Internet]. 2019 ;253:012032. Available from: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1755-1315/253/1/012032/meta
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

In recent years, coral reef degradation has been increasing. Management and conservation efforts have tended to focus only on the physical condition of the coral reefs with less attention to biological and oceanographic aspects, in particular genetics and hydrodynamics. Genetic data can illustrate the connectivity between and within populations of an organism, making it is possible to determine source and sink populations or sites. Studies of physical water movements can also illustrate the likely patterns of movement or predict the mobility of coral planulae. Both of these approaches can help to strengthen Marine Protected Area (MPA) design, especially at the formation stage, in particular MPAs focused on coral reef ecosystems. Together, these two approaches can provide data on biological networks in a region and help delineate stocks. The implications of such studies can help to identify conservation priorities and improve the effectiveness of management processes in Indonesia, and can certainly enable the refinement of general approaches to help produce management plans tailored to local and regional conditions and processes. This brief review aims to review the constraints that occur in the management process, including barriers to and potential benefits of integrating molecular and hydrodynamic data into the management and conservation process, as illustrated through a critical review of MPA implementation in the waters around Sulawesi Island.

Proteomic profiling of ascidians as a tool for biomonitoring marine environments

Kuplik Z, Novak L, Shenkar N. Proteomic profiling of ascidians as a tool for biomonitoring marine environments Chiang T-Y. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2019 ;14(4):e0215005. Available from: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0215005
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Applying a proteomic approach for biomonitoring marine environments offers a useful tool for identifying organisms’ stress responses, with benthic filter-feeders being ideal candidates for this practice. Here, we investigated the proteomic profile of two solitary ascidians (Chordata, Ascidiacea): Microcosmus exasperatus, collected from five sites along the Mediterranean coast of Israel; and Polycarpa mytiligera collected from four sites along the Red Sea coast. 193 and 13 proteins in Mexasperatus and Pmytiligera, respectively, demonstrated a significant differential expression. Significant differences were found between the proteomes from the northern and the southern sites along both the Mediterranean and the Red Sea coasts. Some of the significant proteins had previously been shown to be affected by environmental stressors, and thus have the potential to be further developed as biomarkers. Obtaining a proteomic profile of field-collected ascidians provides a useful tool for the early-detection of a stress response in ascidians worldwide.

Rating the effectiveness of fishery-regulated areas with AIS data

Tassetti AN, Ferrà C, Fabi G. Rating the effectiveness of fishery-regulated areas with AIS data. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. 2019 ;175:90 - 97. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569119300286
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

The currently existing Biological Protection Areas (BPAs) are Italian conservation measures specifically oriented to preserve/recover commercial fish stocks through the regulation or ban of few fishing activities. Although BPAs have been well identified/designed within the Italian national waters, neither data on their effects on fishery resources nor on the fishers’ compliance with these no-take regulations are yet available.

In this context, the present study was aimed to investigate how AIS data processing could be used to map patterns in fishing activity within/around small regulated areas and rate the effectiveness of the conservation measures in place. To do this, it was impossible not to address the issue surrounding well-known and substantial gaps in data coverage and attempt an estimate of them by flagging events when AIS had been switched off within/around BPAs.

Results highlighted that almost all the BPAs are illegally trawled and that, unless additional legislation is effected to regulate the use of AIS by fishing vessels, it may provide a useful source of information to map fishing activities stated that the data are interpreted in an appropriate way.

Social media data for conservation science: A methodological overview

Toivonen T, Heikinheimo V, Fink C, Hausmann A, Hiippala T, Järv O, Tenkanen H, Di Minin E. Social media data for conservation science: A methodological overview. Biological Conservation [Internet]. 2019 ;233:298 - 315. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320718317609
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Improved understanding of human-nature interactions is crucial to conservation science and practice, but collecting relevant data remains challenging. Recently, social media have become an increasingly important source of information on human-nature interactions. However, the use of advanced methods for analysing social media is still limited, and social media data are not used to their full potential. In this article, we present available sources of social media data and approaches to mining and analysing these data for conservation science. Specifically, we (i) describe what kind of relevant information can be retrieved from social media platforms, (ii) provide a detailed overview of advanced methods for spatio-temporal, content and network analyses, (iii) exemplify the potential of these approaches for real-world conservation challenges, and (iv) discuss the limitations of social media data analysis in conservation science. Combined with other data sources and carefully considering the biases and ethical issues, social media data can provide a complementary and cost-efficient information source for addressing the grand challenges of biodiversity conservation in the Anthropocene epoch.

First marlin archival tagging study suggests new direction for research

Domeier ML, Ortega-Garcia S, Nasby-Lucas N, Offield P. First marlin archival tagging study suggests new direction for research. Marine and Freshwater Research [Internet]. 2019 ;70(4):603. Available from: http://www.publish.csiro.au/MF/MF18160
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Decades of billfish tagging studies have been hindered by below-par conventional tag recovery rates and high rates of premature satellite pop-up tag shedding. With hopes of obtaining long-term tracking data, we performed the world’s first archival tagging study on an istiophorid, surgically implanting 99 archival tags into the peritoneal cavity of striped marlin (Kajikia audax) off the coast of Baja California, Mexico. Marlin were also tagged externally with a conventional tag before release. Ten archival tags (10.1%) were recovered with days at liberty (DAL) ranging from 400 to 2795. Nine recoveries were from Mexican waters, whereas one marlin was recaptured off Ecuador. In total, 100% of the light stalks on the archival tags failed, with nine failing within the first 3 months of deployment; because the light data are used to estimate the geographic position of the tagged fish, tracking data were compromised. The absence of conventional tags on all recaptured marlin indicates that studies of marlin using conventional tags have been hindered by tag shedding rather than tagging-associated mortality or underreporting. Our high recapture rate and long DAL suggest istiophorid science could be greatly advanced by archival tagging if new tag designs or methods can eliminate tag failure.

Examination of an indicative tool for rapidly estimating viable organism abundance in ballast water

Byllaardt JVanden, Adams JK, Casas-Monroy O, Bailey SA. Examination of an indicative tool for rapidly estimating viable organism abundance in ballast water. Journal of Sea Research [Internet]. 2018 ;133:29 - 35. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1385110116302027
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Regulatory discharge standards stipulating a maximum allowable number of viable organisms in ballast water have led to a need for rapid, easy and accurate compliance assessment tools and protocols. Some potential tools presume that organisms present in ballast water samples display the same characteristics of life as the native community (e.g. rates of fluorescence). This presumption may not prove true, particularly when ships' ballast tanks present a harsh environment and long transit times, negatively impacting organism health. Here, we test the accuracy of a handheld pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) fluorometer, the Hach BW680, for detecting photosynthetic protists at concentrations above or below the discharge standard (< 10 cells·ml− 1) in comparison to microscopic counts using fluoresce indiacetate as a viability probe. Testing was conducted on serial dilutions of freshwater harbour samples in the lab and in situ untreated ballast water samples originating from marine, freshwater and brackish sources utilizing three preprocessing techniques to target organisms in the size range of ≥ 10 and < 50 μm. The BW680 numeric estimates were in agreement with microscopic counts when analyzing freshly collected harbour water at all but the lowest concentrations (< 38 cells·ml− 1). Chi-square tests determined that error is not independent of preprocessing methods: using the filtrate method or unfiltered water, in addition to refining the conversion factor of raw fluorescence to cell size, can decrease the grey area where exceedance of the discharge standard cannot be measured with certainty (at least for the studied populations). When examining in situ ballast water, the BW680 detected significantly fewer viable organisms than microscopy, possibly due to factors such as organism size or ballast water age. Assuming both the BW680 and microscopy with FDA stain were measuring fluorescence and enzymatic activity/membrane integrity correctly, the observed discrepancy between methods may simply reflect that the two methods are measuring different characteristics of life. This is the first study to conduct proof-of-concept testing for a rapid compliance detection tool using freshly collected harbour water concomitantly with in situ ballast water; our results demonstrate that it is important to challenge potential compliance tools with water samples spanning a range of biotic and abiotic conditions.

A novel tool for measuring the penetration of the ecosystem service concept into public policy

Robinne F-N, Gallagher L, Bréthaut C, Schlaepfer MA. A novel tool for measuring the penetration of the ecosystem service concept into public policy. Ecosystem Services [Internet]. 2019 ;36:100914. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212041618304479
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $31.50
Type: Journal Article

The ecosystem services (ES) concept has gained traction amongst stakeholders involved in environmental regulation, yet little is known about the extent to which the ES concept has been translated into public policy. Here, we present a new online database of policy documents related to ES: GlobaLDES (https://tinyurl.com/GlobalDES). The database was created in 2016 and compiled through a crowdsourced process. Learners involved in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) were invited to submit documents that explicitly refer to ES. We included in our analysis documents related to laws, regulations, ordonnances, tax incentives, certification, and strategic planning. By early 2018 the database contained 136 relevant entries from 46 countries. Most examples (60%) were in a language other than English. More than 50% of entries addressed multiple ES or the link between biodiversity and ES. There was also a positive temporal trend towards inclusion of multiple ecosystem services. The GlobaLDES database represents the first known snapshot of the mainstreaming of the ES concept at a global scale. Our analysis suggests an accelerating adoption of the ES concept into policy. As the number of entries improves, GlobaLDES will serve as a useful benchmarking tool for monitoring the diffusion of the ES concept into policy-making.

Translating Marine Animal Tracking Data into Conservation Policy and Management

Hays GC, Bailey H, Bograd SJ, W. Bowen D, Campagna C, Carmichael RH, Casale P, Chiaradia A, Costa DP, Cuevas E, et al. Translating Marine Animal Tracking Data into Conservation Policy and Management. Trends in Ecology & Evolution [Internet]. 2019 . Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169534719300242
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $37.95
Type: Journal Article

There have been efforts around the globe to track individuals of many marine species and assess their movements and distribution, with the putative goal of supporting their conservation and management. Determining whether, and how, tracking data have been successfully applied to address real-world conservation issues is, however, difficult. Here, we compile a broad range of case studies from diverse marine taxa to show how tracking data have helped inform conservation policy and management, including reductions in fisheries bycatch and vessel strikes, and the design and administration of marine protected areas and important habitats. Using these examples, we highlight pathways through which the past and future investment in collecting animal tracking data might be better used to achieve tangible conservation benefits.

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