The tourist development along the Mediterranean coast, especially on the coast of Spain, France and Italy, has caused a huge urban expansion and consolidation of a highly densified harbour front. The environmental consequences should bring about the future growth of the existing system of ports through its re-qualification development. The article provides a list of 6 strategies for the future improvement of ports that correspond to the areas of research in the international port literature. These ideas had been deeply developed in previous works from different disciplines, but they are now put together in order to offer a general vision of the debate: (1) marine strategy and integrated coastal management, (2) sustainable port infrastructures, (3) port networking initiatives, (4) regionalization of ports, (5) urban and landscape connectivity, and (6) social integration of ports. The text collects some literature on each of the views and suggests throughout the topics some ideas to be considered for existing ports in general and specifically for the Spanish Mediterranean ports.
Vessel Traffic and Tracking, Shipping, and Ports
This report presents the overall results of the spatial data collection in 2015 & 2016 and the methods and results of participatory mapping workshops conducted in 2016. The 2015 Pilot Party and Charter Vessel Mapping Study Final Report provides additional details on the project, including the context, purpose, and goals; the collaboration with fisheries management officials and entities; and development and management of the technical infrastructure, including data management and processing. Figure 2 presents a timeline of the spatial data collection pilot project.
Harbours are a focus of intensive and diverse activities and thus have a high potential to become centres of conflict between users. Reviewing the multiple uses associated with harbours provides important insights into maritime communities and the management of conflict. In this paper, seven international, multi-disciplinary groups provide their expert synthesis of individual harbours. After a detailed discussion experts from Sydney, Qingdao, Vigo, Auckland, Jakarta, Crete and Plymouth synthesised and shared their harbour’s characteristics, user conflicts and how such conflicts have been researched and managed. The paper addresses an omission of “conflict” in most of the research literature about harbours, and ports and scopes a research agenda that includes integration, risk appreciation and other approaches to these increasingly contentious maritime environments. This process provided an opportunity for global researchers to share the ways harbour conflicts are mitigated and the kinds of adaptations that are possible.
Shipping is critical to global trade and anchoring is a long-held practice for safe and effective ship operations. While it is well established that anchoring or mooring of small recreational vessels has physical impacts on the seafloor and associated biota, the impacts of larger ships on seafloor environments has received little attention. This is, however, an increasingly pressing issue as world trade increases and shipping impacts on valuable yet vulnerable marine environments escalate. Using a case study in south eastern Australia this article highlights the multifaceted issues surrounding the anchoring of large ocean-going vessels. How these activities interact with marine environments is explored, with emphasis on the significant uncertainty surrounding impacts on seafloor biota. Finally, a range of potential response options to mitigate the effects of anchoring are provided.
Many studies have shown that vessel traffic has both long- and short-term negative effects on marine mammals. Although there has been a great expansion of recreational vessel traffic in the Mediterranean Sea in recent decades, few studies focused on this problem. Here, Bayesian models were used to explore the influence of vessel traffic on behaviour and relative abundance patterns of bottlenose dolphin in the Archipelago de La Maddalena (Italy), a coastal area included within the Pelagos Sanctuary. Results showed that season, moon phase and presence of calves had an effect on the number of adult dolphins per sighting, and that there were differences in occurrence in the sub-areas. On the contrary, the number of vessels was negatively related to the number of adult dolphins and their mean dive intervals. In particular, when more than three recreational boats were present in the area, dolphins surfaced more frequently per unit time and behaviours such as feeding and socializing were not detected. On the contrary, longer mean dive was found when fishing boats were present. Our results provide additional support for the need to consider disturbance such as vessel traffic in management plans for cetacean conservation.
A key challenge in contemporary ecology and conservation is the accurate tracking of the spatial distribution of various human impacts, such as fishing. While coastal fisheries in national waters are closely monitored in some countries, existing maps of fishing effort elsewhere are fraught with uncertainty, especially in remote areas and the High Seas. Better understanding of the behavior of the global fishing fleets is required in order to prioritize and enforce fisheries management and conservation measures worldwide. Satellite-based Automatic Information Systems (S-AIS) are now commonly installed on most ocean-going vessels and have been proposed as a novel tool to explore the movements of fishing fleets in near real time. Here we present approaches to identify fishing activity from S-AIS data for three dominant fishing gear types: trawl, longline and purse seine. Using a large dataset containing worldwide fishing vessel tracks from 2011–2015, we developed three methods to detect and map fishing activities: for trawlers we produced a Hidden Markov Model (HMM) using vessel speed as observation variable. For longliners we have designed a Data Mining (DM) approach using an algorithm inspired from studies on animal movement. For purse seiners a multi-layered filtering strategy based on vessel speed and operation time was implemented. Validation against expert-labeled datasets showed average detection accuracies of 83% for trawler and longliner, and 97% for purse seiner. Our study represents the first comprehensive approach to detect and identify potential fishing behavior for three major gear types operating on a global scale. We hope that this work will enable new efforts to assess the spatial and temporal distribution of global fishing effort and make global fisheries activities transparent to ocean scientists, managers and the public.
Recognizing the need for consensus-building research in this area, the Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping asked the Council of Canadian Academies to convene an expert workshop to identify the risks associated with commercial marine shipping in major Canadian shipping regions. The final workshop report, Commercial Marine Shipping Accidents: Understanding the Risks in Canada, identifies the risks of commercial marine shipping accidents across Canada’s regions and for different cargo types, while highlighting gaps in understanding and areas for further research.
The workshop report brings together perspectives from academia, government, and industry and is informed by evidence from a survey of the marine shipping community and an extensive review of the existing literature. It can be used as a tool for policy-makers to help inform decisions related to managing the risks of commercial marine shipping accidents. Overall, this workshop report seeks to contribute to a national dialogue about acceptable levels of risk in commercial marine shipping.
As new developments are proposed in Northeast US waters, such as offshore wind energy and ocean aquaculture, there is a need to better understand use patterns of regional party and charter fishing activities to anticipate and avoid potential use conflicts. In addition, accurate and timely fisheries- dependent information is important to fisheries managers for effective management of fish stocks; electronic reporting systems offer to reduce the reporting burden on fishers and improve efficiency and accuracy of data collection. Through a collaborative effort among the Northeast Regional Planning Body (NERPB), state and federal fisheries officials, the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP), SeaPlan, George Lapointe Consulting, Harbor Light Software, and party and charter fishing industry members (interchangeably referred to as the for-hire sector), project partners conducted a small- scale pilot study in 2015 to explore potential methods for characterizing the sector’s activity. During the study, project partners worked to advance electronic reporting systems for the sector, ultimately leading to the certification of SAFIS eTRIPS Mobile software for use in federal fisheries reporting.
This report describes the project team’s methods, presents a selection of the location data collected, and summarizes key lessons learned during the pilot study.
International shipping, although considered a safe and environment-friendly form of transportation, has many direct and indirect impacts on cetaceans in many ways, particularly in the Mediterranean Sea, one of the world's busiest waterways. An AIS receiver located at 44.30 °N and 8.45 °E, operating between 3 May 2013 and 31 October 2014, provided a detailed description of the distribution, number, type and operation of vessels within the Pelagos Sanctuary, an international protected area dedicated to the conservation of marine mammals. A total of 3,757,587 km of vessel traffic was recorded from 82,831 transits by 4205 distinct vessels. The spatial and temporal distribution of traffic was not uniform and dependent on vessel type (0.00<r<0.7); the level of shipping differed spatially between day and night. Passenger vessel traffic was predominant, with 20,853 transits totalling 1,385,361 km, followed by cargo (12,384 transits totalling 1,427,681 km). Transit speed significantly differed amongst vessel types (F=12621, d.f.=5, p-value<0.0001) with passenger vessels the fastest (mean 15.47±4.40 kn). Hazardous cargo transits accounted for 435,116 km. Vessels within the sanctuary navigated under the flags of 90 different states, in variable proportion depending on vessel type (X2=1231, d.f.=10, p-value<0.0001). The data presented in this study on high density shipping corridors and hazardous cargo supplies information for the identification of areas at higher risk from shipping. This data once integrated with available ecological data, can be used to inform ecosystem based management within a Marine Spatial Planning framework.
The human-mediated translocation of species poses a distinct threat to nature, human health, and economy. Although existing models calculate the invasion probability of any species, frameworks for species-specific forecasts are still missing. Here, we developed a model approach using global ship movements and environmental conditions to simulate the successive global spread of marine alien species that allows predicting the identity of those species likely to arrive next in a given habitat. In a first step, we simulated the historical stepping-stone spreading dynamics of 40 marine alien species and compared predicted and observed alien species ranges. With an accuracy of 77%, the model correctly predicted the presence/absence of an alien species in an ecoregion. Spreading dynamics followed a common pattern with an initial invasion of most suitable habitats worldwide and a subsequent spread into neighboring habitats. In a second step, we used the reported distribution of 97 marine algal species with a known invasion history, and six species causing harmful algal blooms, to determine the ecoregions most likely to be invaded next under climate warming. Cluster analysis revealed that species can be classified according to three characteristic spreading profiles: emerging species, high-risk species, and widespread species. For the North Sea, the model predictions could be confirmed because two of the predicted high-risk species have recently invaded the North Sea. This study highlights that even simple models considering only shipping intensities and habitat matches are able to correctly predict the identity of the next invading marine species.