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The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Editor's note: The goal of The EBM Toolbox is to promote awareness of software tools for facilitating EBM processes, and to provide advice on using those tools effectively. It is brought to you by the EBM Tools Network (www.ebmtools.org), a voluntary alliance of leading tool users, developers, and training providers.

By Sarah Carr

In ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM), tools are needed to help assess and plan for the impact of fisheries on natural and human systems. Such tools may include:

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Global webinar on EBM & EBFM: 16 March 2009 (Note: This has been rescheduled from 23 February)

MEAM and the EBM Tools Network will co-host a live Web-based seminar (or "webinar") on Monday, 16 March 2009, to explore the relationship between ecosystem-based management and ecosystem-based fisheries management. Speakers will include:

MPA News

When scientists and policy-makers gathered in Poland this month for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, significant attention was paid to the effects of increased greenhouse gases on the oceans. The threats of sea level rise and warming sea temperatures, including the latter's impact on coral reefs by causing bleaching, received a major focus.

MPA News

Although ocean acidification will have effects throughout the world's oceans, most of the research on it so far has been in a tropical context, where its implications for coral reef health pose a major concern. Reduced pH levels of seawater are expected to lead to the breakdown of corals' calcium carbonate skeletons, causing significant and potentially irreversible changes in reef ecosystems.

MPA News

In September 2008, the conservation organization WWF held a series of workshops throughout the Baltic Sea region. The workshops were designed to provide lessons in marine spatial planning and management to Baltic decision-makers and stakeholders, and were noteworthy for at least two reasons. One, they featured people who had led a process to re-zone Australia's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (MPA News 5:10) - a place quite different from the Baltic in many ways.

MPA News

At the World Conservation Congress last month, IUCN presented its new official definition for the term "protected area" (MPA News 10:4):

"A clearly defined geographical space, recognized, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values."

MPA News

Professionals working at a range of bureaucratic levels in MPAs in the Western Indian Ocean now may get certified as a way to demonstrate their skills and experience. Developers of the Western Indian Ocean Certification Programme for Marine Protected Area Professionals, or WIO-COMPAS, anticipate eventually adapting and applying it to other regions worldwide.

MPA News

In a report published by the United Nations University this past July, a team of researchers concluded that most coastal management strategies in use worldwide were largely ineffective at stopping environmental degradation, and called for changes. The report Stemming Decline of the Coastal Ocean: Rethinking Environmental Management criticized most coastal and marine resource management efforts as fragmented and insufficiently based on science. MPAs received particular criticism.

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