All areas of the Mediterranean and Black Sea deeper than 1000 m will be permanently off-limits to bottom trawling, according to a decision in late February by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), the main intergovernmental fishery management body in the region. The binding measure will take effect in late June 2005, although individual GFCM member states may object in the meantime to its applying to them.
Queensland designates three MPAs with indigenous help
Dear MPA News:
Incorporating the potential impacts of climate change into MPA planning is certainly a wise approach. Often we focus on the root causes of climate change while forgetting that there are tangible actions we can take in response to ecosystem change.
Earth's climate and ocean systems are in a continual state of change. Such variability occurs on different scales of space and time, from daily weather to decades-long patterns in regional sea surface temperatures. Although much of this fluctuation is natural, it is now believed that change can be induced by human activity as well. Greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels, for example, can cause warming of the planet's surface, including its oceans.
Planning a network of marine protected areas requires knowledge of where MPAs currently exist, so that gaps in habitat protection can be addressed. Amid recent calls by governmental and conservation leaders for a worldwide network of MPAs by 2012 (MPA News 4:3 and 5:4), a project is underway to build an enhanced global database of MPAs, including each site's location, regulations, and habitats.
Last month, MPA News reported on efforts to assess impacts of the Indian Ocean tsunami on MPAs and marine resources (MPA News 6:7). Resource managers, scientists, and volunteers throughout the region continue their work to document the damage and, in some cases, begin repair of natural structures, such as coral reefs.
Fishery managers vote to close 950,000 km2 of North Pacific to bottom trawling
Managers of US fisheries in the North Pacific voted in February to prohibit bottom trawling in nearly one million square kilometers of water in an effort to minimize the effects of fishing on sensitive coral and sponge habitat.
The Indian Ocean tsunami on 26 December 2004 brought catastrophic human suffering to coastal communities in South and Southeast Asia. It also affected many marine ecosystems in the region, through broken coral reefs, sedimentation, and piling of debris, among other impacts. Efforts are underway region-wide to assess the undersea damage from the disaster, including effects on MPAs.
A total of 30% of UK marine waters should be placed off-limits to commercial fishing to protect ocean habitats and save threatened fish species, according to a report by Britain's Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP), an independent body that provides non-binding advice to the UK government.