Program to build MPA management capacity
A six-day program to train managers, stakeholders, and government officials in the planning and management of MPAs will be held 8-13 September 2008 in Suva, Fiji. Offered by the University of the South Pacific, the International Ocean Institute-OceanLearn, USAID, and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the training program is tailored to meet the management training needs of newly designated MPAs in the South Pacific region. To view the course announcement, go to www.oceanlearn.net/Flyers/MPACourse08.pdf.
Endowment created for Malpelo MPA
A US $5-million endowment has been established to help fund the Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary and World Heritage Site, in the eastern Pacific. Proceeds from the endowment will cover annual operating expenses of the Malpelo management plan, including monitoring and education. To create the endowment a Colombian foundation, Fondo para la Acción Ambiental y la Niñez, partnered with Conservation International; each institution provided $2.5 million. For more information: José Luis Gómez, Fondo Acción, Colombia. E-mail: joselgomez [at] accionambiental.org
Expedition for educators in Papahanaumokuakea
From 13-24 July 2008, educators from eight countries in Oceania gathered for an expedition through Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The expedition aboard the US research vessel Hi'ialakai aimed to bring together marine educators in support of the 2008 International Year of the Reef, as well as build an educator network throughout the region. The educators were joined by cultural practitioners from Hawai'i, resource managers, archeologists, and deep sea researchers. "The ultimate goal [was] to learn how we can work together to better protect the coral reefs and marine environments in our island nations, using Papahanaumokuakea and its nearly pristine resources as an inspirational learning environment," said Andy Collins, education coordinator for Papahanaumokuakea. A blog of the expedition is available at http://educatorexpedition.honadvblogs.com/page/7.
Economic valuation of fishery closures
A new report from the Fisheries Centre at the University of British Columbia (Canada) estimates the cost to fisheries of closing areas, using a spatial model of fleet operations. Focusing on protected sea lion habitat in the eastern North Pacific, the report links spatial variability of fisheries biomass and profitability over time to environmental variables. It also develops estimates of opportunity costs of time and area closures to the fishing industry at various scales. The authors suggest that their findings have direct applications to evaluating boundary changes to existing MPAs and other spatial management decisions. Economic Valuation of Critical Habitat Closures is available at www.fisheries.ubc.ca/publications/reports/report16_8.php.