Editor’s note: Several new papers have examined the feasibility and advisability of applying different management and conservation measures at different depths of the water column (aka ‘vertical zoning’). In this issue, with help from a couple of experts, The Skimmer takes a quick look at the history of vertical zoning and current thinking on where it can and should go next.
Why would we want to do vertical zoning? Isn’t 2D conservation and management complicated enough?
- As The Skimmer readers are well aware, the marine environment (temperature, pressure, salinity, light, nutrients, oxygen, currents, physical structures, etc.) and the species that inhabit it vary dramatically with depth. One just has to read the latest articles about fascinating new creatures discovered in the deep ocean to get a sense of this.
- This variability means that entirely different communities of organisms with different human uses, vulnerabilities, and conservation needs exist at different depths at the same latitude/longitude. This variability creates complexity for conservation and management but also opportunity. Most conservation and management actions essentially treat the ocean as 2D. Allowing different suites of human activities at different depths, however, could potentially reduce restrictions on human activities in the marine environment (potentially increasing public support for conservation and management activities) while affording the same level of ecosystem protection as vertically homogenous management. We catch up with the latest thinking on the soundness of this approach and our ability to implement it below.
- European Commission proposes two contingency plans for fisheries for “no-deal” Brexit
- EU bans discard of unwanted fish
- Climate change making ocean waves stronger
- Industrial fisheries starving seabirds globally
- Ocean heat content is new metric for assessing global warming; shows 2018 warmest year to date
- Tonga drafting marine spatial plan
- American Samoa releases ocean plan
- Estonia releases initial marine spatial plan outline
- US Northeast Regional Ocean Council moving regional ocean planning forward after dissolution of federal regional planning bodies
- Bidding and prices for US offshore wind leases surge
- Read about impacts of the recent US government shutdown on ocean management here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here
- Contribute your knowledge and experiences to research on the impacts of the recent US government shutdown here
- Report describes status, advantages, and limitations of ten emerging ocean energy technologies
- Case studies describe economic benefits of European MPAs and spatial protection
- New framework for post-graduate MSP education proposed
- Results of practitioner survey on MSP decision support tools published
- UNEP and partners seeking feedback on Ecosystem-based Adaptation Tool Navigator
- News article provides an update on the Seabed 2030 project to map the entire ocean floor by 2030
- And, finally, a good news story about the oceans: Rebuilt groundfish stocks along the US West Coast allows for increased fishing quotas
Editor's note: The goal of The EBM Toolbox is to promote awareness of tools for facilitating EBM and MSP processes. It is brought to you by the EBM Tools Network, a voluntary alliance of tool users, developers, and training providers.
Several months ago, an EBM Tools Network member asked a question about how a project in Abu Dhabi could map marine ecosystem service hotspots. Mapping marine ecosystem service hotspots involves mapping relevant marine ecosystem services, then assimilating results for individual ecosystem services in an ecologically and politically justifiable manner. Neither of these tasks is trivial for various reasons: 1) the spatial data needed to map ecosystem services is severely limited, 2) ecosystem services are very heterogeneous, making them difficult to compare (e.g., some can be easily quantified in monetary terms while others cannot), and 3) developing societal consensus on how to weight diverse ecosystem services is extremely difficult.
Editor’s note: A new resource that just came out adds some additional European context to our article from last month - “Missing half the story: How considering gender can improve ocean conservation and management”. Many thanks to Sophia De Smet of the FARNET Support Unit for sending us this information.
EU Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs) are local partnerships that bring together the private sector, local authorities, and civil society organizations to fund projects to address specific local needs and opportunities. A recent report explored FLAG support to women in the EU fisheries and aquaculture industry. They found that:
- Even though women represent ~27% of the workforce in the EU seafood industry (~100,000 women in 2014), their role in the industry is both understudied and undervalued.
Due to an impasse in recent weeks between US President Donald Trump and Congress over whether to spend billions of dollars to extend the wall on the nation’s southern border, about one-quarter of the government was shut down – with no funding to conduct operations – and most employees furloughed for a period that stretched to 35 days. Finally, on 25 January, President Trump announced the full government would be reopened for three weeks to allow time for more negotiations on the border wall. However, if there is no resolution by mid-February, another shutdown remains a possibility.