"MPA Tip" is a recurring feature in MPA News that presents advice on planning and management gathered from various publications on protected areas. The purpose is two-fold: to provide useful guidance to practitioners, and to serve as a reminder of valuable literature in the MPA field.
Ecosystem-based management (EBM) is gaining acceptance around the world as a more holistic approach toward coastal and marine resource management. At the same time, agreement on the scope and implications of EBM remains elusive. We asked selected experts for their views on the challenges facing the EBM field:
EBM as a buzzword
By Tundi Agardy, Executive Director, Sound Seas, Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.
E-mail: tundiagardy [at] earthlink.net
As part of MEAM's launch, we sought leaders in the EBM community for their viewpoint on EBM's status and where it is headed. Their views are below.
Multinational EBM initiative takes shape with objective to remain "Africa-owned"
A coastal and marine ecosystem-based management (EBM) initiative in the southwest Indian Ocean remains distinctly "Africa-owned" as the project confronts inadequate scientific knowledge and what some experts describe as lack of effective regional management.
Article offers guidance on implementing EBM
Modern fisheries management has often guided fishermen to select the large individuals of targeted stocks, either by using size-selective gear or releasing small individuals back to the water. The reasoning has been that this allows smaller, younger individuals to grow up to reproductive age, thereby sustaining the stock.
Due to climate change it is possible that the summertime Arctic Ocean could become ice-free by mid-century, according to the worst-case scenario of warming. This would open the relatively pristine Arctic marine ecosystem to industrial activities including fishing, shipping, and petroleum exploration and drilling. Arctic nations are already staking claims to portions of the Arctic seabed beyond their traditional 200-nm EEZs, seeking national jurisdiction over the resources there.
Names of newly discovered species to be auctioned for MPA-related conservation
Looking for new ways to raise funds for your MPA? If so, take note of "The Blue Auction", occurring 20 September in Monaco. The event will sell the rights to name several species of fish discovered during surveys of the Bird's Head Seascape region of Indonesia. The surveys, conducted in 2006, were part of an ongoing initiative to establish ecosystem-based management in the region, including designation of MPA networks (MPA News 8:4).
Conservation of ocean resources is typically a reactive exercise. Managers respond to the degradation of ecosystems or depletion of species by taking steps to try to restore what was there before. Most MPAs are, in essence, an attempt to re-establish a more "natural" state where human activity has already had an impact.