The deep ocean may be the least-known place on Earth. From the sea floor upward, the oceanic water column represents the overwhelming majority of living space on the planet - 90%, by one recent estimate. Yet very little of the dark blue expanse has been explored by humans. Seemingly each deep sea research voyage discovers alien organisms with features or abilities we have never imagined before, much less seen.
In very general terms, the human mind has a logical side (the left half of the brain) and an emotional side (the right half). The activities of MPA planning and management tend to engage the logical side, involving the application of math and science and developing practical solutions to conservation challenges.
In an article in the June 2009 issue of PLoS ONE journal, researchers take a different look at the concept of planning marine reserves. They suggest that selecting the areas of the ocean that should remain fished may be a more efficient management policy than selecting the areas where fishing should be banned.
Dear MPA News:
There was much to like about the International Marine Conservation Congress [held this past May in Washington, D.C., U.S.] and much to learn from it. Conference attendees put an impressive amount of ecological knowledge on display. And the conference did not lack for compelling visions of what wise policies should look like.
MPA News and the EBM Tools Network will co-host a live Web-based seminar ("webinar") on 19 October 2009 to explore lessons learned from MPA networking programs in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (U.S.) and in rocky reef MPAs in the Mediterranean. Speakers will include:
The following tip was adapted by MPA News from Managing Marine Protected Areas: A Toolkit for the Western Indian Ocean, published by the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA). The toolkit is available at www.wiomsa.org/mpatoolkit/Home.htm.
France sets MPA target: 20% of waters in MPAs by 2020
In 2006, a strain of E. coli bacteria contaminated fresh spinach from California's Salinas Valley, the main growing region for leafy green vegetables in the U.S. It is unknown how the bacterium came in contact with the spinach, but it led to a national outbreak of E. coli-related illness. Nearly 200 people across the country became sick.
A report released last May provides the framework for future ecosystem-based planning on and around Addu Atoll in the Indian Ocean nation of Maldives. Addu is the second-most populous atoll in the Maldivian archipelago, which encompasses 26 atolls and more than a thousand islands and islets. The report Framework for an Ecosystem-Based Management Plan for Addu Atoll, Republic of Maldives was co-developed by the Government of the Maldives and the University of Queensland (Australia), with funding from the Australian and New Zealand overseas aid programs.
By Tundi Agardy (tundiagardy [at] earthlink.net), Contributing Editor, MEAM
Where are some of the most exciting new efforts in EBM being practiced? My answer may surprise you. Namibia. It is a country that has not trumpeted a claim of doing EBM, but seems well on the way to comprehensive and integrative management.