- New marine planning and management trainings added to Skimmer database
- Fourteen countries pledge 100% sustainable ocean management in next five years
- Global plastic pollution treaty gaining support but not for US or UK
- WTO continues negotiations to eliminate subsidies for IUU fishing and overfishing
- New study examines how damaging ocean activities get funded
- EU releases guide on communicating MSP
- Study provides recommendations for reducing impacts of offshore renewable energy on fisheries
- Drops in carbon emissions will lead to decreased ocean carbon storage
- Carbon sequestration potential of oceans reduced by unprofitable fisheries
- Some species shifting the wrong way during climate change
- Atlantic Ocean experiences record setting hurricane season due to climate change
- Hurricanes intensity over land lasting longer due to climate change
- Health of Great Barrier Reef and Gulf of California World Heritage sites in critical condition and deteriorating due to climate change
- Credit Suisse raises US$212M for world’s first ocean health impact fund
- Hurricane Delta triggers first payout from Mesoamerican Reef insurance plan
- Offshore drilling begins off Bahamas
- Saltwater intrusion and rising groundwater threaten coastal wetlands, drinking water, agriculture, homes, infrastructure, and more
- Report summarizes existing and potential management schemes for deep seas mesopelagic fisheries
- US coral reefs in fair condition, vulnerable; as little as 2% of Florida’s coral remains
- Report documents US national and state marine economies
- 2020 comprehensive analysis of EU fisheries and aquaculture industry available
- Report provides best practices for environmental agencies using citizen science
- Coral atlases for South Asia, Andaman Sea, Timor Sea, and Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands available
In 2017, MEAM (now The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management) interviewed 17 social science and interdisciplinary researchers from around the world to learn how their work could improve marine conservation and management practice. Since then, the social science of marine management has developed further in these areas and branched out in many other valuable directions. In this issue of The Skimmer and the next, we update our previous coverage by interviewing an ensemble of other social science and interdisciplinary researchers doing innovative social science work with great potential to improve (or a proven track record) of improving marine conservation and management practice. This work ranges from the use of cognitive mapping to create mental models of how fishers in the Caribbean view and organize the world…to testing how “nudges” could cost-effectively increase compliance with conservation regulations…to innovating how communities participate in marine planning processes to reduce feelings of exclusion and suspicion.
Here is the first set of interviews. As with last time, we hope that you find these research and practice profiles as energizing and inspiring for your own work as we found editing them.
Research and practice profiles:
- Eric Wade: Mental models give us a glimpse into fishers’ decisions and trade-offs
- Mary Mackay: Nudges can be an inexpensive way to increase compliance with conservation regulations
- Syma Ebbin: Art may inspire behavior changes needed to conserve marine environments
- Yoshitaka Ota and Andrés Cisneros-Montemayor: Without new scholarship on ocean governance and equity, we risk a future that further separates the haves and have-nots
- Nemer E. Narchi: Local coastal knowledge systems are vital tools for coastal management
- Rodrigo Oyanedel: Markets and supply chains can drive illegal and unsustainable fishing
- Rebecca Jefferson: Training and mentoring can help conservation professionals integrate social sciences into their work
- Maree Fudge: Innovating how communities participate in marine planning can reduce exclusion and suspicion
- Priscila F. M. Lopes: Making women visible makes fisheries management and conservation more efficient, socially fair, and resilient
- Hiroe Ishihara: Identity and sense of belonging play critical roles in marine resource management
- Talya ten Brink: Planning for human impacts of offshore wind projects will help them succeed
- Trisia Farrelly: An international convention needed to fill gaps in national, regional, and international efforts to prevent plastic pollution
- Narriman Jiddawi: Empowering coastal women can increase their incomes in a sustainable manner
Editor’s note: Emma McKinley is a research fellow at Cardiff University in Wales in the United Kingdom. Her work explores the relationships between society and the ocean, and focuses on concepts around ocean literacy, marine citizenship, and public perceptions and attitudes towards marine and coastal systems. Her most recent projects have explored the relationship between ocean literacy and behavior change and coastal community adaptation to climate change in Ireland and Wales. Emma is the founder and chair of the Marine Social Science Network and can be contacted at mckinleye1 [at] cardiff.ac.uk or info [at] marsocsci.net as well as on Twitter @EmmaJMcKinley.
Skimmer: What is the Marine Social Science Network, and how did it get started?
McKinley: The Marine Social Science Network (MarSocSci) started from some informal conversations with colleagues in the UK. These conversations led to a stakeholder workshop in January 2018 that explored whether there was need and scope for a network or community of marine social scientists, initially in the UK, and what this might look like. There was an over-riding sentiment from those of us working within marine social sciences that we felt a bit isolated and that the community was more fragmented than other areas of marine sciences.
At the workshop, we quickly agreed that there was a need for a community or platform for marine social science researchers and practitioners, and that, crucially, this should be an international and interdisciplinary network. And so MarSocSci was born! We started off small with a Twitter profile in May 2018, and then launched officially at the Society and the Sea conference in London, September 2018.
Since then, it feels like the momentum has just continued, and we now have over 600 people signed up to the newsletter and over 3000 following us through social media. Our Committee has also grown, and we now have an amazing team behind MarSocSci, all working voluntarily to support and grow the Network.
- New marine planning and management trainings added to Skimmer database
- New game added to Skimmer database
- Next-generation financing mechanisms for the ocean covered in new report
- Report describes pathways for sustainable coastal development
- Human infrastructure covers more than 30,000 km2 of seafloor
- Ocean stratification increasing - intensifying storms, decreasing carbon storage, disrupting marine ecosystems
- 2020 busiest hurricane season on record
- Scientists link marine heatwaves to anthropogenic climate change
- 2020 has warmest September on record
- US top source of global plastic waste in 2016
- Inventory and searchable database of plastic pollution prevention and cleanup technologies available
- Report reveals how big business stymies plastic pollution prevention
- 11% of plastic waste enters environment and may double in decade without increased mitigation
- Report documents dangers and solutions for ghost fishing gear
- Study estimates 5% expansion in global MPA network could increase fisheries catch by 20%
- New version of MPA Atlas documents how well protected and effective MPAs are
- Great Barrier Reef has lost more than half its corals since 1990s
- New guide for coral reef restoration planning available (watch webinar on December 1)
- NOAA launches portal tracking key indicators for US coastal and marine ecosystems
- Most US coastal states weak on managing shorelines and preparing for sea level rise
- Cook Islands opens bidding for seabed mining exploration
- Seychelles finalizes marine spatial plan policy
- New tool allows users to access real-time global marine data
- Implementation plan for UN Decade of Ocean Science available
- Paper examines human economic, legal, institutional, social, cultural relationships with ocean
- Handbook provides process, methods, tools for engaging stakeholders in MSP
- Report analyzes size, scope, challenges, enablers of EU Blue Economy
By Stephanie Wear of The Nature Conservancy
Editor’s note: Stephanie Wear is a senior scientist and strategy advisor at The Nature Conservancy. She is also a visiting scientist at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and the Duke University Marine Lab. She can be contacted by email at swear [at] tnc.org, on Instagram at oceansewage, and on Twitter @stephwear.
While most of us can recite the top three threats to ocean health (i.e., climate change, overfishing, and pollution), there is a notable disparity in how we allocate our precious time and resources to addressing these three threats. I have worked in marine conservation for over two decades. And what I have seen is that we are doing a lot to address overfishing and a lot to address the impacts of climate change (ranging from tried and true strategies to the novel and perhaps even a little crazy. Desperate times…) However, much less is happening in the non-plastic pollution space. To see if my observations held more broadly, in 2016, I surveyed hundreds of marine resource managers (mostly focused on coral reefs) to see what their big problems are and what they are doing to address them. The results confirmed my personal observations – coastal pollution is a big problem … but very little attention is given to it. Survey respondents cited a lot of valid reasons given for this, none of which will surprise you. They include lack of government mandates, other priorities for funders and stakeholders, and politics. (You can read the full survey findings here.)
The more fish an ecosystem contains, the more carbon is being captured and stored there. In this sense, MPAs could be viewed as an important management option for conserving and enhancing fish carbon services. Theoretically the financial value of well-managed ‘fish carbon’ could even be harnessed to support MPAs. Is there some way we can make this idea of fish carbon actually work as an MPA financing tool? We speak with several experts about the possibilities.
Low prices for blue carbon credits undermine "not only the MPA financing aim of blue carbon schemes, but also the climate change mitigation potential," writes Peter Jones of University College London.
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, MPA News is continuing to compile related resources for our readers. Here is our latest collection....
By Erich Hoyt
For the past four years, a core group of the IUCN Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force has dedicated its time to launching a new tool - Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs) - to highlight areas that are important for one or more marine mammal species, and which have the potential to be managed for conservation. These IMMAs are already leading to conservation results.
UN report card: 10% MPA coverage target is not met yet, but could be by year’s end
In 2010, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity set a series of 20 targets — the Aichi Biodiversity Targets — to protect global biodiversity by 2020, including a target for 10% MPA coverage (Target 11). Now that 2020 is nearly over, the UN has released a final report card on progress toward the targets, and the main takeaway is that none of them has been met completely, including Target 11. However, the 10% MPA coverage figure may be met by the end of this year.