In the field of marine resource management, two concepts have received particular attention in recent years: ecosystem-based management (EBM) and marine spatial planning (MSP). Examples of these concepts in practice are emerging around the world. However, the distinction between the two often remains unclear to stakeholders, as well as to many resource managers responsible for implementing one or both concepts.
Conservation programs are often carried out at national or sub-national scales, despite the fact that many ecosystems and species cross international boundaries. One reason is that developing conservation plans at the multinational scale can present additional challenges: more meetings, more stakeholders with input, and more cultures to consider in negotiations.
By Tundi Agardy, Contributing Editor, MEAM (tundiagardy [at] earthlink.net)
Successful EBM relies on two seemingly contradictory things:
A new Web-based tool exists to guide practitioners on moving EBM from concept to practice. Called the EBM Roadmap, its target audience is marine resource managers who already have some knowledge of EBM but need advice on implementing it. The EBM Roadmap is available at www.ebmtools.org/roadmap.html.
I am writing in response to "Tundi's Take: Using Science to Plan for Climate Change" in your December 2009/January 2010 issue. For near-shore marine systems and estuaries, it is critical to understand the impacts of climate change on rainfall, both patterns and precipitation rates, and the consequences of changing freshwater flows and pollution loads into our marine and coastal systems. This will be another important area for science to provide understanding.
In US, interim framework released for marine spatial planning
Editor's note: The goal of The EBM Toolbox is to promote awareness of tools for facilitating EBM processes. It is brought to you by the EBM Tools Network, a voluntary alliance of tool users, developers, and training providers.
By Sarah Carr
The Social Science Working Group of the EBM Tools Network recently surveyed the types of tools that could help EBM practitioners incorporate socioeconomic considerations into their work. Some of the key types of tools they found and examples of these tools were:
The concept that no-take marine reserves can benefit nearby fisheries by supplying them with larvae and adult fish is central to reserves' potential role in fisheries management. According to the theory of the reserve effect, fish that are protected inside reserves live to maturity and reproduce, and some of the young and/or adults cross the reserve boundary into unprotected waters. There they can be caught by fishers. Much of the attraction of the reserve effect is that it offers benefits both for conservation and fisheries.
Our November-December 2009 article on seismic surveys and MPAs resulted in several letters from readers (MPA News 11:3). The article highlighted a case involving Canada's Endeavour Hydrothermal Vents Marine Protected Area, where an academic research team sought to conduct a seismic survey to study the seabed and plate tectonics of the region. A legal challenge by conservation organizations attempted to block the study, arguing that its noise would harm marine mammals.
Leading up to last December's UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, a variety of institutions published reports on the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of climate change, as well as strategies for addressing those impacts. A list of (mostly) new publications is below, adapted from one published last month by Marine Ecosystems and Management (www.MEAM.net), the sister newsletter of MPA News. Although not all of these publications and other resources focus specifically on MPAs, their lessons are applicable to the MPA field.