OpenChannels News

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Editor's note: The goal of The EBM Toolbox is to promote awareness of software tools for facilitating EBM processes, and to provide advice on using those tools effectively. It is brought to you by the EBM Tools Network (, a voluntary alliance of leading tool users, developers, and training providers.

By Sarah Carr

To provide comprehensive decision support for ocean zoning, toolkits will need to help stakeholders to:

  • Define their social, economic, and ecological objectives;

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Editor's note: Jon Day is director of conservation for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) in Australia.

By Jon Day

Most people associated with managing marine or coastal areas have heard of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Many also know that the GBR is an extremely large marine park and may even be aware that there are different zones that prohibit various activities in certain areas. There are, however, many misconceptions about the zoning scheme.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Belgium's relatively small ocean area, totaling 3600 km2, is under great pressure, being centrally located in one of the most heavily exploited marine areas in the world. The many uses of marine resources and space in this patch of the North Sea, the increasing user conflicts, and the emergence of new uses has required a move away from what was previously an ad hoc approach to managing the marine environment. The new direction is a forward-looking strategy using marine spatial planning (MSP).

MPA News

This month marks the 100th issue of MPA News. From the publication of our first issue nearly a decade ago, the field of marine protected areas has changed in significant ways. Some of these changes have been technological - including new, sophisticated software to help plan MPA networks - and others financial, such as the increased use of endowments to fund sites. The measurement of MPAs' effectiveness has emerged as a widely accepted part of management.

MPA News

US President George W. Bush has directed his administration to assess whether large marine areas under US jurisdiction in the central and western Pacific should receive greater protection, such as through designation as MPAs. In the central Pacific, this includes the waters surrounding Johnston Atoll; Howland, Baker, and Jarvis Islands; Kingman Reef; Palmyra Atoll; Wake Island; and Rose Atoll. In the western Pacific, the area includes waters around the northern islands of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, including parts of the Mariana Trench.

MPA News

Editor's note: The authors of this essay - Mary Lawrence, Dave Sully, John Beumer, and Dawn Couchman - are all with the Queensland (Australia) Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries.

By Mary Lawrence, Dave Sully, John Beumer, and Dawn Couchman