OpenChannels News

MPA News

"MPA Tip" is a recurring feature that presents advice on MPA planning and management gathered from practitioners and publications. Below, Nick Pilcher, a sea turtle biologist and Executive Director of the Marine Research Foundation in Malaysia, describes how to address a challenge often faced in MPA-planning processes - the perceived need for more data before conservation decisions can be made. He offers a simple method for identifying what is already known and where knowledge gaps exist.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Fisheries management is an important component of broader marine management, no matter the circumstances of place or the scale of EBM undertaken. But what is the relationship between ecosystem-based management in general and ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) in particular? Would it be better to think of EBFM as an entry point to EBM, or to consider EBM as a necessary prerequisite to effective EBFM?

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

The Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME) Programme is a multinational initiative conceived in 1995 and involving the southwest African governments of Angola, Namibia, and South Africa. It was designed to address the region's transboundary marine challenges. Such challenges include the management of valuable fish stocks across national boundaries, harmful algal blooms, alien invasive species, and pollutants transported by winds and currents from the waters of one country to another.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

The multinational effort to protect the vast resources of the Antarctic marine environment is often cited as among the best working examples of marine EBM. This regional initiative is under the auspices of the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, which came into force in 1982 ( Among other aspects, the treaty is notable for its embrace of the precautionary approach and the need to consider ecological links between species as part of management - the "ecosystem approach".

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

In ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM), tools are needed to help assess and plan for the impact of fisheries on natural and human systems. Such tools may include:

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Global webinar on EBM & EBFM: 16 March 2009 (Note: This has been rescheduled from 23 February)

MEAM and the EBM Tools Network will co-host a live Web-based seminar (or "webinar") on Monday, 16 March 2009, to explore the relationship between ecosystem-based management and ecosystem-based fisheries management. Speakers will include: