Editor's note: Miwa Tamanaha is executive director of KAHEA, an alliance of Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners and environmental advocates concerned with protecting Hawai'i's environment, resources, and people. KAHEA and other local and national conservation organizations worked for years to gain protection of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, culminating in the designation by former US President George W. Bush of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in 2006 (MPA News 8:1).
We are now in the 12th year of producing MPA News and the field of marine protected areas has never been more dynamic. With international agreements calling for networks of MPAs to be in place by 2012, nations are accelerating their designation of protected areas. Likewise, the need for information on planning and managing MPAs shows no signs of letting up: more than 30,000 copies of MPA News have been downloaded from our website during this year alone.
UK designates 15 MPAs to protect key habitats
The UK government has designated 15 new MPAs to protect an array of reefs, sandbanks, and sea caves, as well as the species that depend on these habitats. Certain activities - including fishing, dredging, and wind turbines - will be banned or restricted at the 15 sites. The MPAs include inshore and offshore waters.
A new study published in the journal Biological Conservation offers evidence that fish could behave differently inside a no-take area compared to outside. A research team in New Zealand studied snapper across an area that encompassed a no-take MPA (Leigh Marine Reserve) and adjacent fished waters, using acoustic telemetry tags to monitor the fishes' movement. In general, the fish exhibited two types of home ranges. One was relatively small (about 900 m in linear distance) and all of the fish tagged within the reserve exhibited this home range behavior.
Policies that mandate ecosystem-based management of the ocean have emphasized the need for good science. In the newly released "Final Recommendations of the Ocean Policy Task Force" on which the new US national ocean policy is based (described later in this issue), "science" is mentioned more than 65 times. The European Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the EU Common Fisheries Policy both stress the need for science to underpin management.
By Tundi Agardy, MEAM Contributing Editor (tundiagardy [at] earthlink.net)
Implicit in the EBM construct is the central role of science. By building management from a foundation of solid science, we presume that ecosystems and the resources and services they provide can be protected or restored in predictable ways, following a set path to known outcomes. And it is not only natural (ecological) sciences that are integral to that foundation: social sciences are critical as well.
In July, President Obama signed an executive order establishing a national ocean policy for the US - the country's first comprehensive, integrated policy for stewardship of its oceans and coasts. The policy launches a process of coastal and marine spatial planning for the nation, and coordinates the various ocean-related activities of more than 20 federal agencies under a new and centralized National Ocean Council. The President's action reflects the recommendations of a federal task force that explored ways to promote long-term conservation and use of ocean resources.
The Crown Estate is a commercial property organization that manages a diverse portfolio on behalf of the UK. The property ranges from offices and shops in the heart of London, to farmland and forests, to the UK's foreshore and seabed. Because the role of The Crown Estate is to enhance the value of this property and earn a surplus for UK taxpayers, it leases various activities. On its seabed property, for example, this includes licensing various offshore renewable energy projects. The Crown Estate plans for these offshore projects using marine spatial planning.
The EBM Toolbox
Our regular feature "The EBM Toolbox", produced by the EBM Tools Network, is on hiatus this issue. It will resume in our next issue (October-November 2010). In the meantime, you may learn about EBM tools and sign up for Network updates at www.ebmtools.org.