Since 1995 when it was designated as an MPA, Cabo Pulmo National Park in Mexico's Gulf of California has experienced a remarkable resurgence in marine life. Total fish biomass within its boundaries has increased by more than five times. The biomass of top predators has increased by more than 11 times. Both of these trends strongly counter those for fish elsewhere in the Gulf in unprotected areas (where biomass has remained level or decreased).
Conference on MPA enforcement: February 2012
Management requires funding. Likewise, sustainable management requires sustainable funding. A cornerstone of EBM is that it ensures ecosystems will continue over time to provide the services that people require and want (e.g., food, clean water, biodiversity). Without dependable ways of financing management over the long term, EBM projects are at risk of failure.
By Tundi Agardy, MEAM Contributing Editor (tundiagardy [at] earthlink.net)
Due to human-induced climate change, sea surface temperatures are increasing. As a result, a gradual poleward shift in ocean ecosystems is underway. Described very simply, areas that were previously cold are becoming more temperate, and areas that were temperate are becoming more tropical. It is anticipated that, over time, ocean habitats and species ranges will follow the water temperature regime with which they are associated, provided there is adequate connectivity.
Report: Significant marine extinction possible unless multiple ocean stressors reduced
Multiple ocean stressors - warming, acidification, overfishing, and more - together represent a great risk to marine and human life if the current trajectory of these stressors continues, including the possibility of a major extinction event of marine species. This is the conclusion of 27 ocean experts who gathered at an April 2011 workshop at the University of Oxford, convened by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO).
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
A growing number of tools help managers and policymakers to quantify, map, and value the many services that ecosystems provide to people. Tools can also help determine how management and policy decisions may affect such services. Three tools that aid in assessing ecosystem services are:
It is not uncommon for marine protected areas to be designated with the protection of a particular species or group of species in mind. There are MPAs for many commercially valuable fish species, for example, as well as MPAs for sharks or sea birds or corals. There are also protected areas for marine mammals. This last group of MPAs in particular has experienced a boom in numbers in recent years. In 2004 according to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, there were 358 marine mammal protected areas worldwide.
Conservation of biodiversity on the high seas took a significant step forward in June: a working group of the United Nations General Assembly recommended the establishment of a process that could lead to a multilateral agreement on high seas conservation and sustainable use. Specifically the recommendations call for crafting a legal regime under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea to conserve marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction - including by designating MPAs. Currently no mechanism exists to designate MPAs on the high seas that would apply to all nations.