The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific knowledge on marine litter and ocean plastics. It is based in part on a longer, more detailed article from November 2017 by MPA News’ affiliated service Marine Ecosystems and Management (MEAM).
If you are interested in this topic, please note that OCTO – the organization that produces MPA News and MEAM – also runs the global discussion list on marine litter and ocean plastics: MarineDebris.Info. It is a thriving community. In April 2018, for example, there were over 170 member posts to the list. To subscribe to the MarineDebris.Info email discussion list, click here.
By Carlos A. Espinosa and Néstor J. Windevoxhel
The challenges facing coastal and marine protected areas in Central America remain as serious as ever. And in some ways they are getting worse.
In last month’s MPA News, we examined the ongoing debate over the value of large vs. small MPAs: whether MPA designations should focus on large offshore sites or smaller inshore ones. This debate has been going on for many years, and we’ve reported on aspects of it several times.
By Anne Nelson
The effective management of MPA networks requires an array of elements. These include having adequate technical capacity of site managers, good science, committed leadership at multiple levels (sites, agencies, and policy makers), shared goals among MPAs, and monitoring of the network’s ecological effectiveness.
Importantly, it also requires good connectivity among site managers – in other words, a social network.
These recent articles or preprints on MPA-related science and policy are all free to access.
Article: Suchley, A. & Alvarez-Filip, L. “Local human activities limit marine protection efficacy on Caribbean coral reefs.” Conservation Letters e12571 (2018)
Volcano fills in MPA with lava
A small, inshore, no-take MPA in the US state of Hawai‘i has been covered up by lava from ongoing volcanic eruptions on the archipelago’s Big Island. The 0.2-km2 Wai'opae Tidepools Marine Life Conservation District was designated in 2003, and was popular with snorkelers and swimmers. Now it is covered by lava rock. Hundreds of nearby homes were also destroyed by the lava flow.
For science and security, Trump should prioritize our oceans
Based off of recent actions taken by the Trump administration, this opinion piece by Paul Gaffney II and Janis Searles Jones asks for the current American administration to review their maritime ideals because there is so much more to learn and take from the our oceans. (via The Hill)
Yesterday, Trump issued a new Executive Order rolling-back Obama's National Ocean Policy, eliminating the federal Regional Planning Bodies used for the nation's marine spatial planning process.
Trump’s new oceans policy washes away Obama’s emphasis on conservation and climate
To protect our fishermen and create sustainable fishing practices, we need regulations. Rolling back on Obama's ocean policy in order to “facilitate the economic growth of coastal communities and promote ocean industries” will only reduce productivity and ultimately hurt the health of our oceans. (via Science Mag)