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I would like to welcome you to the very first weekly OpenChannels Literature Update. We have heard from many of you that staying up-to-date with all the research going on in our field is quite burdensome. We hope this summary of the pervious week's academic journals, reports, and other publications that have been incorporated into the OpenChannels Literature Library will help make this task a bit easier.

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Table of Contents

Failure to eliminate overfishing and attain optimum yield in the New England groundfish fishery

The influence of catch quotas on the productivity of the Portuguese bivalve dredge fleet

Contrasting Fish Behavior in Artificial Seascapes with Implications for Resources Conservation

Changes in Bleaching Susceptibility among Corals Subject to Ocean Warming and Recurrent Bleaching in Moorea, French Polynesia

Dynamic Stability of Coral Reefs on the West Australian Coast

Ningaloo Reef: Shallow Marine Habitats Mapped Using a Hyperspectral Sensor

Threatened and Endangered Subspecies with Vulnerable Ecological Traits Also Have High Susceptibility to Sea Level Rise and Habitat Fragmentation

Response of Copepods to Elevated pCO2 and Environmental Copper as Co-Stressors – A Multigenerational Study

Resistance and resilience of ecosystem descriptors and properties to dystrophic events: a study case in a Mediterranean lagoon

Aerial survey of manatees, dolphins and sea turtles off northeastern Brazil: Correlations with coastal features and human activities

Economic and conservation implications of a variable effort penalty system in effort-controlled fisheries

The Tourism Carrying Capacity of Underwater Trails in Isabel Island National Park, Mexico

Meta-analyses of habitat selection by fishers at resting sites in the pacific coastal region

An effective regional Marine Protected Area network for the ROPME Sea Area: Unrealistic vision or realistic possibility?

Practical applications of monitoring results to improve managing for coral reef resilience: a case study in the Mexican Caribbean

Climate, fishing, and fluctuations of sardine and anchovy in the California Current

Environmental Movements, Market-Based Approaches, and Neoliberalization: A Case Study of the Sustainable Seafood Movement

Coral recruitment: the critical role of early post-settlement survival

Predicting the distribution of oceanic-stage Kemp's ridley sea turtles

Analysis of progress towards a comprehensive system of Marine Protected Areas in Brazil

Toward ecosystem-based coastal area and fisheries management in the Coral Triangle: Integrated strategies and guidance


Failure to eliminate overfishing and attain optimum yield in the New England groundfish fishery

Citation Information: Rothschild, B. J., Keiley, E. F., and Jiao, Y. Failure to eliminate overfishing and attain optimum yield in the New England groundfish fishery. – ICES Journal of Marine Science, doi:10.1093/icesjms/fst118.

Abstract: Under US law, fishery management is required to eliminate overfishing and attain optimum yield (OY). In New England, many groundfish stocks continue to be overfished, and the fishery continues to harvest less than OY. The reasons for the shortfalls are rooted in the socio-economic structure of the management regime, and technical and scientific issues that constrain the management system. The most recent change in the management regime (days-at-sea to catch shares) and performance relative to OY and the prevention of overfishing are analyzed along with metrics used to gauge performance. The commonly used age-based production model gives a problematic perception of stock abundance. Structural issues that seem to impair achieving OY are the adherence to the single-species interpretation of multiple-species yield and the use of the Fx% proxy. Simpler approaches to stock assessment are discussed. A management system that creates feasible goals and uses improved and simpler metrics to measure performance is needed to facilitate attainment of management goals.


The influence of catch quotas on the productivity of the Portuguese bivalve dredge fleet

Citation Information: Oliveira, M. M., Camanho, A. S., and Gaspar, M. B. The influence of catch quotas on the productivity of the Portuguese bivalve dredge fleet. – ICES Journal of Marine Science, doi.10.1093/icesjms/fst098.

Abstract: Among the Portuguese artisanal fishing fleets, the bivalve dredge fleet is one of the most profitable. In the last decade, after the implementation of a quotas system, the management of this fishery has been largely focused on adjusting catch to the conservation status of the resources exploited. The present work aims to understand how changes in the amount of quota attributed to each vessel each year and shifts in the quota regime affected vessel productivity. Boostrapped Malmquist indices, complemented with an efficiency assessment using a directional distance function, were used to quantify productivity changes between 1999 and 2011 for the fleets operating in two areas along the Portuguese coast (northwest and southwest). The results showed that the implementation of a weekly quota, as opposed to a daily quota, led to a significant improvement in productivity. This was mainly due to the decrease in fishing days and fuel consumption. It is predicted that the implementation of weekly quotas in the south area would lead to an overall reduction of about 12% in fishing days and fuel consumption, even though the variation in fuel consumption may be affected by the status of the resources. The results achieved provide important insights for future management actions and showed the potential advantages of applying this type of management to other fisheries worldwide, mainly those using active gear.


Contrasting Fish Behavior in Artificial Seascapes with Implications for Resources Conservation

Citation Information: Koeck B, Alós J, Caro A, Neveu R, Crec'hriou R, et al. (2013) Contrasting Fish Behavior in Artificial Seascapes with Implications for Resources Conservation. PLoS ONE 8(7): e69303. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069303

Abstract: Artificial reefs are used by many fisheries managers as a tool to mitigate the impact of fisheries on coastal fish communities by providing new habitat for many exploited fish species. However, the comparison between the behavior of wild fish inhabiting either natural or artificial habitats has received less attention. Thus the spatio-temporal patterns of fish that establish their home range in one habitat or the other and their consequences of intra-population differentiation on life-history remain largely unexplored. We hypothesize that individuals with a preferred habitat (i.e. natural vs. artificial) can behave differently in terms of habitat use, with important consequences on population dynamics (e.g. life-history, mortality, and reproductive success). Therefore, using biotelemetry, 98 white seabream (Diplodus sargus) inhabiting either artificial or natural habitats were tagged and their behavior was monitored for up to eight months. Most white seabreams were highly resident either on natural or artificial reefs, with a preference for the shallow artificial reef subsets. Connectivity between artificial and natural reefs was limited for resident individuals due to great inter-habitat distances. The temporal behavioral patterns of white seabreams differed between artificial and natural reefs. Artificial-reef resident fish had a predominantly nocturnal diel pattern, whereas natural-reef resident fish showed a diurnal diel pattern. Differences in diel behavioral patterns of white seabream inhabiting artificial and natural reefs could be the expression of realized individual specialization resulting from differences in habitat configuration and resource availability between these two habitats. Artificial reefs have the potential to modify not only seascape connectivity but also the individual behavioral patterns of fishes. Future management plans of coastal areas and fisheries resources, including artificial reef implementation, should therefore consider the potential effect of habitat modification on fish behavior, which could have key implications on fish dynamics.


Changes in Bleaching Susceptibility among Corals Subject to Ocean Warming and Recurrent Bleaching in Moorea, French Polynesia

Citation Information: Pratchett MS, McCowan D, Maynard JA, Heron SF (2013) Changes in Bleaching Susceptibility among Corals Subject to Ocean Warming and Recurrent Bleaching in Moorea, French Polynesia. PLoS ONE 8(7): e70443. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0070443

Abstract:

Background

Climate-induced coral bleaching poses a major threat to coral reef ecosystems, mostly because of the sensitivities of key habitat-forming corals to increasing temperature. However, susceptibility to bleaching varies greatly among coral genera and there are likely to be major changes in the relative abundance of different corals, even if the wholesale loss of corals does not occur for several decades. Here we document variation in bleaching susceptibility among key genera of reef-building corals in Moorea, French Polynesia, and compare bleaching incidence during mass-bleaching events documented in 1991, 1994, 2002 and 2007.

Methodology/Principal Findings

This study compared the proportion of colonies that bleached for four major genera of reef-building corals (Acropora, Montipora, Pocillopora and Porites), during each of four well-documented bleaching events from 1991 to 2007. Acropora and Montipora consistently bleached in far greater proportions (up to 98%) than Pocillopora and Porites. However, there was an apparent and sustained decline in the proportion of colonies that bleached during successive bleaching events, especially for Acropora and Montipora. In 2007, only 77% of Acropora colonies bleached compared with 98% in 1991. Temporal variation in the proportion of coral colonies bleached may be attributable to differences in environmental conditions among years. Alternately, the sustained declines in bleaching incidence among highly susceptible corals may be indicative of acclimation or adaptation.

Conclusions/Significance

Coral genera that are highly susceptible to coral bleaching, and especially Acropora and Montipora, exhibit temporal declines in their susceptibility to thermal anomalies at Moorea, French Polynesia. One possible explanation for these findings is that gradual removal of highly susceptible genotypes (through selective mortality of individuals, populations, and/or species) is producing a coral assemblage that is more resistant to sustained and ongoing ocean warming.


Dynamic Stability of Coral Reefs on the West Australian Coast

Citation Information: Speed CW, Babcock RC, Bancroft KP, Beckley LE, Bellchambers LM, et al. (2013) Dynamic Stability of Coral Reefs on the West Australian Coast. PLoS ONE 8(7): e69863. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069863

Abstract: Monitoring changes in coral cover and composition through space and time can provide insights to reef health and assist the focus of management and conservation efforts. We used a meta-analytical approach to assess coral cover data across latitudes 10–35°S along the west Australian coast, including 25 years of data from the Ningaloo region. Current estimates of coral cover ranged between 3 and 44% in coral habitats. Coral communities in the northern regions were dominated by corals from the families Acroporidae and Poritidae, which became less common at higher latitudes. At Ningaloo Reef coral cover has remained relatively stable through time (~28%), although north-eastern and southern areas have experienced significant declines in overall cover. These declines are likely related to periodic disturbances such as cyclones and thermal anomalies, which were particularly noticeable around 1998/1999 and 2010/2011. Linear mixed effects models (LME) suggest latitude explains 10% of the deviance in coral cover through time at Ningaloo. Acroporidae has decreased in abundance relative to other common families at Ningaloo in the south, which might be related to persistence of more thermally and mechanically tolerant families. We identify regions where quantitative time-series data on coral cover and composition are lacking, particularly in north-western Australia. Standardising routine monitoring methods used by management and research agencies at these, and other locations, would allow a more robust assessment of coral condition and a better basis for conservation of coral reefs.


Ningaloo Reef: Shallow Marine Habitats Mapped Using a Hyperspectral Sensor

Citation Information: Kobryn HT, Wouters K, Beckley LE, Heege T (2013) Ningaloo Reef: Shallow Marine Habitats Mapped Using a Hyperspectral Sensor. PLoS ONE 8(7): e70105. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0070105

Abstract: Research, monitoring and management of large marine protected areas require detailed and up-to-date habitat maps. Ningaloo Marine Park (including the Muiron Islands) in north-western Australia (stretching across three degrees of latitude) was mapped to 20 m depth using HyMap airborne hyperspectral imagery (125 bands) at 3.5 m resolution across the 762 km2 of reef environment between the shoreline and reef slope. The imagery was corrected for atmospheric, air-water interface and water column influences to retrieve bottom reflectance and bathymetry using the physics-based Modular Inversion and Processing System. Using field-validated, image-derived spectra from a representative range of cover types, the classification combined a semi-automated, pixel-based approach with fuzzy logic and derivative techniques. Five thematic classification levels for benthic cover (with probability maps) were generated with varying degrees of detail, ranging from a basic one with three classes (biotic, abiotic and mixed) to the most detailed with 46 classes. The latter consisted of all abiotic and biotic seabed components and hard coral growth forms in dominant or mixed states. The overall accuracy of mapping for the most detailed maps was 70% for the highest classification level. Macro-algal communities formed most of the benthic cover, while hard and soft corals represented only about 7% of the mapped area (58.6 km2). Dense tabulate coral was the largest coral mosaic type (37% of all corals) and the rest of the corals were a mix of tabulate, digitate, massive and soft corals. Our results show that for this shallow, fringing reef environment situated in the arid tropics, hyperspectral remote sensing techniques can offer an efficient and cost-effective approach to mapping and monitoring reef habitats over large, remote and inaccessible areas.


Threatened and Endangered Subspecies with Vulnerable Ecological Traits Also Have High Susceptibility to Sea Level Rise and Habitat Fragmentation

Citation Information: Benscoter AM, Reece JS, Noss RF, Brandt LA, Mazzotti FJ, et al. (2013) Threatened and Endangered Subspecies with Vulnerable Ecological Traits Also Have High Susceptibility to Sea Level Rise and Habitat Fragmentation. PLoS ONE 8(8): e70647. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0070647

Abstract: The presence of multiple interacting threats to biodiversity and the increasing rate of species extinction make it critical to prioritize management efforts on species and communities that maximize conservation success. We implemented a multi-step approach that coupled vulnerability assessments evaluating threats to Florida taxa such as climate change, sea-level rise, and habitat fragmentation with in-depth literature surveys of taxon-specific ecological traits. The vulnerability, adaptive capacity, and ecological traits of 12 threatened and endangered subspecies were compared to non-listed subspecies of the same parent species. Overall, the threatened and endangered subspecies showed high vulnerability and low adaptive capacity, in particular to sea level rise and habitat fragmentation. They also exhibited larger home ranges and greater dispersal limitation compared to non-endangered subspecies, which may inhibit their ability to track changing climate in fragmented landscapes. There was evidence for lower reproductive capacity in some of the threatened or endangered taxa, but not for most. Taxa located in the Florida Keys or in other low coastal areas were most vulnerable to sea level rise, and also showed low levels of adaptive capacity, indicating they may have a lower probability of conservation success. Our analysis of at-risk subspecies and closely related non-endangered subspecies demonstrates that ecological traits help to explain observed differences in vulnerability and adaptive capacity. This study points to the importance of assessing the relative contributions of multiple threats and evaluating conservation value at the species (or subspecies) level when resources are limited and several factors affect conservation success.


Response of Copepods to Elevated pCO2 and Environmental Copper as Co-Stressors – A Multigenerational Study

Citation Information: Fitzer SC, Caldwell GS, Clare AS, Upstill-Goddard RC, Bentley MG (2013) Response of Copepods to Elevated pCO2 and Environmental Copper as Co-Stressors – A Multigenerational Study. PLoS ONE 8(8): e71257. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0071257

Abstract: We examined the impacts of ocean acidification and copper as co-stressors on the reproduction and population level responses of the benthic copepod Tisbe battagliai across two generations. Naupliar production, growth, and cuticle elemental composition were determined for four pH values: 8.06 (control); 7.95; 7.82; 7.67, with copper addition to concentrations equivalent to those in benthic pore waters. An additive synergistic effect was observed; the decline in naupliar production was greater with added copper at decreasing pH than for decreasing pH alone. Naupliar production modelled for the two generations revealed a negative synergistic impact between ocean acidification and environmentally relevant copper concentrations. Conversely, copper addition enhanced copepod growth, with larger copepods produced at each pH compared to the impact of pH alone. Copepod digests revealed significantly reduced cuticle concentrations of sulphur, phosphorus and calcium under decreasing pH; further, copper uptake increased to toxic levels that lead to reduced naupliar production. These data suggest that ocean acidification will enhance copper bioavailability, resulting in larger, but less fecund individuals that may have an overall detrimental outcome for copepod populations.


Resistance and resilience of ecosystem descriptors and properties to dystrophic events: a study case in a Mediterranean lagoon

Citation Information: Transitional Waters Bulletin; TWB, Transit. Waters Bull. 7 (2013), n. 1, 1-22; ISSN 1825-229X, DOI 10.1285/i1825229Xv7n1p1

Authors: A. Basset, E. Barbone, I. Rosati, F. Vignes, P. Breber, A. Specchiulli, R. D’Adamo, M. Renzi, S. Focardi, N. Ungaro, M. Pinna

​Abstract:

  1. Mediterranean lagoons are naturally exposed, during the dry season, to dystrophic and hypoxic events determining dis-equilibrium conditions along temporal and spatial scales, which are linked to metabolism and life cycle of the biotic components.
  2. In summer 2008, Lesina lagoon (SE Italian coastline) was interested by a geographically localized dystrophic crisis which affected up to 8% of the total lagoon surface.
  3. Temporal dynamics of principal descriptors of abiotic (water, sediment) and biotic (phytoplankton, benthic macroinvertebrate) compartments have been followed during the 2008 by collecting data inside stressed and control lagoon areas before a dystrophic event and in the six months after the dystrophic event.
  4. The aim of the study was to analyse the pathways of ecosystem responses to dystrophic stress, searching for the characteristic scales of ecosystem compartment resistance and resilience.
  5. The characteristic time-scale of abiotic and biotic component time responses varied from days, for the selected markers of the water column, to year, for the benthic ones. Short-term biotic and​ abiotic responses in the water column were strongly coupled while biotic and abiotic responses at the sediment level were remarkably un-coupled. Dynamics and recovery time of water column and benthic components do not match in Lesina following the dystrophic crisis, highlighting an intrinsic individualistic behavior within the lagoon community driving ecosystem processes and ecosystem level responses.
  6. Taxonomic and non-taxonomic descriptors of both phytoplankton and benthic macroinvertebrates showed different response patterns as early warning signals and overall resilience. The emphasized differences in the stability components, i.e., resistance and resilience, of water column and sediment abiotic and biotic characteristics as well as of taxonomic and non-taxonomic descriptors has key implication in planning monitoring strategies and programs for transitional waters in the Mediterranean and Black Sea EcoRegions.

Aerial survey of manatees, dolphins and sea turtles off northeastern Brazil: Correlations with coastal features and human activities

Citation Information: Biological Conservation, Volume 161, May 2013, Pages 91–100

Authors: Maria Danise de Oliveira Alves, Ralf Schwamborn, João Carlos Gomes Borges, Miriam Marmontel, Alexandra Fernandes Costa, Carlos Augusto França Schettini, Maria Elisabeth de Araújo

Abstract: The objective of the present study was to analyze the distribution of manatees, dolphins and sea turtles off northeastern Brazil through aerial surveys, relating them to specific habitats and human activities, with emphasis on marine protected areas (MPAs). Surveys were conducted between January and April 2010 at 150 m altitude and 140 km h−1, using two independent observers. Strip transects were flown in a zigzag pattern. Transects covered 4026 km in more than 27 flight hours. A total of 36 sightings of manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus, 41 individuals), 28 of dolphins (Delphinidae, 78 individuals, including 10 Sotalia guianensis) and 256 of sea turtles (Cheloniidae, 286 individuals) were recorded. Manatees and sea turtles displayed solitary habits, while dolphins were commonly seen in groups. Manatees were positively correlated with sea turtles, probably due to their preference for sheltered shallow habitats with favorable conditions for foraging and resting. Furthermore, manatees showed a positive relationship with mangrove estuaries, and medium-sized coastal cities probably due to the intense urban development in many estuarine areas. Manatees and sea turtles were also positively correlated with boats, showing a severe threat for these species. Density of manatees was significantly higher within MPAs with preserved mangrove estuaries than in non-protected areas, while dolphins and sea turtles were observed in high densities MPAs with coral reefs. The elevated density of these organisms shows the vital importance of protecting and adequately managing unique ecosystems to ensure a sustainable future for the populations of severely threatened species.


Economic and conservation implications of a variable effort penalty system in effort-controlled fisheries

Citation Information: Applied Economics; Volume 45, Issue 27, 2013

Authors: Sean Pascoe, James Innes, Ana Norman-López, Chris Wilcox & Natalie Dowling

Abstract: Bycatch of threatened, endangered or protected species by commercial fishers is a universal problem. Technical solutions are often applied that may impose inefficiencies across the fleet, even in periods or areas when the risk of bycatch is low. These may include gear specifically designed to avoid the bycatch which may also reduce the targeted catch, or designation of marine protected areas that exclude fishing from whole areas. In this article, we examine the effectiveness of a variable penalty system that can provide incentives for fishers to redirect their effort away from problem areas. The system is examined using a case study of fishery, which is currently subjected to gear and closure controls to limit bycatch of turtles and seabirds. An alternative incentive-based management policy using a series of differential hook penalties has been proposed as a flexible tool to discourage vessels operating in certain areas. The effects of various hook penalties and closures in key areas on fishing effort in those areas and elsewhere as well as vessel economic performance are assessed using a location choice model. The results suggest that incentive-based approaches may result in lower costs to industry than closures provided some level of residual bycatch is acceptable.


The Tourism Carrying Capacity of Underwater Trails in Isabel Island National Park, Mexico

Citation Information: Environmental Management; August 2013, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 335-347

Authors: Eduardo Ríos-Jara, Cristian Moisés Galván-Villa, Fabián Alejandro Rodríguez-Zaragoza, Ernesto López-Uriarte, Vicente Teófilo Muñoz-Fernández

Abstract: The popularity of ecotourism in the marine protected areas of Mexico has increased over the last 10 years; in particular there is a large development of a SCUBA diving industry in the Mexican Pacific including Isabel Island. Given the risks associated with human activity in the marine environments around this island, we propose two ecotourism management strategies: (1) the creation and use of underwater trails, and (2) the estimation of the specific tourism carrying capacity (TCC) for each trail. Six underwater trails were selected in sites that presented elements of biological, geological, and scenic interest, using information obtained during field observations. The methodology used to estimate the TCC was based upon the physical and biological conditions of each site, the infrastructure and equipment available, and the characteristics of the service providers and the administrators of the park. Correction factors of the TCC included elements of the quality of the visit and the threat and vulnerability of the marine environment of each trail (e.g., divers’ expertise, size and distance between groups of divers, accessibility, wind, coral coverage). The TCC values ranged between 1,252 and 1,642 dives/year/trail, with a total of 8,597 dives/year for all six trails. Although these numbers are higher than the actual number of recreational visitors to the island (~1,000 dives per year), there is a need for adequate preventive management if the diving sites are to maintain their esthetic appeal and biological characteristics. Such management might be initially directed toward using only the sites and the TCC proposed here.


Meta-analyses of habitat selection by fishers at resting sites in the pacific coastal region

Citation Information: The Journal of Wildlife Management; Volume 77, Issue 5, pages 965–974, July 2013; DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.563

Authors: Keith B. Aubry; Catherine M. Raley; Steven W. Buskirk; William J. Zielinski; Michael K. Schwartz; Richard T. Golightly; Kathryn L. Purcell; Richard D. Weir; J. Scott Yaeger

Abstract: The fisher (Pekania pennanti) is a species of conservation concern throughout the Pacific coastal region in North America. A number of radiotelemetry studies of habitat selection by fishers at resting sites have been conducted in this region, but the applicability of observed patterns beyond the boundaries of each study area is unknown. Broadly applicable information on habitat selection by fishers in this region would be useful for conservation planning and for informing forest management decisions in areas where intensive field studies have not been conducted. To provide such information, we conducted formal meta-analyses of habitat selection by fishers at resting sites in 8 study areas located from central British Columbia to the southern Sierra Nevada in California, including all areas that currently contain established fisher populations. Each study included in the meta-analyses measured environmental attributes at sites used by fishers for resting (i.e., the immediate vicinity of resting structures; typically ≤0.5 ha) and at random or systematically located sites representing resource availability in each study area. We selected 9 environmental attributes that we expected to be associated with fisher resting sites: slope, heat load index, percent cover of vegetation ≥2 m above the ground, volume of moderately decayed logs ≥26 cm in mean diameter, basal area of live conifers 51–100 cm in diameter at breast height (dbh), basal area of live hardwoods 51–100 cm in dbh, basal area of moderately decayed snags 51–100 cm in dbh, mean dbh of live conifers ≥10 cm in dbh, and mean dbh of live hardwoods ≥10 cm in dbh. Despite substantial variation in environmental conditions among study locations, our analyses revealed statistically significant summary effect sizes for each of the 9 environmental attributes we analyzed. Fishers selected sites for resting that had steeper slopes, cooler microclimates, denser overhead cover, a greater volume of logs, and a greater prevalence of large trees and snags than were generally available. Thus, in areas within the Pacific coastal region where fishers have not been studied and data on selection of resting sites are lacking, our findings provide empirical support for management or conservation actions for fishers that promote the retention or development of these environmental attributes,


An effective regional Marine Protected Area network for the ROPME Sea Area: Unrealistic vision or realistic possibility?

Citation Information: Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 72, Issue 2, 30 July 2013, Pages 389–405

Authors: Hanneke Van Lavierena, Rebecca Klausb

Abstract: Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) targets aim to encourage the establishment of an effective global network of MPAs covering 10% of coastal and marine ecoregions by 2020. This paper presents findings from the first ever regional assessment of MPA management effectiveness in the ROPME (Regional Organisation for the Protection of the Marine Environment) Sea Area (RSA). The RSA, extends from the Gulf to the Arabian Sea coast of Oman, and is bordered by 8 member states, including some of the world’s richest and fastest growing global economies. There are 173 MPAs covering 7.8% of the RSA (36,182.03 km2). Progress towards CBD MPA targets is lower as: (i) stated area coverages often include a terrestrial component; (ii) only 37% are legally ‘Designated’ (5.4% RSA), while 73% remain ‘Proposed’ (2.4% RSA) and; (iii) assessment of management effectiveness revealed variable levels of performance (11% to 58%, with an average of 34%). Underlying causes for low performance are discussed and recommendations are offered to help RSA member states meet CBD MPA targets by 2020.


Practical applications of monitoring results to improve managing for coral reef resilience: a case study in the Mexican Caribbean

Citation Information: Biodiversity and Conservation; July 2013, Volume 22, Issue 8, pp 1591-1608

Authors: Mark C. Ladd, Ligia Collado-Vides

Abstract: Marine protected areas (MPAs) are promoted as an effective strategy to balance human use and conservation of marine resources, yet case studies have shown mixed results regarding MPA success. Managing to promote resilience is widely recognized as a priority for MPAs that focus on the conservation of coral reefs and the ecological services they provide. To this end, there is an acute need to develop and implement methods that assimilate monitoring results into comprehensive summaries that can be understood and acted upon by local management to promote resilience. We used the Parque Nacional Arrecife de Puerto Morelos (PNAPM) as a model MPA to evaluate the utility of a resilience index framework proposed by Maynard et al. (Coral Reefs 29:381–391, 2010b) that uses a suite of broad- and local-scale indicators to rank the relative resilience of sites. Based on monitoring data we identify local stressors adversely impacting coral reef resilience that can be influenced by management actions. Improving regulation enforcement, conducting targeted invasive species removals, reallocating and restricting tourist activities, and establishing nutrient level regulations were identified as realistic adaptive management actions to promote resilience within the PNAPM. This first application of the Maynard et al. (Coral Reefs 29:381–391, 2010b) resilience index framework to a Caribbean MPA provides an example for MPA managers of the value of their monitoring data and the utility of a broadly applicable management tool to assist in managerial decisions. Moving beyond simply monitoring sites to management action is essential to promote resilience and maintain the health and existence of coral reef ecosystems.


Climate, fishing, and fluctuations of sardine and anchovy in the California Current

Citation Information: PNAS August 13, 2013 vol. 110 no. 33 13672-13677; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1305733110

Authors: Martin Lindegren, David M. Checkley, Jr., Tristan Rouyer, Alec D. MacCall, and Nils Chr. Stenseth

Abstract: Since the days of Elton, population cycles have challenged ecologists and resource managers. Although the underlying mechanisms remain debated, theory holds that both density-dependent and density-independent processes shape the dynamics. One striking example is the large-scale fluctuations of sardine and anchovy observed across the major upwelling areas of the world. Despite a long history of research, the causes of these fluctuations remain unresolved and heavily debated, with significant implications for fisheries management. We here model the underlying causes of these fluctuations, using the California Current Ecosystem as a case study, and show that the dynamics, accurately reproduced since A.D. 1661 onward, are explained by interacting density-dependent processes (i.e., through species-specific life-history traits) and climate forcing. Furthermore, we demonstrate how fishing modifies the dynamics and show that the sardine collapse of the 1950s was largely unavoidable given poor recruitment conditions. Our approach provides unique insight into the origin of sardine–anchovy fluctuations and a knowledge base for sustainable fisheries management in the California Current Ecosystem and beyond.


Environmental Movements, Market-Based Approaches, and Neoliberalization: A Case Study of the Sustainable Seafood Movement

Citation Information: Organization Environment September 2013 vol. 26 no. 3 336-352; DOI: 10.1177/1086026612467982

Author: Jason Konefal

Abstract: Market-based approaches have become a prominent strategy of environmental movement organizations. This article proposes that such approaches contribute to neoliberalization and its legitimation. Using a case study of the sustainable seafood movement and its use of market-based approaches, this article analyzes the ways that the movement’s consumer, restaurant, and retailer campaigns contribute to and legitimate neoliberalization. Specifically, in using market-based approaches, sustainable seafood organizations are contributing to and legitimating neoliberal notions of individualism, marketization, and the devolution of regulatory authority. Given such findings, I argue that the sustainable seafood movement is “in the market and for it.” As such, I suggest the movement’s transformative capacity may be limited, and in using market-based approaches it may be facilitating processes of capitalist accumulation that environmental sociologists have widely identified as antithetical to environmental sustainability.


Coral recruitment: the critical role of early post-settlement survival

Citation Information: Martinez, S., and Abelson, A. Coral recruitment: the critical role of early post-settlement survival. – ICES Journal of Marine Science, doi:10.1093/icesjms/fst035.

Abstract: Coral recruitment is a pivotal factor in coral reef stability and in recovery following substantial disturbances. Despite its immense importance, the study of coral recruitment has some major gaps, notably larval survival before and following settlement, mainly due to technical limitations, which stem from the difficulty in observing the minute larvae. To overcome the major limitation in coral recruitment studies, i.e. the in situ detection of recruits during their early stages, we designed a new detection set-up, composed of a fluorescence detection set-up, a grid-covered substrate, and a Geographic Information System tracking system. This set-up, enabling the identification of coral recruits soon after settlement, revealed that in the critical period of the first day, less than 45% of the settling corals may survive. The results also suggest that either coral larva select locations that may increase their survival chances or they experience dramatic mortality during the early hours of settlement, which induce a consistent pattern of spat distribution. Our study confirms an earlier speculation that the first 24 h post-settlement may determine the rates and spatial patterns of recruitment. The significant implications of these findings, and the implemented “detection set-up” for coral reef monitoring and management, are discussed.


Predicting the distribution of oceanic-stage Kemp's ridley sea turtles

Citation Information: Biol. Lett. 23 October 2013 vol. 9 no. 5 20130345; DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2013.0345

Authors: Nathan F. Putman, Katherine L. Mansfield, Ruoying He, Donna J. Shaver and Philippe Verley

Abstract: The inaccessibility of open ocean habitat and the cryptic nature of small animals are fundamental problems when assessing the distribution of oceanic-stage sea turtles and other marine animals sharing similar life-history traits. Most methods that estimate patterns of abundance cannot be applied in situations that are extremely data limited. Here, we use a movement ecology framework to generate the first predicted distributions for the oceanic stage of the Kemp's ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii). Our simulations of particle dispersal within ocean circulation models reveal substantial annual variation in distribution and survival among simulated cohorts. Such techniques can help prioritize areas for conservation, and supply inputs for more realistic demographic models attempting to characterize population trends.


Analysis of progress towards a comprehensive system of Marine Protected Areas in Brazil

Citation Information: Magris, R.A., Mills, M., Fuentes, M.M.P.B., and Pressey, B.L. (2013) Analysis of progress towards a comprehensive system of Marine Protected Areas in Brazil. Natureza & Conservacao, 11 (1). pp. 1-7.

Abstract: Brazilian marine ecosystems face great threats while retaining outstanding biological features. A gap analysis was conducted to evaluate how well marine protected areas (MPAs) in Brazil meet conservation objectives for representation, connectivity, and risk-spreading. The performance of the MPAs was evaluated by overlaying maps of ecosystem and management and calculating the size of no-take areas and the distances between them. All objectives were far from fully attained. Currently, the protection of the marine environment is poor, with less than 1.9% of Brazil’s marine jurisdiction within MPAs and 0.14% within no-take areas. Also, only 23% of the ecosystems met the minimal number of replicates required by the risk-spreading objective. More positively, just over half (51%) of the no-take areas are a desirable distance apart. Our study highlights that a systematic expansion of MPAs in Brazil is urgently needed to move toward an ecologically representative and functioning MPA system.


Toward ecosystem-based coastal area and fisheries management in the Coral Triangle: Integrated strategies and guidance

Citation Information: Flower, K.R., Atkinson, S.R., Brainard, R., Courtney, C., Parker, B.A., Parks, J., Pomeroy, R., & White, A. (2013). Toward ecosystem-based coastal area and fisheries management in the Coral Triangle: Integrated strategies and guidance. Jakarta, Indonesia: Coral Triangle Initiative Support Program for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Abstract: This Integration Guide was written for local, district, provincial, and national governments; marine and coastal resource managers; and conservation practitioners who want to integrate a variety of management approaches in their coastal areas in their efforts to work toward ecosystem-based management (EBM). It is also intended to support the integrated implementation of the goals of the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security (CTI-CFF) Regional Plan of Action (RPOA). The RPOA highlights EBM as an approach to achieving these goals. The RPOA Commitments to Action states, “Our countries will promote agreed approaches to managing marine and coastal ecosystems and resources, including the ecosystem approach and the precautionary principle” (CTI-CFF, 2009).

This guide is part of the CTI Integrated Toolkit. Developed with the support of the US CTI Support Program, the CTI Integrated Toolkit helps improve coastal natural resources management by supporting the integrated application of thematic tools within Integration Sites. The toolkit includes all the tools developed with the support of the US CTI Support Program. These tools, listed in Appendix 3 of this guide, have gone through a process of alignment and harmonization to ensure that they are appropriate for simultaneous use within management areas.

EBM is defined as an “integrated approach to [natural resources] management that considers the entire ecosystem, including humans” (McLeod et al., 2005). EBM considers the cumulative impacts of different sectors (Pollnac & Christie, 2009; UNEP, 2011). The goal of EBM is to “maintain an ecosystem in a healthy, productive, and resilient condition” (McLeod et al., 2005).

Throughout the guide, we describe management integration as a process by which sectors, agencies, stakeholder groups, and levels of government are brought together to coordinate activities that contribute to EBM. The vehicle for implementing these activities are the management plans already developed for a site by all the involved agencies and groups. Under an EBM framework, these plans are coordinated according to the guiding principles of EBM. Through this process of management integration at and across multiple levels and sectors, and through incorporation of integrated activities into existing management plans, management practitioners within a management area will best work toward achieving EBM.