Lessons learned in Marine Spatial Planning (MSP): The Shetland experience

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From the ICES Annual Sciences Conference comes Lessons learned in Marine Spatial Planning (MSP): The Shetland experience. Two thumbs up for case studies! You may download the full-text PDF for free using the link below.

Happy reading!
-Nick Wehner, OpenChannels Project Manager

PS expect the normal Wednesday delivery of the Literature Updates again next week, we were out traveling and there was a lot of literature published while we were gone!

Table of Contents

Journal Articles

The rise of large-scale marine protected areas: Conservation or geopolitics? Pierre Leenhardt, Bertrand Cazalet, Bernard Salvat, Joachim Claudet, François Feral. Ocean & Coastal Management, Available online 3 October 2013.

Free: Catch Rates, Composition and Fish Size from Reefs Managed with Periodically-Harvested Closures. Cohen PJ, Alexander TJ (2013) PLoS ONE 8(9): e73383. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0073383

Free: The evolution of New Zealand's fisheries science and management systems under ITQs. Mace, P. M., Sullivan, K. J., and Cryer, M. ICES Journal of Marine Science, doi:10.1093/icesjms/fst159.

Assessing the quality of data required to identify effective marine protected areas. Frances J. Peckett, Gillian A. Glegg, Lynda D. Rodwell. Marine Policy, Available online 9 October 2013.

Free: Prioritizing global marine mammal habitats using density maps in place of range maps. Rob Williams, Joanna Grand,​ Sascha K. Hooker, Stephen T. Buckland, Randall R. Reeves, Lorenzo Rojas-Bracho, Doug Sandilands, Kristin Kaschner. Ecography; DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0587.2013.00479.x

Free: A potential feedback approach to ecosystem-based management: Model Predictive Control of the Antarctic krill fishery. S.L. Hill and M. Cannon. CCAMLR Science, Volume 20 (2013).

Mapping fisheries for marine spatial planning: Gear-specific vessel monitoring system (VMS), marine conservation and offshore renewable energy. Maria S. Campbell, Kilian M. Stehfest, Stephen C. Votier, Jason M. Hall-Spencer. Marine Policy, Available online 7 October 2013.

Ecological value of coastal habitats for commercially and ecologically important species. Seitz, R. D., Wennhage, H., Bergström, U., Lipcius, R. N., and Ysebaert, T. ICES Journal of Marine Science, doi:10.1093/icesjms/fst152.​

The effectiveness of using CPUE data derived from Vessel Monitoring Systems and fisheries logbooks to estimate scallop biomass. Murray, L. G., Hinz, H., Hold, N., and Kaiser, M. J. 2013. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 70(7): 1330-1340.

Free: Adaptive Comanagement of a Marine Protected Area Network in Fiji. Rebecca Weeks and Stacy D. Jupiter. Conservation Biology; DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12153

Free: Ecological Network Indicators of Ecosystem Status and Change in the Baltic Sea. Tomczak MT, Heymans JJ, Yletyinen J, Niiranen S, Otto SA, et al. (2013) PLoS ONE 8(10): e75439. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0075439

Taking Action Against Ocean Acidification: A Review of Management and Policy Options. Raphaël Billé, Ryan Kelly, Arne Biastoch, Ellycia Harrould-Kolieb, Dorothée Herr, Fortunat Joos, Kristy Kroeker, Dan Laffoley, Andreas Oschlies, Jean-Pierre Gattuso. Environmental Management; October 2013, Volume 52, Issue 4, pp 761-779.

Implementing harvest strategies in Australia: 5 years on. Smith, A. D. M., Smith D. C., Haddon, M., Knuckey, I., Sainsbury, K. J., and Sloan, S. 2013. ICES Journal of Marine Science, doi:10.1093/icesjms/fst158.

Interactions Between Spatially Explicit Conservation and Management Measures: Implications for the Governance of Marine Protected Areas. P. Francisco Cárcamo, Carlos F. Gaymer. Environmental Management; October 2013.

Free: Orchestrating Our Oceans: Effectively Implementing Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning in the U.S. Briana W. Collier. Sea Grant Law and Policy Journal, Volume 6, Number 1; 2013.

Abiotic surrogates for temperate rocky reef biodiversity: implications for marine protected areas. Matthew J. Rees, Alan Jordan, Owen F. Price, Melinda A. Coleman, Andrew R. Davis. Diversity & Distributions, 2013, DOI: 10.1111/ddi.12134

Who cares wins: The role of local news and news sources in influencing community responses to marine protected areas. Michelle Voyer, Tanja Dreher, William Gladstone, Heather Goodall. Ocean & Coastal Management, Available online 29 September 2013.


Free: The State of the Ocean 2013: Perils, Prognoses and Proposals. International Programme on the State of the Ocean, 2013.

Free: Indispensable Ocean: Aligning ocean health and human well-being. Global Partnership for Oceans, October 2013.

Free: Marine Protected Area Networks: Process design and ecosystem-based approaches. Thomas, H.L. & Shears, N. (2013). The Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand.

Free: Global Status and Critical Developments in Ocean Energy. The Executive Committee of Ocean Energy Systems, 2013.


Free Conference Paper: Lessons learned in Marine Spatial Planning (MSP): The Shetland experience. Christina Kelly, Lorraine Gray, and Rachel Shucksmith. ICES Annual Science Conference paper, 2013/I:15.

Book Chapter: Pan-Arctic Marine Spatial Planning: An Idea Whose Time Has Come. Charles N. Ehler. Arctic Marine Governance; 2014, pp 199-213.

The rise of large-scale marine protected areas: Conservation or geopolitics?

In the last two decades, increasing number of international agreements have challenged traditional MPA design and management by calling for the implementation of large-scale marine protected areas (LSMPAs) within national jurisdictions and into the high seas. Since 2004, ten LSMPAs were established representing more than 80% of the worldwide MPA coverage, most of them in the Pacific. Here we analysed the drivers behind the establishment of LSMPA. This recent phenomenon is mainly driven by political reasons due to international conservation targets and intense domestic and international advocacy. Although we still lack scientific studies showing the benefit or the effectiveness of large-scale conservation, scientists advocate protecting marine biodiversity in remote places as a precautionary approach. International conservation targets provided political motivation for LSMPA establishment enabling coastal states to benefit from several legal mechanisms to strengthen their sovereignties over sea spaces. The rise of LSMPAs boosted the awakening of indigenous communities at the international, national, cultural and political level. In some cases the conservation initiatives catalysed indigenous claims to preserve their traditional and future rights forcing States to make sovereignty compromises on traditional rights. Ultimately, LSMPAs raise many issues of enforcement, management costs and governance structure that may challenge their effectiveness.

Catch Rates, Composition and Fish Size from Reefs Managed with Periodically-Harvested Closures

Periodically-harvested closures are commonly employed within co-management frameworks to help manage small-scale, multi-species fisheries in the Indo-Pacific. Despite their widespread use, the benefits of periodic harvesting strategies for multi-species fisheries have, to date, been largely untested. We examine catch and effort data from four periodically-harvested reef areas and 55 continuously-fished reefs in Solomon Islands. We test the hypothesis that fishing in periodically-harvested closures would yield: (a) higher catch rates, (b) proportionally more short lived, fast growing, sedentary taxa, and (c) larger finfish and invertebrates, compared to catches from reefs continuously open to fishing. Our study showed that catch rates were significantly higher from periodically-harvested closures for gleaning of invertebrates, but not for line and spear fishing. The family level composition of catches did not vary significantly between open reefs and periodically-harvested closures. Fish captured from periodically-harvested closures were slightly larger, but Trochus niloticus were significantly smaller than those from continuously open reefs. In one case of intense and prolonged harvesting, gleaning catch rates significantly declined, suggesting invertebrate stocks were substantially depleted in the early stages of the open period. Our study suggests periodically-harvested closures can have some short term benefits via increasing harvesting efficiency. However, we did not find evidence that the strategy had substantially benefited multi-species fin-fisheries.

The evolution of New Zealand's fisheries science and management systems under ITQs

New Zealand implemented a comprehensive management system using individual transferable quotas in 1986 that has been instrumental in guiding the roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities of fisheries science, fisheries management, and the fishing industry ever since. However, at the time of the initial design, a number of issues were not adequately considered. These relate mainly to the dynamic nature of fish stocks, multispecies considerations, and environmental and other externalities. Subsequent efforts to address these issues have been challenging and many are not yet fully resolved. The outcomes for fisheries science, stock status, multispecies management, ecosystem effects, and fishing industry accountability have been mixed, although mostly positive. Fisheries science, fisheries management, and the fishing industry have all become much more professionalized and their activities have been increasingly streamlined. New initiatives to further improve the system continue to be researched and implemented. Overall, we believe that the positives considerably outweigh the negatives. The initial design has proved to be a system that can be built upon. Comparing New Zealand with most of the rest of the world, key positive outcomes for preventing overfishing are the current lack of significant overcapacity in most fisheries, the development of biological reference points and a harvest strategy standard, the favourable stock status for the majority of stocks with known status, and the development and implementation of comprehensive risk assessments and management plans to protect seabirds and marine mammals.

Assessing the quality of data required to identify effective marine protected areas

This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of currently available substrate data to designate marine reserves to meet conservation objectives. The case study site is Lyme Bay (approx. 2460 km2), in the western English Channel. An area of 240 km2 in Lyme Bay was designated ‘closed to bottom dredging’ in July 2008 with the aim of protecting reefs which are an important habitat for Eunicella verrucosa (pink sea fan). The effects of using different substrate data resolution on the selection of sites to protect a range of biotopes using the Marxan package are determined. The effect of including a closed area on the efficiency of a marine reserve network is also investigated. Findings suggest that substrate data did not capture the biodiversity of the area and that using no data at all was equally effective. If low resolution data are all that are available then other options, such as expert opinion, or other data, such as activity use information could be used instead. Including a predefined closed area into the analysis led to an increase in area required to meet conservation goals using high resolution biotope data. It also increased the area of the reserve using the three substrate layers with no increase in protection for biotopes. This suggests that when designing networks of marine protected area sites, including current protected areas may be inefficient, resulting in larger areas being protected with no increased conservation of marine biodiversity. Policy makers must be prepared to adapt management in light of these findings and be aware of the shortcomings of the data available for use in marine conservation planning.

Prioritizing global marine mammal habitats using density maps in place of range maps

Despite lessons from terrestrial systems, conservation efforts in marine systems continue to focus on identifying priority sites for protection based on high species richness inferred from range maps. Range maps oversimplify spatial variability in animal distributions by assuming uniform distribution within range and de facto giving equal weight to critical and marginal habitats. We used Marxan ver. 2.43 to compare species richness-based systematic reserve network solutions using information about marine mammal range and relative abundance. At a global scale, reserve network solutions were strongly sensitive to model inputs and assumptions. Solutions based on different input data overlapped by a third at most, with agreement as low as 10% in some cases. At a regional scale, species richness was inversely related to density, such that species richness hotspots excluded highest-density areas for all species. Based on these findings, we caution that species-richness estimates derived from range maps and used as input in conservation planning exercises may inadvertently lead to protection of largely marginal habitat.

A potential feedback approach to ecosystem-based management: Model Predictive Control of the Antarctic krill fishery

CCAMLR aims to develop a feedback approach to aid ecosystem-based management (EBM) of Antarctic krill fisheries. It is important to assess whether a feedback approach is likely to achieve the multiple objectives that EBM implies in the complex and uncertain conditions typical of Antarctic marine ecosystems. This study used Model Predictive Control (MPC) to achieve objectives for a harvested species, its predators and the fishery, in a simulation model that incorporates uncertainty and spatial and trophic complexity. The approach adjusted spatially resolved annual catch limits in response to estimates of the state of the system. It suggests that feedback management is both feasible and a more effective way to achieve multiple objectives than fixed catch limits, which are currently used to manage Antarctic krill fisheries. The study demonstrates that optimisationbased approaches such as MPC are computationally capable of dealing with EBM-type problems. They are also useful for assessing the feasibility of candidate management policies or objectives, and characterising the trade-offs that they imply. This study characterises the trade-off between catch levels and the risk of harvested species biomass falling to unacceptable levels.

Mapping fisheries for marine spatial planning: Gear-specific vessel monitoring system (VMS), marine conservation and offshore renewable energy

Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) data from 2005 to 2008 in ICES Divisions VIIe-h were used to assess the distribution and intensity of fishing activity in and around the western English Channel, one of the most intensively used marine areas on the planet. The distribution of the UK fleet of large (>15 m length) fishing vessels was analysed and clear gear-specific temporal and spatial differences in activity were found. Mobile demersal gears had the highest intensity and widest distribution of activity in the study area, and so might be expected to have the most widespread ecosystem-level impacts. The potential effects of two proposed fisheries closures; a planned wave energy testing facility (Wave Hub) and a candidate offshore Marine Protected Area (Haig Fras) are described. Maps indicate that mobile demersal gear fleets would be little affected if they were excluded from these proposed closures, but if the static gear fleets were excluded this would likely result in displacement of certain vessels, increasing fishing pressure on other rocky grounds and other fishers. Predictions concerning the effects of fisheries displacement can be improved through the use of high-resolution gear-specific activity data. This study shows that VMS can provide an invaluable source of such data, provided that gear information is made available to fisheries managers and scientists.

Ecological value of coastal habitats for commercially and ecologically important species

Many exploited fish and macroinvertebrates that utilize the coastal zone have declined, and the causes of these declines, apart from overfishing, remain largely unresolved. Degradation of essential habitats has resulted in habitats that are no longer adequate to fulfil nursery, feeding, or reproductive functions, yet the degree to which coastal habitats are important for exploited species has not been quantified. Thus, we reviewed and synthesized literature on the ecological value of coastal habitats (i.e. seagrass beds, shallow subtidal and intertidal habitats, kelp beds, shallow open water habitats, saltmarshes, mussel beds, macroalgal beds, rocky bottom, and mariculture beds) as feeding grounds, nursery areas, spawning areas, and migration routes of 59 taxa, for which the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) gives management advice, and another 12 commercially or ecologically important species. In addition, we provide detailed information on coastal habitat use for plaice (Pleuronectes platessa), cod (Gadus morhua), brown shrimp (Crangon crangon), and European lobster (Homarus gammarus). Collectively, 44% of all ICES species utilized coastal habitats, and these stocks contributed 77% of the commercial landings of ICES-advice species, indicating that coastal habitats are critical to population persistence and fishery yield of ICES species. These findings will aid in defining key habitats for protection and restoration and provide baseline information needed to define knowledge gaps for quantifying the habitat value for exploited fish and invertebrates.

The effectiveness of using CPUE data derived from Vessel Monitoring Systems and fisheries logbooks to estimate scallop biomass

Obtaining accurate data on abundance is vital to undertaking viable stock assessments of commercially exploited species. Satellite Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMSs) combined with fisheries logbooks have the potential to provide an abundant source of data with greater spatial and temporal coverage than research surveys. However, to date it has not been demonstrated how well VMS-derived abundance or biomass indices reflect research survey results. In this study we compared biomass indices of scallops derived from (i) fishing vessel surveys, (ii) research vessel surveys, and (iii) fishery-dependent data using VMSs and logbooks. In most cases there were strong relationships between biomass indices of Pecten maximus from fishing vessels and the research vessel. There were stronger relationships between P. maximus biomass indices from fishery-dependent VMS and logbook data and research vessel data at the beginning of the fishing season, when abundance was higher, but weaker relationships at the end of the fishing season. The time and location of sampling affected biomass estimates over short periods, and without standardizing to location and vessel, biomass depletion was masked. Fishery-dependent data provides a valid means of assessing relative scallop abundance and may prove equally viable in other fisheries with appropriate standardization of Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE) data, making real-time management of fisheries increasingly feasible.

Adaptive Comanagement of a Marine Protected Area Network in Fiji

Adaptive management of natural resources is an iterative process of decision making whereby management strategies are progressively changed or adjusted in response to new information. Despite an increasing focus on the need for adaptive conservation strategies, there remain few applied examples. We describe the 9-year process of adaptive comanagement of a marine protected area network in Kubulau District, Fiji. In 2011, a review of protected area boundaries and management rules was motivated by the need to enhance management effectiveness and the desire to improve resilience to climate change. Through a series of consultations, with the Wildlife Conservation Society providing scientific input to community decision making, the network of marine protected areas was reconfigured so as to maximize resilience and compliance. Factors identified as contributing to this outcome include well-defined resource-access rights; community respect for a flexible system of customary governance; long-term commitment and presence of comanagement partners; supportive policy environment for comanagement; synthesis of traditional management approaches with systematic monitoring; and district-wide coordination, which provided a broader spatial context for adaptive-management decision making.

Ecological Network Indicators of Ecosystem Status and Change in the Baltic Sea

Several marine ecosystems under anthropogenic pressure have experienced shifts from one ecological state to another. In the central Baltic Sea, the regime shift of the 1980s has been associated with food-web reorganization and redirection of energy flow pathways. These long-term dynamics from 1974 to 2006 have been simulated here using a food-web model forced by climate and fishing. Ecological network analysis was performed to calculate indices of ecosystem change. The model replicated the regime shift. The analyses of indicators suggested that the system’s resilience was higher prior to 1988 and lower thereafter. The ecosystem topology also changed from a web-like structure to a linearized food-web.

Taking Action Against Ocean Acidification: A Review of Management and Policy Options

Ocean acidification has emerged over the last two decades as one of the largest threats to marine organisms and ecosystems. However, most research efforts on ocean acidification have so far neglected management and related policy issues to focus instead on understanding its ecological and biogeochemical implications. This shortfall is addressed here with a systematic, international and critical review of management and policy options. In particular, we investigate the assumption that fighting acidification is mainly, but not only, about reducing CO2 emissions, and explore the leeway that this emerging problem may open in old environmental issues. We review nine types of management responses, initially grouped under four categories: preventing ocean acidification; strengthening ecosystem resilience; adapting human activities; and repairing damages. Connecting and comparing options leads to classifying them, in a qualitative way, according to their potential and feasibility. While reducing CO2 emissions is confirmed as the key action that must be taken against acidification, some of the other options appear to have the potential to buy time, e.g. by relieving the pressure of other stressors, and help marine life face unavoidable acidification. Although the existing legal basis to take action shows few gaps, policy challenges are significant: tackling them will mean succeeding in various areas of environmental management where we failed to a large extent so far.

Implementing harvest strategies in Australia: 5 years on

Australian Commonwealth fisheries are managed using a formal harvest strategy policy (HSP) introduced by the federal government in 2007. At the State level, a number of commercial fisheries are also managed under formal harvest strategies, but no overarching policy currently exists to guide their consistent implementation across jurisdictions. There have been 5 years of experience with implementation of the Commonwealth policy across the highly diverse array of commercial fisheries found in Australia. The HSP has an explicit target of maximum economic yield, and an explicit limit set at half the biomass that would support maximum sustainable yield. The policy also specifies an acceptable level of risk associated with falling below the limit reference point. We discuss the experience gained from implementing the HSP in Australia, including a number of challenges faced, and attempt to summarize the benefits and costs of implementing harvest strategies. Our view is that, overall, the benefits clearly outweigh the costs.

Interactions Between Spatially Explicit Conservation and Management Measures: Implications for the Governance of Marine Protected Areas

Marine protected areas are not established in an institutional and governance vacuum and managers should pay attention to the wider social–ecological system in which they are immersed. This article examines Islas Choros-Damas Marine Reserve, a small marine protected area located in a highly productive and biologically diverse coastal marine ecosystem in northern Chile, and the interactions between human, institutional, and ecological dimensions beyond those existing within its boundaries. Through documents analysis, surveys, and interviews, we described marine reserve implementation (governing system) and the social and natural ecosystem-to-be-governed. We analyzed the interactions and the connections between the marine reserve and other spatially explicit conservation and/or management measures existing in the area and influencing management outcomes and governance. A top-down approach with poor stakeholder involvement characterized the implementation process. The marine reserve is highly connected with other spatially explicit measures and with a wider social–ecological system through various ecological processes and socio-economic interactions. Current institutional interactions with positive effects on the management and governance are scarce, although several potential interactions may be developed. For the study area, any management action must recognize interferences from outside conditions and consider some of them (e.g., ecotourism management) as cross-cutting actions for the entire social–ecological system. We consider that institutional interactions and the development of social networks are opportunities to any collective effort aiming to improve governance of Islas Choros-Damas marine reserve. Communication of connections and interactions between marine protected areas and the wider social–ecological system (as described in this study) is proposed as a strategy to improve stakeholder participation in Chilean marine protected areas.

Orchestrating Our Oceans: Effectively Implementing Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning in the U.S.

Ocean and coastal ecosystems in the United States suffer from ill health. In response to fisheries collapse, wetlands loss, human use conflict, and scientific consensus on the need for ecosystem-based management, President Barack Obama’s administration has set the U.S. on course to implement coastal and marine spatial planning (CMSP). The goal of CMSP is to bolster ocean health—to make human use more sustainable and uses more harmonized with one another—so that the ecological system may replenish itself and continue providing its essential services. An executive order now directs federal agencies to participate in this new planning process and encourages regions to convene planning bodies and voluntarily develop coastal and marine spatial plans (CMS plans) by 2015. This Article surveys progress towards implementation of CMSP in the United States, including the support the federal government has made available and the progress of state and regional planning bodies. It highlights a few successes where governing bodies have employed CMSP, and describes some drawbacks of the CMSP approach that have dissuaded others from utilizing ocean planning as a management tool. Finally, the Article assesses whether CMSP efforts seem likely to achieve their goal of bolstering ocean health.

Abiotic surrogates for temperate rocky reef biodiversity: implications for marine protected areas


To examine the potential of remotely sensed abiotic measures as surrogates for the abundance, diversity and community composition of temperate rocky reef fishes and sessile invertebrates.


Batemans Marine Park, south-eastern Australia.


We used high-resolution bathymetric side-scan sonar imagery to quantify abiotic measures of rocky reef habitat, within a marine protected area (MPA), and examine the relationship between abiotic measures and (1) sessile invertebrate abundance, (2) sessile invertebrate species richness, (3) total fish abundance, (4) fish species richness, and (5) Monacanthidae abundance using generalized additive mixed models (GAMMs). We chose GAMMs as the preferred statistical analysis to account for the spatial autocorrelation present in our data.


We found a strong positive relationship between abiotic measures and sessile invertebrate abundance and diversity (r2 > 0.64). By far the most important predictor was vertical relief within a 75 m radii seascape surrounding the faunal survey. Overall, abiotic measures were poor predictors of total fish abundance (r2 = 0.175) and fish species richness (r2 = 0.276), with minimum adequate models producing low explanatory power. In contrast, Monacanthids exhibited a strong positive relationship with abiotic variables (r2 = 0.385), with increased abundance associated with greater depth and distance from soft sediment.

Main conclusions

Remotely sensed abiotic measures are important predictors in describing the spatial patterns of sessile invertebrate abundance and diversity and Monacanthid abundance. In contrast, abiotic variables were poor predictors of total fish abundance and diversity. Habitat could be a useful cost-effective surrogate to determine areas of conservation value for certain temperate rocky reef assemblages. This information is valuable for future MPA development and design.

Who cares wins: The role of local news and news sources in influencing community responses to marine protected areas

Mass media is a key tool by which environmental interventions, such as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are communicated to the public. The way in which local news outlets present and explain MPAs to local communities is likely to be influential in determining how they respond to the proposal. In particular the tendency of news media to focus on areas of conflict and dispute ensures ideology and politics play a central role in reporting of MPA proposals, often simplifying debate into an ‘us versus them’ or ‘fishers versus conservationists’ ideological conflict. This can lead to the outright rejection of an MPA or undermine acceptance of the park within local communities. The media coverage of two marine parks in NSW, Australia was compared to determine the way in which news presented the parks to each community and how this may have influenced public acceptance of the parks. In particular the study examined the role ideology and politics played in the news coverage of each park by investigating the way in which the news was framed and the positions of key media spokespeople. Media coverage of the Batemans Marine Park appears to have been highly politicised and heavily influenced by the strong convictions of a small handful of prominent spokespeople. By way of contrast media coverage of the Port Stephens Great Lakes Marine Park was more nuanced and drew from a wide range of sources. This research provides insight into how areas of conflict could be reframed as opportunities that enhance MPA planning exercises and highlights how ideology can help shape community sentiment. Acknowledging the role of ideology in contested areas such as these allows for the development of strategies that can accommodate as well as moderate its influence. These strategies may include the incorporation of ‘bottom up’ approaches into MPA planning, the promotion and support of a range of voices within the community, and seeking out and building upon common ground and shared values.

The State of the Ocean 2013: Perils, Prognoses and Proposals

An international panel of marine scientists is demanding urgent remedies to halt ocean degradation based on findings that the rate, speed and impacts of change in the global ocean are greater, faster and more imminent than previously thought.

Results from the latest International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO)/IUCN review of science on anthropogenic stressors on the ocean go beyond the conclusion reached last week by the UN climate change panel the IPCC that the ocean is absorbing much of the warming and unprecedented levels of carbon dioxide and warn that the cumulative impact of this with other ocean stressors is far graver than previous estimates.

Decreasing oxygen levels in the ocean caused by climate change and nitrogen run-off, combined with other chemical pollution and rampant overfishing are undermining the ability of the ocean to withstand these so-called 'carbon perturbations', meaning its role as Earth's 'buffer' is seriously compromised.

The International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) is publishing a set of five papers on ocean stresses, impacts and solutions by leading international experts to present the key findings of the workshops it held in 20111 and 2012* in partnership with IUCN and its World Commission on Protected Areas. The purpose of these workshops, and the papers published today, is to promote a holistic, integrated view of both the challenges faced and the actions needed to achieve a healthy global ocean for the future.

Indispensable Ocean: Aligning ocean health and human well-being

A unique panel of business, government, conservation and academic leaders has agreed a global strategy for aligning ocean health and human well-being. The Blue Ribbon Panel, which includes 21 global experts from 16 countries, emphasizes that without action to turn around the declining health of the ocean, the consequences for economies, communities and ecosystems will be irreversible.

Recent science from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) has intensified the focus on declining ocean health.

“Ocean change is climate change and vice versa,” said panel chair and ocean adviser to the IPCC Ove Hoegh-Guldberg. “With looming threats of rising sea levels, warmer waters and a growing human population we need healthy oceans and coasts to mitigate climate change, feed billions and protect coastal communities.”

But there is good news: solutions exist that benefit both oceans and economies, according to the panel’s report.

Convened by the World Bank to advise the Global Partnership for Oceans (GPO), the Panel includes high-level players ranging from CEOs of some of the largest seafood companies in the world - including Thai Union Frozen Products, Bumble Bee Foods and High Liner Foods - to government officials and prominent marine conservationists.

According to the panel, fragmented approaches that fail to consider social, political, economic and ecological relationships will fail to meet the complex challenges facing ocean health. The report calls for an integrated approach to ocean investment and emphasizes the essential role of public-private partnerships.

The panel agreed that the Global Partnership for Oceans is a platform that brings together the multi-stakeholder support, technical expertise and finance needed to change the course on oceans.

“Getting to healthy oceans is a global challenge that needs the concentrated effort of big and small business, government and science,” said Ove Hoegh-Guldberg. “Though they brought very different world views, everyone on this panel agreed that we can’t keep going with business-as-usual and all parts of society must be part of the solution.”

The panel agreed there is no “silver bullet” to resolving urgent ocean challenges. Therefore, it proposes these five principles to ensure effective GPO investments: (1) sustainable livelihoods, social equity and food security; (2) a healthy ocean; (3) effective governance systems; (4) long-term viability and (5) capacity building and innovation.

“Being a member of the Blue Ribbon Panel has been a rewarding opportunity to collaborate with key players and thought leaders in ocean sustainability." said panelist Chris Lischewski, President and CEO of Bumble Bee Foods. “The process reinforces that improving ocean health is a complex process that requires participation and interaction across a broad sphere of communities, industries and governments.”

The Panel’s principle-based strategy provides an approach to prioritize where, when and how the GPO can take action with high impact. The panel recommends that the principles be incorporated into all levels of reform - from fisheries management to incentives for pollution reduction to habitat restoration.

“Bringing this diverse and powerful group together to reach consensus on the challenges and what needs to be done shows what is possible through effective global partnership,” said Juergen Voegele of the World Bank. “The panel’s top priorities build naturally from the GPO’s objectives of healthy oceans and poverty alleviation and their recommendations will make this partnership strategic in how and where it works.”

“This is a critical time in history,” said panelist Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum. “All levels of society and all stakeholders need to combine in joint action as a response to this very global problem.”

Marine Protected Area Networks: Process design and ecosystem-based approaches

New Zealand’s long history of marine life protection is impressive compared to other efforts elsewhere in the world, being one of the first countries to establish a number of highly protected Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), or ‘Marine Reserves’. However, New Zealand’s marine reserves were established individually and independently to protect local-scale marine wildlife, rather than systematically as a coherent network designed to protect national-scale biodiversity and ecosystem services. In total, only 7% of New Zealand territorial waters are protected in marine reserves, but most of this lies offshore, leaving just 0.3% of mainland waters protected within reserves.

As part of its programme to develop positive and visionary campaigns for New Zealand’s sustainable future, the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand commissioned this report to inform their oceans management policy and to support their comments on emerging proposals for new MPAs in New Zealand. The objectives of the report were to: 1) review a selection of recent MPA network design processes from around the world, 2) summarise the key issues emerging from the scientific literature used to design MPA networks, 3) develop recommendations for future MPA design processes, particularly in relation to no-take zones and the New Zealand MPA Policy, and 4) highlight examples of the benefits of MPAs to fisheries.

We selected three MPA network design processes as relevant case studies: 1) the California Marine Life Protection Act Initiative; 2) the UK Marine Conservation Zones Project; and 3) the Australian Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Representative Areas Program. These case studies were specifically chosen because they used the latest scientific literature to guide their MPA network design guidance, and because of their similarities to New Zealand’s MPA process in terms of spatial scale, marine environment, stakeholder engagement and socio-economic landscape.

Global Status and Critical Developments in Ocean Energy

Every year since its inception in 2001 the Ocean Energy Systems Implementing Agreement (OES) Executive Committee (ExCo) has published an Annual Report, which details its activities over the previous year and includes on ocean energy activities supplied by each ExCo member country. The 2008 Annual Report started a tradition of including a series of invited articles, on a specific theme, by acknowledged industry experts. These invited articles examine current issues in the development of ocean energy technologies and provide insights into changing circumstances within ocean energy, e.g., forecasting cost of energy for different technologies.

The OES Annual Report is the best guide to recent and current activity in ocean energy technology developments and deployments. The OES ExCo adopted a new 5-year Strategic Plan in February 2012, which has the vision that OES will become the “Authoritative International Voice for Ocean Energy”. This vision is being realized by documents, such as the “International Vision for Ocean Energy”, published in 2012 and the ongoing publication of Annual Reports. The ExCo is committed to a high standard of content and high production values in the production of these reports. The Annual Reports, which are available on the new OES website – www.ocean-energy-systems.org - are widely regarded as one of the key authoritative information sources on ocean energy developments.

In May 2012 the ExCo decided that, with 5 years’ worth of invited articles, it would be valuable to collect these articles together into a single volume as a reference source, which documents the recent developments in ocean energy in OES countries. So this volume is intended as an authoritative reference on developments in ocean energy, as they occurred in a year-on-year progression.

Lessons learned in Marine Spatial Planning (MSP): The Shetland experience

The Shetland Islands’ Marine Spatial Plan (SMSP) first developed in 2006 is now progressing towards adoption as Supplementary Guidance (SG) to the Council’s Local Development Plan (LDP), the first statutory plan in the UK. This marks a unique and significant move to standardise the approaches and responsibilities between terrestrial and marine planning jurisdictions and a more integrated approach to MSP and integrated coastal zone management (ICZM). Prior to reaching this stage, a review was carried out to evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of the SMSP to date. This exercise highlighted achievements to date, future challenges and opportunities and helped to guide the development of the forthcoming edition of the SMSP. The sharing of knowledge and practical experiences of MSP and its broader issues ensures an adaptive approach in addressing uncertainty over time. It is also imperative to understand that early ‘pioneers’ in MSP may not get it exactly right on the first attempt but by developing initial precedents and processes, these can be built upon in the future.

Pan-Arctic Marine Spatial Planning: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Driven by outside economic forces and the effects of climate change, the Arctic, its ecosystems, and its people are all faced with substantial change ranging from the loss of ice-dependent species, more intense human uses of the Arctic, and the loss of natural services provided by Arctic ecosystems. In addition to business opportunities, these changes represent new risks to the Arctic’s unique natural environment and to the people who now live and work in the Arctic. Once new human activities begin in the Arctic Ocean, it will be difficult for policymakers and planners to put limits on them. This paper explores a new approach to the integrated management of human activities—marine spatial planning (MSP). MSP seeks to reduce conflicts among human activities and balance the conservation of ecologically important areas with the sustainable development of marine resources in the Arctic. With the exception of Norway, most Arctic governments have been slow to advance marine spatial planning. A way to advance MSP in the Arctic would be to explicitly recognize the importance of moving beyond sole reliance on the initiatives of national governments and towards a pan-Arctic approach to guide the future of the region. Networks and partnerships of non-governmental actors, including indigenous peoples, environmental NGOs, academia, and private industry, all of whom have influence over governmental policies and actions, could be used to initiate MSP across the Arctic.