Modelling Coral Reef Futures to Inform Management: Can Reducing Local-Scale Stressors Conserve Reefs under Climate Change?

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PLoS ONE has published, Modelling Coral Reef Futures to Inform Management: Can Reducing Local-Scale Stressors Conserve Reefs under Climate Change? The authors modeled Bolinao, in the Philippines, and "found that management of water quality, and to a lesser extent fishing, can have a significant impact on future reef state, including coral recovery following bleaching-induced mortality." You may download the full-text PDF for free using the link below.

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Table of Contents

Journal Articles

Free: Iron Limitation Modulates Ocean Acidification Effects on Southern Ocean Phytoplankton Communities. Hoppe CJM, Hassler CS, Payne CD, Tortell PD, Rost B, et al. (2013) PLoS ONE 8(11): e79890. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0079890.

Free: Spatial Distribution and Conservation of Speckled Hind and Warsaw Grouper in the Atlantic Ocean off the Southeastern U.S. Farmer NA, Karnauskas M (2013) PLoS ONE 8(11): e78682. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0078682.

Free: Modelling Coral Reef Futures to Inform Management: Can Reducing Local-Scale Stressors Conserve Reefs under Climate Change? Gurney GG, Melbourne-Thomas J, Geronimo RC, Aliño PM, Johnson CR (2013) PLoS ONE 8(11): e80137. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080137.

Free: Modelling the Effects of Prey Size and Distribution on Prey Capture Rates of Two Sympatric Marine Predators. Thaxter CB, Daunt F, Grémillet D, Harris MP, Benvenuti S, et al. (2013) PLoS ONE 8(11): e79915. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0079915.

Free: Variability in the Effects of Macroalgae on the Survival and Growth of Corals: The Consumer Connection. Bulleri F, Couraudon-Réale M, Lison de Loma T, Claudet J (2013) PLoS ONE 8(11): e79712. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0079712.

Free: Exploring Individual- to Population-Level Impacts of Disease on Coral Reef Sponges: Using Spatial Analysis to Assess the Fate, Dynamics, and Transmission of Aplysina Red Band Syndrome (ARBS). Easson CG, Slattery M, Momm HG, Olson JB, Thacker RW, et al. (2013) PLoS ONE 8(11): e79976. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0079976.

Stakeholder participation and the use of web technology for MPA management. Markantonatou Vasiliki, Manuel Meidinger, Marcello Sano, Eleni Oikonomou, Giuseppe di Carlo, Marco Palma, Massimo Ponti & Carlo Cerrano. Advances in Oceanography and Limnology; Volume 4, Issue 2, 2013; DOI: 10.1080/19475721.2013.851117.

Conservation and restoration of marine forests in the Mediterranean Sea and the potential role of Marine Protected Areas. Fabrizio Gianni, Fabrizio Bartolini, Laura Airoldi, Enric Ballesteros, Patrice Francour, Paolo Guidetti, Alexandre Meinesz, Thierry Thibaut & Luisa Mangialajo. Advances in Oceanography and Limnology; Volume 4, Issue 2, 2013; DOI: 10.1080/19475721.2013.845604.

Seafloor mapping and cartography for the management of marine protected areas. Manuel Meidinger, Markantonatou Vasiliki, Marcello Sano, Marco Palma & Massimo Ponti. Advances in Oceanography and Limnology; Volume 4, Issue 2, 2013; DOI: 10.1080/19475721.2013.848529.

Managing fisheries from space: Google Earth improves estimates of distant fish catches. Al-Abdulrazzak, D., and Pauly, D. ICES Journal of Marine Science, doi.10.1093/icesjms/fst178.

Bycatch and directed harvest drive high green turtle mortality at Baja California Sur, Mexico. Jesse Senko, Agnese Mancini, Jeffrey A. Seminoff, Volker Koch. Biological Conservation, Volume 169, January 2014, Pages 24–30.

Quantitative mapping of fish habitat: A useful tool to design spatialised management measures and marine protected area with fishery objectives. O. Le Pape, J. Delavenne, S. Vaz. Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 87, January 2014, Pages 8–19.

A decadal time-series of recreational fishing effort collected during and after implementation of a multiple use marine park shows high inter-annual but low spatial variability. Tim P. Lynch. Fisheries Research, Available online 24 November 2013.

Monitoring ship noise to assess the impact of coastal developments on marine mammals. Nathan D. Merchant, Enrico Pirotta, Tim R. Barton, Paul M. Thompson. Marine Pollution Bulletin, Available online 23 November 2013.

Applicability of market-based instruments for safeguarding water quality in coastal waterways: case study for Darwin Harbour, Australia. Romy Greiner. Journal of Hydrology, Available online 22 November 2013.

Reports

Free: The State of Recreational Fishing in Victoria: A review of ecological sustainability and management options. Ford, J. and Gilmour, P. 2013, A report to the Victorian National Parks Association, Melbourne.

Free: Guidelines: Toward Ecosystem-based Coastal Area and Fisheries Management in the Coral Triangle: Integrated Strategies and Guidance. Flower, K.R., Atkinson, S.R., Brainard, R., Courtney, C., Parker, B.A., Parks, J., Pomeroy, R., & White, A. (2013). Jakarta, Indonesia: Coral Triangle Initiative Support Program for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Newsletters

Free: Do you support Marine Protected Areas? RMIT students Natalie Manahan and Matilda Reynolds put the question to a number of recreational fishers. Park Watch, No. 254, Sept 2013: 28-29. ISSN: 1324-4361.


Iron Limitation Modulates Ocean Acidification Effects on Southern Ocean Phytoplankton Communities

The potential interactive effects of iron (Fe) limitation and Ocean Acidification in the Southern Ocean (SO) are largely unknown. Here we present results of a long-term incubation experiment investigating the combined effects of CO2 and Fe availability on natural phytoplankton assemblages from the Weddell Sea, Antarctica. Active Chl a fluorescence measurements revealed that we successfully cultured phytoplankton under both Fe-depleted and Fe-enriched conditions. Fe treatments had significant effects on photosynthetic efficiency (Fv/Fm; 0.3 for Fe-depleted and 0.5 for Fe-enriched conditions), non-photochemical quenching (NPQ), and relative electron transport rates (rETR). pCO2 treatments significantly affected NPQ and rETR, but had no effect on Fv/Fm. Under Fe limitation, increased pCO2 had no influence on C fixation whereas under Fe enrichment, primary production increased with increasing pCO2 levels. These CO2-dependent changes in productivity under Fe-enriched conditions were accompanied by a pronounced taxonomic shift from weakly to heavily silicified diatoms (i.e. from Pseudo-nitzschia sp. to Fragilariopsis sp.). Under Fe-depleted conditions, this functional shift was absent and thinly silicified species dominated all pCO2 treatments (Pseudo-nitzschia sp. and Synedropsis sp. for low and high pCO2, respectively). Our results suggest that Ocean Acidification could increase primary productivity and the abundance of heavily silicified, fast sinking diatoms in Fe-enriched areas, both potentially leading to a stimulation of the biological pump. Over much of the SO, however, Fe limitation could restrict this possible CO2 fertilization effect.


Spatial Distribution and Conservation of Speckled Hind and Warsaw Grouper in the Atlantic Ocean off the Southeastern U.S.

There is broad interest in the development of efficient marine protected areas (MPAs) to reduce bycatch and end overfishing of speckled hind (Epinephelus drummondhayi) and warsaw grouper (Hyporthodus nigritus) in the Atlantic Ocean off the southeastern U.S. We assimilated decades of data from many fishery-dependent, fishery-independent, and anecdotal sources to describe the spatial distribution of these data limited stocks. A spatial classification model was developed to categorize depth-grids based on the distribution of speckled hind and warsaw grouper point observations and identified benthic habitats. Logistic regression analysis was used to develop a quantitative model to predict the spatial distribution of speckled hind and warsaw grouper as a function of depth, latitude, and habitat. Models, controlling for sampling gear effects, were selected based on AIC and 10-fold cross validation. The best-fitting model for warsaw grouper included latitude and depth to explain 10.8% of the variability in probability of detection, with a false prediction rate of 28–33%. The best-fitting model for speckled hind, per cross-validation, included latitude and depth to explain 36.8% of the variability in probability of detection, with a false prediction rate of 25–27%. The best-fitting speckled hind model, per AIC, also included habitat, but had false prediction rates up to 36%. Speckled hind and warsaw grouper habitats followed a shelf-edge hardbottom ridge from North Carolina to southeast Florida, with speckled hind more common to the north and warsaw grouper more common to the south. The proportion of habitat classifications and model-estimated stock contained within established and proposed MPAs was computed. Existing MPAs covered 10% of probable shelf-edge habitats for speckled hind and warsaw grouper, protecting 3–8% of speckled hind and 8% of warsaw grouper stocks. Proposed MPAs could add 24% more probable shelf-edge habitat, and protect an additional 14–29% of speckled hind and 20% of warsaw grouper stocks.


Modelling Coral Reef Futures to Inform Management: Can Reducing Local-Scale Stressors Conserve Reefs under Climate Change?

Climate change has emerged as a principal threat to coral reefs, and is expected to exacerbate coral reef degradation caused by more localised stressors. Management of local stressors is widely advocated to bolster coral reef resilience, but the extent to which management of local stressors might affect future trajectories of reef state remains unclear. This is in part because of limited understanding of the cumulative impact of multiple stressors. Models are ideal tools to aid understanding of future reef state under alternative management and climatic scenarios, but to date few have been sufficiently developed to be useful as decision support tools for local management of coral reefs subject to multiple stressors. We used a simulation model of coral reefs to investigate the extent to which the management of local stressors (namely poor water quality and fishing) might influence future reef state under varying climatic scenarios relating to coral bleaching. We parameterised the model for Bolinao, the Philippines, and explored how simulation modelling can be used to provide decision support for local management. We found that management of water quality, and to a lesser extent fishing, can have a significant impact on future reef state, including coral recovery following bleaching-induced mortality. The stressors we examined interacted antagonistically to affect reef state, highlighting the importance of considering the combined impact of multiple stressors rather than considering them individually. Further, by providing explicit guidance for management of Bolinao's reef system, such as which course of management action will most likely to be effective over what time scales and at which sites, we demonstrated the utility of simulation models for supporting management. Aside from providing explicit guidance for management of Bolinao's reef system, our study offers insights which could inform reef management more broadly, as well as general understanding of reef systems.


Modelling the Effects of Prey Size and Distribution on Prey Capture Rates of Two Sympatric Marine Predators

Understanding how prey capture rates are influenced by feeding ecology and environmental conditions is fundamental to assessing anthropogenic impacts on marine higher predators. We compared how prey capture rates varied in relation to prey size, prey patch distribution and prey density for two species of alcid, common guillemot (Uria aalge) and razorbill (Alca torda) during the chick-rearing period. We developed a Monte Carlo approach parameterised with foraging behaviour from bird-borne data loggers, observations of prey fed to chicks, and adult diet from water-offloading, to construct a bio-energetics model. Our primary goal was to estimate prey capture rates, and a secondary aim was to test responses to a set of biologically plausible environmental scenarios. Estimated prey capture rates were 1.5±0.8 items per dive (0.8±0.4 and 1.1±0.6 items per minute foraging and underwater, respectively) for guillemots and 3.7±2.4 items per dive (4.9±3.1 and 7.3±4.0 items per minute foraging and underwater, respectively) for razorbills. Based on species' ecology, diet and flight costs, we predicted that razorbills would be more sensitive to decreases in 0-group sandeel (Ammodytes marinus) length (prediction 1), but guillemots would be more sensitive to prey patches that were more widely spaced (prediction 2), and lower in prey density (prediction 3). Estimated prey capture rates increased non-linearly as 0-group sandeel length declined, with the slope being steeper in razorbills, supporting prediction 1. When prey patches were more dispersed, estimated daily energy expenditure increased by a factor of 3.0 for guillemots and 2.3 for razorbills, suggesting guillemots were more sensitive to patchier prey, supporting prediction 2. However, both species responded similarly to reduced prey density (guillemot expenditure increased by 1.7; razorbill by 1.6), thus not supporting prediction 3. This bio-energetics approach complements other foraging models in predicting likely impacts of environmental change on marine higher predators dependent on species-specific foraging ecologies.


Variability in the Effects of Macroalgae on the Survival and Growth of Corals: The Consumer Connection

Shifts in dominance from corals to macroalgae are occurring in many coral reefs worldwide. Macroalgal canopies, while competing for space with coral colonies, may also form a barrier to herbivorous and corallivorous fish, offering protection to corals. Thus, corals could either suffer from enhanced competition with canopy-forming and understorey macroalgae or benefit from predator exclusion. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the effects of the brown, canopy-forming macroalga, Turbinaria ornata, on the survival and growth of corals can vary according to its cover, to the presence or absence of herbivorous and corallivorous fish and to the morphological types of corals. Over a period of 66 days, two coral species differing in growth form, Acropora pulchra and Porites rus, were exposed to three different covers of T. ornata (absent versus medium versus high), in the presence or absence of fish. Irrespective of the cover of T. ornata, fish exclusion reduced mortality rates of A. pulchra. Following fish exclusion, a high cover of T. ornata depressed the growth of this branched coral, whilst it had no effect when fish species were present. P. rus suffered no damage from corallivorous fish, but its growth was decreased by high covers of T. ornata, irrespective of the presence or absence of fish. These results show that negative effects of T. ornata on some coral species are subordinate to those of fish predation and are, therefore, likely to manifest only on reefs severely depleted of predators. In contrast, space dominance by T. ornata may decrease the growth of other coral species regardless of predation intensity. In general, this study shows that susceptibility to predation may determine the severity of the effects of canopy-forming macroalgae on coral growth.


Exploring Individual- to Population-Level Impacts of Disease on Coral Reef Sponges: Using Spatial Analysis to Assess the Fate, Dynamics, and Transmission of Aplysina Red Band Syndrome (ARBS)

Background

Marine diseases are of increasing concern for coral reef ecosystems, but often their causes, dynamics and impacts are unknown. The current study investigated the epidemiology of Aplysina Red Band Syndrome (ARBS), a disease affecting the Caribbean sponge Aplysina cauliformis, at both the individual and population levels. The fates of marked healthy and ARBS-infected sponges were examined over the course of a year. Population-level impacts and transmission mechanisms of ARBS were investigated by monitoring two populations of A. cauliformis over a three year period using digital photography and diver-collected data, and analyzing these data with GIS techniques of spatial analysis. In this study, three commonly used spatial statistics (Ripley’s K, Getis-Ord General G, and Moran’s Index) were compared to each other and with direct measurements of individual interactions using join-counts, to determine the ideal method for investigating disease dynamics and transmission mechanisms in this system. During the study period, Hurricane Irene directly impacted these populations, providing an opportunity to assess potential storm effects on A. cauliformis and ARBS.

Results

Infection with ARBS caused increased loss of healthy sponge tissue over time and a higher likelihood of individual mortality. Hurricane Irene had a dramatic effect on A. cauliformis populations by greatly reducing sponge biomass on the reef, especially among diseased individuals. Spatial analysis showed that direct contact between A. cauliformis individuals was the likely transmission mechanism for ARBS within a population, evidenced by a significantly higher number of contact-joins between diseased sponges compared to random. Of the spatial statistics compared, the Moran’s Index best represented true connections between diseased sponges in the survey area. This study showed that spatial analysis can be a powerful tool for investigating disease dynamics and transmission in a coral reef ecosystem.


Stakeholder participation and the use of web technology for MPA management

Stakeholder participation has received increased attention as a key process for enhancing mitigation of conflicts between different interests for the same resources and transparent decision-making in marine protected areas (MPAs). A wide range of advanced web tools is available nowadays that integrate stakeholder participation by generating new information and allow interaction between actors in MPA management. However, such technologies are frequently used without much consideration regarding the complexity of the decision to be made and the heterogeneity of stakeholder preferences and understanding in order to be related to these technologies.

In order to understand how technology corresponds to the changing needs of MPA management, we have reviewed a range of different participation strategies adopted by web technology, based on a set of criteria that define a successful participation approach. We start from simple towards more sophisticated tools that have been developed worldwide in order to better inform decisions, and contribute to more effective and efficient MPA management. Finally, we draw a theoretical framework for the development of a community-based web tool with the capacity to incorporate the philosophy of stakeholder participation by generating new and high quality information flow for effective MPA management.


Conservation and restoration of marine forests in the Mediterranean Sea and the potential role of Marine Protected Areas

Cystoseira species are some of the most important marine ecosystem-engineers, forming extended canopies comparable to land forests. Such forests are sensitive to human disturbances, like the decrease in water quality, the coastal development and the outbreak of herbivores. Conspicuous historical declines have been reported in many regions and several Cystoseira species are presently protected by European Union (EU) environmental policies. The aim of this work was to synthesize the conservation perspectives of Cystoseira forests in the Mediterranean Sea, focusing on the opportunities offered by artificial restoration and highlighting the potential role of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). MPAs give a better protection to healthy forests than non-managed sites and may be a source of propagules for natural recovery and/or for non-destructive artificial restoration of nearby damaged forests. MPAs lacking Cystoseira forests may also represent preferential sites for reforestation. We proposed a flow-chart for the conservation and a reasoned restoration of Cystoseira in the Mediterranean Sea. The successful conservation of Cystoseira forests is still possible, via raising public awareness on the role of Cystoseira and reducing human impacts on coastal ecosystems. Such actions have to be coupled with more specific large-scale management plans, encompassing restoration actions and enforcement of protection within MPAs.


Seafloor mapping and cartography for the management of marine protected areas

Geographical information systems (GIS) and diagnostic cartography have traditionally been shown to be useful tools for the application of ecosystem-based management (EBM). To date, bionomic and diagnostic cartographic approaches have been commonly used to support decision-making in the selection, zoning and management of marine protected areas (MPAs), with a range of practical tools developed for this purpose. In addition to these, new and emerging technologies have the potential for generating better information for scientists, managers and other stakeholders alike, such as underwater survey tools, three dimensional (3D) visualisation systems and interactive web platforms. These new methodologies allow taking into account the spatial heterogeneity and temporal variability of the marine environment, to be managed for conservation. This paper reviews emerging and innovative technologies for marine mapping and marine spatial planning with a special focus on their use in MPA management. These include the generation and use of benthic cartography, scientific visualisation of ecosystem analyses, web-based GIS platforms and their final use as decision-support tools. Seafloor mapping technology has been improved and become more affordable for local scale MPA management purposes. However, the lack of coherent local scale spatial data still remains an issue, limiting the power of diagnostic cartography analyses within MPAs. The proposed framework can improve the generation and dissemination of cartographic and visual data, and allow for management approaches based on scientific knowledge and EBM principles, taking into account stakeholders needs.


Managing fisheries from space: Google Earth improves estimates of distant fish catches

Global fisheries are overexploited worldwide, yet crucial catch statistics reported to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) by member countries remain unreliable. Recent advances in remote-sensing technology allow us to view fishing practices from space and mitigate gaps in catch reporting. Here, we use Google Earth to count intertidal fishing weirs off the coast of six countries in the Persian Gulf, otherwise known as the Arabian Gulf. (Although the name of this body of water remains contentious, we use the name used in Google Earth). Combining, in a Monte Carlo procedure, the number of weirs (after correcting for poor resolution and imagery availability) with assumptions about daily catch and fishing season lengths, we estimate that 1900 (±79) weirs contribute to a regional catch up to six times higher than the officially reported catches of 5260 t. These results, which speak to the unreliability of officially reported fisheries statistics, provide the first example of fisheries catch estimates from space, and point to the potential for remote-sensing approaches to validate catch statistics and fisheries operations in general.


Bycatch and directed harvest drive high green turtle mortality at Baja California Sur, Mexico

Evaluating mortality of rare marine megafauna is crucial for conservation planning, but logistically difficult to undertake at sea. From 2006 to 2008 we assessed mortality of endangered green turtles (Chelonia mydas) through surveys of beaches and town dumps for stranded and discarded carcasses at nine index sites along the coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico (BCS). We found a total of 778 carcasses, 93% of were immature. Mortality rates ranged from 0.05 to 9.20 carcasses km−1 year−1 at beaches and 2.84 to 66.75 carcasses year−1 at dumps. All carcasses found at dumps (N = 339) were attributed to human consumption, whereas cause of death at beaches was largely unknown (62%), followed by bycatch (30%), and consumption (8%). Over two thirds of total mortality resulted from consumption (48%) and bycatch (20%), and turtles that died from these causes were significantly larger than those that died from unknown reasons. The majority of carcasses at beaches (69%) and dumps (57%) were found during summer months when small-scale gillnet fisheries operate, including 99% of identified bycatch mortality. Three hotspots accounted for 77% of all mortality, which was disproportionately high (40% of total mortality) at one site where mass-bycatch/stranding events occurred annually. Our results demonstrate that many green turtles are being killed from bycatch and directed harvest at BCS despite over two decades of federal protection; thus, highlighting the need to mitigate these threats at mortality hotspots.


Quantitative mapping of fish habitat: A useful tool to design spatialised management measures and marine protected area with fishery objectives

The delineation of essential fish habitats is necessary to identify, design and prioritize efficient marine protected area (MPA) networks with fishery objectives, capable, in addition to other possible objectives and functions of MPAs, of sustaining the renewal of marine living resources. Both the methods available to map essential fish habitats and the usefulness of these maps are discussed in this paper.

Generally, the first step to obtain maps of essential fish habitats consists in choosing one of the numerous existing statistical approaches to build robust habitat suitability models linking relevant descriptors of the marine environment to the spatial distribution of fish presence or density. When these descriptors are exhaustively known, i.e. maps are available for each of them, geo-referenced predictions from these models and their related uncertainty may be imported into Geographic Information Systems for the quantitative identification and characterization of key sites for the marine living resources.

The second part of this paper deals with the usefulness of such quantitative maps for management purposes. These maps allow for the quantitative identification of the different habitats that are required for these marine resources to complete their life cycles and enable to measure their respective importance for population renewal and conservation. The consequences of anthropogenic pressures – not only fishing but also land reclamation, aggregate extractions or degradation of habitat quality (e.g. nutrient excess or xenobiotics loadings, invasive species or global change) – on living resources, may also be simulated from such habitat models. These quantitative maps may serve as input in specific conservation planning software based on the systematic conservation approach. Fish habitat maps thus may help decision makers to select relevant protection areas and design coherent MPA networks which objectives are to sustain fishing resources and fisheries.


A decadal time-series of recreational fishing effort collected during and after implementation of a multiple use marine park shows high inter-annual but low spatial variability

Recreational fishing is commonly allowed in some areas of multiple-use marine parks but little is known about how fishing effort varies over time. To examine inter-annual and spatial variability, a time-series (1999–2009) of fishing effort was collected at the Jervis Bay Marine Park (JBMP) (Australia). Compared to a previous baseline (1989–1990), effort had doubled to tripled for comparative months, when sampling recommenced during the consultation period for zoning the park. Following the 2002 implementation of the zone plan, effort generally declined, so much so that in February 2009 fishing effort was 88% less than what was observed in February 2000. This decline was not associated with a model, based on the spatially explicit fishing effort data collected during the 1999–2002 consultation period and the pragmatically designed zoning plan, which predicted only 18.5% of fishing effort would be displaced by the ‘no-take’ sanctuary zones. Over the same period of decline in effort at JBMP, statewide recreational fishing licence sales remained steady or increased slightly. Interestingly, the JBMP fisheries’ spatial distribution remained remarkably stable, with no difference in ranked use of the 10 sub-sampled areas used as spatial strata in the study-all of which eventually contained segments of sanctuary zone-either between months, years or pre or post zoning. The time-series suggests that fishing effort can show high inter-annual variable over time at a regional scale, while other aspects of the fishery, such as spatial distributions, remain stable, and that effort can vary significantly even when zoning minimizes impacts on recreational fisheries.


Monitoring ship noise to assess the impact of coastal developments on marine mammals

The potential impacts of underwater noise on marine mammals are widely recognised, but uncertainty over variability in baseline noise levels often constrains efforts to manage these impacts. This paper characterises natural and anthropogenic contributors to underwater noise at two sites in the Moray Firth Special Area of Conservation, an important marine mammal habitat that may be exposed to increased shipping activity from proposed offshore energy developments. We aimed to establish a pre-development baseline, and to develop ship noise monitoring methods using Automatic Identification System (AIS) and time-lapse video to record trends in noise levels and shipping activity. Our results detail the noise levels currently experienced by a locally protected bottlenose dolphin population, explore the relationship between broadband sound exposure levels and the indicators proposed in response to the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive, and provide a ship noise assessment toolkit which can be applied in other coastal marine environments.


Applicability of market-based instruments for safeguarding water quality in coastal waterways: case study for Darwin Harbour, Australia

Water pollution of coastal waterways is a complex problem due to the cocktail of pollutants and multiplicity of polluters involved and pollution characteristics. Pollution control therefore requires a combination of policy instruments. This paper examines the applicability of market-based instruments to achieve effective and efficient water quality management in Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory, Australia. Potential applicability of instruments is examined in the context of biophysical and economic pollution characteristics, and experience with instruments elsewhere. The paper concludes that there is potential for inclusion of market-based instruments as part of an instrument mix to safeguard water quality in Darwin Harbour. It recommends, in particular, expanding the existing licencing system to include quantitative pollution limits for all significant point polluters; comprehensive and independent pollution monitoring across Darwin Harbour; public disclosure of water quality and emissions data; positive incentives for landholders in the Darwin Harbour catchment to improve land management practices; a stormwater offset program for greenfield urban developments; adoption of performance bonds for developments and operations which pose a substantial risk to water quality, including port expansion and dredging; and detailed consideration of a bubble licensing scheme for nutrient pollution. The paper offers an analytical framework for policy makers and resource managers tasked with water quality management in coastal waterways elsewhere in Australia and globally, and helps to scan for MBIs suitable in any given environmental management situation.


The State of Recreational Fishing in Victoria: A review of ecological sustainability and management options

Recreational fishing is a widespread and popular activity in Australia and around the world. In 1999–2000, 3.36 million Australians over the age of five went fishing, and almost one quarter of all households were estimated to have at least one recreational fisher. Recent figures by peak bodies claim that over 5 million Australians are recreational fishers. Recognising the potential for this to affect the marine environment, the Victorian National Parks Association commissioned this literature review to:

  • document the potential and actual ecological impacts of recreational fishing on the Australian marine environment, with particular emphasis on Victorian coastal waters
  • document the current frameworks for managing recreational fishing in Victoria as compared to other Australian states, along with the identification of key knowledge gaps
  • identify and evaluate alternative management arrangements for Victorian recreational fisheries.

Guidelines: Toward Ecosystem-based Coastal Area and Fisheries Management in the Coral Triangle: Integrated Strategies and Guidance

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.


Do you support Marine Protected Areas? RMIT students Natalie Manahan and Matilda Reynolds put the question to a number of recreational fishers

Although most people probably think the pressure that recreational fishing puts on fish stocks is reasonably small, a recent report by the VNPA (The State of Recreational Fishing in Victoria, 2013) shows the significant environmental impacts it can have on fish stocks, non-target species and marine ecosystems as a whole. This highlights the need for marine protection measures such as the current system of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Victoria, which at present protect just 5.4% of Victoria's coastal waters. Depite this small percentage, MPAs are often presented as a threat to recreational fishing. The media depicts the political atmosphere surrounding the issue as very divisive, largely portraying it as 'marine conservation vs fishers'.