Key Findings from Fisheries Research: Marine Protected Areas as a Fisheries Management Tool

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Greetings OpenChannels Community Members,

The NOAA National Marine Protected Areas Center has published a new report, Key Findings from Fisheries Research: Marine Protected Areas as a Fisheries Management Tool. "In 2011, The MPA Center co-sponsored a special symposium on MPAs and Fisheries Management at the American Fisheries Society meeting. Many of these abstracts were published in Fisheries Research journal in 2013. This is summary of the key findings from the journal articles." You may download the full-text PDF for free using the link below.

Happy reading!
-Nick Wehner, OpenChannels Project Manager


Table of Contents

Coral Reefs

Free: Quantifying and Valuing Potential Climate Change Impacts on Coral Reefs in the United States: Comparison of Two Scenarios. Lane DR, Ready RC, Buddemeier RW, Martinich JA, Shouse KC, et al. (2013) PLoS ONE 8(12): e82579. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082579.

Free: Mass Coral Bleaching in 2010 in the Southern Caribbean. Alemu I JB, Clement Y (2014) PLoS ONE 9(1): e83829. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0083829.

Free: Complementarity of Rotating Video and Underwater Visual Census for Assessing Species Richness, Frequency and Density of Reef Fish on Coral Reef Slopes. Mallet D, Wantiez L, Lemouellic S, Vigliola L, Pelletier D (2014) PLoS ONE 9(1): e84344. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0084344.

Fisheries and Enforcement

Free: Rights-based management in Latin American fisheries Rights-based management in Latin American fisheries. Orensanz, J. M. & Seijo, J. C. 2013. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper, No. 582. Rome, FAO. 136 pp.

Credible Enforcement Policies Under Illegal Fishing: Does Individual Transferable Quotas Induce to Reduce the Gap Between Approved and Proposed Allowable Catches? José María Da Rocha, Sebastián Villasante, Rafael Trelles González. AMBIO, December 2013, Volume 42, Issue 8, pp 1047-1056.

The Key Role of the Barefoot Fisheries Advisors in the Co-managed TURF System of Galicia (NW Spain). Gonzalo Macho, Inés Naya, Juan Freire, Sebastián Villasante, José Molares. AMBIO, December 2013, Volume 42, Issue 8, pp 1057-1069.

How Resilient Are Europe’s Inshore Fishing Communities to Change? Differences Between the North and the South. Maria Hadjimichael, Alyne Delaney, Michel J. Kaiser, Gareth Edwards-Jones. AMBIO, December 2013, Volume 42, Issue 8, pp 1037-1046.

A framework for mapping small-scale coastal fisheries using fishers' knowledge. Léopold, M., Guillemot, N., Rocklin, D., and Chen, C. ICES Journal of Marine Science, doi.10.1093/icesjms/fst204.

The role of fisheries and the environment in driving the decline of elasmobranchs in the northern Adriatic Sea. Barausse, A., Correale, V., Curkovic, A., Finotto, L., Riginella, E., Visentin, E., and Mazzoldi, C. ICES Journal of Marine Science, doi.10.1093/icesjms/fst222.

Integrating the invisible fabric of nature into fisheries management. Joseph Travis, Felicia C. Coleman, Peter J. Auster, Philippe M. Cury, James A. Estes, Jose Orensanz, Charles H. Peterson, Mary E. Power, Robert S. Steneck, and J. Timothy Wootton. PNAS; January 14, 2014; vol. 111 no. 2; pages 581–584; doi: 10.1073/pnas.1305853111.

Spatial Planning and Management

Free: Marine spatial planning: risk or opportunity for fisheries in the North Sea? Svein Jentoft and Maaike Knol. Maritime Studies 2013, 12:13; doi:10.1186/2212-9790-12-13.

Marine and river environments: A pattern of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) in Calabria (Southern Italy). Nicola Cantasano, Gaetano Pellicone. Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 89, March 2014, Pages 71–78.

Marine Protected Areas

Free: Key Findings from Fisheries Research: Marine Protected Areas as a Fisheries Management Tool. National Marine Protected Areas Center, 2013.

Aquaculture

Physiological indices as indicators of ecosystem status in shellfish aquaculture sites. R. Filgueira, T. Guyondet, L.A. Comeau, J. Grant. Ecological Indicators, Volume 39, April 2014, Pages 134–143.

Policy and Social Sciences

Free: A Common Language of Ocean Uses. NOAA National Marine Protected Areas Center, 2013.

Resilience and Challenges of Marine Social–Ecological Systems Under Complex and Interconnected Drivers. Sebastián Villasante, Gonzalo Macho, Manel Antelo, David Rodríguez-González, Michel J. Kaiser. AMBIO, December 2013, Volume 42, Issue 8, pp 905-909.

Exploring Patterns of Seafood Provision Revealed in the Global Ocean Health Index. Kristin M. Kleisner, Catherine Longo, Marta Coll, Ben S. Halpern, Darren Hardy, Steven K. Katona, Frédéric Le Manach, Daniel Pauly, Andrew A. Rosenberg, Jameal F. Samhouri, Courtney Scarborough, U. Rashid Sumaila, Reg Watson, Dirk Zeller. AMBIO, December 2013, Volume 42, Issue 8, pp 910-922.

Free: Global Priorities for Marine Biodiversity Conservation. Selig ER, Turner WR, Troëng S, Wallace BP, Halpern BS, et al. (2014) PLoS ONE 9(1): e82898. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082898.


Quantifying and Valuing Potential Climate Change Impacts on Coral Reefs in the United States: Comparison of Two Scenarios

The biological and economic values of coral reefs are highly vulnerable to increasing atmospheric and ocean carbon dioxide concentrations. We applied the COMBO simulation model (COral Mortality and Bleaching Output) to three major U.S. locations for shallow water reefs: South Florida, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii. We compared estimates of future coral cover from 2000 to 2100 for a “business as usual” (BAU) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions scenario with a GHG mitigation policy scenario involving full international participation in reducing GHG emissions. We also calculated the economic value of changes in coral cover using a benefit transfer approach based on published studies of consumers' recreational values for snorkeling and diving on coral reefs as well as existence values for coral reefs. Our results suggest that a reduced emissions scenario would provide a large benefit to shallow water reefs in Hawaii by delaying or avoiding potential future bleaching events. For Hawaii, reducing emissions is projected to result in an estimated “avoided loss” from 2000 to 2100 of approximately $10.6 billion in recreational use values compared to a BAU scenario. However, reducing emissions is projected to provide only a minor economic benefit in Puerto Rico and South Florida, where sea-surface temperatures are already close to bleaching thresholds and coral cover is projected to drop well below 5% cover under both scenarios by 2050, and below 1% cover under both scenarios by 2100.


Mass Coral Bleaching in 2010 in the Southern Caribbean

Ocean temperatures are increasing globally and the Caribbean is no exception. An extreme ocean warming event in 2010 placed Tobago's coral reefs under severe stress resulting in widespread coral bleaching and threatening the livelihoods that rely on them. The bleaching response of four reef building taxa was monitored over a six month period across three major reefs systems in Tobago. By identifying taxa resilient to bleaching we propose to assist local coral reef managers in the decision making process to cope with mass bleaching events. The bleaching signal (length of exposure to high ocean temperatures) varied widely between the Atlantic and Caribbean reefs, but regardless of this variation most taxa bleached. Colpophyllia natans, Montastraea faveolata and Siderastrea siderea were considered the most bleaching vulnerable taxa. Interestingly, reefs with the highest coral cover showed the greatest decline reef building taxa, and conversely, reefs with the lowest coral cover showed the most bleaching but lowest change in coral cover with little algal overgrowth post-bleaching.


Complementarity of Rotating Video and Underwater Visual Census for Assessing Species Richness, Frequency and Density of Reef Fish on Coral Reef Slopes

Estimating diversity and abundance of fish species is fundamental for understanding community structure and dynamics of coral reefs. When designing a sampling protocol, one crucial step is the choice of the most suitable sampling technique which is a compromise between the questions addressed, the available means and the precision required. The objective of this study is to compare the ability to sample reef fish communities at the same locations using two techniques based on the same stationary point count method: one using Underwater Visual Census (UVC) and the other rotating video (STAVIRO). UVC and STAVIRO observations were carried out on the exact same 26 points on the reef slope of an intermediate reef and the associated inner barrier reefs. STAVIRO systems were always deployed 30 min to 1 hour after UVC and set exactly at the same place. Our study shows that; (i) fish community observations by UVC and STAVIRO differed significantly; (ii) species richness and density of large species were not significantly different between techniques; (iii) species richness and density of small species were higher for UVC; (iv) density of fished species was higher for STAVIRO and (v) only UVC detected significant differences in fish assemblage structure across reef type at the spatial scale studied. We recommend that the two techniques should be used in a complementary way to survey a large area within a short period of time. UVC may census reef fish within complex habitats or in very shallow areas such as reef flat whereas STAVIRO would enable carrying out a large number of stations focused on large and diver-averse species, particularly in the areas not covered by UVC due to time and depth constraints. This methodology would considerably increase the spatial coverage and replication level of fish monitoring surveys.


Rights-based management in Latin American fisheries Rights-based management in Latin American fisheries

This document aims to provide a better understanding of the wide range of rights-based fisheries management systems in Latin-America. Rights-based management in the Latin American region is evolving, thus creating a wide diversity of schemes responding to local fisheries contexts, and institutional, resource and ecosystem dynamics and governance capacities. The document has been developed in two parts. Part I (edited and co-authored by Jose Maria Orensanz) presents case studies of fisheries targeting sedentary resources while Part II (edited and co-authored by Juan Carlos Seijo) presents case studies of industrial and small-scale finfish fisheries in the region The case studies presented in Part I include the following regimes: (i) limited entry or moratoria combined with a total allowable catch; (ii) catch shares; (iii) territorial-use privileges; and (iv) territorial communal rights by [customary? and indigenous users). Case studies of finfish fisheries include the following: (i) individual vessel quotas combined with spatial quota allocation rights; (ii) individual fishing quotas; (iii) rights of access to particular fishing areas or territories; and (iv) individual effort quotas. Each case specifies the main attributes of the access rights (in a broad sense, including privileges), whether formal or informal: (i) how the rights are conferred and upheld; (ii) exclusivity of participation in the fishery;(iii) duration of the rights conferred; (iv) security or quality of the title conferred by the rights; (v) transferability, divisibility and flexibility in the use of the rights; and (vi) actual rights enforceability and corresponding compliance. The study also reports on aspects of the harvest strategies in place, including: (i) fishing methods and gear; (ii) when fishing is authorized to take place; (iii) harvest controls; and (iv) monitoring.


Credible Enforcement Policies Under Illegal Fishing: Does Individual Transferable Quotas Induce to Reduce the Gap Between Approved and Proposed Allowable Catches?

In general, approved Total Allowable Catches (TACs) are higher than proposed TACs by the scientific assessment and reported landings approved are higher than approved TAC. We build a simple enforcement agency’s behavior model that generates—as a rational behavior—those two facts. The model has two ingredients. First, there exists illegal fishing generated by an imperfect enforcement technology; second, the enforcement agency cannot commit on announced penalties. We show that lack of commitment increases the potential benefits for national enforcement agency of deviating from proposal (scientific optimal) quotas. Although the enforcement agency wants to announce a low quota target to induce a low level of illegal harvest, it will find optimal to revise the quota announced in order to reduce penalties and improve fishermen welfare. Therefore, agencies find it optimal to approve higher quotas than that proposed by the scientific advice. Our main result is to show that when full compliance is not possible, and national agencies cannot commit, the introduction of Individual Transferable Quotas increases the potential benefits for agencies of deviating from the optimal proposed TAC by the scientific advised.


The Key Role of the Barefoot Fisheries Advisors in the Co-managed TURF System of Galicia (NW Spain)

Many authors have pointed out the need for simpler assessment and management procedures for avoiding overexploitation in small-scale fisheries. Nevertheless, models for providing scientific advice for sustainable small-scale fisheries management have not yet been published. Here we present one model; the case of the Barefoot Fisheries Advisors (BFAs) in the Galician co-managed Territorial Users Rights for Fishing. Based on informal interviews, gray literature and our personal experience by being involved in this process, we have analyzed the historical development and evolution of roles of this novel and stimulating actor in small-scale fisheries management. The Galician BFA model allows the provision of good quality and organized fisheries data to facilitate and support decision-making processes. The BFAs also build robust social capital by acting as knowledge collectors and translators between fishers, managers, and scientists. The BFAs have become key actors in the small-scale fisheries management of Galicia and a case for learning lessons.


How Resilient Are Europe’s Inshore Fishing Communities to Change? Differences Between the North and the South

One would hypothesize that the Common Fisheries Policy, as the umbrella framework for fisheries management in the EU would have the greatest impact on fishers’ communities across Europe. There are, however, biological, economic, social, and political factors, which vary among fishing communities that can affect how these communities react to changes. This paper explores the links between institutional arrangements and ecological dynamics in two European inshore fisheries socio-ecological systems, using a resilience framework. The Mediterranean small-scale fishers do not seem to have been particularly affected by the Common Fisheries Policy regulations but appear affected by competition with the politically strong recreational fishers and the invasion of the rabbit fish population. The inshore fishers along the East coast of Scotland believe that their interests are not as sufficiently protected as the interests of their offshore counterpart. Decisions and initiatives at global, EU, and sometimes national level, tend to take into account those fisheries sectors which have a national economic importance. A socio-ecological analysis can shift the focus from biological and economic aspects to more sustainable long-term delivery of environmental benefits linked to human wellbeing.


A framework for mapping small-scale coastal fisheries using fishers' knowledge

Collecting spatial information on fisheries catch and effort is essential to understanding the spatial processes of exploited population dynamics and to manage heterogeneously distributed resources and uses. The use of fishers' knowledge through geographical information systems (GISs) is increasingly considered as a promising source of local information on small-scale coastal fisheries. In this paper we describe the first framework for mapping entire small-scale coastal fisheries using fishers' knowledge on catch size and fishing effort. Four mangrove and coral reef fisheries targeting invertebrates or finfish in New Caledonia (southwest Pacific) were mapped following a five-step framework: (i) stratified random sampling of regular fishers; (ii) collection of fishers' knowledge of fishing areas, fishing effort, and catch size through map-based interviews; (iii) data integration into a spatial geodatabase; (iv) statistical extrapolation of fisher data to the fishery scale; and (v) mapping of catch, effort, and catch per unit effort (CPUE) for each fishery using a GIS overlay procedure. We found evidence that fishers' knowledge supplied precise and accurate quantitative and spatial information on catch size, fishing effort and CPUE for entire fisheries. Fisheries maps captured the fine-scale spatial distribution of fishing activities in a variety of ways according to target taxa, gear type, and home ports. Applications include area-based marine conservation planning and fishery monitoring, management, and governance. This integrated framework can be generalized to a large range of data-poor coastal and inland small-scale fisheries.


The role of fisheries and the environment in driving the decline of elasmobranchs in the northern Adriatic Sea

Elasmobranch populations are declining worldwide, calling for urgent assessment of fishery exploitation and application of effective conservation strategies. Here, we applied a novel approach, integrating long-term time-series of landings (1945–2012) and extensive surveys at the fish market of Chioggia, Italy, home of the major fishing fleet of the northern Adriatic Sea, to evaluate the status of elasmobranch populations and fisheries in the one of the most fished Mediterranean basins. The time-series highlight a dramatic decline in elasmobranch landings, particularly for skates and catsharks (Scyliorhinus spp.), whose current catch rates are 2.4 and 10.6% of the average 1940s levels, respectively. These data likely reflect similar large reductions in abundance, as indicated by the analysis of catch-per unit-effort time-series. The biomass of landed skates and catsharks showed regular fluctuations that disappeared after the collapse of the landings. Elasmobranch market composition, assessed through the sampling of 11 900 specimens from 2006 to 2013, included 14 species, but was dominated by just two: Mustelus mustelus and M. punctulatus, which represented more than 60% of the catch. The proportion of sexually immature individuals was generally very high, up to 83% of landed females and 71% of landed males, depending on the species. Although some correlations were detected between landings and local hydrography or climatic indices, the analyses of landings and surveys at the fish market identified fishery exploitation as the main driver of the striking, long-term elasmobranch decline in the northern Adriatic Sea, calling for urgent management actions to improve the conservation status of these fish.


Integrating the invisible fabric of nature into fisheries management

Overfishing and environmental change have triggered many severe and unexpected consequences. As existing communities have collapsed, new ones have become established, fundamentally transforming ecosystems to those that are often less productive for fisheries, more prone to cycles of booms and busts, and thus less manageable. We contend that the failure of fisheries science and management to anticipate these transformations results from a lack of appreciation for the nature, strength, complexity, and outcome of species interactions. Ecologists have come to understand that networks of interacting species exhibit nonlinear dynamics and feedback loops that can produce sudden and unexpected shifts. We argue that fisheries science and management must follow this lead by developing a sharper focus on species interactions and how disrupting these interactions can push ecosystems in which fisheries are embedded past their tipping points.


Marine spatial planning: risk or opportunity for fisheries in the North Sea?

The North Sea is one of the busiest marine areas in the world. It is also a major fisheries ground. Bordered by seven countries with their own spatial uses and claims, the stage is set for complex and demanding governance challenges. Recent decades have also seen user groups multiply, competition for space and resources increase, and the pressure on the marine environment and its living natural resources grow. As governments strive to balance conservation and economic development needs, they also have to deal with inter-as well as intra-national user conflicts. Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) has arrived as a new approach to these issues. It is argued that for North Sea fishing people and their communities MSP holds risks as well as opportunities, depending on which institutions are formed and what role they are allowed to play in the planning process.


Marine and river environments: A pattern of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) in Calabria (Southern Italy)

The integrated coastal zone management is a working and continuous process to promote a dynamic balance between economic growth, human use of natural resources and environmental protection of coastal systems. The integration between terrestrial and marine environments is the main purpose of this course through a new kind of landscape planning extended from coastlines to continental areas, along the ideal lines of regional catchments. So, coastal environments require an integrated management to establish mutual interactions between human, political and scientific elements to achieve a sustainable development of the coastal zone. In this study, it has been developed a specific methodological framework, named Function Analysis, applied to a littoral region located in a wilderness area. The results highlight the good environmental condition of this seaboard system exposed, however, to a definite human pressure. In fact, the ecological and human values, plotted in a diagram, point out a transition state, for the studied area, on the border between development and conservation plans. To solve this problem, it is hoped to improve the environmental value of the ecological and fluvial corridor of Verri stream basin connecting two terrestrial and marine Sites of Community Interest, as conservation is the higher priority for this coastal region. In conclusion, it has been suggested to manage marine and terrestrial resources through a coordinated strategy in which coastal and river environments could be, really, inserted in the same landscape unit to promote the social and economic development of local communities toward a sustainable development of coastal areas.


Key Findings from Fisheries Research: Marine Protected Areas as a Fisheries Management Tool

MPAs have been used for decades to manage the nation's marine resources and to conserve both ecosystems and fisheries production. There are still many questions relating to the effectiveness of MPAs at meeting fisheries and/or biodiversity conservation goals.

To address these questions, the National Marine Protected Areas Center is developing a series of "MPA Science Briefs." Summarizing recent scientific studies about MPA effectiveness, these briefs are intended to provide an explanation of some of the most frequently asked questions about the science of marine protected areas.

In 2011, The MPA Center co-sponsored a special symposium on MPAs and Fisheries Management at the American Fisheries Society meeting. Many of these abstracts were published in Fisheries Research journal in 2013. This is summary of the key findings from the journal articles.


Physiological indices as indicators of ecosystem status in shellfish aquaculture sites

The filtration activity of cultured mussels may exert a strong control on phytoplankton populations. Given that phytoplankton constitutes the base of marine food webs, carrying capacity in shellfish aquaculture sites has been commonly studied in terms of phytoplankton depletion. However, spatial and temporal variability of phytoplankton concentration in coastal areas present a methodological constraint for using phytoplankton depletion as an indicator in monitoring programs, and necessitates intensive field campaigns. The main goal of this study is to explore the potential of different bivalve performance indices for use as alternatives to phytoplankton depletion as cost-effective indicators of carrying capacity. For that, a fully spatial hydrodynamic–biogeochemical coupled model of Tracadie Bay, an intensive mussel culture embayment located in Prince of Edward Island (Canada), has been constructed and scenario building has been used to explore the relationship between phytoplankton depletion and bivalve performance. Our underlying premise is that overstocking of bivalves leads to increased competition for food resources, i.e. phytoplankton, which may ultimately have a significant effect on bivalve growth rate and performance. Following this working hypothesis, the relationships among bay-scale phytoplankton depletion and three bivalve physiological indices, one static, condition index, and two dynamic, tissue mass and shell length growth rates, have been simulated. These three metrics present methodological advantages compared to phytoplankton depletion for incorporation into monitoring programs. Although significant correlations among phytoplankton depletion and the three physiological indices have been observed, shell length growth rate is shown as the most sensitive indicator of carrying capacity, followed by tissue mass growth rate and then by condition index. These results demonstrate the potentiality of using bivalve physiological measurements in monitoring programs as indicators of ecosystem status.


A Common Language of Ocean Uses

Planning and managing the diverse suite of existing and new ocean uses requires clear and consistent terms to describe, map and evaluate them. To meet this need, the MPA Center has developed a Common Language of Ocean Uses that provides practical, intuitive, and regionally flexible definitions of a wide range of typical human uses. Based on five years of ocean use mapping experience, the Common Language organizes 35 distinct Use Categories into four familiar Sectors to help planners, managers and stakeholders map and understand the drivers, impacts and benefits of ocean uses across multiple scales.


Resilience and Challenges of Marine Social–Ecological Systems Under Complex and Interconnected Drivers

In this paper, we summarize the contributions made by an interdisciplinary group of researchers from different disciplines (biology, ecology, economics, and law) that deal with key dimensions of marine social–ecological systems. Particularly, the local and global seafood provision; the feasibility and management of marine protected areas; the use of marine ecosystem services; the institutional dimension in European fisheries, and the affordable models for providing scientific advice to small-scale fisheries. This Special Issue presents key findings from selected case studies around the world available to educators, policy makers, and the technical community. Together, these papers show that a range of diverse ecological, economic, social, and institutional components often mutually interact at spatial and temporal scales, which evidence that managing marine social–ecological systems needs a continuous adaptability to navigate into new governance systems.


Exploring Patterns of Seafood Provision Revealed in the Global Ocean Health Index

Sustainable provision of seafood from wild-capture fisheries and mariculture is a fundamental component of healthy marine ecosystems and a major component of the Ocean Health Index. Here we critically review the food provision model of the Ocean Health Index, and explore the implications of knowledge gaps, scale of analysis, choice of reference points, measures of sustainability, and quality of input data. Global patterns for fisheries are positively related to human development and latitude, whereas patterns for mariculture are most closely associated with economic importance of seafood. Sensitivity analyses show that scores are robust to several model assumptions, but highly sensitive to choice of reference points and, for fisheries, extent of time series available to estimate landings. We show how results for sustainable seafood may be interpreted and used, and we evaluate which modifications show the greatest potential for improvements.


Global Priorities for Marine Biodiversity Conservation

In recent decades, many marine populations have experienced major declines in abundance, but we still know little about where management interventions may help protect the highest levels of marine biodiversity. We used modeled spatial distribution data for nearly 12,500 species to quantify global patterns of species richness and two measures of endemism. By combining these data with spatial information on cumulative human impacts, we identified priority areas where marine biodiversity is most and least impacted by human activities, both within Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) and Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ). Our analyses highlighted places that are both accepted priorities for marine conservation like the Coral Triangle, as well as less well-known locations in the southwest Indian Ocean, western Pacific Ocean, Arctic and Antarctic Oceans, and within semi-enclosed seas like the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas. Within highly impacted priority areas, climate and fishing were the biggest stressors. Although new priorities may arise as we continue to improve marine species range datasets, results from this work are an essential first step in guiding limited resources to regions where investment could best sustain marine biodiversity.