Rapid prioritization of marine ecosystem services and ecosystem indicators

For the week of 13 October 2014

Greetings OpenChannels Community Members,

Marine Policy has published an Open Access article, Rapid prioritization of marine ecosystem services and ecosystem indicators. The authors used the Gulf of Mexico as a case study for linking ecosystem services with EBM in a three-step approach. You may access the full-text using the link below.

Happy reading!
-Nick Wehner, OpenChannels Project Manager

Table of Contents

Climate change and human impacts

Sources, impacts and trends of pharmaceuticals in the marine and coastal environment. Gaw S, Thomas KV, Hutchinson TH. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2014; 369(1656).

Free: Diatom Cell Size, Coloniality and Motility: Trade-Offs between Temperature, Salinity and Nutrient Supply with Climate Change. Svensson F, Norberg J, Snoeijs P. PLoS ONE. 2014 ;9(10):e109993.

Free: Effects of Ocean Acidification on the Brown Alga Padina pavonica: Decalcification Due to Acute and Chronic Events. Gil-Díaz T, Haroun R, Tuya F, Betancor S, Viera-Rodríguez MA. PLoS ONE. 2014; 9(9):e108630.

Free: Abundance and Size of Gulf Shrimp in Louisiana's Coastal Estuaries following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. van der Ham JL, de Mutsert K. PLoS ONE. 2014; 9(10):e108884.

Free: Persistence and Change in Community Composition of Reef Corals through Present, Past, and Future Climates. Edmunds PJ, Adjeroud M, Baskett ML, Baums IB, Budd AF, Carpenter RC, Fabina NS, Fan T-Y, Franklin EC, Gross K, et al. PLoS ONE. 2014; 9(10):e107525.

Coral reefs

Free: Comparing Bacterial Community Composition of Healthy and Dark Spot-Affected Siderastrea siderea in Florida and the Caribbean. Kellogg CA, Piceno YM, Tom LM, DeSantis TZ, Gray MA, Andersen GL. PLoS ONE. 2014; 9(10):e108767.

Free: Coral Reefs on the Edge? Carbon Chemistry on Inshore Reefs of the Great Barrier Reef. Uthicke S, Furnas M, Lønborg C. PLoS ONE. 2014; 9(10):e109092.

Free: Growth Dynamics of the Threatened Caribbean Staghorn Coral Acropora cervicornis: Influence of Host Genotype, Symbiont Identity, Colony Size, and Environmental Setting. Lirman D, Schopmeyer S, Galvan V, Drury C, Baker AC, Baums IB. PLoS ONE. 2014; 9(9):e107253.

Ecosystem-based management

Free: Residency Patterns and Migration Dynamics of Adult Bull Sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) on the East Coast of Southern Africa. Daly R, Smale MJ, Cowley PD, Froneman PW. PLoS ONE. 2014; 9(10):e109357.

Free: Using Models of Social Transmission to Examine the Spread of Longline Depredation Behavior among Sperm Whales in the Gulf of Alaska. Schakner ZA, Lunsford C, Straley J, Eguchi T, Mesnick SL. PLoS ONE. 2014; 9(10):e109079.

Free: The movement ecology of seagrasses. McMahon K, van Dijk K-jent, Ruiz-Montoya L, Kendrick GA, Krauss SL, Waycott M, Verduin J, Lowe R, Statton J, Brown E, et al. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2014; 281(1795):20140878.

Ecosystem services

Free: Rapid prioritization of marine ecosystem services and ecosystem indicators. 2014. Sandra Werner, James Spurgeon, Gary Isaksen, Joseph Smith, Nina Springer, David Gettleson, Lucie N'Guessan, Jennifer Dupont. Marine Policy: 50, Part A.


An assessment of sector separation on the Gulf of Mexico recreational red snapper fishery. Doerpinghaus J, Hentrich K, Troup M, Stavrinaky A, Anderson S. Marine Policy. 2014; 50, Part A:309 - 317.

Free: Co-management in Europe: Insights from the gooseneck barnacle fishery in Asturias, Spain. Rivera A, Gelcich S, García-Florez L, Alcázar JLuis, Acuña JLuis. Marine Policy. 2014 ;50, Part A:300 - 308.

Productivity growth and product choice in catch share fisheries: The case of Alaska pollock. Torres Mde O, Felthoven RG. Marine Policy. 2014; 50, Part A:280 - 289.

Deciphering contextual influences on local leadership in community-based fisheries management. Sutton AM, Rudd MA. Marine Policy. 2014; 50, Part A:261 - 269.

The effect of discards and survival rate on the Maximum Sustainable Yield estimation based on landings or catches maximisation: Application to the nephrops fishery in the Bay of Biscay. Guillen J, Macher C, Merzéréaud M, Fifas S, Guyader O. Marine Policy. 2014; 50, Part A:207 - 214.

Free: Is certification a viable option for small producer fish farmers in the global south? Insights from Vietnam. Marschke M, Wilkings A. Marine Policy. 2014; 50, Part A:197 - 206.

Driving forces of the long-enduring institutional mechanism of Padu system in Negombo Lagoon, Sri Lanka. Iwasaki S. Marine Policy. 2014; 50, Part A:190 - 196.

Realization of high seas enforcement by non-flag states in WCPFC: A signal for enhanced cooperative enforcement in fisheries management. Chen C-L. Marine Policy. 2014; 50, Part A:162 - 170.

Free: Characterization of fisheries management in Yemen: A case study of a developing country's management regime. Alabsi N, Komatsu T. Alabsi N, Komatsu T. Marine Policy. 2014; 50, Part A:89 - 95.

Dealing with Mediterranean bluefin tuna: A study in international environmental management. Heffernan JPaul. Marine Policy. 2014; 50, Part A:81 - 88.

Free: Occupancy Models for Monitoring Marine Fish: A Bayesian Hierarchical Approach to Model Imperfect Detection with a Novel Gear Combination. Coggins LG, Bacheler NM, Gwinn DC. O PLoS ONE. 2014; 9(9):e108302.

Free: Rapid Fishery Assessment by Market Survey (RFAMS) – An Improved Rapid-Assessment Approach to Characterising Fish Landings in Developing Countries. White WT, Last PR, Faizah R, Chodrijah U, Buckworth RC, Dichmont CM. PLoS ONE. 2014; 9(10):e109182.

Free: Seafood Knowledge, Perceptions and Use Patterns in Florida.Adams C, Krimsky L, Saari B, Fluech B. Gainesville: Florida Sea Grant; 2014 p. 39.

Free: Toward a Sustainable Caribbean FAD FisherySidman C, Lorenzen K, Sebastien R, Magloire A, Cruickshank-Howard J, Hazell J, Masters J. Gainesville: Florida Sea Grant; 2014 p. 20.

Marine protected areas

Free: Marine protected Areas of the U.S. Virgin Islands: Ecological Performance Report. Pittman SJ, Bauer L, Hile SD, Jeffrey CFG, Davenport E, Caldow C. Silver Spring, MD: U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science; 2014 p. 89.

Spatial planning and management

A place to live and fish: Relational place making among the trawl fishers of Palk Bay, India. Stephen, J. Ocean & Coastal Management. 2014; 102, Part A:224 - 233.

Modelling of ship engine exhaust emissions in ports and extensive coastal waters based on terrestrial AIS data – An Australian case study. Goldsworthy L, Goldsworthy B. Environmental Modelling & Software. 2015; 63:45 - 60.

Free: Kernel Density Surface Modelling as a Means to Identify Significant Concentrations of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystem Indicators. Kenchington E, Murillo FJavier, Lirette C, Sacau M, Koen-Alonso M, Kenny A, Ollerhead N, Wareham V, Beazley L. PLoS ONE. 2014; 9(10):e109365.

The development of ships' routeing measures in the Bering Strait: Lessons learned from the North Atlantic right whale to protect local whale populations. Allen AS. Marine Policy. 2014; 50, Part A:215 - 226.

Free: Integration at the Round Table: Marine Spatial Planning in Multi-Stakeholder Settings. Olsen E, Fluharty D, Hoel AHåkon, Hostens K, Maes F, Pecceu E. PLoS ONE. 2014; 9(10):e109964.

Free: Multiple stressors threatening the future of the Baltic Sea–Kattegat marine ecosystem: Implications for policy and management actions. Jutterström S, Andersson HC, Omstedt A, Malmaeus JM. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 2014; 86(1–2):468 - 480.

Food for thought

Trophy fishing for species threatened with extinction: A way forward building on a history of conservation. Shiffman DS, Gallagher AJ, Wester J, Macdonald CC, Thaler AD, Cooke SJ, Hammerschlag N. Marine Policy. 2014; 50, Part A:318 - 322.

Free: Do Antiparasitic Medicines Used in Aquaculture Pose a Risk to the Norwegian Aquatic Environment? Langford KH, Øxnevad S, Schøyen M, Thomas KV. Environmental Science & Technology. 2014; 48(14):7774 - 7780.

Free: Collaboration among countries in marine conservation can achieve substantial efficiencies. Mazor T, Possingham HP, Kark S. Diversity and Distributions. 2013; 19(11):1380 - 1393.

Sources, impacts and trends of pharmaceuticals in the marine and coastal environment

There has been a significant investment in research to define exposures and potential hazards of pharmaceuticals in freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. A substantial number of integrated environmental risk assessments have been developed in Europe, North America and many other regions for these situations. In contrast, comparatively few empirical studies have been conducted for human and veterinary pharmaceuticals that are likely to enter coastal and marine ecosystems. This is a critical knowledge gap given the significant increase in coastal human populations around the globe and the growth of coastal megacities, together with the increasing importance of coastal aquaculture around the world. There is increasing evidence that pharmaceuticals are present and are impacting on marine and coastal environments. This paper reviews the sources, impacts and concentrations of pharmaceuticals in marine and coastal environments to identify knowledge gaps and suggests focused case studies as a priority for future research.

Diatom Cell Size, Coloniality and Motility: Trade-Offs between Temperature, Salinity and Nutrient Supply with Climate Change

Reduction in body size has been proposed as a universal response of organisms, both to warming and to decreased salinity. However, it is still controversial if size reduction is caused by temperature or salinity on their own, or if other factors interfere as well. We used natural benthic diatom communities to explore how “body size” (cells and colonies) and motility change along temperature (2–26°C) and salinity (0.5–7.8) gradients in the brackish Baltic Sea. Fourth-corner analysis confirmed that small cell and colony sizes were associated with high temperature in summer. Average community cell volume decreased linearly with 2.2% per °C. However, cells were larger with artificial warming when nutrient concentrations were high in the cold season. Average community cell volume increased by 5.2% per °C of artificial warming from 0 to 8.5°C and simultaneously there was a selection for motility, which probably helped to optimize growth rates by trade-offs between nutrient supply and irradiation. Along the Baltic Sea salinity gradient cell size decreased with decreasing salinity, apparently mediated by nutrient stoichiometry. Altogether, our results suggest that climate change in this century may polarize seasonality by creating two new niches, with elevated temperature at high nutrient concentrations in the cold season (increasing cell size) and elevated temperature at low nutrient concentrations in the warm season (decreasing cell size). Higher temperature in summer and lower salinity by increased land-runoff are expected to decrease the average cell size of primary producers, which is likely to affect the transfer of energy to higher trophic levels.

Effects of Ocean Acidification on the Brown Alga Padina pavonica: Decalcification Due to Acute and Chronic Events

Since the industrial revolution, anthropogenic CO2 emissions have caused ocean acidification, which particularly affects calcified organisms. Given the fan-like calcified fronds of the brown alga Padina pavonica, we evaluated the acute (short-term) effects of a sudden pH drop due to a submarine volcanic eruption (October 2011–early March 2012) affecting offshore waters around El Hierro Island (Canary Islands, Spain). We further studied the chronic (long-term) effects of the continuous decrease in pH in the last decades around the Canarian waters. In both the observational and retrospective studies (using herbarium collections of P. pavonica thalli from the overall Canarian Archipelago), the percent of surface calcium carbonate coverage of P. pavonica thalli were contrasted with oceanographic data collected either in situ (volcanic eruption event) or from the ESTOC marine observatory data series (herbarium study). Results showed that this calcified alga is sensitive to acute and chronic environmental pH changes. In both cases, pH changes predicted surface thallus calcification, including a progressive decalcification over the last three decades. This result concurs with previous studies where calcareous organisms decalcify under more acidic conditions. Hence, Padina pavonicacan be implemented as a bio-indicator of ocean acidification (at short and long time scales) for monitoring purposes over wide geographic ranges, as this macroalga is affected and thrives (unlike strict calcifiers) under more acidic conditions.

Abundance and Size of Gulf Shrimp in Louisiana's Coastal Estuaries following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill impacted Louisiana's coastal estuaries physically, chemically, and biologically. To better understand the ecological consequences of this oil spill on Louisiana estuaries, we compared the abundance and size of two Gulf shrimp species (Farfantepeneus aztecus and Litopeneus setiferus) in heavily affected and relatively unaffected estuaries, before and after the oil spill. Two datasets were used to conduct this study: data on shrimp abundance and size before the spill were available from Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). Data on shrimp abundance and size from after the spill were independently collected by the authors and by LDWF. Using a Before-After-Control-Impact with Paired sampling (BACIP) design with monthly samples of two selected basins, we found brown shrimp to become more abundant and the mean size of white shrimp to become smaller. Using a BACIP with data on successive shrimp year-classes of multiple basins, we found both species to become more abundant in basins that were affected by the spill, while mean shrimp size either not change after the spill, or increased in both affected and unaffected basins. We conclude that following the oil spill abundances of both species increased within affected estuaries, whereas mean size may have been unaffected. We propose two factors that may have caused these results: 1) exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) may have reduced the growth rate of shrimp, resulting in a delayed movement of shrimp to offshore habitats, and an increase of within-estuary shrimp abundance, and 2) fishing closures established immediately after the spill, may have resulted in decreased fishing effort and an increase in shrimp abundance. This study accentuates the complexities in determining ecological effects of oil spills, and the need of studies on the organismal level to reveal cause-and-effect relationships of such events.

Persistence and Change in Community Composition of Reef Corals through Present, Past, and Future Climates

The reduction in coral cover on many contemporary tropical reefs suggests a different set of coral community assemblages will dominate future reefs. To evaluate the capacity of reef corals to persist over various time scales, we examined coral community dynamics in contemporary, fossil, and simulated future coral reef ecosystems. Based on studies between 1987 and 2012 at two locations in the Caribbean, and between 1981 and 2013 at five locations in the Indo-Pacific, we show that many coral genera declined in abundance, some showed no change in abundance, and a few coral genera increased in abundance. Whether the abundance of a genus declined, increased, or was conserved, was independent of coral family. An analysis of fossil-reef communities in the Caribbean revealed changes in numerical dominance and relative abundances of coral genera, and demonstrated that neither dominance nor taxon was associated with persistence. As coral family was a poor predictor of performance on contemporary reefs, a trait-based, dynamic, multi-patch model was developed to explore the phenotypic basis of ecological performance in a warmer future. Sensitivity analyses revealed that upon exposure to thermal stress, thermal tolerance, growth rate, and longevity were the most important predictors of coral persistence. Together, our results underscore the high variation in the rates and direction of change in coral abundances on contemporary and fossil reefs. Given this variation, it remains possible that coral reefs will be populated by a subset of the present coral fauna in a future that is warmer than the recent past.

Comparing Bacterial Community Composition of Healthy and Dark Spot-Affected Siderastrea siderea in Florida and the Caribbean

Coral disease is one of the major causes of reef degradation. Dark Spot Syndrome (DSS) was described in the early 1990's as brown or purple amorphous areas of tissue on a coral and has since become one of the most prevalent diseases reported on Caribbean reefs. It has been identified in a number of coral species, but there is debate as to whether it is in fact the same disease in different corals. Further, it is questioned whether these macroscopic signs are in fact diagnostic of an infectious disease at all. The most commonly affected species in the Caribbean is the massive starlet coral Siderastrea siderea. We sampled this species in two locations, Dry Tortugas National Park and Virgin Islands National Park. Tissue biopsies were collected from both healthy colonies and those with dark spot lesions. Microbial-community DNA was extracted from coral samples (mucus, tissue, and skeleton), amplified using bacterial-specific primers, and applied to PhyloChip G3 microarrays to examine the bacterial diversity associated with this coral. Samples were also screened for the presence of a fungal ribotype that has recently been implicated as a causative agent of DSS in another coral species, but the amplifications were unsuccessful. S. siderea samples did not cluster consistently based on health state (i.e., normal versus dark spot). Various bacteria, including Cyanobacteria and Vibrios, were observed to have increased relative abundance in the discolored tissue, but the patterns were not consistent across all DSS samples. Overall, our findings do not support the hypothesis that DSS in S. siderea is linked to a bacterial pathogen or pathogens. This dataset provides the most comprehensive overview to date of the bacterial community associated with the scleractinian coral S. siderea.

Coral Reefs on the Edge? Carbon Chemistry on Inshore Reefs of the Great Barrier Reef

While increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration alters global water chemistry (Ocean Acidification; OA), the degree of changes vary on local and regional spatial scales. Inshore fringing coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) are subjected to a variety of local pressures, and some sites may already be marginal habitats for corals. The spatial and temporal variation in directly measured parameters: Total Alkalinity (TA) and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentration, and derived parameters: partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2); pH and aragonite saturation state (Ωar) were measured at 14 inshore reefs over a two year period in the GBR region. Total Alkalinity varied between 2069 and 2364 µmol kg−1 and DIC concentrations ranged from 1846 to 2099 µmol kg−1. This resulted inpCO2 concentrations from 340 to 554 µatm, with higher values during the wet seasons and pCO2 on inshore reefs distinctly above atmospheric values. However, due to temperature effects, Ωar was not further reduced in the wet season. Aragonite saturation on inshore reefs was consistently lower and pCO2 higher than on GBR reefs further offshore. Thermodynamic effects contribute to this, and anthropogenic runoff may also contribute by altering productivity (P), respiration (R) and P/R ratios. Compared to surveys 18 and 30 years ago, pCO2 on GBR mid- and outer-shelf reefs has risen at the same rate as atmospheric values (~1.7 µatm yr−1) over 30 years. By contrast, values on inshore reefs have increased at 2.5 to 3 times higher rates. Thus, pCO2 levels on inshore reefs have disproportionately increased compared to atmospheric levels. Our study suggests that inshore GBR reefs are more vulnerable to OA and have less buffering capacity compared to offshore reefs. This may be caused by anthropogenically induced trophic changes in the water column and benthos of inshore reefs subjected to land runoff.

Growth Dynamics of the Threatened Caribbean Staghorn Coral Acropora cervicornis: Influence of Host Genotype, Symbiont Identity, Colony Size, and Environmental Setting


The drastic decline in the abundance of Caribbean acroporid corals (Acropora cervicornis, A. palmata) has prompted the listing of this genus as threatened as well as the development of a regional propagation and restoration program. Using in situ underwater nurseries, we documented the influence of coral genotype and symbiont identity, colony size, and propagation method on the growth and branching patterns of staghorn corals in Florida and the Dominican Republic.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Individual tracking of> 1700 nursery-grown staghorn fragments and colonies from 37 distinct genotypes (identified using microsatellites) in Florida and the Dominican Republic revealed a significant positive relationship between size and growth, but a decreasing rate of productivity with increasing size. Pruning vigor (enhanced growth after fragmentation) was documented even in colonies that lost 95% of their coral tissue/skeleton, indicating that high productivity can be maintained within nurseries by sequentially fragmenting corals. A significant effect of coral genotype was documented for corals grown in a common-garden setting, with fast-growing genotypes growing up to an order of magnitude faster than slow-growing genotypes. Algal-symbiont identity established using qPCR techniques showed that clade A (likely Symbiodinium A3) was the dominant symbiont type for all coral genotypes, except for one coral genotype in the DR and two in Florida that were dominated by clade C, with A- and C-dominated genotypes having similar growth rates.


The threatened Caribbean staghorn coral is capable of extremely fast growth, with annual productivity rates exceeding 5 cm of new coral produced for every cm of existing coral. This species benefits from high fragment survivorship coupled by the pruning vigor experienced by the parent colonies after fragmentation. These life-history characteristics make A. cervicornis a successful candidate nursery species and provide optimism for the potential role that active propagation can play in the recovery of this keystone species.

Residency Patterns and Migration Dynamics of Adult Bull Sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) on the East Coast of Southern Africa

Bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) are globally distributed top predators that play an important ecological role within coastal marine communities. However, little is known about the spatial and temporal scales of their habitat use and associated ecological role. In this study, we employed passive acoustic telemetry to investigate the residency patterns and migration dynamics of 18 adult bull sharks (195–283 cm total length) tagged in southern Mozambique for a period of between 10 and 22 months. The majority of sharks (n = 16) exhibited temporally and spatially variable residency patterns interspersed with migration events. Ten individuals undertook coastal migrations that ranged between 433 and 709 km (mean = 533 km) with eight of these sharks returning to the study site. During migration, individuals exhibited rates of movement between 2 and 59 km.d−1 (mean = 17.58 km.d−1) and were recorded travelling annual distances of between 450 and 3760 km (mean = 1163 km). Migration towards lower latitudes primarily took place in austral spring and winter and there was a significant negative correlation between residency and mean monthly sea temperature at the study site. This suggested that seasonal change is the primary driver behind migration events but further investigation is required to assess how foraging and reproductive activity may influence residency patterns and migration. Results from this study highlight the need for further understanding of bull shark migration dynamics and suggest that effective conservation strategies for this vulnerable species necessitate the incorporation of congruent trans-boundary policies over large spatial scales.

Using Models of Social Transmission to Examine the Spread of Longline Depredation Behavior among Sperm Whales in the Gulf of Alaska

Fishing, farming and ranching provide opportunities for predators to prey on resources concentrated by humans, a behavior termed depredation. In the Gulf of Alaska, observations of sperm whales depredating on fish caught on demersal longline gear dates back to the 1970s, with reported incidents increasing in the mid-1990s. Sperm whale depredation provides an opportunity to study the spread of a novel foraging behavior within a population. Data were collected during National Marine Fisheries Service longline surveys using demersal longline gear in waters off Alaska from 1998 to 2010. We evaluated whether observations of depredation fit predictions of social transmission by fitting the temporal and spatial spread of new observations of depredation to the Wave of Advance model. We found a significant, positive relationship between time and the distance of new observations from the diffusion center (r2 = 0.55, p-value = 0.003). The data provide circumstantial evidence for social transmission of depredation. We discuss how changes in human activities in the region (fishing methods and regulations) have created a situation in which there is spatial-temporal overlap with foraging sperm whales, likely influencing when and how the behavior spread among the population.

The movement ecology of seagrasses

A movement ecology framework is applied to enhance our understanding of the causes, mechanisms and consequences of movement in seagrasses: marine, clonal, flowering plants. Four life-history stages of seagrasses can move: pollen, sexual propagules, vegetative fragments and the spread of individuals through clonal growth. Movement occurs on the water surface, in the water column, on or in the sediment, via animal vectors and through spreading clones. A capacity for long-distance dispersal and demographic connectivity over multiple timeframes is the novel feature of the movement ecology of seagrasses with significant evolutionary and ecological consequences. The space–time movement footprint of different life-history stages varies. For example, the distance moved by reproductive propagules and vegetative expansion via clonal growth is similar, but the timescales range exponentially, from hours to months or centuries to millennia, respectively. Consequently, environmental factors and key traits that interact to influence movement also operate on vastly different spatial and temporal scales. Six key future research areas have been identified.

Rapid prioritization of marine ecosystem services and ecosystem indicators

An ecosystem services (ES) approach to managing marine and coastal resources has increasingly emerged as a core requirement of ecosystem-based management (EBM). However, little practical guidance exists to help structure and implement such an approach. This paper outlines the linkages between ecosystems, ES and EBM in a practical framework that could be applied to marine environmental management. Using the northwestern, deepwater Gulf of Mexico as a case study, a three-stage approach was devised: (1) prioritizing relevant ES according to perceived financial and societal value and level of stress, (2) assessing the effectiveness of a wide range of indicators of ES health, and (3) ranking indicators to identify those whose monitoring would be most effective in tracking ES health. The first stage of this approach identified food provision, recreational fishing, and the non-use ethical value derived from the presence of iconic species as the highest-priority ES in the case study region. The second and third stages suggested four indicators as having the highest priority for supporting key ES: (1) levels of selected chemical compounds in key species of fish, (2) marine sound, (3) concentration of chlorophyll-a as a proxy for phytoplankton, and (4) economic and ecological values added by artificial structures. Results of this study will be helpful in prioritizing the allocation of resources for marine environmental monitoring. The approach described here will also be applicable, with appropriate adaptations, to ES analysis in other environmental settings.

An assessment of sector separation on the Gulf of Mexico recreational red snapper fishery

In recreational fisheries with large angler populations, monitoring catch overages is a challenge faced by fisheries managers. A possible solution to this issue is sector separation, which would split the recreational fishery into two angler groups: for-hire (made up of charter boats and headboats) and private. This division would allow the two sectors to have individual Annual Catch Limits (ACLs) and tailored management. This paper uses the Gulf of Mexico recreational red snapper fishery as a case study to examine the impacts of sector separation. Because for-hire anglers can already be regulated and catch limits for private anglers remain hard to enforce, sector separation will have minimal effects on the biology of the red snapper fishery. Economic changes under sector separation are driven by management decisions regarding allocation and by the reality of overage liability. Depending on the ACL allocations and which sector is landing the overages, the for-hire sector can see economic gains with the implementation of sector separation.

Co-management in Europe: Insights from the gooseneck barnacle fishery in Asturias, Spain

In recent years, cooperative management systems have received attention as a means towards sustainable fisheries. Since its inception and for the past 20 years, the gooseneck barnacle fishery in the coast of Asturias has been co-managed by assigning Territorial User Rights to fishers׳ associations, allowing fishers to participate actively in the management and data gathering processes. Here, 20 years of landings, in-depth interviews and focus groups were used to characterize the emergence and social-ecological properties of the system. The system consists of 7 management areas each one some tens of kilometers long. The incorporation of fishers׳ knowledge has successfully led to within-area fragmentation of the management units down to single rocks as small as 3 m long, which are managed according to different protection levels. The system has empowered resource users and provided an opportunity for the use of both scientific information and fishers׳ knowledge to be integrated in management guidelines. Results suggest the adaptive capacity provided by the co-management framework has been essential to manage this heterogeneous fishery. The gooseneck barnacle fishery and its historical developments illustrate the potential for establishing co-management systems for small-scale fisheries in Europe.

Productivity growth and product choice in catch share fisheries: The case of Alaska pollock

Many fisheries worldwide have exhibited marked decreases in profitability and fish stocks during the last few decades as a result of overfishing. However, more conservative, science- and incentive-based management approaches have been practiced in the US federally managed fisheries off Alaska since the mid-1990s. The Bering Sea pollock fishery is one such fishery and remains one of the world׳s largest in both value and volume of landings. In 1998, with the implementation of the American Fisheries Act (AFA) this fishery was converted from a limited access fishery to a rationalized fishery in which fishing quota were allocated to cooperatives which could transfer quotas, facilitate fleet consolidation, and maximize efficiency. The changes in efficiency and productivity growth arising from the change in management regime have been the subject of several studies, with a few focusing on the large vessels that both catch and process fish onboard (catcher-processors). This study modifies existing approaches to account for the unique decision making process characterizing catcherprocessor׳s production technologies. The focus is on sequential decisions regarding what products to produce and the factors that influence productivity once those decisions are made, using a multiproduct revenue function. The estimation procedure is based on a latent variable econometric model and departs from and advances previous studies since it deals with the mixed distribution nature of the data, a novel application to fisheries production modeling. The resulting productivity growth estimates are consistent with increasing productivity growth since rationalization of the fishery, even in light of large decreases in the pollock stock. These findings suggest that rationalizing fishery incentives can help foster improvements in economic productivity even during periods of diminished biological productivity.

Deciphering contextual influences on local leadership in community-based fisheries management

Community-based fisheries management (CBFM) strategies have been adopted in a variety of small-scale fisheries around the world. Within these management structures, leaders are increasingly regarded as essential for viable CBFM yet systematic analysis into the intricate mechanisms of leadership are limited. This paper aims to identify key knowledge gaps of leadership in CBFM by strategically reviewing research from fisheries and natural resource management, and from other sectors. The focus is on the interaction between leaders, their connections with and beyond their communities, and the context within which leaders function. Insights from over 30 case studies suggest previous work on leaders and leadership generally focused on relatively coarse-scale characteristics of leadership and the functions that leaders perform. Ecological and social context influence leaders׳ ability to help deliver successful CBFM. The personal and professional attributes of leaders themselves may be beneficial or inhibitory for CBFM depending on that context. It is therefore essential that future research builds on current insight in order to decipher the implications of contextual influences on local leadership and, by extension, the level of CBFM success.

The effect of discards and survival rate on the Maximum Sustainable Yield estimation based on landings or catches maximisation: Application to the nephrops fishery in the Bay of Biscay

MSY objectives are being adopted as major fisheries management targets worldwide. However, in fisheries where discards account for an important share of the catches, the yield, effort, and biomass at MSY can be significantly different when accounting or not for discards and thus when, basing the yield estimations on landings or catches. Also whether accounting for a certain survival rate, of discards can lead to different MSY targets estimates. Hence, both decisions have important, implications on catch and effort reduction recommendations, and consequently on the quota, calculations for fisheries managed by quotas. Results from the Bay of Biscay nephrops fishery confirm, that the optimal exploitation level can vary significantly when optimising for catches or landings, and, by assuming a certain survival rate of the discards. By doing this, the present study also allows to, explore the basis to clarify the definition of MSY in fisheries where discarding takes place.

Is certification a viable option for small producer fish farmers in the global south? Insights from Vietnam

Aquaculture is the fastest growing global food system, providing nearly half of the world׳s seafood supply. A significant portion of aquaculture is produced in the global South and consumed in the North, with much of the production stemming from small producers in Asian countries. The rapid growth in this sector has led to a host of social, environmental and governance concerns, with certification emerging as one market governance response. This paper assesses the potential of certification for small producer shrimp farmers in Vietnam, examining the ways in which three standards operating in Vietnam focus on social, environmental, economic, and management dimensions of sustainability. Research findings suggest that aquaculture standards are not appropriate for small producers since much of the current criteria are not viable at this scale. A separate national standard customized specifically for small producers in Vietnam׳s aquaculture sector may be necessary. A set of guidelines is proposed as a starting point for discussions regarding small producer certification.

Driving forces of the long-enduring institutional mechanism of Padu system in Negombo Lagoon, Sri Lanka

This article aims to address fishery adaptation to tackle the commons dilemma by introducing the Padu system. The Padu system which is a gear-specific fishery with strict rules has survived to date, but the system has become vulnerable due to exogenous pressures as well as internal population growth. With this background, the research presents a case study of stake-seine fishery in Negombo Lagoon, Sri Lanka by highlighting the institutional mechanism of the Padu system. Findings revealed that the system has developed a nested structure of fishery governance among right holders. A role of the Roman Catholic Church served as a basis for interaction vertically across institutions from local to national, securing robust fishery institutions against entry of outsiders to the system. Furthermore, the fishery introduced a welfare scheme, contributing to the adherence to their own rules including entry rights to the system which control internal population growth. Based on these findings, this article provides several implications to sustainable fishery resources management through the Padu system.

Realization of high seas enforcement by non-flag states in WCPFC: A signal for enhanced cooperative enforcement in fisheries management

This paper aims to explore how the non-flag state high seas boarding and inspection (HSBI) scheme has been implemented in real settings, as well as to examine its effectiveness in enforcement and potential impacts on fisheries management. The methods of document analysis and semi-structured interviews were employed. The preliminary results showed that the scheme has been practically realized in the WCPFC, indicating that an exception to the high seas flag state control has been established for the sake of fisheries management. The results also revealed that the scheme has the potential to complement the lack of on-sight enforcement capacity of fishing states, enhance cooperative enforcement on the high seas, and implicitly elevate the level of compliance with relevant management measures by vessels. This paper also identified a potential loophole of the scheme, namely whether it has the necessary “teeth” to deal with the inaction of the flag states regarding their fishing vessels which have had foreign inspectors detect the violation of rules. To amend this loophole, devising a mechanism for allowing the WCPFC to warn or punish the flag states for such inaction in order to improve compliance, has been recommended. In addition, further studies on the effectiveness of the scheme and the link between the scheme and fishers’ behaviors in complying with management measures were also recommended.

Characterization of fisheries management in Yemen: A case study of a developing country's management regime

The nature of small-scale fisheries is frequently described as complex. This complexity is particularly true for the least developed countries, such as Yemen, in which natural resources management is challenged by rapid population growth, high unemployment rates, and chronic underdevelopment. This study presents the current fisheries management regime and analyzes its components to examine how appropriate the current strategy is in addressing conservation needs while sustaining the socio-economic benefits obtained from fisheries. The weak enforcement and low compliance and the widespread illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, suggest the need to restructure the fisheries management system. Moreover, for any future policy reforms, it will be necessary to consider introducing appropriate anti-corruption measures and policies to improve transparency and accountability. The fishery managers need also to adopt the precautionary approach widely, using the best available information, until results from research become available.

Dealing with Mediterranean bluefin tuna: A study in international environmental management

Bluefin tuna management is a high profile conservation issue, generating significant public interest. The species is in decline due to overfishing, with the Mediterranean population of particular concern. Japanese demand for bluefin tuna is driving overexploitation and there are no indications that this will diminish in the foreseeable future. The system of allocating catch quotas to fishing parties under the International Convention on Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) has been ineffective in the past. This paper argues that other avenues of international law, including via the World Trade Organisation, are unable to provide suitable alternative remedies. However, the interaction and political leveraging effect of these multilateral instruments has now established an enabling environment for an effective management regime, with a revitalised ICCAT now universally recognised as the most appropriate forum to address the threats to bluefin tuna. It is advised that ICCAT parties continue to work collaboratively, as has begun in recent years. The body should seek to maintain not only a scientifically derived sustainable fishing quota but also to address high levels of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, which threaten to undermine progress in restricting quota allocations. This could be supported by inclusion of a formal dispute resolution mechanism with the Convention or by developing linkages to related UNCLOS articles. However, ultimately, this complex issue is probably best dealt within the international body most well positioned to convene a consensus amongst stakeholders, namely ICCAT.

Occupancy Models for Monitoring Marine Fish: A Bayesian Hierarchical Approach to Model Imperfect Detection with a Novel Gear Combination

Occupancy models using incidence data collected repeatedly at sites across the range of a population are increasingly employed to infer patterns and processes influencing population distribution and dynamics. While such work is common in terrestrial systems, fewer examples exist in marine applications. This disparity likely exists because the replicate samples required by these models to account for imperfect detection are often impractical to obtain when surveying aquatic organisms, particularly fishes. We employ simultaneous sampling using fish traps and novel underwater camera observations to generate the requisite replicate samples for occupancy models of red snapper, a reef fish species. Since the replicate samples are collected simultaneously by multiple sampling devices, many typical problems encountered when obtaining replicate observations are avoided. Our results suggest that augmenting traditional fish trap sampling with camera observations not only doubled the probability of detecting red snapper in reef habitats off the Southeast coast of the United States, but supplied the necessary observations to infer factors influencing population distribution and abundance while accounting for imperfect detection. We found that detection probabilities tended to be higher for camera traps than traditional fish traps. Furthermore, camera trap detections were influenced by the current direction and turbidity of the water, indicating that collecting data on these variables is important for future monitoring. These models indicate that the distribution and abundance of this species is more heavily influenced by latitude and depth than by micro-scale reef characteristics lending credence to previous characterizations of red snapper as a reef habitat generalist. This study demonstrates the utility of simultaneous sampling devices, including camera traps, in aquatic environments to inform occupancy models and account for imperfect detection when describing factors influencing fish population distribution and dynamics.

Rapid Fishery Assessment by Market Survey (RFAMS) – An Improved Rapid-Assessment Approach to Characterising Fish Landings in Developing Countries

The complex multi-gear, multi-species tropical fisheries in developing countries are poorly understood and characterising the landings from these fisheries is often impossible using conventional approaches. A rapid assessment method for characterising landings at fish markets, using an index of abundance and estimated weight within taxonomic groups, is described. This approach was developed for contexts where there are no detailed data collection protocols, and where consistent data collection across a wide range of fisheries types and geographic areas is required, regardless of the size of the site and scale of the landings. This methodology, which was demonstrated at seven fish landing sites/fish markets in southern Indonesia between July 2008 and January 2011, provides a rapid assessment of the abundance and diversity in the wild catch over a wide variety of taxonomic groups. The approach has wider application for species-rich fisheries in developing countries where there is an urgent need for better data collection protocols, monitoring future changes in market demographics, and evaluating health of fisheries.

Marine protected Areas of the U.S. Virgin Islands: Ecological Performance Report

This document presents a comprehensive overview of results from more than a decade of work by the NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) Biogeography Branch and the Department of the Interior National Park Service (NPS) to assess status and trends within and around federally managed marine protected areas (MPAs) of the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI).

The report provides: (1) an overview of the history of MPAs, types of MPAs and associated regulations, and a list of all MPAs in the USVI; (2) an ecological performance report for three intensively surveyed MPA units managed by NPS, including 20 biological metrics for fish and benthic habitat; (3) sightings of large-bodied fishes with moderate to high vulnerability to fishing; and (4) synthesis, summary and recommendations for management.

This report is the first time that an assessment of ecological performance has been conducted for MPAs in the USVI. A decade of underwater surveys was analyzed to detect trends on coral reefs inside MPAs and for a similar range of habitats outside of MPAs. The information, data synthesis, interpretation and recommendations are intended to help focus management actions and goal setting, inform outreach products and adjust expectations regarding ecological performance for MPAs in the region. The data presented here provide important baselines required for tracking MPA performance through future monitoring efforts.

Seafood Knowledge, Perceptions and Use Patterns in Florida

Florida represents a major component of the nation’s seafood industry. The commercial fishing industry in Florida lands approximately 100 million pounds of wild-caught finfish and shellfish annually. Over one hundred species, including shrimp, grouper, spiny lobster, stone crab, snapper, and others, are harvested in Florida and comprise an extremely diverse mix of high-quality products that are eventually sold into local, regional, and national markets. While effective management has kept the traditional finfish and shellfish species in the markets, an even more diverse group of seafood products are imported into Florida from other states and foreign sources.

During 2012, the quantity of imported seafood into the US market exceeded domestic landings by 42%. With Florida being a leading state for importing and processing seafood, the contribution of imports into local markets cannot be understated. The seafood industry in Florida includes a complex network of harvesting, importation, processing, and sales which fuels a very large economic engine. Florida-harvested seafood annually generates $171 million in economic impacts and creates over 7,400 jobs, while imported seafood generates $2.4 billion in economic impacts and creates 65,000 jobs. The economic importance of the state’s industry aside, locally-harvested and imported seafood products provide Florida’s seafood consumers with an unparalleled assortment of seafood products to savor and enjoy.

As the demand for seafood continues to grow in Florida, driven by a growing population, a constantly changing ethnicity mix, and evolving economic conditions, the need for a high-quality, diverse, sustainable, and affordable seafood supply is increasingly important. However, many Floridians are becoming more concerned about the origin, quality, sustainability, safety, affordability, and convenience of the seafood products they purchase. Local food movements are compelling consumers to purchase more locally sourced products. The growing presence of “green” products and eco-labeling is creating an awareness of the sustainability of seafood. Convenience packaging is realizing a growing market share as consumers continue to seek confidence in preparing seafood at home. In addition, the media exposure of contaminants in food products and the increasing incidence of economic fraud, such as mislabeling, contribute to a complex and confusing marketplace. Consumer confusion and uncertainty exists, creating a demonstrable need for educational programs that help can help buyers make informed decisions about the seafood products they should purchase for their households.

Thus, a survey of Florida seafood consumer preferences, perceptions and concerns was needed to assess the regional educational needs of seafood consumers. A survey was needed to address the myriad issues concerning seafood quality, safety, product origin, mislabeling, sustainability and traceability. The survey also addressed regional needs within the state (i.e., proximity to the coast, north/south/central with the peninsula, etc.), seasonality issues, consumer demographics, awareness of health benefits associated with seafood, preparation methods, and concerns associated with recent environmental events. The findings of the survey augment the information that exists from previous seafood perception surveys for Florida and the other states within the Gulf region. The survey findings are a key source of information to accurately assess the educational needs of the future educational programs and help identify the topics of greatest concern to various clientele groups.

Toward a Sustainable Caribbean FAD Fishery

Fisheries are an important source of food, income and cultural identity for Caribbean communities. While reef fisheries in the Caribbean are frequently over-exploited, offshore pelagic resources also targeted by the US sport-fishing industry may generate alternative economic benefits and divert pressure from reefs. Key to the efficient harvesting of thinly-distributed pelagic fish is the use of fish aggregation devices (FADs). Traditionally, FADs were deployed by individuals or close-knit groups of fishers. Recently, governments have deployed public FADs accessible to all. There is concern that public FADs are exploited less efficiently and produce conflicts related to crowding and misuse.

In partnership with Counterpart International, the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism and the Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines Fisheries Divisions, Florida Sea Grant collected information from fishermen on their use of FADs that were deployed privately, by small groups or by the government. This allowed for a determination of governance arrangements that were most profitable and provided input to stakeholder meetings with FAD fishers to identify best practices for sustainably using and co-managing FADs.

The fishing trip analysis shows that catch and profitability are higher when FADs are managed privately or by small groups and access to the aggregated fisheries resources is somewhat restricted. An engagement strategy that introduced an activity planner as a best practice to increase information sharing helped strengthen the rapport between government and fisheries stakeholders. Study results are helping shape regional implementation of policy, which favors FADs co-managed by fishers and government, but can benefit from positive aspects of FADs managed privately or by small groups.

A place to live and fish: Relational place making among the trawl fishers of Palk Bay, India

In Palk Bay (India), fishing is intrinsically tied to a complex and dynamic geo-political situation. The trawl fishers from India are finding it increasingly difficult to operate in the bay due to the strict enforcement of the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) by the Sri Lanka Navy and the increasing animosity of the small scale gill netters of Northern Sri Lanka, who accuse the Indian trawlers of encroaching and destroying their livelihood. In the multi-scalar nature of this conflict, it is easy for policy makers and researchers to get distracted by processes happening at different scales (regional, national) thereby ignoring the local processes that shape everyday fishing. By analysing the everyday lives and lived places of the fishers in the two trawl centres of Rameswaram and Mandapam, this article exclusively focusses on the scale of the local. A closer look at these centres, located in close proximity to each other, reveals substantial differences in the way fisheries are managed. The objective of this paper is to understand how one of these centres is able to manage its fleet better (better price for fishes, lower discards and higher compliance) than the other, increasing understanding of the dynamics of resource usage in Palk Bay to give clues for possible solutions. Through the ethnographic method, the research uses the concept of relational place making in analysing local fishery resource usage. By dialectically analysing the various social, political and economic processes both on land and at sea in each these centres, I conclude that the differences in management between them are an outcome of a series of complex interactions between several processes. Based on my analysis, I argue that the mismanagement of the Rameswaram fleet and the better managed Mandapam fleet cannot be attributed only to the relative strength of the institutional set up on land but should also take into consideration the conditions at sea. Thus, managing a complex fishery system requires a better understanding of the interaction of various processes that happen at different places of concern to the everyday lives of the fishers, moving beyond the limited narrow focus of several place based studies which focus on a singular place, social group and scale.

Modelling of ship engine exhaust emissions in ports and extensive coastal waters based on terrestrial AIS data – An Australian case study

There is an increasing need for environmental management advice that is wide-scoped, covering various interlinked policies, and realistic about the uncertainties related to the possible management actions. To achieve this, efficient decision support integrates the results of pre-existing models. Many environmental models are deterministic, but the uncertainty of their outcomes needs to be estimated when they are utilized for decision support. We review various methods that have been or could be applied to evaluate the uncertainty related to deterministic models' outputs. We cover expert judgement, model emulation, sensitivity analysis, temporal and spatial variability in the model outputs, the use of multiple models, and statistical approaches, and evaluate when these methods are appropriate and what must be taken into account when utilizing them. The best way to evaluate the uncertainty depends on the definitions of the source models and the amount and quality of information available to the modeller.

Kernel Density Surface Modelling as a Means to Identify Significant Concentrations of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystem Indicators

The United Nations General Assembly Resolution 61/105, concerning sustainable fisheries in the marine ecosystem, calls for the protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems (VME) from destructive fishing practices. Subsequently, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) produced guidelines for identification of VME indicator species/taxa to assist in the implementation of the resolution, but recommended the development of case-specific operational definitions for their application. We applied kernel density estimation (KDE) to research vessel trawl survey data from inside the fishing footprint of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) Regulatory Area in the high seas of the northwest Atlantic to create biomass density surfaces for four VME indicator taxa: large-sized sponges, sea pens, small and large gorgonian corals. These VME indicator taxa were identified previously by NAFO using the fragility, life history characteristics and structural complexity criteria presented by FAO, along with an evaluation of their recovery trajectories. KDE, a non-parametric neighbour-based smoothing function, has been used previously in ecology to identify hotspots, that is, areas of relatively high biomass/abundance. We present a novel approach of examining relative changes in area under polygons created from encircling successive biomass categories on the KDE surface to identify “significant concentrations” of biomass, which we equate to VMEs. This allows identification of the VMEs from the broader distribution of the species in the study area. We provide independent assessments of the VMEs so identified using underwater images, benthic sampling with other gear types (dredges, cores), and/or published species distribution models of probability of occurrence, as available. For each VME indicator taxon we provide a brief review of their ecological function which will be important in future assessments of significant adverse impact on these habitats here and elsewhere.

The development of ships' routeing measures in the Bering Strait: Lessons learned from the North Atlantic right whale to protect local whale populations

As a precautionary measure to protect the culturally-significant bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) from vessel strike, this paper explores the potential for having the International Maritime Organization endorse ships׳ routeing measures in the Bering Strait region. The confined nature of the Bering Strait forces both vessel traffic and the migrating Bering–Chukchi–Beaufort stock of bowhead whales to occupy the same narrow space, thus putting individual animals at risk of vessel strike. The potential for vessel strike may become exacerbated as the reduction of Arctic sea ice makes the Arctic increasingly accessible, allowing vessels to transit through the Strait in greater densities. In drawing from lessons learned in the successful reduction of vessel strike to the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis), the author provides broad recommendations for implementing ships׳ routeing measures in the Bering Strait region based on findings by Citta et al. (2012). It is recommended that both the western side of Big Diomede Island and the western side of St. Lawrence Island be designated as seasonal Areas To Be Avoided (ATBA) during fall months when bowheads are known to inhabit the area. Alternatively, it is proposed that Traffic Separation Schemes (TSSs) be implemented so that vessels must keep to the eastern side of both Big Diomede Island and St. Lawrence Island during this time. Both measures would reduce the amount of overlap between migrating bowhead whales and transiting vessel traffic, effectively reducing the potential for vessel strike.

Integration at the Round Table: Marine Spatial Planning in Multi-Stakeholder Settings

Marine spatial planning (MSP) is often considered as a pragmatic approach to implement an ecosystem based management in order to manage marine space in a sustainable way. This requires the involvement of multiple actors and stakeholders at various governmental and societal levels. Several factors affect how well the integrated management of marine waters will be achieved, such as different governance settings (division of power between central and local governments), economic activities (and related priorities), external drivers, spatial scales, incentives and objectives, varying approaches to legislation and political will. We compared MSP in Belgium, Norway and the US to illustrate how the integration of stakeholders and governmental levels differs among these countries along the factors mentioned above. Horizontal integration (between sectors) is successful in all three countries, achieved through the use of neutral ‘round-table’ meeting places for all actors. Vertical integration between government levels varies, with Belgium and Norway having achieved full integration while the US lacks integration of the legislature due to sharp disagreements among stakeholders and unsuccessful partisan leadership. Success factors include political will and leadership, process transparency and stakeholder participation, and should be considered in all MSP development processes.

Multiple stressors threatening the future of the Baltic Sea–Kattegat marine ecosystem: Implications for policy and management actions

The paper discusses the combined effects of ocean acidification, eutrophication and climate change on the Baltic Sea and the implications for current management strategies. The scientific basis is built on results gathered in the BONUS+ projects Baltic-C and ECOSUPPORT. Model results indicate that the Baltic Sea is likely to be warmer, more hypoxic and more acidic in the future. At present management strategies are not taking into account temporal trends and potential ecosystem change due to warming and/or acidification, and therefore fulfilling the obligations specified within the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, OSPAR and HELCOM conventions and national environmental objectives may become significantly more difficult. The paper aims to provide a basis for a discussion on the effectiveness of current policy instruments and possible strategies for setting practical environmental objectives in a changing climate and with multiple stressors.

Trophy fishing for species threatened with extinction: A way forward building on a history of conservation

Trophy fishing occurs when anglers target the largest members of a species with the goal of obtaining an award with perceived prestige. The largest members of many species are also the most fecund, raising alarms about the disproportionate impact of removing the largest individuals of species of conservation concern. Presented here is the first systematic analysis of the conservation status of fishes targeted for world records by the International Game Fishing Association. Eighty-five species for which IGFA records have been issued are listed as Threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. If the IGFA stopped issuing records that implicitly require killing the fish for IUCN Red List Threatened species, it would immediately reduce fishing pressure on the largest individuals of species of conservation concern while still allowing anglers to target more than 93% of species that records have been issued for.

Do Antiparasitic Medicines Used in Aquaculture Pose a Risk to the Norwegian Aquatic Environment?

Aquaculture production is an important industry in many countries and there has been a growth in the use of medicines to ensure the health and cost effectiveness of the industry. This study focused on the inputs of sea lice medication to the marine environment. Diflubenzuron, teflubenzuron, emamectin benzoate, cypermethrin, and deltamethrin were measured in water, sediment, and biota samples in the vicinity of five aquaculture locations along the Norwegian coast. Deltamethrin and cypermethrin were not detected above the limits of detection in any samples. Diflubenzuron, teflubenzuron, and emamectin benzoate were detected, and the data was compared the UK Environmental Quality Standards. The concentrations of emamectin benzoate detected in sediments exceed the environmental quality standard (EQS) on 5 occasions in this study. The EQS for teflubenzuron in sediment was exceeded in 67% of the samples and exceeded for diflubenzuron in 40% of the water samples collected. A crude assessment of the concentrations detected in the shrimp collected from one location and the levels at which chronic effects are seen in shrimp would suggest that there is a potential risk to shrimp. It would also be reasonable to extrapolate this to any species that undergoes moulting during its life cycle.

Collaboration among countries in marine conservation can achieve substantial efficiencies


Multinational collaboration is important for successfully protecting marine environments. However, few studies have assessed the costs and benefits incurred by taking collaborative action. One of the most complex marine regions in the world is the Mediterranean Sea biodiversity hotspot. The sea is shared by over 20 countries across three continents with a vast array of socio-economic and political backgrounds. We aimed to examine how collaboration between countries of the Mediterranean Sea affects conservation plans when costs and threats are considered.


The Mediterranean Sea.


We compared three collaboration scenarios to test the efficiencies of coordinated marine conservation efforts: full coordination between Mediterranean countries, partial coordination within continents and no coordination where countries act in isolation. To do so, we developed four basin-wide surrogates for commercial and recreational fishing effort in the Mediterranean Sea. Using a systematic decision support tool (Marxan), we minimized the opportunity costs while meeting a suite of biodiversity targets.


We discovered that to reach the same conservation targets, a plan where all the countries of the Mediterranean Sea collaborate can save over two-thirds of the cost of a plan where each country acts independently. The benefits of multinational collaboration are surprisingly unequal between countries.

Main conclusions

This approach, which incorporates biodiversity, costs and collaboration into a systematic conservation plan, can help deliver efficient conservation outcomes when planning spatially explicit actions within marine environments shared by many countries.