Human footprint in the abyss

For the week of 08 October 2018

Greetings OpenChannels Community Members,

Marine Policy has published, Human footprint in the abyss: 30 year records of deep-sea plastic debris. "This study reports plastic debris pollution in the deep-sea based on the information from a recently developed database. The Global Oceanographic Data Center (GODAC) of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) launched the Deep-sea Debris Database for public use in March 2017. The database archives photographs and videos of debris that have been collected since 1983 by deep-sea submersibles and remotely operated vehicles. From the 5010 dives in the database, 3425 man-made debris items were counted. More than 33% of the debris was macro-plastic, of which 89% was single-use products, and these ratios increased to 52% and 92%, respectively, in areas deeper than 6000 m. The deepest record was a plastic bag at 10898 m in the Mariana Trench. Deep-sea organisms were observed in the 17% of plastic debris images, which include entanglement of plastic bags on chemosynthetic cold seep communities. Quantitative density analysis for the subset data in the western North Pacific showed plastic density ranging from 17 to 335 items km−2 at depths of 1092–5977 m. The data show that, in addition to resource exploitation and industrial development, the influence of land-based human activities has reached the deepest parts of the ocean in areas more than 1000 km from the mainland. Establishment of international frameworks on monitoring of deep-sea plastic pollution as an Essential Ocean Variable and a data sharing protocol are the keys to delivering scientific outcomes that are useful for the effective management of plastic pollution and the conservation of deep-sea ecosystems."

As always, if we've missed anything, please feel free to let us know. You may simply reply to this message, or you may email Allie directly at abrown [at]

You can read everything (not just the free stuff) we have found this week at Additionally, you can browse literature by the week we've added it at

Thank you for being part of the OpenChannels Community,
– Allie Brown, Raye Evrard, and the rest of the OpenChannels Team

Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing

OA: Alessi, J., Bruccoleri, F. & Cafaro, V. How citizens can encourage scientific research: The case study of bottlenose dolphins monitoring. Ocean & Coastal Management 167, 9 - 19 (2019).

Coastal and Offshore Energy

OA: Dwyer, J. & Bidwell, D. Chains of trust: Energy justice, public engagement, and the first offshore wind farm in the United States. Energy Research & Social Science 47, 166 - 176 (2019).

OA: Bento, N. & Fontes, M. Emergence of floating offshore wind energy: Technology and industry. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 99, 66 - 82 (2019).

Ecosystem-based Management (EBM)

OA: Surma, S. et al. Herring supports Northeast Pacific predators and fisheries: Insights from ecosystem modelling and management strategy evaluation. PLOS ONE 13, e0196307 (2018).

Fisheries and Fisheries Management

Preprint: Haggarty, D. R. & King, J. R. CPUE as an index of relative abundance for nearshore reef fishes. Fisheries Research 81, 89 - 93 (2006).

Preprint: Haggarty, D. R., Martell, S. J. D. & Shurin, J. B. Lack of recreational fishing compliance may compromise effectiveness of Rockfish Conservation Areas in British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 73, 1587 - 1598 (2016).

Governance and Legal Frameworks

Preprint: Pinto, P. J., G. Kondolf, M. & Wong, P. Lok Raymon. Adapting to sea level rise: Emerging governance issues in the San Francisco Bay Region. Environmental Science & Policy 90, 28 - 37 (2018).

OA: Langlet, D. Scale, space and delimitation in marine legal governance – Perspectives from the Baltic Sea. Marine Policy (In Press). doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2018.09.027

Human Impacts on the Environment

OA: Amoroso, R. O. et al. Bottom trawl fishing footprints on the world’s continental shelves. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 201802379 (2018). doi:10.1073/pnas.1802379115

Management and Management Effectiveness

OA: Robinson, L. A., Blincow, H. L., Culhane, F. E. L. & O'Higgins, T. Identifying barriers, conflict and opportunity in managing aquatic ecosystems. Science of The Total Environment (2018). doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.10.020

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)

Preprint: Douglass, J. G., Paperno, R., Reyier, E. A. & Hines, A. H. Fish and seagrass communities vary across a marine reserve boundary, but seasonal variation in small fish abundance overshadows top-down effects of large consumer exclosures. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 507, 39 - 52 (2018).

Pollution and Marine Debris

OA: Chiba, S. et al. Human footprint in the abyss: 30 year records of deep-sea plastic debris. Marine Policy 96, 204 - 212 (2018).

MarXiv Summaries

Aquaculture farms can have many, highly-variable impacts on nearby wildlife

Aquaculture farms have the potential to impact nearby wildlife in a number of ways: an individual study alone would be unable to measure all the impacts. So the authors performed a meta-analysis and review of the scientific literature, examining over 9000 research papers published through November 2017, to determine the consensus on both positive and negative impacts from aquaculture farms.

Women are often overlooked in ocean governance

The authors offer a short review of gendered issues in ocean governance, here defined as “the political, social, economic, and administrative systems and related formal and informal institutional arrangements involved in the management of natural resources.”