The Skimmer & MPA News

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Editor’s note: Anthropogenic noise in the ocean – from ships, sonar, construction, oil wells, windfarms, seismic surveys, and other activities – harms marine animals ranging from marine mammals to fish to invertebrates. Ocean noise has been documented to:

As the Skimmer is covering various way that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted marine ecosystems and communities, a likely reduction in ocean noise is one possible bright spot. As we collected news and research articles on this topic, however, almost all reports that we found related to ocean noise and marine mammals off the West Coasts of the U.S. and Canada in the first half of 2020. To help broaden our understanding, we asked scientists from Applied Ocean Sciences, a collective of ocean consultants with expertise in ocean acoustics, to share what they have learned about noise trajectories over a longer timescale and in other areas of the world. Below is our Skimmer-style summary of news and research articles and an interview with Chris Verlinden, a senior scientist and chief technology officer at Applied Ocean Solutions.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Editor’s note: Climate change is the greatest threat to the health of marine ecosystems worldwide, and the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to alter the world’s climate change trajectory, for better or for worse. Numerous, diverse relationships between the two crises have arisen. These relationships have proven enormously changeable over the course of the pandemic and by location, and the net impact of the pandemic on climate change and society remains to be seen. This article briefly characterizes a number of the diverse intersections and parallels between the two crises.

Do you have updated information or a new or different perspective? We would love to get your thoughts and additions. You can add them to the Comments section below or send to The Skimmer editor at skimmer [at] octogroup.org.

#1: Greenhouse gas emissions went down in 2020, but not by as much as initially expected, not for all that long, and not for the “right” reasons. Without systemic changes, the COVID-19 pandemic is unlikely to have a significant long-term impact on global emission trajectories.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management
The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Editor’s Note: From the Archives calls attention to past Skimmer/MEAM articles whose perspectives and insight remain relevant.

As professionals in the marine conservation and management field, Skimmer readers are hyperaware of large scale and global changes to marine ecosystems. Research is now examining the emotional and psychological toll that these changes are having on people. This article synthesizes the seminal research on “ecological grief” and how society can address it at both policy and personal levels.

MPA News

Amílcar Guzmán Valladares and Viviana Luján Gallegos of Wolfs Company have worked with dozens of MPAs to develop business plans and financing mechanisms. They believe there's reason for optimism about the future of MPA finance. We find out why.

MPA News

The ecosystem services provided by protected areas must be made more apparent, says Carlos Espinosa of Dos Mares. To do that, he says management programs should align MPA activities with the needs of local communities. He's now building a portfolio of community-aligned projects in Central American MPAs, and looking to attract donors and investors.

MPA News

Peter Jones of University College London has researched MPA governance for the past decade. His latest publication breaks down the full range of incentives that an MPA can use to steer behavior – from payments for ecosystem services, to assessing penalties for rule-breaking, to building on local customs, and many more. We asked him why managers should consider the governance of their sites.

MPA News

What will the MPA world be like when this pandemic is over? "What's increasingly clear is that we are not going back to where we were before the COVID-19 pandemic hit," says Carol Phua. "There is a ‘new normal.’"

MPA News

More than 80 nations have now committed to 30x30 target for MPAs

As we reported in our last issue, the target of protecting 30% of national and global waters by 2030 – referred to as 30x30 – continues to gain momentum. By MPA News’s count, at least 83 nations have now committed to the 30x30 target, as of early March 2021. Most of the growth has been the result of coalitions of nations making the commitment together, as indicated below:

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