- Marine social sciences network launched
- New IUU Fishing Index maps global exposure and response to IUU fishing (read the report)
- Guatemala conducts marine spatial planning exercises
- New report describes changes and variations in the ocean over past decades
- Ocean acidification dissolving seafloor calcite in hotspots around globe
- Climate change changing ocean colors
- UN estimates improved coral reef health could generate over US$70 billion
- US National Academy of Sciences releases report on interventions to increase the persistence and resilience of coral reefs
- Report describes national single-use plastic policies worldwide
- Successful models for reducing marine pollution (wastewater, agricultural runoff, and marine litter) reviewed
- Measures to reduce plastic pollution in Latin America and the Caribbean summarized
- Report recommends ways to strengthen European marine ecosystem modeling to better inform management
- Open access book provides first comprehensive overview of marine spatial planning
- IOC launches Ocean Data and Information System (ODIS) catalog of ocean-related data, information, products, and services
- New guide helps marine scientists tweet more effectively
The Skimmer & MPA News
The Skimmer’s new Tools page is now fully operational, and you can use it to find information on tools that deal with:
- Ecosystem service assessment
- Climate change assessment and planning
- Fisheries management
- Marine spatial planning
- Stakeholder engagement
- And more.
The new Tools page pulls together journal articles, reports, MEAM/Skimmer articles, and other resources that provide information about a range of tools for these and other marine management and conservation tasks. Please let us know what you think!
As the global MPA community approaches the 2020 deadline for meeting Aichi Target 11, it must achieve two potentially very different goals. There is the numerical goal of covering 10% of coastal and marine areas in MPAs. And there is the qualitative goal that the conservation be achieved through “effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems” of protected areas.
Achieving the numerical goal will be easier than the rest.
Dear MPA News,
I am writing in response to your article “Sharpening our focus on MPAs for 2020 and beyond: The emerging consensus on what is and is not an MPA, and the key types of MPAs” (Dec 2018 / Jan 2019).
By Rafael Magris
In November 2015, 39 million cubic meters of metal-contaminated slurry polluted riverine and coastal waters in southwestern Brazil when a tailings dam failure occurred in a headwater of the Doce River catchment. (A tailings dam is used to store wastes from mining operations.) The plume of contaminated sediment ultimately reached several sensitive marine habitats including coral reefs, seagrass meadows, and habitats formed by coralline crustose algae. Much of the sediment accumulated in two marine protected areas – Santa Cruz Wildlife Refuge and Costa das Algas Environmental Protection Area.
By Erich Hoyt and Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara
In late January 2019, the IUCN Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force announced approval of 30 new Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs) in the North East Indian Ocean and South East Asian Seas Region. IMMAs are areas of habitat that are important to marine mammal species, and which have the potential to be delineated and managed for conservation. On a map, IMMAs are “marine mammal layers” intended to spotlight areas that may lead to MPAs or other conservation outcomes, such as ship route or noise reduction directives, and may be used in the course of marine spatial planning.
These recent articles or preprints on MPA-related science and policy are all free to access.
Article: Rolim, F. A. et al. Network of small no-take marine reserves reveals greater abundance and body size of fisheries target species. PLOS ONE 14, e0204970 (2019).
Chile announces southernmost MPA in the Americas
Editor’s note: Several new papers have examined the feasibility and advisability of applying different management and conservation measures at different depths of the water column (aka ‘vertical zoning’). In this issue, with help from a couple of experts, The Skimmer takes a quick look at the history of vertical zoning and current thinking on where it can and should go next.
Why would we want to do vertical zoning? Isn’t 2D conservation and management complicated enough?
- As The Skimmer readers are well aware, the marine environment (temperature, pressure, salinity, light, nutrients, oxygen, currents, physical structures, etc.) and the species that inhabit it vary dramatically with depth. One just has to read the latest articles about fascinating new creatures discovered in the deep ocean to get a sense of this.
- This variability means that entirely different communities of organisms with different human uses, vulnerabilities, and conservation needs exist at different depths at the same latitude/longitude. This variability creates complexity for conservation and management but also opportunity. Most conservation and management actions essentially treat the ocean as 2D. Allowing different suites of human activities at different depths, however, could potentially reduce restrictions on human activities in the marine environment (potentially increasing public support for conservation and management activities) while affording the same level of ecosystem protection as vertically homogenous management. We catch up with the latest thinking on the soundness of this approach and our ability to implement it below.
- European Commission proposes two contingency plans for fisheries for “no-deal” Brexit
- EU bans discard of unwanted fish
- Climate change making ocean waves stronger
- Industrial fisheries starving seabirds globally
- Ocean heat content is new metric for assessing global warming; shows 2018 warmest year to date
- Tonga drafting marine spatial plan
- American Samoa releases ocean plan
- Estonia releases initial marine spatial plan outline
- US Northeast Regional Ocean Council moving regional ocean planning forward after dissolution of federal regional planning bodies
- Bidding and prices for US offshore wind leases surge
- Read about impacts of the recent US government shutdown on ocean management here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here
- Contribute your knowledge and experiences to research on the impacts of the recent US government shutdown here
- Report describes status, advantages, and limitations of ten emerging ocean energy technologies
- Case studies describe economic benefits of European MPAs and spatial protection
- New framework for post-graduate MSP education proposed
- Results of practitioner survey on MSP decision support tools published
- UNEP and partners seeking feedback on Ecosystem-based Adaptation Tool Navigator
- News article provides an update on the Seabed 2030 project to map the entire ocean floor by 2030
- And, finally, a good news story about the oceans: Rebuilt groundfish stocks along the US West Coast allows for increased fishing quotas