The Skimmer & MPA News

MPA News

When each of us faces a challenge in life, our first reaction is often to ask a trusted friend or colleague, “Have you also faced this? If so, how did you handle it?”

It’s the same in MPA planning and management. Practitioners face a common set of challenges – enforcement, engaging stakeholders, monitoring, fundraising, and more – and an array of solutions have been developed at sites worldwide. It benefits all practitioners for these solutions and other MPA knowledge to be shared widely.

MPA News

By Jon Day

The Representative Areas Program (RAP), which rezoned the entire Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in a single planning initiative, was at the time the most comprehensive process of community involvement and participatory planning for any environmental issue in Australia. The outcome was that one-third of the Marine Park was declared as highly protected no-take zones in 2004, with the remainder of the park also zoned to provide various levels of protection.

Many of the lessons learned from RAP remain relevant today. The following 25 lessons are excerpted from a paper published in Coastal Management journal in December 2017, “Effective public participation is fundamental for marine conservation – lessons from a large scale MPA”. The paper is available for free here. More detail on each of the lessons is in the paper.

MPA News

In a move that has been in the making for the past five years, the Australian government formally announced its plans in March 2018 to scale back protections for the nation’s system of marine parks. Overall, 80% of Australia’s marine park waters will now be open to commercial fishing, up from 63% under the system’s original design. And 97% of Commonwealth waters within 100 km of the coast will be open to recreational fishing.

MPA News

By Rene A. Abesamis, Silliman University - Angelo King Center for Research and Environmental Management

Knowing how far the larvae of fish species disperse can be invaluable to designing effective networks of MPAs. But in a developing nation like the Philippines, where over 1000 community-managed MPAs have been established over the past two decades, such science is often not available, particularly at the community level. So planners have often made educated guesses when planning their MPAs, based on traditional knowledge and what science could be accessed.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

In lieu of a lead article this month, we spent our time expanding MEAM’s compilation of ocean planning and management training opportunities to help current and future practitioners connect with useful opportunities to add to their knowledge and skill sets. Over the past few months, we have added more than 60 training opportunities directly related to marine planning and management, and we know there are more out there! If you know of other opportunities that we should include – especially opportunities in Asia, Africa, and Latin America – please let us know. In the meantime, many thanks to the many EBM Tools Network and MEAM readers who supplied information on training resources they provide or have found useful. Check out the compilation of training opportunities.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Editor's note: The goal of The EBM Toolbox is to promote awareness of tools and methods for facilitating EBM and MSP processes. It is brought to you by the EBM Tools Network (www.ebmtools.org), a voluntary alliance of tool users, developers, and training providers.

A new method helps ocean planners and stakeholders find the best locations for a wide range of ocean uses, while minimizing negative interactions among ocean uses and environmental impacts. This method was described in a recent article in Nature Communications. MEAM learned from authors Sarah Lester, an assistant professor of geography at Florida State University, and Crow White, an assistant professor with Center for Coastal Marine Sciences at the California Polytechnic State University, what makes this technique different from other marine spatial planning tools and what sorts of data sets are needed to use it.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

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