February and March were busy months for announcing large new MPAs. Seychelles, Brazil, and Chile all reported significant new sites.
The Skimmer & 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.
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.
These recent articles or preprints on MPA-related science and policy are all free to access.
Save the date for IMPAC5 in Vancouver
Organizers of the next International Marine Protected Areas Congress – IMPAC5, to be hosted in Vancouver, Canada – have announced the dates. The conference will be held in 2021 from 27 September - 1 October.
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.
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.
- Scientists describe a new deep reef marine zone – the rariphotic
- Ecosystem-based MSP process underway for Azores, Madeira, and Canary Islands
- UNEP launches portal of global and regional marine and coastal data resources
- New high-resolution, publicly-available dataset captures activity of more than 70,000 fishing vessels, including majority of large industrial fishing vessels
- New climate resilience tool helps discover, visualize, and analyze climate and socioeconomic datasets globally
- Paper outlines roles for ocean businesses in implementing Sustainable Development Goals and advancing blue growth
- World’s first commercial floating offshore wind farm performing well in initial months
- Interview with expert on new phenomenon of “annihilation trawling”, non-targeted bottom trawling
- UK releases new report on future trends, challenges, and opportunities from the sea
- Ocean Atlas provides short summaries and good graphics of major threats to ocean ecosystems
- Expert input on cumulative impact tools for MSP summarized
- New online mini-course provides overview and case studies of coastal social science
- Ecosystem approach to aquaculture and its role in blue growth reviewed
- Regional assessments of biodiversity and ecosystem services for Africa, Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Europe-Central Asia released
- US NOAA avoids major budget cuts for now
- Interactive tool shares findings and lessons learned from Baltic MSP
- TNC launches updated website of marine planning resources
- New MSP Library and MSP Glossary available
Editor’s Note: From the Archives calls attention to past MEAM articles whose perspectives and insight remain relevant.
Maritime industries deliver 90% of international trade, supply 30% of oil and natural gas, and carry 98% of international communications. Yet despite the vast industrial use of the oceans, ocean planning processes often have relatively little involvement by industry. Read what industry leaders have to say about what ocean planning practitioners should (and should not) do to engage the ocean business community.
A very quick update on Arctic ecosystems