The Skimmer & MPA News

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Editor’s note: The Skimmer is a MEAM feature where we briefly review the latest news and research on a topic. This Skimmer features new research and insights presented at the 4th International Symposium on Effects of Climate Change on the World’s Oceans (ECCWO), held in June 2018 in Washington, DC. In last month’s MEAM, we covered new research on how weather and climate extremes are impacting marine ecosystems, as well as some climate change tools and resources, presented at the symposium. This month we examine what practitioners can do about it.

Marine species just are not where they used to be: Managing and conserving species on the move

  • The problem: Much of current conservation action is based on maintaining species in the same places they have been located historically and at roughly the same levels of abundance. Marine resource management, likewise, is based on historical assumptions about where species are and in what numbers. But we are currently seeing big geographical shifts in marine populations in response to climate change, sometimes across political and management boundaries. How in the world can we deal with this?
The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Editor’s Note: In June 2018, US President Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13840 Ocean Policy To Advance the Economic, Security, and Environmental Interests of the United States. This executive order formally revokes Executive Order 13547 Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes, issued in July 2010 by former US President Barack Obama. MEAM interviewed Sarah Winter Whelan, director of the American Littoral Society's Ocean Policy Program and Healthy Oceans Coalition, about what these changes mean for ocean planning in the US, including existing regional ocean plans.

MPA News

Scientists now recognize that ecosystems can sometimes undergo abrupt, dramatic changes in response to human use or environmental conditions. When a tipping point like this is crossed, we can witness upheaval in ecosystem structure and function and in ecosystem benefits to people. These tipping points can be hard to reverse due to feedbacks that reinforce the new state.

MPA News

By Carlos A. Espinosa, Néstor J. Windevoxhel, and Juan C. Villagran

Protected areas in Central America showcase the region’s magnificent landscape and tropical biodiversity – terrestrial and marine. They help maintain a sustainable supply of water, food, and other natural resources essential for all life in the region. And they provide Central America’s inhabitants a way to protect their own economy, welfare, and future.

MPA News

By Angelo O’Connor Villagomez, Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project senior officer

As more countries designate MPAs in their territories, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which for over 70 years has been the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to conserve it, has recently provided clarity to help countries more accurately report their MPAs to the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA).

MPA News

By Captain Joseph Ierna Jr.

It is time to challenge private and public sectors to direct funding resources to operate our protected areas. I am encouraged here at the ECLSP: we are on the forefront of setting standards in operating financially sustainable national parks, including eventually across The Bahamas’ national system of 32 sites. This is the future for protected areas.

MPA News

By Anne Nelson and the IMPACT team

Relationships built on trust between MPA management and stakeholders can strengthen community support for MPAs. By fostering such support, these relationships can help MPAs meet their management goals. 

Ideally the relationships extend broadly through local communities, resource users, and MPA managers and related agencies. Building relationships early and consistently across these groups can be a relatively simple, productive, and positive experience. Here are useful strategies we’ve observed from managers:

MPA News

Researchers rely on statistics in their work and p-values are a commonly used statistical tool, including in fisheries and marine conservation science (among many other fields). P-values are widely interpreted as a way to determine the probability that a null hypothesis is true or false. A p-value less than 0.05, for example, is often taken to mean an experiment’s findings are “significant” and the null hypothesis should therefore be assumed false. 

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