The Skimmer & MPA News

MPA News

An opinion piece published in the New York Times in March 2018 – “Bigger Is Not Better for Ocean Conservation” – raised anew the issue of whether MPA designations should focus on large offshore sites or smaller inshore ones. The author, Luiz Rocha of the California Academy of Sciences, called the trend of designating large offshore MPAs disturbing, and recommended such protection should not come before coastal waters are secured.

MPA News

By Jeff Ardron

One unseasonably warm April afternoon this year in London, I sat in a packed media center watching five foreign ministers from Commonwealth countries explain why their governments were going to become ‘Commonwealth Blue Charter Champions.’ It was a pinch-me moment. One full day before fifty-three Commonwealth Heads of Government were due to adopt the Commonwealth Blue Charter, and already ministers were stepping forward to lead on it!

MPA News

By Carlos A. Espinosa

The colors and warmth of the tropics make Central America unforgettable. These rich, vibrant coastal landscapes have inspired marine scientists, foreign visitors, and local inhabitants alike in their efforts to protect and conserve the most pristine marine zones throughout the region, on both the Pacific and Caribbean sides.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

“Most of us grew up in a world where data were rare and expensive to collect. In contrast, culturomics is firmly situated in the 21st-century world of abundant, ‘messy’ data, produced from the interactions between humans and the digital world.”

---- Richard Ladle, Federal University of Alagoas

In the past, MEAM’s coverage of social media has focused on how social media platforms (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Snapchat, Instagram) can be used to communicate with and educate stakeholders and the general public. But this view of social media as primarily an outreach tool largely ignores the fact that these platforms (as well as other digital venues such as online discussion groups and internet search engines such as Google) also provide a source of publicly available information on human interactions with coastal and marine environments. Analyzing data from these platforms can tell us where people are going in coastal and marine environments, why they are going there, what they are doing once they get there, what they are seeing and hearing, and how they are feeling about it – often complete with geotags, timestamps, photographs, and videos.

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

A new paper in Marine Policy (pre-print available for free in the MarXiv research repository) discusses the importance of effective metaphors for marine conservation and policy. Metaphors are figures of speech that describe something in terms more familiar to listeners, e.g., “a blanket of snow”. Good metaphors help shape understanding of something and can mobilize appropriate action. Poorly-chosen metaphors are, at best, ineffective at mobilizing support for the intended cause, and, at worst, counterproductive because they lead to oppositional behaviors or decrease the credibility of the messenger.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

MEAM is a project of OCTO (www.octogroup.org). OCTO serves over 80,000 ocean professionals annually with a wide range of services.

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