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If a fish can pass the mark test

For the week of 18 February 2019

Greetings OpenChannels Community Members,

PLOS Biology has published, If a fish can pass the mark test, what are the implications for consciousness and self-awareness testing in animals? "The ability to perceive and recognise a reflected mirror image as self (mirror self-recognition, MSR) is considered a hallmark of cognition across species. Although MSR has been reported in mammals and birds, it is not known to occur in any other major taxon. Potentially limiting our ability to test for MSR in other taxa is that the established assay, the mark test, requires that animals display contingency testing and self-directed behaviour. These behaviours may be difficult for humans to interpret in taxonomically divergent animals, especially those that lack the dexterity (or limbs) required to touch a mark. Here, we show that a fish, the cleaner wrasse Labroides dimidiatus, shows behaviour that may reasonably be interpreted as passing through all phases of the mark test: (i) social reactions towards the reflection, (ii) repeated idiosyncratic behaviours towards the mirror, and (iii) frequent observation of their reflection. When subsequently provided with a coloured tag in a modified mark test, fish attempt to remove the mark by scraping their body in the presence of a mirror but show no response towards transparent marks or to coloured marks in the absence of a mirror. This remarkable finding presents a challenge to our interpretation of the mark test—do we accept that these behavioural responses, which are taken as evidence of self-recognition in other species during the mark test, lead to the conclusion that fish are self-aware? Or do we rather decide that these behavioural patterns have a basis in a cognitive process other than self-recognition and that fish do not pass the mark test? If the former, what does this mean for our understanding of animal intelligence? If the latter, what does this mean for our application and interpretation of the mark test as a metric for animal cognitive abilities?"

As always, if we've missed anything, please feel free to let us know. You may simply reply to this message, or you may email Allie directly at: abrown [at] openchannels.org.

You can read everything (not just the free stuff) we have found this week at https://www.openchannels.org/literature-update/2019-02-20. Additionally, you can browse literature by the week we've added it at https://www.openchannels.org/literature-by-week.

Thank you for being part of the OpenChannels Community,
– Allie Brown, Raye Evrard, and the rest of the OpenChannels Team

Ethics of Assisted Evolution in Marine Conservation

For the week of 11 February 2019

Greetings OpenChannels Community Members,

Frontiers in Marine Science has published, Ethics of Assisted Evolution in Marine Conservation, "Climate change is outpacing existing rates of evolution and adaptation for many marine organisms. Human societies are pushing hard to find new solutions to save and protect marine ecosystems, generating research on manipulating genetics of wild organisms for the goal of conservation. This – “assisted evolution” – raises challenging ethical questions because the intention is not to revert to a previous status quo, but to modify a community so that it survives better in the conditions we have created. In so doing, our role changes toward “designers” of nature, which requires a rethinking of what is natural, and whether altering or influencing genetics of wild organisms changes the way we conceptualize nature. Assisted evolution could also perpetuate damaging habits and dispositions, such as commodification and technological intervention, which have caused the harm in the first place. Even if we feel morally obliged to repair ecosystems, we still risk further havoc if our attempts to fix our damage are affected by ignorance. Still, from an ethical point of view, we offer cautious support for research on assisted evolution tools. However, we must be clear that we are using these approaches for our own benefit, and should only proceed when they are adequately understood and other options are exhausted. In many cases, we should instead focus our efforts on protecting what we can, minimizing future damage, and understanding future changes. Either way, we need stronger ethical regulations on applying assisted evolution techniques in marine conservation so that there is sufficient deliberation before we use these tools."

As always, if we've missed anything, please feel free to let us know. You may simply reply to this message, or you may email Allie directly at: abrown [at] openchannels.org.

You can read everything (not just the free stuff) we have found this week at https://www.openchannels.org/literature-update/2019-02-13. Additionally, you can browse literature by the week we've added it at https://www.openchannels.org/literature-by-week.

Thank you for being part of the OpenChannels Community,
– Allie Brown, Raye Evrard, and the rest of the OpenChannels Team

How to Sustain Fisheries: Expert Knowledge from 34 Nations

For the week of 04 February 2019

Greetings OpenChannels Community Members,

Water has published, How to Sustain Fisheries: Expert Knowledge from 34 Nations, "Ensuring productive and sustainable fisheries involves understanding the complex interactions between biology, environment, politics, management and governance. Fisheries are faced with a range of challenges, and without robust and careful management in place, levels of anthropogenic disturbance on ecosystems and fisheries are likely to have a continuous negative impact on biodiversity and fish stocks worldwide. Fisheries management agencies, therefore, need to be both efficient and effective in working towards long-term sustainable ecosystems and fisheries, while also being resilient to political and socioeconomic pressures. Marine governance, i.e., the processes of developing and implementing decisions over fisheries, often has to account for socioeconomic issues (such as unemployment and business developments) when they attract political attention and resources. This paper addresses the challenges of (1) identifying the main issues in attempting to ensure the sustainability of fisheries, and (2) how to bridge the gap between scientific knowledge and governance of marine systems. Utilising data gained from a survey of marine experts from 34 nations, we found that the main challenges perceived by fisheries experts were overfishing, habitat destruction, climate change and a lack of political will. Measures suggested to address these challenges did not demand any radical change, but included extant approaches, including ecosystem-based fisheries management with particular attention to closures, gear restrictions, use of individual transferable quotas (ITQs) and improved compliance, monitoring and control."

As always, if we've missed anything, please feel free to let us know. You may simply reply to this message, or you may email Allie directly at: abrown [at] openchannels.org.

You can read everything (not just the free stuff) we have found this week at https://www.openchannels.org/literature-update/2019-02-06. Additionally, you can browse literature by the week we've added it at https://www.openchannels.org/literature-by-week.

Thank you for being part of the OpenChannels Community,
– Allie Brown, Raye Evrard, and the rest of the OpenChannels Team

Stronger together

For the week of 28 January 2019

Greetings OpenChannels Community Members,

Marine Policy has published, Stronger together: Strategies to protect local sovereignty, ecosystems, and place-based communities from the global fossil fuel trade, "In the Pacific Northwest, residents are mobilizing to prevent the coastal export of fossil fuels and protect unique ecosystems and place-based communities. This paper examines the diverse groups, largely from the Bellingham area, and how they succeeded in blocking construction of what was to be the largest coal-shipping port in North America, the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT). Tribes, environmental organizations, faith-based groups, and other citizen groups used a multitude of approaches to prevent development, both independently and in concert. This paper reviews the various ways in which the groups collaborated and supported one another to resist the neoliberalization of the coast and support local sovereignty, unique ecosystems, and place-based communities. Groups like Power Past Coal, Protect Whatcom, and Coal-Free Bellingham fought for important and protective changes and evidenced communitywide political support, but the sovereign rights of the Lummi Nation were the legal bar to constructing the coal terminal."

As always, if we've missed anything, please feel free to let us know. You may simply reply to this message, or you may email Allie directly at: abrown [at] openchannels.org.

You can read everything (not just the free stuff) we have found this week at https://www.openchannels.org/literature-update/2019-01-30. Additionally, you can browse literature by the week we've added it at https://www.openchannels.org/literature-by-week.

Thank you for being part of the OpenChannels Community,
– Allie Brown, Raye Evrard, and the rest of the OpenChannels Team

An ecosystem-based risk assessment for California fisheries co-developed by scientists

For the week of 21 January 2019

Greetings OpenChannels Community Members,

Biological Conservation has published, An ecosystem-based risk assessment for California fisheries co-developed by scientists, managers, and stakeholders, "The intensive harvest of wild populations for food can pose a risk to food security and to conservation goals. While ecosystem approaches to management offer a potential means to balance those risks, they require a method of assessment that is commensurate across multiple objectives. A major challenge is conducting these assessments in a way that considers the priorities and knowledge of stakeholders. In this study, we co-developed an ecological risk assessment (ERA) for fisheries in California (USA) with scientists, managers, and stakeholders. This ERA was intended to meet the requirements of existing policy mandates in the state of California and provide a systematic, efficient, and transparent approach to prioritize fisheries for additional management actions, including the development of fisheries management plans fully compliant with California laws. We assessed the relative risk posed to target species, bycatch, and habitats from nine state-managed fisheries and found risk to target species was not necessarily similar to risks to bycatch and habitat groups. In addition, no single fishery consistently presented the greatest risk for all bycatch or habitat groups. However, considered in combination, the greatest risk for target species, bycatch groups, and habitats emerged from two commercial fisheries for California halibut. The participatory process used to generate these results offers the potential to increase stakeholders' trust in the assessment and therefore its application in management. We suggest that adopting similar processes in other management contexts and jurisdictions will advance progress toward ecosystem-based fisheries management that simultaneously satisfies fisheries, conservation, and relationship-building objectives."

As always, if we've missed anything, please feel free to let us know. You may simply reply to this message, or you may email Allie directly at: abrown [at] openchannels.org.

You can read everything (not just the free stuff) we have found this week at https://www.openchannels.org/literature-update/2019-01-23. Additionally, you can browse literature by the week we've added it at https://www.openchannels.org/literature-by-week.

Thank you for being part of the OpenChannels Community,
– Allie Brown, Raye Evrard, and the rest of the OpenChannels Team

The Ecosystem Approach in Ocean Planning and Governance

For the week of 14 January 2019

Greetings OpenChannels Community Members,

Brill | Nijhoff has published The Ecosystem Approach in Ocean Planning and Governance, "The Ecosystem Approach in Ocean Planning and Governancetakes stock of the challenges associated with implementing an ecosystem approach in ocean governance. In addition to theorizing the notion of Ecosystem Approach and its multifaceted implications, the book provides in depth analyses of lessons learned and remaining challenges associated with making the Ecosystem Approach fully relevant and operational in different marine policy fields, including marine spatial planning, fisheries, and biodiversity protection. In doing so, it adds much needed legal and social science perspectives to the existing literature on the Ecosystem Approach in relation to the marine environment. While focusing predominantly on the European context, the perspective is enriched by analyses from other jurisdictions, including the USA."

As always, if we've missed anything, please feel free to let us know. You may simply reply to this message, or you may email Allie directly at: abrown [at] openchannels.org.

You can read everything (not just the free stuff) we have found this week at https://www.openchannels.org/literature-update/2019-01-16. Additionally, you can browse literature by the week we've added it at https://www.openchannels.org/literature-by-week.

Thank you for being part of the OpenChannels Community,
– Allie Brown, Raye Evrard, and the rest of the OpenChannels Team

Zooglider: An autonomous vehicle for optical and acoustic sensing of zooplankton.

For the week of 07 January 2019

Greetings OpenChannels Community Members,

Limnology and Oceanography has published Zooglider: An autonomous vehicle for optical and acoustic sensing of zooplankton, "We present the design and preliminary results from ocean deployments of Zooglider, a new autonomous zooplankton‐sensing glider. Zooglider is a modified Spray glider that includes a low‐power camera (Zoocam) with telecentric lens and a custom dual frequency Zonar (200 and 1000 kHz). The Zoocam quantifies zooplankton and marine snow as they flow through a defined volume inside a sampling tunnel. Images are acquired on average every 5 cm from a maximum operating depth of ~ 400 m to the sea surface. Biofouling is mitigated using a dual approach: an ultraviolet light‐emitting diode and a mechanical wiper. The Zonar permits differentiation of large and small acoustic backscatterers in larger volumes than can be sampled optically. Other sensors include a pumped conductivity, temperature, and depth unit and chlorophyll a fluorometer. Zoogliderenables fully autonomous in situ measurements of mesozooplankton distributions, together with the three‐dimensional orientation of organisms and marine snow in relation to other biotic and physical properties of the ocean water column. It is well suited to resolve thin layers and microscale ocean patchiness. Battery capacity supports 50 d of operations. Zooglider includes two‐way communications via Iridium, permitting near‐real–time transmission of data from each dive profile, as well as interactive instrument control from remote locations for adaptive sampling."

As always, if we've missed anything, please feel free to let us know. You may simply reply to this message, or you may email Allie directly at: abrown [at] openchannels.org.

You can read everything (not just the free stuff) we have found this week at https://www.openchannels.org/literature-update/2019-01-09. Additionally, you can browse literature by the week we've added it at https://www.openchannels.org/literature-by-week.

Thank you for being part of the OpenChannels Community,
– Allie Brown, Raye Evrard, and the rest of the OpenChannels Team

Communicating the value of marine conservation

For the week of 31 December 2018

Greetings OpenChannels Community Members and Happy New Year,

Ecosystem Services has published Communicating the value of marine conservation using an ecosystem service matrix approach, "Matrix approaches are useful for linking ecosystem services to habitats that underpin their delivery. Matrix applications in marine ecosystem services research have been primarily qualitative, focusing on 'habitat presence' without including other attributes that effect service potential. We developed an evidence-based matrix approach of Ecosystem Service Potential (ESP) for New Zealand benthic marine habitats, and used two marine reserves to demonstrate that integrating information on the spatial extent and quality of habitats improved ESP evaluation. The two case studies identified substantial spatio-temporal variability in ESP: within one reserve, specific ESP showed an approximately 1.5-fold increase in the 29 years following protection. A comparison of two reserves found that the spatial extent of habitats contributing to the medicinal resources and waste-water treatment were 5 and 53 times greater respectively in one relative to the other. Integrating habitat area and quality with the ESP matrix improves on previous marine matrix-based approaches, providing a better indication of service potential. The matrix approach helps to communicate the non-market value of supporting and regulating services and can be used by resource managers to identify and track the potential for benefits derived from benthic marine habitats within existing, or new, marine protected areas."

As always, if we've missed anything, please feel free to let us know. You may simply reply to this message, or you may email Allie directly at: abrown [at] openchannels.org.

You can read everything (not just the free stuff) we have found this week at https://www.openchannels.org/literature-update/2019-01-02. Additionally, you can browse literature by the week we've added it at https://www.openchannels.org/literature-by-week.

Thank you for being part of the OpenChannels Community,
– Allie Brown, Raye Evrard, and the rest of the OpenChannels Team

Worldwide oil and gas platform decommissioning

For the week of 17 December 2018

Greetings OpenChannels Community Members,

Ocean & Coastal Management has published Worldwide oil and gas platform decommissioning: A review of practices and reefing options, "Consideration of whether to completely remove an oil and gas production platform from the seafloor or to leave the submerged jacket as a reef is an imminent decision for California, as a number of offshore platforms in both state and federal waters are in the early stages of decommissioning. Laws require that a platform at the end of its production life be totally removed unless the submerged jacket section continues as a reef under state sponsorship. Consideration of the eventual fate of the populations of fishes and invertebrates beneath platforms has led to global reefing of the jacket portion of platforms instead of removal at the time of decommissioning. The construction and use of artificial reefs are centuries old and global in nature using a great variety of materials. The history that led to the reefing option for platforms begins in the mid-20th century in an effort for general artificial reefs to provide both fishing opportunities and increase fisheries production for a burgeoning U.S. population. The trend toward reefing platforms at end of their lives followed after the oil and gas industry installed thousands of standing platforms in the Gulf of Mexico where they had become popular fishing destinations. The National Fishing Enhancement Act and subsequent National Artificial Reef Plan laid the foundation for Rig-to-Reefs. Reefing platforms in the Gulf of Mexico is a well-established practice that is also applied globally. Deliberation of reefing decommissioned platforms and many years of scientific study beneath California platforms has culminated in a California State law that now allows consideration of the concept. This paper summarizes the history, practices, published science, and available information involved when considering the reefing option. It is hoped that this material will inform the public, policy makers, and regulators about their upcoming decisions."

As always, if we've missed anything, please feel free to let us know. You may simply reply to this message, or you may email Allie directly at: abrown [at] openchannels.org.

You can read everything (not just the free stuff) we have found this week at https://www.openchannels.org/literature-update/2018-12-19. Additionally, you can browse literature by the week we've added it at https://www.openchannels.org/literature-by-week.

Thank you for being part of the OpenChannels Community,
– Allie Brown, Raye Evrard, and the rest of the OpenChannels Team

P.S. Volunteer to be a MarXiv ambassador! Having local, trusted sources of information is invaluable for ensuring researchers have the guidance needed to share their work in MarXiv. If you are a student, volunteer to be a MarXiv Ambassador and help your research community share their work with everyone, no matter their ability to pay for-profit publishers! Learn more about it here

Assessing the Conservation Potential of Fish and Corals in Aquariums Globally

For the week of 10 December 2018

Greetings OpenChannels Community Members,

Journal for Nature Conservation has published Assessing the Conservation Potential of Fish and Corals in Aquariums Globally, "Aquatic ecosystems are indispensable for life on earth and yet despite their essential function and services roles, marine and freshwater biomes are facing unprecedented threats from both traditional and emerging anthropogenic stressors. The resultant species and ecosystem-level threat severity requires an urgent response from the conservation community. With their care facilities, veterinary and conservation breeding expertise, reintroduction and restoration and public communication reach, stand-alone aquariums and zoos holding aquatic taxa have great collective potential to help address the current biodiversity crisis, which is now greatest in freshwater than land habitats. However, uncertainty regarding the number of species kept in such facilities hinders assessment of their conservation value. Here we analyzed standardized and shared data of zoological institution members of Species360, for fish and Anthozoa species (i.e. Actinopterygii, Elasmobranchii, Holocephali, Myxini, Sarcopterygii and Anthozoa). To assess the conservation potential of populations held in these institutions, we cross-referenced the Species360 records with the following conservation schemes: the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES), the IUCN Red List, Climate Change Vulnerability, Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) and The Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE). We found that aquariums hold four of the six fish species listed by the IUCN Red List as ‘Extinct in the Wild’, 31% of Anthozoa species listed by Foden et al. (2013) as Vulnerable to Climate Change, 19 out of the 111 Anthozoa EDGE species, and none of the species prioritized by the AZE. However, it’s very likely that significant additional species of high conservation value are held in aquariums that do not manage their records in standardized, sharable platforms such as Species360. Our study highlights both the great value of aquarium and zoo collections for addressing the aquatic biodiversity crisis, as well as the importance that they maintain comprehensive, standardised, globally-shared taxonomic data."

As always, if we've missed anything, please feel free to let us know. You may simply reply to this message, or you may email Allie directly at abrown [at] openchannels.org.

You can read everything (not just the free stuff) we have found this week at https://www.openchannels.org/literature-update/2018-12-12. Additionally, you can browse literature by the week we've added it at https://www.openchannels.org/literature-by-week.

Thank you for being part of the OpenChannels Community,
– Allie Brown, Raye Evrard, and the rest of the OpenChannels Team

P.S. Having local, trusted sources of information is invaluable for ensuring researchers have the guidance needed to share their work in MarXiv. If you are a student, volunteer to be a MarXiv Ambassador and help your research community share their work with everyone, no matter their ability to pay for-profit publishers! Learn more about it here

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