2015-07-22

Transboundary Marine Spatial Planning and International Law

Hassan D, Kuokkanen T, Soininen N eds. Transboundary Marine Spatial Planning and International Law. Routledge; 2015. Available from: https://books.google.com/books?id=qg8tCgAAQBAJ&source=gbs_navlinks_s
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Book

Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) is an integrated and comprehensive approach to ocean governance and is used to establish a rational use of marine space and reconcile conflicting interests of its users. MSP allows both a high level of environmental protection and a wide range of human activities and emphasizes coordinated networks of national, regional and global institutions.

This book focuses on the framework of international law behind MSP and especially on the transboundary aspects of MSP. It first sets out a general framework for transboundary MSP and then moves on to compare and assess differences and similarities between different regions. Specific detailed case studies include the EU with the focus on the Baltic Sea and North Sea, the Bay of Bengal and Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The authors examine the national and regional significance of MSP from an integrated and sustainable ocean governance point of view. They also show how transboundary MSP can create opportunities and positive initiatives for cross-border cooperation and contribute to the effective protection of the regional marine environment.

Can Static Habitat Protection Encompass Critical Areas for Highly Mobile Marine Top Predators? Insights from Coastal East Africa

Pérez-Jorge S, Pereira T, Corne C, Wijtten Z, Omar M, Katello J, Kinyua M, Oro D, Louzao M. Can Static Habitat Protection Encompass Critical Areas for Highly Mobile Marine Top Predators? Insights from Coastal East Africa. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2015 ;10(7):e0133265. Available from: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0133265
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Along the East African coast, marine top predators are facing an increasing number of anthropogenic threats which requires the implementation of effective and urgent conservation measures to protect essential habitats. Understanding the role that habitat features play on the marine top predator’ distribution and abundance is a crucial step to evaluate the suitability of an existing Marine Protected Area (MPA), originally designated for the protection of coral reefs. We developed species distribution models (SDM) on the IUCN data deficient Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) in southern Kenya. We followed a comprehensive ecological modelling approach to study the environmental factors influencing the occurrence and abundance of dolphins while developing SDMs. Through the combination of ensemble prediction maps, we defined recurrent, occasional and unfavourable habitats for the species. Our results showed the influence of dynamic and static predictors on the dolphins’ spatial ecology: dolphins may select shallow areas (5-30 m), close to the reefs (< 500 m) and oceanic fronts (< 10 km) and adjacent to the 100m isobath (< 5 km). We also predicted a significantly higher occurrence and abundance of dolphins within the MPA. Recurrent and occasional habitats were identified on large percentages on the existing MPA (47% and 57% using presence-absence and abundance models respectively). However, the MPA does not adequately encompass all occasional and recurrent areas and within this context, we propose to extend the MPA to incorporate all of them which are likely key habitats for the highly mobile species. The results from this study provide two key conservation and management tools: (i) an integrative habitat modelling approach to predict key marine habitats, and (ii) the first study evaluating the effectiveness of an existing MPA for marine mammals in the Western Indian Ocean.

Assessing pollution in marine protected areas: the role of a multi-biomarker and multi-organ approach

Gusso-Choueri PKachel, Choueri RBrasil, de Araújo GSeraphim, Cruz ACarolina F, Stremel T, Campos S, Abessa DMoledo de, Ribeiro CAlberto Ol. Assessing pollution in marine protected areas: the role of a multi-biomarker and multi-organ approach. Environmental Science and Pollution Research [Internet]. 2015 . Available from: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11356-015-4911-y
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are vulnerable to many pressures, including pollution. However, environmental quality monitoring in these areas traditionally relies on only water chemistry and microbiological parameters. The goal of the current study was to investigate the role of a set of biomarkers in different target organs (liver, kidney, and gills) of fish in order to assess the environmental quality of an MPA (MTs, GPx, GST, GSH, DNA damage, LPO, AChE, and condition index). Chemical analyses were also performed on liver and muscle tissues to evaluate metal body burdens, and PAHs were identified in bile. A demersal fish (Cathorops spixii) that is widely consumed by the local population was used as bioindicator species, and the results were integrated using multivariate analysis. The use of the biomarker approach allowed for the identification of both seasonal and spatial variations in pollution sources around the Environmental Protected Area of Cananéia-Iguape-Peruíbe (APA-CIP). Higher metal body burdens associated with biological responses were found in the sites under the influence of urban areas during the dry season, and they were found in the sites under the influence of the Ribeira de Iguape River (RIR) during the rainy season. The liver was found to be more responsive in terms of its antioxidant responses, whereas gills were found to be more responsive to biomarkers of effect. These results show that this set of biomarker analyses in different organs of fish is a useful tool for assessing chemical pollution in an MPA.

Status of international monitoring and management of abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear and ghost fishing

Gilman E. Status of international monitoring and management of abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear and ghost fishing. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2015 ;60:225 - 239. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X1500175X
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) can pose substantial ecological and socioeconomic problems. Over the past decade there has been increasing international recognition of the need for multilateral efforts to address transboundary problems resulting from ALDFG, including ghost fishing. To benchmark the status of international monitoring and mitigation of ALDFG and ghost fishing, an assessment was made of data collection protocols and management measures to prevent and remediate ALDFG and ghost fishing by 19 global and regional bodies and arrangements with the competence to establish binding controls for marine capture fisheries. Four organizations were explicitly mandated by their convention or agreement text to monitor and control ALDFG and ghost fishing. Modifying mandates of the other organizations might augment members' political will to monitor, prevent and remediate ALDFG and ghost fishing. Ten organizations collected logbook or observer data on ALDFG. Harmonizing data collection protocols where they are in place, and filling gaps where they are lacking, would improve regional monitoring of ALDFG. Twelve organizations have adopted binding measures that contribute to avoiding or remediating ALDFG. The organizations, however, make use of a small subset of available tools: Only half of 18 categories of methods identified as having the potential to prevent and remediate ALDFG and ghost fishing were used by the organizations. Organizations lacking relevant binding measures could begin to fill this gap and organizations can tap a broader suite of complimentary management methods.

Conservation and resource management in small tropical islands: Trade-offs between planning unit size, data redundancy and data loss

Van Wynsberge S, Andréfouët S, Gaertner-Mazouni N, Remoissenet G. Conservation and resource management in small tropical islands: Trade-offs between planning unit size, data redundancy and data loss. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. 2015 ;116:37 - 43. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569115001842
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Resource management and conservation require the definition of planning units (PUs), i.e., the spatial domain where management decisions are applied. PUs are either pre-established in size and shape following management constraints or are data driven (DDPUs) by overlay of multidisciplinary data layers. The trade-offs between these two approaches have not been investigated previously for small tropical islands and their characteristics. Here, we use resource density, fishing pressure and susceptibility to mortality for a giant clam fishery in a small French Polynesia atoll to discuss the suitability and impact of the two approaches in conservation management. Aggregation to pre-established PU grids highly affected data even for PU as small as 2500 m², with higher loss of spatial information for density and fishing effort. By contrast, DDPU rendered well small scale patterns of interest but reduced redundancy. Our results stress the importance of considering the initial patterns of data in the definition of planning units, and we suggest a 3 steps process to identify adequate trade-offs between PU size, PU redundancy and data loss to properly draw practical recommendations for small islands.

Is lack of space a limiting factor for the development of aquaculture in EU coastal areas?

Hofherr J, Natale F, Trujillo P. Is lack of space a limiting factor for the development of aquaculture in EU coastal areas?. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. 2015 ;116:27 - 36. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569115001635
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

This study examines the spatial occupancy of marine finfish aquaculture in the European Union (EU), identifies geographical clusters and administrative areas where cage aquaculture development is particularly significant and provides evidence on the interactions between aquaculture and the touristic use of the coastline.

Despite the increasing demand for seafood in the EU, its aquaculture is not expanding at the same rate (FAO, 2014), and the low number of new licences issued in recent years is a clear sign of the difficulties of the sector to expand.

In this study, Google Earth satellite images and GIS methods were used to map and analyse spatial properties of marine finfish aquaculture sites in the EU. The analysis covers ten member states (Cyprus, Spain, France, Greece, Croatia, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Slovenia, United Kingdom) representing around 95% of EU marine finfish aquaculture production by volume, and Turkey.

The results indicate that existing marine aquaculture sites occupy around 230 hectares (ha) in Greece, and 34 ha in UK, which represent respectively 28% and 44% of EU marine finfish production by volume. Considering these very low figures of occupied surface, it is difficult to imagine that the expansion of marine aquaculture in the EU would be constrained by a lack of space in absolute terms. Limitations to growth may be better explained by the competition for space which takes place at the local level with more established coastal economic activities. To examine in particular the interactions with the touristic use of the coastline, the analysis considered the distribution of hotels around the aquaculture sites and found that there is evidence of strong negative spatial interaction up to a distance of 3 km. These quantitative findings corroborate more qualitative considerations on the conflicts affecting the establishment of marine aquaculture in specific coastal regions in USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand described in the literature. Another contribution from this study lies in the identification and mapping of geographical clusters and local administrative units where aquaculture production is particularly significant. Since socio-economic data for the individual aquaculture sites in the EU are not easily accessible, the mapping of EU aquaculture clusters is the prerequisite for further research to understand the local enabling conditions apart from bio-physical conditions which favoured the expansion of aquaculture in specific areas and not in others and identifying examples of best practices for the governance of the sector.

Valuation of ecological and amenity impacts of an offshore windfarm as a factor in marine planning

Börger T, Hooper TL, Austen MC. Valuation of ecological and amenity impacts of an offshore windfarm as a factor in marine planning. Environmental Science & Policy [Internet]. 2015 ;54:126 - 133. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1462901115300034
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Integrated marine planning, which must take into consideration environmental and social impacts, is being introduced widely in Europe, the USA, Australia and elsewhere. Installation of offshore windfarms creates impacts both on local marine ecosystems and the view of the seascape and is one of multiple activities in the marine area that must be addressed by marine planning. The impacts on people's values (and hence welfare) of changes in ecology and amenity that could arise from the installation of a windfarm in the Irish Sea were assessed using a discrete choice experiment administered through an online survey. The ecological changes investigated were: increased species diversity resulting from artificial reef effects, and the effect of electromagnetic fields from subsea cables on marine life; whilst the amenity change was the visibility of offshore turbines from land. Respondents expressed preferences for ecological improvements but had less clear preferences regarding the height and visibility of the turbines. In particular distance decay effects were observed with respondents further away from the coast being less concerned about visual impact created by offshore turbines. Understanding ecological and amenity impacts and how they are valued by people can support the decisions made within marine planning and licensing.

Surveillance indicators and their use in implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive

Shephard S, Greenstreet SPR, Piet GJ, Rindorf A, Dickey-Collas M. Surveillance indicators and their use in implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. ICES Journal of Marine Science [Internet]. 2015 :fsv131. Available from: http://icesjms.oxfordjournals.org/lookup/doi/10.1093/icesjms/fsv131
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The European Union Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) uses indicators to track ecosystem state in relation to Good Environmental Status (GES). These indicators were initially expected to be “operational”, i.e. to have well-understood relationships between state and specified anthropogenic pressure(s), and to have defined targets. Recent discussion on MSFD implementation has highlighted an additional class of “surveillance” indicators. Surveillance indicators monitor key aspects of the ecosystem for which there is: first, insufficient evidence to define targets and support formal state assessment; and/or second, where links to anthropogenic pressures are either weak or not sufficiently well understood to underpin specific management advice. Surveillance indicators are not only expected to directly track state in relation to GES, but also to provide complementary information (including warning signals) that presents a broader and more holistic picture of state, and inform and support science, policy, and management. In this study, we (i) present a framework for including surveillance indicators into the Activity–Pressure–State–Response process, (ii) consider a range of possible indicators that could perform this surveillance role, and (iii) suggest criteria for assessing the performance of candidate surveillance indicators, which might guide selection of the most effective indicators to perform this function.

Patterns of benthic mega-invertebrate habitat associations in the Pacific Northwest continental shelf waters

Hemery LG, Henkel SK. Patterns of benthic mega-invertebrate habitat associations in the Pacific Northwest continental shelf waters. Biodiversity and Conservation [Internet]. 2015 ;24(7):1691 - 1710. Available from: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10531-015-0887-7
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

As human impacts and demands for ocean space increase (fisheries, aquaculture, marine reserves, renewable energy), identification of marine habitats hosting sensitive biological assemblages has become a priority. Epifaunal invertebrates, especially the structure-forming species, are an increasing conservation concern as many traditional (bottom-contact fishing) and novel (marine renewable energy) ocean uses have the potential to displace or otherwise impact these slow-growing organisms. The differences in mega-invertebrate species assemblages between high-relief rocks and low-relief sediments are well documented and likely hold for most marine environments. In anticipation of potential development of marine renewable energy faculties off Oregon and Washington (USA), a survey of the benthic invertebrate assemblages and habitats was conducted on the continental shelf of the Pacific Northwest, using video footage collected by ROV, to more finely characterize these assemblage–habitat associations. Four main associations were found: pure mud/sand dominated by sea whips and burrowing brittle stars; mixed mud–rock (which may be further divided based on size of mixed-in rocks) characterized by various taxa at small densities; consolidated rocks characterized by high diversity and density of sessile or motile mega-invertebrates; and rubble rocks showing less diversity and density than the consolidated rocks, possibly due to the disturbance generated by movement of the unconsolidated rocks. The results of this study will help classify and map the seafloor in a way that represents benthic habitats reflective of biological species assemblage distributions, rather than solely geological features, and support conservation and management planning.

Tidal energy leasing and tidal phasing

Neill SP, M. Hashemi R, Lewis MJ. Tidal energy leasing and tidal phasing. Renewable Energy [Internet]. 2016 ;85:580 - 587. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960148115301130
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

In addition to technical and economic constraints, tidal energy leasing is generally governed by demand for sites which contain the highest tidal streams, and does not take into account the phase relationship (i.e. the time lag) between sites. Here, the outputs of a three-dimensional tidal model are analysed to demonstrate that there is minimal phase diversity among the high tidal stream regions of the NW European shelf seas. It is therefore possible, under the current leasing system, that the electricity produced by the first generation of tidal stream arrays will similarly be in phase. Extending the analysis to lower tidal stream regions, we demonstrate that these lower energy sites offer more potential for phase diversity, with a mean phase difference of 1.25 h, compared to the phase of high energy sites, and hence more scope for supplying firm power to the electricity grid. We therefore suggest that a state-led leasing strategy, favouring the development of sites which are complementary in phase, and not simply sites which experience the highest current speeds, would encourage a sustainable tidal energy industry.

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