No-take marine protected areas (MPAs) are assumed to enhance fisheries catch via the “spillover” effect, where biomass is exported to adjacent exploited areas. Recent studies in spearfishing fisheries suggest that the spillover of gear-naïve individuals from protected to unprotected sites increases catch rates outside the boundaries of MPAs. Whether this is a widespread phenomenon that also holds for other gear types and species is unknown. In this study, we tested if the distance to a Mediterranean MPA predicted the degree of vulnerability to hook and line in four small-bodied coastal fish species. With the assistance of underwater video recording, we investigated the interaction effect of the distance to the boundary of an MPA and species type relative to the latency time to ingest a natural bait, which was considered as a surrogate of fish naïveté or vulnerability to fishing. Vulnerability to angling increased (i.e., latency time decreased) within and near the boundary of an MPA for an intrinsically highly catchable species (Serranus scriba), while it remained constant for an intrinsically uncatchable control species (Chromis chromis). While all of the individuals of S. scriba observed within the MPA and surrounding areas were in essence captured by angling gear, only one fifth of individuals in the far locations were captured. This supports the potential for the spillover of gear-naïve and consequently more vulnerable fish from no-take MPAs. Two other species initially characterized as intermediately catchable (Coris julis and Diplodus annularis) also had a shorter latency time in the vicinity of an MPA, but for these two cases the trend was not statistically significant. Overall, our results suggest that an MPA-induced naïveté effect may not be universal and may be confined to only intrinsically highly catchable fish species. This fact emphasizes the importance of considering the behavioural dimension when predicting the outcomes of MPAs, otherwise the effective contribution may be smaller than predicted for certain highly catchable species such as S. scriba.
The Chukchi and Beaufort seas are undergoing rapid climate change and increased human activity. Conservation efforts for upper trophic level predators such as seabirds and marine mammals require information on species’ distributions and identification of important marine areas. Here we describe broad-scale distributions of seabirds and marine mammals. We examined spatial patterns of relative abundance of seabirds and marine mammals in the eastern Chukchi and western Beaufort seas during summer (15 June–31 August) and fall (1 September–20 November) from 2007 to 2012. We summarized 49,206 km of shipboard surveys for seabirds and 183,157 km of aerial surveys for marine mammals into a grid of 40-km × 40-km cells. We used Getis-Ord Gi∗hotspot analysis to test for cells with higher relative abundance than expected when compared to all cells within the study area. We identified cells representing single species and taxonomic group hotspots, cells representing hotspots for multiple species, and cells representing hotspots for both seabirds and marine mammals. The locations of hotspots varied among species but often were located near underwater canyons or over continental shelf features and slopes. Hotspots for seabirds, walrus, and gray whales occurred primarily in the Chukchi Sea. Hotspots for bowhead whales and other pinnipeds (i.e., seals) occurred near Barrow Canyon and along the Beaufort Sea shelf and slope. Hotspots for belugas occurred in both the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. There were three hotspots shared by both seabirds and marine mammals in summer: off Wainwright in the eastern Chukchi Sea, south of Hanna Shoal, and at the mouth of Barrow Canyon. In fall, the only identified shared hotspot occurred at the mouth of Barrow Canyon. Shared hotspots are characterized by strong fronts caused by upwelling and currents, and these areas can have high densities of euphausiids in summer and fall. Due to the high relative abundance of animals and diversity of taxa, these sites are clearly important areas of congregation for seabirds and marine mammals that should be prioritized in the development of management and conservation plans.
Administrators and policymakers increasingly rely on collaborative policymaking groups to inform policy development. While this trend is observed in a wide array of policy domains, it is particularly common in the regulation of natural resource-based industries which requires the simultaneous consideration of an interrelated set of economic, technical, and social factors. In this article, we examine outcomes associated with collaborative policymaking groups involved in informing state aquaculture policy, referred to herein as aquaculture partnerships. We define outcomes here as consequences on relevant contextual conditions (social, political, and environmental) that follow from the work or design of collaborative processes. Using data collected through an online survey of partnership participants (n = 123), we examine individual and procedural factors that significantly associate with partnerships’ positive or negative influence on a set of policy and social outcomes, as perceived by their participants. Overall, we find that participants’ ability to mobilize scientific and technical resources to achieve group objectives, perceptions of procedural fairness, and individual-level learning are all positively associated with partnership influence on policy and/or social outcomes. We conclude our article by highlighting the value of this research for both scholars and practitioners interested in better understanding collaborative group dynamics and outcomes relating thereto.
In this paper, the fuzzy comprehensive evaluation model (FCEM) is applied for assessing operational ocean observing equipment (OOOE) in China. The evaluation index system (EIS) has been developed and it includes 4 factors: intrinsic performance (IP), operational reliability (OR), operational stability (OS) and entire cost (EC), as well as 11 sub-indices. The AHP-Delphi method is used to obtain the weight values of indices and the OR factor is endowed the highest weight value because continuous accurate observation is attached top priority in operational ocean observing. The FCEM is applied to evaluate 17 typical in-situ instruments used to measure waves, water levels and winds. The results show that all typical instruments are classified as “very suitable” except the SZF wave buoy which is classified as “suitable” due to its data collection percentage of only 95%. The DWR-MK III is considered the best among the 6 typical wave measuring instruments, demonstrating that the FCEM is reasonable. The FCEM cannot only assist the administrator to deploy ocean observing equipment in a scientific manner, but also can guide the upgrading of currently operating facilities.
This paper aims to determine the influence that location has in the life-cycle of a floating offshore wind farm. For this purpose several steps have been considered: determination of the location variables, formulation of the costs whose value depends on these location variables, development of the location economic indexes based on the Levelized Cost of Energy and the Cost of Power, and introduction of the restricted areas where farms cannot be installed. This method will be applied to the particular case of a floating offshore wind farm with semisubmersible platforms and located in the Galician area (North-West of Spain). Results indicate the best location areas where a floating offshore wind farm can be installed in the region selected. This methodology will be useful to determine the importance of the location settings in terms of a floating offshore wind farm.
In order to effectively use limited funds and resources for conservation of biodiversity, the most valuable areas and contents have to be identified. Therefore, it is essential to identify the priority conservation areas (PCAs) and to explore the maximum conservation benefits for biodiversity conservation. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) recommends that countries should conduct ‘Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas (EBSAs) identification’, and adopt a scheme of using scientific criteria to identify the EBSAs, but in China Offshore Areas, this kind of work almost does not exist. This paper focuses on the method and application of PCAs identification in Offshore China. The first step is to carry out marine spatial classification according to biogeographical factors, and then to discuss the PCAs identification in regard to marine biodiversity in species, community and ecosystem levels, finally to take Offshore China as a case study. Through marine spatial classification, Offshore China is divided into 5 biological regions by climate and geography differences, and 12 ecological regions by typical, ecological and administrative factors, and 98 biogeographical units by biogeographical factors. As a result, among 98 geographical units, 43 units are identified as PCAs, 31 units are PCAs at focal level, 16 units are PCAs at community level, and 15 units are PCAs at ecosystem level.
This paper arises from a four-year Indonesian-German research cooperation on the governance and management of Indonesian coastal and marine ecosystems. Project objectives were to investigate coastal and marine social-ecological dynamics and feedbacks and to analyse socio-political and institutional structures and processes in order to support adaptive coastal governance. Participating researchers worked in the Spermonde Archipelago, off South Sulawesi, Indonesia, between 2007 and 2010. Methods included ship-based research excursions, several classical surveys, anthropological participant observation, and participatory research methods applied by an interdisciplinary social-natural science team. This paper summarises our findings and draws policy conclusions. First, we discuss Marine Protected Areas and participation focussing on local “rules-in-use”. In addition, reef exploitation and local livelihoods, in particular fisheries and mariculture, and the existing social networks and hierarchies in fisheries are explored to understand social vulnerability, resilience and marine resource governance in the context of the Spermonde Archipelago. An outline of major policy recommendations concludes this article.
Multi-use offshore platforms (MUPs) combining renewable energy from the sea, aquaculture and transportation facilities can be considered as a challenging way to boost blue growth and make renewable energy (especially wave energy) environmentally and socio-economically sustainable. MUPs allow sharing the financial and other market/non-market costs of installation and management, locally using the produced energy for different functionalities and optimizing marine spatial planning. The design of these solutions is a complex interdisciplinary challenge, involving scientists and technical experts with different backgrounds.
This paper presents a new methodology for the design of a MUP based on technical, environmental, social and economic criteria. The methodology consists of four steps: a pre-screening phase, to assess the feasibility of different maritime uses at the site; a preliminary design of the alternative schemes based on the identified maritime uses; a ranking phase, where the performance of the MUPs is scored by means of expert judgment of the selected criteria; a preliminary design of the selected MUP selected.
An example application of this procedure to a site offshore the Western Sardinia coast, Mediterranean Sea, Italy, is provided. In this site the deployment of a MUP consisting of wave energy converters, offshore wind turbines and aquaculture is specifically investigated.
Three surveys have been undertaken over three consecutive years as part of the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) funded project led by Bangor University in collaboration with the Welsh fishing industry. These three surveys aimed to gather some of the baseline information on scallop distribution, abundance and population dynamics, as well as test the consistency and robustness of different methodologies to reliably collect such data. Although one of the most common methods of assessing scallop populations is to sample with scallop dredges, due to environmental legislation it is not possible to use this method in all parts of Welsh waters. In particular, restrictions on scallop dredging exist within the 3nm limit within designated Special Areas of Conservation (SACs). Therefore, the feasibility of using non-invasive camera tows (video and still photography) was investigated. Additionally, industry led surveys in the future might utilize these techniques.
Another aim of these surveys was to start building up a time series of stock status information in order to move towards the possibility of conducting stock assessments in the near future. We compare here the results of the 3 surveys: June 2012, July-August 2013 and July-August 2014.
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are considered the most important and widely used tool for managing marine resources and for achieving conservation goals. Even though there is a worlds target of designating MPAs that cover 10% of the oceans, its implementation is lagging behind for several reasons including the number of ineffective MPAs in existence worldwide. As a result, several guidelines and studies have focused on evaluating the success of MPAs based on their management practices. But a successful MPA may not necessarily need to be attributed only to its design and management, but also to its contextual factors. As each location has its own history and its unique social, economical, cultural, political and ecological contexts, the definition of success might vary for every place according to its different limitations, pressures and mainly the interconnections of the elements of the system (actors, rules, species, actions, etc.). Therefore, in order to understand how the contextual factors can influence the positive environmental outcomes of a MPA, this work analyzes the socio-economic, cultural and political local contexts of two marine reserves immersed in radically different conditions: the Ojo de Liebre Lagoon Complex in Baja California Sur, Mexico and the Channel islands National Marine Sanctuary in California, USA. A description of the elements that these MPAs should have in order to achieve success was compiled using the different stakeholders perceptions. The work concludes with the description of the contextual factors that have helped each MPA to achieve positive environmental outcomes and it highlights the key elements that need to improve for fulfilling all the characteristics required for succeeding according to their actors.