This report provides a literature review and subsequent conclusions on the recovery potential of various protected habitats and species within Marine Protected Areas including maerl beds, flame shell beds, black guillemot and common skate and the factors influencing this. It outlines definitions of recovery and recovered as an end state. The report also provides a framework for considering the recovery potential of any given feature in a site. The report outlines recommendations on the key areas which would aid recovery and improve our understanding of the process, including the importance of halting any declines, identifying the relative area over which management should be considered, further work to fill knowledge gaps and the role of connected populations in aiding recovery of features within MPAs.
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) offer a unique opportunity to test the assumption that fishing pressure affects some trophic groups more than others. Removal of larger predators through fishing is often suggested to have positive flow-on effects for some lower trophic groups, in which case protection from fishing should result in suppression of lower trophic groups as predator populations recover. We tested this by assessing differences in the trophic structure of reef fish communities associated with 79 MPAs and open-access sites worldwide, using a standardised quantitative dataset on reef fish community structure. The biomass of all major trophic groups (higher carnivores, benthic carnivores, planktivores and herbivores) was significantly greater (by 40% - 200%) in effective no-take MPAs relative to fished open-access areas. This effect was most pronounced for individuals in large size classes, but with no size class of any trophic group showing signs of depressed biomass in MPAs, as predicted from higher predator abundance. Thus, greater biomass in effective MPAs implies that exploitation on shallow rocky and coral reefs negatively affects biomass of all fish trophic groups and size classes. These direct effects of fishing on trophic structure appear stronger than any top down effects on lower trophic levels that would be imposed by intact predator populations. We propose that exploitation affects fish assemblages at all trophic levels, and that local ecosystem function is generally modified by fishing.
The global decline of marine biodiversity and the perceived need to protect marine ecosystems from irreparable alterations to ecosystem functioning and ecosystem service provision have produced an extensive range of spatial management measures (SMMs). The design of SMMs is a complex process often involving the integration of both conservation objectives and socio-economic priorities and the resultant trade-offs are highly dependent on the management regime in place. Future marine management is likely to involve greater use of different forms of protected areas with differing levels of protection, particularly for sites where there are multiple competing demands. Consequently, evaluations of the characteristics that enable different forms of SMMs to successfully achieve their objectives are required to inform future conservation networks. The objective of this evidence-based analysis is to assess and compare the biological effects of different forms of SMMs with the aim of providing additional guidelines and insight into the design of future SMMs.
SMMs will be grouped into four main categories according to the degree of management enforcement (marine reserve, marine protected area, partial permanent protection, partial temporal protection). To identify and collate evidence to address these questions a comprehensive systematic search of peer-reviewed scientific literature and grey literature will be undertaken. Articles will be examined for relevance using specified inclusion criteria and the included papers will be critically appraised. Studies that examine the effects on an outcome comparing at least one spatial management measure vs no protection (open access area) or between interventions will be considered. Subgroup analyses and meta-regression will be performed to explore variation in biological effects in relation to covariates (SMMs parameters, habitat and species functional and biological traits).
In this work an analysis of suitable locations for the development of wave energy farms is carried out based on representative operation and maintenance parameters. The analysis is applied globally on the basis of long-term global climate data set. Availability and accessibility levels are assessed first by considering different wave height thresholds. Secondly, the O&M access limits are quantified in terms of the weather windows and waiting period between them considering different windows lengths and scenarios. Finally, the O&M cost per kW h is calculated for a wave energy converter based on a point absorber concept. O&M costs has been calculated following the methodology proposed on Guanche et al. (2014). As expected, results show that locations with mild wave climate have very low O&M costs per kW h. Some areas with high wave resource, such as Scotland, Spain or Nova Scotia present reasonable O&M costs compared to the power production in these areas. However, other locations with high resource like Chile or Australia resulted in extremely high O&M costs due to the inaccessibility of these sites during long periods of time.
This article explores whether the “Grand Strategy” (GS) approach is useful in the field of fisheries management. GS is derived from the study of warfare and its advocates argue that its lessons can be applied to a wide variety of fields and institutions. This article presents and evaluates the usefulness to fisheries management of five principles recommended by the Yale Grand Strategy program for application in the field of Global Health: (1) start with the ends in mind; (2) take an ecological approach; (3) recognize that tactics matter; (4) use positive deviance to characterize practical solutions and foster scale-up and (5) understand the importance of integrating timely intelligence. It adds a sixth principle, suggested by the literature that prompted the GS approach: always anticipate friction. It argues that while many of the principles offered by the GS approach have long been recognized in fisheries management and closely related fields, GS offers support for these and some new insights. Central among these is the importance of clear policy goals and the lack of natural harmony at various levels of action. The weakness of the GS approach is a lack of recognition of the political difficulties involved in adopting a Grand Strategy.
We explore how marine ecosystem–based management (EBM) is translated from theory to practice at six sites with varying ecological and institutional contexts. Based on these case studies, we report on the goals, strategies, and outcomes of each project and what we can learn from these efforts to guide future implementation and assessment. In particular, we focus on how projects dealt with the challenges of working across geographic scales and diverse governance arrangements. While we hypothesized that EBM in the United States would be distinct from EBM in developing countries due to differences in social and political factors, we found that sites faced similar challenges. Variation among sites appeared to be more closely related to the preexisting management context and the scale at which the projects began rather than to clear differences between the United States and developing country contexts. EBM project implementers were able to overcome many of these challenges by focusing on a limited number of specific objectives, starting at a small scale, pursuing adaptive management, and monitoring a diverse set of indicators. These findings are directly relevant to current and future EBM efforts in these and other places.
Species distribution maps can provide important information to focus conservation efforts and enable spatial management of human activities. Two sympatric marine predators, grey seals Halichoerus grypus and harbour seals Phoca vitulina, have overlapping ranges on land and at sea but contrasting population dynamics around Britain: whilst grey seals have generally increased, harbour seals have shown significant regional declines. We analysed 2 decades of at-sea movement data and terrestrial count data from these species to produce high resolution, broad-scale maps of distribution and associated uncertainty to inform conservation and management. Our results showed that grey seals use offshore areas connected to their haul-out sites by prominent corridors, and harbour seals primarily stay within 50 km of the coastline. Both species show fine-scale offshore spatial segregation off the east coast of Britain and broad-scale partitioning off western Scotland. These results illustrate that, for broad-scale marine spatial planning, the conservation needs of harbour seals (primarily inshore, the exception being selected offshore usage areas) are different from those of grey seals (up to 100 km offshore and corridors connecting these areas to haul-out sites). More generally, our results illustrate the importance of detailed knowledge of marine predator distributions to inform marine spatial planning; for instance, spatial prioritisation is not necessarily the most effective spatial planning strategy even when conserving species with similar taxonomy.
Madagascar’s diverse marine ecosystems serve as critical biodiversity habitats and are also essential to the livelihoods, food security and culture of coastal people, including semi-nomadic Vezo fishers based along the southwest coast. Commercialisation of their traditional fisheries, rapid coastal population growth related to unmet family planning needs, and lack of alternatives to fishing in this arid region are resulting in the unsustainable exploitation of coastal resources. In response to these challenges, marine conservation organisation Blue Ventures has developed an approach to community-based conservation and development that reflects the inextricable links between humans, their health and the environment. We describe how this model has evolved in the Velondriake locally managed marine area, home to approximately 10,000 people, over the last decade through strong cross-sector partnerships. It has entailed the integration of community-based reproductive health services with locally led marine conservation initiatives including temporary octopus fishery closures, permanent marine reserves and alternative coastal livelihood activities such as aquaculture. All of these programmes are underpinned by community education that engages men, women, youth and children in both health and conservation topics. The provision of voluntary family planning services in the Velondriake area is estimated to have averted more than 800 unintended pregnancies since 2007, and the temporary octopus fishery closure model has been implemented over 150 times along the southwest coast since 2004. Preliminary, anecdotal reports from community members and programme staff indicate that this integrated Population-Health-Environment approach enables couples to plan and better provide for their families, empowers women, improves food security and directly supports the sustainability of local conservation efforts. It is proving to be an easily replicable model for addressing community health needs and advancing biodiversity conservation efforts in some of Madagascar’s most remote and under-served areas.
Anthropogenic carbon emissions lock in long-term sea-level rise that greatly exceeds projections for this century, posing profound challenges for coastal development and cultural legacies. Analysis based on previously published relationships linking emissions to warming and warming to rise indicates that unabated carbon emissions up to the year 2100 would commit an eventual global sea-level rise of 4.3–9.9 m. Based on detailed topographic and population data, local high tide lines, and regional long-term sea-level commitment for different carbon emissions and ice sheet stability scenarios, we compute the current population living on endangered land at municipal, state, and national levels within the United States. For unabated climate change, we find that land that is home to more than 20 million people is implicated and is widely distributed among different states and coasts. The total area includes 1,185–1,825 municipalities where land that is home to more than half of the current population would be affected, among them at least 21 cities exceeding 100,000 residents. Under aggressive carbon cuts, more than half of these municipalities would avoid this commitment if the West Antarctic Ice Sheet remains stable. Similarly, more than half of the US population-weighted area under threat could be spared. We provide lists of implicated cities and state populations for different emissions scenarios and with and without a certain collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Although past anthropogenic emissions already have caused sea-level commitment that will force coastal cities to adapt, future emissions will determine which areas we can continue to occupy or may have to abandon.
In the context of reducing emissions from the transport sector, the EU Commission envisions a strong modal shift to energy efficient modes including maritime shipping and inland shipping, as an alternative for road transport. In view of the expected growth of the sector, the emissions from waterborne transport are a key concern. When at berth, ships typically use their auxiliary engines to generate electrical power for communications, lighting, ventilation and other on-board equipment. The extended use of vessels’ auxiliary engines augments greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and air pollution in the adjacent ports, which are typically located in or near densely populated areas, thus leading to dangerous health and environmental effects. Shore Side Electricity (SSE) is an option for reducing the unwanted environmental impacts of ships at berth, i.e. GHG emissions, other air pollutants (NOx, SOx, PM) and noise of ships using their auxiliary engines. This paper quantifies the economic and environmental potential for SSE in Europe, through detailed estimation of in-port ships’ emissions and relevant energy demand, providing an insight of the expected barriers for implementation and formulating recommendations on policy actions that could accelerate the implementation of SSE in European harbors.