The Baltic species live on the edge of their tolerance limits. They face environmental challenges, such as temperature and salinity gradients, large hypoxic/anoxic regions, and also human induced eutrophication and high fishing pressure. In my PhD project I want to understand the predator-prey interactions between cod, herring and sprat in the Baltic Sea and how they are framed by a combination of processes: fishing ex- ploitation, climate variability and density dependence. I will address this question with the help of multi-species modelling. Knowledge of study species and system is required to build a good model. This essay covers information on biology of cod, herring and sprat, interaction between them and environment challenges they face. Previous approaches used in studying predator-prey interactions in Baltic are re- viewed and analysed.
In this article, we examine the California South Coast Marine Life Protection Act Initiative stakeholder process, evaluate its shortcomings, and consider what could have been done differently. Our objective is to make recommendations to improve future multi-stakeholder marine policy processes. In our view, while the South Coast stakeholder process had many positive outcomes, it failed to reach what we call here a “stable agreement.” Our analysis is based on two of the authors’ involvement (one as a facilitator and the other as a stakeholder representative) in the process and a post-hoc survey of participants. We find that several ill-advised process design and management choices significantly destabilized the negotiations, leading to an ultimately unstable agreement.
We highlight four major problematic process design and management decisions, including the following: representation on the multi-stakeholder group was imbalanced, the pre-meeting caucuses were not paired with training in interest-based negotiation, adequate incentives to negotiate toward a consensus agreement were not provided, and the use of straw voting at one point in the process was unclear and inconsistent. As a result of these and other process design and management flaws, many stakeholders believed that the process was biased and that their ends would be better achieved by anchoring negotiations and engaging in positional bargaining. Ultimately, this meant that near-consensus on a single cross-interest marine protected area proposal was not reached, the scientific guidelines put forth were not fully met, the process was not and is not viewed as fair by the stakeholders directly or indirectly involved, and the marine protected area regulations lack broad-scale support.
These pitfalls of the South Coast stakeholder process could have been avoided had the management and facilitation team consistently followed best practices in dispute resolution. We recommend that future marine planning processes learn from this example, particularly those occurring in highly complex, urban ocean environments.
In this paper, I propose a general, consistent, and operational approach that accounts for ecosystem services in a decision-making context: I link ecosystem services to sustainable development criteria; adopt multi-criteria analysis to measure ecosystem services, with weights provided by stakeholders used to account for equity issues; apply both temporal and spatial discount rates; and adopt a technique to order performance of the possible solutions based on their similarity to an ideal solution (TOPSIS) to account for uncertainty about the parameters and functions. Applying this approach in a case study of an offshore research platform in Italy (CNR Acqua Alta) revealed that decisions depend non-linearly on the degree of loss aversion, to a smaller extent on a global focus (as opposed to a local focus), and to the smallest extent on social concerns (as opposed to economic or environmental concerns). Application of the general model to the case study leads to the conclusion that the ecosystem services framework is likely to be less useful in supporting decisions than in identifying the crucial features on which decisions depend, unless experts from different disciplines are involved, stakeholders are represented, and experts and stakeholders achieve mutual understanding.
The EU is aiming to apply an Ecosystem Approach (EA) to the management of all human activities in the marine environment, with the goal of establishing healthy and productive seas and oceans. This article explores how the EA is introduced into the EU Fisheries, with a focus on current interfaces and collaborative dynamics between science, policy and society in the context of implementing an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM). The scope of this work considers two EU policies that are of particular importance to frame the EAFM, namely the Common Fisheries Policy and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. A short account of barriers that hinder the implementation of these two pieces of legislation is given. Further, society is considered through the Advisory Councils (AC) as a forum for articulating and representing a variety of civil society interests. The practical experiences of the science, policy, stakeholder (AC) interface in relation to EAFM are described. The article concludes with some of the perspectives and challenges ahead for EAFM in relation to the establishment of a co-creation process as a means to integrate and utilise multiple sources of knowledge (policy makers, scientists and stakeholders) achieving extended outcomes moving towards an EAFM. There is a long pathway to secure adequate science, policy, stakeholder interactions in support of EAFM. This must be supported through institutional structures and through improved coordination across a presently fragmented policy landscape.
The ‘Declaration concerning the prevention of unregulated high seas fishing in the central Arctic Ocean’ signed by the Arctic 5 nations, limits unregulated high seas fishing in the central part of the Arctic Ocean, and holds potential social, economic and political impacts for numerous stakeholders. In this paper, the four Interim Measures in the Declaration are discussed and what value these measures bring beyond the existing international agreements is explored. It is found that even though the Declaration fills a gap in the management of potential fish stocks in the central Arctic Ocean, adopts an appropriate precautionary approach and encourages joint research activities, there are both opportunities and challenges connected to its implementation. The most valuable and urgent Interim Measure is that of joint scientific cooperation, which will facilitate more region-specific research and an increased understanding of the fisheries as well as the broader Arctic environment. Furthermore, the research generated by this measure will provide an important decision base for both regulation and management of human activity in the Arctic.
Oil spills are one of the most widespread problems in port areas (loading/unloading of bulk liquid, fuel supply). Specific environmental risk analysis procedures for diffuse oil sources that are based on the evolution of oil in the marine environment are needed. Diffuse sources such as oil spills usually present a lack of information, which makes the use of numerical models an arduous and occasionally impossible task. For that reason, a tool that can assess the risk of oil spills in near-shore areas by using Geographical Information System (GIS) is presented. The SPILL Tool provides immediate results by automating the process without miscalculation errors. The tool was developed using the Python and ArcGIS scripting library to build a non-ambiguous geoprocessing workflow. The SPILL Tool was implemented for oil facilities at Tarragona Harbor (NE Spain) and validated showing a satisfactory correspondence (around 0.60 RSR error index) with the results obtained using a 2D calibrated oil transport numerical model.
The decline in coral reef health presents a complex management issue. While several causes of decline have been identified and are under continued study, it is often difficult to discern management actions necessary to address multiple near- and far-field stressors to these ecosystems. As a result, resource managers seek tools to improve the understanding of ecosystem condition and to develop management responses to reduce local and regional pressures in the wake of larger, global impacts. A research study conducted from 2010 to 2014 in southeast Florida, USA consisted of two objectives: (1) conduct a needs assessment survey with coral reef and marine resource managers to identify data needs and the preferred design and delivery of climate information; and (2) develop and evaluate prototype decision support tools. The needs assessment process was helpful for identifying the types of climate information managers would like to obtain to inform decision making and to specify the preferred format for the delivery of that information. Three prototype tools were evaluated by managers using pre/post surveys that included hands-on tutorials to explore the functionality of each. Manager responses were recorded using a five-point scale with 1 being No or Not Useful to 5 being Absolutely or Very Useful. The median responses rated the usefulness of the tools (4), if they would consider using the tool (4), and if they would recommend using the tool to other managers (4 or 5). The median response for increasing manager’s knowledge about climate impacts after completing a tutorial of each of the climate tools was a 3 (moderately useful). Of the managers surveyed in the pre/post-survey, all but one stated they believed they would use the decision support tools in the future with the single response due to wealth of data availability in their institution.
The areas around Hyskeir, Coll and Tiree have been identified as “hotspots” for basking sharks from 20 years of public sightings record. The area from Skye to Mull, on the west coast of Scotland, has also been recently identified as a Marine Protected Area (MPA) search location as part of the Scottish MPA Project. Large numbers of basking sharks are seasonally sighted foraging and engaging in putative social behaviours, such as breaching and in courtship-like aggregations in this area. These observations highlights that the area may be important for key elements of basking shark life history ecology. To gain detailed insights in to the distribution, habitat-use, movements and behaviours in these areas, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the University of Exeter (UoE) initiated a research project to attach satellite tags to basking sharks in the summer months of 2012, 2013 and 2014. This report provides analyses, interpretation and comment on data resulting from three years of tag deployments, with particular focus upon basking shark movements and depth use within the Sea of the Hebrides MPA proposal.
Integrated multitrophic aquaculture (IMTA) has been proposed as a solution to nutrient enrichment generated by intensive fish mariculture. In order to evaluate the potential of IMTA as a nutrient bioremediation method it is essential to know the ratio of fed to extractive organisms required for the removal of a given proportion of the waste nutrients. This ratio depends on the species that compose the IMTA system, on the environmental conditions and on production practices at a target site. Due to the complexity of IMTA the development of a model is essential for designing efficient IMTA systems. In this study, a generic nutrient flux model for IMTA was developed and used to assess the potential of IMTA as a method for nutrient bioremediation. A baseline simulation consisting of three growth models for Atlantic salmon Salmo salar, the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus and for the macroalgae Ulva sp. is described. The three growth models interact with each other and with their surrounding environment and they are all linked via processes that affect the release and assimilation of particulate organic nitrogen (PON) and dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN). The model forcing functions are environmental parameters with temporal variations that enables investigation of the understanding of interactions among IMTA components and of the effect of environmental parameters. The baseline simulation has been developed for marine species in a virtually closed system in which hydrodynamic influences on the system are not considered. The model can be used as a predictive tool for comparing the nitrogen bioremediation efficiency of IMTA systems under different environmental conditions (temperature, irradiance and ambient nutrient concentration) and production practices, for example seaweed harvesting frequency, seaweed culture depth, nitrogen content of feed and others, or of IMTA systems with varying combinations of cultured species and can be extended to open water IMTA once coupled with waste distribution models.
Studies dealing with the effects of changing global temperatures on living organisms typically concentrate on annual mean temperatures. This, however, might not be the best approach in temperate systems with large seasonality where the mean annual temperature is actually not experienced very frequently. The mean annual temperature across a 50-year, daily time series of measurements at Helgoland Roads (54.2° N, 7.9° E) is 10.1°C while seasonal data are characterized by a clear, bimodal distribution; temperatures are around 6°C in winter and 15°C in summer with rapid transitions in spring and autumn. Across those 50 years, the temperature at which growth is maximal for each single bloom event for 115 phytoplankton species (more than 6000 estimates of optimal temperature) mirrors the bimodal distribution of the in situ temperatures. Moreover, independent laboratory data on temperature optima for growth of North Sea organisms yielded similar results: a deviance from the normal distribution, with a gap close to the mean annual temperature, and more optima either above or below this temperature. We conclude that organisms, particularly those that are short-lived, are either adapted to the prevailing winter or summer temperatures in temperate areas and that few species exist with thermal optima within the periods characterized by rapid spring warming and autumn cooling.