This guide presents lessons learned on how to increase central budget allocations to PAS through a strengthened budget negotiation process, based on the experiences and results generated by the Project. The analysis of the PAS budgeting cycle in the three target countries revealed weaknesses in each phase, partially as a result of major functional disconnects between each phase.
The three countries of the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME), namely Angola, Namibia and South Africa, have committed to implementing ecosystem-based management (EBM) including an ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) in the region, to put in practice the principles of sustainable development in ocean-related matters. There is also recognition of the need for marine spatial planning (MSP) as a process for informing EBM with regard to the allocation and siting of ocean uses so that ecosystem health is ensured and trade-offs between ecosystem services are appropriately dealt with. Marine spatial planning is both an integrated and an area-based process, and this paper produces a spatial characterisation of the BCLME for achieving a common basis for MSP in the region, focusing on the oceanography, biology and fisheries. Recognising spatial variation in physical driving forces, primary and secondary production, trophic structures and species richness, four different subsystems are characterised: (1) north of the Angola–Benguela Front, (2) from the Angola–Benguela Front to Lüderitz, (3) from Lüderitz to Cape Agulhas, and (4) from Cape Agulhas to Port Alfred on the south-east coast of South Africa. Research and monitoring requirements of relevance for MSP and EBM in the region are identified, focusing on understanding variability and change, including with regard to the boundary areas identified for the system. To this end, 14 cross-shelf monitoring transects are proposed (including seven that are already being monitored) to estimate fluxes of biota, energy and materials within and between the subsystems. The usefulness of models for understanding ecosystem variability and changes is recognised and the need for fine-scale resolution of both sampling and modelling for adequate MSP as input to EBM for the often-conflicting interests of conserving biodiversity, and managing fisheries, recreation, offshore oil and gas exploration and exploitation, offshore mining and shipping routes, is emphasised.
A key objective of marine reserves is to maintain ecological processes important to the functioning of marine ecosystems. Grazing by tropical herbivores contributes to maintaining resilient coral reefs and marine reserves are critical in conserving herbivores and the functional role they provide. Less is known, however, about the effects of marine reserves on herbivorous fish and their role on temperate reefs. This study evaluated the potential for marine reserves to enhance grazing by herbivores on temperate reefs in Jervis Bay Marine Park, Australia. First, the movement patterns of a dominant grazer, luderick Girella tricuspidata, were determined using acoustic telemetry to assess the potential effects of marine reserves on G. tricuspidata. Second, the size and abundance of G. tricuspidata and other grazers (rock blackfish Girella elevata and silver drummer Kyphosus sydneyanus) was quantified on shallow subtidal reefs inside and outside marine reserves using a diver operated stereo-video system. Finally, grazing rates were quantified inside and outside marine reserves using video cameras. Luderick G. tricuspidata exhibited strong site fidelity on shallow subtidal reefs and was significantly larger and more abundant within marine reserves. Rock blackfish G. elevata was significantly more abundant in one of four marine reserves, although showed no difference in size between zones. Silver drummer K. sydneyanus was significantly larger in marine reserves, although not significantly more abundant. On shallow subtidal reefs, G. tricuspidata was the dominant grazer compared to other girellids and kyphosids, accounting for > 97% of total algal bites (predominantly on algal turfs). Grazing rates were higher on average within marine reserves (although not significantly higher) and there was a positive correlation between the relative abundance of G. tricuspidata and number of algal bites, indicating grazing intensity increased with abundance. The findings in this study demonstrate the clear potential for greater grazing by herbivores within temperate marine reserves. This study also suggests that exploitation of targeted herbivores on temperate reefs is significant and marine reserves can reduce this impact and allow it to be measured via reference areas.
Deciding where to implement conservation actions in order to meet conservation targets efficiently is an important component of systematic conservation planning. Mathematical optimisation is a quantitative and transparent framework for solving these problems. Despite several advantages of exact methods such as integer linear programming (ILP), most conservation planning problems to date have been solved using heuristic approaches such as simulated annealing (SA). We explain how to implement common conservation planning problems (e.g. Marxan and Marxan With Zones) in an ILP framework and how these formulations can be extended to account for spatial dependencies among planning units, such as those arising from environmental flows (e.g. rivers). Using simulated datasets, we demonstrate that ILP outperforms SA with respect to both solution quality (how close it is to optimality) and processing time over a range of problem sizes. For modestly sized quadratic problems (100,000 spatial units and 10 species), for example, a processing time of approximately 14 h was required for SA to achieve a solution within 19% of optimality, while ILP achieved solutions within 0.5% of optimality within 30 s. For the largest quadratic problems we evaluated processing time exceeding one day was required for SA to achieve a solution within 49% of optimality, while ILP achieved solutions within 0.5% of optimality in approximately one hour. Heuristics are conceptually simple and can be applied to large and non-linear objective functions but unlike ILP, produce solutions of unknown quality. We also discuss how ILP approaches also facilitate quantification of trade-off curves and sensitivity analysis. When solving linear or quadratic conservation planning problems we recommend using ILP over heuristic approaches whenever possible.
Trust and cooperation constitute cornerstones of common-pool resource theory, showing that “prosocial” strategies among resource users can overcome collective action problems and lead to sustainable resource governance. Yet, antisocial behavior and especially the coexistence of prosocial and antisocial behaviors have received less attention. We broaden the analysis to include the effects of both “prosocial” and “antisocial” interactions. We do so in the context of marine protected areas (MPAs), the most prominent form of biodiversity conservation intervention worldwide. Our multimethod approach relied on lab-in-the-field economic experiments (n = 127) in two MPA and two non-MPA communities in Baja California, Mexico. In addition, we deployed a standardized fishers’ survey (n = 544) to verify the external validity of our findings and expert informant interviews (n = 77) to develop potential explanatory mechanisms. In MPA sites, prosocial and antisocial behavior is significantly higher, and the presence of antisocial behavior does not seem to have a negative effect on prosocial behavior. We suggest that market integration, economic diversification, and strengthened group identity in MPAs are the main potential mechanisms for the simultaneity of prosocial and antisocial behavior we observed. This study constitutes a first step in better understanding the interaction between prosociality and antisociality as related to natural resources governance and conservation science, integrating literatures from social psychology, evolutionary anthropology, behavioral economics, and ecology.
In the present study, concentrations of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) were measured in the muscle, gill, and gonads of the pelagic fish species Trachurus mediterraneus, Engraulis encrasicolus ponticus, and Sprattus sprattus that are important both commercially and for the ecosystems in the Black Sea. The samples were collected during 2011. The metals were determined using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) following an acid digestion. The highest concentrations of As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Pb, and Zn were found in E. encrasicolus ponticus, whereas the greatest concentrations of Ni were found in T. mediterraneusand Mn in S. sprattus. Results showed that average metal concentrations in the tissues of T. mediterraneus, E. encrasicolus ponticus, and S. sprattus decreased in the order gill > gonad > muscle, gonad > gill > muscle, and gill > gonad > muscle, respectively, for the three species. When metal concentrations of fish tissues were compared between fish gender, there were only statistical differences in the gonads of the studied fish species (p < 0.05). The present study demonstrated that the metals have different correlations with condition factor (CF) and gonadosomatic index (GSI) of the fish species. Cr showed statistically important positive correlation to the GSI in male T. mediterraneus. Co showed statistically important positive correlation to CF in female E. encrasicolus ponticus, and also Co and Cd showed correlation to CF in male T. mediterraneus. Cd concentrations in the muscle tissues of the fish species were above the maximum acceptable concentration for human consumption.
We report a literature study on the needs for and the availability of data layers required for evidence-based Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) as well as mapping of the potential cumulative effects of multiple human activities. Specific focus is on data layers representing a variety of human activities and pressures as well as data layers representing ecologically-relevant species, habitats and communities. The aim of the study is to provide guidance for the Swedish SYMPHONY initiative and process, which ultimately is planned to result in a Swedish national data-driven ‘system’ for MSP and mapping of cumulative effects (Cumulative Effect Assessments; CEA). With this report and its conclusions and recommendations, the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SwAM) now holds the sufficient information required to – step by step – develop a nation-wide framework supporting evidence-based MSP and CEA. The crucial first step in this process is the build-up of an ecologically-relevant catalogue of pressure layers and ecosystem component layers.
Food contamination caused by radioisotopes released from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is of great public concern. The contamination risk for food items should be estimated depending on the characteristics and geographic environments of each item. However, evaluating current and future risk for food items is generally difficult because of small sample sizes, high detection limits, and insufficient survey periods. We evaluated the risk for aquatic food items exceeding a threshold of the radioactive cesium in each species and location using a statistical model. Here we show that the overall contamination risk for aquatic food items is very low. Some freshwater biota, however, are still highly contaminated, particularly in Fukushima. Highly contaminated fish generally tend to have large body size and high trophic levels.
Diatoms (Bacillariophyta) constitute one of the most diverse and ecologically important groups of phytoplankton. They are considered to be particularly important in nutrient-rich coastal ecosystems and at high latitudes, but considerably less so in the oligotrophic open ocean. The Tara Oceans circumnavigation collected samples from a wide range of oceanic regions using a standardized sampling procedure. Here, a total of ∼12 million diatom V9-18S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) ribotypes, derived from 293 size-fractionated plankton communities collected at 46 sampling sites across the global ocean euphotic zone, have been analyzed to explore diatom global diversity and community composition. We provide a new estimate of diversity of marine planktonic diatoms at 4,748 operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Based on the total assigned ribotypes, Chaetoceros was the most abundant and diverse genus, followed by Fragilariopsis, Thalassiosira, and Corethron. We found only a few cosmopolitan ribotypes displaying an even distribution across stations and high abundance, many of which could not be assigned with confidence to any known genus. Three distinct communities from South Pacific, Mediterranean, and Southern Ocean waters were identified that share a substantial percentage of ribotypes within them. Sudden drops in diversity were observed at Cape Agulhas, which separates the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, and across the Drake Passage between the Atlantic and Southern Oceans, indicating the importance of these ocean circulation choke points in constraining diatom distribution and diversity. We also observed high diatom diversity in the open ocean, suggesting that diatoms may be more relevant in these oceanic systems than generally considered.
California sea lions increased from approximately 50 000 to 340 000 animals in the last 40 years, and their pups are starving and stranding on beaches in southern California, raising questions about the adequacy of their food supply. We investigated whether the declining sea lion pup weight at San Miguel rookery was associated with changes in abundance and quality of sardine, anchovy, rockfish and market squid forage. In the last decade off central California, where breeding female sea lions from San Miguel rookery feed, sardine and anchovy greatly decreased in biomass, whereas market squid and rockfish abundance increased. Pup weights fell as forage food quality declined associated with changes in the relative abundances of forage species. A model explained 67% of the variance in pup weights using forage from central and southern California and 81% of the variance in pup weights using forage from the female sea lion foraging range. A shift from high to poor quality forage for breeding females results in food limitation of the pups, ultimately flooding animal rescue centres with starving sea lion pups. Our study is unusual in using a long-term, fishery-independent dataset to directly address an important consequence of forage decline on the productivity of a large marine predator. Whether forage declines are environmentally driven, are due to a combination of environmental drivers and fishing removals, or are due to density-dependent interactions between forage and sea lions is uncertain. However, declining forage abundance and quality was coherent over a large area (32.5–38° N) for a decade, suggesting that trends in forage are environmentally driven.