2016-07-06

Big, Bold and Blue: Lessons from Australia's Marine Protected Areas

Fitzsimons J, Wescott G eds. Big, Bold and Blue: Lessons from Australia's Marine Protected Areas. Clayton South, Victoria, Australia: CSIRO Publishing; 2016 p. 432 pp. Available from: http://www.publish.csiro.au/pid/7293.htm
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Book

The world’s oceans cover about 70% of our planet. To safeguard the delicate ecological and environmental functions of the oceans and their remarkable biodiversity, networks of marine protected areas are being created. In some of these areas, human activity is restricted to non-exploitative activities and in others it is managed in a sustainable way. Australia is at the forefront of marine conservation, with one of the largest systems of marine protected areas in the world.

Big, Bold and Blue: Lessons from Australia’s Marine Protected Areas captures Australia’s experience, sharing important lessons from the Great Barrier Reef and many other extraordinary marine protected areas. It presents real-world examples, leading academic research, perspectives on government policy, and information from indigenous sea country management, non-governmental organisations, and commercial and recreational fishing sectors. The lessons learnt during the rapid expansion of Australia’s marine protected areas, both positive and negative, will aid and advise other nations in their own marine conservation efforts.

Ongoing decline of shark populations in the Eastern Red Sea

Spaet JLY, Nanninga GB, Berumen ML. Ongoing decline of shark populations in the Eastern Red Sea. Biological Conservation [Internet]. 2016 ;201:20 - 28. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320716302415
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

nformation on the abundance and diversity of Red Sea elasmobranchs is notoriously scarce, even though sharks are among the most profitable fisheries of the region. Effective conservation would ideally entail baselines on pristine conditions, yet no such data is available for the Red Sea. To collect distribution and abundance data on Red Sea elasmobranchs, we conducted a dedicated longline and Baited Remote Underwater Video system (BRUVs) sampling program along the entire Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia over the course of two years. Both survey techniques were opportunistically employed at central and southern Saudi Arabian (SA) Red Sea reef systems. In addition, BRUVs were employed in the northern SA Red Sea and at selected reef systems in Sudan. Shark catch per unit effort (CPUE) data for BRUVs and longline surveys were compared to published data from non-Red Sea reef systems. This comparison revealed CPUE estimates several orders of magnitude lower for both survey methods in the SA Red Sea compared to other reef systems around the world. Catch per unit effort values of BRUVs on Sudanese reefs on the contrary were within the range of estimates from various locations where sharks are considered common. We argue that decades of heavy fishing pressure on Red Sea marine resources has significantly altered the community structure of SA Red Sea reefs. There is an urgent need to establish effective management strategies for species of highest conservation concern. Our results have the potential to be used as a baseline, if such management strategies were to be established.

Marine systematic conservation planning for Rodrigues Island, western Indian Ocean

Pasnin O, Attwood C, Klaus R. Marine systematic conservation planning for Rodrigues Island, western Indian Ocean. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. 2016 ;130:213 - 220. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569116301235
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

There is a growing number of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) that have been selected and designed through participatory processes, following the recognition of the need to increase the involvement of local communities likely to be affected by such developments. In parallel with this shift has been the development of systematic conservation planning (SCP) tools that have increased our capacity to design MPAs to maximise biodiversity outcomes and to scale-up community-based initiatives into more comprehensive MPA networks. In Rodrigues, four Marine Reserves (no-take zones) in the north of the island were identified through participatory processes. A Marine Protected Area (multi-use), South East Marine Protected Area (SEMPA), has also been gazetted in the south of the island through a community-based approach. In order to verify and assess gaps in the stakeholder-based design, a Marine Reserve network was designed using the SCP tool Marxan using available spatial data on marine biotopes and fishing effort (FE) to achieve fisheries benefits and marine biodiversity protection. The Marxan analysis identified that only two of the four marine reserves achieve partly the objectives set and SEMPA contains planning units which can be considered as no take zones. This study shows the importance of using both stakeholder’s knowledge and scientific input for a better design of MPAs. The results from the analyses can be used by decision makers to inform decisions in a scientific way by providing a set of scenarios from the Marxan analysis.

Measuring the impact of pollution closures on commercial shellfish harvest: The case of soft-shell clams in Machias Bay, Maine

Evans KS, Athearn K, Chen X, Bell KP, Johnson T. Measuring the impact of pollution closures on commercial shellfish harvest: The case of soft-shell clams in Machias Bay, Maine. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. 2016 ;130:196 - 204. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569116301144
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Temporary closures of polluted coastal waters to shellfish harvesting protect human health but also generate broad socioeconomic impacts on rural, fishing-dependent communities. Improved understanding of these impacts could help coastal managers prioritize investments to protect water quality and mitigate the effects of coastal pollution. Using a regression model of monthly landings, we explore the impact of temporary closures on the commercial harvest of soft-shell clams (Mya arenaria) in the Machias Bay region of Maine (USA). We find that economic losses are significant and depend heavily on tidal activity, and the size, frequency and timing of closures. Over the nine-year sample period (2001–2009), temporary pollution closures contributed to the loss of $3.6 million in forgone revenue (2014 dollars), approximately 27.4% of total revenue. Closures linked to combined sewer overflows from the Machias wastewater system produce the majority of these losses ($2.0 million) with the largest occurring during the peak clamming season (May–August). Our results highlight the variability of the impacts of closures and the information burden for efficient management of shellfish areas and coastal waters. By strategically reducing pollution, managers could limit public health risks, avoid destabilizing harvesting and revenue, and bolster the resilience of fishing communities.

Who cares? European attitudes towards marine and coastal environments

Potts T, Pita C, O’Higgins T, Mee L. Who cares? European attitudes towards marine and coastal environments. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2016 ;72:59 - 66. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X16303670
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Understanding how the public perceives the marine environment is a central component of the ecosystem approach. Despite the importance of exploring the links between society and the sea, it is still a relatively unexplored dimension of marine science. This paper presents the results of a novel European survey that explores the values, concerns and aspirations of individuals regarding the marine environment in seven countries across four regional seas. It provides an innovative contribution to the literature by refining our knowledge of how public perceptions on the oceans vary significantly by country, region and by demographic variables such as age and gender. Four issues emerge as important from this survey: (1) Concern about the oceans is variable but generally below other environmental concerns in different countries; (2) Ecosystem services, in particular regulatory, cultural and provisioning services that have broader societal relevance are recognised as important by the public; (3) There is a schism between scientific and public perspectives on the key pressures that affect marine systems; and (4) demographic factors such as age or generation can influence perceptions on marine issues more than the proximity of a community to the coastal environment. Public viewpoints on the oceans will play an important, if yet undetermined, role in supporting reforms such as marine planning, the large scale deployment of marine renewables and marine protected areas that have significant social and economic consequences.

Ability of invertebrate indices to assess ecological condition on intertidal rocky shores

Vinagre PAlmeida, Pais-Costa AJuliana, Hawkins SJ, Borja A, Marques JCarlos, Neto JMagalhães. Ability of invertebrate indices to assess ecological condition on intertidal rocky shores. Ecological Indicators [Internet]. 2016 ;70:255 - 268. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1470160X1630303X
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The implementation of directives such as the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) has promoted the development of several tools and methods for assessing the ecological health of marine ecosystems. Within the scope of the WFD and in terms of rocky shores, several multimetric tools were developed based on the macroalgae biological quality element (BQE), in addition to those based on macroinvertebrates.

The WFD requires member states to assess each BQE separately. The present work aimed to test the ability of ecological indices to distinguish sites within anthropogenic disturbance gradients caused by organic enrichment, using macroinvertebrate communities on intertidal rocky shores. Owing to the lack of more specific indices (for rocky shore), indices based on abundance, diversity and/or taxonomic composition were selected from several widely used indices in ecological studies and/or developed for soft-bottom macroinvertebrate communities.

Present findings reveal several indices based on diversity and/or taxonomic composition able to distinguish sites within the disturbance gradients, showing increasing quality from the site nearest the source of organic enrichment to that farthest from it, especially indices calculated using biomass data, and in the summer season. Such results open good perspectives for the use of intertidal macroinvertebrate communities from rocky shores, and also help add the perspective of this biological quality element in the ecological quality assessment of coastal waters.

Multi-criteria evaluation of wave energy projects on the south-east Australian coast

Flocard F, Ierodiaconou D, Coghlan IR. Multi-criteria evaluation of wave energy projects on the south-east Australian coast. Renewable Energy [Internet]. 2016 ;99:80 - 94. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960148116305602
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

In the last decade, multiple studies focusing on national-scale assessments of the ocean wave energy resource in Australia identified the Southern Margin to be one of the most energetic areas worldwide suitable for the extraction of wave energy for electricity production. While several companies have deployed single unit devices, the next phase of development will most likely be the deployment of parks with dozens of units, introducing the risk of conflicts within the marine space.

This paper presents a geo-spatial multi-criteria evaluation approach to identify optimal locations to deploy a wave energy farm while minimizing potential conflicts with other coastal and offshore users. The methodology presented is based around five major criteria: ocean wave climatology, nature of the seabed, distance to key infrastructure, environmental factors and potential conflict with other users such as shipping and fisheries.

A case study is presented for an area off the south-east Australian coast using a total of 18 physical, environmental and socio-economic parameters. The spatial restrictions associated with environmental factors, wave climate, as well as conflict of use, resulted in an overall exclusion of 20% of the study area. Highly suitable areas identified ranged between 11 and 34% of the study area based on scenarios with varying criteria weighting. By spatially comparing different scenarios we identified persistence of a highly suitable area of 700 km2 off the coast of Portland across all model domains investigated. We demonstrate the value of incorporation spatial information at the scale relevant to resource exploitation when examining multiple criteria for optimal site selection of Wave Energy Converters over broad geographic regions.

Implications of marine environment change on Japanese scallop (Mizuhopecten yessoensis) aquaculture suitability: a comparative study in Funka and Mutsu Bays, Japan

Aura CMulanda, Saitoh S-I, Liu Y, Hirawake T, Baba K, Yoshida T. Implications of marine environment change on Japanese scallop (Mizuhopecten yessoensis) aquaculture suitability: a comparative study in Funka and Mutsu Bays, Japan. Aquaculture Research [Internet]. 2016 ;47(7):2164 - 2182. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/are.12670/abstract
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The determination of the causes for the changes in marine environment in areas with similar oceanic climate forcing on most suitable sites for scallop aquaculture can help to ensure long-term sustainability of the coastal ecosystem. This study assessed aquaculture suitability sites using dominant indicators of marine ecological dynamics on Japanese scallop culture in Funka and Mutsu Bays, Japan as comparative examples. Data sources comprised of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), four dimensional-variational (4D-VAR) data assimilation system, Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS), in situ and buoy measurements. The suitable sites were ranked on a scale of 1 (least suitable) to 8 (most suitable). In the most suitable sites in aquaculture operational areas, Funka Bay had a high proportion (51.1%) than Mutsu Bay (13.7%) for the best performed model. Peaks of aquaculture suitability scores were attributed to potential effects of currents. Extreme sea temperatures (>24°C) in summer 2010 were associated with low performance of the 2010 model in Mutsu Bay and mortality of scallops based on sea temperature-depth visualizations. Future global warming effects are likely to decrease the most suitable culture sites in Funka Bay and loss of similar areas in Mutsu Bay. Thus, change in marine environment influences scallop culture development. Such concepts could form scientific basis for aquaculture planning on designated system of larval distribution and stock management of cultured species to minimize mortality and economic losses.

Fishing for MSY: using “pretty good yield” ranges without impairing recruitment

Rindorf A, Cardinale M, Shephard S, De Oliveira JAA, Hjorleifsson E, Kempf A, Luzenczyk A, Millar C, Miller DCM, Needle CL, et al. Fishing for MSY: using “pretty good yield” ranges without impairing recruitment. ICES Journal of Marine Science [Internet]. 2016 :fsw111. Available from: http://icesjms.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/06/27/icesjms.fsw111
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Pretty good yield (PGY) is a sustainable fish yield corresponding to obtaining no less than a specified large percentage of the maximum sustainable yield (MSY). We investigated 19 European fish stocks to test the hypothesis that the 95% PGY yield range is inherently precautionary with respect to impairing recruitment. An FMSY range was calculated for each stock as the range of fishing mortalities (F) that lead to an average catch of at least 95% of MSY in long-term simulations. Further, a precautionary reference point for each stock (FP.05) was defined as the Fresulting in a 5% probability of the spawning-stock biomass falling below an agreed biomass limit below which recruitment is impaired (Blim) in long-term simulations. For the majority of the stocks analysed, the upper bound of the FMSY range exceeded the estimated FP.05. However, larger fish species had higher precautionary limits to fishing mortality, and species with larger asymptotic length were less likely to have FMSY ranges impairing recruitment. Our study shows that fishing at FMSY generally is precautionary with respect to impairing recruitment for highly exploited teleost species in northern European waters, whereas the upper part of the range providing 95% of MSY is not necessarily precautionary for small- and medium-sized teleosts.

Effects of changes in stock productivity and mixing on sustainable fishing and economic viability

Bastardie F, J. Nielsen R, Eero M, Fuga F, Rindorf A. Effects of changes in stock productivity and mixing on sustainable fishing and economic viability. ICES Journal of Marine Science [Internet]. 2016 :fsw083. Available from: http://icesjms.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/06/27/icesjms.fsw083
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Within the new FMSY European paradigm, this paper shows how a combination of changes in fish stock mixing, non-stationarity in productivity, and constraints on unit stock concepts undermine the effective management of fisheries, especially when management reference points are not adjusted accordingly. Recent changes in stock structures, conditions and stock mixing between eastern and western Baltic cod can jeopardize the reliability of stock assessments and of the fishery economy. We modelled how different management, individual vessel decision-making, and stock growth and mixing scenarios have induced alternative individual vessel spatial effort allocation and economic performance by affecting fishing costs and by changing the relative stock abundance and size distribution. Stock mixing heavily influences profit and stock abundance for stocks that have experienced increased fishing mortality (F) levels. Western cod F has increased from a higher total allowed catches (TAC) advised in the medium-term due to the westward migration of eastern cod while eastern cod F has increased from reduced growth in the east. Greater pressures on western cod and decreased eastern cod growth and conditions greatly reduce the overall cod spawning stock biomass, thus changing the landing size composition and associated fishery profits. As a cumulative effect, fishing efforts are redirected towards western areas depending on management (quotas). However, total profits are less affected when traditional fishing opportunities and switching possibilities for other species and areas are maintained. Our evaluation indicates that current management mechanisms cannot correct for potential detrimental effects on cod fisheries when effort re-allocation changes landing origins. By investigating different economic starting conditions we further show that Baltic cod mis-management could have resulted in unintended unequal (skewed) impacts and serious consequences for certain fleets and fishing communities compared with others. Our management strategy evaluation is instrumental in capturing non-linear effects of different recommendations on sustainability and economic viability, and we show that fixed F-values management is likely not an attainable or sufficient goal in ensuring the sustainability and viability of fisheries and stocks given changing biological conditions.

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