Winter is thought to be a critical period for many fish in the ocean, but their ecology during this time tends to be poorly understood. We quantified the feeding ecology of juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) off the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, in autumn and winter to determine how seasonality could affect diet. Using stomach contents and stable isotopes, we tested the hypothesis that the winter diet of juvenile Chinook salmon differs from that of the autumn diet. Stomach-content data showed a shift from a primary reliance on amphipods in autumn to euphausiids in winter. This finding was generally corroborated by the stable isotope analysis, although mixing models suggested a greater contribution of fish prey to the diet in both autumn and winter. Understanding the diet of fish during winter may provide useful information for management as a first step in understanding the factors influencing mortality across life stages.
The lower mid-littoral and shallow subtidal communities were studied in the district of Vlora (Albania), three years after the establishment of a Marine Protected Area, with particular attention to the long-lived species. The bioconstructions built in the mid-littoral zone by the calcified rhodobiont Lithophyllum byssoides were in poor condition and sometimes even dead. In contrast, the brown alga Cystoseira amentacea constituted lush stands. For assessing the ecological status of the studied area, the CARLIT method, based upon macroalgal communities, was applied. The observed range of ecological status was wide (‘high’ through ‘bad’) and was overall among the lowest assessed to date in the Mediterranean Sea. The occurrence of extensive sea-urchin barren-grounds, though not taken into consideration by the CARLIT index, confirmed the poor condition of large sectors of the study area. Overall, the CARLIT index is well correlated with anthropogenic pressures, as assessed by the LUSI index.
Blooms of the green macroalga Ulva prolifera in the western Yellow Sea occurred every year since 2008, and they have been reported and studied extensively using a variety of means including remote sensing. However, to date, long-term bloom patterns have not been reported except for a few case studies showing examples in different years. Here, using MODIS observations and an objective method to perform statistical analysis, mean Ulva coverage in the western Yellow Sea has been derived and analyzed between 2007 and 2015 at both monthly and annual scales. On annual scale, mean Ulva coverage decreased after 2008, but increased rapidly after 2012 from 8 km2 in 2012 to 116 km2 in 2015 (the largest ever reported in history for this region). In the month of June the mean coverage increased from 18 km2 in 2012 to 363 km2 in 2015. Other than 2009 and 2010, the month of June showed maximum Ulva coverage in every year. These coverage estimates are significantly lower than previously reported values as they represent “pure” algae coverage after taking into account of partial pixel coverage. Several environmental factors were examined in an attempt to determine the reasons behind such long-term changes, yet the results are inconclusive, suggesting a strong necessity of further coordinated and multi-disciplinary researches.
Offshore wind energy development is considered essential to meet European targets for CO2 emissions reduction. However, offshore wind farms face not only typical risks associated with emerging technologies, but much higher uncertainties arising from various technical, political, economic and regulatory risks, most of which have been aggravated during the recent economic crisis. This is especially true in Greece where despite the investors’ interest there is no progress in the realisation of offshore wind farms. The scope of this paper is to investigate the profitability range of offshore wind energy investments in Greece, taking into consideration the uncertainties faced. To this purpose, a systematic profitability analysis is performed in twelve offshore wind projects, using a Monte Carlo simulation integrated into a classical financial model for the treatment of various sources of uncertainty and in relation to the eventual variation of feed-in tariffs, as foreseen in the current legislative framework. The proposed methodological approach has proved to be a very useful tool for policy makers, enabling the simultaneous consideration of a significant number of uncertainty drivers. Moreover, the obtained results demonstrate the difficulties to propose a common feed-in tariff level for all offshore wind farms even in a small country like Greece.
Observations of cetaceans during the winter are difficult, if not impossible in some locations, yet their presence, habitat use, and behaviour during this period are important for conservation and management. Typically, observations come from vessel surveys, with citizen science networks increasingly adding significant sighting data. In compliment to this, acoustic data collection systems can be deployed to collect information remotely over long periods, and in almost any conditions. Here we describe how the combination of these data collection techniques works to fill knowledge gaps, with data from a well-established citizen science network, and a single passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) recorder integrated to identify killer whale presence during winter months in Clayoquot Sound, on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Together these data show the overwinter use of Clayoquot Sound by killer whales is greater than previously thought. During the study period, February 21 to April 25, 2015, the citizen science network noted 14 visual encounters ranging from Amphitrite Point to Hot Spring Cove, Vancouver Island. The PAM recorded 17 acoustic encounters within the 10 km detection radius of the recorder, deployed off Siwash Point, Flores Island. This included 15 encounters not recorded by the visual network. Both resident and Bigg’s (transient) transient whale groups were recorded, although analysis of vocalizations determined that the majority of the encounters recorded acoustically were of northern resident killer whales. This may be a function of life history, with Bigg’s killer whales typically noted to be less acoustically active, or could represent greater site use by this group. This first use of acoustic monitoring over the winter, complemented with visual data, can establish a better understanding of year-round use of this area by killer whales and has broader application to other sites.
The strategic location of small islands in the Caribbean, close to the United States of America (USA), and their historical trade roots as former colonies of Europe make them an interesting business environment. Small islands' eagerness for economic development and their limited governance capacity often result in an unequal relationship between multinational private parties and small islands' policy actors, especially in regard to environmental management. This is also observed at St. Eustatius, a small Caribbean island that hosts a crucial oil storage and transshipment terminal that compromises the environmental state of the small island. However, in 2010, St. Eustatius (Statia) became part of the Netherlands, which significantly changed the responsibilities related to environmental management. Bringing the environmental state back in reversed existing power relations. To analyze these changing power dynamics, we apply the new social scientific concept of marine community, which encompasses a user community and a policy community and shows the different interests and power dynamics within and between them. While governance of the oil terminal used to be determined by structural power in the user community on behalf of NuStar, it currently relies on the structural power of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment (I&E) in the policy community. In theory, structural power to bring the environmental state back in would be beneficial for governance. In practice, however, this is challenging because a small island environmental state is different from the environmental state in countries in Western societies. Although the Dutch Ministry has structural power, the way it relates to others (dispositional power) and uses resources (relational power) should be better adapted to the needs and characteristics of small island environmental states such as Statia.
Analysis and understanding of coastline variability and coastal erosion-accretion trends are important for scientists and local decision-makers for orienting regulation and decisions concerning coastal planning. This study focuses on the detection and analysis of historical changes in shoreline position of the Bay of Jijel (East -Algeria) occurred between 1960 and 2014. Shoreline changes along the Bay of Jijel were studied from multi-dated aerial photographs (1960, 1973 and 1988) and Quick-bird satellite image (2014). The correction of aerial photographs and satellite image was carried out using the remote sensing tools and Geographic Information System “GIS”. To attain our objective, the study area was divided into three sectors for analysis: (1) the beaches of Jijel, Tassoust in the western sector, (2) the central area encompasses beaches of El Kanar, El Mzair and SidiAbdelaziz, (3) the eastern sector contains the beaches of El Djnah and Beni Belaid. Net rates changes of shoreline position in time were calculated from several statistical methods End Point Rates (EPR), Linear Regression Rates (LRR) and Weighted Linear Regression (WLR). These net rates of coastline changes have been calculated, also, on three intervals of times (1960–1973, 1973–1988 and 1988–2014) and on a period (mid-centennial) of 54 years (1960–2014). The result shows that the study area is almost stable between 1960 and 1973 with a rate of change equal to −0.072 m/year. This rate of change, has negatively increased during episodes time 1973–1988 and 1988–2014, with average values of −0.125 m/year and −0.85 m/year, respectively. Over a mid-secular period, the coast has experienced an average net rate global of changes equal to −0.459 m/year. This recession of the coastline is due to the combined action of the cumulative effects of stormy climate of the coast and various human actions on the Jijelian coastal strip.
The economic transformation program has triggered the need for vital marine management in Malaysia; thus, the evolution of the legacy management of the marine area is inevitable. This paper examines the problems of marine space management and identifies the peculiarities of the management of marine space stakeholder issues (MSSI) in Malaysia. This qualitative study employed a constructivist grounded theory-focus group (GT-fg) approach set in the interpretive research paradigm. This approach was used to develop a lay representation of Malaysia's marine space stakeholder management. The constant comparative method of analysis was used to analyse and code the interview data. Diverse views were expressed by marine space management stakeholders on different aspects of their professional practice. In the study, these views were constructed according to the major categories of professional identity and the understanding of current practice, and by identifying the current marine space management perspective's influence on the marine space stakeholder process. These views formed four qualitatively different overall conceptions of marine space stakeholder management: collaboration; coordination; data management; and the marine space governance framework. New issues, such as power distance, bureaucratic issues and the organisational structure, emerged in this study with these related to external factors that impinge on the management of marine space stakeholder issues. The study generally revealed that power distance, data management, bureaucratic issues, stakeholder identification, stakeholder engagement and the organisational structure have the greatest impact on MSSI.
Wave extreme events can be understood as the combination of Storm-intensity, Directionality and Intra-time distribution. However, the dependence structure among these factors is still unclear. A methodology has been developed to model wave-storms whose components are linked together. The model is composed by three parts: an intensity module, a wave directionality module, and an intra-time distribution module. In the Storm-intensity sub-model, generalized Pareto distributions and hierarchical Archimedean copulas have been used to characterize the storm energy, unitary energy, peak wave-period and duration. In the Directionality and Intra-time sub-models, the wave direction (at the peak of the storm) and the storm growth–decay rates are linked to the variables from the intensity model, respectively. The model is applied to the Catalan coast (NW Mediterranean). The outcomes denote spatial patterns that coincide with the state of knowledge. The proposed methodology is able to provide boundary conditions for wave and near-shore studies, saving computational time and establishing the dependence of the proposed variables. Such synthetic storms reproduce the inter-variable co-dependence of the original data.
Policy making is required in cases in which a public good needs to be either maintained or created, and private or civil initiatives cannot deal alone with this. Policy making thus starts with a phase of problem identification and determining whether there is a problem that needs to be dealt with. Rapidly evolving contexts exert influence on policy makers who have to take decisions much faster and more accurately than in the past, also facing greater complexity. There is a need for a method that lowers the lead time of the exploratory phase of the policy cycle. At the same time the method should create a joint understanding of the most important interactions. This paper proposes QUICKScan, a method, process and spatially explicit tool, to jointly scope policy problems in a participatory setting, investigate the most important interactions and feedbacks and assesses the state of knowledge and data of relevance to the problem. QUICKScan uses strongly moderated participatory workshops bringing together a wide range of stakeholders relevant to the policy issue. These moderated workshops jointly build an expert system in a spatially explicit tool using functionality of bayesian belief networks, python programming, simple map algebra and knowledge matrices, with a strong focus on visualization of results. QUICKScan has been applied in 70 different applications in a range of different policy contexts, stakeholders and physical locations. Through these applications participants were able to internalize the knowledge that was usually handed to them in briefs and reports, to develop a joint understanding of the main interactions and their link to impacts and to develop a problem statement and solution space in a reduced lead time. Ultimately, QUICKScan demonstrates another role of science, not solely as a knowledge production, but also facilitating the knowledge consumption.