Coastal regions are complex social-ecological systems (SESs) critically important for their diverse and invaluable services for human well-being. The marked losses of these systems on a global scale has led to proposals for the protection of healthy habitats which, however, have proven to be less than completely successful, thereby necessitating the restoration of impacted habitats. Although the effective delivery of restored ecosystem services or natural capital is determined by governance and management, these important topics have only rarely been examined (and never comparatively so) in the marine literature. Because marine ecological restoration is still very much in its infancy, it is necessary to turn to terrestrial examples for guidance. The present paper reviews the wider, terrestrially-based literature that has developed on the conceptual and practical relationships of governance to ecological restoration, towards an end of importing five lessons from this experience that might prove useful for the sustainable management of marine SESs, particularly in relation to the praxis of marine social-ecological restoration. These lessons are: avoid science/engineering only; instill adaptive management; hybrid governance models work best; establish an experienced advisory committee; and put stakeholders front and centre. Recommended actions needed to adopt these lessons include: assessing the cultural modification of the restoration location; including a social scientist on the restoration team; identifying multiple stakeholders; integrating technical knowledge of experts and local wisdom of residents; and implementing flexibility in governance to facilitate project resilience.
In the absence of a historical baseline, long-term no-take marine reserves can provide a reference to the unfished condition in exploited species of limited mobility. This study documents the recovery of the lobster Palinurus elephas within a large Mediterranean no-take marine reserve (MR) and uses it as a baseline to assess stock status in exploited grounds in the region. Lobster indices of density and biomass within the MR continued to increase after 25 years of protection, a period close to the species' lifespan. Catch per unit effort (CPUE) in weight more than doubled from years 21st to 25th without fishing in the reserve while the increase of CPUE in numbers was only 20%. This faster increase in biomass reflected individual growth and spillover of predominantly smaller lobsters to adjacent grounds. A highly depleted status of exploited populations was inferred from the demographic structure and CPUEs, with fishery:MR ratios and reproductive potential indices below 0.05. In the MR the size-class of maximum egg production increased over time, in contrast to stable sizes classes in fished areas. The contribution of small lobster (< 90 mm CL) to overall egg production was only 1.5% in the MR and 30% in the fished areas. Mortality estimated from recent size compositions was three to four times higher in fished areas than inside the MR, resulting in a reduction in predicted spawning potential per recruit close to 20% of the unfished level. This experiment emphasizes the value of long-term no-take areas as reference laboratories for investigating fishing effects.
Land-Ocean-Human (L-O-H) interactions in intensively developing coastal zones are demonstrated using four case studies in the western Bohai Sea, China. Three aspects of L-O-H interactions are discussed: 1. Coastlines are the result of Land-Ocean (L-O) interactions, but human activities have changed many coastlines from natural to artificial. In recent years, sea reclamation projects have moved the land and its coastline towards the sea, leading to hydrodynamic changes and affecting both the topography and sediment-erosion dynamics in western Bohai Bay (case study 1). 2. Estuaries are key areas for L-O interactions; river sediments, together with ocean power, shape the topography of the estuarine delta, while river nutrients impact offshore biological productivity. However, due to irrigation and reservoir construction up-stream, runoff and sediments have decreased resulting in increased coastal erosion in the Yellow River Delta (case study 2). Rivers carry industrial and agricultural point and non-point source pollution into the sea, causing marine pollution in Jinzhou Bay (case study 3). 4. Sea-level rise caused by global climate change enhances the role of the ocean. At a local scale, in Binhai New Area, sea-level change is also influenced by vertical land movement along with some land subsidence caused by over-exploitation of groundwater. Rising sea levels exacerbate storm surges and floods, and increase the risk of socio-economic and ecological impacts (case study 4). Because of rapid economic growth in Chinese coastal areas, L-O-H interactions have become the most significant factors changing natural and artificial environments. If the coastal zone is to be developed sustainably, human activities must be regulated.
Artisanal fleets represent one of the most sustainable fishing segments. Under the current Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), a key issue consists of quantifying their contribution to employment and value added generation in local economies, but methodological tools have not been specifically developed to analyze this question and few empirical quantifications have been carried out due to lack of information (output, intermediate consumptions, primary inputs, etc.). This paper presents a methodology to measure the importance of artisanal fleets in an economy, on the basis of input-output (IO) analysis and by applying a disaggregation procedure that allows for distinguishing their activity when this information is aggregated into one of the sectors observable on an IO table. An empirical exercise has been conducted for the case of the artisanal fishing fleet of Asturias (region in Northwest Spain) by drawing together many different sources of data concerning its activity and by splitting the whole “Fisheries and aquaculture” sector in the symmetric IO table. The new IO table has allowed to estimate the impact of the artisanal fishing fleet's activity, showing that it exerted in 2010 higher multiplier effects on regional employment and income than the whole economy and the rest of the fisheries sector (basically, the industrial fleet). Findings also revealed that the potential of the artisanal fleet to generate gross value added is particularly important. Our results also suggest that sectoral disaggregation of IO tables is a highly versatile, useful and replicable methodology for socioeconomic studies of artisanal fisheries.
Several regional fisheries and marine conservation organizations in the Coral Triangle (CT) and Southeast Asia have indicated their support for an ecosystem approach to fisheries management (EAFM). It is also likely that science and technology (S&T) innovations will play a role in the region for the purposes of filling gaps in fisheries data, enhancing the coordination of fisheries management efforts, and implementing and operationalizing an EAFM. Here, we outline the methodology and results of an expert-opinion survey designed to elucidate and prioritize the implementation of these S&T innovations. As a first step and case study, the survey presented here was conducted on U.S. government experts. The U.S. market is one of the world's largest importers of seafood, and therefore, in the framework of this study, is considered to be a stakeholder in the seafood supply chain that originates in the CT and Southeast Asia region. Results are discussed in terms of the data needs and principles of an EAFM, as well as current trends and contexts of the CT and Southeast Asia region. Next steps and recommendations are also provided on how S&T innovations can be implemented to enhance the cooperation and coordination of regional marine resource management efforts.
This paper highlights the tension between advocacy for ‘Blue growth’ in maritime policy and efforts to safeguard future economic growth via the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. In 2015, policy-makers withdrew three of four proposed Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) in the Irish Sea from consideration for designation, due to concerns that they could significantly impact on the fisheries sector in Northern Ireland because they overlap with prawn fishing grounds in the Irish Sea. Although research has quantified the potential impact upon fishing vessels, none has quantified the impact upon the fisheries sector nor assessed the significance of this impact. Arguably, MCZ designations (or lack thereof) based on the ‘significance’ of an impact require robust underpinning evidence. This paper reports the findings of an Economic Impact Assessment, which has quantified the impact of a decline in landings upon the Northern Ireland fisheries sector and regional economy (data which is currently absent from the evidence base for the MCZ designation process in England). It finds that this will incur job losses in three fishing ports in Northern Ireland, but is unlikely to have a significant impact upon Northern Ireland's fisheries sector and regional economy in terms of jobs and Gross Value Added (GVA). In the worst case, the resulting economic impact is a decrease of £1.05–1.12 m/year GVA in Northern Ireland, which is 1.1% of the contribution of fishing and fish processing to the regional economy. Economic significance assessments, using this methodology, may be useful in supporting the evidence base underpinning MCZ designation and other aspects of marine planning.
Fisheries management may impact on a range of seabirds’ traits such as foraging behavior. There is an extensive hake fishing closure in Argentine waters (HFC) where trawling is banned. The concentration of fishing effort in the boundary of this area triggered the question of a potential negative effect of seabird bycatch in such area. The distribution of seabirds attending vessels and their bycatch rates was explored as well as the foraging behavior of Black-browed albatrosses (BBA, Thalassarche melanophris) and Southern Giant Petrels (SGP, Macronectes giganteus) in relation to the HFC. For this, 55 satellite transmitters were deployed on the birds and discrete behavioral mode was inferred using state-space models. Seabird attendance at trawlers and bycatch data were obtained from on-board observers. The spatial distribution of the birds’ bycatch was concentrated in the boundary of the HFC and the distance to the boundary had a significant effect on the interactions. The spatial modeling of seabird attendance revealed a similar pattern with core areas in the margins of the HFC. The bulk of the core foraging areas of BBAs and SGPs were concentrated in waters adjacent to the HFC. Besides, the time spent foraging in the boundaries of the HFC was greater than inside the HFC. The study highlights that the “exporting effect” due to the concentration of fishing effort and seabird foraging in bordering areas may increase seabird bycatch in the neighboring waters. Hence, the design of management measures for seabird bycatch should contemplate regulations to address these negative side effects.
The overfishing of large vertebrates and shellfish is the first major disturbance to all the valuable coastal ecosystems that have been studied. However, usable logbook data has not been required or of concern in many small-scale fisheries operating in the coastal or offshore regions, rendering impact evaluation and further management difficult. Various studies have taken advantage of vessel monitoring systems (VMSs) that were originally developed for purposes such as surveillance, to derive high-resolution spatiotemporal effort data or further develop logbook-like data. These systems are usually installed on large-scale fishing vessels but seldom on small-scale vessels. Taiwan provides fuel subsidies to fishery operations, evaluated according to active moving hours at sea, as calculated with customized voyage data recorders (VDRs) that have been installed on most small-scale offshore fishing vessels. The device provides temporal position and speed data similar to that of VMSs, not in real time but with cheaper device cost, no data transmission fee and higher resolution at 3-min intervals. This paper takes the offshore trawl fishery of southwestern Taiwan as example to demonstrate that the VDR data used for subsidy evaluation could also be used for high-resolution effort estimation. After briefly documenting the development of Taiwanese trawl fisheries and the application of VDR in Taiwan, the paper proposes a simple five-step procedure for managers to categorize major fishing patterns of fisheries by reviewing the speed and track profiles of vessels on a trip-by-trip basis, and finally to develop speed criteria for defining fishing efforts.
Old growth mangroves in existing protected areas store more carbon than restored forests or plantations. Carbon storage in such forests has economic value independent of additionality, offering opportunities for policy makers to ensure their maintenance, and inclusion in climate change mitigation strategies. Mangrove forests of the Everglades National Park (ENP), South Florida, though protected, face external stressors such as hydrological alterations because of flooding control structures and agriculture impacts and saltwater intrusion as a result of increasing sea level rise. Moreover, decreased funding of Everglades’ restoration activities following the recent economic crisis (beginning 2008) threatens the restoration of the Greater Everglades including mangrove dominated coastal regions. We evaluate several economic and ecological challenges confronting the economic valuation of total (vegetation plus soil) organic carbon (TOC) storage in the ENP mangroves. Estimated TOC storage for this forested wetland ranges from 70 to 537 Mg C/ha and is higher than values reported for tropical, boreal, and temperate forests. We calculate the average abatement cost of C specific for ENP mangroves to value the TOC from $2–$3.4 billion; estimated unit area values are $13,859/ha–$23,728/ha. The valuation of the stored/legacy carbon is based on the: 1) ecogeomorphic attributes, 2) regional socio-economic milieu, and 3) status of the ENP mangroves as a protected area. The assessment of C storage estimates and its economic value can change public perception about how this regulating ecosystem service of ENP mangrove wetlands (144,447 ha) supports human well-being and numerous economic activities. This perception, in turn, can contribute to future policy changes such that the ENP mangroves, the largest mangrove area in the continental USA, can be included as a potential alternative in climate change mitigation strategies.
Coral reef net ecosystem calcification (NEC) has decreased for many Caribbean reefs over recent decades primarily due to changes in benthic community composition. Chemistry-based approaches to calculate NEC utilize the drawdown of seawater total alkalinity (TA) combined with residence time to calculate an instantaneous measurement of NEC. Census-based approaches combine annual growth rates with benthic cover and reef structural complexity to estimate NEC occurring over annual timescales. Here, NEC was calculated for Hog Reef in Bermuda using both chemistry and census-based NEC techniques to compare the mass-balance generated by the two methods and identify the dominant biocalcifiers at Hog Reef. Our findings indicate close agreement between the annual 2011 census-based NEC 2.35 ± 1.01 kg CaCO3•m−2•y−1 and chemistry-based NEC 2.23 ± 1.02 kg CaCO3•m−2•y−1 at Hog Reef. An additional record of Hog Reef TA data calculated from an autonomous CO2 mooring measuring pCO2 and modeled pHtotal every 3-h highlights the dynamic temporal variability in coral reef NEC. This ability for chemistry-based NEC techniques to capture higher frequency variability in coral reef NEC allows the mechanisms driving NEC variability to be explored and tested. Just four coral species, Diploria labyrinthiformis, Pseudodiploria strigosa, Millepora alcicornis, and Orbicella franksi, were identified by the census-based NEC as contributing to 94 ± 19% of the total calcium carbonate production at Hog Reef suggesting these species should be highlighted for conservation to preserve current calcium carbonate production rates at Hog Reef. As coral cover continues to decline globally, the agreement between these NEC estimates suggest that either method, but ideally both methods, may serve as a useful tool for coral reef managers and conservation scientists to monitor the maintenance of coral reef structure and ecosystem services.