In 2014, the Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab (MGEL) of Duke University began work with the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC), the NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC), and Loyola University Chicago, as part of the Marine-life Data Analysis Team (MDAT), to characterize and map marine life in the Northeast region, at the request of the Northeast Regional Planning Body (NE RPB) to support the Northeast Ocean Plan. These research groups collaborated to produce “base layer” predictive model products with associated uncertainty products for 29 marine mammal species or species guilds and 40 avian species, and three geospatial products for 82 fish species. Marine mammal and avian products are habitat-based density estimates, incorporating several physical or biological habitat parameters, and were created for the whole US east coast. Fish species products, based on recommendations from working groups and other experts, were kept closer to the original bottom trawl data, which exist from Cape Hatteras, NC to the Gulf of Maine. Base layer products are particularly relevant and useful in answering direct questions about specific species at certain times of year. Base products may be thought of as a reference library, with species-specific products available to be viewed and queried when detailed research is required for agency decision-making actions.
Oceans cover almost two-thirds of the Earth’s surface. They are the primary regulator of the global climate and sustain a huge variety of plant and animal life. Maritime environment needs to be organized and precisely determined, in order to be sustainable. The registration of marine legal boundaries is a necessary condition for the protection of a living organism, which flows, changes, reverses itself, but is not limitless. Research has confirmed that the common pattern of people-land relationship also exists in the marine environment. Moreover, the marine Cadastre concept suggests that the complexity of interests in marine space is similarly encountered in land. The extension of Cadastre functions from land to marine space is considered reasonable. An inventory of interests that exist in the marine environment is important. At the same time, laws that are the basis of these interests need to be identified and their effect qualified and visualized. The administration of the marine space remains partial and complex, mainly deriving from political interests and strategic benefits. This could be overcome by designing a marine administration system, in accordance with the international practices. A conceptual model may be considered as the base of such system. This model should clearly depict the relevant entities of the system and the relationships between them. Modeling and standardizing systems and processes at an international level, requires the harmonization with international standards and specifically with the ISO 19152—Land Administration Domain Model (LADM), which so far remains a challenge. The aim of this paper is to present how rights, restrictions and responsibilities (RRRs) relating to marine space may be organized, in order to develop a marine administration model based on LADM, followed by the database implementation, to support effective and efficient decision making in marine governance.
The annual Great Barrier Reef Report Card details progress towards the Reef Water Quality Protection Plan targets. The report card outlines results from the Paddock to Reef program which collects and integrates data and information on agricultural management practices, catchment indicators, catchment loads and the health of the Great Barrier Reef. The Reef 2050 Integrated Monitoring and Reporting Program (www.gbrmpa.gov.au) will build upon existing programs such as the Paddock to Reef program to track progress towards the Reef 2050 targets and objectives.
Nonlinear dynamics have been widely demonstrated in natural systems. In marine fisheries ecosystems, such dynamics have primarily been associated with exploited species, suggesting an anthropogenic stressor may explain their prevalence. However, this earlier work compared co-occurring exploited and unexploited species, as opposed to analyzing the same species before and after significant harvesting pressure. The former does not control for either differences between species or the reality of indirect and long-lasting fishing impacts. Here, nonlinear dynamics were investigated for the same species before and after significant changes in the magnitude of harvesting. We found nonlinear signatures prevalent prior to heavy industrial exploitation, and also found that these dynamics were highly deterministic. This demonstrates that nonlinearity existed in a complex marine system prior to extensive human influence and suggests such behavior may be an innate property of these populations. Results also show a reduction in deterministic dynamics post industrialization, suggesting that fishing can undermine the dynamics and resilience of marine populations and render fisheries model output less predictable for management.
Most of the stock assessments conducted in the USA and in New Zealand are based on packages that have been developed for generic use, are well documented, and have been tested using simulation. However, this is not the case for assessments conducted in Australia and many other countries. This paper reviews all of the model-based stock assessments for Australian fisheries to evaluate how many of these assessments could have been conducted using the publicly-available stock assessment packages used widely in the USA and New Zealand. The 76 model-based assessments reflect 37% of the 2013 catch recorded in Australia's Status for Key Australian Fish Stocks Reports (or 34% of the total catch in 2013). All but 18 (or 24 if full rather than approximate age-size-structured models need to be used) of the stock assessments could have been conducted using stock assessment packages used in the United States and New Zealand. Adoption and use of packages for more stocks in Australia should increase the likelihood that results are based on correctly-coded models whose estimation performance is widely understood, reduce the time needed to conduct assessments, and speed up the peer-review process. The availability of training, manuals, and example data sets for stock assessment packages should partially address their additional complexity. Additional benefits, in terms of numbers of assessed stocks, could occur if Australian stock assessment scientists develop a forum to collaborate and share methods. These results are applicable to many other jurisdictions that undertake stock assessments.
Promoting and attaining sustainable use of resources through community participation is a central tenet of the European Union's (EU) 2013 Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. A systematic review approach was used to identify participatory fisheries management arrangements within the EU. Following this, the participatory arrangements were categorized based on the nature of the decision-making arrangement, influence and empowerment of the fishing industry. The study identified 40 management arrangements distributed through 8 member states, with a variety of fisheries and institutional settings for participation in fisheries management in the EU. The majority of the partnerships identified are “Functional participation”, i.e., the participatory arrangement is based in pre-determined goals encouraged by higher decision-making levels in order to increase efficiency of management decisions. Interactive partnership was the highest level of participation identified in the systematic review, and is usually more conducive with local arrangements in coastal and small-scale fisheries targeting low mobility species.
Emerging as an innovation for improving the management of overexploited fisheries around the world, rights-based fisheries management systems are being implemented in the form of either species- or area-based management. While there are numerous reviews on species-based management, there have been none on area-based management. To fill this gap, we undertake a critical review of the literature on area-based management systems known as “Territorial Use Rights for Fisheries” (or TURFs). Following an exhaustive search, seventy-nine peer-reviewed journal papers discussing the evolution, effectiveness, enforcement, and management context of TURFs were identified and selected. Review of these papers reveals that there is a growing interest in investigating the real-world effects of TURFs, both positive and negative. The variability in TURF performance appears to be due to design features, enforcement behavior of fishers, and specific contextual conditions, namely, biological fishery characteristics, socio-economic aspects of fishers, and institutional arrangements. The bulk of the published research has focused on theoretical analysis and empirical evidence based on fishers’ perception and experience. And there has been little research on enforcement issues or how design features and management contexts influence performance. This review emphasizes the need for rigorous empirical analyses of TURF effects, including assessment of the cost-effectiveness of different enforcement schemes and the effects of contextual conditions on TURF performance. Addressing current shortcomings in the literature could improve the design, implementation and performance of TURFs worldwide.
The publication of reports on geo-political risks in the world sponsored by intelligence agencies, university institutes and think tanks are valuable instruments in societies that are being increasingly exposed to the effects of globalisation. Although all express mention of geo-political risks of a maritime nature is absent from these documents, it is an interesting exercise to determine: i) Which geo-political risks or threats have a maritime dimension or imply derivations whose occurrence may be linked to maritime space? ii) Which processes or tendencies in the use, occupation and governance of maritime space can fall into the category of geo-political risk? The basic aim is to address the forms that instability and geo-political risks take in the ocean world. If the risks stated in the chosen literature are examined from the maritime perspective, it is possible to perceive ‘secondary’ risks whose size and reach can become major contingencies for international stability. They therefore should not be ignored in the prognosis and evaluation of geo-political risks. In as much as societies' political organisation continues to rest on the nation-State, the dominance of the maritime component in the territorial basis is a permanent source of tensions and conflicts. In parallel with this, the displacement of economic expectations and the supply of traditional and new resources to the marine environment broadens the spectrum of risks and threats.
The SeaGen tidal energy turbine is located in the Strangford Narrows, Northern Ireland. The Narrows are designated as a Natura 2000 site, host unique biological assemblages and exhibit very high tidal velocities.
This study describes an asymmetrical BACI design monitoring program that was aimed at assessing the potential impact the SeaGen may have on epifaunal boulder reef communities. This study presents a novel methodology for monitoring epifaunal communities within highly variable and poorly understood tidal rapid environments.
We identify bare rock as a key measure of disturbance within tidal energy extraction sites and propose a new successional model for epifaunal reef communities on subtidal stable substrates. We also present an Ecological Quality Ratio (EQR); the High Energy Hard Substrate (HEHS) index for use in monitoring programs within tidal energy extraction sites.
Seasonality significantly affected epifaunal community structure, bare rock distributions and EQR values at all stations equally over time. SeaGen is not significantly affecting epifaunal community structure, bare rock distributions or EQR values at the impact site. The HEHS index has the potential to standardise benthic monitoring in tidal energy extraction sites.
Sea Grant will likely be investing $50 to $100 million in aquaculture research and technology transfer over the next 10 years. A clear vision will help guide strategic investments to support and expand the aquaculture industry. In March 2015, the Sea Grant Association established a committee to develop a 10-year vision for aquaculture investments by NOAA’s NSGCP. The purpose of this 10-year vision is to (1) determine Sea Grant’s most appropriate roles over the next 10 years, and (2) idenify priority research and outreach strategies leading to sustainable economic development, environmental conservation and social well-being.
The remainder of this document describes Sea Grant’s 10-year aquaculture vision.