2016-11-02

Renewable Energy In Situ Power Cable Observation

Love MS, Nishimoto MM, Clark S, Bull AS. Renewable Energy In Situ Power Cable Observation. Camarillo, CA: The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Pacific OCS Region; 2016 p. 86 pp. Available from: http://marinecadastre.gov/espis/#/search/study/26953
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
Yes
Type: Report

Specific objectives of this study were to determine:

  1. The differences among fish and invertebrate communities associated with energized and unenergized cable habitat and those communities in soft sea oor habitats lacking cables.
  2. Whether electrosensitive species that are regionally important such as sharks and rays respond (via either attraction or repulsion) to the EMF’s of an in situ power transmission cable.
  3. The strength, spatial extent, and variability of EMF’s along both energized and unenergized cables.
  4. The potential effectiveness of the commonly proposed mitigation of cable burial.

Knowledge gained from this study will be directly applicable to renewable energy projects not only in the Pacific OCS region, but to any OCS planning area. 

Moving from ecosystem-based policy objectives to operational implementation of ecosystem-based management measures

Cormier R, Kelble CR, M. Anderson R, J. Allen I, Grehan A, Gregersen Ó. Moving from ecosystem-based policy objectives to operational implementation of ecosystem-based management measures. ICES Journal of Marine Science [Internet]. 2016 :fsw181. Available from: http://icesjms.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/10/23/icesjms.fsw181.abstract
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The aim of ecosystem-based management (EBM) is to maintain an ecosystem in a healthy, productive and resilient condition through the implementation of policies and management measures. Although cross-sectoral planning may be led by a planning competent authority, it is up to the sector competent authority to implement the necessary management measures within their operations to achieve EBM goals and objectives. We suggest that scientific impediments to EBM are no longer significant to implement EBM operationally. Instead, we consider that approaching EBM within current policy cycle approaches would provide the necessary policymaking process step to operationalize EBM. In addition to enabling and facilitating collaboration, exchange, understanding as promoted by EBM, policymaking processes also require that policy is to be implemented through programs, measures, procedures and controls that have expected outcomes to “carry into effect” the policy objective. We are of the view that moving EBM from planning and objective setting to operational implementation is a management problem solving issues instead of a scientific one.

China’s engagement in the establishment of marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean: From reactive to active

Tang J. China’s engagement in the establishment of marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean: From reactive to active. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2017 ;75:68 - 74. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X1630567X
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The stalemate since 2012 over the establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Southern Ocean has been a source of debate within and outside the Commission for Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). In 2015, China's support for the proposal for the establishment of a Ross Sea MPA was commended as a major step forward. As the newest Member of the CCAMLR, China refrained itself from commenting specifically on the issue of MPAs in the previous years, and had not articulated clearly its basic position until 2014. In light of its basic position and practices, China may become more active, maintain its basic position and take a case-by-case approach in relation to other MPA proposals. Moreover, bilateral interaction is helpful in finding practical solutions.

Climate influence on Vibrio and associated human diseases during the past half-century in the coastal North Atlantic

Vezzulli L, Grande C, Reid PC, Hélaouët P, Edwards M, Höfle MG, Brettar I, Colwell RR, Pruzzo C. Climate influence on Vibrio and associated human diseases during the past half-century in the coastal North Atlantic. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [Internet]. 2016 ;113(34):E5062 - E5071. Available from: http://www.pnas.org/content/113/34/E5062.abstract
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Climate change is having a dramatic impact on marine animal and plant communities but little is known of its influence on marine prokaryotes, which represent the largest living biomass in the world oceans and play a fundamental role in maintaining life on our planet. In this study, for the first time to our knowledge, experimental evidence is provided on the link between multidecadal climatic variability in the temperate North Atlantic and the presence and spread of an important group of marine prokaryotes, the vibrios, which are responsible for several infections in both humans and animals. Using archived formalin-preserved plankton samples collected by the Continuous Plankton Recorder survey over the past half-century (1958–2011), we assessed retrospectively the relative abundance of vibrios, including human pathogens, in nine areas of the North Atlantic and North Sea and showed correlation with climate and plankton changes. Generalized additive models revealed that long-term increase in Vibrio abundance is promoted by increasing sea surface temperatures (up to ∼1.5 °C over the past 54 y) and is positively correlated with the Northern Hemisphere Temperature (NHT) and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) climatic indices (P < 0.001). Such increases are associated with an unprecedented occurrence of environmentally acquired Vibrio infections in the human population of Northern Europe and the Atlantic coast of the United States in recent years.

Ecology of Salmonids in Estuaries around the World

Levings CD. Ecology of Salmonids in Estuaries around the World. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: UBC Press; 2016 p. 388 pp. Available from: http://www.ubcpress.ca/search/title_book.asp?BookID=299175186
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Book

For centuries, biologists have marvelled at how anadromous salmonids – fish that pass from rivers into oceans and back again – survive as they migrate between these two very different environments. Yet, relatively little is understood about what happens to salmonid species (including salmon, steelhead, char, and trout) in the estuaries where they make this transition from fresh to saltwater. This book, written by one of the world’s foremost experts on the ecology of salmonids, explains the critical role estuaries play in salmonid survival and recovery. 

Ecology of Salmonids in Estuaries around the World synthesizes information from a vast array of literature, to 

  • describe the specific adaptation of eighteen anadromous salmonids in four genera (Hucho, Oncorhynchus, Salmo, and Salvelinus)  
  • explain the ecological relationships between anadromous salmonids, the fish they coexist with, and their estuarine habitat 
  • discuss key fitness elements salmonids need for survival in estuaries (including those relating to osmoregulation, growth and feeding mechanisms, and biotic interactions) 
  • provide guidance on how to conduct estuarine sampling and scientific aspects of conservation, management, and recovery plans 
  • offer directions for future research. 

Effects of an Offshore Wind Farm (OWF) on the Common Shore Crab Carcinus maenas: Tagging Pilot Experiments in the Lillgrund Offshore Wind Farm (Sweden)

Langhamer O, Holand H, Rosenqvist G. Effects of an Offshore Wind Farm (OWF) on the Common Shore Crab Carcinus maenas: Tagging Pilot Experiments in the Lillgrund Offshore Wind Farm (Sweden). PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2016 ;11(10):e0165096. Available from: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0165096
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Worldwide growth of offshore renewable energy production will provide marine organisms with new hard substrate for colonization in terms of artificial reefs. The artificial reef effect is important when planning offshore installations since it can create habitat enhancement. Wind power is the most advanced technology within offshore renewable energy sources and there is an urgent need to study its impacts on the marine environment. To test the hypothesis that offshore wind power increases the abundance of reef species relative to a reference area, we conduct an experiment on the model species common shore crab (Carcinus maenas).Overall, 3962 crabs were captured, observed, marked and released in 2011 and 1995 crabs in 2012. Additionally, carapace size, sex distribution, color morphs and body condition was recorded from captured crabs. We observed very low recapture rates at all sites during both years which made evaluating differences in population sizes very difficult. However, we were able to estimate population densities from the capture record for all three sites. There was no obvious artificial reef effect in the Lillgrund wind farm, but a spill-over effect to nearby habitats cannot be excluded. We could not find any effect of the wind farm on either, morphs, sex distribution or condition of the common shore crab. Our study found no evidence that Lillgrund wind farm has a negative effect on populations of the common shore crab. This study provides the first quantitative and experimental data on the common shore crab in relation to offshore wind farms.

The Trophic Significance of the Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin, Sousa chinensis, in Western Taiwan

Pan C-W, Chen M-H, Chou L-S, Lin H-J. The Trophic Significance of the Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin, Sousa chinensis, in Western Taiwan. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2016 ;11(10):e0165283. Available from: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0165283
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) have attracted considerable attention due to their critically endangered status and related conservation issues, but their trophic relationships and ecological significance in coastal ecosystems are poorly understood. For instance, this species is noticeably more abundant in the Xin-Huwei River Estuary (Ex) of Western Taiwan than in the nearby Zhuoshui River Estuary (Ez), though it is unclear why the distribution shows such partitioning. To explore this topic, we conducted field surveys seasonally for two years from 2012 to 2013 and constructed Ecopath models of Ex, Ez, and an offshore site (Dm) to compare energy flow within the food webs. Model comparisons showed that the availability of food resources was the main factor influencing the biomass of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins. Specifically, its more frequent occurrence in Ex can be attributed to greater phytoplankton production and greater biomasses of macroinvertebrates and prey fish than in the other two areas. An increase in fishing activity might decrease the food availability and, consequently, the biomass of the dolphins. Although the decline in the dolphin population would increase the biomass of some prey fish species, local fishermen might not necessarily benefit from the decline due to the concurrent decrease of highly valued crabs and shrimp. Collectively, our work suggests that the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin is a keystone species in tropical coastal waters of Taiwan, and thereby exhibit a disproportional large ecological impact given their relatively low abundance.

So Long and Thanks for All the Fish: Overexploitation of the Regionally Endemic Galapagos Grouper Mycteroperca olfax (Jenyns, 1840)

Usseglio P, Friedlander AM, Koike H, Zimmerhackel J, Schuhbauer A, Eddy T, Salinas-de-León P. So Long and Thanks for All the Fish: Overexploitation of the Regionally Endemic Galapagos Grouper Mycteroperca olfax (Jenyns, 1840). PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2016 ;11(10):e0165167. Available from: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0165167
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The regionally endemic Galapagos Grouper, locally known as bacalao, is one of the most highly prized finfish species within the Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR). Concerns of overfishing, coupled with a lack of fishing regulations aimed at this species raises concerns about the current population health. We assessed changes in population health over a 30-year period using three simple indicators: (1) percentage of fish below reproductive size (Lm); (2) percentage of fish within the optimum length interval (Lopt); and (3) percentage of mega-spawners in the catch. Over the assessed period, none of the indicators reached values associated with healthy populations, with all indicators declining over time. Furthermore, the most recent landings data show that the vast majority of the bacalao caught (95.7%,) were below Lm, the number of fish within the Lopt interval was extremely low (4.7%), and there were virtually no mega-spawners (0.2%). Bacalao fully recruit to the fishery 15 cm below the size at which 50% of the population matures. The Spawning Potential Ratio is currently 5% of potential unfished fecundity, strongly suggesting severe overfishing. Our results suggest the need for bacalao-specific management regulations that should include minimum (65 cm TL) and maximum (78 cm TL) landing sizes, slot limits (64–78 cm TL), as well as a closed season during spawning from October to January. It is recognized that these regulations are harsh and will certainly have negative impacts on the livelihoods of fishers in the short term, however, continued inaction will likely result in a collapse of this economically and culturally valuable species. Alternative sources of income should be developed in parallel with the establishment of fishing regulations to limit the socio-economic disruption to the fishing community during the transition to a more sustainable management regime.

Optimising Land-Sea Management for Inshore Coral Reefs

Gilby BL, Olds AD, Connolly RM, Stevens T, Henderson CJ, Maxwell PS, Tibbetts IR, Schoeman DS, Rissik D, Schlacher TA. Optimising Land-Sea Management for Inshore Coral Reefs. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2016 ;11(10):e0164934. Available from: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0164934
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Management authorities seldom have the capacity to comprehensively address the full suite of anthropogenic stressors, particularly in the coastal zone where numerous threats can act simultaneously to impact reefs and other ecosystems. This situation requires tools to prioritise management interventions that result in optimum ecological outcomes under a set of constraints. Here we develop one such tool, introducing a Bayesian Belief Network to model the ecological condition of inshore coral reefs in Moreton Bay (Australia) under a range of management actions. Empirical field data was used to model a suite of possible ecological responses of coral reef assemblages to five key management actions both in the sea (e.g. expansion of reserves, mangrove & seagrass restoration, fishing restrictions) and on land (e.g. lower inputs of sediment and sewage from treatment plants). Models show that expanding marine reserves (a ‘marine action’) and reducing sediment inputs from the catchments (a ‘land action’) were the most effective investments to achieve a better status of reefs in the Bay, with both having been included in >58% of scenarios with positive outcomes, and >98% of the most effective (5th percentile) scenarios. Heightened fishing restrictions, restoring habitats, and reducing nutrient discharges from wastewater treatment plants have additional, albeit smaller effects. There was no evidence that combining individual management actions would consistently produce sizeable synergistic until after maximum investment on both marine reserves (i.e. increasing reserve extent from 31 to 62% of reefs) and sediments (i.e. rehabilitating 6350 km of waterways within catchments to reduce sediment loads by 50%) were implemented. The method presented here provides a useful tool to prioritize environmental actions in situations where multiple competing management interventions exist for coral reefs and in other systems subjected to multiple stressor from the land and the sea.

Wandering mussels: using natural tags to identify connectivity patterns among Marine Protected Areas

Gomes I, Peteiro LG, Albuquerque R, Nolasco R, Dubert J, Swearer SE, Queiroga H. Wandering mussels: using natural tags to identify connectivity patterns among Marine Protected Areas. Marine Ecology Progress Series [Internet]. 2016 ;552:159 - 176. Available from: http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/meps/v552/p159-176
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
Yes
Type: Journal Article

Knowledge of connectivity pathways in the marine environment is crucial for understanding the spatial structure of populations and for developing appropriate monitoring and management strategies. Here, we used the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis as a model species to investigate connectivity patterns within the Berlengas and Arrábida Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) along the central Portuguese west coast. We generated an atlas of location-specific environmental markers based on the microchemistry of bivalve larval shells (using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry). This atlas was then employed to trace the natal origins of newly settled mussels and generate connectivity matrices among populations. Our results reflected 3 distinctive chemical signatures in larval shells, corresponding to 3 regions: Estremadura, Cascais and Arrábida. Linear discriminant analyses allowed for a high reclassification success (average of 79.5% of jackknifed cross-validated cases correctly assigned) based on 8 of the 16 trace elements analyzed (B, P, Co, Cu, Zn, Ce, Pb and U). The population connectivity matrix identified different dispersal pathways for mussel larvae, in particular a predominantly northward dispersion pattern in July 2013. This pattern was consistent with simultaneous environmental physical data, which confirmed an extended period of wind reversal and upwelling relaxation. The Arrábida MPA was an important source population for the other 2 regions and showed high rates of self-recruitment but limited connectivity to the Berlengas MPA. These direct measures of demographic connectivity can be a powerful tool to inform policymakers on the conservation and management of ecologically coherent networks of protected areas in coastal marine ecosystems.

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