The study makes an analysis of the motivating factors for rights based approaches in order to address the common pool fishery problems which dissipates rents. The author states that the answer to common property associated problems for fisheries resources is to secure rights to the fishery to end the race to fish and put proper incentives in place to increase wealth and sustainability. The paper describes the characteristics of strong rights and several rights based approaches in commercial and recreational fisheries for billfish.
The study carries out a comparison of the value estimated both in recreational and commercial fisheries for billfish in the Caribbean. The recreational value was found to be much higher than the value in the commercial sector but total estimates should be treayed with caution due to the uncertainty of the raw data available. Enough value exists in the recreational fisheries sector to compensate losses in commercial sector. Billfish commercial fishery responsible for much less than 1% of total Caribbean seafood value (between 0.36% and 0.84%). Most recreationally caught billfish released with high survival. In general, there is a need for better data regarding landings, effort, supply chain in both sectors.
The study carries out an analysis of the legal and institutional framework of the Caribbean fisheries based on a survey and questionnaire sent to the WECAFC countries. As the region is a complex patchwork of countries the methods of drafting and adopting legislation may vary considerably from one country to another. Legislation exists in all countries for the management of marine capture fisheries at the national level, which included both legal and administrative frameworks, but the legal framework often does not specify a formal management process with identified roles, responsibilities, information needs, and time frames for activity completion and evaluation.
Until now, there has been only one source of data on global fishery catches: information reported to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations by member countries. An extensive, ten-year study conducted by The Sea Around Us Project of the University of British Columbia shows that this catch data is fundamentally misleading. Many countries underreport the amount of fish caught (some by as much as 500%), while others such as China significantly overreport their catches.
The Global Atlas of Marine Fisheries is the first and only book to provide accurate, country-by-country fishery data. This groundbreaking information has been gathered from independent sources by the world’s foremost fisheries experts, and edited by Daniel Pauly and Dirk Zeller of the Sea Around Us Project. The Atlas includes one-page reports on 273 countries and their territories, plus fourteen topical global chapters. National reports describe the state of the country's fishery, by sector; the policies, politics, and social factors affecting it; and potential solutions. The global chapters address cross-cutting issues, from the economics of fisheries to the impacts of mariculture. Extensive maps and graphics offer attractive and accessible visual representations.
While it has long been clear that the world’s oceans are in trouble, the lack of reliable data on fishery catches has obscured the scale, and nuances, of the crisis. The atlas shows that, globally, catches have declined rapidly since the 1980s, signaling an even more critical situation than previously understood. The Global Atlas of Marine Fisheries provides a comprehensive picture of our current predicament and steps that can be taken to ease it. For researchers, students, fishery managers, professionals in the fishing industry, and all others concerned with the status of the world’s fisheries, the Atlas will be an indispensable resource.
Worldwide coral reef decline appears to be accompanied by an increase in the spread of hard coral diseases. However, whether this is the result of increased direct and indirect human disturbances and/or an increase in natural stresses remains poorly understood. The provision of baseline surveys for monitoring coral health status lays the foundations to assess the effects of any such anthropogenic and/or natural effects on reefs. Therefore, the objectives of this present study were to provide a coral health baseline in a poorly studied area, and to investigate possible correlations between coral health and the level of anthropogenic and natural disturbances. During the survey period, we recorded 20 different types of coral diseases and other compromised health statuses. The most abundant were cases of coral bleaching, followed by skeletal deformations caused by pyrgomatid barnacles, damage caused by fish bites, general pigmentation response and galls caused by cryptochirid crabs. Instances of colonies affected by skeletal eroding bands, and sedimentation damage increased in correlation to the level of bio-chemical disturbance and/or proximity to villages. Moreover, galls caused by cryptochirid crabs appeared more abundant at sites affected by blast fishing and close to a newly opened metal mine. Interestingly, in the investigated area the percentage of corals showing signs of ‘common’ diseases such as black band disease, brown band disease, white syndrome and skeletal eroding band disease were relatively low. Nevertheless, the relatively high occurrence of less common signs of compromised coral-related reef health, including the aggressive overgrowth by sponges, deserves further investigation. Although diseases appear relatively low at the current time, this area may be at the tipping point and an increase in activities such as mining may irredeemably compromise reef health.
Habitat structure plays an important mediating role in predator-prey interactions. However the effects are strongly dependent on regional predator pools, which can drive predation risk in habitats with very similar structure in opposite directions. In the Mediterranean Sea predation on juvenile sea urchins is commonly known to be regulated by seagrass structure. In this study we test whether the possibility for juvenile Paracentrotus lividus to be predated changes in relation to the fragmentation of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica (four habitat classes: continuous, low-fragmentation, high-fragmentation and rocks), and to the spatial arrangement of such habitat classes at a landscape scale. Sea urchin predation risk was measured in a 20-day field experiment on tethered individuals placed in three square areas 35×35 m2 in size. Variability of both landscape and habitat structural attributes was assessed at the sampling grain 5×5 m2. Predation risk changed among landscapes, as it was lower where more ‘rocks’, and thus less seagrass, were present. The higher risk was found in the ‘continuous’ P. oceanica rather than in the low-fragmentation, high-fragmentation and rock habitats (p-values = 0.0149, 0.00008, and 0.0001, respectively). Therefore, the expectation that juvenile P. lividussurvival would have been higher in the ‘continuous’ seagrass habitat, which would have served as shelter from high fish predation pressure, was not met. Predation risk changed across habitats due to different success between attack types: benthic attacks (mostly from whelks) were overall much more effective than those due to fish activity, the former type being associated with the ‘continuous’ seagrass habitat. Fish predation on juvenile sea urchins on rocks and ‘high-fragmentation’ habitat was less likely than benthic predation in the ‘continuous’ seagrass, with the low seagrass patch complexity increasing benthic activity. Future research should be aimed at investigating, derived from the complex indirect interactions among species, how top-down control in marine reserves can modify seagrass habitat effects.
Sea star wasting disease devastated intertidal sea star populations from Mexico to Alaska between 2013–15, but little detail is known about its impacts to subtidal species. We assessed the impacts of sea star wasting disease in the Salish Sea, a Canadian / United States transboundary marine ecosystem, and world-wide hotspot for temperate asteroid species diversity with a high degree of endemism. We analyzed roving diver survey data for the three most common subtidal sea star species collected by trained volunteer scuba divers between 2006–15 in 5 basins and on the outer coast of Washington, as well as scientific strip transect data for 11 common subtidal asteroid taxa collected by scientific divers in the San Juan Islands during the spring/summer of 2014 and 2015. Our findings highlight differential susceptibility and impact of sea star wasting disease among asteroid species populations and lack of differences between basins or on Washington’s outer coast. Specifically, severe depletion of sunflower sea stars (Pycnopodia helianthoides) in the Salish Sea support reports of major declines in this species from California to Alaska, raising concern for the conservation of this ecologically important subtidal predator.
Partially owing to their isolation and remote distribution, research on seamounts is still in its infancy, with few comprehensive datasets and empirical evidence supporting or refuting prevailing ecological paradigms. As anthropogenic activity in the high seas increases, so does the need for better understanding of seamount ecosystems and factors that influence the distribution of sensitive benthic communities. This study used quantitative community analyses to detail the structure, diversity, and distribution of benthic mega-epifauna communities on Cobb Seamount, a shallow seamount in the Northeast Pacific Ocean. Underwater vehicles were used to visually survey the benthos and seafloor in ~1600 images (~5 m2 in size) between 34 and 1154 m depth. The analyses of 74 taxa from 11 phyla resulted in the identification of nine communities. Each community was typified by taxa considered to provide biological structure and/or be a primary producer. The majority of the community-defining taxa were either cold-water corals, sponges, or algae. Communities were generally distributed as bands encircling the seamount, and depth was consistently shown to be the strongest environmental proxy of the community-structuring processes. The remaining variability in community structure was partially explained by substrate type, rugosity, and slope. The study used environmental metrics, derived from ship-based multibeam bathymetry, to model the distribution of communities on the seamount. This model was successfully applied to map the distribution of communities on a 220 km2 region of Cobb Seamount. The results of the study support the paradigms that seamounts are diversity 'hotspots', that the majority of seamount communities are at risk to disturbance from bottom fishing, and that seamounts are refugia for biota, while refuting the idea that seamounts have high endemism.
Marine sponges are important members of coral reef ecosystems. Thus, their responses to changes in ocean chemistry and environmental conditions, particularly to higher seawater temperatures, will have potential impacts on the future of these reefs. To better understand the sponge thermal stress response, we investigated gene expression dynamics in the shallow water sponge, Haliclona tubifera (order Haplosclerida, class Demospongiae), subjected to elevated temperature. Using high-throughput transcriptome sequencing, we show that these conditions result in the activation of various processes that interact to maintain cellular homeostasis. Short-term thermal stress resulted in the induction of heat shock proteins, antioxidants, and genes involved in signal transduction and innate immunity pathways. Prolonged exposure to thermal stress affected the expression of genes involved in cellular damage repair, apoptosis, signaling and transcription. Interestingly, exposure to sublethal temperatures may improve the ability of the sponge to mitigate cellular damage under more extreme stress conditions. These insights into the potential mechanisms of adaptation and resilience of sponges contribute to a better understanding of sponge conservation status and the prediction of ecosystem trajectories under future climate conditions.
In support of natural resource and ecosystem service policy, monetary value estimates are often presented to decision makers along with other types of information. There is some evidence that, presented with such ‘mixed’ information, people prioritise monetary over non-monetary information. We conduct a discrete choice experiment among New Zealand decision makers in which we manipulate the information presented to participants. We find that providing explicit monetary information strengthens the pursuit of economic benefits as well as the avoidance of environmental damage. Cultural impacts, of which we provided only qualitative descriptions, did not affect respondents’ choices. Our study provides further evidence that concerns regarding the use of monetary information in decisions with complex, multi-value impacts are valid. Further research is needed to validate our results and find ways to reduce any bias in monetary and non-market information.