2017-01-18

Integrating fisheries and agricultural programs for food security

Fisher B, Naidoo R, Guernier J, Johnson K, Mullins D, Robinson D, Allison EH. Integrating fisheries and agricultural programs for food security. Agriculture & Food Security [Internet]. 2017 ;6(1). Available from: https://agricultureandfoodsecurity.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40066-016-0078-0
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Background

Despite the connections between terrestrial and marine/freshwater livelihood strategies that we see in coastal regions across the world, the contribution of wild fisheries and fish farming is seldom considered in analyses of the global food system and is consequently underrepresented in major food security and nutrition policy initiatives. Understanding the degree to which farmers also consume fish, and how fishers also grow crops, would help to inform more resilient food security interventions.

Results

By compiling a dataset for 123,730 households across 6781 sampling clusters in 12 highly food-insecure countries, we find that between 10 and 45% of the population relies on fish for a core part of their diet. In four of our sample countries, fish-reliant households are poorer than their counterparts. Five countries show the opposite result, with fish-reliant households having higher household asset wealth. We also find that in all but two countries, fish-reliant households depend on land for farming just as much as do households not reliant on fish.

Conclusions

These results highlight the need for food security interventions that combine terrestrial and marine/freshwater programming if we are going to be successful in building a more resilient food system for the world’s most vulnerable people.

Review of the Marine Recreational Information Program

Anon. Review of the Marine Recreational Information Program. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press; 2017. Available from: https://www.nap.edu/catalog/24640
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is responsible for collecting information on marine recreational angling. It does so principally through the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP), a survey program that consists of an in-person survey at fishing access sites and a mail survey, in addition to other complementary or alternative surveys. Data collected from anglers through MRIP supply fisheries managers with essential information for assessing fish stocks. In 2006, the National Research Council provided an evaluation of MRIP’s predecessor, the Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey (MRFSS). That review, Review of Recreational Fisheries Survey Methods, presented conclusions and recommendations in six categories: sampling issues; statistical estimation issues; human dimensions; program management and support; communication and outreach; and general recommendations.

After spending nearly a decade addressing the recommendations, NMFS requested another evaluation of its modified survey program (MRIP). This report, the result of that evaluation, serves as a 10-year progress report. It recognizes the progress that NMFS has made, including major improvements in the statistical soundness of its survey designs, and also highlights some remaining challenges and provides recommendations for addressing them.

A spatial model to improve site selection for seagrass restoration in shallow boating environments

Hotaling-Hagan A, Swett R, L. Ellis R, Frazer TK. A spatial model to improve site selection for seagrass restoration in shallow boating environments. Journal of Environmental Management [Internet]. 2017 ;186:42 - 54. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301479716307770
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Due to widespread and continuing seagrass loss, restoration attempts occur worldwide. This article presents a geospatial modeling technique that ranks the suitability of sites for restoration based on light availability and boating activity, two factors cited in global studies of seagrass loss and restoration failures. The model presented here was created for Estero Bay, Florida and is a predictive model of light availability and boating pressure to aid seagrass restoration efforts. The model is adaptive and can be parameterized for different locations and updated as additional data is collected and knowledge of how factors impact seagrass improves. Light data used for model development were collected over one year from 50 sites throughout the bay. Coupled with high resolution bathymetric data, bottom mean light availability was predicted throughout the bay. Data collection throughout the year also allowed for prediction of light variability at sites, a possible indicator of seagrass growth and survival. Additionally, survey data on boating activities were used to identify areas, outside of marked navigation channels, that receive substantial boating pressure and are likely poor candidate sites for seagrass restoration. The final map product identifies areas where the light environment was suitable for seagrasses and boating pressure was low. A composite map showing the persistence of seagrass coverage in the study area over four years, between 1999 and 2006, was used to validate the model. Eighty-nine percent of the area where seagrass persisted (had been mapped all four years) was ranked as suitable for restoration: 42% with the highest rank (7), 28% with a rank of 6, and 19% with a rank of 5. The results show that the model is a viable tool for selection of seagrass restoration sites in Florida and elsewhere. With knowledge of the light environment and boating patterns, managers will be better equipped to set seagrass restoration and water quality improvement targets and select sites for restoration. The modeling approach outlined here is broadly applicable and will be of value to a large and diverse suite of scientists and marine resource managers.

Native grouper indirectly ameliorates the negative effects of invasive lionfish

Ellis RD, Faletti ME. Native grouper indirectly ameliorates the negative effects of invasive lionfish. Marine Ecology Progress Series [Internet]. 2016 ;558:267 - 279. Available from: http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/meps/v558/p267-279/
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Non-trophic interactions between Indo-Pacific lionfish Pterois volitans and P. miles and Atlantic and Caribbean reef fishes are not yet well understood. To determine the effects of potential competitive and behavioral interactions between native predators and invasive lionfish, we experimentally altered the presence of lionfish and red grouper Epinephelus morio in karst solution holes in Florida Bay, USA, and then tracked subsequent changes in the juvenile reef fish and motile macroinvertebrate communities for 6 wk. Relative to solution holes where we excluded both predators, mean juvenile reef fish abundance declined 83.7% in solution holes with a lionfish but increased by 154% in solution holes with a red grouper. There was no difference in juvenile reef fish abundance in solution holes with both lionfish and red grouper compared to holes where we excluded both predators. The composition of lionfish stomach contents shifted from mostly teleost fishes when lionfish were present in solution holes alone, to mostly crustaceans when in the presence of a red grouper. Concurrently, the abundance of 2 species of cleaner shrimp (Ancylomenes pedersoni and Periclimenes yucatanicus) decreased by 14.7% when lionfish were present but increased by 56.2% at holes where lionfish were excluded. We suggest that these results are due to altered lionfish predatory behavior in the presence of red grouper and highlight the importance of maintaining intact native predator communities for ameliorating the negative effects of the lionfish invasion.

Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission. Findings of the independent cost-benefit assessment of the options for strategic re-orientation of WECAFC

Hoydal K. Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission. Findings of the independent cost-benefit assessment of the options for strategic re-orientation of WECAFC. Bridgetown, Barbados: FAO; 2016. Available from: http://www.fao.org/documents/card/en/c/e7c4bb4a-8c79-42a7-81c9-9e5165211da5/
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

This circular contains the findings of the independent cost-benefit assessment of the options for strategic re-orientation of WECAFC, which was conducted over the period May–December 2015. The three options assessed are:

  1. WECAFC should remain a regional level fisheries advisory commission as a FAO Article VI body and continue to coordinate joint work with the (sub-) regional advisory/management bodies.
  2. WECAFC should become a regional fisheries management organization (RFMO) as an FAO Article XIV body, with a mandate to make legally binding decisions.
  3. WECAFC should become a regional fisheries management organization (RFMO) independent established outside of FAO’s legal framework with a mandate to make legally binding decisions.

This document discusses the status and trends of marine fisheries in the WECAFC area, regional fisheries bodies and RFMOs active in the area, international fisheries instruments and the role of RFMOs and the costs and benefits of the three options above. The assessment concludes that the establishment of an RFMO, either under FAO or outside FAO’s framework would create significant economic, social and environmental benefits at limited costs to the members of WECAFC. The conclusions and recommendations from this circular will be presented to WECAFC 16 in June 2016. 

Can Marine Protected Areas be developed effectively without baseline data? A case study for Burrunan dolphins (Tursiops australis)

Filby NE, Stockin KA, Scarpaci C. Can Marine Protected Areas be developed effectively without baseline data? A case study for Burrunan dolphins (Tursiops australis). Marine Policy [Internet]. 2017 ;77:152 - 163. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X16300100
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are increasingly used to protect marine mammals from anthropogenic threats despite limited studies that assess their efficacy. The small population of Burrunan dolphins (Tursiops australis) that inhabit Port Phillip Bay (PPB), Australia, are genetically isolated, listed as threatened and are exposed to dolphin-swim tourism. This study aimed to identify areas within PPB where dolphins are most likely to rest, forage and socialise, and whether these behaviours occur frequently within Ticonderoga Bay Sanctuary Zone (TBSZ), the only protected area designated for dolphins within PPB. Here, a comprehensive activity budget for Burrunan dolphins was established and critical habitat identified. Behavioural data were collected from 51 independent dolphin groups during 67 boat-based surveys conducted in southern PPB between December 2009 and May 2013. Travel (63.9%) and rest (1.8%) were the most and least frequently observed behaviours, respectively. Forage (16.4%), mill (10.8%) and social (7.2%) accounted for the remainder of the activity budget. Results indicate that the broader PPB region is important for foraging, socialising and nursing dolphins, while TBSZ has proven importance for foraging dolphins. Thus, the implementation of TBSZ was a correct management decision and MPAs developed without baseline data can be effective for marine mammal conservation. Three candidate MPAs were objectively identified in areas that are hotspots for foraging and socialising Burrunan dolphins in southern PPB. The findings of this study will be used to inform current conservation management strategies. If implemented, the aim of the proposed MPAs will be to reduce impacts from anthropogenic disturbance, namely dolphin-swim tour vessels.

Open source tools to support Integrated Coastal Management and Maritime Spatial Planning

Menegon S, Sarretta A, Barbanti A, Gissi E, Venier C. Open source tools to support Integrated Coastal Management and Maritime Spatial Planning. PeerJ Preprints [Internet]. 2016 . Available from: https://peerj.com/preprints/2245/
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

This paper describes an open source suite of libraries and tools to support research activities on marine and coastal environment. The suite was initially implemented for the ADRIPLAN portal, an integrated web platform aimed at supporting Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) activities and other activities concerning the managing of marine environment for the Adriatic-Ionian region. The main elements of the implemented solutions are: i) a GeoNode implementation for sharing geospatial datasets and maps; ii) a new python library (RectifiedGrid) that facilitates the work with geographical grid data; iii) a new python library (Tools4MSP) to perform spatial analysis and assessment of human uses, pressures and the potential impact of maritime and coastal activities on the environment; iv) a new GeoNode plugin (called GeoNode-Tools4MSP) that provides interactive widgets to set up the analyses and to visualize and explore the results. The Tools4MSP and the developed software have been released as FOSS under the GPL3 license and are currently under further development.

Centuries of thermal sea-level rise due to anthropogenic emissions of short-lived greenhouse gases

Zickfeld K, Solomon S, Gilford DM. Centuries of thermal sea-level rise due to anthropogenic emissions of short-lived greenhouse gases. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [Internet]. 2017 . Available from: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/01/03/1612066114.abstract.html?etoc
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Mitigation of anthropogenic greenhouse gases with short lifetimes (order of a year to decades) can contribute to limiting warming, but less attention has been paid to their impacts on longer-term sea-level rise. We show that short-lived greenhouse gases contribute to sea-level rise through thermal expansion (TSLR) over much longer time scales than their atmospheric lifetimes. For example, at least half of the TSLR due to increases in methane is expected to remain present for more than 200 y, even if anthropogenic emissions cease altogether, despite the 10-y atmospheric lifetime of this gas. Chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons have already been phased out under the Montreal Protocol due to concerns about ozone depletion and provide an illustration of how emission reductions avoid multiple centuries of future TSLR. We examine the “world avoided” by the Montreal Protocol by showing that if these gases had instead been eliminated in 2050, additional TSLR of up to about 14 cm would be expected in the 21st century, with continuing contributions lasting more than 500 y. Emissions of the hydrofluorocarbon substitutes in the next half-century would also contribute to centuries of future TSLR. Consideration of the time scales of reversibility of TSLR due to short-lived substances provides insights into physical processes: sea-level rise is often assumed to follow air temperature, but this assumption holds only for TSLR when temperatures are increasing. We present a more complete formulation that is accurate even when atmospheric temperatures are stable or decreasing due to reductions in short-lived gases or net radiative forcing.

Perception of Fish Sentience, Welfare and Humane Slaughter by Highly Educated Citizens of Bogotá, Colombia and Curitiba, Brazil

Rucinque DSantiago, Souza APaula Oliv, Molento CForte Maio. Perception of Fish Sentience, Welfare and Humane Slaughter by Highly Educated Citizens of Bogotá, Colombia and Curitiba, Brazil. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2017 ;12(1):e0168197. Available from: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0168197
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Discussions on farm animal welfare have become frequent, especially in developed countries. The aim of this research was to study the perception of fish sentience, welfare and slaughter by highly educated citizens from Bogotá, Colombia, and Curitiba, Brazil. An online survey with 12 questions presented as open-ended, multiple choice and 5-point Likert-type scale formats was available to respondents. Answers from 395 participants in Bogotá and 387 in Curitiba were analyzed, and results are presented in the order Bogotá followed by Curitiba. The percentage of participants who perceived fish as sentient animals was 79.7% and 71.8%. The classification of sentience perception among taxonomic groups seems in accordance with the phylogenetic proximity to humans, suggesting participants were more likely to perceive sentience in mammals than in other animals. The descending order related to the highest perception of fish suffering in different scenarios was fishing with hook and line (75.6%, 70.6%); municipal live fish fair (68.7%—only in Curitiba); fish-and-pay ponds (59.7%, 54.4%); fish kept as laboratory animals (58.0, 48.1%); fish farming (35.7, 36.8%); fish in pet stores (35.5%, 26.1%); production of ornamental fish (19.3%, 21.8%); fish in aquarium exhibits (18.8%,16.9%); and fish kept as pets (12.4%,12.3%). Lack of knowledge about the conditions of capture, handling, transport and sale of ornamental fish may justify the perception of low level of suffering in the last scenarios. Regarding humane slaughter, 57.0% and 55.0% of respondents were unaware of the issue. After reflection induced by the questionnaire, 76.0% and 72% of participants believed that fish should be included in humane slaughter regulations. This study presents original data suggesting that respondents from Bogotá and Curitiba consider fish as sentient beings. The perception of suffering in specific scenarios challenges common activities. Recognition of suffering also endorses humane slaughter regulations to reduce pain in a large number of individuals of fish slaughtered annually for human consumption in Colombia and Brazil.

A Five-Year, In Situ Growth Study on Shallow-Water Populations of the Gorgonian Octocoral Calcigorgia spiculifera in the Gulf of Alaska

Stone RP, Malecha PW, Masuda MM. A Five-Year, In Situ Growth Study on Shallow-Water Populations of the Gorgonian Octocoral Calcigorgia spiculifera in the Gulf of Alaska. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2017 ;12(1):e0169470. Available from: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0169470
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Gorgonian octocorals are the most abundant corals in Alaska where they provide important structural habitat for managed species of demersal fish and invertebrates. Fifty-nine gorgonian species have been reported from Alaska waters but little is known about their life history characteristics to help us gauge their ability to recover from seafloor disturbance. Colonies of the holaxonian Calcigorgia spiculifera were tagged beginning in 1999 at three sites in Chatham Strait, Southeast Alaska, using scuba and their growth measured annually for up to 5 years. Colonies were video recorded, and computer image analysis tools provided calibration of video images for measuring the length of several branches. Growth data indicate that Cspiculiferagrows much slower (6.0 mm yr-1) than other gorgonians in Alaska for which there are data and that intraspecific growth is highly variable. We fit a Bayesian linear mixed-effects model that showed that average colony growth was significantly reduced with warmer temperature and presence of necrosis. The model further indicated that growth may slow among larger (older) colonies. Based on these results and previous studies, we propose that gorgonian growth rates are taxonomically constrained at the Suborder level and that holaxonians grow the slowest followed by scleraxonians and calcaxonians (2–3 times as fast). Findings of this study indicate that it would take approximately 60 years for Cspiculifera to grow to its maximum size and depending on the location and size of the parental standing stock, at least one and possibly 10 additional years for recruitment to occur. Our results further indicate that colonies that are injured, perhaps chronically in areas of frequent disturbance, grow at slower rates and if the current trend of ocean warming continues then we can expect these corals to grow more slowly, and the habitats they form will require more time to recover from disturbance.

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