Sea level rise will have significant impacts on many coastal resources. Waves are an important resource in California, where they support the recreation of 1.1 million surfers who inject millions of dollars into local economies. The impacts of sea level rise on wave resource quality, however, are unknown. By examining the local knowledge of more than one thousand California surfers collected through an online survey, this study extrapolates their evaluations to estimate the susceptibility of California surf-spots to sea level rise based on the principle of tidal extrapolation. Vulnerability classifications are derived from the relationship between wave quality, tide effects, and sea floor conditions. Applying these classifications to 105 surf-spots in California evaluated by multiple respondents, we project that as a result of sea level rise by 2100: 16% of surf-spots are Endangered due to drowning; 18% are Threatened, but could adapt if natural shoreline processes are not impeded; and 5% might improve as rising sea levels increase the likelihood they will experience optimal conditions. These projections are significant not only for the many surfers who depend on surf-spots, but also for the coastal communities who rely on the availability of high quality wave resources. Results from this study also have important implications for when and how managers might take surf-spot quality and vulnerability into consideration through coastal adaptation. Lastly, this study establishes a baseline of wave resource quality in California and suggests that this baseline will shift as wave quality changes over the coming century.
Perhaps the most fundamental insight from fishery science is that ecosystems impose important and predictable constraints on food production from the sea. The familiar hump-shaped growth curve implies that the growth rate and carrying capacity of a species limit its production: Once stocks are depleted, further increasing fishing pressure will only lead to decreases in catch. This logic underpins fishery science and economics, nearly all fishery management legislation, and, most importantly, recent calls to restore fish stocks around the world (1). In PNAS, Cao et al. (2) propose a series of concrete steps for ecosystem and fishery restoration in the world’s superpower of fishing, China. Their call is couched within the complex, and often misunderstood, norms of Chinese culture, and appropriately distances itself from the western view of ocean management that is often taken for granted here.
A stylized representation of ‘‘western’’ fishery objectives is to optimize the catch of commercially important fish stocks while ensuring a more natural ecosystem and persistence of all species. Under this approach, the fishery economy is believed to be intimately intertwined with natural ecosystems; the former cannot thrive without the latter. We are told that such ecosystem protection increases production, ensures resilience, and delivers a suite of other services (such as carbon sinks or storm protection).
However, fishery management objectives can often be quite different in Asia, where a premium is placed on food security, livelihoods of millions of small-scale fishermen, and ensuring fishing opportunities as a backstop in the labor market (3). Also, instead of demanding large, fleshy fish like salmon or halibut, Asian consumers often prefer smaller, bonier, more productive species like yellow croaker (Larimichthys polyactis) or largehead hairtail (Trichiurus lepturus). These differences in objectives between western and Asian fishery management may seem inconsequential. After all, they are ultimately both subject to …
This research aims to define for the first time levels and patterns of different litter groups (macro, meso and microplastics) in sediments from a marine area designed for the institution of a new marine protected area (Aeolian Archipelago, Italy). Microplastics resulted the principal group and found in all samples analyzed, with shape and colours variable between different sampling sites. MPs levels measured in this study are similar to values recorded in harbour sites and lower than reported in Adriatic Sea, while macroplastics levels are notably lower than in harbor sites. Sediment grain-size and island extent resulted not significant in determining levels and distribution of plastic debris among islands. In the future, following the establishment of the MPA in the study area, these basic data will be useful to check for potential protective effects on the levels and distribution of plastic debris.
Antigua's coral reefs are among the most degraded in the Caribbean region, having low coral cover, few herbivores, and abundant harmful macroalgae. Low fish biomass suggests overfishing may contribute to degradation and lack of recovery to a coral-dominated state. However, coral reefs declined so long ago that most stakeholders have never seen a healthy reef ecosystem. Therefore, fishers today may not be able to imagine ecosystem services provided by healthy reefs. No-take reserves can reverse degradation by increasing herbivore abundance, reducing macroalgae, and increasing juvenile coral abundance, which, with time, should increase coral cover. Although Antigua designated marine protected areas, they are functionally "paper parks" with low compliance due to inadequate management and enforcement, and little community support. In 2014, we conducted meetings and interviews with fishers resulting in a community-based, no-take reserve managed by fishers in their fishing territory, which is unprecedented in the eastern Caribbean Sea. Our objective was to create a demonstration project for the fishing community so they can see the effects and profit from spillover of adults into the area they fish. Fishers interviewed described their perspective of the reef and the history of fishing. They supported the creation of a demonstration reserve and assisted in monitoring for compliance. This is the first collective action known to have occurred among Antiguan fishers. After 1 yr, biomass increased significantly in the reserve for all targeted fish species and for non-target species. One year after the reserve was established, parrotfish biomass increased and macroalgae decreased significantly based on repeated belt and point-intercept transects, respectively.
The Directive of the European Parliament and the Council of July 2014 established a Guideline Framework for maritime spatial planning. Within this context, Greece has to proceed and incorporate it in the national legislation framework within two years; it has also to determine a competent authority (or authorities) for its implementation so that maritime spatial plans can be enacted at the latest by March 2021. The Directive aims to promote sustainable development of marine areas and equitable use of marine resources. This paper attempts to discuss key issues anticipated to emerge from the incorporation of an integrated framework for maritime spatial planning on the national spatial planning framework as it is currently organized. Crete island is here chosen as a case study area so that priority issues that are expected to come up at regional and local level can be examined in more detail.
A detailed understanding of fishing activity in Scottish waters is required to inform marine spatial planning. Larger fishing vessels are fitted with Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) offering spatial information on fishing activity. VMS does not cover smaller vessels (under 15 m), which fish predominantly in inshore waters where the competition for space is often greatest. To improve knowledge of the distribution of fishing activity and value of fisheries in Scotland's inshore waters, Marine Scotland conducted a participatory fisheries mapping project, known as ScotMap. The data were collected during face-to-face interviews with 1090 fishermen of Scottish registered commercial fishing vessels under 15 m in overall length and relate to fishing activity for the period 2007–2011. Interviewees were asked to identify the areas in which they fish, estimate the contribution these areas make to vessel earnings, and to provide associated information. The majority of interviews relate to creel fishing. The data collected were aggregated to provide mapped outputs of the monetary value, relative importance to fishermen and the usage of the seas around Scotland (number of fishing vessels and number of crew). ScotMap outputs provide information on the locations of inshore fishing activities and the economic importance of different sea areas at a much higher spatial resolution than was previously possible. Outputs have informed marine policy development, provide a valuable resource for marine spatial planning in Scotland and illustrate how participatory mapping can generate useful resources on the location and importance of inshore fishing areas.
Understanding plastic pollution from a systems perspective requires a way of conceptualizing sources, distribution and dynamics in the environment; identifying or quantifying impacts on wildlife, humans and other assets; and identifying and evaluating potential management responses. The uncertainties in our knowledge and the difficulty in resolving them satisfactorily can be challenging, given that we are confined to working with largely observational data because experiments at scale are difficult or impossible. To advance this area of research, we suggest applying a conceptual framework that allows us to break the components into smaller parts that can integrate uncertainty and connect variables of interest to outcomes of interest. We identify four specific questions inherent to a risk framework: the first three focus on risk analysis, and the fourth on risk management or mitigation. We present examples that are both data rich and data poor and discuss the value of integrating a systems perspective, connecting sources and drivers to dynamics and distribution to impacts and management responses. We also propose applying risk analysis to the plastics pollution issue as we acknowledge and embrace uncertainty, noting the precautionary principle and its application to risk management.
Marine fisheries target and catch fish both for direct human consumption (DHC) as well as for fishmeal and fish oil, and other products. We derived the fractions used for each for 1950–2010 by fishing country, and thus provide a factual foundation for discussions of the optimal use of fisheries resources. From 1950 to 2010, 27% (~20 million tonnes annually) of globally reconstructed marine fisheries landings were destined for uses other than DHC. Importantly, 90% of fish destined for uses other than DHC are food-grade or prime food-grade fish, while fish without a ready market for DHC make up a much smaller proportion. These findings have implications for how we are using fish to feed ourselves or, more appropriately, how we are not using fish to feed ourselves.
Julia Wondolleck and Steven Yaffee are hopeful. Rather than lamenting the persistent conflicts in global marine ecosystems, they instead sought out examples where managers were doing things differently and making progress against great odds. They interviewed planners, managers, community members, fishermen, and environmentalists throughout the world to find the best lessons for others hoping to advance marine conservation. Their surprising discovery? Successful marine management requires not only the right mix of science, law, financing, and organizational structure, but also an atmosphere of collaboration—a comfortable place for participants to learn about issues, craft solutions, and develop the interpersonal relationships, trust, and understanding needed to put plans into action.
Marine Ecosystem-Based Management in Practice is the first practical guide for the marine conservation realm. In a unique collection of case studies, the authors showcase successful collaborative approaches to ecosystem-based management. The authors introduce the basic concepts of ecosystem-based management and five different pathways for making progress from community to multinational levels. They spotlight the characteristics that are evident in all successful cases —the governance structures and social motivations that make it work. Case analyses ranging from the Gulf of Maine to the Channel Islands in Southern California comprise the bulk of the book, augmented by text boxes showcasing examples of guiding documents important to the process. They devote several ending chapters to discussion of the interpersonal relationships critical to successful implementation of marine ecosystem-based management. The book concludes with a discussion of the implications for policy and on-the-ground practice.
This book offers a hopeful message to policy makers, managers, practitioners, and students who will find this an indispensable guide to field-tested, replicable marine conservation management practices that work.
The hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) is a critically endangered species encountered by recreational divers in marine protected areas (MPAs) circumtropically. Few studies, however, have examined the impacts of recreational diving on hawksbill behaviours. In 2014, we collected turtle sightings surveys and dive logs from 14 dive operations, and conducted in-water observations of 61 juvenile hawksbill turtles in Roatán, Honduras, to determine if differences in dive site use and diver behaviours affected sea turtle behaviours in the Roatán Marine Park. Sightings distributions did not vary with diving pressure during an 82-day study period. We found the amount of time turtles spent eating, investigating and breathing decreased when approached by divers. Our results suggest diver interactions may negatively impact sea turtle behaviours, however it is unknown if recreational diving has a cumulative effect on turtles over time. We recommend that MPA managers should implement monitoring programmes that assess the impacts of tourism on natural resources. We have established monitoring of hawksbills as representatives of the marine habitat in an MPA, which has the potential to be heavily impacted by dive tourism, and provide recommendations for continued monitoring of the resource.