The South China Sea supplies approximately 15% of the world’s fish and helps support ~38 million coastal residents. Part of this production system includes more than 3,800 square kilometers of the world’s most diverse offshore coral reefs. Since 2011, many of the reef flats have been severely damaged by small boats from China digging up giant clams for the tens of millions-dollar shell carving trade. This practice was not widely known until 2016 when negative publicity led the Chinese government to ban this activity. For the past few years, there have been only occasional reports of the practice continuing. As of 2019, however, a modified version of the practice has emerged in the Pratas Islands and Scarborough Atoll. This talk will describe the current situation and present a proposal for a peace park for the globally-unique Scarborough Atoll to help ensure its protection.
Presented by: David Meyers of the Conservation Finance Alliance and Venkat Iyer of the UN Environment
The Wildlife Conservation Society, in collaboration with the Conservation Finance Alliance and in support of the 50 Reefs initiative, recently released "Finance Tools for Coral Reef Conservation: A Guide" as a resource for protected area managers and others charged with managing and financing reef conservation. The report describes 13 types of finance tools which have either been proven successful at or have great potential to support reef conservation and sustainable management. Some of the finance tools to be covered in this overview webinar include various tourism-based fees, biodiversity offsets, bonds, debt swaps, and conservation trust funds. This webinar will share key findings and recommendations from the report and invite discussion from participants. This webinar is sponsored by the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), an informal partnership which strives to preserve coral reefs and related ecosystems around the world, as part of its collaboration with the Conservation Finance Alliance for promoting innovative financing for coral reef conservation.
This webinar was presented by Beth Fulton of CSIRO and Keith Sainsbury of the University of Tasmania
Collaborations of managers, policymakers, and scientists are currently developing useable indicators of ecosystem structure and function in four case study regions: Bering Sea – Alaska, US; Marine waters off of Southeast Australia; Marine waters off of Southwest India; and the Humboldt Current upwelling system – Chile. Funded by the Lenfest Ocean Program and CSIRO, the purpose of this project is to develop indicators along with guidelines for applying them in a variety of ecosystems and management contexts. Now two years in, Drs. Fulton and Sainsbury will share their progress on developing indicators of structure and function and building the capacity and partnerships needed in the case study regions to evaluate their use in incorporating ecosystem approaches into fisheries management.
This webinar was presented by: Eben Schwartz - California Coastal Commission, Nir Barnea and Sherry Lippiatt - NOAA Marine Debris Program, Molly Bogeberg - The Nature Conservancy, Charlie Plybon - Surfrider Foundation, and Tamara Wallace and Nick Salcido - California State University.
This webinar will provide insights and information on progress made along the US West Coast as a result of the creation of Marine Debris Action Plans within the states of Washington, Oregon, and California. The webinar will provide a brief overview of the West Coast Marine Debris Alliance, along with summaries of the three action plans themselves, and will then highlight actions taken within the three states to help fulfill the goals of the action plans.
Actions will highlight outreach and education, cleanup and collaboration, and policy efforts undertaken as a result of the development of marine debris action plans.
This is the first of a regular series of semi-annual webinars planned to provide updates to the marine debris community along the US West Coast and to spur ideas and actions in other parts of the world.
Presented by: Hans Van Tilburg of the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.
Description: Underwater Cultural Heritage can inform us about past events and seafaring cultures in powerful ways. China's ambitious Nanhai #1 excavation project has achieved a new milestone in the recovery of underwater cultural heritage artifacts. The discovery of a 900-year old Song dynasty merchant vessel initiated the removal of the adjacent seafloor along with the intact wreck, allowing for meticulous "in situ" excavation under environmentally controlled conditions within a specially-built lab. The wealth of porcelains and trade goods found with the vessel demonstrates the extensive and vibrant past of the Maritime Silk Road, and archaeologists are only now reaching the lower levels of the vessel’s cargo holds. The project is also relevant to today’s resource and management issues in the South China Sea.
Presented by: Lindy Weilgart of Dalhousie University and OceanCare
Most fish and invertebrates use sound for vital life functions. This presentation will summarize highlights from 115 studies showing impacts from noise on 66 species of fish and 36 species of invertebrates. These impacts include decreased growth, body condition, feeding, reproduction, abundance, immune competency, nutritional condition, catch rates, school coordination and structure, nest-caring, and territory defense. Noise caused permanently damaged ears and sensory organs, developmental delays and malformations, and increased stress, metabolism, masking, and mortality. Impacts extend beyond individual species to include communities of species and how they interact, compromising ecosystem productivity, and ecological services (sediment mixing, nutrient cycling) with commercial consequences. Conservation and management implications of these findings, and possible policy solutions, will be discussed at the end of this presentation. This work was sponsored by OceanCare.
Co-sponsors: OCTO (OpenChannels, The Skimmer, MPA News) and the EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by OCTO and NatureServe)
This webinar originally aired on 24 April, 2019.
Presented by: Heather Welch of NOAA and the University of California Santa Cruz
Spatial management is a useful strategy to regulate human activities and provide protection for vulnerable species and habitats. Dynamic management - a subset of spatial management in which boundaries are flexible in space and/or time - is gaining traction as one solution for managing features with variable distributions, for example highly migratory species. This webinar introduces four applied dynamic management tools: 1) a thermal indicator designed to mitigate loggerhead turtle bycatch, 2) the fisheries sustainability tool - EcoCast, 3) WhaleWatch, designed to reduce ship strike risk to blue whales, and 4) the Atlantic Sturgeon Risk Model. These tools allow scales of management to align with scales of environmental variability, animal movement, and human activities. Next steps to advance the field of dynamic management will also be discussed.
This webinar originally aired on 11 April, 2019.
Presented by: Malin Pinsky of Rutgers University
Description: Recent research has shown that the geographic distributions of marine species are changing – and will continue to change – as climate change leads to geographic shifts in their preferred thermal habitats. Furthermore, as a result of these changing geographic distributions, ecological communities are being reorganized. These changes are already posing challenges for managing living marine resources, and these challenges are likely to grow as marine organisms continue to shift ranges, including across national, state, and other political boundaries. This presentation will provide an overview of relevant research (conducted off the coasts of the US and Canada) and discuss implications for Marine Protected Area management.
This webinar originally aired on 28 March, 2019.
Presented by: John McDonough of NOAA
Unmanned Systems (UxS) are transforming how we study and manage the marine environment. This presentation will provide an overview of unmanned aerial systems, unmanned surface vehicles, unmanned underwater vehicles, buoyancy gliders, and remotely operated vehicles. Emphasis will be placed on their contributions to establishing and managing marine protected areas.
This webinar was presented by: Brian Baird, an Ocean and Coastal Policy Advisor; Samantha Murray of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Mark Carr of the University of California Santa Cruz; and Charlie Wahle of NOAA.
The Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee (MPAFAC) provides recommendations to the US Departments of Commerce (NOAA) and Interior on ways to ensure the effective design, establishment, and adaptive management of US MPAs. Created in 2003 and reauthorized by the White House in 2017, the Committee comprises 20 members representing diverse sectors and interests in ocean matters. In 2018, the Committee was directed to document examples of the ecological, economic, and cultural benefits provided by federal and other MPAs around the country, and to recommend specific actions that should be undertaken by MPA agencies to sustain those benefits in the face of rapidly changing ocean conditions and uses. After a thorough investigation, the MPAFAC found extensive, and sometimes surprising, examples of benefits from existing MPAs, including: ecological resilience; coastal storm protection; revenue from ocean tourism and recreation; cultural and historical education; diverse public engagement in ocean conservation; and capacity-building for local ocean decision-makers. The Committee also provided specific recommendations for sustaining MPA benefits, including a unanimous call to "Fully support, fund, maintain, evaluate and adaptively manage the nation's MPAs ...". In this webinar, three of the Committee's leaders, and the NOAA liaison, will provide an overview of the Committee's findings and recommendations and will discuss their implications for MPAs in the US and elsewhere.