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A Concept of Bayesian Regulation in Fisheries Management

OpenChannels Literature Update

For the week of 10 November 2014

Greetings OpenChannels Community Members,

New from PLoS ONE comes, A Concept of Bayesian Regulation in Fisheries Management. The authors "discuss the conditions when [Bayesian regulations] can be suitable tools to achieve sustainable yields while minimizing undesirable fluctuations in stock size or fishing effort" using Baltic Sea herring as an example species model. You may access the full-text for free using the link below.

Happy reading!
-Nick Wehner, OpenChannels Project Manager

Table of Contents

 

Aquaculture and Seafood

Free: Mineur, F. , Le Roux, A. , Maggs, C. A. & Verlaque, M. Positive Feedback Loop between Introductions of Non-Native Marine Species and Cultivation of Oysters in Europe. Conservation Biology (In Press).

Climate Change and Human Impacts

Koundouri, P. et al. Developing a Holistic Approach to Assessing and Managing Coastal Flood Risk, in: Coastal Risk Management in a Changing Climate, 275 - 323 (Elsevier, 2015).

Nicholls, R. et al. Ecological Approaches to Coastal Risk Mitigation, in: Coastal Risk Management in a Changing Climate, 9 - 53 (Elsevier, 2015).

Hoggart, S. et al. Nonstructural Approaches to Coastal Risk Mitigations, in: Coastal Risk Management in a Changing Climate, 171 - 236 (Elsevier, 2015).

Vanderlinden, J. Paul et al. Toward Sustainable Decision Making, in: Coastal Risk Management in a Changing Climate, 237 - 274 (Elsevier, 2015).

Communication

Stephens, S. H., DeLorme, D. E. & Hagen, S. C. An Analysis of the Narrative-Building Features of Interactive Sea Level Rise Viewers. Science Communication 36, 675-705 (2014).

Community perceptions and attitudes

Börger, T., Hattam, C., Burdon, D., Atkins, J. P. & Austen, M. C. Valuing conservation benefits of an offshore marine protected area. Ecological Economics 108, 229 - 241 (2014).

Chaigneau, T. & Daw, T. M. Individual and village-level effects on community support for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Philippines. Marine Policy 51, 499 - 506 (2015).

Cook, T. C., James, K. & Bearzi, M. Angler perceptions of California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) depredation and marine policy in Southern California. Marine Policy 51, 573 - 583 (2015).

Corals

Sale, P. F. Comment: Coral reef conservation and political will. Environmental Conservation 1 - 5 (2014).

Free: Muller, E. M. & van Woesik, R. Genetic Susceptibility, Colony Size, and Water Temperature Drive White-Pox Disease on the Coral Acropora palmata. PLoS ONE 9, e110759 (2014).

Free: Vercelloni, J., M. Caley, J., Kayal, M., Low-Choy, S. & Mengersen, K. Understanding Uncertainties in Non-Linear Population Trajectories: A Bayesian Semi-Parametric Hierarchical Approach to Large-Scale Surveys of Coral Cover. PLoS ONE 9, e110968 (2014).

Ecosystem-based management (EBM)

Dereynier, Y. L. U.S. Fishery Management Councils as Ecosystem-Based Management Policy Takers and Policymakers. Coastal Management 42, 512 - 530 (2014).

Fisheries management

Free: Holmgren, N. Michael An, Norrström, N.  Aps, R. & Kuikka, S. A Concept of Bayesian Regulation in Fisheries Management. PLoS ONE 9, e111614 (2014).

Food for Thought

Mostert, E. Who should do what in environmental management? Twelve principles for allocating responsibilities. Environmental Science & Policy 45, 123 - 131 (2015).

Governance and Legal Frameworks

Pittman, J., Armitage, D., Alexander, S., Campbell, D. & Alleyne, M. Governance fit for climate change in a Caribbean coastal-marine context. Marine Policy 51, 486 - 498 (2015).

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)

Börger, T., Hattam, C., Burdon, D., Atkins, J. P. & Austen, M. C. Valuing conservation benefits of an offshore marine protected area. Ecological Economics 108, 229 - 241 (2014).

Chaigneau, T. & Daw, T. M. Individual and village-level effects on community support for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Philippines. Marine Policy 51, 499 - 506 (2015).

Truelove, N. K. et al. Genetic evidence from the spiny lobster fishery supports international cooperation among Central American marine protected areas. Conservation Genetics (2014). doi:10.1007/s10592-014-0662-4

Rodríguez-Rodríguez, D. et al. Status of the marine protected area network across the English channel (La Manche): Cross-country similarities and differences in MPA designation, management and monitoring. Marine Policy 51, 536 - 546 (2015).

Addison, P. F. E., Flander, L. B. & Cook, C. N. Are we missing the boat? Current uses of long-term biological monitoring data in the evaluation and management of marine protected areas. Journal of Environmental Management 149, 148 - 156 (2015).

Watson, J. E. M., Dudley, N., Segan, D. B. & Hockings, M. The performance and potential of protected areas. Nature 515, 67 - 73 (2014).

Marine/Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP)

Pérez-Cayeiro, M. Luisa & Chica-Ruiz, J. Adolfo. Evaluation of a programme of integrated coastal zone management: The Ecoplata Programme (Uruguay). Marine Policy 51, 527 - 535 (2015).

Huang, W., Corbett, J. J. & Jin, D. Regional economic and environmental analysis as a decision support for marine spatial planning in Xiamen. Marine Policy 51, 555 - 562 (2015).

Scarff, G., Fitzsimmons, C. & Gray, T. The new mode of marine planning in the UK: Aspirations and challenges. Marine Policy 51, 96 - 102 (2015).

Free: Intergrated Spatial Planning and Management for Marine and Coastal Sustainability in Viet Nam. 13 (IUCN, 2014).

Models and Simulations

Free: Vercelloni, J., M. Caley, J., Kayal, M., Low-Choy, S. & Mengersen, K. Understanding Uncertainties in Non-Linear Population Trajectories: A Bayesian Semi-Parametric Hierarchical Approach to Large-Scale Surveys of Coral Cover. PLoS ONE 9, e110968 (2014).

Monitoring

Addison, P. F. E., Flander, L. B. & Cook, C. N. Are we missing the boat? Current uses of long-term biological monitoring data in the evaluation and management of marine protected areas. Journal of Environmental Management 149, 148 - 156 (2015).

Natural Sciences

Free: ël Durant, M. et al. Temporal Dynamics of Top Predators Interactions in the Barents Sea. PLoS ONE 9, e110933 (2014).

Offshore Energy

Wade, H. M. et al. Great skua (Stercorarius skua) movements at sea in relation to marine renewable energy developments. Marine Environmental Research 101, 69 - 80 (2014).

Recreational fisheries

Cook, T. C., James, K. & Bearzi, M. Angler perceptions of California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) depredation and marine policy in Southern California. Marine Policy 51, 573 - 583 (2015).

Software Tools

Stephens, S. H., DeLorme, D. E. & Hagen, S. C. An Analysis of the Narrative-Building Features of Interactive Sea Level Rise Viewers. Science Communication 36, 675-705 (2014).

Tourism

Queiroz, R. E., Guerreiro, J. & Ventura, M. A. Demand of the tourists visiting protected areas in small oceanic islands: the Azores case-study (Portugal). Environment, Development and Sustainability 16, 1119 - 1135 (2014).

Transboundary planning and management

Truelove, N. K. et al. Genetic evidence from the spiny lobster fishery supports international cooperation among Central American marine protected areas. Conservation Genetics (2014).

Rodríguez-Rodríguez, D. et al. Status of the marine protected area network across the English channel (La Manche): Cross-country similarities and differences in MPA designation, management and monitoring. Marine Policy 51, 536 - 546 (2015).

Positive Feedback Loop between Introductions of Non-Native Marine Species and Cultivation of Oysters in Europe

With globalization, agriculture and aquaculture activities are increasingly affected by diseases that are spread through movement of crops and stock. Such movements are also associated with the introduction of non-native species via hitchhiking individual organisms. The oyster industry, one of the most important forms of marine aquaculture, embodies these issues. In Europe disease outbreaks affecting cultivated populations of the naturalized oyster Crassostrea gigas caused a major disruption of production in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Mitigation procedures involved massive imports of stock from the species’ native range in the northwestern Pacific from 1971 to 1977. We assessed the role stock imports played in the introduction of non-native marine species (including pathogens) from the northwestern Pacific to Europe through a methodological and critical appraisal of record data. The discovery rate of non-native species (a proxy for the introduction rate) from 1966 to 2012 suggests a continuous vector activity over the entire period. Disease outbreaks that have been affecting oyster production since 2008 may be a result of imports from the northwestern Pacific, and such imports are again being considered as an answer to the crisis. Although successful as a remedy in the short and medium terms, such translocations may bring new diseases that may trigger yet more imports (self-reinforcing or positive feedback loop) and lead to the introduction of more hitchhikers. Although there is a legal framework to prevent or reduce these introductions, existing procedures should be improved.


Developing a Holistic Approach to Assessing and Managing Coastal Flood Risk

It is increasingly recognized that a comprehensive understanding of the existing flood system is necessary to effectively manage coastal flood risk. This involves consideration of the social and ecological dimensions in addition to the hydrological aspects that have been the traditional focus of flood analysis. Social aspects are important, as they represent both the reason for flood management and the growth in exposure, as well as providing the context within which any decision will be made. Coastal species and habitats are inherently important for the flood management ecosystem services that they provide for flood management. The flood flow, depth, and extent determine the potential for flood damage. The conceptual model adopted here for coastal risk assessment is based on the Source-Pathway-Receptor-Consequence model, which is a simple linear conceptual model for representing flood systems and processes that lead to a particular flooding consequence. This approach is being used to evaluate how the Sources (waves, tides, storm surge, mean sea level, river discharge, run-off), through the Pathways (including coastal defenses), affect the Receptors (inland system), generating economic, social, and environmental Consequences. Collectively, this more holistic analysis of the flood system can identify likely trends in flood risk and the wide range of potential mitigation options embracing engineering, ecological, or socioeconomic measures, including hybrid combined approaches.


Ecological Approaches to Coastal Risk Mitigation

Natural coastal habitats play an important role in protecting coastal areas from sea water flooding caused by storm surge events. Many of these habitats, however, have been lost completely or degraded, reducing their ability to function as a natural flood defense. Once degraded, natural habitats can potently be destroyed by storm events, further threatening these systems. Much of the loss of coastal habitats is caused by increased human activity in coastal areas and through land claimed for urban, industrial, or agricultural use. As a result, some coastal habitats have become rare and threatened across much of Europe and the world. An associated problem is that of sea level rise, which has the combined impact of both increasing the risk of flooding in coastal ecosystems and increasing the severity of storm surge events. This chapter addresses two key topics: (1) the use of natural habitats as a form of coastal defense focusing on the required management and how to restore and/or create them and (2) ecological considerations in the design of hard coastal defense structures. The habitats that play a role in coastal deface and considered here are: (1) saltmarshes, (2) sand dunes, (3) seagrass meadows, and (4) biogenic reefs, including Sabellaria reefs, oyster beds, and mussel beds. As part of coastal habitat restoration and management, the process of saltmarsh creation, either through seaward extension or managed realignment is discussed focusing on potential benefits. Finally, key cumulative stressors that can hinder ecological approaches to coastal risk mitigation are reviewed.


Nonstructural Approaches to Coastal Risk Mitigations

Nonstructural coastal risk mitigation options that deal with society-centered instruments have the potential to contribute jointly to coastal settlement safety through vulnerability reduction and resilience enhancement. The paradigmatic characteristics of vulnerability reduction approaches and resilience enhancement approaches are described. Thereafter, vulnerability reduction measures associated with the use of insurance-based, land use planning-based, business recovery plan-based, communication plan-based, postflood management-based, and evacuation plan-based approaches are presented in terms of guidelines for implementation. Resiliency analysis of these approaches is conducted in parallel. This analysis leads to additional recommendations for implementing specific risk-reducing measures. The authors conclude by stressing the importance of three overarching characteristics of nonstructural mitigation options. The first element that is central to all options lies in the need to adopt approaches that mobilize stakeholders in the implementation process. The second element that is central to all nonstructural mitigation options is the fact that they increase safety through a direct reduction in the consequences of flooding. A third element that nonstructural mitigation options share is the obvious fact that they interact strongly, showing the potential to transcend the sum of their individual contributions.


In this chapter, the issue of sustainable decision making for successful coastal flood management is examined. In this setting, a key concept is sustainable development, defined as a pattern of resource use that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only today, but also for future generations. Sustainability for a given coastal system requires: (1) efficient protection to life and goods, and preserving socioeconomic development and opportunities of coastal areas; (2) maintenance of the environmental assets; and (3) short-, medium-, and long-term scenarios accounting for climate change effects. Different tools for sustainable decision making are presented. Design should be aimed at providing “continuity of daily life”—before, during, and after a flood, to avoid the detrimental social and economic impact that would otherwise result. A development that intrinsically provides flood resilience, through an adequate defense planning strategy, should give insurers and financiers the confidence to offer affordable, long-term policies, and investments. While planning coastal risk management strategies, coastal managers need to assess risk across a range of spatial and temporal scales. geographic information systems–based tools are one efficient way to support them in the decision-making process through a scenarios analysis starting from social, economic, and environmental information integrated into a common platform.


An Analysis of the Narrative-Building Features of Interactive Sea Level Rise Viewers

Interactive sea level rise viewers (ISLRVs) are map-based visualization tools that display projections of sea level rise scenarios to communicate their impacts on coastal areas. Information visualization research suggests that as users interact with such tools they construct personalized narratives of their experience. We argue that attention to narrative-building features in ISLRVs can improve communication effectiveness by promoting user engagement and discovery. A content analysis that focuses on the presence and characteristics of narrative-building features in a purposive sample of 20 ISLRVs is conducted. We also identify particular areas where these ISLRVs could be improved as narrative-building tools.


Valuing conservation benefits of an offshore marine protected area

Increasing anthropogenic pressure in the offshore marine environment highlights the need for improved management and conservation of offshore ecosystems. This study scrutinises the applicability of a discrete choice experiment to value the expected benefits arising from the conservation of an offshore sandbank in UK waters. The valuation scenario refers to the UK part of the Dogger Bank, in the southern North Sea, and is based on real-world management options for fisheries, wind farms and marine protection currently under discussion for the site. It is assessed to what extent the general public perceive and value conservation benefits arising from an offshore marine protected area. The survey reveals support for marine conservation measures despite the general public's limited prior knowledge of current marine planning. Results further show significant values for an increase in species diversity, the protection of certain charismatic species and a restriction in the spread of invasive species across the site. Implications for policy and management with respect to commercial fishing, wind farm construction and nature conservation are discussed.


Individual and village-level effects on community support for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Philippines

A crucial factor in the success of protected areas and conservation efforts in general is the support amongst the adjacent community. It is thought to be especially crucial for the success of small MPAs. Whilst the importance of community support has been highlighted in a number of studies, it has not yet been clearly defined or explicitly studied. Questionnaires were carried out (N=166) at three different villages within the Visayas region of the Philippines to determine individuals׳ support towards adjacent MPAs and individual characteristics that have previously been hypothesised to influence support. Multiple regressions analysis determined: (1) Which individual-level factors predict attitude towards MPAs, (2) whether attitudes of individuals are related to actions that benefit the adjacent MPA and (3) whether individual or community-level factors are better predictors of individual support for local community-based MPAs. Knowledge of MPA objectives, perceived participation in decision making, trust towards other fishers and differences between villages all significantly predicted attitudes towards MPAs. Weak relationships were found between attitudes and certain MPA related actions due to contextual factors. Village was not the only significant predictor of both attitudes and MPA related actions; individual characteristics irrespective of differences between villages, were also important in predicting support for the MPA. This study highlights the importance in distinguishing between attitudes and actions of individuals and suggests specific individual characteristics can be vital in influencing support towards MPAs.


Angler perceptions of California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) depredation and marine policy in Southern California

California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) off the coast of Southern California are known to damage both commercial and recreational fishing activities, causing decreases to fish catch and damage to gear. Their increasing population has intensified the potential for conflict between sea lions and anglers, likely requiring changes to current legislation. The recreational fishing community in Southern California is a valuable and largely underutilized source for information and potential solutions to management and legislative problems. This recreational fishing survey-based study conducted in 2013 utilized personal interviews, conducted in the field with recreational anglers and commercial passenger fishing vessel (CPFV) crews in Southern California, to gather data on: (a) the occurrence and impact of sea lion depredation on the local fishing, (b) angler awareness and opinions on current legislation, and (c) the conflict between fishing activities and conservation efforts. Results show that surveyed CPFV operators and private boaters had the most conflict with sea lions and perceive them as more of a problem than anglers on piers, jetties or kayaks. The conflict was also reportedly more prevalent in San Diego County compared to the other counties surveyed (Orange, Los Angeles and Ventura). Participating CPFV operators were overwhelmingly in support of a government culling program for sea lions, while recreational angler respondents did not feel that a control program was necessary. These CPFV operators reported more money lost, and were willing to pay more for an effective deterrent device. There was also a consensus among respondents that fish catch is declining, yet anglers were unsatisfied with the effectiveness of current legislation designed to increase fish stocks. These data will provide a better understanding of California sea lion depredation in Southern California and its effect on recreational anglers in order to aid future mitigation efforts. Additionally, these results provide stakeholder feedback on local marine protected areas and other fisheries management legislation, and build a foundation for future conservation and education programs.


Comment: Coral reef conservation and political will

Coral reefs and their societal benefits are in decline, chiefly due to overfishing, pollution and inappropriate coastal development. Strengthened management is possible, but collective failure to build the needed political will to act diminishes lives of millions of people along tropical coasts. Political will can be built, but it requires committed leadership and sustained investment of time and resources. Accepting failure as inevitable is inappropriate.


Genetic Susceptibility, Colony Size, and Water Temperature Drive White-Pox Disease on the Coral Acropora palmata

Outbreaks of coral diseases are one of the greatest threats to reef corals in the Caribbean, yet the mechanisms that lead to coral diseases are still largely unknown. Here we examined the spatial-temporal dynamics of white-pox disease on Acropora palmata coral colonies of known genotypes. We took a Bayesian approach, using Integrated Nested Laplace Approximation algorithms, to examine which covariates influenced the presence of white-pox disease over seven years. We showed that colony size, genetic susceptibility of the coral host, and high-water temperatures were the primary tested variables that were positively associated with the presence of white-pox disease on A. palmata colonies. Our study also showed that neither distance from previously diseased individuals, nor colony location, influenced the dynamics of white-pox disease. These results suggest that white-pox disease was most likely a consequence of anomalously high water temperatures that selectively compromised the oldest colonies and the most susceptible coral genotypes.


Understanding Uncertainties in Non-Linear Population Trajectories: A Bayesian Semi-Parametric Hierarchical Approach to Large-Scale Surveys of Coral Cover

Recently, attempts to improve decision making in species management have focussed on uncertainties associated with modelling temporal fluctuations in populations. Reducing model uncertainty is challenging; while larger samples improve estimation of species trajectories and reduce statistical errors, they typically amplify variability in observed trajectories. In particular, traditional modelling approaches aimed at estimating population trajectories usually do not account well for nonlinearities and uncertainties associated with multi-scale observations characteristic of large spatio-temporal surveys. We present a Bayesian semi-parametric hierarchical model for simultaneously quantifying uncertainties associated with model structure and parameters, and scale-specific variability over time. We estimate uncertainty across a four-tiered spatial hierarchy of coral cover from the Great Barrier Reef. Coral variability is well described; however, our results show that, in the absence of additional model specifications, conclusions regarding coral trajectories become highly uncertain when considering multiple reefs, suggesting that management should focus more at the scale of individual reefs. The approach presented facilitates the description and estimation of population trajectories and associated uncertainties when variability cannot be attributed to specific causes and origins. We argue that our model can unlock value contained in large-scale datasets, provide guidance for understanding sources of uncertainty, and support better informed decision making.


U.S. Fishery Management Councils as Ecosystem-Based Management Policy Takers and Policymakers

The United States has a new national ocean policy that adopts ecosystem-based management (EBM) as its first principle for managing U.S. ocean spaces and marine resources. However, U.S. laws that govern the uses of ocean spaces present a challenging tangle of authorities and mandates that do not easily facilitate ecosystem-based policies. For over 30 years, U.S. marine fisheries management has been guided by eight Regional Fishery Management Councils. Working under the many laws that guide setting stewardship priorities for ocean ecosystems, councils provide the Federal Government with advice on fisheries harvest levels, fish habitat protections, and fishing community needs. Implementing EBM for any ocean ecosystem requires a careful examination of the laws and policy processes that affect human interaction with that ecosystem. This article explores the U.S. perspective on federal ecosystem-based fisheries management, its part in U.S. national ocean policy, and how fishery management councils might position themselves as both EBM policymakers and policy takers for ocean resource management.


A Concept of Bayesian Regulation in Fisheries Management

Stochastic variability of biological processes and uncertainty of stock properties compel fisheries managers to look for tools to improve control over the stock. Inspired by animals exploiting hidden prey, we have taken a biomimetic approach combining catch and effort in a concept of Bayesian regulation (BR). The BR provides a real-time Bayesian stock estimate, and can operate without separate stock assessment. We compared the performance of BR with catch-only regulation (CR), alternatively operating with N-target (the stock size giving maximum sustainable yield, MSY) and F-target (the fishing mortality giving MSY) on a stock model of Baltic Sea herring. N-targeted BR gave 3% higher yields than F-targeted BR and CR, and 7% higher yields than N-targeted CR. The BRs reduced coefficient of variance (CV) in fishing mortality compared to CR by 99.6% (from 25.2 to 0.1) when operated with F-target, and by about 80% (from 158.4 to 68.4/70.1 depending on how the prior is set) in stock size when operated with N-target. Even though F-targeted fishery reduced CV in pre-harvest stock size by 19–22%, it increased the dominant period length of population fluctuations from 20 to 60–80 years. In contrast, N-targeted BR made the periodic variation more similar to white noise. We discuss the conditions when BRs can be suitable tools to achieve sustainable yields while minimizing undesirable fluctuations in stock size or fishing effort.


Who should do what in environmental management? Twelve principles for allocating responsibilities

In environmental management there is often discussion on the allocation of responsibilities. Such discussions can continue for a long time and can form an obstacle for effective action. In this article twelve normative principles for the allocation of responsibilities are identified, coming from three different sources: the arguments used in discussions on responsibilities, Dutch and European law, and the environmental management literature. The principles are (1) capacity, (2) lowest social costs, (3) causation, (4) interest, (5) scale, (6) subsidiarity, (7) structural integration, (8) separation, (9) solidarity, (10) transparency, (11) stability (but not standstill), and (12) acquired rights. These principles point to fundamental tensions in environmental management and sometimes conflict with each other. At the same time they may help to resolve conflicts by providing common points of reference that are independent from the often conflicting interests of the discussants.


Governance fit for climate change in a Caribbean coastal-marine context

Coastal-marine systems in small island developing states of the Caribbean are highly vulnerable to both current and future climate change. Societies navigate these changes in part through processes of governance and the institutions through which governance takes place. The concept of institutional adaptive capacity is used to explore how governance processes and institutional arrangements can be adapted to match the scale and extent of climate change in a case study of the Soufriere Marine Management Area, St. Lucia. Institutional adaptive capacity is analyzed based on the following factors: institutional variety, analytical deliberation and nesting and networks. The analysis is based on 36 semi-structured interviews conducted with key informants from NGOs, cooperatives, management authorities and government agencies. The findings suggest that governance to address climate change in the case study is contingent upon developing holistic, integrated management systems, improving flexibility in existing collaborative decision making processes, augmenting the capacity of local management authorities with support from higher-level government, exploring opportunities for private–social partnerships, and developing adequate social–environmental monitoring programs. These findings have potential implications and lessons for similar settings throughout the Caribbean.


Genetic evidence from the spiny lobster fishery supports international cooperation among Central American marine protected areas

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are an important ecosystem-based management approach to help improve the sustainability of the spiny lobster fishery (Panulirus argus), but information is lacking concerning levels of lobster population connectivity among MPAs. Given their prolonged (~6 months) pelagic larval duration, population connectivity must be considered in any spatial management plan for P. argus. We used genetic techniques to uncover spatial patterns of connectivity among MPAs along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (MBRS) of Central America. We hypothesized that connectivity would be greater and genetic differentiation diminished among lobster populations within MPAs in the southern MBRS, which is dominated by a retentive oceanographic environment, as compared to MPAs in the more advective environment further north. We found that levels of connectivity are high among spiny lobster populations residing in MPAs in Central America, although overall F ST was low (F ST = 0.00013) but significant (P = 0.037). MPAs in the northern MBRS contained significantly more individuals that were genetically determined outliers or migrants than southern MPAs (P = 0.008, R 2 = 0.61), which may have contributed to the higher levels of genetic differentiation observed in northern MPAs. Direct genetic testing of larvae and adults will be required to confirm this hypothesis. The high level of connectivity among MPAs provides additional evidence of the importance of international cooperation in the management of Caribbean lobster fisheries. However, uncertainty regarding the ecological and physical drivers of genetic differentiation in Northern MPAs implies that managers should hedge against uncertainty.


Status of the marine protected area network across the English channel (La Manche): Cross-country similarities and differences in MPA designation, management and monitoring

Recent international policy developments require states to conserve at least 10% of coastal and marine areas by creating effectively managed and ecologically coherent networks of protected areas in the marine environment. In the framework of the PANACHE project, the current status of designation, management and monitoring of the network of marine protected areas (MPAs) of an important environmental, social and economic marine area: the English Channel (the Channel) was examined. Currently 224 MPAs exist belonging to 12 different designation categories and covering 17 440 km2, or approximately 20.3% of the project area in the Channel. International protection targets in the marine environment are thus met at this regional scale, although the individual contributions of the UK and France are considerably different, with French MPAs accounting for nearly 80% of the total area protected. Differences between countries are also found regarding MPA designation categories (11 in France, 6 in the UK, 1 in the Channel Islands) and management structures (with more actors involved in the UK) and approach, whereas the monitoring techniques used are similar, although more standardised in the UK. Pending challenges include greater within-country and cross-country MPA designation, monitoring and management simplicity, integration and coordination as well as the assessment of management effectiveness and ecological coherence of the Channel network of MPAs.


Are we missing the boat? Current uses of long-term biological monitoring data in the evaluation and management of marine protected areas

Protected area management agencies are increasingly using management effectiveness evaluation (MEE) to better understand, learn from and improve conservation efforts around the globe. Outcome assessment is the final stage of MEE, where conservation outcomes are measured to determine whether management objectives are being achieved. When quantitative monitoring data are available, best-practice examples of outcome assessments demonstrate that data should be assessed against quantitative condition categories. Such assessments enable more transparent and repeatable integration of monitoring data into MEE, which can promote evidence-based management and improve public accountability and reporting. We interviewed key informants from marine protected area (MPA) management agencies to investigate how scientific data sources, especially long-term biological monitoring data, are currently informing conservation management. Our study revealed that even when long-term monitoring results are available, management agencies are not using them for quantitative condition assessment in MEE. Instead, many agencies conduct qualitative condition assessments, where monitoring results are interpreted using expert judgment only. Whilst we found substantial evidence for the use of long-term monitoring data in the evidence-based management of MPAs, MEE is rarely the sole mechanism that facilitates the knowledge transfer of scientific evidence to management action. This suggests that the first goal of MEE (to enable environmental accountability and reporting) is being achieved, but the second and arguably more important goal of facilitating evidence-based management is not. Given that many MEE approaches are in their infancy, recommendations are made to assist management agencies realize the full potential of long-term quantitative monitoring data for protected area evaluation and evidence-based management.


The performance and potential of protected areas

Originally conceived to conserve iconic landscapes and wildlife, protected areas are now expected to achieve an increasingly diverse set of conservation, social and economic objectives. The amount of land and sea designated as formally protected has markedly increased over the past century, but there is still a major shortfall in political commitments to enhance the coverage and effectiveness of protected areas. Financial support for protected areas is dwarfed by the benefits that they provide, but these returns depend on effective management. A step change involving increased recognition, funding, planning and enforcement is urgently needed if protected areas are going to fulfil their potential.


Evaluation of a programme of integrated coastal zone management: The Ecoplata Programme (Uruguay)

There are two aims in this work: one is to contribute to the promotion of one of the most interesting experiments of integrated coastal zone management which has taken place in Latin America: the Ecoplata Programme in Uruguay. The other is to make an evaluation of the planning and implementation of the programme, i.e. that of a long-term Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) process which is full of both challenges and opportunities. Indeed, although there have been numerous ICZM experiments, on varying scales, which have been put into practice throughout the world in the last two decades, very few of them have involved an evaluation to check their levels of achievement.


Regional economic and environmental analysis as a decision support for marine spatial planning in Xiamen

The study explores the environmental input–output (EIO) model as a decision-support tool for marine spatial planning at the regional level. Using empirical data, an EIO model is developed to examine the economic and environmental impacts associated with two leading ocean industries in Xiamen. Results of the study show that, under select economic and environmental scenarios, waterfront tourism is generally preferable to marine transportation in terms of unit environmental and resource effects. Thus, it is more beneficial for the region to promote the growth of the waterfront tourism sector.


The new mode of marine planning in the UK: Aspirations and challenges

Since 2009, there has been a shift in UK marine governance with the Marine and Coastal Access Act in which a core mechanism is marine planning, designed to replace a fragmented, ad hoc, and bureaucratic process of marine management with a strategic, integrated, and centralised system. This shift has been justified by the UK government as a more efficient procedure for delivering sustainable development (SD), which is the overarching objective of UK environmental policy. This article, which is based on data from key informant interviews and secondary sources, analyses the shift to understand its aspirations and the challenges facing it. The issues focused on include its holistic approach; its centralising tendencies; its streamlining processes; and its implicit commitment to renewable energy. In these four issues there are tensions between aspirations and challenges, and the conclusion is that the success of the new mode of marine governance depends on satisfactorily resolving these tensions.


Intergrated Spatial Planning and Management for Marine and Coastal Sustainability in Viet Nam

Integrated coastal management (ICM) has attracted attention in Vietnam since the Summit of Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in 1992 (Rio-92) and was first analyzed in the national project on “Research on development of ICM plan in Vietnam to ensure ecological security and to protect the environment” (1996-2000). And marine spatial planning (MSP) is a new concept that promotes sustainable coastal and marine management and assists in the integration of economic, environmental and social concerns in strategic planning and long-term investments. MSP can improve coastal resilience in Vietnam that are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and sea level rise. This document informed policy-makers about ICM, MSP and the difference between these measures. Additionally, it outlines ICM and MSP application, recent projects, programs and recommendation for ICM and MSP implementation in Vietnam.


Temporal Dynamics of Top Predators Interactions in the Barents Sea

The Barents Sea system is often depicted as a simple food web in terms of number of dominant feeding links. The most conspicuous feeding link is between the Northeast Arctic cod Gadus morhua, the world's largest cod stock which is presently at a historical high level, and capelin Mallotus villosus. The system also holds diverse seabird and marine mammal communities. Previous diet studies may suggest that these top predators (cod, bird and sea mammals) compete for food particularly with respect to pelagic fish such as capelin and juvenile herring (Clupea harengus), and krill. In this paper we explored the diet of some Barents Sea top predators (cod, Black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, Common guillemot Uria aalge, and Minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata). We developed a GAM modelling approach to analyse the temporal variation diet composition within and between predators, to explore intra- and inter-specific interactions. The GAM models demonstrated that the seabird diet is temperature dependent while the diet of Minke whale and cod is prey dependent; Minke whale and cod diets depend on the abundance of herring and capelin, respectively. There was significant diet overlap between cod and Minke whale, and between kittiwake and guillemot. In general, the diet overlap between predators increased with changes in herring and krill abundances. The diet overlap models developed in this study may help to identify inter-specific interactions and their dynamics that potentially affect the stocks targeted by fisheries.


Great skua (Stercorarius skua) movements at sea in relation to marine renewable energy developments

Marine renewable energy developments (MREDs) are an increasing feature of the marine environment. Owing to the relatively small number of existing developments and the early stage of their associated environmental monitoring programmes, the effects of MREDs on seabirds are not fully known. Our ability to fully predict potential effects is limited by a lack of knowledge regarding movements of seabirds at sea. We used GPS tracking to improve our understanding of the movements at sea of a protected seabird species breeding in Scotland, the great skua (Stercorarius skua), to better predict how this species may be affected by MREDs. We found that the overlap of great skuas with leased and proposed MREDs was low; particularly with offshore wind sites, which are predicted to present a greater risk to great skuas than wave or tidal-stream developments. Failed breeders overlapped with larger areas of MREDs than breeding birds but the overall overlap with core areas used remained low. Overlap with wave energy development sites was greater than for offshore wind and tidal-stream sites. Comparison of 2011 data with historical data indicates that distances travelled by great skuas have likely increased over recent decades. This suggests that basing marine spatial planning decisions on short-term tracking data could be less informative than longer-term data.


Demand of the tourists visiting protected areas in small oceanic islands: the Azores case-study (Portugal)

In general, tourism plays a significant role in the economy of archipelagos and islands. The Autonomous Region of the Azores has a great potential for tourism, offering multiple attractions, both natural and cultural, creating a big challenge for a sustainable tourism policy since little attention has been paid to the archipelagos and their special needs. This work aims to understand the profile and type of ecotourist that visits the Azores. This knowledge is of great importance for a better management and development of nature-based tourism, and products tailored to the needs and expectations of visitors. The data were collected by means of exit surveys conducted at the Airport of São Miguel Island, the larger and most populated island of the archipelago, during the high tourist season—July–September 2009. The analysis of the visitor’s profile and preferences is crucial to draw adequate strategies of management for tourism, while it helps to adequate the offer to the demand. Results showed that 41.1 % of the tourists claimed to be attracted to the islands due to their “natural values” (e.g., landscape, biodiversity, and geodiversity). The most practiced activities were whale-watching (32.4 %) and mountaineering/hiking (31.6 %), followed by diving (7 %) and other sports (5.1 %). The tourists’ profile points to a mainstream, soft, and incidental type of ecotourist. This information helps to develop and support a strategic planning and management, both at local and regional levels, for sustainable tourism policies.

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