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How Venice and Miami are adapting to sea-level rise

The authors describe governance approaches to sea-level rise (SLR) adopted by the large, coastal cities of Venice, Italy, and Miami, Florida, USA – offering advice on how each city could learn from the other. The authors, who work in these cities on the issue of SLR, were able to bring their own observations into this analysis alongside archival research and interviews with government officials, NGOs, and scientists.

Ocean acidification could cost the UK's shellfish industry £6 billion

Shellfish harvesting accounts for over ⅓ of total fisheries landings by value in the United Kingdom. Contributing over £400 million each year, shellfish aquaculture and the wild-capture shellfish, mollusk, and crustacean fisheries are important economic drivers in the UK. Ocean acidification could affect some of these species, affecting their survival as some of their shells could be affected by low pH conditions. To understand the monetary effects of ocean acidification, the authors calculated the costs of lost shellfish harvesting on the UK economy.

Perceptions of social impacts likely drive feelings about MPAs

Negative attitudes toward established MPAs may have less to do with the actual impacts on one’s ability to go fishing, but more to do with the perceived impacts on their wellbeing through feelings of fear, stress and injustice. Extractive users nearly all reported negative perceptions of the park, despite only two reporting increased financial costs. Those who held strong negative attitudes did not perceive any environmental benefits. The consultation process itself may have helped formulate negative perceptions of the park, after clear concessions were made to the commercial lobster fishing industry but not to other groups.

Moving toward sustainable fishing practices in Tenerife

Artisanal fishing is commonplace on the island of Tenerife, however, the local fisheries are unsustainable. The Canary Island government is mandated to implement the the European Commission's Common Fisheries Policy, but it has yet to do so. The authors convened a number of focus groups with members of local fishing communities (Cofradías), public administrators, and civil society organizations to crowdsource the current problems with the local fishery and solutions to make it more sustainable.

Positive feedback between participation and MPA performance in the Philippines

Surveys of resource users in villages near MPAs in the Philippines suggests that participation in an MPA planning and management process leads to perceptions of better MPA performance. Participation and perceptions of MPA performance may be part of a positive feedback loop with increased scientific knowledge, perceived personal benefits from the MPA, and self-identification with the natural world.

Partial protection may encourage additional threats to MPAs

This study applies indices to quantify MPA effectiveness in reducing anthropogenic threats (extractive and non-extractive) in and around 15 Mediterranean MPAs. The authors show that fully-protected areas effectively eliminated threats from extractive activity. However, within partially-protected areas the intensity of artisanal and recreational fishing was actually higher than that found outside MPAs. In addition, both fully and partially protected areas attracted non-extractive activities (tourism) that posed potential threats.

The status of Indonesia’s seagrass meadows

Indonesia stores 2% of the world’s blue carbon in its seagrass meadows, which are under threat from human activities like coastal development. Without a long-term, large-scale monitoring effort, the continual decline and hopeful recovery of this vital ecosystem will be very difficult to track.

Conservation targets might be reducing trust in MPA planning

Surveys of northern California-based fishermen indicate that there is a relationship between the trust fishermen have in groups like managers and researchers, and their satisfaction with the outcomes of an MPA planning process. Low levels of trust with managers were tied to low levels of satisfaction with the MPA planning process. Conservation targets may be an impediment for building that trust.

Priority conservation areas of the Coral Triangle

With an enormous, largely unprotected ocean, it’s useful to identify areas of the most conservation importance. The authors looked at the Coral Triangle to determine which areas therein should be prioritized for conservation.

Lessons in building community support for no-take MPAs from the Mexican Caribbean

Building trust between fishers and managers is key for management actions, including for marine protected areas (MPAs). Governments seeking to establish trust should have strong enforcement of regulations as observing illegal fishing reduces trust. Managers themselves are more trusted if they have worked with the fishing community for a long time, frequently visit fishing communities, explain management actions simply and clearly, and provide educational and training opportunities for fishers like citizen science monitoring campaigns.