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In a study of residents living adjacent to the Ningaloo Marine Park in Western Australia, researchers found that scientific research conducted in the park had helped to build trust with regard to management of the MPA. The study also found that trust could be further enhanced through a targeted science communication and engagement strategy that targets different ‘personality types’ throughout the region.
Automatic identification systems (AIS) are mandated by the International Maritime Organization to be operational on many types of ships; generally speaking, any cargo ship of 300 gross tonnes or more, and fishing vessels over 15 feet long. AIS broadcasts a ship’s identity, position, speed, and other variables as frequently as every other second, and at most every six minutes. Between VHF radio and satellite networks, ships can be monitored in real-time. Several websites offer real-time AIS data for free, making it an easy addition to a marine spatial planning process.
Surveys of an area once home to numerous horse mussel beds showed that damage from mobile fishing gear depleted the abundance of the species from well over 100 mussels per square meter to just four mussels per square meter in 2010. After banning all mobile fishing gear for seven years, the ecosystem had not recovered. Horse mussels act as a keystone species, so without a critical number of mussels in the habitat, other species are unable to come back. Restoration efforts are needed alongside spatial protection to fix the damage caused.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.