Publications

2016

Adaptive governance to promote ecosystem services in urban green spaces.
Managing urban green space as part of an ongoing social-ecological transformation poses novel governance issues, particularly in post-industrial settings. Urban green spaces operate as small-scale nodes in larger networks of ecological reserves that provide and maintain key ecosystem services such as pollination, water retention and infiltration, and sustainable food production. In an urban mosaic, a myriad of social and ecological components factor into aggregating and managing land to maintain or increase the flow of ecosystem services associated with green spaces. Vacant lots (a form of urban green space) are being repurposed for multiple functions, such as habitat for biodiversity, including arthropods that provide pollination services to other green areas; to capture urban runoff that eases the burden on ageing wastewater systems and other civic infrastructure; and to reduce urban heat island effects. Because of the uncertainty and complexities of managing for ecosystem services in urban settings, we advocate for a governance approach that is adaptive and iterative in nature—adaptive governance—to address the ever changing social order underlying post-industrial cities and offer the rise of land banks as an example of governance innovation.

Canada at a crossroad: the imperative for realigning ocean policy with ocean science.
Canada’s ocean ecosystem health and functioning is critical to sustaining a strong maritime economy and resilient coastal communities. Yet despite the importance of Canada’s oceans and coasts, federal ocean policy and management have diverged substantially from marine science in the past decade. In this paper, key areas where this is apparent are reviewed: failure to fully implement the Oceans Act, alterations to habitat protections historically afforded under Canada’s Fisheries Act, and lack of federal leadership on marine species at risk. Additionally, the capacity of the federal government to conduct and communicate ocean science has been eroded of late, and this situation poses a significant threat to current and future oceans public policy. On the eve of a federal election, these disconcerting threats are described and a set of recommendations to address them is developed. These trends are analyzed and summarized so that Canadians understand ongoing changes to the health of Canada’s oceans and the role that their elected officials can play in addressing or ignoring them. Additionally, we urge the incoming Canadian government, regardless of political persuasion, to consider the changes we have documented and commit to aligning federal ocean policy with ocean science to ensure the health of Canada’s oceans and ocean dependent communities.

Communities and change in the anthropocene: understanding social-ecological vulnerability and planning adaptations to multiple interacting exposures.
The majority of vulnerability and adaptation scholarship, policies and programs focus exclusively on climate change or global environmental change. Yet, individuals, communities and sectors experience a broad array of multi-scalar and multi-temporal, social, political, economic and environmental changes to which they are vulnerable and must adapt. While extensive theoretical—and increasingly empirical—work suggests the need to explore multiple exposures, a clear conceptual framework which would facilitate analysis of vulnerability and adaptation to multiple interacting socioeconomic and biophysical changes is lacking. This review and synthesis paper aims to fill this gap through presenting a conceptual framework for integrating multiple exposures into vulnerability analysis and adaptation planning. To support applications of the framework and facilitate assessments and comparative analyses of community vulnerability, we develop a comprehensive typology of drivers and exposures experienced by coastal communities. Our results reveal essential elements of a pragmatic approach for local-scale vulnerability analysis and for planning appropriate adaptations within the context of multiple interacting exposures. We also identify methodologies for characterizing exposures and impacts, exploring interactions and identifying and prioritizing responses. This review focuses on coastal communities; however, we believe the framework, typology and approach will be useful for understanding vulnerability and planning adaptation to multiple exposures in various social-ecological contexts.

Community-based scenario planning: a process for vulnerability analysis and adaptation planning to social–ecological change in coastal communities.
The current and projected impacts of climate change make understanding the environmental and social vulnerability of coastal communities and the planning of adaptations important international goals and national policy initiatives. Yet, coastal communities are concurrently experiencing numerous other social, political, economic, demographic and environmental changes or stressors that also need to be considered and planned for simultaneously to maintain social and environmental sustainability. There are a number of methods and processes that have been used to study vulnerability and identify adaptive response strategies. This paper describes the stages, methods and results of a modified community-based scenario planning process that was used for vulnerability analysis and adaptation planning within the context of multiple interacting stressors in two coastal fishing communities in Thailand. The four stages of community-based scenario planning included: (1) identifying the problem and purpose of scenario planning; (2) exploring the system and types of change; (3) generating possible future scenarios; and (4) proposing and prioritizing adaptations. Results revealed local perspectives on social and environmental change, participant visions for their local community and the environment, and potential actions that will help communities to adapt to the changes that are occurring. Community-based scenario planning proved to have significant potential as an anticipatory action research process for incorporating multiple stressors into vulnerability analysis and adaptation planning. This paper reflects on the process and outcomes to provide insights and suggest changes for future applications of community-based scenario planning that will lead to more effective learning, innovation and action in communities and related social–ecological systems.

Conservation social science: understanding and integrating human dimensions to improve conservation
It has long been claimed that a better understanding of human or social dimensions of environmental issues will improve conservation. The social sciences are one important means through which researchers and practitioners can attain that better understanding. Yet, a lack of awareness of the scope and uncertainty about the purpose of the conservation social sciences impedes the conservation community’s effective engagement with the human dimensions. This paper examines the scope and purpose of eighteen subfields of classic, interdisciplinary and applied conservation social sciences and articulates ten distinct contributions that the social sciences can make to understanding and improving conservation. In brief, the conservation social sciences can be valuable to conservation for descriptive, diagnostic, disruptive, reflexive, generative, innovative, or instrumental reasons. This review and supporting materials provides a succinct yet comprehensive reference for conservation scientists and practitioners. We contend that the social sciences can help facilitate conservation policies, actions and outcomes that are more legitimate, salient, robust and effective.

A framework for understanding climate change impacts on coral reef social-ecological systems.
Corals and coral-associated species are highly vulnerable to the emerging effects of global climate change. The widespread degradation of coral reefs, which will be accelerated by climate change, jeopardizes the goods and services that tropical nations derive from reef ecosystems. However, climate change impacts to reef social–ecological systems can also be bi-directional. For example, some climate impacts, such as storms and sea level rise, can directly impact societies, with repercussions for how they interact with the environment. This study identifies the multiple impact pathways within coral reef social–ecological systems arising from four key climatic drivers: increased sea surface temperature, severe tropical storms, sea level rise and ocean acidification. We develop a novel framework for investigating climate change impacts in social–ecological systems, which helps to highlight the diverse impacts that must be considered in order to develop a more complete understanding of the impacts of climate change, as well as developing appropriate management actions to mitigate climate change impacts on coral reef and people.

Mainstreaming the social sciences in conservation.
Despite broad recognition of the value of social sciences and increasingly vocal calls for better engagement with the human element of conservation, the conservation social sciences remain misunderstood and underutilized in practice. The conservation social sciences can provide unique and important contributions to society’s understanding of the relationships between humans and nature and to improving conservation practice and outcomes. There are 4 barriers—ideological, institutional, knowledge, and capacity—to meaningful integration of the social sciences into conservation. We provide practical guidance on overcoming these barriers to mainstream the social sciences in conservation science, practice, and policy. Broadly, we recommend fostering knowledge on the scope and contributions of the social sciences to conservation, including social scientists from the inception of interdisciplinary research projects, incorporating social science research and insights during all stages of conservation planning and implementation, building social science capacity at all scales in conservation organizations and agencies, and promoting engagement with the social sciences in and through global conservation policy-influencing organizations. Conservation social scientists, too, need to be willing to engage with natural science knowledge and to communicate insights and recommendations clearly. We urge the conservation community to move beyond superficial engagement with the conservation social sciences. A more inclusive and integrative conservation science—one that includes the natural and social sciences—will enable more ecologically effective and socially just conservation. Better collaboration among social scientists, natural scientists, practitioners, and policy makers will facilitate a renewed and more robust conservation. Mainstreaming the conservation social sciences will facilitate the uptake of the full range of insights and contributions from these fields into conservation policy and practice.

Using perceptions as evidence to improve conservation and environmental management.
The conservation community is increasingly focusing on the monitoring and evaluation of management, governance, ecological, and social considerations as part of a broader move toward adaptive management and evidence-based conservation. Evidence is any information that can be used to come to a conclusion and support a judgment or, in this case, to make decisions that will improve conservation policies, actions, and outcomes. Perceptions are one type of information that is often dismissed as anecdotal by those arguing for evidence-based conservation. In this paper, I clarify the contributions of research on perceptions of conservation to improving adaptive and evidence-based conservation. Studies of the perceptions of local people can provide important insights into observations, understandings and interpretations of the social impacts, and ecological outcomes of conservation; the legitimacy of conservation governance; and the social acceptability of environmental management. Perceptions of these factors contribute to positive or negative local evaluations of conservation initiatives. It is positive perceptions, not just objective scientific evidence of effectiveness, that ultimately ensure the support of local constituents thus enabling the long-term success of conservation. Research on perceptions can inform courses of action to improve conservation and governance at scales ranging from individual initiatives to national and international policies. Better incorporation of evidence from across the social and natural sciences and integration of a plurality of methods into monitoring and evaluation will provide a more complete picture on which to base conservation decisions and environmental management.

2015

Advancing marine cumulative effects mapping: an update in Canada’s Pacific waters.
The rapidly progressing field of cumulative effects mapping is highly dependent on data quality and quantity. Availability of spatial data on the location of human activities on or affecting the ocean has substantially improved our understanding of potential cumulative effects. However, datasets for some activities remain poor and increased access to current, high resolution data are needed. Here we present an updated analysis of potential cumulative effects in Canada’s Pacific marine waters. New, updated datasets and methodological improvements over the previous analysis were completed, including a new index for land-based effects on marine habitats, updated habitat classes and a modified treatment of vulnerability scores. The results show increased potential cumulative effects for the region. Fishing remains the biggest overall impact amongst marine activities, while land-based activities have the highest impact per unit area in affected ocean areas. Intertidal areas were the most affected habitat per unit area, while pelagic habitats had the highest total cumulative effect score. Regular updates of cumulative effects assessments will make them more useful for management, but these require regularly updated, high resolution datasets across all activity types, and automated, well-documented procedures to make them accessible to managers and policy-makers.

Community-based scenario planning: a process for vulnerability analysis and adaptation planning to social-ecological change in coastal communities.
The current and projected impacts of climate change make understanding the environmental and social vulnerability of coastal communities and the planning of adaptations important international goals and national policy initiatives. Yet, coastal communities are concurrently experiencing numerous other social, political, economic, demographic and environmental changes or stressors that also need to be considered and planned for simultaneously to maintain social and environmental sustainability. There are a number of methods and processes that have been used to study vulnerability and identify adaptive response strategies. This paper describes the stages, methods and results of a modified community-based scenario planning process that was used for vulnerability analysis and adaptation planning within the context of multiple interacting stressors in two coastal fishing communities in Thailand. The four stages of community-based scenario planning included: (1) identifying the problem and purpose of scenario planning; (2) exploring the system and types of change; (3) generating possible future scenarios; and (4) proposing and prioritizing adaptations. Results revealed local perspectives on social and environmental change, participant visions for their local community and the environment, and potential actions that will help communities to adapt to the changes that are occurring. Community-based scenario planning proved to have significant potential as an anticipatory action research process for incorporating multiple stressors into vulnerability analysis and adaptation planning. This paper reflects on the process and outcomes to provide insights and suggest changes for future applications of community-based scenario planning that will lead to more effective learning, innovation and action in communities and related social–ecological systems.

Cumulative effects of planned industrial development and climate change on marine ecosystems.
With increasing human population, large scale climate changes, and the interaction of multiple stressors, understanding cumulative effects on marine ecosystems is increasingly important. Two major drivers of change in coastal and marine ecosystems are industrial developments with acute impacts on local ecosystems, and global climate change stressors with widespread impacts. We conducted a cumulative effects mapping analysis of the marine waters of British Columbia, Canada, under different scenarios: climate change and planned developments. At the coast-wide scale, climate change drove the largest change in cumulative effects with both widespread impacts and high vulnerability scores. Where the impacts of planned developments occur, planned industrial and pipeline activities had high cumulative effects, but the footprint of these effects was comparatively localized. Nearshore habitats were at greatest risk from planned industrial and pipeline activities; in particular, the impacts of planned pipelines on rocky intertidal habitats were predicted to cause the highest change in cumulative effects. This method of incorporating planned industrial development in cumulative effects mapping allows explicit comparison of different scenarios with the potential to be used in environmental impact assessments at various scales. Its use allows resource managers to consider cumulative effect hotspots when making decisions regarding industrial developments and avoid unacceptable cumulative effects. Management needs to consider both global and local stressors in managing marine ecosystems for the protection of biodiversity and the provisioning of ecosystem services.

Efficient and equitable design of marine protected areas in Fiji through inclusion of stakeholder-specific objectives in conservation planning.
The efficacy of protected areas varies, partly because socioeconomic factors are not sufficiently considered in planning and management. Although integrating socioeconomic factors into systematic conservation planning is increasingly advocated, research is needed to progress from recognition of these factors to incorporating them effectively in spatial prioritization of protected areas. We evaluated 2 key aspects of incorporating socioeconomic factors into spatial prioritization: treatment of socioeconomic factors as costs or objectives and treatment of stakeholders as a single group or multiple groups. Using as a case study the design of a system of no-take marine protected areas (MPAs) in Kubulau, Fiji, we assessed how these aspects affected the configuration of no-take MPAs in terms of trade-offs between biodiversity objectives, fisheries objectives, and equity in catch losses among fisher stakeholder groups. The achievement of fisheries objectives and equity tended to trade-off concavely with increasing biodiversity objectives, indicating that it is possible to achieve low to mid-range biodiversity objectives with relatively small losses to fisheries and equity. Importantly, the extent of trade-offs depended on the method used to incorporate socioeconomic data and was least severe when objectives were set for each fisher stakeholder group explicitly. We found that using different methods to incorporate socioeconomic factors that require similar data and expertise can result in plans with very different impacts on local stakeholders.

Identifying best practices in fisheries monitoring and stewardship training for First Nations youth.
In British Columbia, fisheries management policies in the last few decades have severely diminished access for a generation of youth to knowledge of traditional governance, ecological economies, and cultural practices. However, legal precedents, the completion of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and activism are changing the status quo such that colonial relationships in resource management are no longer viable. This research looks at best practices for, as well as opportunities and challenges facing fisheries monitoring and stewardship programs because they are a promising way to bridge generational gaps in access to and knowledge of the ocean environment, and because resource monitoring is a foundation for a community’s capacity to govern. Overall, the research contributes to a better understanding of how stewardship and monitoring training programs can contribute to the larger vision of coastal First Nations in their desired return to First Nations governance of their marine territories. (Masters of Resource Management thesis, Haley Milko. Simon Fraser University.)

Interplay of multiple goods, ecosystem services and property rights in large social-ecological marine protected areas.
Protected areas are a cornerstone of biodiversity conservation, and increasingly, conservation science is integrating ecological and social considerations in park management. Indeed, both social and ecological factors need to be considered to understand processes that lead to changes in environmental conditions. Here, we use a social-ecological systems lens to examine changes in governance through time in an extensive regional protected area network, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. We studied the peer-reviewed and nonpeer-reviewed literature to develop an understanding of governance of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and its management changes through time. In particular, we examined how interacting and changing property rights, as designated by the evolving marine protected area network and other institutional changes (e.g., fisheries management), defined multiple goods and ecosystem services and altered who could benefit from them. The rezoning of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in 2004 substantially altered the types and distribution of property rights and associated benefits from ecosystem goods and services. Initially, common-pool resources were enjoyed as common and private benefits at the expense of public goods (overexploited fisheries and reduced biodiversity and ecosystem health). The rezoning redefined the available goods and benefits and who could benefit, prioritizing public goods and benefits (i.e., biodiversity conservation), and inducing private costs (through reduced fishing). We also found that the original conceptualization of the step-wise progression of property rights from user to owner oversimplifies property rights based on its division into operational and collective-choice rule-making levels. Instead, we suggest that a diversity of available management tools implemented simultaneously can result in interactions that are seldom fully captured by the original conceptualization of the bundling of property rights. Understanding the complexities associated with overlapping property rights and multiple goods and ecosystem services, particularly within large-scale systems, can help elucidate the source and nature of some of the governance challenges that large protected areas are facing.

Linking classroom learning and research to advance ideas about social-ecological resilience.
There is an increasing demand in higher education institutions for training in complex environmental problems. Such training requires a careful mix of conventional methods and innovative solutions, a task not always easy to accomplish. In this paper we review literature on this theme, highlight relevant advances in the pedagogical literature, and report on some examples resulting from our recent efforts to teach complex environmental issues. The examples range from full credit courses in sustainable development and research methods to project-based and in-class activity units. A consensus from the literature is that lectures are not sufficient to fully engage students in these issues. A conclusion from the review of examples is that problem-based and project-based, e.g., through case studies, experiential learning opportunities, or real-world applications, learning offers much promise. This could greatly be facilitated by online hubs through which teachers, students, and other members of the practitioner and academic community share experiences in teaching and research, the way that we have done here.

Managing small-scale commercial fisheries for adaptive capacity: insights from dynamic social-ecological drivers of change in Monterey Bay.
Globally, small-scale fisheries are influenced by dynamic climate, governance, and market drivers, which present social and ecological challenges and opportunities. It is difficult to manage fisheries adaptively for fluctuating drivers, except to allow participants to shift effort among multiple fisheries. Adapting to changing conditions allows small-scale fishery participants to survive economic and environmental disturbances and benefit from optimal conditions. This study explores the relative influence of large-scale drivers on shifts in effort and outcomes among three closely linked fisheries in Monterey Bay since the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act of 1976. In this region, Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax), northern anchovy (Engraulis mordax), and market squid (Loligo opalescens) fisheries comprise a tightly linked system where shifting focus among fisheries is a key element to adaptive capacity and reduced social and ecological vulnerability. Using a cluster analysis of landings, we identify four modes from 1974 to 2012 that are dominated (i.e., a given species accounting for the plurality of landings) by squid, sardine, anchovy, or lack any dominance, and seven points of transition among these periods. This approach enables us to determine which drivers are associated with each mode and each transition. Overall, we show that market and climate drivers are predominantly attributed to dominance transitions. Model selection of external drivers indicates that governance phases, reflected as perceived abundance, dictate long-term outcomes. Our findings suggest that globally, small-scale fishery managers should consider enabling shifts in effort among fisheries and retaining existing flexibility, as adaptive capacity is a critical determinant for social and ecological resilience.

Pacific Canada’s rockfish conservation areas as a social-ecological system: using Ostrom’s design principles to assess management effectiveness.
International declines in marine biodiversity have lead to the creation of marine protected areas and fishery reserve systems. In Canada, 164 Rockfish Conservation Areas (RCAs) were implemented between 2003 and 2007 and now cover 4847.2 km² of ocean. These reserves were created in response to widespread concern from fishers and nongovernmental organizations about inshore rockfish (genus Sebastes) population declines. We used the design principles for effective common-pool resource management systems, originally developed by Elinor Ostrom, to assess the social and ecological effectiveness of these conservation areas more than 10 years after their initial implementation. We assessed the relative presence or absence of each design principle within current RCA management. We found that 2 of the 11 design principles were moderately present in the recreational fishery. All other design principles were lacking for the recreational sector. We found that 2 design principles were fully present and 5 were moderately present in the commercial sector. Four design principles were lacking in the commercial sector. Based on this analysis, we highlight 4 main areas for management improvement: (1) create an education and outreach campaign to explain RCA rules, regulations, boundaries, and the need for marine conservation; (2) increase monitoring of users and resources to discourage noncompliance and gather the necessary data to create social buy-in for marine conservation; (3) encourage informal nested governance through stakeholder organizations for education and self-regulation (e.g. fisher to fisher); and (4) most importantly, create a formal, decadal RCA review process to gather stakeholder input and make amendments to regulations and RCA boundaries. This information can be used to inform spatial management systems both in Canada and internationally. This analysis also contributes to a growing literature on effectively scaling up small-scale management techniques for large-scale, often federally run, common-pool resource systems.

The role of aboriginal peoples in protected areas. Book chapter, no abstract available.

Secure sustainable seafood from developing countries.
Demand for sustainably certified wild-caught fish and crustaceans is increasingly shaping global seafood markets. Retailers such as Walmart in the United States, Sainsbury’s in the United Kingdom, and Carrefour in France, and processors such as Canadian-based High Liner Foods, have promised to source all fresh, frozen, farmed, and wild seafood from sustainable sources by 2015. Credible arbiters of certifications, such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), require detailed environmental and traceability standards. Although these standards have been met in many commercial fisheries throughout the developed world, developing country fisheries (DCFs) represent only 7% of ~220 total MSC-certified fisheries. With the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reporting that developing countries account for ~50% of seafood entering international trade, this presents a fundamental challenge for marketers of sustainable seafood.

Understanding protected area resilience: a multi-scale, social-ecological approach.
Protected areas (PAs) remain central to the conservation of biodiversity. Classical PAs were conceived as areas that would be set aside to maintain a natural state with minimal human influence. However, global environmental change and growing cross-scale anthropogenic influences mean that PAs can no longer be thought of as ecological islands that function independently of the broader social-ecological system in which they are located. For PAs to be resilient (and to contribute to broader social-ecological resilience), they must be able to adapt to changing social and ecological conditions over time in a way that supports the long-term persistence of populations, communities, and ecosystems of conservation concern. We extend Ostrom’s social-ecological systems framework to consider the long-term persistence of PAs, as a form of land use embedded in social-ecological systems, with important cross-scale feedbacks. Most notably, we highlight the cross-scale influences and feedbacks on PAs that exist from the local to the global scale, contextualizing PAs within multi-scale social-ecological functional landscapes. Such functional landscapes are integral to understand and manage individual PAs for long-term sustainability. We illustrate our conceptual contribution with three case studies that highlight cross-scale feedbacks and social-ecological interactions in the functioning of PAs and in relation to regional resilience. Our analysis suggests that while ecological, economic, and social processes are often directly relevant to PAs at finer scales, at broader scales, the dominant processes that shape and alter PA resilience are primarily social and economic.

State of the Pacific Ocean Technical Reports

State of the Physical, Biological and Selected Fishery Resources of Pacific Canadian Marine Ecosystems in 2015
Fisheries and Oceans Canada is responsible for the management and protection of marine resources on the Pacific coast of Canada. An annual State of the Pacific Ocean meeting is held to review the physical, biological and selected fishery resources and present the results of the most recent year’s monitoring in the context of previous observations and expected future conditions. The workshop to review conditions in 2015 was held March 1 and 2, 2016 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo, B.C. The waters off Canada’s west coast experience strong seasonality and considerable freshwater influence and include relatively protected regions such as the Strait of Georgia as well as areas fully exposed to the open ocean conditions of the Pacific. The region supports ecologically and economically important resident and migratory populations of invertebrates, groundfish, pelagic fishes, marine mammals and seabirds. Observations of the marine environment in 2015 identified the continued presence of a large pool of very warm water in the Northeast Pacific Ocean (colloquially known as the “Blob”) with surface waters over 3 °C above normal at its peak in July. The equatorial water of the eastern Pacific also began to warm and by the fall of 2015 a strong El Niño was building. By the end of 2015 the warm surface water anomaly in the Northeast Pacific Ocean had decreased to about 1 °C above normal, while the subsurface waters to a depth of 100 m still remained significantly warmer than normal. These ocean conditions influenced the weather experienced during 2015, and impacted the biological ecosystems on regional and local scales, including changes at the base of the food web such as exceptional blooms of phytoplankton, unusually high abundances of gelatinous zooplankton, and range extension northwards of plankton and fish species more commonly found further south. A special session at the meeting was convened to focus on the monitoring and research being undertaken on the freshwater conditions relevant to the health of anadromous fish populations.

State of the physical, biological and selected fishery resources of Pacific Canadian marine ecosystems in 2014
Fisheries and Oceans Canada is responsible for the management and protection of marine resources on the Pacific coast of Canada. An annual State of the Pacific Ocean meeting is held to review the physical, biological and selected fishery resources and present the results of the most recent year’s monitoring in the context of previous observations and expected future conditions. The workshop to review conditions during 2014 took place at the Institute of Ocean Sciences, Sidney, B.C. on March 10 and 11, 2015, with over 100 participants both in person and via webinar. In general, Pacific Canadian waters experience strong seasonality and considerable freshwater influence and include relatively protected regions such as the Strait of Georgia as well as areas fully exposed to the open ocean conditions of the Pacific. The region supports ecologically and economically important resident and migratory populations of invertebrates, groundfish, pelagic fishes, marine mammals and seabirds. Observations of the marine environment in early 2014 identified a large pool of very warm water in the Northeast Pacific Ocean and an area of cooler water along the west coast of North America. By the end of the year the very warm water had moved into the coastal regions with record high temperatures recorded at many locations in the fall. Monitoring of the biological conditions showed the influences of this warm water on marine species composition and distribution. Such observations include a change from cold water to warm water zooplankton taxa from spring to fall 2014 off the west coast of Vancouver island, the second year with no sardines observed in B.C. waters, a record proportion of Fraser River Sockeye Salmon returning via the ‘northern diversion’ through Johnstone Strait, and mass mortalities of juvenile Cassin’s Auklets (a plankton-feeding seabird) in late fall 2014. Warmer than normal weather was experienced in the fall and winter of 2014 along the west coast of British Columbia with less regional snowpack evident in the spring of 2015. A special session at the meeting was convened to examine the emerging issue of ocean acidification. The level of monitoring and research on this subject was considered below that required given the potential risk to the health of the environment and commercial interests. The proposals of groups to advance the work on this subject were discussed.

State of the physical, biological and selected fishery resources of Pacific Canadian marine ecosystems in 2013
Fisheries and Oceans Canada conducts annual reviews of ocean and marine ecosystem conditions in Pacific Canadian waters and the broader North East Pacific. The workshop to review conditions during 2013 took place on 19 February 2014 at the Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo, B.C., Canada. Overall, 2013 appeared to be a year of transition in physical oceanographic conditions. It was dominated by cooler temperatures during the first half of the year then switched to warmer conditions during the second half of the year. By the end of 2013 and into early 2014, exceptionally warm and fresh conditions, and weak winds, were observed in the Gulf of Alaska, creating very strong vertical stratification. Warm conditions also occurred along the outer B.C. coast during the latter half of the year, making 2013 warmer on average than 2012. These warmer temperatures, along with weak winds, contributed to very weak downwelling conditions along the west coast of Vancouver Island at the end of 2013. Biological responses to these changing physical conditions were muted, likely due to time lags from physics to fish. More warm water zooplankton occurred during summer and fall 2013 along the west coast of Vancouver Island than earlier in the year. In contrast to recent years, Pacific Sardine were not observed during two summer surveys along the west coast of Vancouver Island, and there was no commercial fishery for Pacific Sardine in 2013, capping a 7 year decline in sardine abundance in B.C. A special highlight were the sightings of two different North Pacific Right whales along the outer B.C. coast in 2013, the first confirmed observations of these animals in B.C. waters in 62 years. Stocks of Sockeye Salmon that enter the ocean into the California Current Upwelling Domain continued to increase during 2009-2012. The total survival of Sockeye Salmon which enter the Strait of Georgia as young and return to the Fraser River as adults continued to remain average for most stocks in the 2011 ocean entry (2013 return) year. In addition, the marine survival of one year old Sockeye Salmon from Chilko Lake in the B.C. Interior has continued to improve from the lowest survival on record for this stock in the 2007 ocean entry year (2009 return year).