Megan Bailey

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Interactions between finfish aquaculture and American lobster in Atlantic Canada

We review the state of knowledge of environmental interactions between American lobster, their habitat and fishery, and marine finfish aquaculture.

AtlanticMay 16, 2021
The implementation gap in Canadian fishery policy: Fisheries rebuilding and sustainability at risk

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) established the Sustainable Fisheries Framework (SFF) in 2009 to help meet Canada’s international commitments towards sustainable fisheries management. The SFF is a suite of policies and tools intended to ensure the precautionary approach (PA) is incorporated into fisheries management. Seven years later (2016) a federal government audit by the Canadian Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (CESD) found that although DFO had identified key components necessary for successful fisheries management in the SFF, it had failed to put these components in place for many stocks and did not always apply them even when they were in place.

AtlanticApril 8, 2021
Canada and Transboundary Fisheries Management in Changing Oceans: Taking Stock, Future Scenarios

An Ecology & Society Special Feature featuring four papers from OceanCanada members, titled: Canada and Transboundary Fisheries Management in Changing Oceans: Taking Stock, Future Scenarios.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosDecember 1, 2020
The COVID-19 Pandemic, Small-Scale Fisheries and Coastal Fishing Communities

The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly spread around the world with extensive social and economic effects. This editorial focuses specifically on the implications of the pandemic for small-scale fishers, including marketing and processing aspects of the sector, and coastal fishing communities, drawing from news and reports from around the world. Negative consequences to date have included complete shut-downs of some fisheries, knock-on economic effects from market disruptions, increased health risks for fishers, processors and communities, additional implications for marginalized groups, exacerbated vulnerabilities to other social and environmental stressors, and increased Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing.

PacificMay 22, 2020
Bridging the Knowledge Ocean: A Design Study of Knowledge Translation for the OceanCanada Initiative

In recent years, the research on ocean science has increased noticeably. Given the impact of this research, communities near the ocean may want to enrich their environmental knowledge to ensure our oceans’ future health. However, there is limited accessibility to this research; scientific information that might be publically accessible is often difficult to find and understand without proper background knowledge.

PublicationsMay 19, 2020
Estimating Global Catches of Marine Recreational Fisheries

Commercial fisheries catches by country are documented since 1950 by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Unfortunately, this does not hold for marine recreational catches, of which only few, if any, estimates are reported to FAO. We reconstructed preliminary estimates of likely marine recreational catches for 1950–2014, based on independent reconstructions for 125 countries. Our estimates of marine recreational catches that are retained and landed increased globally until the early 1980s, stabilized through the 1990s, and began increasing again thereafter, amounting to around 900,000 t⋅year–1 in 2014. Marine recreational catches thus account for slightly less than 1% of total global marine catches. Trends vary regionally, increasing in Asia, South America and Africa, while slightly decreasing in Europe and Oceania, and strongly decreasing in North America. The derived taxonomic composition indicates that recent catches were dominated by Sparidae (12% of total catches), followed by Scombridae (10%), Carangidae (6%), Gadidae (5%), and Sciaenidae (4%). The importance of Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) in recreational fisheries in some regions is of concern, given the life-history traits of these taxa. Our preliminary catch reconstruction, despite high data uncertainty, should encourage efforts to improve national data reporting of recreational catches.

National Data and Integrated Scenarios, PublicationsApril 15, 2020
Illicit trade in marine fish catch and its effects on ecosystems and people worldwide

Illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing is widespread; it is therefore likely that illicit trade in marine fish catch is also common worldwide. We combine ecological-economic databases to estimate the magnitude of illicit trade in marine fish catch and its impacts on people. Globally, between 8 and 14 million metric tons of unreported catches are potentially traded illicitly yearly, suggesting gross revenues of US$9 to US$17 billion associated with these catches. Estimated loss in annual economic impact due to the diversion of fish from the legitimate trade system is US$26 to US$50 billion, while losses to countries’ tax revenues are between US$2 and US$4 billion. Country-by-country estimates of these losses are provided in the Supplementary Materials. We find substantial likely economic effects of illicit trade in marine fish catch, suggesting that bold policies and actions by both public and private actors are needed to curb this illicit trade.

National Data and Integrated Scenarios, PublicationsFebruary 26, 2020
Closing the high seas to fisheries: Possible impacts on aquaculture

Consumption of seafood has increased steadily over the past several decades and this trend is expected to continue with projected increases in global population and affluence. Wild capture fisheries catches have likely reached their peak, and therefore any significant increase in future fish supply is expected to come primarily from aquaculture. However, aquaculture continues to rely on wild stocks by using fishmeal to support culture of fed species. Recently, concerns regarding wild fish populations have led to calls for the closure of the high seas (i.e., international waters) to fishing. Such a policy would decrease marine fish catch in the short term while potentially increasing future catch. Here, we assess the potential impacts of closing the high seas to fishing on marine fish catch that goes to reduction into fishmeal. We quantify the potential effects of these changes on the price of fishmeal and profitability of the global aquaculture industry. Not surprisingly, we find a stronger effect of closing the high seas to fishing for high-value carnivorous species such as shrimp and salmonids. Overall, however, our study suggests that the impact of closing the high seas to fishing on aquaculture is likely to be insignificant.

National Data and Integrated Scenarios, PublicationsFebruary 14, 2020
Projecting global mariculture diversity under climate change

Previous studies have focused on changes in the geographical distribution of terrestrial biomes and species targeted by marine capture fisheries due to climate change impacts. Given mariculture’s substantial contribution to global seafood production and its growing significance in recent decades, it is essential to evaluate the effects of climate change on mariculture and their socio‐economic consequences. Here, we projected climate change impacts on the marine aquaculture diversity for 85 of the currently most commonly farmed fish and invertebrate species in the world’s coastal and/or open ocean areas. Results of ensemble projections from three Earth system models and three species distribution models show that climate change may lead to a substantial redistribution of mariculture species richness potential, with an average of 10%–40% decline in the number of species being potentially suitable to be farmed in tropical to subtropical regions. In contrast, mariculture species richness potential is projected to increase by about 40% at higher latitudes under the ‘no mitigation policy’ scenario (RCP 8.5) by the mid‐21st century. In Exclusive Economic Zones where mariculture is currently undertaken, we projected an average future decline of 1.3% and 5% in mariculture species richness potential under RCP 2.6 (‘strong mitigation’) and RCP 8.5 scenarios, respectively, by the 2050s relative to the 2000s. Our findings highlight the opportunities and challenges for climate adaptation in the mariculture sector through the redistribution of farmed species and expansion of mariculture locations. Our results can help inform adaptation planning and governance mechanisms to minimize local environmental impacts and potential conflicts with other marine and coastal sectors in the future.

National Data and Integrated Scenarios, PublicationsFebruary 10, 2020
Subsidizing extinction?

In 2010 world governments agreed to eliminate, phase out or reform incentives that harm biodiversity by 2020. Yet few governments have even identified such incentives, never mind taking action on them. While some subsidies are well studied, such as in fisheries and fossil fuel production, there is an urgent need for the conservation community to study the potential effects a broader array of subsidies have on biodiversity. In addition, we need a better understanding of who benefits from these subsidies. We term this pursuit ‘subsidy accountability’, which is crucial but challenging work crossing disciplines and government ministries. It requires ecologists, forensic accountants, and policy wonks, calculating and forecasting the positive and negative effects of subsidies and their elimination on biodiversity and vulnerable human populations. The Intergovernmental Panel for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services recently concluded that action on biodiversity loss requires transformative economic change; true action on subsidies is one step towards such change.

National Data and Integrated Scenarios, PublicationsJanuary 24, 2020
Supporting early career researchers: insights from interdisciplinary marine scientists

The immense challenges associated with realizing ocean and coastal sustainability require highly skilled interdisciplinary marine scientists. However, the barriers experienced by early career researchers (ECRs) seeking to address these challenges, and the support required to overcome those barriers, are not well understood.

Arctic, Atlantic, National Data and Integrated Scenarios, PacificJanuary 14, 2020
Input versus output controls as instruments for fisheries management with a focus on Mediterranean fisheries

Article 4 of EU Regulation 1380/2013 on the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) define ‘technical measure’ as “a measure that regulates the composition of catches by species and size and the impacts on components of the ecosystems resulting from fishing activities by establishing conditions for the use and structure of fishing gear and restrictions on access to fishing areas.” Thus, these are a set of rules that govern where, when and how fishing can take place.

National Data and Integrated Scenarios, PublicationsJanuary 11, 2020
Escaping the perfect storm of simultaneous climate change impacts on agriculture and marine fisheries

Climate change can alter conditions that sustain food production and availability, with cascading consequences for food security and global economies. Here, we evaluate the vulnerability of societies to the simultaneous impacts of climate change on agriculture and marine fisheries at a global scale. Under a “business-as-usual” emission scenario, ~90% of the world’s population—most of whom live in the most sensitive and least developed countries—are projected to be exposed to losses of food production in both sectors, while less than 3% would live in regions experiencing simultaneous productivity gains by 2100. Under a strong mitigation scenario comparable to achieving the Paris Agreement, most countries—including the most vulnerable and many of the largest CO2 producers—would experience concomitant net gains in agriculture and fisheries production. Reducing societies’ vulnerability to future climate impacts requires prompt mitigation actions led by major CO2 emitters coupled with strategic adaptation within and across sectors.

National Data and Integrated Scenarios, PublicationsNovember 27, 2019
Conservation, contraception and controversy: Supporting human rights to enable sustainable fisheries in Madagascar

Environmental NGOs are increasingly called upon to respect human rights when undertaking conservation programs. Evaluating a family planning program running alongside marine management measures in Madagascar, we find that family planning services provided by an environmental NGO can support women’s reproductive rights.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosNovember 8, 2019
Towards a sustainable and equitable blue economy

The global rush to develop the ‘blue economy’ risks harming both the marine environment and human wellbeing. Bold policies and actions are urgently needed. We identify five priorities to chart a course towards an environmentally sustainable and socially equitable blue economy.

PacificOctober 14, 2019
Ecosystem-based management can contribute to cooperation in transboundary fisheries: The case of pacific sardine

Transboundary fish stocks complicate sustainable fishing strategies, particularly when stakeholders have diverse objectives and regulatory and governance frameworks. Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax) in the California Current is shared by up to three fishing nations— Canada, the United States, and Mexico—and climate-driven abundance and distribution dynamics can complicate cooperative fisheries, leading to overfishing. This study builds on previous analyses by integrating ecosystem linkages into a game theory model of transboundary sardine fisheries under various climate scenarios.

National Data and Integrated Scenarios, PublicationsOctober 11, 2019
Updated estimates and analysis of global fisheries subsidies

The period from 2019 to 2020 is critical in determining whether the World Trade Organization (WTO), tasked with eliminating capacity-enhancing fisheries subsidies, can deliver to the world an agreement that will discipline subsidies that lead to overfishing. Here, following extensive data collection efforts, we present an update of the current scope, amount and analysis of the level of subsidisation of the fisheries sector worldwide.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosSeptember 26, 2019
Busting myths that hinder an agreement to end harmful fisheries subsidies.

The World Trade Organization’s (WTO) has committed to achieving a multilateral and legally binding agreement to eliminate fisheries subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfished stocks, and to illegal, unreported, and unregulated fisheries.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosSeptember 26, 2019
Using harmonized historical catch data to infer the expansion of global tuna fisheries

Despite worldwide demand for tuna products and considerable conservation interest by civil society, no single global dataset exists capturing the spatial extent of all catches from fisheries for large pelagic species across all ocean basins. Efforts to spatially quantify the historical catch of global tuna fisheries have been restricted to the few taxa of major economic interest, creating a truncated view of the true extent of the fisheries for tuna and other large pelagic fishes. Individual Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) have given varying degrees of attention to minor taxa and non-target species only in more recent years. Here, we compiled and harmonized public datasets of nominal landed catches, as well as spatial data on reported catches of large pelagic taxa reported for the industrial tuna and large pelagic fisheries by tuna RFMOs for the last 60+ years. Furthermore, we provide a preliminary estimate of marine finfishes discarded by these fisheries. We spatialized these data to create a publicly available, comprehensive dataset presenting the historical reported landed catches plus preliminary discards of these species in space for 1950–2016. Our findings suggest that current public reporting efforts are insufficient to fully and transparently document the global historical extent of fisheries for tuna and other large pelagic fishes. Further harmonization of our findings with data from small-scale tuna fisheries could contribute to a fuller picture of global tuna and large pelagic fisheries.

National Data and Integrated Scenarios, PublicationsSeptember 21, 2019
The Thriving Coastal Communities Initiative

Rural and resource-based coastal communities in British Columbia (BC) are facing a number of …

PacificSeptember 5, 2019
The potential for locally managed marine area (LMMAs) as a participatory strategy for coastal and marine ecosystems – the global commons

Marine and coastal biodiversity and ecosystem services are degraded in many areas worldwide due to human interference resulting from fishing, tourism, pollution, and mining.

ArcticAugust 19, 2019
Eight urgent, fundamental and simultaneous steps needed to restore ocean health, and the consequences for humanity and the planet of inaction or delay

The ocean crisis is urgent and central to human wellbeing and life on Earth; past and current activities are damaging the planet’s main life support system for future generations. We are witnessing an increase in ocean heat, disturbance, acidification, bio‐invasions and nutrients, and reducing oxygen levels. Several of these act like ratchets: once detrimental or negative changes have occurred, they may lock in place and may not be reversible, especially at gross ecological and ocean process scales.

National Data and Integrated Scenarios, PublicationsJuly 23, 2019
No fear of bankruptcy: the innate self-subsidizing forces in recreational fishing

Recreational fishing, by both local residents and tourists, is a popular activity globally. The behaviour and motivation of recreational fishers is different from those of commercial fishers. Unlike the latter, the former are not dependent on making profits to continue fishing.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJuly 10, 2019
Fisheries subsidies wreck ecosystems, don’t bring them back

In a major policy reversal, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union are on the brink of lifting a ban from 2004 on subsidies for building new fishing vessels. Reintroducing these subsidies contravenes the international consensus to end them by 2020 in order to meet United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14.6.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJuly 2, 2019
Ecological connectivity between the areas beyond national jurisdiction and coastal waters: safeguarding interests of coastal communities in developing countries.

The UN General Assembly has made a unanimous decision to start negotiations to establish an international, legally-binding instrument for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity within Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ). However, there has of yet been little discussion on the importance of this move to the ecosystem services provided by coastal zones in their downstream zone of influence.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJune 28, 2019
Well-being outcomes of marine protected areas.

Marine protected areas are advocated as a key strategy for simultaneously protecting marine biodiversity and supporting coastal livelihoods, but their implementation can be challenging for numerous reasons, including perceived negative effects on human well-being.

PacificJune 19, 2019
Sustainable aquaculture in Canada: Lost in translation

his paper examined the SI used by the Canadian government to assess the social, economic and environmental sustainability of aquaculture production in Canada, whether they adequately measure policy outcomes, and whether national-level SI indicators are appropriate to assessing sustainability at the community-level.

AtlanticJune 12, 2019
A review of the fate of southern British Columbia coho salmon over time.

Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) were once a thriving species in southern British Columbia, acting as a source of food, livelihood, and recreation. Research on the survival and status of coho salmon in British Columbia has been critical since an unprecedented moratorium on Interior Fraser River stocks was put in place in 1998, leading to its designation as an endangered species. Since then, no comprehensive literature review has been undertaken on coho salmon. The present paper outlines current publication trends since the early 1990s, covering research areas that include the management and regulation of wild-capture coho salmon fisheries, hatchery enhancement efforts, as well as the pertinent factors that resulted in low returns. A complementary analysis did reveal a progressive downward shift in the total publication records pertaining, but not limited to, coho salmon in British Columbia. This review process identifies future steps and guidelines that policy makers and fisheries managers should take into account to improve the conservation outlook of coho salmon. Emerging technologies such as the use of genomic identification tools, more consistent and thorough data gathering processes, as well as reformed hatchery rearing practices, have all been identified as decisive action items.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosMay 3, 2019
Culture as vector: agency for social-ecological systems change.

(book chapter in On Active Grounds) This book considers the themes of agency and time through the burgeoning, interdisciplinary field of the environmental humanities. Fourteen essays and a photo album cover topics such as environmental practices and history, temporal literacy, graphic novels, ecocinema, ecomusicology, animal studies, Indigeneity, wolf reintroduction, environmental history, green conservatism, and social-ecological systems change. The book also speaks to the growing concern regarding environmental issues in the aftermath of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21) and the election of Donald Trump in the United States. This collection is organized as a written and visual appeal to issues such as time (how much is left?) and agency (who is active? what can be done? what does and does not work?). It describes problems and suggests solutions. On Active Grounds is unique in its explicit and twinned emphasis on time and agency in the context of the Environmental Humanities and a requisite interdisciplinarity. 

ArcticApril 17, 2019
A vision for documenting and sharing knowledge in conservation.

The publication model for Conservation Science and Practice sees the editorial team make five commitments, listed here.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosApril 12, 2019
Impacts of the changing ocean-sea ice system on the key forage fish Arctic cod (Boreogadus Saida) and subsistence fisheries in the Western Canadian Arctic: evaluating linked climate, ecosystem and economic (CEE) models.

This study synthesizes results from observations, laboratory experiments and models to showcase how the integration of scientific methods and indigenous knowledge can improve our understanding of (a) past and projected changes in environmental conditions and marine species; (b) their effects on social and ecological systems in the respective communities; and (c) support management and planning tools for climate change adaptation and mitigation. The study links climate-ecosystem-economic (CEE) models and discusses uncertainties within those tools. The example focuses on the key forage species in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (Western Canadian Arctic), i.e., Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida). Arctic cod can be trophically linked to sea-ice algae and pelagic primary producers and are key vectors for energy transfers from plankton to higher trophic levels (e.g., ringed seals, beluga), which are harvested by Inuit peoples. Fundamental changes in ice and ocean conditions in the region affect the marine ecosystem and fish habitat. Model simulations suggest increasing trends in oceanic phytoplankton and sea-ice algae with high interannual variability. The latter might be linked to interannual variations in Arctic cod abundance and mask trends in observations. CEE simulations incorporating physiological temperature limits data for the distribution of Arctic cod, result in an estimated 17% decrease in Arctic cod populations by the end of the century (high emission scenario), but suggest increases in abundance for other Arctic and sub-Arctic species. The Arctic cod decrease is largely caused by increased temperatures and constraints in northward migration, and could directly impact key subsistence species. Responses to acidification are still highly uncertain, but sensitivity simulations suggests an additional 1% decrease in Arctic cod populations due to pH impacts on growth and survival. Uncertainties remain with respect to detailed future changes, but general results are likely correct and in line with results from other approaches. To reduce uncertainties, higher resolution models with improved parameterizations and better understanding of the species’ physiological limits are required. Arctic communities should be directly involved, receive tools and training to conduct local, unified research and food chain monitoring while decisions regarding commercial fisheries will need to be precautionary and adaptive in light of the existing uncertainties.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosApril 11, 2019
Disaster-risk, water security challenges and strategies in Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Small island developing states (SIDS) are typically characterized by being environmentally and socio-economically vulnerable to disasters and climate change. Additionally, they often have limited resources for freshwater provisioning services. This article presents an assessment of disaster risk and water security-related challenges in SIDS focusing on three major dimensions: (a) how disaster risks are perceived and addressed in the SIDS context using a case study method, (b) analyzing the current status of water security in these regions using an indicator-based approach and (c) assessing gaps and needs in institutions and policies that can facilitate sustainable development goals (SDGs) and targets, adaptation and resilience building in SIDS. In this regard, information on all SIDS is collected to be able to distinguish trends in and between SIDS based on amongst others geographical location and characteristics. This synthesis noted two key observations: first, that in SIDS, the number of disasters is increasing at a higher rate than the global average, and that the frequency and intensity of the disasters will likely increase because of climate change. These combined factors will impact SIDS on the societal level and on environmental levels, reducing their adaptive capacity, resources, and resilience. Second, most SIDS are already water-scarce with low groundwater volumes. Because of increasing demand (e.g., population growth and tourism) and decreasing supply (e.g., pollution and changes in precipitation patterns) freshwater resources are becoming increasingly limited, often suffering from the spillover effects of competing and conflicting uses. Threatened ecosystems and limited economic resources further influence the adaptive capacities of communities in SIDS. In this light, key solutions to address disaster-risk and water security-related challenges can be found by sharing best practices and lessons learned—from examples of good governance, integrated policies, improved community-resilience, and capacity-building. Added to their fragile situation, SIDS struggle to find enough funding to put their development plans, programs, and policies into action

AtlanticApril 9, 2019
A network perspective on spatially clustered territorial use rights for fishers (TURF) zones.

Co-managed territorial use rights for fishers (TURFs) have shown promise for small-scale fisheries management. The territorial use rights help clarify access and ownership rights, while co-management arrangements create formal relationships between fishers and government. However, there is limited research into the governance processes that influence the interactions and complementarities of TURF zones that are clustered together. In a network of 16 co-managed TURFs in the Cau Hai lagoon, Vietnam, we analyzed management decentralization and the relationship between spatial and networked (social) proximity. Our findings draw attention to several broad lessons for co-managed TURFs: (1) TURFs may operate as isolated silos if co-management agreements do not address relationships among TURF leaders; (2) spatial proximity does not automatically translate to social proximity; and (3) leaders of individuals TURFs need capacity for communication and coordination with other local fisheries leaders. These findings highlight the importance of consideration to the ways that TURF design and implementation influences the relationships and collaboration between fishers, government officials, and other actors.

AtlanticApril 9, 2019
Fishery subsidies: the interaction between science and policy.

Fisheries subsidies have attracted considerable attention worldwide since the 1990s. The World Trade Organization (WTO), among others, started to strengthen its disciplines in fisheries subsidies in 2001. The academic study of fisheries subsidies can play a key role in contributing to policy-making processes such as WTO negotiations by providing more accurate information on the link between subsidies and overfishing. This paper aims to review the existing academic literature and discuss the role of academic studies in the process of designing and implementing policies on fisheries subsidies. Academic studies on fishery subsides can be divided into three branches: descriptive, theoretical, and empirical. Overall, there has been significant progress in empirical studies on fishery subsidies during the last decade. While the number of studies is still limited, they generate insights that are consistent with theoretical predictions. As for potential contributions of academic studies to actual policies and sustainable management, more interaction between academic experts and policy makers is desirable.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosMarch 26, 2019
Climate change impact on Canada’s Pacific marine ecosystem: the current state of knowledge.

Global warming is already affecting the oceans through changes in water temperature, acidification, oxygen content and sea level rise, amongst many others. These changes are having multiple effects on marine species worldwide, with subsequent impacts on marine fisheries, peoples’ livelihoods and food security.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosMarch 16, 2019
Local support for conservation is associated with perceptions of good governance, social impacts, and ecological effectiveness

Local support is important for the longevity of conservation initiatives. The literature suggests that perceptions of ecological effectiveness, social impacts, and good governance will influence levels of local support for conservation. This paper examines these relationships using data from a survey of small‐scale fishermen in 11 marine protected areas from six countries in the Mediterranean Sea. The survey queried small‐scale fishermen regarding perceptions and support for conservation. We constructed composite scores for three categories of perceptions—ecological effectiveness, social impacts, and good governance—and tested the relationship with levels of support using ordinal regression models. While all three factors were positively correlated with support for conservation, perceptions of good governance and social impacts were stronger predictors of increasing support. These findings suggest that employing good governance processes and managing social impacts may be more important than ecological effectiveness for maintaining local support for conservation.

PacificMarch 12, 2019
Climate change: impact on marine ecosystems and world fisheries.

I provide a selected survey of the literature on the effects of climate change on the biophysics and ecology of marine ecosystems and the fisheries that depend on them. First, I discuss the effects of warming, ocean acidification and deoxygenation on marine life. Second, I describe how the projected changes in the biophysics of the ocean is likely to affect the economics and management of ocean fisheries.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosMarch 6, 2019
A modelling approach to assess the impact of land mining on marine biodiversity: assessment in coastal catchments experiencing catastrophic events (SW Brazil).

Analysis that link hydrological processes with oceanographic dispersion offer a promising approach for assessing impacts of land-based activities on marine ecosystems. However, such an analysis has not yet been customised to quantify specific pressures from mining activities on marine biodiversity including those from spillages resulting from tailing dam failure. Here, using a Brazilian catchment in which a tailing dam collapsed (Doce river) as a case study, we provide a modelling approach to assess the impacts on key ecosystems and marine protected areas subjected to two exposure regimes: (i) a pulse disturbance event for the period 2015–2016, following the immediate release of sediments after dam burst, which witnessed an average increase of 88% in sediment exports; and (ii) a press disturbance phase for the period 2017–2029, when impacts are sustained over time by sediments along the river’s course. We integrated four components into impact assessments: hydrological modelling, coastal-circulation modelling, ecosystem mapping, and biological sensitivities. The results showed that pulse disturbance causes sharp increases in the amount of sediments entering the coastal area, exposing key sensitive ecosystems to pollution (e.g. rhodolith beds), highlighting an urgent need for developing restoration strategies for these areas. The intensity of impacts will diminish over time but the total area of sensitive ecosystems at risk are predicted to be enlarged. We determined monitoring and restoration priorities by evaluating and comparing the extent to which sensitive ecosystems within marine protected areas were exposed to disturbances. The information obtained in this study will allow the optimization of recovery efforts in the marine area affected, and valuation of ecosystem services lost.

PacificMarch 6, 2019
Fishing-effort response dynamics in fisheries for short-lived invertebrates.

In complex dynamic systems like fisheries, recognizing fishing-effort responses is as critical as understanding the biology of the exploited species for making sensible management decisions. In highly seasonal fisheries, it is theoretically possible for an “interannual bionomic equilibrium” to develop under open-access, where fleet dynamics may result in balanced year-to-year harvesting due to decreasing income per time fishing as biomass declines, without endangering the sustainability of the stock. However, in some conditions, this interannual bionomic equilibrium can be pathologically low leading to overfishing and amplification of extinction risks. Here we draw three cases from short-lived and fast-growing invertebrate fisheries to illustrate two distinct effort response dynamics: (a) fishing-effort responses that lead to healthy interannual bionomic equilibrium; and (b) fishing-effort responses in which fishing remains profitable over the entire season, hence, allowing fishing fleets to maintain a high fishing-effort throughout the season. Analyzing long-term within-year catch and effort data, we found that both Gulf of Mexico shrimp and North Territory giant crab fisheries are likely currently at healthy interannual bionomic equilibria, while certain socioeconomic drivers enable the Kuwait shrimp fishery to maintain high effort through the entire shrimping season. Our findings suggest that input controls are less effective in short-lived invertebrate fisheries that exhibit fishing-effort proportional to declining stock abundance. Conversely, if not regulated, the abundance-insensitive fishing-effort response could pose biological risks and habitat destruction. Therefore, we emphasize that in common-property seasonal fisheries, fishing-effort responses be scrutinized to distinguish factors that might undermine resource sustainability.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosMarch 6, 2019
The fisheries of Africa: exploitation, policy, and maritime security trends.

African maritime countries take the majority of their animal protein from fish. Bound with tradition and a promise of food and other values, African fisheries also provide a source of livelihood for over 35 million coastal fishers. Yet, as in many other regions of the world, the fishing sector is plagued with policy failures, and illegal activities. This paper summarizes the key points in the evolution of African fisheries in terms of exploitation, policy, and maritime security trends. It addresses how access to fishing by the small-scale sector is increasingly hindered by the increasing power and scope of an industrial fleet often involved in Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing. It also discusses the impacts of ineffective enforcement against overexploitation and illegal fishing, piracy, human smuggling and climate-change risks for coastal communities, as well as policy measures and initiatives to reverse the existing trends.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosMarch 1, 2019
Distributional impacts of fisheries subsidies and their reform: case studies from Senegal and Vietnam

Ongoing international negotiations on capacity enhancing fisheries subsidies may soon eliminate harmful subsidies. Although their negative ecosystem impacts are well known, their social dimensions are less understood. This paper investigates the distributional and equity dimensions of fisheries subsidies in two developing countries, Senegal and Vietnam, to understand how their provision or removal may affect different population groups. Using the limited data available, we paid specific attention to women and youth, who are especially vulnerable in these contexts. We recommend further study to understand the implications of reform on other vulnerable groups, such as indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities.

PacificMarch 1, 2019
Climate Atlas of Canada: listening to the landscape of the future.

Magazine article, see link for detail.

Knowledge MobilizationMarch 1, 2019
Benefits of the Paris Agreement to ocean life, economies, and people

The Paris Agreement aims to mitigate the potential impacts of climate change on ecological and social systems. Using an ensemble of climate-marine ecosystem and economic models, we explore the effects of implementing the Agreement on fish, fishers, and seafood consumers worldwide. We find that implementing the Agreement could protect millions of metric tons in annual worldwide catch of top revenue-generating fish species, as well as billions of dollars annually of fishers’ revenues, seafood workers’ income, and household seafood expenditure. Further, our analysis predicts that 75% of maritime countries would benefit from this protection, and that ~90% of this protected catch would occur within the territorial waters of developing countries. Thus, implementing the Paris Agreement could prove to be crucial for the future of the world’s ocean ecosystems and economies.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosFebruary 27, 2019
A carding system as an approach to increasing the economic risk of engaging in IUU fishing?

The European Union (EU) instituted a carding system via its European Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1005/2008 with the goal of incentivizing fish and fish products (fish) exporting countries to the Union to take action to reduce IUU fishing in their waters. This regulation stipulates that the EU will issue warnings, known as a “yellow card,” to countries that perform poorly in the effort to end IUU fishing in their waters. Failure to curb IUU fishing will result in a ban in the export of fish to the EU via the issuance of a red card. Here, I ask the following questions: what is the economic risk of being red carded by the EU? Is the economic risk big enough to significantly reduce IUU fishing in a targeted country’s waters? Would the risk be broad enough to result in a significant reduction in IUU fishing globally? What if the two other leading fish importing countries, i.e., the United States and Japan, also institute a similar carding system as the EU? To address these questions, I develop and compute an economic risk index for the carding system. This study suggests that the impact of an EU only IUU carding system could be significant for some targeted countries but its effect globally, with respect to reducing IUU fishing, would be minimal. However, I find that the economic risk to fish exporting countries would increase significantly if the United States and Japan also instituted similar carding systems, which would in turn help to reduce IUU fishing worldwide. This contribution shows that an IUU carding system could contribute significantly to the elimination of IUU fishing provided a critical mass of top fish importing countries participate in such a system.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosFebruary 19, 2019
Reconciling social justice and ecosystem-based management in the wake of a successful predator reintroduction.

The reintroduction of a previously extirpated predator can engender conflict when the reintroduced species depletes customary fisheries to which indigenous communities have constitutionally protected rights. In the case of sea otter (Enhydra lutris) recovery on the west coast of North America, not only is Canada’s Species at Risk Act in conflict with Indigenous rights, but it also illuminates gaps in the principles of ecosystem-based management (EBM), such as equity and social justice. Broadly, we ask in this paper how EBM might be advanced if Indigenous communities were viewed as components of ecosystems having rights to a sustainable future equal to other components. Specifically, we explore evidence of sea otter management among precontact Northwest Coast societies and a contemporary co-managed system proposed by the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations that would combine research with refinement of traditional hunting practices. We show that barriers persist through lack of knowledge of past controlled hunts, ignorance of recent experiences of successful community-based clam management, distrust of Indigenous capacity to self-manage or co-manage a hunt, and divergent values among actors.

PacificFebruary 1, 2019
Threats and vision for the conservation of Galápagos birds.

Threats that affect the avian diversity on the Galápagos Islands are increasing. We evaluated threats such as climate change and severe weather, human intrusions and disturbance, biological resource use, invasive and other problematic species, genes and diseases, pollution, geological events and loss of genetic diversity in relation with avian species enlisted in both the international and national (Ecuador) IUCN Red List, which can be used as sentinel species of the ecosystem. Here, the status of the threatened species for the next ten years (present time up to 2028), under two scenarios, including the status quo and the avian diversity vision for the species’ conservation, was assessed.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJanuary 31, 2019
Insights on fostering the emergence of robust conservation actions from Zimbabwe’s CAMPFIRE program.

One strategy to address threats to biodiversity in the face of ongoing budget constraints is to create an enabling environment that facilitates individuals, communities and other groups to self-organise to achieve conservation outcomes. Emergence (new activities and initiatives), and robustness (durability of these activities and initiatives over time), two related concepts from the common pool resources literature, provide guidance on how to support and enable such self-organised action for conservation. To date emergence has received little attention in the literature. Our exploratory synthesis of the conditions for emergence from the literature highlighted four themes: for conservation to emerge, actors need to 1) recognise the need for change, 2) expect positive outcomes, 3) be able to experiment to achieve collective learning, and 4) have legitimate local scale governance authority. Insights from the literature on emergence and robustness suggest that an appropriate balance should be maintained between external guidance of conservation and enabling local actors to find solutions appropriate to their contexts. We illustrate the conditions for emergence, and its interaction with robustness, through discussing the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) in Zimbabwe and reflect on efforts at strengthening local autonomy and management around the world. We suggest that the delicate balance between external guidance of actions, and supporting local actors to develop their own solutions, should be managed adaptively over time to support the emergence of robust conservation actions.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJanuary 29, 2019
Marine social science for the peopled seas.

Coastal communities, indigenous peoples, and small-scale fishers rely on the ocean for livelihoods, for subsistence, for wellbeing and for cultural continuity. Thus, understanding the human dimensions of the world’s peopled seas and coasts is fundamental to evidence-based decision-making across marine policy realms, including marine conservation, marine spatial planning, fisheries management, the blue economy and climate adaptation. This perspective article contends that the marine social sciences must inform the pursuit of sustainable oceans. To this end, the article introduces this burgeoning field and briefly reviews the insights that social science can offer to guide ocean and coastal policy and management. The upcoming United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021–2030) provides a tremendous opportunity to build on the current interest, need for and momentum in the marine social sciences. We will be missing the boat if the marine social sciences do not form an integral and substantial part of the mandate and investments of this global ocean science for sustainability initiative.

PacificJanuary 24, 2019
National contributions to global ecosystem values.

Conventional, global‐scale conservation efforts focus almost exclusively on high intensity ecosystem values, such as species richness, biomass concentration, or areas where threats to biodiversity are extreme.

PacificJanuary 22, 2019
Illicit trade in the marine resources of West Africa

The goals of this paper are threefold. First, it quantitatively and qualitatively determines the economic and social cost of illicit trade in marine resources of West Africa. Second, the paper discusses the channels and scale of illicit trade in fish and fish products. Third, the economic loss and impacts from illicit trade are determined and policy options for curbing this trade suggested. We found substantial effects of illicit trade in the marine resources of West Africa, in terms of economic impact (defined as the added value through the fish value chain generated from the revenues earned from fishing), income, jobs and tax revenue impacts. For instance, the region as a whole is estimated to be losing economic and income impacts of nearly US$1,950 million and US$593 million, per year, respectively.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJanuary 14, 2019
In political seas: engaging with political ecology in the ocean and coastal environment

The world’s oceans and coasts are awash in a sea of politics. The marine environment is increasingly busy, changing, and a site of degradation, marginalization, injustice, contestation and conflict over declining resources and occupied spaces at local to global scales. Themes of political ecology, such as power and politics, narratives and knowledge, scale and history, environmental justice and equity, are thus salient issues to understand in ocean and coastal governance and management. This subject review examines research on these themes of political ecology in the ocean and coastal environment and reflects on how the insights gained might be applied to governance and management. Political ecology provides important insights into: the influence of power in ocean management and governance processes; the manner in which narratives, knowledge, and scale are used to legitimize and shape policies and management efforts; the effects of historical trajectories on present circumstances, options, and practices; and the nature of inequities and environmental injustices that can occur in the marine environment. Moreover, ocean and coastal researchers, practitioners, and decision makers ought to engage with the political processes and injustices occurring in the ocean. Moving from critical insights to constructive engagements will ensure that political ecology helps to plant seeds of hope in the Anthropocene ocean.

PacificJanuary 12, 2019
Synergies on the coast: challenges facing shellfish aquaculture development on the central and north coast of British Columbia.

The rise in global demand for seafood has led many people to view shellfish aquaculture as an economically and ecologically viable source of seafood. However, interactions with the environment, existing industry, and societal values must be considered to ensure sustainability of this industry. Shellfish aquaculture in British Columbia (BC), Canada, showcases many of these issues. This review explores key socio-economic and ecological considerations for future growth of shellfish aquaculture on the central and north coast of BC, with implications for the continuing global expansion of the industry. Interactions among shellfish aquaculture, coastal groups, existing industries, and First Nations, as well as considerations under changing oceanic conditions are investigated. Expansion of shellfish aquaculture on the central and north coast of BC will need to be socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable. The results of this review strongly indicate that shellfish aquaculture should be incorporated in marine planning initiatives and developed in consideration of local ecological, environmental, economic, and social context.

PacificJanuary 11, 2019
Just transactions, just transitions: Towards truly sustainable fisheries in British Columbia

Historically, fisheries have been the bedrock of many of Canada’s coastal communities, their economies and cultures. But today, BC fisheries are failing our fishing communities and fish harvesters, as the system in BC is broken.

PacificJanuary 9, 2019
Expanding the role of social science in conservation through an engagement with philosophy, methodology, and methods.

The Special Feature led by Sutherland, Dicks, Everard, and Geneletti (Methods Ecology and Evolution, 9, 7–9, 2018) sought to highlight the importance of “qualitative methods” for conservation. The intention is welcome, and the collection makes many important contributions. Yet, the articles presented a limited perspective on the field, with a focus on objectivist and instrumental methods, omitting discussion of some broader philosophical and methodological considerations crucial to social science research. Consequently, the Special Feature risks narrowing the scope of social science research and, potentially, reducing its quality and usefulness. In this article, we seek to build on the strengths of the articles of the Special Feature by drawing in a discussion on social science research philosophy, methodology, and methods.We start with a brief discussion on the value of thinking about data as being qualitative (i.e., text, image, or numeric) or quantitative (i.e., numeric), not methods or research. Thinking about methods as qualitative can obscure many important aspects of research design by implying that “qualitative methods” somehow embody a particular set of assumptions or principles. Researchers can bring similar, or very different, sets of assumptions to their research design, irrespective of whether they collect qualitative or quantitative data.We clarify broad concepts, including philosophy, methodology, and methods, explaining their role in social science research design. Doing so provides us with an opportunity to examine some of the terms used across the articles of the Special Feature (e.g., bias), revealing that they are used in ways that could be interpreted as being inconsistent with their use in a number of applications of social science.We provide worked examples of how social science research can be designed to collect qualitative data that not only understands decision‐making processes, but also the unique social–ecological contexts in which it takes place. These examples demonstrate the importance of coherence between philosophy, methodology, and methods in research design, and the importance of reflexivity throughout the research process.We conclude with encouragement for conservation social scientists to explore a wider range of qualitative research approaches, providing guidance for the selection and application of social science methods for ecology and conservation.

PacificJanuary 8, 2019
Economic potential of the Brazilian marine recreational fishery.

The number of recreational fishing licenses in Brazil has been increasing exponentially since 2000, but a drop occurred in 2014, probably associated to an economic crisis. On average, only 20% of
the licenses issued in 2011-2014 were for anglers fishing in marine waters. From those, 20% were type A licenses (shore-based) and the remainder were type B-C licenses (boat-based). Based on
the licenses database, it was possible to estimate a mean annual expenditure by marine anglers of US$ 524 million between 2011 and 2014. The absolute mean expenditure per trip was usually
higher for men but women tended to spend more as a percentage of their income. This was mainly due to the lower average income of women relative to men. Some inconsistences in the licenses
database were found which could be easily corrected in the future and the estimates presented here improved.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJanuary 1, 2019
Comparative valuation of fisheries in Asian Large Marine Ecosystems with emphasis on the East China Sea and South China Sea LMEs.

Asia’s marine waters are divided into 13 Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs), which together generate about 50% of the global marine fish catch of ~110 million tonnes annually. Here, I carry out a comparative analysis and valuation of these 13 LMEs with a focus on fish values even though marine ecosystem valuation is much broader than the valuation of fisheries. The following indicators were employed: Catch level, landed values, and subsidy intensity. These are key indicators of a fishery because (i) catch is an indicator of the amount of fish available in weight for food security purposes; (ii) landed value is the firsthand value from which wages, profits and economic impact originate; and (iii) fisheries subsidy is a policy instrument, which if used wrongly can lead to overcapacity and overfishing. In the second part of this contribution, I use the East and South China Sea LMEs to further illustrate the value of ocean fisheries and some of the threats they face. To carry out the comparative analysis, I extracted data from the Sea Around Us and Fisheries Economics Research Unit databases at the University of British Columbia. I also rely on the data and analysis of the OceanAsia project supported by the ADM Capital Foundation Ltd of Hong Kong. The analysis suggests that Asian LMEs are crucial in terms of food security, economic and social benefits to tens of millions of people in Asia and around the world; are under strong overfishing pressure; and that action is needed through effective management to stem the overfishing tide in order to ensure that these LMEs continue to sustain the delivery of goods and services through time.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosDecember 28, 2018
Unraveling the blue paradox: incomplete analysis yields incorrect conclusions about Phoenix Islands Protected Area closure. 

In PNAS, McDermott et al. (1) analyze a 2014–2016 central Pacific fishing surge, focusing on the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) inside the Kiribati exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The authors incorrectly attribute the surge to the anticipated industrial fishing closure of PIPA and describe the phenomenon as a blue paradox (i.e., an unintended negative consequence of a conservation policy). However, a broader analysis demonstrates that this surge was unrelated to the closure of PIPA and was due to a strong El Niño event that created a fishing surge across multiple EEZs and high seas, not just PIPA (2).

National Data and Integrated ScenariosDecember 17, 2018
Establishing company level fishing revenue and profit losses from fisheries: A bottom-up approach

A third of global fish stocks are overexploited and many are economically underperforming, resulting in potential unrealized net economic benefits of USD 51 to 83 billion annually. However, this aggregate view, while useful for global policy discussion, may obscure the view for those actors who engage at a regional level. Therefore, we develop a method to associate large companies with their fishing operations and evaluate the biological sustainability of these operations. We link current fish biomass levels and landings to the revenue streams of the companies under study to compute potentially unrealized fisheries revenues and profits at the level of individual firms. We illustrate our method using two case studies: anchoveta (Engraulis ringens; Engraulidae) in Peru and menhaden in the USA (Brevoortia patronus and B. tyrannus;Clupeidae). We demonstrate that both these fisheries could potentially increase their revenues compared to the current levels of exploitation. We estimate the net but unrealized fishery benefits for the companies under question. This information could be useful to investors and business owners who might want to be aware of the actual fisheries performance options of the companies they invest in.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosNovember 26, 2018
Network governance of land-sea social-ecological systems in the Lesser Antilles.

Human activities on land impact coastal-marine systems in the Lesser Antilles. Efforts to address these impacts are constrained by existing top-down and fragmented governance systems. Network governance may help to address land-sea interactions by promoting improved co-governance and land-sea integration. However, the conditions for, and processes of, transformations towards network governance in the region are poorly understood. We examine network governance emergence in four case studies from the Lesser Antilles: Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada. We find that governance is currently in transition towards a more networked mode within all the cases. Our results suggest that participation in collaborative projects has played an important role in initiating transitions. Additionally, multilateral agreements, boundary-spanning organizations, and experience with extreme events provide enabling conditions for network governance. Successfully navigating the ongoing transitions towards improved network governance will require (1) facilitating the leadership of central actors and core teams in steering towards network governance and (2) finding ways to appropriately engage the latent capacity of communities and non-state actors in governance networks.

AtlanticNovember 17, 2018
Modern slavery and the race to fish.

Marine fisheries are in crisis, requiring twice the fishing effort of the 1950s to catch the same quantity of fish, and with many fleets operating beyond economic or ecological sustainability. A possible consequence of diminishing returns in this race to fish is serious labour abuses, including modern slavery, which exploit vulnerable workers to reduce costs. Here, we use the Global Slavery Index (GSI), a national-level indicator, as a proxy for modern slavery and labour abuses in fisheries. GSI estimates and fisheries governance are correlated at the national level among the major fishing countries. Furthermore, countries having documented labour abuses at sea share key features, including higher levels of subsidised distant-water fishing and poor catch reporting. Further research into modern slavery in the fisheries sector is needed to better understand how the issue relates to overfishing and fisheries policy, as well as measures to reduce risk in these labour markets.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosNovember 7, 2018
Impacts of anthropogenic and natural “extreme events” on global fisheries

A broad range of extreme events can affect fisheries catch and hence performance. Using a compiled database of extreme events for all maritime countries in the world between 1950 to 2010, we estimate effects on national fisheries catches, by sector, large‐scale industrial and small scale (artisanal, subsistence and recreational). Contrary to general expectations, fisheries catches respond positively to nearly all forms of extreme events, suggesting a valuable coping or compensation mechanism for coastal communities as they increase their catch after extreme events, but also an opportunistic behaviour by foreign industrial fishing fleets, as industrial catches increase. These effects vary according to country characteristics, with lower coping capacity for coastal communities and higher opportunistic fishing by foreign fleets in countries with poor governance, higher unemployment and direct exposure to prolonged armed conflicts. We also observe an accumulative effect resulting from the aggregation of multiple disasters that deserves further consideration for disaster mitigation. These findings may assist with managing fisheries towards increasing resilience and adaptive capacity such as early detection of potential impacts, protecting livelihoods and food sources, preventing illegal fishing by industrial fleets and informing aid responses towards recovery.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosNovember 6, 2018
Role of communities in fisheries management: “one would first need to imagine it.”

Are coastal communities relevant in fisheries management? Starting from what Svein Jentoft has had to say about the topic, we explore the idea that viable fishing communities require viable fish stocks, and viable fish stocks require viable fishing communities. To elaborate and expand on Jentoft’s arguments, first, we discuss values as a key attribute of communities that confer the ability to manage coastal resources. Turning to power, next we explore why fishing communities need to be empowered by having the opportunity to self-manage or co-manage resources. Third, regarding community viability, we make the argument that (1) rebuilding or maintaining viable fishing communities and fish stocks cannot succeed without first dealing with vulnerabilities, and that (2) the dimensions of vulnerability involve increase/decrease in well-being, better/poorer access to capitals, and building/losing resilience. The idea that healthy fishing communities and healthy fish stocks require one another implies a viable system that contains both, a social-ecological system view. The values embedded in communities enable them to manage resources. Thus, managers and policy makers need to imagine healthy fishing communities who take care of resources, and this positive image of communities is more likely than present policies to lead to viable fishing communities as well as viable fish stocks.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosNovember 6, 2018
Estimating fishers’ net income in small-scale fisheries: minimum wage or average wage?

Small-scale fisheries (SSFs) are complex social-ecological systems that are affected not only by biological responses to oceanographic changes but also by socio-economic conditions and market demand expressed from local to global scales. Ex-vessel prices are generally elastic and volatile from year to year or even from season to season, depending on many factors. This variability makes it difficult to keep fishers’ incomes and livelihoods stable over time. Here, we use a multispecies small-scale fishery from the Ria de Arousa (NW Spain) as an example to illustrate the complexity and economic contributions of SSFs and to analyse the performance of SSFs in terms of net income per fisher. Our results show that the mean total landed value from SSFs is approximately 35 million US$·year−1, which represents almost 25% of the total annual value of Spanish SSF landings and almost 4% of the value of European Union SSF landings. Our study reveals that from 2008 to 2014, the total landed value of the fishing fleet operating in the area has decreased by 11.8 million US$·year−1, a decrease of 18.8% within the seven-year study period. The study also indicates that floating shellfisheries are by far the type of fishing gear that generates the largest total landings and landed value in the Ria de Arousa, generating a mean revenue of 19.66 million US$·year−1. The total economic weight of floating shellfisheries together with the high distribution of licenses provides license holders with year-round economic stability. The combination of the number of fishing gear selected and the number of species that generate their revenues plays an important role in shaping fishers’ ability to obtain an income from SSFs. Nevertheless, high dependence on and specialisation in shellfisheries could reduce fishers’ social-ecological resilience and hamper their ability to cope with uncertain natural dynamics in changing ecosystems. We find that the net income per fisher varies between 4,000 and 42,000 US$·year−1, with a mean net income per fisher of 21,800 US$·year−1. Taking into account the Spanish minimum wage, almost 40% of fishers in the study area earn at least the minimum wage, 8% earn almost double the minimum wage, and 1.4% make three times the minimum wage. From a global perspective, we found that only three out of the 33 countries analysed present fishers’ net incomes that are above or almost equal to the national average wage and far above each country’s minimum wage.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosNovember 1, 2018
The economic impact of global change on fishing and non-fishing households in the Tonle Sap ecosystem, Pursat, Cambodia

This paper investigates the economic impact of future global change on fishing dependent inhabitants of the Tonle Sap floodplain in Cambodia. We compare the net income from individuals’ current livelihoods to that derived from reallocating their livelihood activities under 4 different scenarios depicting future change. Respondents generally chose to retain their current livelihood strategy under all future scenarios. Less than 10% of those who did change livelihood allocation actually experienced a gain in economic benefits. Those engaged in single livelihoods experienced an average income loss of 18% across all scenarios, compared to 9% for the multi-livelihood group. Respondents’ choices generated the best economic outcome under a status quo scenario, thus suggesting a low capacity to adapt when faced with unfamiliar future scenarios. Our study contributes to identifying and understanding the economic impact of future global changes on fisheries dependent individuals in the Tonle Sap floodplain ecosystem.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosOctober 23, 2018
Indicators of marine ecosystem integrity for Canada’s Pacific: An expert-based hierarchical approach

There is great interest and rapid progress around the world in developing sets of indicators of marine ecosystem integrity for assessment and management. However, the complexity of coastal marine ecosystems can challenge such efforts. To address this challenge, an expert-based, hierarchical, and adaptive approach was developed with the objectives of healthy marine ecosystems and community partnerships in monitoring and management. Small sets of the top-ranked indicators of ecosystem integrity and associated human pressures were derived from expert-rankings of lists of identified candidate indicators of the status of, and pressures on, each of 17 ecosystem features, organized within 8 elements in turn within 3 overlapping aspects of ecosystem health. Over 200 experts played a role in rating the relative value of 1035 candidate indicators. A panel of topic experts was assigned to each of the 17 ecosystem features to apply 21 weighted indicator selection criteria. Selection criteria and candidate indicators were identified through literature reviews, expert panels, and surveys, and they were evaluated in terms of the experts’ judgements of importance to the health of Canada’s Pacific marine ecosystems. This produced a flexible, robust, and adaptable approach to identifying representative sets of indicators for any scale and for any management unit within Canada’s Pacific. At the broadest scale, it produced a top 20 list of ecosystem state and pressure indicators. These top indicators, or other sets selected for smaller regions, can then guide the development of both regional and nested local monitoring programs in a way that maximizes continuity while including locally unique values. This hierarchical expert-based approach was designed to address challenges of complexity and scale and to enable efficient selection of useful and representative sets of indicators of ecosystem integrity while also enabling the participation of broad government and stakeholder communities.

PacificOctober 23, 2018
Incorporate Indigenous perspectives for impactful research and effective management.

Indigenous knowledge and ecological science have complementary differences that can be fruitfully combined to better understand the past and predict the future of social-ecological systems. Cooperation among scientific and Indigenous perspectives can improve conservation and resource management policies.

PacificOctober 22, 2018
Optimizing marine spatial plans with animal tracking data.

Marine user–environment conflicts can have consequences for ecosystems that negatively affect humans. Strategies and tools are required to identify, predict, and mitigate the conflicts that arise between marine anthropogenic activities and wildlife. Estimating individual-, population-, and species-scale distributions of marine animals has historically been challenging, but electronic tagging and tracking technologies (i.e., biotelemetry and biologging) and analytical tools are emerging that can assist marine spatial planning (MSP) efforts by documenting animal interactions with marine infrastructure (e.g., tidal turbines, oil rigs), identifying critical habitat for animals (e.g., migratory corridors, foraging hotspots, reproductive or nursery zones), or delineating distributions for fisheries exploitation. MSP that excludes consideration of animals is suboptimal, and animal space-use estimates can contribute to efficient and responsible exploitation of marine resources that harmonize economic and ecological objectives of MSP. This review considers the application of animal tracking to MSP objectives, presents case studies of successful integration, and provides a look forward to the ways in which MSP will benefit from further integration of animal tracking data.

Law and PolicyOctober 18, 2018
Potential impacts of finfish aquaculture on eelgrass (Zostera marina) beds and possible monitoring metrics for management: a case study in Atlantic Canada

Eelgrass (Zostera marina) has been designated an Ecologically Significant Species in Atlantic Canada. The development and rapid expansion of netpen finfish aquaculture into sensitive coastal habitats has raised concerns about the impacts of finfish aquaculture on eelgrass habitats. To date, no studies have been done in Atlantic Canada to examine these impacts or to identify potential monitoring variables that would aid in the development of specific conservation and management objectives. As a first step in addressing this gap, we examined differences in environmental variables, eelgrass bed structure and macroinfauna communities at increasing distances from a finfish farm in Port Mouton Bay, a reference site in adjacent Port Joli Bay, and published survey results from other sites without finfish farms along the Atlantic Coast of Nova Scotia. Drawing on research done elsewhere and our results, we then identified possible metrics for assessing and monitoring local impacts of finfish aquaculture on eelgrass habitats. Our results suggest some nutrient and organic enrichment, higher epiphyte loads, lower eelgrass cover and biomass, and lower macroinfauna biomass closer to the farm. Moreover, community structure significantly differed between sites with some species increasing and others decreasing closer to the farm. Changes in the macroinfauna community could be linked to observed differences in environmental and eelgrass bed variables. These results provide new insights into the potential impacts of finfish aquaculture on eelgrass habitats in Atlantic Canada. We recommend a suite of measures for assessment and monitoring that take into account response time to disturbance and account for different levels of eelgrass organizational response (from physiological to community).

AtlanticOctober 16, 2018
The Antarctic: connecting the dots. The Arctic: giving back. The Himalayas: feeling the myth

Early in 2018, Dr. D. R. Fraser Taylor, Director of the Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre, was invited by Oldrich Bubak, an academic from McMaster University, to write the foreword for a trilogy of books of photographs on three special places, the Poles of the Planet – the Arctic, the Antarctic, and the Himalayas. The extensive collection of photographs was taken by his father, Oldrich Bubak, an explorer, award winning photographer and guide of Czech ancestry. Dr. Taylor was approached to write the foreword in view of his reputation as a cartographer of global merit; he is the only Canadian to have been elected President of the International Cartographic Association. As Dr. Taylor notes, these photographs draw our attention to compelling questions of geography and environment in these times of dramatic and irreversible climate change.

ArcticOctober 16, 2018
Enhancing climate change research with open science

Climate change research aims to understand global environmental change and how it will impact nature and society. The broad scope of climate change impacts means that successful adaptation and mitigation efforts will require an unprecedented collaboration effort that unites diverse disciplines and is able to rapidly respond to evolving climate issues (IPCC, 2014). However, to achieve this aim, climate change research practices need updating: key research findings remain behind journal paywalls, and scientific progress can be impeded by low levels of reproducibility and transparency (Ellison, 2010; Morueta-Holme et al., 2018), individual data ownership (Hampton et al., 2015), and inefficient research workflows (Lowndes et al., 2017). Furthermore, the level of public interest and policy engagement on climate change issues relies on fast communication of academic research to public institutions, with the result that the societal impact of climate change studies will differ according to their public availability and exposure. Here, we argue that by adopting open science (OS) principles, scientists can advance climate change research and accelerate efforts to mitigate impacts; especially for highly vulnerable developing regions of the world where research capacity is limited. We underscore the specific benefits of OS in raising the academic and societal impact of climate change research using citation and media metrics.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosOctober 12, 2018
Women’s perspectives of small-scale fisheries and environmental change in Chilika lagoon, India

This article investigates the gendered implications of environmental change using case studies of two small-scale fishing communities in Chilika lagoon, India. We undertake an intersectional analysis that examines dynamics between groups of fisherwomen in relation to social-ecological change. We focus specifically on (1) fisherwomen’s perspectives about the key drivers of change (e.g., natural disasters and aquaculture) within the social and ecological system of Chilika lagoon; (2) how environmental change is impacting the livelihoods and coping responses of fisherwomen; and (3) how fisherwomen communities are adapting to the ongoing process of change, highlighting in particular the gendered dimensions of out-migration. Our findings demonstrate that fisherwomen’s roles and identities are not static and that the impacts of environmental change vary for different groups of fisherwomen. We find that gender intersects with caste, income, geographic location, age, and household membership to create heterogeneous experiences and knowledge that reflects the complexities associated with gender and environmental change. With specific regard to the increase in fisherwomen out-migrating, we show that responses and adaptations to environmental change have gender-differentiated impacts and challenges.

AtlanticSeptember 18, 2018
Shared stocks and fisheries subsidies disciplines: definitions, catches, and revenues.

This information note sets out how the distinction between shared and non-shared fish stocks has been drawn in the academic literature and what the potential implications are of such distinctions within the context of subsidy disciplines and multilateral fisheries subsidies negotiations at the World Trade Organization.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosSeptember 15, 2018
Environmental governance: A practical framework to guide design, evaluation, and analysis

Governance is one of the most important factors for ensuring effective environmental management and conservation actions. Yet, there is still a relative paucity of comprehensive and practicable guidance that can be used to frame the evaluation, design, and analysis of systems of environmental governance. This conceptual review and synthesis article seeks to addresses this problem through resituating the broad body of governance literature into a practical framework for environmental governance. Our framework builds on a rich history of governance scholarship to propose that environmental governance has four general aims or objectives – to be effective, to be equitable, to be responsive, and to be robust. Each of these four objectives need to be considered simultaneously across the institutional, structural, and procedural elements of environmental governance. Through a review of the literature, we developed a set of attributes for each of these objectives and relate these to the overall capacity, functioning, and performance of environmental governance. Our aim is to provide a practical and adaptable framework that can be applied to the design, evaluation, and analysis of environmental governance in different social and political contexts, to diverse environmental problems and modes of governance, and at a range of scales.

PacificSeptember 13, 2018
Untangling a Gordian Knot that must not be cut: Social-ecological systems research for management of Southern Benguela fisheries

The historical approach of sector-specific, largely top-down management in favor of highly capitalized industry sectors has seemingly left southern Benguela fisheries management in a Gordian knot. The modern systems approach to management of human activities in the oceans forbids cutting through the knot, making it necessary to develop methodology for including a wide range of stakeholders and trading off multiple, conflicting objectives under high uncertainty. Recent research in an interdisciplinary group including researchers and students from the humanities, social and natural sciences has focused on soft predictability and structured decision making in social-ecological marine systems under global change. Using three management case studies from the southern Benguela, i.e. purse-seine fisheries, conservation of the Endangered African penguin and the commercial handline fishery system in the southern Cape, we review how modelling system dynamics with stakeholders, semi-quantitative methodology for the integration of a wide variety of indicators, social learning, communication around shared issues and dedicated trust building have supported softening of boundaries between stereotyped stakeholders, and are contributing to a shared knowledge base as well as to an extended toolkit for management. We highlight promising loops of the knot with a view of generating discussion on how these can be tackled strategically.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosSeptember 13, 2018
Projected amplification of food web bioaccumulation of MeHg and PCBs under climate change in the Northeastern Pacific

Climate change increases exposure and bioaccumulation of pollutants in marine organisms, posing substantial ecophysiological and ecotoxicological risks. Here, we applied a trophodynamic ecosystem model to examine the bioaccumulation of organic mercury (MeHg) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in a Northeastern Pacific marine food web under climate change. We found largely heterogeneous sensitivity in climate-pollution impacts between chemicals and trophic groups. Concentration of MeHg and PCBs in top predators, including resident killer whales, is projected to be amplified by 8 and 3%, respectively, by 2100 under a high carbon emission scenario (Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5) relative to a no-climate change control scenario.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosSeptember 12, 2018
Achieving the promise of integration in social-ecological research: a review and prospectus

An integrated understanding of both social and ecological aspects of environmental issues is essential to address pressing sustainability challenges. An integrated social-ecological systems perspective is purported to provide a better understanding of the complex relationships between humans and nature. Despite a threefold increase in the amount of social-ecological research published between 2010 and 2015, it is unclear whether these approaches have been truly integrative. We conducted a systematic literature review to investigate the conceptual, methodological, disciplinary, and functional aspects of social-ecological integration. In general, we found that overall integration is still lacking in social-ecological research. Some social variables deemed important for addressing sustainability challenges are underrepresented in social-ecological studies, e.g., culture, politics, and power. Disciplines such as ecology, urban studies, and geography are better integrated than others, e.g., sociology, biology, and public administration. In addition to ecology and urban studies, biodiversity conservation plays a key brokerage role in integrating other disciplines into social-ecological research. Studies founded on systems theory have the highest rates of integration. Highly integrative studies combine different types of tools, involve stakeholders at appropriate stages, and tend to deliver practical recommendations. Better social-ecological integration must underpin sustainability science. To achieve this potential, future social-ecological research will require greater attention to the following: the interdisciplinary composition of project teams, strategic stakeholder involvement, application of multiple tools, incorporation of both social and ecological variables, consideration of bidirectional relationships between variables, and identification of implications and articulation of clear policy recommendations.

PacificSeptember 11, 2018
Opportunities for climate‐risk reduction through effective fisheries management

Risk of impact of marine fishes to fishing and climate change (including ocean acidification) depend on the species’ ecological and biological characteristics, as well as their exposure to over‐exploitation and climate hazards. These human‐induced hazards should be considered concurrently in conservation risk assessment. In this study, we aim to examine the combined contributions of climate change and fishing to the risk of impacts of exploited fishes, and the scope for climate‐risk reduction from fisheries management. We combine fuzzy logic expert system with species distribution modeling to assess the extinction risks of climate and fishing impacts of 825 exploited marine fish species across the global ocean. We compare our calculated risk index with extinction risk of marine species assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Our results show that 60% (499 species) of the assessed species are projected to experience very high risk from both overfishing and climate change under a “business‐as‐usual” scenario (RCP 8.5 with current status of fisheries) by 2050. The risk index is significantly and positively related to level of IUCN extinction risk (ordinal logistic regression, p < 0.0001). Furthermore, the regression model predicts species with very high risk index would have at least one in five (>20%) chance of having high extinction risk in the next few decades (equivalent to the IUCN categories of vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered). Areas with more at‐risk species to climate change are in tropical and subtropical oceans, while those that are at risk to fishing are distributed more broadly, with higher concentration of at‐risk species in North Atlantic and South Pacific Ocean. The number of species with high extinction risk would decrease by 63% under the sustainable fisheries‐low emission scenario relative to the “business‐as‐usual” scenario. This study highlights the substantial opportunities for climate‐risk reduction through effective fisheries management.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosAugust 23, 2018
Realizing the transformative potential of conservation through the social sciences, arts and humanities

Conservation actions most often occur in peopled seascapes and landscapes. As a result, conservation decisions cannot rely solely on evidence from the natural sciences, but must also be guided by the social sciences, the arts and the humanities. However, we are concerned that too much of the current attention is on research that serves an instrumental purpose, by which we mean that the social sciences are used to justify and promote status quo conservation practices. The reasons for engaging the social sciences, as well as the arts and the humanities, go well beyond making conservation more effective. In this editorial, we briefly reflect on how expanding the types of social science research and the contributions of the arts and the humanities can help to achieve the transformative potential of conservation.

PacificAugust 14, 2018
The dark side of transformation: Latent risks in contemporary sustainability discourse

The notion of transformation is gaining traction in contemporary sustainability debates. New ways of theorising and supporting transformations are emerging and, so the argument goes, opening exciting spaces to (re)imagine and (re)structure radically different futures. Yet, questions remain about how the term is being translated from an academic concept into an assemblage of normative policies and practices, and how this process might shape social, political, and environmental change. Motivated by these questions, we identify five latent risks associated with discourse that frames transformation as apolitical and/or inevitable. We refer to these risks as the dark side of transformation. While we cannot predict the future of radical transformations towards sustainability, we suggest that scientists, policymakers, and practitioners need to consider such change in more inherently plural and political ways.

PacificJuly 25, 2018
Governance of the Arctic Ocean beyond national jurisdiction: cooperative currents, restless sea.

The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), signed in 1982 and going into force in 1994, was the product of intensive international debates from the 1950s onward. UNCLOS continues to be the subject of vital debates on new initiatives that seek to clarify or expand the scope of the ocean regime.

Law and PolicyJuly 17, 2018
A fuzzy logic expert system for evaluating policy progress towards sustainability goals.

Evaluating progress towards environmental sustainability goals can be difficult due to a lack of measurable benchmarks and insufficient or uncertain data. Marine settings are particularly challenging, as stakeholders and objectives tend to be less well defined and ecosystem components have high natural variability and are difficult to observe directly. Fuzzy logic expert systems are useful analytical frameworks to evaluate such systems, and we develop such a model here to formally evaluate progress towards sustainability targets based on diverse sets of indicators. Evaluation criteria include recent (since policy enactment) and historical (from earliest known state) change, type of indicators (state, benefit, pressure, response), time span and spatial scope, and the suitability of an indicator in reflecting progress toward a specific objective. A key aspect of the framework is that all assumptions are transparent and modifiable to fit different social and ecological contexts. We test the method by evaluating progress towards four Aichi Biodiversity Targets in Canadian oceans, including quantitative progress scores, information gaps, and the sensitivity of results to model and data assumptions. For Canadian marine systems, national protection plans and biodiversity awareness show good progress, but species and ecosystem states overall do not show strong improvement. Well-defined goals are vital for successful policy implementation, as ambiguity allows for conflicting potential indicators, which in natural systems increases uncertainty in progress evaluations. Importantly, our framework can be easily adapted to assess progress towards policy goals with different themes, globally or in specific regions.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJuly 6, 2018
Global estimation of areas with suitable environmental conditions for mariculture species

Aquaculture has grown rapidly over the last three decades expanding at an average annual growth rate of 5.8% (2005–2014), down from 8.8% achieved between 1980 and 2010. The sector now produces 44% of total food fish production. Increasing demand and consumption from a growing global population are driving further expansion of both inland and marine aquaculture (i.e., mariculture, including marine species farmed on land). However, the growth of mariculture is dependent on the availability of suitable farming areas for new facilities, particularly for open farming practices that rely on the natural oceanic environmental parameters such as temperature, oxygen, chlorophyll etc. In this study, we estimated the marine areas within the exclusive economic zones of all countries that were suitable for potential open ocean mariculture activities. To this end, we quantify the environmental niche and inferred the global habitat suitability index (HSI) of the 102 most farmed marine species using four species distribution models. The average weighted HSI across the four models suggests that 72,000,000 km2 of ocean are to be environmentally suitable to farm one or more species. About 92% of the predicted area (66,000,000 km2) is environmentally suitable for farming finfish, 43% (31,000,000 km2) for molluscs and 54% (39,000,000 km2) for crustaceans. These predictions do not consider technological feasibility that can limit crustaceans farming in open waters. Suitable mariculture areas along the Atlantic coast of South America and West Africa appear to be most under-utilized for farming. Our results suggest that factors other than environmental considerations such as the lack of socio-economic and technological capacity, as well as aqua feed supply are currently limiting the potential for mariculture expansion in many areas.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJuly 6, 2018
Historical baselines of coral cover on tropical reefs as estimated by expert opinion.

Coral reefs are important habitats that represent global marine biodiversity hotspots and provide important benefits to people in many tropical regions. However, coral reefs are becoming increasingly threatened by climate change, overfishing, habitat destruction, and pollution. Historical baselines of coral cover are important to understand how much coral cover has been lost, e.g., to avoid the ‘shifting baseline syndrome’. There are few quantitative observations of coral reef cover prior to the industrial revolution, and therefore baselines of coral reef cover are difficult to estimate. Here, we use expert and ocean-user opinion surveys to estimate baselines of global coral reef cover. The overall mean estimated baseline coral cover was 59% (±19% standard deviation), compared to an average of 58% (±18% standard deviation) estimated by professional scientists. We did not find evidence of the shifting baseline syndrome, whereby respondents who first observed coral reefs more recently report lower estimates of baseline coral cover. These estimates of historical coral reef baseline cover are important for scientists, policy makers, and managers to understand the extent to which coral reefs have become depleted and to set appropriate recovery targets.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJuly 6, 2018
The future of fishes and fisheries in the changing oceans

This paper aims to highlight the risk of climate change on coupled marine human and natural systems and explore possible solutions to reduce such risk. Specifically, it explores some of the key responses of marine fish stocks and fisheries to climate change and their implications for human society. It highlights the importance of mitigating carbon emission and achieving the Paris Agreement in reducing climate risk on marine fish stocks and fisheries. Finally, it discusses potential opportunities for helping fisheries to reduce climate threats, through local adaptation. A research direction in fish biology and ecology is proposed that would help support the development of these potential solutions.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJuly 6, 2018
Integrating diverse objectives for sustainable fisheries in Canada

An interdisciplinary team of academics, and representatives of fishing fleets and government collaborated to study the emerging requirements for sustainability in Canada’s fisheries. Fisheries assessment and management has focused on biological productivity with insufficient consideration of social (including cultural), economic and institutional (governance) aspects. Further, there has been little discussion or formal evaluation of the effectiveness of fisheries management. The team of over 50 people 1) identified a comprehensive set of management objectives for a sustainable fishery system based on Canadian policy statements, 2) combined objectives into an operational framework with relevant performance indicators for use in management planning, and 3) undertook case studies which investigated some social, economic and governance aspects in greater detail. The resulting framework extends the suite of widely accepted ecological aspects (productivity and trophic structure, biodiversity, and habitat/ecosystem integrity) to include comparable economic (viability and prosperity, sustainable livelihoods, distribution of access and benefits, regional/community benefits), social (health and wellbeing, sustainable communities, ethical fisheries), and institutional (legal obligations, good governance structure, effective decision-making) aspects of sustainability. This work provides a practical framework for implementation of a comprehensive approach to sustainability in Canadian fisheries. The project also demonstrates the value of co-construction of collaborative research and co-production of knowledge that combines and builds on the strengths of academics, industry and government.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJuly 6, 2018
The economics of fishing the high seas

While the ecological impacts of fishing the waters beyond national jurisdiction (the “high seas”) have been widely studied, the economic rationale is more difficult to ascertain because of scarce data on the costs and revenues of the fleets that fish there. Newly compiled satellite data and machine learning now allow us to track individual fishing vessels on the high seas in near real time. These technological advances help us quantify high-seas fishing effort, costs, and benefits, and assess whether, where, and when high-seas fishing makes economic sense. We characterize the global high-seas fishing fleet and report the economic benefits of fishing the high seas globally, nationally, and at the scale of individual fleets. Our results suggest that fishing at the current scale is enabled by large government subsidies, without which as much as 54% of the present high-seas fishing grounds would be unprofitable at current fishing rates. The patterns of fishing profitability vary widely between countries, types of fishing, and distance to port. Deep-sea bottom trawling often produces net economic benefits only thanks to subsidies, and much fishing by the world’s largest fishing fleets would largely be unprofitable without subsidies and low labor costs. These results support recent calls for subsidy and fishery management reforms on the high seas.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJuly 6, 2018
Why less complexity produces better forecasts: an independent data evaluation of kelp habitat models

Understanding how species are distributed in the environment is increasingly important for natural resource management, particularly for keystone and habitat – forming species, and those of conservation concern. Habitat suitability models are fundamental to developing this understanding; however their use in management continues to be limited due to often‐vague model objectives and inadequate evaluation methods. Along the Northeast Pacific coast, canopy kelps (Macrocystis pyrifera and Nereocystis luetkeana) provide biogenic habitat and considerable primary production to nearshore ecosystems. We investigated the distribution of these species by examining a series of increasingly complex habitat suitability models ranging from process‐based models based on species’ ecology to complex generalised additive models applied to purpose‐collected survey data. Seeking empirical limits to model complexity, we explored the relationship between model complexity and forecast skill, measured using both cross‐validation and independent data evaluation. Our analysis confirmed the importance of predictors used in models of coastal kelp distributions developed elsewhere (i.e. depth, bottom type, bottom slope, and exposure); it also identified additional important factors including salinity, and potential interactions between exposure and salinity, and slope and tidal energy. Comparative results showed how cross‐validation can lead to over‐fitting, while independent data evaluation clearly identified the appropriate model complexity for generating habitat forecasts. Our results also illustrate that, depending on the evaluation data, predictions from simpler models can out‐perform those from more complex models. Collectively, the insights from evaluating multiple models with multiple data sets contribute to the holistic assessment of model forecast skill. The continued development of methods and metrics for evaluating model forecasts with independent data, and the explicit consideration of model objectives and assumptions, promise to increase the utility of model forecasts to decision makers.

PacificJuly 2, 2018
Sea-cage aquaculture impacts market and berried lobster (Homarus americanus) catches

Sea-cage finfish aquaculture frequently spatially overlaps and competes with traditional fisheries and ecologically important habitats in the coastal zone. Yet only few empirical studies exist on the effects of sea-cage aquaculture on commercially important fish and shellfish species, due to the lack of data. We present results from a unique collaboration between scientists and lobster fishers in Port Mouton Bay, Atlantic Canada, providing 11 yr of market (market-sized) lobster catches and berried (ovigerous) lobster counts in 5 spatially resolved areas adjacent to a sea-cage finfish farm. The time series covered 2 stocked (feed) and 2 non-stocked (fallow) periods, allowing us to test for the effects of feed versus fallow periods. Our results indicate that average market lobster catch per unit effort (CPUE) was significantly reduced by 42% and berried lobster counts by 56% in feed compared to fallow periods. Moreover, both market and berried lobster CPUE tended to be lower in fishing region 2, which included the fish farm, and higher in region 5, furthest away from the farm. Bottom temperature measurements in one region suggest that differences in CPUE between feed and fallow periods were not driven by temperature, and that berried lobsters may be more sensitive to both aquaculture and temperature than market lobster. We discuss possible mechanisms of how finfish farms as well as other abiotic and biotic factors such as habitat quality and temperature could affect lobster catch. Our results provide critical information for the management of multiple human uses in the coastal zone and the conservation of shellfish habitats that sustain traditional fisheries.

AtlanticJune 28, 2018
Management and enforcement challenges for highly migratory species: the case of Atlantic bluefin tuna.

Atlantic bluefin tuna (ABFT) (Thunnus thynnus) is both an iconic sport fish, with a history of competitive fishing in the Atlantic region (including the largest individual ever caught, in Auld’s Cove, Nova Scotia), and the target of a significant commercial fishery throughout much of its range. The latter is partly driven by the fact that the species is highly valued in the sushi and sashimi markets, but it also has wider markets. The combination of a recreational and large scale industrial fishery is an unusual, if not unique, challenge with respect to the choice of management approaches.

Law and PolicyJune 27, 2018
Visions for nature and nature’s contributions to people for the 21st century.

Existing scenarios of biodiversity and ecosystem services (BES) have important limitations and gaps that constrain their usefulness for the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Specifically, they fail to incorporate policy objectives related to nature conservation and social-ecological feedbacks, they do not address the linkages between biodiversity and ecosystem services, and they are typically relevant at only a particular spatial scale. In addition, nature and its benefits are treated as the consequence of human decisions, but are not at the centre of the analysis. To address these issues, the IPBES Scenarios and Models Expert Group initiated the development of a set of MultiscaleScenarios for Nature Futures based on positive visions for human relationships with nature. The first step of this process was a visioning work shop with stakeholders and experts on 4-8 September 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand. A total of 73 participants from inter-governmental organisations, national government organisations, non-governmental organisations, academiavand the private sector, from 31 countries, and with a range of sectoral expertise on biodiversity topics, from urban development to agriculture to fisheries, worked together in a visioning exercise. This report documents the results from this visioning workshop to inform further stakeholder consultation and the development of the associated multiscale scenarios by modelers and experts.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJune 27, 2018
Subsidies reduce marine fisheries wealth.

(book chapter in The Changing Wealth of Nations 2018: Building a Sustainable Future)

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJune 27, 2018
A simple application of bioeconomics to fisheries subsidies.

(book chapter in Advances in Fisheries Bioeconomics) The practice by governments of providing financial support, whether directly or indirectly, to the fishing sector is known as fisheries subsidies. Since a backof-the-envelope calculation by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) revealed that the total amount of fisheries subsidies paid by maritime countries globally could be over US$50 billion annually in the early 1990s, eliminating harmful fisheries subsidies has become a central issue in the quest to achieve sustainable fisheries worldwide. It is, however, worth noting that the issue of fisheries subsidies and its effects on overfishing is not new. Adam Smith (1970) himself expressed concerns about fisheries subsidies in his famous book On the Wealth of Nations:

The [subsidy] to the white-herring fishery is a tonnage bounty; and is proportioned to the [weight] of the ship, not to her diligence or success in the fishery; and it has, I am afraid, been too common for vessels to fit out for the sole purpose of catching, not the fish, but the bounty.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJune 27, 2018
Searching for a compromise between biological and economic demands to protect vulnerable habitats.

Identifying vulnerable habitats is necessary to designing and prioritizing efficient marine protected areas (MPAs) to sustain the renewal of living marine resources. However, vulnerable habitats rarely become MPAs due to conflicting interests such as fishing. We propose a spatial framework to help researchers and managers determine optimal conservation areas in a multi-species fishery, while also considering the economic relevance these species may have in a given society, even in data poor situations. We first set different ecological criteria (i.e. species resilience, vulnerability and trophic level) to identify optimal areas for conservation and restoration efforts, which was based on a traditional conservationist approach. We then identified the most economically relevant sites, where the bulk of fishery profits come from. We overlapped the ecologically and economically relevant areas using different thresholds. By ranking the level of overlap between the sites, representing different levels of conflicts between traditional conservation and fishing interests, we suggest alternatives that could increase fishers’ acceptance of protected areas. The introduction of some flexibility in the way conservation targets are established could contribute to reaching a middle ground where biological concerns are integrated with economic demands from the fishing sector.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJune 27, 2018
Preparing ocean governance for species on the move.

The ocean is a critical source of nutrition for billions of people, with potential to yield further food, profits, and employment in the future (1). But fisheries face a serious new challenge as climate change drives the ocean to conditions not experienced historically. Local, national, regional, and international fisheries are substantially underprepared for geographic shifts in marine animals driven by climate change over the coming decades. Fish and other animals have already shifted into new territory at a rate averaging 70 km per decade (2), and these shifts are expected to continue or accelerate (3). We show here that many species will likely shift across national and other political boundaries in the coming decades, creating the potential for conflict over newly shared resources.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJune 27, 2018
Curiosity, interdisciplinarity, and giving back.

The pursuit of interdisciplinarity in the marine sciences is at last beginning to come into its own, but the kind of interdisciplinarity that bridges the social, human, health, and natural science realms remains rare. This article traces the evolution of my own history of interdisciplinarity from its early days when I worked in two disciplines, to the present when I have worked with many others to bring together the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and earth/ocean sciences in large projects that illuminate the interconnectedness of all these parts of knowledge acquisition. In the process, I have broadened my intellectual vision both in scope and scale, uncovering the many ways in which, quite pragmatically, the very local and the international are more tightly interconnected than is often realized, with all the implications for fisheries governance that that implies. This, then, is both a story and, I hope, a pathway to a rewarding way for young and middle-career fisheries scholars to pursue their research.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJune 27, 2018
Climate change impacts on marine biodiversity, fisheries and society in the Arabian Gulf.

Climate change–reflected in significant environmental changes such as warming, sea level rise, shifts in salinity, oxygen and other ocean conditions–is expected to impact marine organisms and associated fisheries. This study provides an assessment of the potential impacts on, and the vulnerability of, marine biodiversity and fisheries catches in the Arabian Gulf under climate change. To this end, using three separate niche modelling approaches under a ‘business-as-usual’ climate change scenario, we projected the future habitat suitability of the Arabian Gulf (also known as the Persian Gulf) for 55 expert-identified priority species, including charismatic and non-fish species. Second, we conducted a vulnerability assessment of national economies to climate change impacts on fisheries. The modelling outputs suggested a high rate of local extinction (up to 35% of initial species richness) by 2090 relative to 2010. Spatially, projected local extinctions are highest in the southwestern part of the Gulf, off the coast of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). While the projected patterns provided useful indicators of potential climate change impacts on the region’s diversity, the magnitude of changes in habitat suitability are more uncertain. Fisheries-specific results suggested reduced future catch potential for several countries on the western side of the Gulf, with projections differing only slightly among models. Qatar and the UAE were particularly affected, with more than a 26% drop in future fish catch potential. Integrating changes in catch potential with socio-economic indicators suggested the fisheries of Bahrain and Iran may be most vulnerable to climate change. We discuss limitations of the indicators and the methods used, as well as the implications of our overall findings for conservation and fisheries management policies in the region.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJune 27, 2018
Can we meet the Target? Status and future trends for fisheries sustainability.

We assess progress towards Aichi Biodiversity Target 6, which aims to achieve global fisheries sustainability by 2020. Current trends suggest that the proportion of fish stocks within safe ecological limits is likely to decline until 2020. While model projections show a considerable reduction in overexploited stocks by 2050 if climate change is not considered, there will be a substantial increase in the risk of overexploited fish stocks if climate change is taken into account. Overall, although there is progress toward rebuilding fisheries in some developed nations, this improvement is insufficient to meet the Aichi Target by 2020; there is a need for substantial changes to current fisheries policy and management if Target 6 is to be met.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJune 27, 2018
Assessing real progress towards effective ocean protection.

The United Nations’ target for global ocean protection is 10% of the ocean in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) by 2020. There has been remarkable progress in the last decade, and some organizations claim that 7% of the ocean is already protected and that we will exceed the 10% target by 2020. However, currently only 3.6% of the ocean is in implemented MPAs, and only 2% is in implemented strongly or fully protected areas. Here we argue that current protection has been overestimated because it includes areas that are not yet protected, and that areas that allow significant extractive activities such as fishing should not count as ‘protected.’ The most rigorous projections suggest that we will not achieve the 10% target in truly protected areas by 2020. Strongly or fully protected areas are the only ones achieving the goal of protecting biodiversity; hence they should be the MPA of choice to achieve global ocean conservation targets.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJune 27, 2018
Navigating a just and inclusive path towards sustainable oceans.

The ocean is the next frontier for many conservation and development activities. Growth in marine protected areas, fisheries management, the blue economy, and marine spatial planning initiatives are occurring both within and beyond national jurisdictions. This mounting activity has coincided with increasing concerns about sustainability and international attention to ocean governance. Yet, despite growing concerns about exclusionary decision-making processes and social injustices, there remains inadequate attention to issues of social justice and inclusion in ocean science, management, governance and funding. In a rapidly changing and progressively busier ocean, we need to learn from past mistakes and identify ways to navigate a just and inclusive path towards sustainability. Proactive attention to inclusive decision-making and social justice is needed across key ocean policy realms including marine conservation, fisheries management, marine spatial planning, the blue economy, climate adaptation and global ocean governance for both ethical and instrumental reasons. This discussion paper aims to stimulate greater engagement with these critical topics. It is a call to action for ocean-focused researchers, policy-makers, managers, practitioners, and funders.

PacificJune 27, 2018
How just and just how? A systematic review of social equity in conservation research.

Background: Conservation decisions not only impact wildlife, habitat, and environmental health, but also human wellbeing and social justice. The inclusion of safeguards and equity considerations in the conservation field has increasingly garnered attention in international policy processes and amongst conservation practitioners. Yet, what constitutes an ‘equitable’ solution can take many forms, and how the concept is treated within conservation research is not standardized. This review explores how social equity is conceptualized and assessed in conservation research.

PacificJune 27, 2018
Diving back in time: extending historical baselines for Yelloweye rockfish with Indigenous knowledge.

Ocean systems, and the culturally and commercially important fishes that inhabit them, face growing threats. Increasingly, unconventional data sources are being used to inform fisheries research and management for data‐poor species.
Listed as a species of special concern in Canada, yelloweye rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus) are vulnerable to exploitation, and have historical and cultural value to Indigenous people. In this study, Indigenous fishers of British Columbia, Canada, were interviewed and asked about observed changes to the body sizes (length) and abundance of this species over the last ~60 years, and the factors driving these changes. Their current and historical estimates of size and abundance were compared with current biological survey data.
Forty‐two semi‐directed interviews were carried out and 89% of respondents observed a decrease in yelloweye rockfish body sizes since the 1980s. The median historical (1950s–1980s) length was 84 cm, compared with the median modern (2010–2015) length of 46 cm. All but one respondent reported substantial decrease in yelloweye rockfish abundance since their earliest fishing experiences (1950s to1980s, depending on participant’s age), with a third suggesting the change was most evident in the early 2000s, followed by the 1980s (21%) and 1990s (17%).
Sizes of modern yelloweye rockfish estimated by participants resembled estimates derived from ecological data recorded concurrently at the study region.
This study illustrates a repeatable method for using traditional and local knowledge to extend baselines for data‐poor species, and highlights the value of integrating Indigenous knowledge into fisheries research and management.

PacificJune 27, 2018
Assessing trade-offs in large marine protected areas.

Large marine protected areas (LMPAs) are increasingly being established and have a high profile in marine conservation. LMPAs are expected to achieve multiple objectives, and because of their size are postulated to avoid trade-offs that are common in smaller MPAs. However, evaluations across multiple outcomes are lacking. We used a systematic approach to code several social and ecological outcomes of 12 LMPAs. We found evidence of three types of trade-offs: trade-offs between different ecological resources (supply trade-offs); trade-offs between ecological resource conditions and the well-being of resource users (supply-demand trade-offs); and trade-offs between the well-being outcomes of different resource users (demand trade-offs). We also found several divergent outcomes that were attributed to influences beyond the scope of the LMPA. We suggest that despite their size, trade-offs can develop in LMPAs and should be considered in planning and design. LMPAs may improve their performance across multiple social and ecological objectives if integrated with larger-scale conservation efforts.

PacificJune 27, 2018
Assessing Guinea Bissau’s legal and illegal unreported and unregulated fisheries and the surveillance efforts to tackle them.

Fisheries in Guinea Bissau contribute greatly to the economy and food security of its people. Yet, as the ability of the country to monitor its fisheries is at most weak, and confronted with a heavy foreign fleet presence, the impact of industrial foreign fleets on fisheries catches is unaccounted for in the region. However, their footprint in terms of catch and value on the small-scale sector is heavily felt, through declining availability of fish. Fisheries in Guinea Bissau are operated by both legal (small-scale and industrial), and illegal (foreign unauthorized) fleets, whose catches are barely recorded. In this paper, we assess catches by both the legal and illegal sector, and the economic loss generated by illegal fisheries in the country, then attempt to evaluate the effectiveness of Monitoring Control and Surveillance (MCS) of Guinea Bissau’s fisheries.

PacificJune 27, 2018
Addressing criticisms of large-scale Marine Protected Areas.

Designated large-scale marine protected areas (LSMPAs, 100,000 or more square kilometers) constitute over two-thirds of the approximately 6.6% of the ocean and approximately 14.5% of the exclusive economic zones within marine protected areas. Although LSMPAs have received support among scientists and conservation bodies for wilderness protection, regional ecological connectivity, and improving resilience to climate change, there are also concerns.

PacificJune 27, 2018
A protocol for the intercomparison of marine fishery and ecosystem models: Fish-MIP v1.0

Model intercomparison studies in the climate and Earth sciences communities have been crucial to building credibility and coherence for future projections. They have quantified variability among models, spurred model development, contrasted within- and among-model uncertainty, assessed model fits to historical data, and provided ensemble projections of future change under specified scenarios. Given the speed and magnitude of anthropogenic change in the marine environment and the consequent effects on food security, biodiversity, marine industries, and society, the time is ripe for similar comparisons among models of fisheries and marine ecosystems. Here, we describe the Fisheries and Marine Ecosystem Model Intercomparison Project protocol version 1.0 (Fish-MIP v1.0), part of the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISIMIP), which is a cross-sectoral network of climate impact modellers. Given the complexity of the marine ecosystem, this class of models has substantial heterogeneity of purpose, scope, theoretical underpinning, processes considered, parameterizations, resolution (grain size), and spatial extent. This heterogeneity reflects the lack of a unified understanding of the marine ecosystem and implies that the assemblage of all models is more likely to include a greater number of relevant processes than any single model. The current Fish-MIP protocol is designed to allow these heterogeneous models to be forced with common Earth System Model (ESM) Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) outputs under prescribed scenarios for historic (from the 1950s) and future (to 2100) time periods; it will be adapted to CMIP phase 6 (CMIP6) in future iterations. It also describes a standardized set of outputs for each participating Fish-MIP model to produce. This enables the broad characterization of differences between and uncertainties within models and projections when assessing climate and fisheries impacts on marine ecosystems and the services they provide. The systematic generation, collation, and comparison of results from Fish-MIP will inform an understanding of the range of plausible changes in marine ecosystems and improve our capacity to define and convey the strengths and weaknesses of model-based advice on future states of marine ecosystems and fisheries. Ultimately, Fish-MIP represents a step towards bringing together the marine ecosystem modelling community to produce consistent ensemble medium- and long-term projections of marine ecosystems.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosApril 13, 2018
Doubly lucky: economic impact of the English Bay bunker oil spill of April 2015.

On the 8th and 9th of April, 2015, less than a month after leaving Japan on its maiden voyage, the M.V. Marathassa leaked approximately 2,700 litres of fuel oil into English Bay, the body of water adjacent to downtown Vancouver, Canada. Although investigations into the exact cause of the leak are still ongoing, mechanical issues are thought to have contributed. All beaches affected by the oil were reopened by the end of April, and fishing was permitted in areas that had been closed to recreational and commercial fishing by mid-May. Here, we present an estimation of the economic impacts of this oil spill on Metro Vancouver’s marine-related economic activities, including commercial fishing and tourism activities. Total economic losses to local businesses and organizations as a result of the spill have been estimated to amount to between $25,805 to $31,105 in lost revenue, and between $45,655 and $46,005 in lost profit.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosMarch 22, 2018
Climate change, marine ecosystems and global fisheries.

Climate change will have a profound impact on human and natural systems, and will also impede economic growth and sustainable development. In this book, leading experts from around the world discuss the challenges and opportunities in building a climate resilient economy and society. The chapters are organised in three sections. The first part explores vulnerability, adaptation and resilience, whilst Part II examines climate resilience-sectoral perspectives covering different sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, marine ecosystems, cities and urban infrastructure, drought prone areas, and renewable energy. In the final part, the authors look at Incentives, institutions and policy, including topics such as carbon pricing, REDD plus, climate finance, the role of institutions and communities, and climate policies. Combining a global focus with detailed case studies of a cross section of regions, countries and sectors, this book will prove to be an invaluable resource.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosMarch 21, 2018
Estimating nitrogen loading and far-field dispersal potential from background sources and coastal finfish aquaculture: a simple framework and case study in Atlantic Canada.

Far-field nutrient impacts associated with finfish aquaculture have been identified as a topic of concern for regulators, managers, scientists, and the public for over two decades but disentangling aquaculture impacts from those caused by other natural and anthropogenic sources has impeded the development of monitoring metrics and management plans.

AtlanticMarch 21, 2018
Can ecosystem services make conservation normal and commonplace?

Without widespread and immediate changes in human values and activities, massive tracts of natural habitat will be degraded to the detriment of those ecosystems, ecosystem services, and many threatened taxa—in the oceans and elsewhere. Despite this, the conservation movement has yet to devote much attention to the intentional project of widespread norm change. By one logic, the ecosystem services concept offers a means of integrating meaningful conservation into decision making by diverse government and corporate actors, potentially normalizing conservation. But normalizing conservation would require not only the uptake of ecosystem-services concepts but also widespread changes in conservation practice and stewardship values—on a scale that far exceeds what we have witnessed to date.

PacificMarch 20, 2018
Regional variability in the sensitivity of Caribbean reef fish assemblages to ocean warming.

Ocean warming is expected to impact biodiversity and fisheries in the tropics through shifts in species’ distributions, leading to local extinctions and changes in species composition of catches. However, regional-scale patterns may differ from global trends due to the influence of important environmental factors such as ocean warming, fishing and habitat availability. Here, we used the mean temperature of the catch to test the hypothesis that, for the period of 1971 to 2010, regional variation in species-turnover of exploited reef fish assemblages among 9 Caribbean countries can be explained by differences in the rate of warming, species’ thermal preferences, changes in trophic structure due to fishing and potential reef habitat across the region.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosMarch 12, 2018
Who brings in the fish? The relative contribution of small-scale and industrial fisheries to food security in Southeast Asia.

Amidst overexploited fisheries and further climate related declines projected in tropical fisheries, marine dependent small-scale fishers in Southeast Asia face an uncertain future. Yet, small-scale fishers are seldom explicitly considered in regional fisheries management and their contribution to national fish supply tends to be greatly under-estimated compared to industrial fisheries. Lack of knowledge about the small-scale sector jeopardizes informed decision-making for sustainable ecosystem based fisheries planning and social development. We fill this knowledge gap by applying reconstructed marine fish catch statistics from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam—countries of the Gulf of Thailand—from 1950 to 2013 to assess the relative contribution of small-scale and industrial fisheries to national food security.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosFebruary 22, 2018
Identification of native and non-native grass shrimps Palaemon spp. (Decapoda: Palaemonidae) by citizen science monitoring programs in Atlantic Canada.

Grass shrimp collected by the Community Aquatic Monitoring Program (CAMP) in estuaries of the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada were previously assumed to be the native Palaemon vulgarisSay, 1818. Taxonomic identification of grass shrimps from CAMP estuaries revealed most individuals were P. vulgaris, but several from the Souris River and Trout River estuaries in Prince Edward Island (PEI) belong to the European species P. adspersusRathke, 1837. We provide the first documented presence of P. adspersus in PEI estuaries, extending its known range in Atlantic Canada from coastal Newfoundland and the Magdalen Islands. Boat traffic was probably responsible for the introduction of P. adspersus. The results highlight the importance of community-based monitoring in coastal ecology.

AtlanticFebruary 15, 2018
Investments to reverse biodiversity loss are economically beneficial

Reversing biodiversity loss by 2020 is the objective of the 193 countries that are party to the 43 global Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). In this context, the Aichi Biodiversity 44 Targets 2020 were agreed upon by the CBD in Nagoya, Japan in 2010 and this was followed 45 by asking a high-level panel to make an assessment of the financial resources needed to 46 achieve these targets globally. First, we review the literature on the costs and benefits of 47 meeting the Aichi Targets.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosFebruary 13, 2018
Environmental stewardship: a conceptual review and analytical framework.

There has been increasing attention to and investment in local environmental stewardship in conservation and environmental management policies and programs globally. Yet environmental stewardship has not received adequate conceptual attention. Establishing a clear definition and comprehensive analytical framework could strengthen our ability to understand the factors that lead to the success or failure of environmental stewardship in different contexts and how to most effectively support and enable local efforts.

PacificJanuary 31, 2018
Ex-vessel fish price database: disaggregating prices for low-priced species from reduction fisheries.

Ex-vessel fish prices are essential for comprehensive fisheries management and socioeconomic analyses for fisheries science. In this paper, we reconstructed a global ex-vessel price database with the following areas of improvement: (1) compiling reported prices explicitly listed as “for reduction to fishmeal and fish oil” to estimate prices separately for catches destined for fishmeal and fish oil production, and other non-direct human consumption purposes; (2) including 95% confidence limit estimates for each price estimation; and (3) increasing the number of input data and the number of price estimates to match the reconstructed Sea Around Us catch database. Our primary focus was to address this first area of improvement as ex-vessel prices for catches destined for non-direct human consumption purposes were substantially overestimated, notably in countries with large reduction fisheries. For example in Peru, 2010 landed values were estimated as 3.8 billion real 2010 USD when using separate prices for reduction fisheries, compared with 5.8 billion using previous methods with only one price for all end-products. This update of the price database has significant global and country-specific impacts on fisheries price and landed value trends over time.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosNovember 30, 2017
Indigenous peoples’ rights and marine protected areas.

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are inherent to international commitments to protect the oceans and have the potential to recognize, honour, and re-invigorate Indigenous rights. Involvement of Indigenous peoples in the governance and management of MPAs, however, has received little attention. A review of the literature revealed only 15 publications on this topic (< 0.5% of papers on MPAs).

PacificNovember 6, 2017
Coastal and Indigenous community access to marine resources and the ocean: a policy imperative for Canada.

Access, defined as the ability to use and benefit from available marine resources or areas of the ocean or coast, is important for the well-being and sustainability of coastal communities. In Canada, access to marine resources and ocean spaces is a significant issue for many coastal and Indigenous communities due to intensifying activity and competition in the marine environment.

National Data and Integrated Scenarios, PacificNovember 6, 2017
Human dimensions of large-scale marine protected areas: advancing research and practice.

This special issue of Coastal Management focuses on the human dimensions of large-scale marine protected areas (LSMPAs), those MPAs that are typically larger than 250,000 km2. We define ‘human dimensions’ as the cultural, social, economic, political, and institutional factors that affect and are affected by large-scale marine conservation efforts. While human dimensions of marine conservation and coastal management have long been a focus of research, they have not yet received sustained and systematic consideration in relation to LSMPAs specifically. Although there is an emerging body of scholarship focused on the human dimensions of LSMPAs, this is the first collection of papers devoted to their analysis. The purpose of this special issue is to showcase the diversity of human dimensions of LSMPAs, illustrating the range of contexts in which LSMPAs function, the variety of social science tools that can be used to analyze LSMPAs, the ways that human dimensions considerations can be integrated into LSMPA management, and the diverse human dimensions outcomes that are associated with LSMPAs.

PacificOctober 31, 2017
Indigenous knowledge as data for modern fishery management: a case study of Dungeness crab in Pacific Canada

Fisheries management is often data-limited, and conducted at spatial scales that are too large to address the needs of Indigenous peoples, whose cultures depend upon the local availability of marine resources.

PacificOctober 31, 2017
Building resilient coastal communities in the context of climate change.

From black horses to white steeds: building community resilience celebrates and critiques the dynamics of innovation, governance, and culture in place. Case studies from both sides of the North Atlantic illustrate episodes of “turning around”; evolution, transformation, and visionary strategy that breathe new life into the term “think global, act local.” The studies explore how various dark horses including minorities, small towns, peripheries, Aboriginal communities, those with little money, status, voice, or political leverage can rise to the occasion and chart livable futures.

AtlanticOctober 30, 2017
Adaptive capacity: from assessment to action in coastal social-ecological systems.

Concerns about the social consequences of conservation have spurred increased attention the monitoring and evaluation of the social impacts of conservation projects. This has resulted in a growing body of research that demonstrates how conservation can produce both positive and negative social, economic, cultural, health, and governance consequences for local communities. Yet, the results of social monitoring efforts are seldom applied to adaptively manage conservation projects.

PacificOctober 24, 2017
An approach to assess learning conditions, effects and outcomes in environmental governance.

We empirically examine relationships among the conditions that enable learning, learning effects and sustainability outcomes based on experiences in four biosphere reserves in Canada and Sweden. In doing so, we provide a novel approach to measure learning and address an important methodological and empirical challenge in assessments of learning processes in decision-making contexts. Findings from this study highlight the effectiveness of different measures of learning, and how to differentiate the factors that foster learning with the outcomes of learning. Our approach provides a useful reference point for future empirical studies of learning in different environment, resource and sustainability settings.

AtlanticOctober 19, 2017
Determining the degree of ‘small-scaleness’ using fisheries in British Columbia as an example.

Small-scale fisheries have been estimated to contribute up to 30% of the global landed value, which is caught by approximately 22 million fishers, some of which can be attributed to developed countries. Socio-economic analysis of small-scale fisheries often focuses on developing countries and fails to recognize the presence and contribution of small-scale fisheries in the developed world. Fisheries in British Columbia are diverse and often regarded as being industrialized and large-scale when analyzed in a global context. This study aims to demonstrate that features of small-scale fisheries are present within British Columbia’s fleets. A list of re-occurring features of small-scale fisheries is curated from the literature to capture physical, economic and social features of small-scale fisheries. These commonly identified features of small-scale fisheries are applied to Aboriginal Food, Social and Ceremonial fisheries and all commercial fisheries in British Columbia are analyzed to determine the presence or absence of each small-scale fishery feature. The results of this research create a gradient of fisheries from smallest to largest scale. This approach determines that Aboriginal Food, Social and Ceremonial fisheries are the most small-scale, while the sablefish fishery is the largest scale. The qualitative nature of this framework creates an opportunity for any group of fisheries in the world to be compared.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosOctober 18, 2017
When bad gets worse: corruption and fisheries.

Corruption, Natural Resources and Development provides a fresh and extensive discussion of corruption issues in natural resources sectors. Reflecting on recent debates in corruption research and revisiting resource curse challenges in light of political ecology approaches, this volume provides a series of nuanced and policy-relevant case studies analysing patterns of corruption around natural resources and options to reach anti-corruption goals. Using corruption case studies across a wide spectrum of natural resource sectors from around the world, the expert contributions explore political ecology as a means of analysing resource curse challenges. The potential for new variations of the resource curse in the forest and urban land sectors and the effectiveness of anti-corruption policies in resource sectors are considered in depth. Corruption in oil, gas, mining, fisheries, biofuel, wildlife, forestry and urban land are all covered, and potential solutions discussed. (Chapter in Corruption, Natural Resources and Development.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosOctober 13, 2017
Exploring trade-offs in climate change response in the context of Pacific Island fisheries.

Climate change poses significant and increasing risks for Pacific Island communities. Sea-level rise, coastal flooding, extreme and variable storm events, fish stock redistribution, coral bleaching, and declines in ecosystem health and productivity threaten the wellbeing, health, safety, and national sovereignty of Pacific Islanders, and small-scale fishers in particular. Fostering the response capacity of small-scale fishing communities will become increasingly important for the Pacific Islands. Challenging decisions and trade-offs emerge when choosing and mobilizing different responses to climate change. The trade-offs inherent in different responses can occur between various exposures, across spatial and temporal scales, among segments of society, various objectives, and evaluative criteria. Here we introduce a typology of potential trade-offs inherent in responses, elaborated through examples from the Pacific. We argue that failure to adequately engage with trade-offs across human responses to climate change can potentially result in unintended consequences or lead to adverse outcomes for human vulnerability to climate change. Conversely, proactively identifying and addressing these trade-offs in decision-making processes will be critical for planning hazard mitigation and preparing island nations, communities, and individuals to anticipate and adapt to change, not only for Pacific Islands, but for coastal communities around the world. (Full publication)

PacificOctober 9, 2017
How can climate predictions improve sustainability of coastal fisheries in Pacific Small-Island Developing States?

Climate and weather have profound effects on economies, the food security and livelihoods of communities throughout the Pacific Island region. These effects are particularly important for small-scale fisheries and occur, for example, through changes in sea surface temperature, primary productivity, ocean currents, rainfall patterns, and through cyclones. This variability has impacts over both short and long time scales. We differentiate climate predictions (the actual state of climate at a particular point in time) from climate projections (the average state of climate over long time scales). The ability to predict environmental conditions over the time scale of months to decades will assist governments and coastal communities to reduce the impacts of climatic variability and take advantage of opportunities. We explore the potential to make reliable climate predictions over time scales of six months to 10 years for use by policy makers, managers and communities. We also describe how climate predictions can be used to make decisions on short time scales that should be of direct benefit to sustainable management of small-scale fisheries, and to disaster risk reduction, in Small-Island Developing States in the Pacific.

PacificOctober 8, 2017
Massive Chinese fleet jeopardizes threatened shark species around the Galápagos Marine Reserve and waters off Ecuador: implications for national and international fisheries policy. (Editorial)

Being a UNESCO-World Heritage Site, the Galápagos harbors the largest global shark biomass in the world’s oceans and a unique marine biodiversity. However, the waters around the Galapagos Islands have regularly been susceptible to fishing assaults by local and foreign industrial fleets, including Colombian, Costa Rican, Japanese, Taiwanese and Korean, which have illegally practiced shark fining, i.e. the wasteful practice of removing of dorsal, pelvic and pectoral fins from sharks. In 2001, the Galápagos National Park seized a Costa Rican vessel with > 1000 shark fins, killing at least 200 sharks, while an Ecuadorian vessel containing a total of 379 sharks from seven shark species was seized by the Ecuadorian Navy and Galápagos National Park in 2011. This has now obviously become a persistent, problem within and around the Galápagos Marine Reserve (GMR), evoking a classic case of the “Tragedy of the Commons”. The removal of high tropic level fish and marine predators such as groupers, dolphin fish, marlins, tuna and sharks can cause severe trophic cascade effects in the Galápagos marine ecosystem with serious consequences to the socio-economic welfare of Galápagos and Ecuador’s coastal small-scale fishing communities.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosSeptember 29, 2017
Using fuzzy logic to determine the vulnerability of marine species to climate change.

Marine species are being impacted by climate change and ocean acidification, although their level of vulnerability varies due to differences in species’ sensitivity, adaptive capacity and exposure to climate hazards. Due to limited data on the biological and ecological attributes of many marine species, as well as inherent uncertainties in the assessment process, climate change vulnerability assessments in the marine environment frequently focus on a limited number of taxa or geographic ranges. As climate change is already impacting marine biodiversity and fisheries, there is an urgent need to expand vulnerability assessment to cover a large number of species and areas. Here, we develop a modelling approach to synthesize data on species-specific estimates of exposure, and ecological and biological traits to undertake an assessment of vulnerability (sensitivity and adaptive capacity) and risk of impacts (combining exposure to hazards and vulnerability) of climate change (including ocean acidification) for global marine fishes and invertebrates.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosSeptember 26, 2017
How do environmental governance processes shape evaluation of outcomes by stakeholders? A causal pathways approach.

Multi-stakeholder environmental management and governance processes are essential to realize social and ecological outcomes. Participation, collaboration, and learning are emphasized in these processes; to gain insights into how they influence stakeholders’ evaluations of outcomes in relation to management and governance interventions we use a path analysis approach to examine their relationships in individuals in four UNESCO Biosphere Reserves. We confirm a model showing that participation in more activities leads to greater ratings of process, and in turn, better evaluations of outcomes.

AtlanticSeptember 25, 2017
Small-scale fisheries and subsidies disciplines: definitions, catches, revenues, and subsidies.

This information note summarises how small-scale fisheries are identified in international instruments and academic literature and provides estimates of the proportions of total catch, landed value and subsidies that are generated and received by this sector. It provides specific suggestions, based on the findings reported in the paper, of how this socio-economically important sector could be distinguished in the context of subsidy rules in the World Trade Organization.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosSeptember 22, 2017
Does trade openness reduce a domestic fisheries catch?

Although trade liberalization may increase a country’s welfare, its specific effect on a country’s fishing industry has not been well studied. By decomposing the effect of international trade into four parts, i.e., scale-technique effects (ST), the indirect trade-induced composition effect (IC), the indirect effect of trade intensity through income (ITC), and the direct effect of trade intensity (DTC), this study empirically investigates the effect of trade openness on country-level fisheries production. To take into account the endogeneity of trade openness and income, we adopt the instrumental variable approach. We find that a rise in trade openness reduces fisheries catch on average. In particular, the long-run effect is large. This result implies that future production is affected by current overfishing through stock dynamics. Our decomposed elasticities indicate that the ST and ITC dominate in the trade elasticity of fisheries catch. While ST implies that overfishing would be affected by trade, ITC may either establish an “overfishing haven”, similar to a “pollution haven” in the environmental literature, or production shift of fisheries to countries with lax regulation to pass stringent regulation, which is more likely to occur in high-income countries.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosSeptember 15, 2017
Reconstructing overfishing: moving beyond Malthus for effective and equitable solutions.

Inaccurate or incomplete diagnosis of the root causes of overfishing can lead to misguided and ineffective fisheries policies and programmes. The “Malthusian overfishing narrative” suggests that overfishing is driven by too many fishers chasing too few fish and that fishing effort grows proportionately to human population growth, requiring policy interventions that reduce fisher access, the number of fishers, or the human population. By neglecting other drivers of overfishing that may be more directly related to fishing pressure and provide more tangible policy levers for achieving fisheries sustainability, Malthusian overfishing relegates blame to regions of the world with high population growth rates, while consumers, corporations and political systems responsible for these other mediating drivers remain unexamined. While social–ecological systems literature has provided alternatives to the Malthusian paradigm, its focus on institutions and organized social units often fails to address fundamental issues of power and politics that have inhibited the design and implementation of effective fisheries policy. Here, we apply a political ecology lens to unpack Malthusian overfishing and, relying upon insights derived from the social sciences, reconstruct the narrative incorporating four exemplar mediating drivers: technology and innovation, resource demand and distribution, marginalization and equity, and governance and management. We argue that a more nuanced understanding of such factors will lead to effective and equitable fisheries policies and programmes, by identifying a suite of policy levers designed to address the root causes of overfishing in diverse contexts.

PacificSeptember 13, 2017
Envisioning the future of aquatic animal tracking: Technology, science, and application

Electronic tags are significantly improving our understanding of aquatic animal behavior and are emerging as key sources of information for conservation and management practices. Future aquatic integrative biology and ecology studies will increasingly rely on data from electronic tagging. Continued advances in tracking hardware and software are needed to provide the knowledge required by managers and policymakers to address the challenges posed by the world’s changing aquatic ecosystems. We foresee multiplatform tracking systems for simultaneously monitoring the position, activity, and physiology of animals and the environment through which they are moving. Improved data collection will be accompanied by greater data accessibility and analytical tools for processing data, enabled by new infrastructure and cyberinfrastructure. To operationalize advances and facilitate integration into policy, there must be parallel developments in the accessibility of education and training, as well as solutions to key governance and legal issues.

Law and PolicySeptember 13, 2017
Future marine ecosystem drivers, biodiversity, and fisheries maximum catch potential in Pacific Island countries and territories under climate change.

The increase in anthropogenic CO2 emissions over the last century has modified oceanic conditions, affecting marine ecosystems and the goods and services that they provide to society. Pacific Island countries and territories are highly vulnerable to these changes because of their strong dependence on ocean resources, high level of exposure to climate effects, and low adaptive capacity. Projections of mid-to-late 21st century changes in sea surface temperature (SST), dissolved oxygen, pH, and net primary productivity (NPP) were synthesized across the tropical Western Pacific under strong climate mitigation and business-as-usual scenarios. These projections were used to model impacts on marine biodiversity and potential fisheries catches. Results were consistent across three climate models, indicating that SST will rise by ≥ 3 °C, surface dissolved oxygen will decline by ≥ 0.01 ml L−1, pH will drop by ≥ 0.3, and NPP will decrease by 0.5 g m−2 d−1 across much of the region by 2100 under the business-as-usual scenario. These changes were associated with rates of local species extinction of > 50% in many regions as fishes and invertebrates decreased in abundance or migrated to regions with conditions more suitable to their bio-climate envelope. Maximum potential catch (MCP) was projected to decrease by > 50% across many areas, with the largest impacts in the western Pacific warm pool. Climate change scenarios that included strong mitigation resulted in substantial reductions of MCP losses, with the area where MCP losses exceeded 50% reduced from 74.4% of the region under business-as-usual to 36.0% of the region under the strong mitigation scenario.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosSeptember 13, 2017
Why people matter in ocean governance: incorporating human dimensions into large-scale marine protected areas.

Large-scale marine protected areas (LSMPAs) are rapidly increasing. Due to their sheer size, complex socio-political realities, and distinct local cultural perspectives and economic needs, implementing and managing LSMPAs successfully creates a number of human dimensions challenges. It is timely and important to explore the human dimensions of LSMPAs. This paper draws on the results of a global “Think Tank on the Human Dimensions of Large Scale Marine Protected Areas” involving 125 people from 17 countries, including representatives from government agencies, non-governmental organizations, academia, professionals, industry, cultural/indigenous leaders and LSMPA site managers.

PacificSeptember 4, 2017
“What about the salmon?”: a critical analysis of the Pacific Northwest LNG project in British Columbia.

This article is based on an essay Hillary Beattie wrote in the university course “Environment, Economy, and Aboriginal People” with Dr. Wanda Wuttunee as part of her Master’s degree at the University of Manitoba. The ideas discussed in the article were developed in part through her research in Bella Bella. Further, it focuses on a project that would have impacted Lelu Island and the coastal community of Prince Rupert, B.C.

Knowledge MobilizationSeptember 1, 2017
Equity trade-offs in conservation decision making.

Conservation decisions increasingly involve multiple environmental and social objectives, which result in complex decision contexts with high potential for trade-offs. Improving social equity is one such objective that is often considered an enabler of successful outcomes and a virtuous ideal in itself. Despite its idealized importance in conservation policy, social equity is often highly simplified or ill-defined and is applied uncritically.

PacificSeptember 1, 2017
Large marine protected areas represent biodiversity now and under climate change.

Large marine protected areas (>30,000 km2) have a high profile in marine conservation, yet their contribution to conservation is contested. Assessing the overlap of large marine protected areas with 14,172 species, we found large marine protected areas cover 4.4% of the ocean and at least some portion of the range of 83.3% of the species assessed. Of all species within large marine protected areas, 26.9% had at least 10% of their range represented, and this was projected to increase to 40.1% in 2100. Cumulative impacts were significantly higher within large marine protected areas than outside, refuting the critique that they only occur in pristine areas. We recommend future large marine protected areas be sited based on systematic conservation planning practices where possible and include areas beyond national jurisdiction, and provide five key recommendations to improve the long-term representation of all species to meet critical global policy goals (e.g., Convention on Biological Diversity’s Aichi Targets).

PacificAugust 29, 2017
Sound physiological knowledge and principles in modeling shrinking of fishes under climate change.

One of the main expected responses of marine fishes to ocean warming is decrease in body size, as supported by evidence from empirical data and theoretical modeling. The theoretical underpinning for fish shrinking is that the oxygen supply to large fish size cannot be met by their gills, whose surface area cannot keep up with the oxygen demand by their three-dimensional bodies. However, Lefevre et al. (Global Change Biology, 2017, 23, 3449–3459) argue against such theory. Here, we re-assert, with the Gill-Oxygen Limitation Theory (GOLT), that gills, which must retain the properties of open surfaces because their growth, even while hyperallometric, cannot keep up with the demand of growing three-dimensional bodies. Also, we show that a wide range of biological features of fish and other water-breathing organisms can be understood when gill area limitation is used as an explanation. We also note that an alternative to GOLT, offering a more parsimonious explanation for these features of water-breathers has not been proposed. Available empirical evidence corroborates predictions of decrease in body sizes under ocean warming based on GOLT, with the magnitude of the predicted change increases when using more species-specific parameter values of metabolic scaling.

Changing Oceans, National Data and Integrated ScenariosAugust 21, 2017
Global change in the trophic functioning of marine food webs.

The development of fisheries in the oceans, and other human drivers such as climate warming, have led to changes in species abundance, assemblages, trophic interactions, and ultimately in the functioning of marine food webs. Here, using a trophodynamic approach and global databases of catches and life history traits of marine species, we tested the hypothesis that anthropogenic ecological impacts may have led to changes in the global parameters defining the transfers of biomass within the food web. First, we developed two indicators to assess such changes: the Time Cumulated Indicator (TCI) measuring the residence time of biomass within the food web, and the Efficiency Cumulated Indicator (ECI) quantifying the fraction of secondary production reaching the top of the trophic chain. Then, we assessed, at the large marine ecosystem scale, the worldwide change of these two indicators over the 1950–2010 time-periods. Global trends were identified and cluster analyses were used to characterize the variability of trends between ecosystems. Results showed that the most common pattern over the study period is a global decrease in TCI, while the ECI indicator tends to increase. Thus, changes in species assemblages would induce faster and apparently more efficient biomass transfers in marine food webs. Results also suggested that the main driver of change over that period had been the large increase in fishing pressure. The largest changes occurred in ecosystems where ‘fishing down the marine food web’ are most intensive.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosAugust 11, 2017
Adaptation strategies to climate change in marine systems

The world’s oceans are highly impacted by climate change and other human pressures, with significant implications for marine ecosystems and the livelihoods that they support. Adaptation for both natural and human systems is increasingly important as a coping strategy due to the rate and scale of ongoing and potential future change. Here, we conduct a review of literature concerning specific case studies of adaptation in marine systems, and discuss associated characteristics and influencing factors, including drivers, strategy, timeline, costs, and limitations. We found ample evidence in the literature that shows that marine species are adapting to climate change through shifting distributions and timing of biological events, while evidence for adaptation through evolutionary processes is limited. For human systems, existing studies focus on frameworks and principles of adaptation planning, but examples of implemented adaptation actions and evaluation of outcomes are scarce. These findings highlight potentially useful strategies given specific social–ecological contexts, as well as key barriers and specific information gaps requiring further research and actions.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJuly 20, 2017
Fukushima-derived radioactivity measurements in Pacific salmon and soil samples collected in British Columbia, Canada

Despite the many studies that have shown minimal health risks to individuals living outside of Japan following the Fukushima Nuclear Accident, there are persisting concerns regarding the consumption of Pacific seafood that may be contaminated with radioactive species from Fukushima. To address these concerns, the activity concentrations of anthropogenic 134Cs and 137Cs, as well as naturally occurring 40K, were measured in Pacific salmon collected from Kilby Provincial Park, British Columbia (BC), in 2013 and from the Quesnel River, BC, in 2014 using low-background gamma-ray spectroscopy.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJuly 18, 2017
From shared socio-economic pathways (SSPs) to oceanic system pathways (OSPs): building policy-relevant scenarios for global oceanic ecosystems and fisheries.

There is an urgent need for developing policy-relevant future scenarios of biodiversity and ecosystem services. This paper is a milestone toward this aim focusing on open ocean fisheries. We develop five contrasting Oceanic System Pathways (OSPs), based on the existing five archetypal worlds of Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) developed for climate change research (e.g., Nakicenovic et al., 2014 and Riahi et al., 2016). First, we specify the boundaries of the oceanic social-ecological system under focus. Second, the two major driving forces of oceanic social-ecological systems are identified in each of three domains, viz., economy, management and governance. For each OSP (OSP1 “sustainability first”, OSP2 “conventional trends”, OSP3 “dislocation”, OSP4 “global elite and inequality”, OSP5 “high tech and market”), a storyline is outlined describing the evolution of the driving forces with the corresponding SSP. Finally, we compare the different pathways of oceanic social-ecological systems by projecting them in the two-dimensional spaces defined by the driving forces, in each of the economy, management and governance domains. We expect that the OSPs will serve as a common basis for future model-based scenario studies in the context of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJuly 12, 2017
Global mismatch between fishing dependency and larval supply from marine reserves.

Marine reserves are viewed as flagship tools to protect exploited species and to contribute to the effective management of coastal fisheries. Yet, the extent to which marine reserves are globally interconnected and able to effectively seed areas, where fisheries are most critical for food and livelihood security is largely unknown. Using a hydrodynamic model of larval dispersal, we predict that most marine reserves are not interconnected by currents and that their potential benefits to fishing areas are presently limited, since countries with high dependency on coastal fisheries receive very little larval supply from marine reserves. This global mismatch could be reversed, however, by placing new marine reserves in areas sufficiently remote to minimize social and economic costs but sufficiently connected through sea currents to seed the most exploited fisheries and endangered ecosystems.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJuly 10, 2017
Coral reefs management and decision making tools.

In this article, we examine the problem of coral reef destruction and discuss various stakeholders who suffer losses from the destruction. We then postulate a stakeholder versus threats matrix and outline an algorithm where public authorities can streamline policy based on expected losses. We also formulate, using local data, divergence between public good and individual benefits and examine the agent behaviour under monitoring. Our examples, using previous estimations on net benefits, give guidelines on how to form public policy and management strategies.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJune 27, 2017
The big role of coastal communities and small-scale fishers in ocean conservation.

Around the world, many coastal communities and small-scale fishers have proven effective as stewards of their local marine environments and resources. Given these considerable successes, this chapter assesses opportunities to increase the focus in ocean conservation practice and policy on initiatives at the local level of coastal communities and small-scale fishers. The chapter reviews the historical evolution of ocean conservation, with a focus on fundamental shifts to more holistic approaches of ecosystem-based and integrated management, and to a greater focus on participatory governance. These major shifts reinforce the role in ocean conservation of local-level coastal communities and small-scale fishers.

AtlanticJune 26, 2017
Canada-U.S. fisheries management in the Gulf of Maine: taking stock and charting future coordinates in the face of climate change.

Devoted to assessing the state of ocean and coastal governance, knowledge, and management, the Ocean Yearbook provides information in one convenient resource.

Law and PolicyJune 21, 2017
The impact of coastal grabbing on community conservation – a global reconnaissance.

“Coastal grab” refers to the contested appropriation of coastal (shore and inshore) space and resources by outside interests. This paper explores the phenomenon of coastal grabbing and the effects of such appropriation on community-based conservation of local resources and environment. The approach combines social-ecological systems analysis with socio-legal property rights studies. Evidence of coastal grab is provided from four country settings (Canada, Brazil, India and South Africa), distinguishing the identity of the ‘grabbers’ (industry, government) and ‘victims’, the scale and intensity of the process, and the resultant ‘booty’. The paper also considers the responses of the communities. While emphasizing the scale of coastal grab and its deleterious consequences for local communities and their conservation efforts, the paper also recognizes the strength of community responses, and the alliances/partnerships with academia and civil society, which assist in countering some of the negative effects.

ArcticJune 14, 2017
Conservation actions at global and local scales in marine social-ecological systems: status, gaps, and ways forward.

Global drivers of change are affecting marine ecosystems and the people who depend on them at increasing rates and severities. Yet most marine conservation actions were developed before climate change was widely recognized as a major driver of change. In this chapter, we synthesize categories of marine conservation actions and their relevance at local and global scales, discuss linkages between scales, identify existing gaps, and provide recommendations.

PacificJune 12, 2017
War, fish, and foreign fleets: the marine fisheries catches of Sierra Leone 1950–2015.

In countries like Sierra Leone, where stock assessments based on fisheries-independent data and complex population models are financially and technically challenging, catch statistics may be used to infer fluctuations in fish stocks where more precise data are not available. However, FAO FishStat, the most widely-used time-series data on global fisheries ‘catches’ (actually ‘landings’), does not account for Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) catches and relies on statistics provided by the national agencies of each member country. As such, reported FishStat data is vulnerable to changes in monitoring capacity, governmental transitions, and budgetary constraints, and may substantially underestimate the measure of extracted marine resources. In this report, Sierra Leone’s total catches by all marine fishing sectors were estimated for the period 1950–2015, using a catch reconstruction approach incorporating national data, expert knowledge, and both peer-reviewed and grey literature.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJune 9, 2017
A rapid assessment of co-benefits and trade-offs among Sustainable Development Goals.

Achieving the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) results in many ecological, social, and economic consequences that are inter-related. Understanding relationships between sustainability goals and determining their interactions can help prioritize effective and efficient policy options. This paper presents a framework that integrates existing knowledge from literature and expert opinions to rapidly assess the relationships between one SDG goal and another. Specifically, given the important role of the oceans in the world’s social-ecological systems, this study focuses on how SDG 14 (Life Below Water), and the targets within that goal, contributes to other SDG goals. This framework differentiates relationships based on compatibility (co-benefit, trade-off, neutral), the optional nature of achieving one goal in attaining another, and whether these relationships are context dependent. The results from applying this framework indicate that oceans SDG targets are related to all other SDG goals, with two ocean targets (of seven in total) most related across all other SDG goals. Firstly, the ocean SDG target to increase economic benefits to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and least developed countries for sustainable marine uses has positive relationships across all SDGs. Secondly, the ocean SDG target to eliminate overfishing, illegal and destructive fishing practices is a necessary pre-condition for achieving the largest number of other SDG targets. This study highlights the importance of the oceans in achieving sustainable development. The rapid assessment framework can be applied to other SDGs to comprehensively map out the subset of targets that are also pivotal in achieving sustainable development.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJune 5, 2017
Conservation and the right to fish: International conservation NGOs and the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries.

The Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF-Guidelines) were agreed with extensive input from small-scale fishers themselves, and hold great promise for enhancing both small-scale fishers’ human rights and fisheries sustainability in a meaningful and context relevant manner. However, this promise will not be fulfilled without continued input from fishing communities as the SSF-Guidelines are implemented. This paper proposes that international conservation NGOs, with their extensive geographical and political networks, can act as a conduit for communication between small-scale fishing communities and other parties and thus catalyse implementation of the Guidelines. In order to do so, they will first need to demonstrate a genuine commitment to people-as-well-as-parks and the human rights based approach espoused in the SSF-Guidelines. This paper reviews current engagement of international conservation NGOs with human rights in fisheries; looks at their potential motivations for doing more; and identifies challenges in the way. It concludes with a proposal for how international conservation NGOs could play a critical part in catalysing the implementation of the SSF-Guidelines.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJune 3, 2017
Committing to socially responsible seafood.

Seafood is the world’s most internationally traded food commodity. Approximately three out of every seven people globally rely on seafood as a primary source of animal protein (1). Revelations about slavery and labor rights abuses in fisheries have sparked outrage and shifted the conversation (2, 3), placing social issues at the forefront of a sector that has spent decades working to improve environmental sustainability. In response, businesses are seeking to reduce unethical practices and reputational risks in their supply chains. Governments are formulating policy responses, and nonprofit and philanthropic organizations are deploying resources and expertise to address critical social issues. Yet the scientific community has not kept pace with concerns for social issues in the sector. As the United Nations Ocean Conference convenes in New York (5 to 9 June), we propose a framework for social responsibility and identify key steps the scientific community must take to inform policy and practice for this global challenge.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJune 2, 2017
Catching sea cucumber fever in coastal communities: conceptualizing the impacts of shocks versus trends for social-ecological systems.

Research on vulnerability and adaptation in social-ecological systems (SES) has largely centered on climate change and associated biophysical stressors. Key implications of this are twofold. First, there has been limited engagement with the impacts of social drivers of change on communities and linked SES. Second, the focus on climate effects often assumes slower drivers of change and fails to differentiate the implications of change occurring at different timescales.

PacificMay 25, 2017
Mitigating cetacean bycatch in coastal Ecuador: governance challenges for small-scale fisheries.

Bycatch of marine fauna by small-scale (artisanal) fisheries is an important anthropogenic mortality source to several species of cetaceans, including humpback whales and odontocetes, in Ecuador’s marine waters. Long-term monitoring actions and varied conservation efforts have been conducted by non-governmental organizations along the Ecuadorian coast, pointing toward the need for a concerted mitigation plan and actions to hamper cetaceans’ bycatch. Nevertheless, little has currently been done by the government and regional authorities to address marine mammal interactions with fisheries in eastern Pacific Ocean artisanal fisheries. This study provides a review of Ecuador’s current status concerning cetacean bycatch, and explores the strengths and weaknesses of past and current programs aiming to tackle the challenges of bycatch mitigation. To bolster our appraisal of the policies, a synthesis of fishers’ perceptions of the bycatch problem is presented in concert with recommendations for fostering fishing community-based conservation practices integrated with policies to mitigate cetacean bycatch. Our appraisal, based upon the existing literature, indicates a situation of increasing urgency. Taking into consideration the fishers’ perceptions and attitudes, fisheries governance in Ecuador should draw inspiration from a truly bottom-up, participatory framework based on stakeholder engagement processes; if it is based on a top-down, regulatory approach, it is less likely to succeed. To carry out this process, a community-based conservation programs to provide conditions for empowering fishing communities is recommend. This would serve as an initial governance framework for fishery policy for conserving marine mammals while maximizing the economic benefits from sustainable small-scale fisheries in Ecuador.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosMay 24, 2017
Impacts of climate change on marine and inland fishes and fisheries. (Editorial)

Climate is a critical driver of aquatic ecosystems and fish populations, strongly influencing latitudinal, seasonal, and depth distribution and abundance of marine and inland fishes through survival, growth, reproduction, and interactions with habitat and other species (Perry et al. 2005; Pörtner et al. 2014; Lynch et al. 2016). Climate variability has been linked with fish production variability with high levels of confidence in both marine and freshwater systems (e.g., Mantua et al. 1997; Chavez et al. 2003; Lynch et al. 2015).

National Data and Integrated ScenariosMay 20, 2017
Adaptive capacity: from assessment to action in coastal social-ecological systems.

Because of the complexity and speed of environmental, climatic, and socio-political change in coastal marine social-ecological systems, there is significant academic and applied interest in assessing and fostering the adaptive capacity of coastal communities. Adaptive capacity refers to the latent ability of a system to respond proactively and positively to stressors or opportunities. A variety of qualitative, quantitative, and participatory approaches have been developed and applied to understand and assess adaptive capacity, each with different benefits, drawbacks, insights, and implications. Drawing on case studies of coastal communities from around the globe, we describe and compare 11 approaches that are often used to study adaptive capacity of social and ecological systems in the face of social, environmental, and climatic change.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosMay 19, 2017
How subsidies affect the economic viability of small-scale fisheries.

This article presents the first bottom-up analysis of the proportion of global marine fisheries subsidies to small-scale fisheries (SSF). Using existing data, the reported national subsidy amounts are split into the fraction that goes to small- and large-scale fishing sectors. Results reveal a major imbalance in subsidy distribution, with SSF receiving only about 16% of the total global fisheries subsidy amount of $35 billion in 2009. To bring this into perspective, a person engaged in large-scale fishing received around 4 times the amount of subsidies received by their SSF counterparts. Furthermore, almost 90% of capacity-enhancing subsidies, which are known to exacerbate overfishing go to large-scale fisheries, thus increasing the unfair competitive advantage that large-scale fisheries already have. The developmental, economic and social consequences of this inequity are huge and impair the economic viability of the already vulnerable small-scale fishing sector. Conclusions indicate that taxpayers’ money should be used to support sustainable fishing practices and in turn ocean conservation, and not to foster the degradation of marine ecosystems, often a result of capacity-enhancing subsidies. Reducing capacity-enhancing subsidies will have minimal negative effects on SSF communities since they receive very little of these subsidies to begin with. Instead, it will help correct the existing inequality, enhance SSF economic viability, and promote global fisheries sustainability.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosMay 18, 2017
Solutions to blue carbon emissions: shrimp cultivation, mangrove deforestation and climate change in coastal Bangladesh.

In Bangladesh, export-oriented shrimp farming is one of the most important sectors of the national economy. However, shrimp farming in coastal Bangladesh has devastating effects on mangrove forests. Mangroves are the most carbon-rich forests in the tropics, and blue carbon (i.e., carbon in coastal and marine ecosystems) emissions from mangrove deforestation due to shrimp cultivation are accumulating. These anthropogenic carbon emissions are the dominant cause of climate change, which in turn affect shrimp cultivation. Some adaptation strategies including Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA), mangrove restoration, and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) could help to reduce blue carbon emissions. Translocation of shrimp culture from mangroves to open-water IMTA and restoration of habitats could reduce blue carbon emissions, which in turn would increase blue carbon sequestration. Mangrove restoration by the REDD+ program also has the potential to conserve mangroves for resilience to climate change. However, institutional support is needed to implement the proposed adaptation strategies.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosMay 11, 2017
Global seafood trade flows and developing economies: insights from linking trade and production.

Knowing the patterns of marine resource exploitation and seafood trade may help countries to design their future strategic plans and development policies. To fully understand these patterns, it is necessary to identify where the benefits accumulate, how balanced the arrangements are, and how the pattern is evolving over time. Here the flow of global seafood was traced from locations of capture or production to their countries of consumption using novel approaches and databases. Results indicate an increasing dominance of Asian fleets by the volume of catch from the 1950s to the 2010s, including fishing in the high seas. The majority of landings were by high-income countries’ fishing fleets in their own waters in the 1950s but this pattern was greatly altered by the 2010s, with more equality in landings volume and value by fleets representing different income levels. Results also show that the higher the income of a country, the more valuable seafood it imports compared to its exports and vice versa. In theory, this implies that the lower income countries are exporting high value seafood in part to achieve the broader goal of ending poverty, while achieving the food security goal by retaining and importing lower value seafood. In the context of access arrangements between developed and developing countries, the results allow insights into the consequences of these shifting sources of income may have for goals such as poverty reduction and food security.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosMay 9, 2017
A social-ecological systems approach to assessing conservation and fisheries outcomes in Fijian locally managed marine areas.

This special issue of Coastal Management focuses on the human dimensions of large-scale marine protected areas (LSMPAs), those MPAs that are typically larger than 250,000 km2. We define ‘human dimensions’ as the cultural, social, economic, political, and institutional factors that affect and are affected by large-scale marine conservation efforts. While human dimensions of marine conservation and coastal management have long been a focus of research, they have not yet received sustained and systematic consideration in relation to LSMPAs specifically. Although there is an emerging body of scholarship focused on the human dimensions of LSMPAs, this is the first collection of papers devoted to their analysis. The purpose of this special issue is to showcase the diversity of human dimensions of LSMPAs, illustrating the range of contexts in which LSMPAs function, the variety of social science tools that can be used to analyze LSMPAs, the ways that human dimensions considerations can be integrated into LSMPA management, and the diverse human dimensions outcomes that are associated with LSMPAs.

PacificMay 8, 2017
Marine reserves can mitigate and promote adaptation to climate change.

Strong decreases in greenhouse gas emissions are required to meet the reduction trajectory resolved within the 2015 Paris Agreement. However, even these decreases will not avert serious stress and damage to life on Earth, and additional steps are needed to boost the resilience of ecosystems, safeguard their wildlife, and protect their capacity to supply vital goods and services. We discuss how well-managed marine reserves may help marine ecosystems and people adapt to five prominent impacts of climate change: acidification, sea-level rise, intensification of storms, shifts in species distribution, and decreased productivity and oxygen availability, as well as their cumulative effects. We explore the role of managed ecosystems in mitigating climate change by promoting carbon sequestration and storage and by buffering against uncertainty in management, environmental fluctuations, directional change, and extreme events. We highlight both strengths and limitations and conclude that marine reserves are a viable low-tech, cost-effective adaptation strategy that would yield multiple cobenefits from local to global scales, improving the outlook for the environment and people into the future.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosMay 8, 2017
Governing the coastal commons: communities, resilience and transformations.

Coastal communities depend on the marine environment for their livelihoods, but the common property nature of marine resources poses major challenges for the governance of such resources. Through detailed cases and consideration of broader global trends, this volume examines how coastal communities are adapting to environmental change, and the attributes of governance that foster deliberate transformations and help to build resilience of social and ecological systems.

AtlanticMay 2, 2017
Fisheries and the world.

Chapter in Reflections of Canada.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosApril 26, 2017
Towards the economic viability of local seafood programs: Key features for the financial performance of community supported fisheries

Community supported fishery (CSF) programs are emerging as appealing alternatives to large-scale industrial fisheries for some seafood consumers and commercial fishers. While CSFs provide many social, economic, and environmental benefits to their local communities, the associated financial costs can make it difficult for such programs to remain solvent. The goal of this research was to identify specific features that influence the financial performance of CSF programs. Using data collected online and from surveys of past and current North American CSFs, this research identified a combination of three key features associated with positive profit margins: engaging in social media, offering a retail option, and having a fisher as a founding member. The potential reasons behind the influence of these features on financial performance is explored, and recommendations for how they can be incorporated into CSF programs are presented. It is hoped that through integrating these features, prospective and currently operating CSFs could potentially improve their long-term financial performance, enabling them to focus on their non-financial goals and increase their overall economic viability.

PacificApril 25, 2017
Tropical pinnipeds: bio-ecology, threats and conservation.

Pinnipeds are a fascinating group of marine mammals that play a crucial role as apex predators and sentinels of the functioning and health of marine ecosystems. They are found in the most extreme environments from the Polar regions to the tropics. Pinnipeds are comprised of about 34 species, and of those at least 25% live permanently in tropical zones. This book reviews and updates current research on the biology, marine ecology, bio-monitoring, and conservation of tropical pinniped populations, including their behavior, anthropogenic stressors, and health. It also looks at challenges to be faced for the conservation of tropical pinnipeds, many of which are threatened species.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosApril 25, 2017
Linking ecosystem processes to communities of practice through commercially fished species in the Gulf of Alaska.

Marine ecosystems are complex, and there is increasing recognition that environmental, ecological, and human systems are linked inextricably in coastal regions. The purpose of this article was to integrate environmental, ecological and human dimensions information important for fisheries management into a common analytical framework. We then used the framework to examine the linkages between these traditionally separate subject areas. We focused on synthesis of linkages between the Gulf of Alaska marine ecosystem and human communities of practice, defined as different fisheries sectors.

PacificApril 20, 2017
Arctic. Yearbook of International Environmental Law.

Regional initiatives relevant to Arctic environmental protection occurred mainly through the Arctic Council. The council’s ninth ministerial meeting was held in Iqaluit, Canada, and the council’s six working groups continued their co-operative efforts. Documentation from the ministerial meeting and working groups may be found at the council’s website ( Other international activities of note included: efforts by the Arctic five coastal states (Arctic 5) towards preventing unregulated high seas fishing in the central Arctic Ocean (CAO) and enhancing protection of polar bears; convening of the fifteenth session of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council; establishment of the Arctic Coast Guard Forum; and final adoption within the International Maritime Organization (IMO) of a Polar Shipping Code.

Law and PolicyMarch 24, 2017
Catching Ripples in the Water Workshop Summary

The goal of the ‘Catching Ripples’ workshop was to further develop our understanding of regime shifts and other forms of rapid change at the land-sea interface. Workshop participants explored how linking social theory with ecological theory may help to address the challenge of rapid change, and to consider the emergent concept of linked ‘Social-Ecological Regime Shifts’ (SERS). The workshop was thus designed to draw on the insights of an interdisciplinary group of applied scholars and practitioners engaged in assessing or navigating the biophysical, social and policy dimensions of regime shifts and rapid change in coastal watersheds.

AtlanticMarch 2, 2017
How does network governance affect social-ecological fit across the land–sea interface? An empirical assessment from the Lesser Antilles.

Governance across the land–sea interface presents many challenges related to (1) the engagement of diverse actors and systems of knowledge, (2) the coordinated management of shared ecological resources, and (3) the development of mechanisms to address or account for biogeochemical (e.g., nutrient flows) and ecological (e.g., species movements) interdependencies between marine and terrestrial systems. If left unaddressed, these challenges can lead to multiple problems of social-ecological fit stemming from governance fragmentation or inattention to various components of land–sea systems.

AtlanticFebruary 20, 2017
Diagnosing adaptive comanagement across multiple cases.

Adaptive comanagement is at an important cross-road: different research paths forward are possible, and a diagnostic approach has been identified as a promising one. Accordingly, we operationalize a diagnostic approach, using a framework, to set a new direction for adaptive comanagement research. We set out three main first-tier variables: antecedents, process, and outcomes, and these main variables are situated within a fourth: the setting.

AtlanticFebruary 20, 2017
Effectiveness of shore-based remote camera monitoring for quantifying recreational fisher compliance in marine conservation areas.

Marine conservation areas require high levels of compliance to meet conservation objectives, yet little research has assessed compliance quantitatively, especially for recreational fishers. Recreational fishers take 12% of global annual fish catches. With millions of people fishing from small boats, this fishing sector is hard to monitor, making accurate quantification of non-compliance an urgent research priority.

PacificFebruary 17, 2017
Climate change-contaminant interactions in marine food webs: towards a conceptual framework.

Climate change is reshaping the way in which contaminants move through the global environment, in large part by changing the chemistry of the oceans and affecting the physiology, health and feeding ecology of marine biota. Climate change-associated impacts on structure and function of marine food webs, with consequent changes in contaminant transport, fate and effects, is likely to have significant repercussions to those human populations that rely on fisheries resources for food, recreation or culture. Published studies on climate change-contaminant interactions with a focus on food web bioaccumulation were systematically reviewed to explore how climate change and ocean acidification may impact contaminant levels in marine food webs. We propose here a conceptual framework to illustrate the impacts of climate change on contaminant accumulation in marine food webs, as well as the downstream consequences for ecosystem goods and services. The potential impacts on social and economic security for coastal communities that depend on fisheries for food are discussed.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosFebruary 17, 2017
Contributions by women to fisheries economies: insights from five maritime countries

The contribution by women to fisheries economies globally continues to be overlooked, in part, because “fishing” is often narrowly defined as catching fish at sea, from a vessel, using specialized gears. Both men and women are involved in fisheries, but often in different roles and activities. Fisheries research, management, and policy have traditionally focused on direct, formal, and paid fishing activities—that are often dominated by men, ignoring those that are indirect, informal, and/or unpaid—where women are concentrated. This has led to a situation where men’s and women’s contributions to fisheries are not equally valued or even recognized and has resulted in women being largely excluded from fisheries decision-making processes. Here, we examine the contributions by women in the fisheries sector of five globally significant marine fishing countries—Mexico, Peru, Senegal, South Africa, and Vietnam. These countries each have strong links between livelihoods and marine capture fisheries, yet represent different geographic, socioeconomic, and governance contexts. Through a synthesis of existing data, case studies, and consultation with local experts, we found that the contribution by women to the fisheries of these five countries is substantial. However, this investigation also revealed major gaps in understanding of gender inequalities in the fisheries sector and the need for better gender-disaggregated data to inform fisheries policy.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosFebruary 16, 2017
Social and ecological effectiveness of large marine protected areas.

Large marine protected areas are increasingly being established to meet global conservation targets and promote sustainable use of resources. Although the factors affecting the performance of small-scale marine protected areas are relatively well studied, there is no such body of knowledge for large marine protected areas. We conducted a global meta-analysis to systematically investigate social, ecological, and governance characteristics of successful large marine protected areas with respect to several social and ecological outcomes. We included all large (>10,000 km2), implemented (>5 years of active management) marine protected areas that had sufficient data for analysis, for a total of twelve cases.

PacificFebruary 12, 2017
Economic challenges to the generalization of integrated multi-trophic aquaculture: an empirical comparative study on kelp monoculture and kelp-mollusk polyculture in Weihai, China.

With the rapid growth of aquaculture, some negative factors of extensive monoculture accumulated, causing integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) to draw increasing attention worldwide for its ecological and economic advantages. However, the development of IMTA in open water systems may not go as smoothly as anticipated—at least in Weihai, China, some producers who have adopted it would prefer to return to monoculture. This paper explores the problem from the angle of the economic performance by providing an in-depth analysis of costs and revenues generated by kelp monoculture and kelp-mollusk polyculture (IMTA). We find that the monoculture generates higher profits during the same production cycle. Besides inherent defects in system design, the rapidly growing labor cost and depressing selling price of the mollusk conspire to aggravate the economic failure of IMTA. Due to positive environmental externalities, the social benefits associated with IMTA are higher than the private benefits. This implies that there is a role for the government to generalize IMTA to achieve more total benefits. But single policy such as subsidies may backfire, a combination of policies designed to promote IMTA could be effective.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosFebruary 9, 2017
Legal and ethical issues around incorporating traditional knowledge in polar data infrastructures.

Human knowledge of the polar region is a unique blend of Western scientific knowledge and local and indigenous knowledge. It is increasingly recognized that to exclude Traditional Knowledge from repositories of polar data would both limit the value of such repositories and perpetuate colonial legacies of exclusion and exploitation. However, the inclusion of Traditional Knowledge within repositories that are conceived and designed for Western scientific knowledge raises its own unique challenges. There is increasing acceptance of the need to make these two knowledge systems interoperable but in addition to the technical challenge there are legal and ethical issues involved.

ArcticFebruary 3, 2017
An appeal for a code of conduct for marine conservation.

Marine conservation actions are promoted to conserve natural values and support human wellbeing. Yet the quality of governance processes and the social consequences of some marine conservation initiatives have been the subject of critique and even human rights complaints. These types of governance and social issues may jeopardize the legitimacy of, support for and long-term effectiveness of marine conservation.

PacificFebruary 1, 2017
Trade and sustainable fisheries.

The ultimate goal of this contribution is to formulate fish trade policy recommendations that can be deployed to help achieve the relevant Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (SDGs). Even though all the 17 SDGs are relevant to the issues addressed in this contribution, I will focus on SDG14: Life under the water, and also SDG 1: (No poverty); 2: (Zero hunger); 3: (Gender equality); 4: (Reduced inequality); and 12: (Responsible consumption and production). Before I get to the recommendations, I will review the literature on the relationship between fish trade and sustainable fisheries; and discuss the potential promise (pros) and perils (costs) of fish trade. Policy recommendations for using fish trade to support the SDGs are provided under different headings that capture the main concerns highlighted in the literature when it comes to ensuring the sustainability of fisheries in general and those related to the impact of trade on fisheries sustainability in particular. The policy measures presented in this chapter have the potential to help ensure that trade in fish and fish products would support the implementation of the SDGs.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosFebruary 1, 2017
On governance in fisheries in Senegal: from top-down control to co-management.

The trans-disciplinary thematic areas of oceans management and policy require stocktaking of the state of knowledge on ecosystem services being derived from coastal and marine areas. Recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially Goals 14 and 15 explicitly focus on this. This Handbook brings together a carefully chosen set of world-class contributions from ecology, economics, and other development science and attempts to provide policy relevant scientific information on ecosystem services from marine and coastal ecosystems, nuances of economic valuation, relevant legal and sociological response policies for effective management of marine areas for enhanced human well being. The contributors focus on the possible nexus of science-society and science-policy with the objective of informing on decision makers of the governmental agencies, business and industry and civil society in general with respect to sustainable management of Oceans. Chapter in Handbook on the Economics and Management of Sustainable Oceans

National Data and Integrated ScenariosFebruary 1, 2017
Reconciling fisheries catch and ocean productivity.

Photosynthesis fuels marine food webs, yet differences in fish catch across globally distributed marine ecosystems far exceed differences in net primary production (NPP). We consider the hypothesis that ecosystem-level variations in pelagic and benthic energy flows from phytoplankton to fish, trophic transfer efficiencies, and fishing effort can quantitatively reconcile this contrast in an energetically consistent manner. To test this hypothesis, we enlist global fish catch data that include previously neglected contributions from small-scale fisheries, a synthesis of global fishing effort, and plankton food web energy flux estimates from a prototype high-resolution global earth system model (ESM). After removing a small number of lightly fished ecosystems, stark interregional differences in fish catch per unit area can be explained (r = 0.79) with an energy-based model that (i) considers dynamic interregional differences in benthic and pelagic energy pathways connecting phytoplankton and fish, (ii) depresses trophic transfer efficiencies in the tropics and, less critically, (iii) associates elevated trophic transfer efficiencies with benthic-predominant systems. Model catch estimates are generally within a factor of 2 of values spanning two orders of magnitude. Climate change projections show that the same macroecological patterns explaining dramatic regional catch differences in the contemporary ocean amplify catch trends, producing changes that may exceed 50% in some regions by the end of the 21st century under high-emissions scenarios. Models failing to resolve these trophodynamic patterns may significantly underestimate regional fisheries catch trends and hinder adaptation to climate change.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJanuary 23, 2017
Pipelines imperil Canada’s ecosystem.

On 28 September 2016, the Canadian government approved what could become one of Canada’s largest CO2 emitters, the Petronas Pacific Northwest Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export terminal project at the mouth of the Skeena River estuary in British Columbia. The Skeena River is Canada’s second-largest salmon producer, and First Nation communities rely on it.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJanuary 13, 2017
Having it all: can fisheries buybacks achieve capacity, economic, ecological, and social objectives?

The objective of this study is to assess the performance of fishery buybacks so as to determine the conditions under which positive socio-economic outcomes can occur during the process of fisheries adjustments. We do this by conducting a desk top review and supplementing the literature with targeted interviews with experts who have direct knowledge or experience with the implementation of buybacks. We focus on four case studies: Australia, the United States, British Columbia (Canada), and Norway. The outcome of each buyback was assessed in terms of the extent to which it achieved its capacity, economic, ecological, and social objectives. Our results indicate that buybacks can be successful in achieving specific programme objectives, such as reducing fishing capacity and increasing economic profits, at least in the short term. However, none of the buybacks evaluated were a resounding success due to the presence of latent permits or licences, effort creep, and continued reinvestment in the fishery. Enabling conditions for positive social outcomes included a strong economy, accountable leadership, and social assistance programmes tailored to local fishing communities. This study is useful in informing future buyback programmes’ design and implementation.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJanuary 11, 2017
Impact of high seas closure on food security in low income fish dependent countries.

We investigate how high seas closure will affect the availability of commonly consumed food fish in 46 fish reliant, and/or low income countries. Domestic consumption of straddling fish species (fish that would be affected by high seas closure) occurred in 54% of the assessed countries. The majority (70%) of countries were projected to experience net catch gains following high seas closure. However, countries with projected catch gains and that also consumed the straddling fish species domestically made up only 37% of the assessed countries. In contrast, much fewer countries (25%) were projected to incur net losses from high seas closure, and of these, straddling species were used domestically in less than half (45%) of the countries. Our findings suggest that, given the current consumption patterns of straddling species, high seas closure may only directly benefit the supply of domestically consumed food fish in a small number of fish reliant and/or low income countries.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosDecember 29, 2016
Corporate concentration and processor control: insights from the salmon and herring fisheries in British Columbia.

Distribution and associated concentration of access rights are critically important in assessing the functioning and benefits of a fishery, and understanding who controls access to fisheries is therefore of ever increasing importance. There is a growing dependence on market-based approaches that in turn rely on healthy, functioning markets to achieve economic outcomes. As well, social goals of equity and fairness in fisheries have re-emerged as priorities alongside the goals of ecological sustainability and economic efficiency. This study aims to address the past and present state of the concentration of fishing licenses in British Columbia’s salmon and herring fisheries. Fisheries administrative data from federal and provincial data sets were mined to develop a timeline of fisheries ownership and control over a twenty-year period. Hidden corporate ownership of licenses through subsidiaries was identified and comprehensive criteria were co-identified with industry representatives to characterize the various user groups of fisheries licenses. Our analysis suggests that from 1993 to 2012, there was a notable shift in the ownership profile of salmon and herring licenses, with a marked increase in concentration of licenses owned by fish processors.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosDecember 29, 2016
Large benefits to marine fisheries of meeting the 1.5°C global warming target.

Translating the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C above preindustrial level into impact-related targets facilitates communication of the benefits of mitigating climate change to policy-makers and stakeholders. Developing ecologically relevant impact-related targets for marine ecosystem services, such as fisheries, is an important step. Here, we use maximum catch potential and species turnover as climate-risk indicators for fisheries. We project that potential catches will decrease by more than 3 million metric tons per degree Celsius of warming. Species turnover is more than halved when warming is lowered from 3.5° to 1.5°C above the preindustrial level. Regionally, changes in maximum catch potential and species turnover vary across ecosystems, with the biggest risk reduction in the Indo-Pacific and Arctic regions when the Paris Agreement target is achieved. (Full Publication)

National Data and Integrated ScenariosDecember 23, 2016
Navigating a sea of data: geoinformatics for law enforcement at sea.

(book chapter in Geoinformatics for Marine and Coastal Management) This book provides a timely and valuable assessment of the current state of the art geoinformatics tools and methods for the management of marine systems. This book focuses on the cutting-edge coverage of a wide spectrum of activities and topics such as GIS-based application of drainage basin analysis, contribution of ontology to marine management, geoinformatics in relation to fisheries management, hydrography, indigenous knowledge systems, and marine law enforcement. The authors present a comprehensive overview of the field of Geoinformatic Applications in Marine Management covering key issues and debates with specific case studies illustrating real-world applications of the GIS technology. This “box of tools” serves as a long-term resource for coastal zone managers, professionals, practitioners, and students alike on the management of oceans and the coastal fringe, promoting the approach of allowing sustainable and integrated use of oceans to maximize opportunities while keeping risks and hazards to a minimum.

Law and PolicyDecember 20, 2016
Opportunity for marine fisheries reform in China.

China’s 13th Five-Year Plan, launched in March 2016, provides a sound policy platform for the protection of marine ecosystems and the restoration of capture fisheries within China’s exclusive economic zone. What distinguishes China among many other countries striving for marine fisheries reform is its size—accounting for almost one-fifth of global catch volume—and the unique cultural context of its economic and resource management. In this paper, we trace the history of Chinese government priorities, policies, and outcomes related to marine fisheries since the 1978 Economic Reform, and examine how the current leadership’s agenda for “ecological civilization” could successfully transform marine resource management in the coming years. We show how China, like many other countries, has experienced a decline in the average trophic level of its capture fisheries during the past few decades, and how its policy design, implementation, and enforcement have influenced the status of its wild fish stocks. To reverse the trend in declining fish stocks, the government is introducing a series of new programs for sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, with greater traceability and accountability in marine resource management and area controls on coastal development. As impressive as these new plans are on paper, we conclude that serious institutional reforms will be needed to achieve a true paradigm shift in marine fisheries management in China. In particular, we recommend new institutions for science-based fisheries management, secure fishing access, policy consistency across provinces, educational programs for fisheries managers, and increasing public access to scientific data.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosDecember 9, 2016
Transboundary fisheries management in the Amazon: assessing current policies for the management of the ornamental silver arawana (Osteoglossum bicirrhosum).

The management and governance of shared stocks have long been identified as a challenge to achieve long-term sustainability in fisheries. This is the situation of fisheries in the Amazon basin, a region shared by nine countries. This paper provides an overview of the social-ecological outcomes and management implications of sharing fish stocks among countries with different public policies, taking the valuable Amazonian ornamental silver arawana (Osteoglossum bicirrhosum) trade as a case study. Specifically, it (i) presents and discusses the policies of Colombia, Peru and Brazil for the silver arawana fishery, and how these are conducive for the successful management of this shared transboundary fishery; and (ii) analyzes the market for the ornamental silver arawana and how it affects the ability to sustainably manage the fishery. The interplay between the multiple environmental, economic and social dimensions involved in the ornamental silver arawana fishery affects the sustainability of this species even in Brazil, where this fishing is forbidden but still illegally caught by Colombians and Peruvians. Among the factors that make fisheries policies inefficient in this region are: (i) incongruent policies between the countries and institutions with low organizational capacity to accomplish the established policies; (ii) environmental heterogeneity of Amazonian aquatic systems, which requires local and adaptive measures; and (iii) complex socio-economic relationships in the live-fish trade business. Legally binding efforts to reduce problems derived from shared fish stocks are an urgent need and should be addressed by the multilateral organizations created for the Amazonian sustainable development.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosDecember 7, 2016
Searching for market-based sustainability pathways: challenges and opportunities for seafood certification programs in Japan.

Over the past two decades, there has been a proliferation of consumer-facing, market-based initiatives for marine conservation—most notably in seafood eco-labels and sustainability certifications. Yet, despite the growing recognition of these initiatives by consumers and retailers in North America and Europe and the (subsequent) acceptance of their role in seafood distribution by fisheries and fish marketing industries around the world, seafood certification programs have thus far made little progress in Japan. Here, the evolution of the three seafood eco-label and certification programs in Japan is examined and insights into the ongoing challenges they face in terms of the domestic supply chain network, consumer preference and their social-cultural attitude toward sustainability are provided. Despite an initial lack of success, seafood certification programs in Japan can be useful in enhancing consumer awareness for fisheries resource conservation and identifying Japanese domestic small-scale fisheries that are already engaged in sustainable fishing practices. A possible pathway for developing an eco-certification program suitable for the Japanese seafood market is provided through integration of environmental and cultural sustainability under the existing certification framework.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosDecember 6, 2016
Cumulative effects of environmental change on culturally significant ecosystems in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region.

The Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR) in the western Canadian Arctic is experiencing environmental changes that affect subsistence harvesting practices and are of concern to local communities. In order to assess the impacts of multiple disturbances on culturally important ecosystems in the ISR, we created a cumulative disturbance map that represents relative intensity of terrestrial disturbances across the study region. We then assessed the relative level of environmental disturbance in important harvesting areas and management zones. Subsequently, we modeled nine future disturbance scenarios that included combinations of increased human impacts and more frequent and widespread wildfires.

PacificDecember 1, 2016
Overcoming principal-agent problems to improve cooperative governance of internationally shared fisheries.

Game Theory has been applied to fisheries for over 30 years. For internationally shared stocks, these applications have focused primarily on the need for cooperative management between fishing states to promote effective governance. Non-cooperation, however, has been the norm in shared stocks management, with the prisoner’s dilemma emerging time and again, resulting in over-capacity and overfishing. In this chapter, we describe the history of global fisheries as a prisoner’s dilemma, and review how cooperative Game Theory has been applied. We argue that the cooperative applications, however, are inadequate in fully elucidating how benefits from cooperation could be achieved, specifically by ignoring the problems of moral hazard and adverse selection. Both of these are related to information asymmetries and both challenge the governing authority and power of Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs). Using the lens of principal–agent theory, we speculate on the potential for particular tools, such as catch shares, high seas closures, taxes and logbooks, to help strengthen RFMOs by overcoming these principal–agent problems. The case of tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) is used to demonstrate the potential application of this approach.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosDecember 1, 2016
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.

PacificNovember 29, 2016
Scenarios for investigating the future of Canada’s oceans and marine fisheries under environmental and socioeconomic change.

There is a critical need to develop effective strategies for the long-term sustainability of Canada’s oceans. However, this is challenged by uncertainty over future impacts of global environmental and socioeconomic change on marine ecosystems, and how coastal communities will respond to these changes. Scenario analysis can address this uncertainty by exploring alternative futures for Canadian oceans under different pathways of climate change, economic development, social and policy changes. However, there has, to date, been no scenario analysis of Canada’s future ocean sustainability at a national scale. To facilitate this process, we review whether the literature on existing scenarios of Canada’s fisheries and marine ecosystems provides an integrative, social-ecological perspective about potential future conditions. Overall, there is sufficient national-level oceanographic data and application of ecosystem, biophysical, and socioeconomic models to generate projections of future ocean and socioeconomic trends in Canada. However, we find that the majority of marine-related scenario analyses in Canada focus on climate scenarios and the associated oceanographic and ecological changes. There is a gap in the incorporation of social, economic, and governance drivers in scenarios, as well as a lack of scenarios which consider the economic and social impact of future change. Moreover, available marine scenario studies mostly do not cover all three Canadian oceans simultaneously. To address these gaps, we propose to develop national-level scenarios using a matrix framework following the concept of Shared Socioeconomic Pathways, which would allow a social-ecological examination of Canada’s oceans in terms of the state of future uncertainties.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosNovember 28, 2016
Scenarios for investigating the future of Canada’s oceans and marine fisheries under environmental and socioeconomic change.

There is a critical need to develop effective strategies for the long-term sustainability of Canada’s oceans. However, this is challenged by uncertainty over future impacts of global environmental and socioeconomic change on marine ecosystems, and how coastal communities will respond to these changes. Scenario analysis can address this uncertainty by exploring alternative futures for Canadian oceans under different pathways of climate change, economic development, social and policy changes. However, there has, to date, been no scenario analysis of Canada’s future ocean sustainability at a national scale. To facilitate this process, we review whether the literature on existing scenarios of Canada’s fisheries and marine ecosystems provides an integrative, social-ecological perspective about potential future conditions. Overall, there is sufficient national-level oceanographic data and application of ecosystem, biophysical, and socioeconomic models to generate projections of future ocean and socioeconomic trends in Canada. However, we find that the majority of marine-related scenario analyses in Canada focus on climate scenarios and the associated oceanographic and ecological changes. There is a gap in the incorporation of social, economic, and governance drivers in scenarios, as well as a lack of scenarios which consider the economic and social impact of future change. Moreover, available marine scenario studies mostly do not cover all three Canadian oceans simultaneously. To address these gaps, we propose to develop national-level scenarios using a matrix framework following the concept of Shared Socioeconomic Pathways, which would allow a social-ecological examination of Canada’s oceans in terms of the state of future uncertainties.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosNovember 28, 2016
Place-based or sector-based adaptation? A case study of municipal and fishery policy integration.

Place-based adaptation planning is an approach to address cross-sectoral and multi-level governance concerns as well as to build local adaptive capacity in vulnerable resource-dependent communities facing the adverse impacts of climate change. In contrast, sector-based adaptation planning focuses on addressing climate change impacts on individual economic sectors (e.g. fisheries or forestry) or sub-sectors (such as lobsters or timber). Yet, linking sectoral approaches with local adaptation policies is challenging. More effort is needed to identify opportunities for complementary adaptation strategies and policy integration to foster multiple benefits.

AtlanticNovember 26, 2016
Hegemony and resistance: disturbing patterns and hopeful signs in the impact of neoliberal policies on small-scale fisheries around the world.

This paper reviews the major themes and contributions of this Special Issue in light of a broader social science literature on how to conceptualize small-scale fisheries, the role of the state in facilitating or limiting neoliberalism, and the failure of neoliberal policies to improve conservation. It concludes with a look at ways in which neoliberalism is being undermined by emerging alternatives.

PacificNovember 11, 2016
Spatial differentiation of marine eutrophication damage indicators based on species density.

Marine eutrophication refers to an ecosystem response to the loading of nutrients, typically nitrogen (N), to coastal waters where several impacts may occur. The increase of planktonic growth due to N-enrichment fuels the organic carbon cycles and may lead to excessive oxygen depletion in benthic waters. Such hypoxic conditions may cause severe effects on exposed ecological communities. The biologic processes that determine production, sink, and aerobic respiration of organic material, as a function of available N, are coupled with the sensitivity of demersal species to hypoxia to derive an indicator of the Ecosystem Response (ER) to N-uptake. The loss of species richness expressed by the ER is further modelled to a marine eutrophication Ecosystem Damage (meED) indicator, as an absolute metric of time integrated number of species disappeared (species yr), by applying a newly-proposed and spatially-explicit factor based on species density (SD). The meED indicator is calculated for 66 Large Marine Ecosystems and ranges from 1.6 × 10−12 species kgN−1 in the Central Arctic Ocean, to 4.8 × 10−8 species kgN−1 in the Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf. The spatially explicit SDs contribute to the environmental relevance of meED scores and to the harmonisation of marine eutrophication impacts with other ecosystem-damage Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) indicators. The novel features improve current methodologies and support the adoption of the meED indicator in LCIA for the characterization of anthropogenic-N emissions and thus contributing to the sustainability assessment of human activities.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosOctober 29, 2016
Strategies for assertion of conservation and local management rights: A Haida Gwaii herring story

Under what conditions can an aboriginal fishing community keep a commercial fishery closed because of persistent low stock abundance when the federal government insists on opening it to commercial fishing? This paper explores a decades long effort by the Haida Nation to protect local herring stocks on Haida Gwaii through a precautionary approach to commercial fishing, recently resulting in a Federal Court-granted injunction that prevented the Canadian Minister of Fisheries and Oceans from opening a commercial herring fishery on Haida Gwaii in 2015. The successful effort by the Haida Nation to protect herring stocks ultimately required a combination of strategies involving confrontation, negotiation and litigation that occurred across two management scales (local and coast-wide) and two levels of dispute resolution. Strategies were successful as a result of four key factors: (a) ongoing conservation concerns about probable harm to herring populations, (b) the existence of aboriginal rights that raises standards for federal government consultation and accommodation, (c) an existing negotiated co-management agreement between the Haida and Canada about the area where most herring stocks are located, and (d) strategic interactions among local and coast-wide forums where herring closures were debated.

PacificOctober 19, 2016
Aquaculture law and policy: global, regional and national perspectives.

With aquaculture operations fast expanding around the world, the adequacy of aquaculture-related laws and policies has become a hot topic. This much-needed book provides a comprehensive guide to the complex regulatory seascape. Split into three distinct parts, the expert contributors first review the international legal dimensions, including chapters on the law of the sea, trade, and access and benefit sharing for aquatic genetic resources. Part Two discusses how the EU and regional bodies, such as the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO), have addressed aquaculture development and management whilst the final part contains twelve national case studies exploring how leading aquaculture producing countries have been putting sustainability principles into practice. These case studies focus on implementation approaches and challenges, in particular emphasizing ongoing national struggles in attaining effective aquaculture zoning and marine spatial planning. Students and scholars of environmental law and politics will find this contemporary volume an invaluable addition to the limited academic literature critiquing aquaculture law and policy. Policy makers, international bodies and NGOs will also find its insights particularly informative when ensuring sustainable aquaculture regulation and development.

Law and PolicySeptember 28, 2016
What is at stake? Status and threats to South China Sea marine fisheries.

Governance of South China Sea (SCS) fisheries remains weak despite acknowledgement of their widespread overexploitation for the past few decades. This review incorporates unreported fish catches to provide an improved baseline of the current status and societal contribution of SCS marine fisheries, so that the socio-economic and ecological consequences of continued fisheries unsustainability may be understood. Potential fisheries contribution to food and livelihoods include 11-17 million t in fisheries catch and USD 12-22 × 109in fisheries landed value annually in the 2000s, and close to 3 million jobs. However, overfishing has resulted in biodiversity and habitat loss, and altered ecosystem trophic structures to a ‘fished down’ state. The present situation reiterates the urgency for fisheries policies that simultaneously address multiple political, social, economic, and biological dimensions at regional, national, and local scales. Importantly, improved cooperation between SCS nations, particularly in overcoming territorial disputes, is essential for effective regional fisheries governance.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosSeptember 23, 2016
Participation and resistance: alternative seafood marketing in a neoliberal era.

This paper suggests that detrimental effects of certain neoliberal fisheries policies are key drivers behind the development of alternative seafood marketing programs in North America. It examines the structures, market and non-market values, and challenges of these programs. The primary aim of the research, based on interviews involving 20 programs and a conference workshop, was to advance understanding of the market value of alternative seafood marketing to fishers and communities. However, the importance of a broader set of non-market values was repeatedly highlighted by those engaged in these programs. Overall, the research suggests that alternative seafood marketing can enable fishers to participate in fisheries managed by neoliberal, market-based policies, through the promotion of market values along their diverse value chains. At the same time, alternative seafood marketing appears to resist market-based fishing systems, sometimes through the promotion of broader, non-market outcomes. Common challenges along these alternative seafood value chains highlight the structural conflicts that exist while simultaneously participating in and resisting neoliberal fisheries structures.

PacificSeptember 19, 2016
Participation and resistance: alternative seafood marketing in a neoliberal era.

This paper suggests that detrimental effects of certain neoliberal fisheries policies are key drivers behind the development of alternative seafood marketing programs in North America. It examines the structures, market and non-market values, and challenges of these programs. The primary aim of the research, based on interviews involving 20 programs and a conference workshop, was to advance understanding of the market value of alternative seafood marketing to fishers and communities. However, the importance of a broader set of non-market values was repeatedly highlighted by those engaged in these programs. Overall, the research suggests that alternative seafood marketing can enable fishers to participate in fisheries managed by neoliberal, market-based policies, through the promotion of market values along their diverse value chains. At the same time, alternative seafood marketing appears to resist market-based fishing systems, sometimes through the promotion of broader, non-market outcomes. Common challenges along these alternative seafood value chains highlight the structural conflicts that exist while simultaneously participating in and resisting neoliberal fisheries structures.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosSeptember 19, 2016
Estimating the ecological, economic and social impacts of ocean acidification and warming on UK fisheries.

Assessments of the combined ecological impacts of ocean acidification and warming (OAW) and their social and economic consequences can help develop adaptive and responsive management strategies in the most sensitive regions. Here, available observational and experimental data, theoretical, and modelling approaches are combined to project and quantify potential effects of OAW on the future fisheries catches and resulting revenues and employment in the UK under different CO2 emission scenarios. Across all scenarios, based on the limited available experimental results considered, the bivalve species investigated were more affected by OAW than the fish species considered, compared with ocean warming alone. Projected standing stock biomasses decrease between 10 and 60%. These impacts translate into an overall fish and shellfish catch decrease of between 10 and 30% by 2020 across all areas except for the Scotland >10 m fleet. This latter fleet shows average positive impacts until 2050, declining afterwards.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosSeptember 19, 2016
Projected change in global fisheries revenues under climate change.

Previous studies highlight the winners and losers in fisheries under climate change based on shifts in biomass, species composition and potential catches. Understanding how climate change is likely to alter the fisheries revenues of maritime countries is a crucial next step towards the development of effective socio-economic policy and food sustainability strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Particularly, fish prices and cross-oceans connections through distant water fishing operations may largely modify the projected climate change impacts on fisheries revenues. However, these factors have not formally been considered in global studies. Here, using climate-living marine resources simulation models, we show that global fisheries revenues could drop by 35% more than the projected decrease in catches by the 2050 s under high CO2 emission scenarios. Regionally, the projected increases in fish catch in high latitudes may not translate into increases in revenues because of the increasing dominance of low value fish, and the decrease in catches by these countries’ vessels operating in more severely impacted distant waters. Also, we find that developing countries with high fisheries dependency are negatively impacted. Our results suggest the need to conduct full-fledged economic analyses of the potential economic effects of climate change on global marine fisheries.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosSeptember 7, 2016
Building towards the marine conservation end-game: consolidating the role of MPAs in a future ocean.

Progress on spatial conservation efforts in marine environments is often summarized with the simplistic metric of extent. However, targets require a more nuanced view, where ecological effectiveness, biodiversity, representation, connectivity and ecosystem services must all be recognized. Furthermore, these targets must be achieved through equitable processes and produce equitable outcomes.

PacificSeptember 6, 2016
Transform high seas management to build climate resilience in marine seafood supply.

Climate change is projected to redistribute fisheries resources, resulting in tropical regions suffering decreases in seafood production. While sustainably managing marine ecosystems contributes to building climate resilience, these solutions require transformation of ocean governance. Recent studies and international initiatives suggest that conserving high seas biodiversity and fish stocks will have ecological and economic benefits; however, implications for seafood security under climate change have not been examined. Here, we apply global-scale mechanistic species distribution models to 30 major straddling fish stocks to show that transforming high seas fisheries governance could increase resilience to climate change impacts. By closing the high seas to fishing or cooperatively managing its fisheries, we project that catches in exclusive economic zones (EEZs) would likely increase by around 10% by 2050 relative to 2000 under climate change (representative concentration pathway 4.5 and 8.5), compensating for the expected losses (around −6%) from ‘business-as-usual’. Specifically, high seas closure increases the resilience of fish stocks, as indicated by a mean species abundance index, by 30% in EEZs. We suggest that improving high seas fisheries governance would increase the resilience of coastal countries to climate change.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosAugust 30, 2016
Identifying potential marine climate change refugia: A case study in Canada’s Pacific marine ecosystems

The effects of climate change on marine ecosystems are accelerating. Identifying and protecting areas of the ocean where conditions are most stable may provide another tool for adaptation to climate change. To date, research on potential marine climate refugia has focused on tropical systems, particularly coral reefs. We examined a northeast Pacific temperate region – Canada’s Pacific – toidentify areas where physical conditions are stable or changing slowly. We analyzed the rate and consistency of change for climatic variables where recent historical data were available for the whole region, which included sea surface temperature, sea surface height, and chlorophyll a.

PacificAugust 24, 2016
American eel: a symposium. Session Six.

Session Six concludes with a Keynote Address that provides a global perspective on the conservation of migratory species, delivered by the Executive Secretary of the CMS, followed by a robust discussion of projections and pathways.

Law and PolicyAugust 9, 2016
American eel: a symposium. Session Two.

This panel focuses on the socio-economic and cultural significance of American eels. The
discussion covers an overview of eel fisheries, socio-economic uses, international eel markets, dominance of Asian aquaculture, and the role of the American eel for aquaculture seed stock and for the consumption market.

Law and PolicyAugust 9, 2016
American eel: a symposium. Introduction.

On October 23-25, 2015, the “American Eel Symposium: Future Directions for Science, Law, and Policy” was hosted by the Ocean & Coastal Law Journal (OCLJ) and the Center for Oceans & Coastal Law at the University of Maine School of Law, as well as the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI). Organizing partners and financial sponsors were the Sargasso Sea Commission, the Marine & Environmental Law Institute (MELAW) at Dalhousie University, the Ocean Tracking Network (OTN), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Law and PolicyAugust 9, 2016
The continued importance of the hunter for future Inuit food security.

Inuit living in the Canadian Arctic have undergone rapid societal changes in the last half century, including moving into permanent settlements, the introduction of formal education, participation in the wage-economy, mechanization of hunting and travel, and increased consumption of store-bought foods. Despite these changes, country foods—locally harvested fish and wildlife—continue to be important in the lives of many Inuit for food security. However, fewer people are hunting full-time and some households are without an active hunter, limiting their access to country foods. This shift has increased reliance on processed foods purchased at the store to meet their daily food needs. These foods are often expensive, less nutritious, highly processed to endure long shelf lives, and less desirable than country foods. An entry point to strengthen Inuit food security is to support the acquisition of culturally-appropriate country foods through subsistence hunting and fishing. This entails supporting the transmission of environmental knowledge and land skills important for subsistence among generations, providing harvesters with necessary resources, and securing reliable cold storage in communities (e.g. community freezers) to preserve country foods during increasingly warmer summer months.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJuly 1, 2016
A proposal: an open licensing scheme for traditional knowledge.

The University of Ottawa’s Centre for Law, Technology and Society (CLTS), Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), and Carleton University’s Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre (GCRC) propose a licensing scheme available to traditional knowledge holders. The scheme aims to assist traditional knowledge holders communicate their expectations for appropriate use of their knowledge to all end users.

ArcticJuly 1, 2016
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.

PacificJune 23, 2016
Governance across the land-sea interface: a systematic review.

Governance across the land-sea interface is an emerging challenge. The propensity for, and intensity of social-ecological interactions across this interface (e.g., eutrophication, sedimentation) are being exacerbated by cross-system threats (e.g., climate change). We draw on a systematic review of 151 peer-reviewed papers on governance and land-sea connections to (1) outline the current state of the literature, (2) examine the predominance of different approaches to address land-sea interactions, (3) characterize how governance is conceptualized within these approaches, (4) investigate governance challenges, and (5) provide insights into effective governance.

AtlanticJune 17, 2016
Towards an integrated database on Canadian ocean resources: benefits, current states, and research gaps.

Oceanic ecosystem services support a range of human benefits and Canada has extensive research networks producing growing datasets. We present a first effort to compile, link and harmonize available information to provide new perspectives on the status of Canadian ocean ecosystems and corresponding research. The metadata database currently includes 1,094 individual assessments and datasets from government (n=716), non-government (n=320), and academic sources (n=58), comprising research on marine species, natural drivers and resources, human activities, ecosystem services, and governance, with datasets spanning from 1979-2012 on average. Overall, research shows a strong prevalence towards single-species fishery studies, with an underrepresentation of economic and social aspects, and of the Arctic region in general. Nevertheless, the number of studies that are multi-species or ecosystem-based have increased since the 1960s. We present and discuss two illustrative case studies—marine protected area establishment in Canada, and herring resource use by the Heiltsuk First Nation—highlighting the use of multi-disciplinary datasets drawn from metadata records. Identifying knowledge gaps is key to achieving the comprehensive, accessible and interdisciplinary datasets and subsequent analyses necessary for new sustainability policies that meet both ecological and socioeconomic needs.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJune 16, 2016
Oceans, fisheries and the trade system.

The global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in 2015 include several targets related to the challenges facing the world’s fisheries. The targets make specific reference to improving small-scale fishers’ access to markets, combating IUU fishing, and reforming fisheries subsidies. Given that about 37% of fish and fish products are traded internationally, trade-related policies can play a significant role in helping the global community to meet many of the SDGs related to fisheries. This Special Issue brings together a range of new contributions on this critical interface. It focuses on trade in aquaculture products, fisheries subsidies, tariffs and non-tariff barriers, and trade measures used to address Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing. Its objective is to explore how trade policies can be deployed to support the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and fisheries and thereby contribute to achieving the SDGs.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosMay 17, 2016
Synthesizing theories of natural resource management and governance.

A variety of disciplines examine human-environment interactions, identifying factors that affect environmental outcomes important for human well-being. A central challenge for these disciplines is integrating an ever-increasing number of findings into a coherent body of theory. Without a repository for this theory, researchers cannot adequately leverage this knowledge to guide future empirical work. Comparability across field sites, study areas and scientific fields is hampered, as is the progress of sustainability science. To address this challenge we constructed the first repository of theoretical statements linking social and ecological variables to environmental outcomes.

PacificMay 4, 2016
Imprecise and weakly assessed: evaluating voluntary measures for management of marine protected areas

Voluntary measures may be an alternative or addition to legislation for marine protected areas (MPAs), yet the effectiveness of these measures is rarely analyzed. The application and effectiveness of voluntary measures was reviewed for MPA management in developed nations where complex jurisdictions and legislative processes make voluntary measures appealing to management. Four types of voluntary measures were identified: sacrifice of access, sector- or activity-specific restrictions, voluntary stewardship, and education or outreach, with sector- or activity-specific measures being the most common.

PacificApril 19, 2016
Observed and projected impacts of climate change on marine fisheries, aquaculture, coastal tourism, and human health: an update.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) states that climate change and ocean acidification are altering the oceans at a rate that is unprecedented compared with the recent past, leading to multifaceted impacts on marine ecosystems, associated goods and services, and human societies. AR5 underlined key uncertainties that remain regarding how synergistic changes in the ocean are likely to affect human systems, and how humans are likely to respond to these events. As climate change research has accelerated rapidly following AR5, an updated synthesis of available knowledge is necessary to identify emerging evidence, and to thereby better inform policy discussions. This paper reviews the literature to capture corroborating, conflicting, and novel findings published following the cut-off date for contribution to AR5.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosApril 19, 2016
Marine species at risk protection in Australia and Canada: paper promises, paltry progressions.

This article compares the law and policy frameworks for protecting marine species at risk in Australia and Canada. The sea of practical challenges is examined, including achieving listing of threatened commercial species; attaining timely and effective recovery planning; and identifying and protecting critical habitats.

Law and PolicyApril 18, 2016
The relationship of social capital and fishers’ participation in multi-level governance arrangements.

The need for effective multi-level governance arrangements is becoming increasingly urgent because of complex functional interdependencies between biophysical and socioeconomic systems. We argue that social capital plays an important role in such systems. To explore the relationship between social capital and participation in resource governance arenas, we analyzed various small-scale fisheries governance regimes from the Gulf of California, Mexico.

AtlanticApril 8, 2016
Sustainability of Canadian fisheries requires bold political leadership.

The federal government has set promising new directions for the sustainability of Canada’s fisheries and oceans. Among various commitments, Minister Hunter Tootoo will increase the extent of marine protected areas and review legislative changes made by the previous government. These initiatives will help bring Canada in line with other major coastal nations.

Law and PolicyApril 8, 2016
Politics, science, and species protection law: a comparative consideration of southern and Atlantic bluefin tuna.

The southern and Atlantic bluefin tunas are highly valuable and heavily fished, such that there are concerns over the biomass of each species. While sharing some similarities, the species are managed in different geographical, political, and socioeconomic contexts. This article examines the complexities of managing these highly migratory species, recognizing that developments in science, most notably in ocean tracking, have a significant potential to improve management. Notwithstanding such developments, the critical element in management of bluefin tuna species remains political commitments to sustainable catches.

Law and PolicyApril 4, 2016
Data from: Towards an integrated database on Canadian ocean resources: benefits, current states, and research gaps.

This dataset is an integrated list of marine-related assessments and reports produced for the Canadian Arctic, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosMarch 21, 2016
Spring conditions and habitat use of beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) during arrival to the Mackenzie River Estuary.

Climate change is expected to impact Arctic marine mammals, as they may be particularly vulnerable to large annual variability in the environment. Beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) occupy the circumpolar Arctic year-round, and seasonal movement patterns in this landscape are closely linked to sea ice and changing conditions. Here, we examine the association between beluga spring locations along the Mackenzie Shelf and three relevant habitat variables: sea ice (total concentration, floe size, and distance to ice edge), bathymetry and turbidity. Beluga locations in 2012 and 2013 were analyzed across the study area, as well as in three discrete subareas of the Mackenzie Shelf: Shallow Bay, Kugmallit Bay and Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula. In both years, beluga were found more than expected by chance in locations of open water/light ice concentrations and medium ice floes, and displayed a significant association with turbid water (i.e., increased freshwater flow). Largely ice-free conditions in 2012 led to a wide variation in habitat use in all three subareas. Beluga whales in 2012 preferred the ice edge and were found in heavier ice concentrations, larger floes and high turbidity water in the Shallow Bay subarea. Open water environments were preferred by beluga found in the Kugmallit Bay subarea. In contrast, heavy ice conditions in 2013 resulted in restricted habitat use and selection of shallow depth (<50 m) and low levels of turbidity. These results provide knowledge on spring habitat selection as well as insight into the adaptability of beluga under expected changes associated with climate and human activity in the Beaufort Sea.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosFebruary 12, 2016
Global fisheries subsidies: an updated estimate.

The aim of this paper is to provide an updated estimate of global fisheries subsidies. It builds on earlier estimates and methodologies to re-estimate and discuss the various types of subsidies provided by governments around the world. The results suggests that total subsidies were about USD 35 billion in 2009 dollars, which is close to the earlier estimate of 2003 subsidies once they are adjusted for inflation. Capacity-enhancing subsidies constituted the highest category at over USD 20 billion. For all regions, the amount of capacity-enhancing subsidies is higher than other categories, except for North America, which has higher beneficial subsidies. The analysis reveals that fuel subsidies constitute the greatest part of the total subsidy (22% of the total), followed by subsidies for management (20% of the total) and ports and harbors (10% of the total). Subsidies provided by developed countries are far greater (65% of the total) than those by developing countries (35% of the total) even though the latter lands well above 50% of total global catch. Asia is by far the greatest subsidizing region (43% of total), followed by Europe (25% of total) and North America (16% of total). Japan provides the highest amount of subsidies (19.7% of total), followed by the United States and China at 19.6% of total.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJanuary 29, 2016
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.

PacificJanuary 23, 2016
Fishing for the future: an overview of challenges and opportunities.

This paper surveys the current state and major trends in global fisheries; the environmental and social dimensions of fisheries; and explains how the international community has tried to meet the policy challenges associated with oceans and fisheries. The ocean and the freshwater ecosystems of the world make significant contributions to people’s well-being via the many vital social and environmental services they provide (for example, food and nutrition, employment and incomes, carbon cycling and sequestration). The impact that the increase in fishing since the 1950s has had on wild fish stocks, and the significant increase in aquaculture production in the 20th century, have resulted in severe environmental impacts. This has significant effects on marine ecosystems and the health of oceans. The erosion of the resource undermines communities’ long-term interests, including food security, employment, and income. Attempts by the global community to address challenges of sustainable production by improving the governance and management of fisheries resources range from national management of fisheries resources, to regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs) for international fisheries stocks. These attempts have not always successfully met the challenge of balancing current and future use of fisheries.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJanuary 21, 2016
Building confidence in projections of the responses of living marine resources to climate change.

The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changehighlights that climate change and ocean acidification are challenging the sustainable management of living marine resources (LMRs). Formal and systematic treatment of uncertainty in existing LMR projections, however, is lacking. We synthesize knowledge of how to address different sources of uncertainty by drawing from climate model intercomparison efforts. We suggest an ensemble of available models and projections, informed by observations, as a starting point to quantify uncertainties. Such an ensemble must be paired with analysis of the dominant uncertainties over different spatial scales, time horizons, and metrics. We use two examples: (i) global and regional projections of Sea Surface Temperature and (ii) projection of changes in potential catch of sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) in the 21st century, to illustrate this ensemble model approach to explore different types of uncertainties. Further effort should prioritize understanding dominant, undersampled dimensions of uncertainty, as well as the strategic collection of observations to quantify, and ultimately reduce, uncertainties. Our proposed framework will improve our understanding of future changes in LMR and the resulting risk of impacts to ecosystems and the societies under changing ocean conditions.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJanuary 13, 2016
Projected scenarios for coastal First Nations’ fisheries catch potential under climate change: Management challenges and opportunities

Studies have demonstrated ways in which climate-related shifts in the distributions and relative abundances of marine species are expected to alter the dynamics and catch potential of global fisheries. While these studies assess impacts on large-scale commercial fisheries, few efforts have been made to quantitatively project impacts on small-scale subsistence and commercial fisheries that are economically, socially and culturally important to many coastal communities. This study uses a dynamic bioclimate envelope model to project scenarios of climate-related changes in the relative abundance, distribution and richness of 98 exploited marine fishes and invertebrates of commercial and cultural importance to First Nations in coastal British Columbia, Canada. Declines in abundance are projected for most of the sampled species under both the lower (Representative Concentration Pathway [RCP] 2.6) and higher (RCP 8.5) emission scenarios (-15.0% to -20.8%, respectively), with poleward range shifts occurring at a median rate of 10.3 to 18.0 km decade-1 by 2050 relative to 2000. While a cumulative decline in catch potential is projected coastwide (-4.5 to -10.7%), estimates suggest a strong positive correlation between the change in relative catch potential and latitude, with First Nations’ territories along the northern and central coasts of British Columbia likely to experience less severe declines than those to the south. Furthermore, a strong negative correlation is projected between latitude and the number of species exhibiting declining abundance. These trends are shown to be robust to alternative species distribution models. This study concludes by discussing corresponding management challenges that are likely to be encountered under climate change, and by highlighting the value of joint-management frameworks and traditional fisheries management approaches that could aid in offsetting impacts and developing site-specific mitigation and adaptation strategies derived from local fishers’ knowledge.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJanuary 13, 2016
Trade policy options for sustainable oceans and fisheries.

With 37% of fish harvest exported as food for human consumption or in non-edible forms, trade policies and measures constitute an essential part of the overall policy framework needed to support sustainable environmental and human development priorities connected to oceans and fisheries. The Ocean is a vital component of the earth’s system and contributor to the well-being of human society. Ensuring ocean sustainability has become a global challenge, as unsustainable practices threaten marine biodiversity, fish stocks, food security and livelihoods. The objective of the paper is to provide fresh thinking on the key challenges facing the world’s oceans and fisheries and identify policy options and reform opportunities for the global trade system to support a transition towards sustainable fisheries and healthier oceans. The policy options are structured under three work packages: closing the market for illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing; disciplining fisheries subsidies; and addressing tariff and non-tariff measures. In the IUU and subsidies work packages the aim is to ensure that trade does not undermine the environment. The main objective of the third package is to ensure that international markets function effectively and that they enable developing country producers to build sustainable fisheries and move up the value chain. While there is a preference for multilateral approaches, the paper proposes options that may compromise on multilateralism in the short term in order to facilitate the building of broader solutions in the system in the longer term. The three work packages nevertheless provide an innovative and inclusive agenda for domestic reform and international cooperation geared toward securing sustainable oceans and fisheries worldwide.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJanuary 1, 2016
Global trade in fish and fishery products: an overview.

Global trade in fishery products plays a significant role in shaping the harvesting and use of fish, and therefore will be an important part of a transition to sustainable fisheries. This article provides an overview of global trade flows in fish and fishery products as well as future trends affecting the sector. It then moves on to review trade policy measures applied in major producing and importing countries, including tariff, non-tariff measures, and fisheries subsidies. It ends with an overview of recent developments in international frameworks governing trade in fish and fishery products at the global, regional and national levels.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosDecember 29, 2015
Taking stock and projecting the future of South China Sea fisheries.

Spanning an area of around 3.8 million square kilometres, the South China Sea (SCS) is rich in biodiversity, fisheries and other natural resources. It is bordered by Hong Kong, China, Macau, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia. Particularly, fisheries resources are crucial for supporting coastal livelihoods, food security, and export trade in the SCS, yet they are highly threatened by pollution, coastal habitat modification, and excessive and destructive fishing practices. To allow sustainable management of the SCS ecosystems, there is a need to comprehensively understand its current status, existing and potential threats, and to develop plausible scenarios for its future. As such, this contribution, firstly, undertakes a Taking Stock exercise that integrates existing data on the SCS as a basis for assessing its fisheries in terms of economic, social, and ecological indicators

National Data and Integrated ScenariosDecember 21, 2015
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.

PacificDecember 20, 2015
Uncertainties in projecting climate change impacts in marine ecosystems.

Projections of the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems are a key prerequisite for the planning of adaptation strategies, yet they are inevitably associated with uncertainty. Identifying, quantifying, and communicating this uncertainty is key to both evaluating the risk associated with a projection and building confidence in its robustness. We review how uncertainties in such projections are handled in marine science. We employ an approach developed in climate modelling by breaking uncertainty down into (i) structural (model) uncertainty, (ii) initialization and internal variability uncertainty, (iii) parametric uncertainty, and (iv) scenario uncertainty. For each uncertainty type, we then examine the current state-of-the-art in assessing and quantifying its relative importance. We consider whether the marine scientific community has addressed these types of uncertainty sufficiently and highlight the opportunities and challenges associated with doing a better job. We find that even within a relatively small field such as marine science, there are substantial differences between subdisciplines in the degree of attention given to each type of uncertainty. We find that initialization uncertainty is rarely treated explicitly and reducing this type of uncertainty may deliver gains on the seasonal-to-decadal time-scale. We conclude that all parts of marine science could benefit from a greater exchange of ideas, particularly concerning such a universal problem such as the treatment of uncertainty. Finally, marine science should strive to reach the point where scenario uncertainty is the dominant uncertainty in our projections.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosDecember 17, 2015
Bioeconomics of ocean acidification effects on fisheries targeting calcifier species: A decision theory approach

The impact of ocean acidification on fisheries is a relatively new issue facing decision-makers, and one for which very little empirical data is available to draw upon. This paper demonstrates how, despite the lack of knowledge, well-established methods of bioeconomic modelling and decision analysis can be applied to address the challenge. A decision support framework is developed, incorporating a dynamic age-structured bioeconomic model together with a set of decision tables applicable in the absence of known probabilities of future change. With such a model it is possible to trace ocean acidification as an additional stressor, specifically on fisheries targeting calcifier species, such as many high value mollusks.

AtlanticDecember 14, 2015
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.) (Full publication)

PacificDecember 7, 2015
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.

PacificDecember 4, 2015
Boom or bust: the future of fish in the South China Sea.

Asia’s oceans are home to some of the richest and most diverse fisheries in the world and the South China Sea (SCS) is no exception. Its fish resources are crucial for food security, supporting coastal livelihoods and export trade, yet they are threatened by pollution, coastal habitat modification and excessive and destructive fishing practices. In 2015 the University of British Columbia Fisheries Economic Research Unit and Changing Ocean Research Unit undertook to outline the threats to the SCS and determine what its marine ecosystems, fisheries and seafood supply may look like in the next 30 years under different climate change and management scenarios.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosNovember 5, 2015
Developing Northern research in Arctic information management.

Report to the Canadian High Arctic Research Station by DRF Taylor. No abstract available.

ArcticNovember 1, 2015
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.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosOctober 23, 2015
The role of aboriginal peoples in protected areas.

Bringing together a list of outstanding scholars and officials from the academic world, Canada’s public service, and non-governmental organizations, Parks and Protected Areas in Canada gives students a comprehensive look at Canadian park management and planning. The text also takes an in-depth view of the contemporary issues relating to parks and protected space management in Canada today. (Chapter in Parks and protected areas in Canada: planning and management.)

PacificOctober 15, 2015
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.

PacificSeptember 3, 2015
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.

PacificAugust 4, 2015
Out of stock: the impact of climate change on British Columbia’s staple seafood supply and prices.

• Ocean physics and chemistry is being affected significantly by carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, impacting key  marine and coastal organisms, ecosystems and the services they provide us, including seafood.
• These impacts will occur across all latitudes, including in the waters of British Columbia and Canada. This will have
direct impacts on the fish species that are consumed by residents of B.C.
• The supply of B.C.’s “staple seafood” species such as Pacific salmon (e.g., sockeye and chum), Pacific halibut, groundfish species (e.g. sablefish), Pacific hake, crabs and prawns will be affected.
• This study predicts that by 2050:

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJuly 16, 2015
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. (Full publication)

PacificJuly 5, 2015
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.

PacificJune 24, 2015
Trends in global shared fisheries.

Shared fisheries involve fish that are caught in the marine waters of more than one country, or in the high seas. These fisheries are economically and biologically significant, but a global picture of their importance relative to total world fisheries catch and economic value is lacking. We address this gap by undertaking a global-scale analysis of temporal trends in shared fisheries species catch and landed value from 1950 to 2006. We find that (1) the number of countries participating in shared fisheries has doubled in the past 55 yr; (2) the most commonly targeted shared species have shifted from those that were mainly restricted to the North Atlantic to species that are highly migratory and are distributed throughout the world; (3) countries which account for the highest proportion of global shared fish species catch and landed value tend to be large industrial fishing powers, whereas those which are most reliant on shared fisheries at a national scale are mainly smaller developing countries. Overall, our findings indicate the increasing need to accommodate a greater number and diversity of interests, and also consider equity issues in the management and allocation of internationally shared fishery resources.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJune 18, 2015
Economics of marine conservation.

The objective of this Theme Section (TS) is to explore how economics, in conjunction with ecology and other disciplines (i.e. consilience), can be deployed to support the conservation of marine ecosystem biodiversity, function and services through time, for the benefit of both current and future generations. The TS also demonstrates the considerable progress made in the 60 yr following the pioneering works that practicably established the research discipline of fisheries eco- nomics. Eight papers explore various social and economic aspects of marine conservation, and ad- dress a variety of broad questions such as: (1) How can ecosystem service assessments be better used to inform policy? (2) How can ecosystem-based management principles be incorporated into governance? (3) Will trade in whaling quotas result in the conservation of whales? (4) How can spa- tial bioeconomics support effective management and conservation of marine ecosystems? (5) How can the welfare of coastal human populations and marine ecosystems be enhanced? (6) How much of the world‘s fish stocks are shared? (7) What are the values of the goods and services provided by ecosystems? (8) How large are the financial and ecological deficits (surpluses) of nations?

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJune 18, 2015
Economic incentives and overfishing: a bioeconomic vulnerability index.

Bioeconomic theory predicts that the trade-offs between maximization of economic benefits and conservation of vulnerable marine species can be assessed using the ratio between the discount rate of fishers and the intrinsic rate of growth of the exploited populations. In this paper, we use this theory to identify areas of the global ocean where higher vulnerability of fishes to overfishing would be expected in the absence of management. We derive an index to evaluate the level of vulnerability by comparing discount rates and fishes’ intrinsic population growth rates. Using published discount rates of countries that are reported to fish in the ocean and estimating the intrinsic population growth rate for major exploited fishes in the world, we calculate the vulnerability index for each 0.5° latitude × 0.5° longitude grid for each taxon and each fishing country.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJune 18, 2015
Eco²: a simple index of economic-ecological deficits.

We present the first joint analysis of the ecological−financial deficits of nations and develop a simple index, the Eco2 index, which is useful in ranking the combined ecological and financial performance of countries. This index includes information on ecological and financial deficits, trade surplus and gross domestic product (GDP) to evaluate the potential impacts of eco- logical deficits on the overall economic performance of countries. Results show an ongoing trend towards increased ecological deficits, as natural resources are ‘traded’ for financial gain. We argue that countries cannot run large financial deficits forever without negative economic consequences and that globally, it is likewise impossible to ignore our global ecological deficit in the long run. Ecological deficits can only be temporarily and partially addressed by incurring financial costs through imports, bounded by available resource surpluses of other nations and the fact that some of these services are place-specific. Ultimately, ecological deficits jeopardize ecosystem functions, energy sources and the food security of nations, with direct implications for human well-being.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJune 18, 2015
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. (Full publication)

PacificJune 16, 2015
Contrasting futures for ocean and society from different anthropogenic CO2 emissions scenarios.

The ocean moderates anthropogenic climate change at the cost of profound alterations of its physics, chemistry, ecology, and services. Here, we evaluate and compare the risks of impacts on marine and coastal ecosystems—and the goods and services they provide—for growing cumulative carbon emissions under two contrasting emissions scenarios. The current emissions trajectory would rapidly and significantly alter many ecosystems and the associated services on which humans heavily depend. A reduced emissions scenario—consistent with the Copenhagen Accord’s goal of a global temperature increase of less than 2°C—is much more favorable to the ocean but still substantially alters important marine ecosystems and associated goods and services. The management options to address ocean impacts narrow as the ocean warms and acidifies. Consequently, any new climate regime that fails to minimize ocean impacts would be incomplete and inadequate.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosJune 3, 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.

PacificMay 15, 2015
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.

PacificMay 1, 2015
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.

PacificApril 27, 2015
Participation in devolved commons management: Multiscale socioeconomic factors related to individuals’ participation in community-based management of marine protected areas in Indonesia

Management of common-pool natural resources is commonly implemented under institutional models promoting devolved decision-making, such as co-management and community-based management. Although participation of local people is critical to the success of devolved commons management, few studies have empirically investigated how individuals’ participation is related to socioeconomic factors that operate at multiple scales. Here, we evaluated how individual- and community-scale factors were related to levels of individual participation in management of community-based marine protected areas in Indonesia.

PacificApril 21, 2015
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.

PacificMarch 19, 2015
Observed trends and climate projections affecting marine ecosystems in the Canadian Arctic.

Past trends and future projections of key atmospheric, oceanic, sea ice, and biogeochemical variables were assessed to increase our understanding of climate change impacts on Canadian Arctic marine ecosystems. Four subbasins are evaluated: Beaufort Sea, Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Baffin Bay/Davis Strait, and Hudson Bay Complex. Limited observations, especially for ecosystem variables, compromise the trend analyses. Future projections are predominately from global models with few contributions from available marine basin scale models. The assessment indicates a significant increase in air temperature, slight increases in precipitation and snow depth, and appreciable changes in atmospheric circulation patterns. Projections suggest an increase in storm strength and size, leading to enhanced storm surges and coastal erosion, a slight increase in wave heights, increases in gustiness, and small changes in mean wind speed. An Arctic-wide decrease in the extent of multiyear ice and a spatial and temporal increase in ice-free waters in summer have been observed and are projected to continue into the future.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosMarch 13, 2015
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.

PacificMarch 1, 2015
Winners and losers in a world where the high seas is closed to fishing.

Fishing takes place in the high seas and Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of maritime countries. Closing the former to fishing has recently been proposed in the literature and is currently an issue of debate in various international fora. We determine the degree of overlap between fish caught in these two areas of the ocean, examine how global catch might change if catches of straddling species or taxon groups increase within EEZs as a result of protection of adjacent high seas; and identify countries that are likely to gain or lose in total catch quantity and value following high-seas closure. We find that <0.01% of the quantity and value of commercial fish taxa are obtained from catch taken exclusively in the high seas, and if the catch of straddling taxa increases by 18% on average following closure because of spillover, there would be no loss in global catch. The Gini coefficient, which measures income inequality, would decrease from 0.66 to 0.33. Thus, closing the high seas could be catch-neutral while inequality in the distribution of fisheries benefits among the world’s maritime countries could be reduced by 50%.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosFebruary 12, 2015
Pacific Canada’s Rockfish Conservation Areas: 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.

PacificJanuary 9, 2015
Renewable ocean energy and the international law and policy seascape: global currents, regional surges.

There is an urgent need to increase global renewable energy production as a method of lowering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in order to avoid the more devastating effects of climate change and ocean acidification. The latest figures from the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), suggest that the international community must reduce anthropogenic GHG emissions by 40 to 70 percent from 2010 levels by 2050, and should aim for near zero emissions by 2100. This would likely keep temperature change below 20C relative to pre-industrial levels, and would therefore reduce the risk of predicted effects of climate change, such as inland flooding, extreme weather events, food security, and the loss of marine and coastal ecosystems and biodiversity.

Law and PolicyJanuary 1, 2015
Projecting future changes in distributions of pelagic fish species of Northeast Pacific shelf seas.

Marine life is being affected by changes in ocean conditions resulting from changes in climate and chemistry triggered by combustion of fossil fuels. Shifting spatial distributions of fish species is a major observed and predicted impact of these oceanographic changes, and such shifts may modify fish community structure considerably in particular locations and regions. We projected future range shifts of pelagic marine fishes of the Northeast Pacific shelf seas by 2050 relative to the present. We combined published data, expert knowledge, and pelagic fish survey data to predict current species distribution ranges of 28 fish species of the Northeast Pacific shelf seas that occur in the epipelagic zone and are well-represented in pelagic fish surveys. These represent a wide spectrum of sub-tropical to sub-polar species, with a wide range of life history characteristics.

National Data and Integrated ScenariosSeptember 18, 2014
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