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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.