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).

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.

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.

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.

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.