Latest Skimmer Articles

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Dear MEAM:

I am writing in response to "Tundi's Take: Using Science to Plan for Climate Change" in your December 2009/January 2010 issue. For near-shore marine systems and estuaries, it is critical to understand the impacts of climate change on rainfall, both patterns and precipitation rates, and the consequences of changing freshwater flows and pollution loads into our marine and coastal systems. This will be another important area for science to provide understanding.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Editor's note: The goal of The EBM Toolbox is to promote awareness of tools for facilitating EBM processes. It is brought to you by the EBM Tools Network, a voluntary alliance of tool users, developers, and training providers.

By Sarah Carr

The Social Science Working Group of the EBM Tools Network recently surveyed the types of tools that could help EBM practitioners incorporate socioeconomic considerations into their work. Some of the key types of tools they found and examples of these tools were:

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

In the months that led up to December's UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, reports forecasting the environmental and socio-economic impacts to come from climate change were sobering. The future for our coasts and oceans? Rising sea levels and coastal flooding. Increased acidification of seawater. Coral bleaching. Poleward shifts in ocean habitats and species ranges. Conceivably, a hundred years from now, our coasts and oceans could look quite different from today.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

By Tundi Agardy, MEAM Contributing Editor. E-mail: tundiagardy [at] earthlink.net

Climate change may change everything, even in the vast and resilient global ocean. How can managers be proactive about climate-induced changes? What kinds of information do they need? How can they work around (or with) the substantial uncertainties that surround how ecosystems will respond, and at what rates?

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Marine spatial planning (MSP) aims to organize the use of marine space in a way that balances demands for development with the need to protect ocean ecosystems. By allocating specific human activities to particular areas, MSP can help reduce user conflicts (when there is spatial overlap among uses) as well as conflicts between uses and important natural areas.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Editor's note: The goal of The EBM Toolbox is to promote awareness of tools for facilitating EBM processes. It is brought to you by the EBM Tools Network (www.ebmtools.org), a voluntary alliance of tool users, developers, and training providers.

By Sarah Carr

Monitoring a variety of ecological and socioeconomic indicators is essential to planning and measuring the effectiveness of EBM. Some useful tools exist to help develop monitoring plans, including:

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

UK passes Marine and Coastal Access Act

In November, the UK passed the Marine and Coastal Access Act, establishing a wide-ranging policy to enhance protection of the marine environment, improve fisheries management, and allow for easier coastal access. The Act also lays the framework for developing a national marine planning system that will set priorities and guide managers in the sustainable use and protection of marine resources.

Specifically, the Act prescribes the following measures, among others:

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

In the two years that MEAM has been published, the most common questions from readers have related to terminology. Namely readers have wondered about the distinctions between ecosystem-based management and other resource management terms that have gained favor at different times in various places - like ecosystem approach to management, or integrated coastal management. A Google search of these terms will yield multiple definitions for each, with enough overlap to blur the distinctions.

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