Marine protected areas (MPAs) can play an important role in promoting EBM in coastal seas, across ocean basins, and within large marine ecosystems. In working examples of EBM from around the world, the regulatory regimes that are able to move management from a single-species focus to a more holistic ecosystem focus are commonly embedded in protected areas. Examples of EBM that occur wholly within an MPA - from Australia's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to Europe's Wadden Sea National Parks - are large-scale and integrative, considering many ecosystems in their management.
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By Katherine Short
Manager, Marine Network Initiative Support, WWF International, Switzerland. E-mail: kshort [at] wwfint.org
By Vera N. Agostini
Scientist, Global Marine Initiative, The Nature Conservancy, Seattle, U.S. E-mail: vagostini [at] tnc.org
By Jon Day
Director of Ecosystem Conservation and Sustainable Use, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Townsville, Australia. E-mail: j.day [at] gbrmpa.gov.au
Marine protected areas, especially large multiple-use areas like the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park on Australia's east coast, provide many lessons for marine managers on how to implement ecosystem-based management. However, MPAs are only part of the equation for EBM.
Editor's note: The goal of The EBM Toolbox is to promote awareness of software tools for facilitating EBM processes, and to provide advice on using those tools effectively. It is brought to you by the EBM Tools Network (www.ebmtools.org), a voluntary alliance of leading tool users, developers, and training providers.
Fisheries management is an important component of broader marine management, no matter the circumstances of place or the scale of EBM undertaken. But what is the relationship between ecosystem-based management in general and ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) in particular? Would it be better to think of EBFM as an entry point to EBM, or to consider EBM as a necessary prerequisite to effective EBFM?
The Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME) Programme is a multinational initiative conceived in 1995 and involving the southwest African governments of Angola, Namibia, and South Africa. It was designed to address the region's transboundary marine challenges. Such challenges include the management of valuable fish stocks across national boundaries, harmful algal blooms, alien invasive species, and pollutants transported by winds and currents from the waters of one country to another.
The multinational effort to protect the vast resources of the Antarctic marine environment is often cited as among the best working examples of marine EBM. This regional initiative is under the auspices of the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, which came into force in 1982 (www.ccamlr.org). Among other aspects, the treaty is notable for its embrace of the precautionary approach and the need to consider ecological links between species as part of management - the "ecosystem approach".
By Daniel Pauly
[Editor's note: Pauly is head of the Sea Around Us Project at the University of British Colombia, Canada. E-mail: d.pauly [at] fisheries.ubc.ca]
By Mike Beck
[Editor's note: Beck is a senior scientist with The Nature Conservancy in Santa Cruz, California, U.S. E-mail: mbeck [at] tnc.org]