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The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Scotland passes comprehensive marine law

In February, the Scottish Parliament passed a comprehensive marine bill that calls for establishment of a national marine plan by the government. It also establishes a simpler licensing system for marine uses and outlines processes by which the government may plan and manage new MPAs.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

In the field of marine resource management, two concepts have received particular attention in recent years: ecosystem-based management (EBM) and marine spatial planning (MSP). Examples of these concepts in practice are emerging around the world. However, the distinction between the two often remains unclear to stakeholders, as well as to many resource managers responsible for implementing one or both concepts.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Conservation programs are often carried out at national or sub-national scales, despite the fact that many ecosystems and species cross international boundaries. One reason is that developing conservation plans at the multinational scale can present additional challenges: more meetings, more stakeholders with input, and more cultures to consider in negotiations.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

A new Web-based tool exists to guide practitioners on moving EBM from concept to practice. Called the EBM Roadmap, its target audience is marine resource managers who already have some knowledge of EBM but need advice on implementing it. The EBM Roadmap is available at www.ebmtools.org/roadmap.html.

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?

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