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Climate-related drivers of change – such as ocean warming, acidification, and deoxygenation – will alter ocean conditions and lead to changes in marine ecosystem structure and functioning, as well as the redistribution of the services that the oceans provide (see Figure 1). As a consequence, human uses that rely on these services – fisheries, aquaculture, and tourism for example – will also undergo spatial and temporal changes at multiple scales. These changes will include local increases and decreases in intensity of uses and relocation of uses. Marine spatial planning (MSP) informs the distribution of ocean uses in space and time, and it will undoubtedly be affected by climate change at all scales ranging from global to local.

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Creating a new marine management or conservation plan? You can learn what others have done in the past – build on their research and experiences and avoid making the same mistakes – using the new Conservation Planning Database. The database has just been launched with 163 peer-reviewed papers on 155 marine systematic conservation planning exercises worldwide. The database can help planners find relevant conservation plans from all over the world including their local area, help scientists study trends in conservation planning, and help donors and NGOs identify regions where little conservation planning has been done.

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Following the October 2018 article on marine ecosystem restoration, MEAM also had the opportunity to interview Rohani Ambo-Rappe, a lecturer at Hasanuddin University in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. She shared her experiences and advice from her work on seagrass restoration in the region. She can be contacted at rohani.amborappe [at] gmail.com for further information.

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By Tundi Agardy, Contributing Editor, MEAM. Email: tundiagardy [at] earthlink.net

I’m of two minds about restoration. On one hand, I’m amazed and encouraged by the advancements made in fixing some of the damage we’ve done to marine habitats such as salt marshes, seagrasses, mangroves, and coral and shellfish reefs. New technologies and knowledge are creating possibilities we could only dream of in the past. On the other hand, I worry about our hubris, and whether we are really fixing the damage done, or just creating the illusion that we can successfully reconstruct healthy, functioning ecosystems. And I worry that, if this illusion is accompanied by the deception that restoring ecosystems is easy, we pave the way for wholesale pillaging of the earth.

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By Robert Orth, Professor of Marine Science, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Gloucester Point, Virginia. Email: jjorth [at] vims.edu

The system of barrier islands, coastal bays, and salt marshes along the Atlantic coast of Virginia’s portion of the Delmarva Peninsula represent some of the most natural, unspoiled coastal habitat along the US East Coast. Historically, finfish and shellfish resources in this region supported large fisheries. However, during the 1930s, this region underwent a dramatic ecological shift.

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