- Marine social sciences network launched
- New IUU Fishing Index maps global exposure and response to IUU fishing (read the report)
- Guatemala conducts marine spatial planning exercises
- New report describes changes and variations in the ocean over past decades
- Ocean acidification dissolving seafloor calcite in hotspots around globe
- Climate change changing ocean colors
- UN estimates improved coral reef health could generate over US$70 billion
- US National Academy of Sciences releases report on interventions to increase the persistence and resilience of coral reefs
- Report describes national single-use plastic policies worldwide
- Successful models for reducing marine pollution (wastewater, agricultural runoff, and marine litter) reviewed
- Measures to reduce plastic pollution in Latin America and the Caribbean summarized
- Report recommends ways to strengthen European marine ecosystem modeling to better inform management
- Open access book provides first comprehensive overview of marine spatial planning
- IOC launches Ocean Data and Information System (ODIS) catalog of ocean-related data, information, products, and services
- New guide helps marine scientists tweet more effectively
The Skimmer & MPA News
The Skimmer’s new Tools page is now fully operational, and you can use it to find information on tools that deal with:
- Ecosystem service assessment
- Climate change assessment and planning
- Fisheries management
- Marine spatial planning
- Stakeholder engagement
- And more.
The new Tools page pulls together journal articles, reports, MEAM/Skimmer articles, and other resources that provide information about a range of tools for these and other marine management and conservation tasks. Please let us know what you think!
Editor’s note: Several new papers have examined the feasibility and advisability of applying different management and conservation measures at different depths of the water column (aka ‘vertical zoning’). In this issue, with help from a couple of experts, The Skimmer takes a quick look at the history of vertical zoning and current thinking on where it can and should go next.
Why would we want to do vertical zoning? Isn’t 2D conservation and management complicated enough?
- As The Skimmer readers are well aware, the marine environment (temperature, pressure, salinity, light, nutrients, oxygen, currents, physical structures, etc.) and the species that inhabit it vary dramatically with depth. One just has to read the latest articles about fascinating new creatures discovered in the deep ocean to get a sense of this.
- This variability means that entirely different communities of organisms with different human uses, vulnerabilities, and conservation needs exist at different depths at the same latitude/longitude. This variability creates complexity for conservation and management but also opportunity. Most conservation and management actions essentially treat the ocean as 2D. Allowing different suites of human activities at different depths, however, could potentially reduce restrictions on human activities in the marine environment (potentially increasing public support for conservation and management activities) while affording the same level of ecosystem protection as vertically homogenous management. We catch up with the latest thinking on the soundness of this approach and our ability to implement it below.
- European Commission proposes two contingency plans for fisheries for “no-deal” Brexit
- EU bans discard of unwanted fish
- Climate change making ocean waves stronger
- Industrial fisheries starving seabirds globally
- Ocean heat content is new metric for assessing global warming; shows 2018 warmest year to date
- Tonga drafting marine spatial plan
- American Samoa releases ocean plan
- Estonia releases initial marine spatial plan outline
- US Northeast Regional Ocean Council moving regional ocean planning forward after dissolution of federal regional planning bodies
- Bidding and prices for US offshore wind leases surge
- Read about impacts of the recent US government shutdown on ocean management here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here
- Contribute your knowledge and experiences to research on the impacts of the recent US government shutdown here
- Report describes status, advantages, and limitations of ten emerging ocean energy technologies
- Case studies describe economic benefits of European MPAs and spatial protection
- New framework for post-graduate MSP education proposed
- Results of practitioner survey on MSP decision support tools published
- UNEP and partners seeking feedback on Ecosystem-based Adaptation Tool Navigator
- News article provides an update on the Seabed 2030 project to map the entire ocean floor by 2030
- And, finally, a good news story about the oceans: Rebuilt groundfish stocks along the US West Coast allows for increased fishing quotas
Editor's note: The goal of The EBM Toolbox is to promote awareness of tools for facilitating EBM and MSP processes. It is brought to you by the EBM Tools Network, a voluntary alliance of tool users, developers, and training providers.
Several months ago, an EBM Tools Network member asked a question about how a project in Abu Dhabi could map marine ecosystem service hotspots. Mapping marine ecosystem service hotspots involves mapping relevant marine ecosystem services, then assimilating results for individual ecosystem services in an ecologically and politically justifiable manner. Neither of these tasks is trivial for various reasons: 1) the spatial data needed to map ecosystem services is severely limited, 2) ecosystem services are very heterogeneous, making them difficult to compare (e.g., some can be easily quantified in monetary terms while others cannot), and 3) developing societal consensus on how to weight diverse ecosystem services is extremely difficult.
Editor’s note: A new resource that just came out adds some additional European context to our article from last month - “Missing half the story: How considering gender can improve ocean conservation and management”. Many thanks to Sophia De Smet of the FARNET Support Unit for sending us this information.
EU Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs) are local partnerships that bring together the private sector, local authorities, and civil society organizations to fund projects to address specific local needs and opportunities. A recent report explored FLAG support to women in the EU fisheries and aquaculture industry. They found that:
- Even though women represent ~27% of the workforce in the EU seafood industry (~100,000 women in 2014), their role in the industry is both understudied and undervalued.
A bit of big news from us: MEAM is going to be changing its name to The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management – or The Skimmer, for short – next month. This new name (which in long form still references our old name MEAM) comes with an amazing new logo designed by Larrea Young of Little Knids. What’s not changing? Our focus on bringing you critical insights for the sustainable management and conservation of marine ecosystems.
Why the change you ask? About a year ago, we started experimenting with a new type of feature – “Skimmers” – with the aim of providing a quick synopsis (a “bird’s eye view” if you will) of the latest news and research on a topic. We have covered ocean plastics, climate-related changes in the Arctic, how weather and climate extremes are impacting the ocean, managing ocean ecosystems in a changing climate, what managers should know about ocean bacteria and viruses, and (this month) gender as Skimmer articles, and are now taking this as the name of the publication. Not all of our articles will be in this specific format, although many will be. And in general the new name represents the type of integrative and easily and rapidly digestible information that marine conservation and management practitioners need – and which we’ll continue to provide.
“If we only think of fishing as men in boats pulling nets out of the water, we’re missing half the story. When we only tell half the story we’re in danger of underestimating how many animals are being caught, what types of animals are being caught, and why types of habitats are important for fishing. Not only that, we’re missing how families feed themselves, how they pay for school or health care, or how they share with their neighbors. When we miss half the story we are more likely to make fishing and conservation management decisions that don’t work.”
---- Dr. Danika Kleiber
- New book (available for free) assesses experience with implementing ecosystem approaches in the EU and beyond
- New publication and videos highlight practical ways to communicate EBM
- Responses requested for survey on Ecosystem-based Approach as sustainability tool
- Leading ocean conservationist sees only three major ocean conservation victories for 2018
- Seychelles launches first sovereign blue bond to support sustainable ocean projects
- Proposal to create world’s largest marine sanctuary in Antarctic fails
- Webinar recording provides an overview of significance of recent US elections for US ocean management (another analysis here)
- US federal government shutdown harmful for marine conservation and management
- Modern Fish Act to amend Magnuson Stevens Act approved by US Congress
- US mid-Atlantic regional council moves ahead on partnership activities, including ocean forum in spring
- Errors found in recent ocean warming study, reducing certainty of conclusions
- 75-80 percent chance of a moderate El Niño event forming in coming months
- New study finds Eastern Pacific El Niño events will intensify and become more frequent with global warming
- European Atlas of Marine Life launched
- European Commission and IOC-UNESCO launch MSPGlobal initiative to promote cross-border MSP
- $10bn pledged to protect oceans at Our Ocean Conference
- Sustainable Blue Economy Conference concludes with 62 pledges
- New framework provides guidance for sustainable investments in ocean industries
Not for us the leviathans, biofouled vessels
entering and departing ports and harbours in hours or days—
we take our trip on the slow boats: skiffs and buoys, carboys
and a whole fishing dock that arrives one day without sound
and like a massive skirted table on the surprised Oregon coast.