The Skimmer & MPA News

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Editor's note: Jon Day is director of conservation for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) in Australia.

By Jon Day

Most people associated with managing marine or coastal areas have heard of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Many also know that the GBR is an extremely large marine park and may even be aware that there are different zones that prohibit various activities in certain areas. There are, however, many misconceptions about the zoning scheme.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Belgium's relatively small ocean area, totaling 3600 km2, is under great pressure, being centrally located in one of the most heavily exploited marine areas in the world. The many uses of marine resources and space in this patch of the North Sea, the increasing user conflicts, and the emergence of new uses has required a move away from what was previously an ad hoc approach to managing the marine environment. The new direction is a forward-looking strategy using marine spatial planning (MSP).

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

The effectiveness of watershed management has direct bearing on the scope and scale of challenges we face with marine EBM. Freshwater ecosystems that are degraded or poorly managed contribute in turn to degradation of marine ecosystems, including in the form of altered productivity and loss of ecosystem services. Freshwater systems deliver pollutants to coastal waters, changing the nature of many coastal environments and even affecting benthic and pelagic ecosystems offshore.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

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.

By Sarah Carr

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

The Danube River Basin covers parts of 19 countries in Europe, making it the world's most international river basin. In size it is also noteworthy: with a total area of 801,463 km2, it is Europe's second largest river basin. The ecosystems of the Danube River Basin - and, by extension, the Black Sea, into which the Danube drains - are highly valuable in environmental, economic, historical and social terms. But they are also subject to increasing pressure and significant pollution from agriculture, industry and cities.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Editor's note: The link between watershed management and marine EBM is no better exemplified than in the case of Chesapeake Bay, on the east coast of the US. Significant efforts to improve the health of the Chesapeake over several decades have focused largely on reducing upstream pollution. So far, however, those efforts have been unsuccessful in returning the bay to good health (see box at the end of the following essay).

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

The Great Bear Rainforest on Canada's west coast demonstrates how capacity to do large-scale, integrated management can be created and sustained. It is not a marine EBM project in the traditional sense: its focus in on the rainforest, not the adjacent coastal waters. But the initiative has much to offer the marine community in terms of lessons learned. Although full implementation remains to be carried out, these elements of necessary capacity for EBM are in place:

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