Posts Tagged 'Policy'

Future marine ecosystem drivers, biodiversity, and fisheries maximum catch potential in Pacific Island countries and territories under climate change


  • Under the RCP 8.5 scenario, tropical Pacific temperature will rise by ≥ 3 °C by 2100.
  • This is accompanied by declines in dissolved oxygen, pH, and net primary production.
  • This will lead to local extinctions of up to 80% of marine species in some regions.
  • 9 of 17 Pacific Island entities experience ≥ 50% declines in maximum catch potential.
  • Impacts can be greatly reduced by mitigation measures under the RCP 2.6 scenario.


The increase in anthropogenic CO2 emissions over the last century has modified oceanic conditions, affecting marine ecosystems and the goods and services that they provide to society. Pacific Island countries and territories are highly vulnerable to these changes because of their strong dependence on ocean resources, high level of exposure to climate effects, and low adaptive capacity. Projections of mid-to-late 21st century changes in sea surface temperature (SST), dissolved oxygen, pH, and net primary productivity (NPP) were synthesized across the tropical Western Pacific under strong climate mitigation and business-as-usual scenarios. These projections were used to model impacts on marine biodiversity and potential fisheries catches. Results were consistent across three climate models, indicating that SST will rise by ≥ 3 °C, surface dissolved oxygen will decline by ≥ 0.01 ml L−1, pH will drop by ≥ 0.3, and NPP will decrease by 0.5 g m−2 d−1 across much of the region by 2100 under the business-as-usual scenario. These changes were associated with rates of local species extinction of > 50% in many regions as fishes and invertebrates decreased in abundance or migrated to regions with conditions more suitable to their bio-climate envelope. Maximum potential catch (MCP) was projected to decrease by > 50% across many areas, with the largest impacts in the western Pacific warm pool. Climate change scenarios that included strong mitigation resulted in substantial reductions of MCP losses, with the area where MCP losses exceeded 50% reduced from 74.4% of the region under business-as-usual to 36.0% of the region under the strong mitigation scenario.

Continue reading ‘Future marine ecosystem drivers, biodiversity, and fisheries maximum catch potential in Pacific Island countries and territories under climate change’

Assessment and management of cumulative impacts in California’s network of marine protected areas

In response to concerns about human impacts to coastal ecosystems, conservationists and practitioners are increasingly turning to networks of marine protected areas (MPAs). Although MPAs manage for fishing pressure, many species and habitats in MPAs remain exposed to a multitude of stressors, including stressors from global climate change and regional land- and ocean-based activities. To support the adaptive management of MPAs that are subject to multiple interacting stressors, coastal managers need to understand the potential impacts from other single and multiple stressors. To demonstrate how this can be done, we quantify and map cumulative impacts resulting from multiple stressors to California’s network of MPAs, using a widely available cumulative impacts mapping tool. Among individual stressors, those related to climate, including ocean acidification, UV radiation increases, and SST anomalies, were found to have the most intense impacts, especially on surface waters and in the rocky intertidal. Climate stressors are challenging to limit at the local MPA scale, but intense land- and ocean-based impacts that were found to affect a majority of MPAs, such as sediment increases, invasive species, organic pollutants and pollution from shipping and ports, may be more easily regulated at a regional or local scale. This is especially relevant for South and Central coast MPAs where these impacts are the greatest on beaches, tidal flats, and coastal marshes. Accounting for cumulative impacts from these and other stressors when developing monitoring and management plans in California and across the world, would help to improve the efficacy of MPAs.

Continue reading ‘Assessment and management of cumulative impacts in California’s network of marine protected areas’

A perspective for reducing environmental impacts of mussel culture in Algeria


In Algeria, the Ministry of Fisheries and Halieutic Resources has designed a strategic plan for the development of marine aquaculture for the years 2015–2025, which aims at expanding the annual production of Mediterranean mussel from less than 150 metric tonnes year−1 in 2013 to 7600 metric tonnes year−1 in 2025. We used Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for evaluating the environmental impact of suspended mussel culture in Algeria and suggest management practices which could reduce it.


In order to estimate the current and perspective impact of this industry, we (1) applied LCA to one of the few farms currently operating in Algeria and (2) investigated two management scenarios for the farms to be established in the future in the same coastal area. The first scenario (Comp_S) represents the continuity with the current situation, in which each farm is competing with the other ones and is therefore managing the production cycle independently. In the second scenario (Coop_S), mussel farms are grouped in an aquaculture management area and shared the same facilities for post-processing harvested mussels before sending them to the market. The midpoint-based CML-IA method baseline 2000 V 3.01 was employed using SimaPro software. Furthermore, we carried out a Monte Carlo simulation, in order to assess the uncertainty in the results.

Results and discussion

The analysis focused on impact categories related to acidification and global warming potential. We took into account the energy consumptions (electricity and vessel fuel), the rearing infrastructure, including longlines, and a building for stabling, grading, and packing the mussel. Electricity contributes with 38.1 and 31.8 % respectively to global warming potential (GWP) and acidification, while fuel consumption contributes with 19.5 % to GWP and 31.8 % to acidification. Results of this work are compared with other LCA studies recently carried out in France (Aubin and Fontaine 2014) and in Spain (Iribarren et al. 2010c).


The LCA results show that important reductions in environmental impacts could be attained if the mussel farming activity would be operated according to the cooperative scenario here proposed. In this case, the environmental benefits will be a reduction of 3150 MJ and 156 kg CO2 eq per metric tonne of mussel produced, compared with the alternative scenario. The results of this study suggest that LCA should be applied to the seafood production sector in Algeria, in order to identify best management practices.

Continue reading ‘A perspective for reducing environmental impacts of mussel culture in Algeria’

Understanding the impacts of anthropogenic stressors on species, ecosystems, and fishing communities

Anthropogenic modifications of marine environments result from a variety of activities and have effects across social and ecological dimensions. Humans inhabit linked systems, where our actions such as resource extraction, pollution and development influence species in both direct and indirect ways and feedback to influence the human communities dependent on living marine resources. In order to understand the consequences of our actions and develop strategies to plan for future environmental change, we need a diverse set of tools able to incorporate various levels of complexity. This necessitates the improvement and modification of existing tools, development of novel approaches and unique applications of methods from across fields. In this dissertation I address the ways in which we can use and improve existing tools in ecology to advance our understanding and management of marine resources. In the first Chapter I introduce a method to incorporate life stage specific responses to a stressor, ocean acidification, to gain a broader understanding of population level vulnerability. In the second Chapter I extend this work to address ecosystem level change from ocean acidification in the California Current, using an ecosystem model to determine changes in biomass and fisheries catch. In the third chapter, I work to improve our understanding of how multiple stressors acting across life history can be magnified or mitigated, based solely on biological characteristics of populations. Finally, in the fourth Chapter I introduce ecologists and natural scientists to a broader understanding of research on risk in order to improve our methods for approaching ecosystem based fisheries management. My work spans ecological scales from populations to ecosystems and links between social and ecological systems.

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Increase resilience to climate change and ocean acidification

Provide training opportunities to Tokelauans to increase their understanding of the impacts of climate change, the predicted range of changes that will occur, including uncertainties associated with climate outlooks and climate change scenarios, and management strategies that address the impacts of climate change on marine and coastal ecosystems.

Results Areas: Livelihoods of people, Ocean (Marine) and Coastal Ecosystems, Climate Change, Ocean Acidification, Capacity Building.

Agenda 2030: #3 Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, #4 Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, #5 Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, #6 Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, #8 Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all, #11 Make human settlements inclusive, safe. Resilient and sustainable, #9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure, #13 Climate Change, #14 Conserve and sustainably use the Oceans, #17 Partnerships.

Continue reading ‘Increase resilience to climate change and ocean acidification’

Les systèmes aquacoles face au changement climatique (in French)

L’aquaculture contribue aujourd’hui pour environ 50 % à l’approvisionnement en ressources aquatiques destinées à la consommation humaine et cette part est amenée à s’accroître à l’avenir compte tenu de la stagnation des captures liées à la pêche. Si un certain nombre de travaux ont été effectués en vue d’évaluer l’impact du changement climatique sur la pêche, peu a encore été fait dans ce domaine sur l’aquaculture. Cet article de synthèse tente d’identifier les défis auxquels l’aquaculture aura à faire face dans un contexte de changement climatique et propose des voies, à la fois adaptatives et innovantes, pour répondre à ces défis. L’article se focalise particulièrement sur six composantes de l’environnement susceptibles de subir des modifications sous l’effet du changement climatique et d’avoir un impact direct sur l’aquaculture : l’augmentation du niveau des mers ; la modification de la température ; les précipitations, les crues et les sécheresses ; la disponibilité en eau ; la dégradation de la qualité des eaux et enfin l’acidification des océans. Les impacts indirects concernent quant à eux principalement l’approvisionnement en farine et huile de poissons, constituants stratégiques des aliments destinés aux élevages d’animaux aquatiques, dont la disponibilité est dépendante des débarquements des pêches minotières, elles-mêmes sensibles au changement climatique. Face au changement climatique, deux stratégies sont possibles. La première, adaptative, consiste à mettre en œuvre des solutions qui permettent de prendre en compte les modifications du milieu (espèce adaptée, sélection de site) ; la deuxième consiste à imaginer des systèmes où les facteurs du milieu sont rigoureusement maîtrisés. Réciproquement, l’impact de l’aquaculture sur le changement climatique est évoqué. Enfin, les résultats d’une enquête conduite par la FAO en 2016 sur la situation des mesures prises dans diverses parties du monde pour faire face au changement climatique en matière d’aquaculture sont exposés.

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Drivers and implications of change in global ocean health over the past five years

Growing international and national focus on quantitatively measuring and improving ocean health has increased the need for comprehensive, scientific, and repeated indicators to track progress towards achieving policy and societal goals. The Ocean Health Index (OHI) is one of the few indicators available for this purpose. Here we present results from five years of annual global assessment for 220 countries and territories, evaluating potential drivers and consequences of changes and presenting lessons learned about the challenges of using composite indicators to measure sustainability goals. Globally scores have shown little change, as would be expected. However, individual countries have seen notable increases or declines due in particular to improvements in the harvest and management of wild-caught fisheries, the creation of marine protected areas (MPAs), and decreases in natural product harvest. Rapid loss of sea ice and the consequent reduction of coastal protection from that sea ice was also responsible for declines in overall ocean health in many Arctic and sub-Arctic countries. The OHI performed reasonably well at predicting near-term future scores for many of the ten goals measured, but data gaps and limitations hindered these predictions for many other goals. Ultimately, all indicators face the substantial challenge of informing policy for progress toward broad goals and objectives with insufficient monitoring and assessment data. If countries and the global community hope to achieve and maintain healthy oceans, we will need to dedicate significant resources to measuring what we are trying to manage.

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book