Posts Tagged 'socio-economy'

Marine macroinvertebrate ecosystem services under changing conditions of seagrasses and mangroves


  • Overfishing and climate change show potential effects on MMI ES.
  • MMI regulating ES can be quantified using species richness and functional traits.
  • Digital platforms are valuable tools to retrieve data but have limitations.
  • Baseline data and information on environmental changes and MMI ES is provided.


This study aimed to investigate the impact of changing environmental conditions on MMI ES in seagrasses and mangroves. We used data from satellite and biodiversity platforms combined with field data to explore the links between ecosystem pressures (habitat conversion, overexploitation, climate change), conditions (environmental quality, ecosystem attributes), and MMI ES (provisioning, regulation, cultural). Both seagrass and mangrove extents increased significantly since 2016. While sea surface temperature showed no significant annual variation, sea surface partial pressure CO2, height above sea level and pH presented significant changes. Among the environmental quality variables only silicate, PO4 and phytoplankton showed significant annual varying trends. The MMI food provisioning increased significantly, indicating overexploitation that needs urgent attention. MMI regulation and cultural ES did not show significant trends overtime. Our results show that MMI ES are affected by multiple factors and their interactions can be complex and non-linear. We identified key research gaps and suggested future directions for research. We also provided relevant data that can support future ES assessments.

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New Zealand’s media and the crisis in the ocean: news norms and scientific urgency

1. To date, no studies have analysed New Zealand’s media coverage of ocean-related threats, potential harms, or sources used for their coverage. This is concerning given that marine media coverage is linked to public support, awareness of conservation issues, and policymaking.

2. This research helps fill this gap, examining all ocean-related articles 2 weeks before and after the 2019 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report’s release on the oceans and cryosphere.

3. It first analyses the media’s reporting of threats, potential harms arising from the threats, and the sources on whom journalists relied and gave voice, then it tests a report of global significance for influence on reportage.

4. Second, it examines whether the threats covered by media align with scientists’ main concerns (from the IPCC report and a survey of New Zealand scientists).

5. In contrast to previous studies on media sources for environmental conservation, this study found that journalists in New Zealand relied considerably on scientists as key sources. However, it found that coverage of ocean-related threats did not match scientists’ main concerns.

6. Finally, the research found that the IPCC report appeared to influence coverage in two areas: reporting on threats to island nations, and multiple potential harms. Otherwise, New Zealand’s media covered the IPCC report as any other news item, reporting on it and then shifting to other matters.

7. The lack of coverage on primary scientific concerns and that a globally significant momentous report did not dramatically impact the marine media landscape is problematic for conservation of ocean habitats, species, and broader environmental and societal outcomes owing to poor understandings by policymakers and the public, which can lead to inaction and policy failures.

8. The potential reasons and solutions to advance communication of marine conservation issues for a more educated and mobilized public are explored.

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Investigating the environmental sustainability of a seabass and seabream aquaculture system in Portugal based on life cycle and nexus approaches


  • A Portuguese seabass and seabream aquaculture system was analysed.
  • A climate change impact equal to 2.88 kg CO2-eq/kg MSF was found.
  • The aquaculture system depends 59 % on non-renewable resources.
  • In resource terms, 504.1 MJex are needed per kg of protein.
  • Potential strategies are given to improve environmental sustainability.


Aquaculture plays an essential role in supplying animal-source food and protein worldwide, in this way contributing to several sustainable development goals. Notwithstanding this, the aquaculture sector’s long-term environmental sustainability is a major concern due to overall environmental impacts. To date, and to the best of the authors’ knowledge, assessments of aquaculture systems in Portugal from an environmental perspective, and the nexus between resource consumption and nutrition issues, are still lacking. This study bridges this gap by analysing an aquaculture system in Portugal in a comprehensive manner by applying and combining life cycle assessment and resources–protein nexus approaches. The overall results highlight feed as the main factor responsible for the total impact in all impact categories selected, ranging from 74 % to 98 %. Climate change impact results in 2.88 kg CO2-eq per kg of medium-size fish (functional unit). The resources–protein nexus shows that 504.1 MJex is needed to obtain 1 kg of edible protein, with a high dependency on non-renewable resources (59 %), mainly oil by-product fuels used in feed production. After identifying environmental hotspots, potential strategies to be adopted such as resource consumption reduction, eco-certification and ecosystem-based management are suggested, in this way ensuring long-term aquaculture production and environmental sustainability.

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Ocean acidification as a hyperobject: mediating acidic milieus in the anthropocene

Through the usage of Timothy Morton’s hyperobjects (2013) as a heuristic, this essay aims to portray how Ocean Acidification can be read as a hyperobject affecting tropical seawaters and beyond. Furthermore, it illustrates how the arts and humanities, through their hermeneutical gaze, might help us grasp Ocean Acidification as a hyperobject and the wide array of other objects that act upon each other in such acidic oceanic waters. In this task, the article will close-read the Underwater Woman set of pictures by Christine Ren (2018) understanding the interpretation of art as a tool to reconnect cognition and emotion to move from the understanding of a crisis to the feeling of such crisis. Finally, it aims to shed light upon the implications arising from considering Ocean Acidification as a hyperobject. By connecting the theoretical, visual and political in the same narrative, this essay highlights the transformative potential of interpretation and thinking through hyperobjects. With this, the challenges of the Anthropocene are put at the forefront, situating specific events and problematics in a planetary scale.

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Applications of ecosystem risk assessment in federal fisheries to advance ecosystem-based fisheries management

Executive Summary

Managing U.S. federal fisheries often requires considering complex interactions among fisheries, protected species, habitats, and other ecosystem components, including humans and climate. In addition, management that focuses on individual species can experience undesirable and unexpected changes due to unaccounted for impacts of climate or other ecosystem factors. Regional fishery management councils (Councils) need ways to efficiently process these interactions and the potential impacts they may have on meeting Council management objectives. One tool that can help with this is the ecosystem-level risk assessment (ERA), also called ecological risk assessments or vulnerability assessments. ERAs are management decision tools that can assist Councils in integrating large amounts of ecosystem information in a standardized, yet flexible and transparent way to help identify issues to prioritize in science or management. The purpose of this document is to share applied results from five regional case studies of ERA. The case studies cover different geographies illustrate how Councils can systematically approach ERA to help address current challenges and advance ecosystem-based fisheries management. To demonstrate the versatility of this tool, we organized the case studies by three different applications in the adaptive fishery management process: screening, prioritization, and evaluation. We emphasized broader ERAs that analyzed a number of different ecosystem drivers in one assessment. To improve the process of incorporating ecosystem information into fishery management decisions, we summarize key takeaways from the case studies. Finally, we provide additional recommendations for optimizing ERA use at the end of this report.

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Quantitative assessment of the response of seawater environmental quality to marine protection policies under regional economic development – a case study of Xiamen Bay, China

Xiamen is the epitome of having steady economic growth and non-negligible environmental stress over decades. Several restoration programs have been applied to address the conflicts between heavy environmental pressures and human activities, but the response of current coastal protection policies to the marine environment remains to be assessed. Therefore, to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of marine conservation policies under regional economic growth in Xiamen, quantitative techniques including elasticity analysis and dummy variable regression models were applied. Here we show the potential relationship between seawater quality (pH, COD, DIN and DRP) and economic growth including Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Gross Ocean Product (GOP), to evaluate the ongoing related policies by using over 10 years of data (2007–2018). According to our estimates, a GDP growth rate of 8.5% represents a stable economic climate that is favorable for the overall rehabilitation of the local coastal environment. The results of the quantitative research indicate a strong relationship between economic development and seawater quality, with marine protection regulations serving as the direct cause. As GDP growth and pH are significantly positively correlated (coef. = 0.8139, p = 0.012), ocean acidification has decreased over the last decade. With an inversely proportional correlation with GDP (coef. = 0.8456, p = 0.002) and GOP (coef. = 0.8046, p = 0.005), the trend in COD concentrations effectively meets the targets of current pollution control legislation. By using a dummy variable regression model, we found that legislation is the most effective way in seawater recovery in the GOP section, and positive externalities of marine protection frameworks are also estimated. Meanwhile, it is predicted that the negative effects from the non-GOP section will gradually affect the coastal environmental quality gradually. An overall framework for controlling marine pollutant discharges, giving equal attention to maritime and non-maritime anthropogenic activities should be promoted and updated.

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Aquaculture mapping in the context of climate change

The development of aquaculture is facing unprecedented pressures from climate change, resource constraints, environmental pollution, energy consumption, and other factors. For coping with these challenges and for ensuring sustainable development of aquaculture, spatial planning in aquaculture activities become more and more important. An ecosystem-based approach for aquaculture mapping is needed to strategically and comprehensively balance the location, aquaculture type, and stakeholders’ interests. In this chapter, we aim to describe the definition, key steps, and methods of aquaculture zoning, especially in the context of climate change (e.g., global warming, ocean acidification, hypoxia/anoxia, sea level rising, and extreme events). We also provide two case studies of aquaculture mapping in China.

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What conservation strategies support the adaptive capacity of coastal ecosystems in three island states facing a changing climate in Micronesia?

Coastal ecosystems, such as coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass beds, are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The degradation and loss of these ecosystems, stemming from the increased impacts of climate change-related drivers, threaten the well-being of island communities in Micronesia, as they are very reliant on and connected with these coastal ecosystems. Supporting the adaptive capacity of ecosystems through climate adaptive conservation, and thus better equipping them to recover from and adapt to the potential impacts, in turn reduces the vulnerability of the social-ecological system. This thesis identified five main climate change-related drivers that impact coastal systems across three selected states in Micronesia. First, based on a conceptual social-ecological systems (SES) framework, a literature review and analysis were conducted to identify and select three ecosystem adaptive capacity (AC) elements: Heterogeneity, connectivity, and ecosystem functioning. Building on that, second, a literature review aided the identification of climate adaptive conservation strategies and related actions that can support the adaptive capacity of ecosystems. Following a qualitative content analysis, eight climate adaptive conservation strategies and 26 activities were selected and categorized. Third, the extent of (1) the strategy effectiveness, (2) their integration in conservation policy and planning documents, and (3) their implementation on a national scale were evaluated through a semi-quantitative expert consultation in each of the selected states, exemplified with coral reefs.

The findings from this research showed that while the climate adaptive strategies and activities were considered effective in supporting the adaptive capacity of coral reefs in Micronesia, the extent of their implementation ranked low. Strategies, such as “Addressing non-climatic drivers” were considered highly effective, however their implementation fell comparably short. Contrary, targeting heterogeneity was considered of least importance. Thus, as their regional implementation ranked low, the ability of the strategies to support coral adaptive capacity was limited for all three countries. Particularly, the upscaling and mainstreaming of these strategies was considered crucial by the experts. Therefore, this research proposed to prioritize addressing non-climatic drivers, supporting coral reef restoration, and recommended to integrate communities in the design of climate adaptive conservation. Further to apply actionable co-produced science to advance the evidence base and applicability of the strategies in supporting ecosystem AC.

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Resilience of a giant clam subsistence fishery in Kiribati to climate change

Changes in sea surface temperature have historically impacted the habitat of giant clams in Kiribati. In many islands of Kiribati, the four species of giant clam have largely withstood these environmental changes, through adaptive responses to anthropogenic pressures. The Kiribati giant clam fishery is a data-limited multi-species fishery, so in adopting and applying a comprehensive resilience framework to highlight attributes conferring and limiting resilience across the ecological, governance, and socio-economic aspects of the fishery we used knowledge co-production and the precautionary principle approach to better inform place-based attempts to operationalise resilience measures. We found that the resilience of the fishery to marine heatwaves and ocean acidification, as highlighted by local stakeholders, will depend on the ability of fisheries stakeholders to act collectively, with flexibility, to implement adaptive governance. Climate change, coupled with human impacts, have reduced ecological resilience in the urbanised island of South Tarawa, in contrast to the more remote or sparsely populated islands. In South Tarawa, governance and social processes are less flexible, leading to declines in the local subsistence clam fishery. Conversely, on several remote outer islands, where the social-ecological system has shown promise in combating these anthropogenic influences (e.g., through adaptive community-based fisheries management), the ecological resilience has improved, and the subsistence clam fishery has persisted. Our case study demonstrates the importance of a participatory approach and local knowledge when assessing climate resilience and identifies pathways of resilience in other small-scale fisheries, especially when data are limited.

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How university students assess the planetary boundaries: a global empirical study


  • We studied students’ perceptions of the planetary boundaries in 35 countries.
  • Using a spectral clustering algorithm, countries were grouped into 5 clusters.
  • Different indicators were used to explain the cluster result.
  • Prosperity, natural resources and forest area provide explanations for the results.
  • Decision makers should take steps to improve perceptions of planetary boundaries.


In order to effectively address global environmental problems, it is important that future decision-makers in society are aware of the safe operation space for humans, which is limited by the planetary boundaries. Until now, however, there has been a lack of international studies examining how the planet’s boundaries are perceived. In this study, we investigated how students of environmental and sustainability studies in 35 countries (n = 4140) assess the planetary boundaries. Based on the rating, using spectral clustering, the 35 countries were assigned to five different clusters. Four indicators (Human Development Index, Legatum Prosperity Index, Natural Resources Income and Forest Area) were used to provide explanations for the clustering result. The indices allow a distinction between the clusters and provide initial explanations for the clustering. The results provide important insights for today’s decision-makers, as possible measures for action in the individual countries can be derived from the findings.

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Impact of global change on oceanic dissolved carbon chemistry and acidification: a review

Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide and temperature, decrease marine pH and rising dissolved organic carbon (DOC), causing extensive shifts in ocean water carbon chemistry with forecasts of long-term ecosystem impacts. This study aimed to carry out a systematic review and try to find out the actual chemistry, spatial variation at a global scale, future prediction of these natural and human-induced changes, and how this situation impacts the marine ecosystem and green economy. Literature proved that Antarctica and southern shallow polar ocean and any seaside area are particularly vulnerable to marine acidification and disturbed DOC cycle. Based on over a hundred investigations, the study observed that (a) marine acidification and DOC cycle are basically difficult-to-understand phenomena, (b) these two realities are consistent with each other and with climate change, (c) the potency of these threats is very altitudinal, periodic, and stratified (d) the mood of global change stressors on these two facts in the future ocean is unpredictable. It was found that over the past half-century, the acidity of the surface ocean has even now increased by almost 30%, and by 2100 it will increase to 150. Such a major change in ocean chemistry will have and is already having widespread consequences for marine organisms.

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Oregon shellfish farmers: perceptions of stressors, adaptive strategies, and policy linkages


  • Interviews were conducted with fifteen (79%) of oyster farmers in Oregon.
  • Farmers are most impacted by environmental, economic, and regulatory stressors.
  • Shellfish farmers had matching adaptive strategies to address these stressors.
  • Flexible aquaculture policies can help support these strategies.


In the United States, domestic oyster aquaculture production is insufficient to meet national demand, thus creating a reliance on international oyster imports for consumption. West coast shellfish farmers are threatened by climate change, including ocean acidification as well as socioeconomic challenges such as labor availability. To expand and enhance United States oyster production, and support domestic food security and livelihoods, a better understanding of the limitations that oyster farmers’ experience, and corresponding pathways forward for adaptation is needed. Through semi-structured interviews conducted with commercial Oregon shellfish farmers, we assess the environmental, economic, social and regulatory stressors impacting oyster growing operations, and the corresponding adaptive strategies employed or envisioned by aquaculture farmers. We find farmers are most impacted by environmental stressors (nuisance species that interact with oysters or oyster habitat negatively), followed by regulatory and economic stressors (permitting and regulations and labor availability). Farmers perceived ocean acidification as a risk, but primarily at the oyster larva stage rather than the juvenile or adult grow-out stage. Examples of farmer-identified adaptive strategies included streamlining permitting and regulations, incentivizing employee retention, and having flexibility in culture type to avoid nuisance species and other environmental stressors. An increase in targeted outreach related to aquaculture policies and engagement with industry, scientists, managers, and policy-makers could facilitate policies that support these and other adaptive strategies.

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Report on ocean acidification monitoring in the Western Indian Ocean

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from human activities are largely absorbed by the ocean, accounting for about one-third of the total emissions over the past 200 years from the combustion of fossil fuels, the production of cement, and changes in land use (Sabine et al., 2004). The uptake of CO2 by the ocean benefits society by moderating the rate of climate change but also causes unprecedented changes to ocean chemistry, decreasing the pH of the water and leading to a suite of chemical changes collectively known as ocean acidification. Like climate change, ocean acidification is a growing global problem that will intensify with continued CO2 emissions and has the potential to change marine ecosystems and affect benefits to society.

The chemistry of the ocean is changing at an unprecedented rate and magnitude due to anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions; the rate of change exceeds that which has occurred for at least the past hundreds of thousands of years. Unless anthropogenic CO2 emissions are substantially curbed, or atmospheric CO2 is controlled by some other means, the average pH of the ocean will continue to fall. Ocean acidification has demonstrated impacts on many marine organisms. While the ultimate consequences are still unknown, there is a risk of ecosystem change that may threaten coral reefs, fisheries, protected species, and other natural resources of value to society.

Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, the average pH of ocean surface waters has decreased by about 0.1 units, from about 8.2 to 8.1. Model predictions show an additional 0.2–0.3 drop in pH by the end of the century, even under optimistic scenarios. Perhaps more important is that the rate of this change exceeds any known change in ocean chemistry for at least 800,000 years. The major changes in ocean chemistry caused by increasing atmospheric CO2 are well understood and can be precisely calculated, despite some uncertainty resulting from biological feedback processes.

However, the direct biological effects of ocean acidification are less certain and will vary among organisms, with some coping well and others not at all. The long-term consequences of ocean acidification for marine biota are unknown, but changes in many ecosystems and the services they provide to society appear likely based on current understanding.

In response to these concerns, WIOMSA launched ocean acidification projects in six countries: Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa and Tanzania, with the support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and institutional partners in the WIO region. The research provides a baseline that will foster the development of an integrated science strategy for ocean acidification monitoring, research and impact assessment. It presents a review of the current state of knowledge on ocean acidification in the WIO region and identifies the gaps in information required to improve understanding and address the consequences of ocean acidification.

The report consists of seven chapters. Chapter 1 introduces the subject of ocean acidification and chapters 2 to 7 summarize the esults of ocean acidification monitoring in the six countries that participated in the four-year monitoring project. Lessons learned and recommendations are presented for each country.

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Ocean acidification and sea warming-toward a better comprehension of its consequences

Climate change, rigorously heralded more than thirty years ago as a real threat, has become the most pressing and pernicious global problem for the entire planet. In conjunction with local impacts such as fishing, eutrophication or the invasion of alien species, to give just a few examples, the acidification of the oceans and the warming of the sea began to show its effects more than twenty years ago. These signals were ignored at the time by the governing bodies and by the economic stakeholders, who now see how we must run to repair the huge inflicted damage. Today, different processes are accelerating, and the thermodynamic machine has definitely deteriorated. We see, for example, that the intensity and magnitude of hurricanes and typhoons has increased. Most models announce more devastation of flash floods and a decomposition in the water cycle, which are factors directly affecting ecosystems all over the world. Important advances are also observed in the forecasting of impacts of atmospheric phenomena in coastal areas with more and more accurate models. Rising temperatures and acidification already affect many organisms, impacting the entire food chain. All organisms, pelagic or benthic, will be affected directly or indirectly by climate change at all depths and in all the latitudes. The impact will be non-homogeneous. In certain areas it will be more drastic than in others, and the visualization of such impacts is already ongoing. Some things may be very evident, such as coral mortalities in tropical areas or in the surface waters of the Mediterranean, while others may be less visible, such as changes in microelement availability affecting plankton productivity. In fact, primary productivity in microalgae, macroalgae and phanerogams is already beginning to feel the impact of warmer, stratified and nutrient-poor waters in many parts of the planet. Nutrients are becoming less available, temperature is rising above certain tolerance limits and water movement (turbulence) may change in certain areas favoring certain species of microplankton instead of others. All these mechanisms, together with light availability (which, in principle, is not drastically changing except for the cloudiness), affect the growth of the organisms that can photosynthesize and produce oxygen and organic matter for the rest of the trophic chain. That shift in productivity completely changes the rest of the food chain. In the Arctic or Antarctic, the problem is slightly different. Life depends on the dynamics of ice that is subject to seasonal changes. But winter solidification and summer dissolution is undergoing profound changes, causing organisms that are adapted to that rhythm of ice change to be under pressure. The change is more evident in the North Pole, but is also visible in the South pole, where the sea ice cover has also dramatically changed. In the chapter there is also a mention about the general problem of the water currents and their profound change do greenhouse gas effects. The warming of the waters and their influence on the marine currents are also already affecting the different ocean habitats. The slowdown of certain processes is causing an acceleration in the deoxygenation of the deepest areas and therefore an impact on the fragile communities of cold corals that populate large areas of our planet. Many organisms will be affected in their dispersion and their ability to colonize new areas or maintain a connection between different populations. The rapid adaptations to these new changes are apparent. Nature is on its course of restart from these new changes, but in this transitional phase the complexity and interactions that have taken thousands or millions of years to form can fade away until a new normal is consolidated.

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Global ocean governance in the Anthropocene: from extractive imaginaries to planetary boundaries?


As with other fields of international law addressing human-nature relations, the Anthropocene invites the reappraisal and reimagining of the law of the sea, the primary normative framework through which states regulate access to, and the use of, the global ocean. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) effected a major shift in global ocean governance towards a public order of the seas. However, the law of the sea remains substantially tethered to a Holocene conception of the ocean as a stable environmental domain of extractive exploitation and jurisdictional demarcation. This is illustrated by the confined scope of negotiations on a new implementing agreement under UNCLOS on the conservation and use of marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction. Additionally, there has been limited acknowledgment of the multiple sites at which ocean governance in the Anthropocene takes place, in particular the central role of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. It is contended that one way forward for addressing both these conceptual constraints and the UNCLOS and UNFCCC regime coordination challenges is the adoption of global ocean governance goals informed by the ‘Planetary Boundaries’ framework.

Policy Implications

  • There is limited acknowledgment within global governance regimes that the global ocean is undergoing rapid transformation in the Anthropocene as a result of climate change and ocean acidification.
  • The contemporary framework for global ocean governance remains strongly influenced by a conception of the ocean as a domain primarily for resource extraction.
  • Planetary-scale change to the global ocean calls into question the role and efficacy of existing ocean governance norms and institutions.
  • Governments and civil society actors seeking to advance effective ocean management approaches in the Anthropocene need to utilise the multiple forums in which global ocean governance takes place, including the climate treaty regime.
  • The Planetary Boundaries approach offers a potential way forward for improving the coordination between ocean-relevant governance regimes, and for providing global policy goals for ocean protection.
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Size matters: physiological sensitivity of the scallop Argopecten purpuratus to seasonal cooling and deoxygenation upwelling-driven events

Environment imposes physiological constraints which are life-stage specific as growth-maintenance and/or growth-reproduction energetic requirements are size and volume-dependent. The scallop Argopecten purpuratus, one of the most important bivalve species subjected to fishery and aquaculture along the Humboldt Current System, inhabits spaces affected by continuous changes in temperature, pH, oxygen, and food availability driven by remote and local oceanographic processes. Specifically, in Chile, this species is mainly cultured in central-north Chile where is permanently affected by upwelling events of dissimilar intensity and duration which generate local conditions of acidification, deoxygenation, and cooling with different magnitudes. However, to date, it remains unknown how this economic valuable resource is physiologically affected throughout its life cycle by the continuous environmental changes driven by upwelling events of different intensities and duration along the year. Here, for the first time, A. purpuratus life-stage physiological sensitivity was assessed at a seasonal scale through a year-field experiment where growth, calcification, and survivorship were evaluated. Our study shows how seasonal differences in the upwelling phenology (here measured as changes in temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, and primary productivity, but also as the number, duration, and intensity of cooling and de-oxygenation events) notably impacted the A. purpuratus physiological performance from juvenile to adult life-stages. This was especially noticeable during the spring season which showed the most intense cooling and deoxygenation events driven by stronger favorable-upwelling winds and the lowest growth and gross calcification rates (the highest decalcification rates) where adult stages showed the lowest performance. On the other hand, A. purpuratus survivorship was not significantly affected by upwelling intensity which would be providing evidence of the high physiological flexibility and well-locally adapted is this species to fluctuating and occasional stressful environmental conditions. Our results are significantly relevant in the climate change context as some upwelling systems are at risk to change shortly (i.e., an upwelling intensification in frequency and intensity) as a consequence of changes in the atmospheric pressures that modulate favourable-upwelling winds. These changes may certainly increase the climate related-risks of the entire socio-ecological systems related to the fishery and aquaculture of A. purpuratus along the Humboldt Current System.

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Global climate change risk to fisheries – a multi-risk assessment

Our study explores variations in the risk of fishery-dependent coastal nations to ocean acidification, sea surface temperature change, sea level rise, and storms. Our findings reveal differences in risk based on geographical location and the development status of a country. Our findings indicate significant geographical differences for three of the four risk indicators including sea level rise, sea surface temperature changes, and storms. Strategies for reducing risk globally thus need to be adapted to regional differences in risks. We further detected multiple inter-regional differences, indicating that risk was not uniformly distributed within geographic regions suggesting that some regions could see an increase in conflicts over fish resources due to uneven impacts of climate change on fisheries. In addition, we found that a number of countries are at medium to very high risk to multiple climate-related impacts, indicating the need for strategies that increase adaptive capacity in general in these countries to cope with any kind of impact in addition to specific risk reduction strategies. We also found that overall small island developing states were most at risk. Yet, further analysis showed that grouping of countries in pre-defined groups fails to detect variations in risk among countries within these groups. More specific national indicators provide more nuanced insights into risk patterns.

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Expert opinions on threats and impacts in the marine environment

We study expert opinions on global, marine threats and potential impacts to the environment and to society, using a survey dataset with more than 1500 respondents. The sample provides a panel of respondents across scientific disciplines, age groups, and institution types. We divide the respondents into two groups based on their main disciplinary background (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics [STEM] and social science and humanities [SSH]). We can thus analyze potential differences in the assessment of marine threats and impacts across disciplines. The two groups largely agree on which threats and impacts are the most important. Further, more or less the same issues are listed as both environmental and societal concerns. These issues include overfishing, climate change (global warming, ocean acidification), pollution (plastics), and habitat damage. We also find interesting differences across the two disciplinary groups, in particular regarding sea level rise, biodiversity loss, and invasive species. Similarities and differences between the disciplinary groups largely hold up when controlling for demographic variables such as age and institution type.

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Ocean acidification and blue economies

The pH of the surface ocean is decreasing worldwide as a result of anthropogenic carbon dioxide entering the surface ocean from the atmosphere; nearly 40% of the CO2 emitted to the atmosphere between 1800 and 2007 has been absorbed by the ocean. This consequent decrease in surface water pH is called “ocean acidification” and is a major threat to the blue economies of developing coastal nations and small islands. At particular risk are coral reefs, which serve as the basis for ecotourism and fisheries, and which provide protection from waves and resulting damage to property and loss of life. In addition, ocean acidification has been shown to negatively affect plankton, shellfish and other organisms that deposit carbonate structures. Ocean acidification is recognized by the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and specifically by Sustainable Development Goal 14 on “Life Under Water”, as a major challenge. Ocean science, both observations and research, can play a significant role in understanding the potential impacts of ocean acidification, as well as creating mitigation and adaptation approaches. This chapter will explain the causes and impacts of ocean acidification and will proceed to blue economy implications and the need for new ocean science.

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Seaweed farming for food and nutritional security, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and women empowerment: a review

Seaweed is a promising marine macroalgae of the millennium, providing various ecological, social, and economic benefits. At present, seaweed production reached 35.8 million t from farming, accounting for 97% of global seaweed output, with a world market of US$ 11.8 billion. Seaweeds are an excellent source of nutritious human food because of their low lipid content, high minerals, fibers, polyunsaturated fatty acids, polysaccharides, vitamins, and bioactive compounds. Many seaweed sub-products offer unique properties to develop various functional foods for the food processing industries. In the perspective of climate change mitigation, seaweed farms absorb carbon, serve as a CO2 sink and reduce agricultural emissions by providing raw materials for biofuel production and livestock feed. Seaweed farming system also helps in climate change adaptation by absorbing wave energy, safeguarding shorelines, raising the pH of the surrounding water, and oxygenating the waters to minimize the impacts of ocean acidification and hypoxia on a localized scale. Moreover, it contributes substantially to the sustainable development of the economic condition of coastal women by providing livelihood opportunities and ensuring financial solvency. This review paper highlights the significance of seaweed farming in global food and nutritional security, mitigation and adaptation to global climate change, and women empowerment within a single frame. This review paper also outlined the major issues and challenges of seaweed farming for obtaining maximum benefits in these aspects. The main challenges of making seaweed as a staple diet to millions of people include producing suitable species of seaweeds, making seaweed products accessible, affordable, nutritionally balanced, and attractive to the consumers. Various food products must be developed from seaweeds that may be considered equivalent to the foods consumed by humans today. Lack of effective marine spatial planning to avoid user conflicts is vital for expanding the seaweed farming systems to provide aquatic foods and contribute globally for mitigation and adaptation of climate change impacts. Hence, women’s empowerment through seaweed farming is primarily constrained by the lack of technical knowledge and financial resources to establish the coastal farming system. All the information discussed in this paper will help to understand the critical needs for large-scale seaweed farming for climate resilience mariculture, potentials for global food security, and future research on various aspects of seaweed farming and their diverse utilization.

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