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Effective conservation planning (to include EBM and MPAs, cumulative impacts)

Room: Lomond Auditorium     2014-08-15; 15:00 - 17:00

NB: Unless specified otherwise, presentations are 15 minutes in length, and speed presentations are 5 mins in length.

Chair(s)/Moderator(s): Mackelworth, Peter

C10.1  15:00  How to make marine ecosystem service valuation matter for marine conservation and planning: The VALMER experience. Dodds, W *, Plymouth University; Phillipe, M Université de Brest/ UMR-AMURE; Friedrich, L Plymouth University; Fletcher, S Plymouth University; Glegg, G Plymouth University; Bailly, D Université de Brest/ UMR-AMURE;

Abstract: The Interreg VALMER project is investigating the potential of the ecosystem services approach to support effective and informed marine planning and management. In six case studies across South West England and North West France marine ecosystem services are being assessed and valued using a range of methodologies, including monetary and non-monetary valuation. These assessments are used in stakeholder-led scenario building exercises to explore plausible site-based future management scenarios. Critically, these assessments have facilitated an understanding in ecosystem service terms of the implications of potential management measures. To understand, in governance terms, how the ecosystem service approach can aid the case study process and its outputs, the project has designed and implemented an evaluative framework across the six case studies. This talk will present aspects of this governance analysis. It will discuss how the sites have applied marine ecosystem service thinking, so as to improve understanding of the links between ecosystem services, their value, and effective marine governance, including Marine Protected Areas. Despite the diversity of stakeholders and the complexity of governance regimes within the project area it is evident that there are common challenges for the management of marine ecosystems within European seas. Furthermore, there is a real opportunity to consider new and innovative approaches to inform decision making, with ecosystem services assessment and valuation playing a valuable role.

C10.2  15:15  Q methodology: a novel approach to assessing stakeholder acceptance and social impacts of MPAs. Gall, SC *, Centre for Marine and Coastal Policy Research, Plymouth University; Rodwell, LD Centre for Marine and Coastal Policy Research, Plymouth University;

Abstract: The importance of social impact assessment for MPAs has been widely recognised in national and international policy, but research has been limited. Recognition that social factors may be the primary driver of MPA success highlights that understanding the social context is essential to effective planning and management. The initial stages of the UK Marine Conservation Zones project successfully engaged stakeholders in the planning of 127 MPAs in England. Stakeholders have, however, been excluded from subsequent discussions on management and implementation and initial research suggests they have become disenfranchised and uncertain of the future. Q methodology provides a novel, quantitative approach to reveal stakeholder perspectives and was used to assess current perceptions and how attitudes are influenced by proximity to MPAs. Two case study sites were used, North Devon where few MPAs exist and South Devon where they are numerous. Participants sorted a set of statements into a forced-choice frequency distribution and factor analysis identified key themes. Comparison suggested that stakeholders in North Devon were less accepting of MPAs due to the threat of change and its unknown consequences. Perception of impact is one of the major inhibitors of stakeholder acceptance. Dissemination of accurate information and engagement of stakeholders past the initial stages of MPA planning could help provide a sense of ownership, increase stakeholder acceptance and therefore MPA success.

C10.3  15:30  Dolphin conservation through distribution modelling and marine spatial planning in a rapidly industrialised seascape, north Western Australia. Hanf, D *, Murdoch University; Bejder, L Murdoch University; Hodgson, A Murdoch University; Kobryn, H Murdoch University; Rankin, R Murdoch University; Smith, J Murdoch University;

Abstract: Coastal dolphin conservation in a rapidly industrialised seascape can be improved if habitat preferences are considered within a marine spatial planning framework. There is a sense of urgency to extract petroleum resources and simultaneously protect marine fauna of north Western Australia, an expansive, remote and unsurveyed region. Enabled by the opportunistic acquisition of georeferenced dolphin sightings spanning an area of 10, 577 km2 from five systematic surveys over 12 months, we demonstrate that distribution modelling can offer an expedient and cost effective solution to understanding habitat preference in areas that are remote and difficult to access. We used component-wise logistic boosting that allows highly mobile species to be flexibly fit to static and non-static spatial processes and identified spatio-temporal differences in the distribution of Indo-Pacific bottlenose (Tursiops aduncus) and Indo-Pacific humpback (Sousa chinensis) dolphins, and between adults and calves. The non-stationary nature of these species highlights the importance of repeat, long-term investigations. Spatially combining this information with existing and foreseeable human activity will inform consultation between government, proponents and the public to achieve adequate site selection, impact assessment and environmental management.

C10.4  15:45  Is sustainable exploitation of coral reefs for marine aquariums possible and what does that look like? . Rhyne, AL *, Roger Williams Unversity ; Rhyne, AL New England Aquarium; Tlusty, M New England Aquarium ; Kaufman, L Boston University;

Abstract: The global consumption of reef biodiversity for the marine aquarium trade (MAT) is extensive. Considered low hanging fruit by many, the trade’s consumption is frequently attacked, but it is an untested assumption that eliminating/reducing the trade lessens pressure on coral reefs. The MAT is data deficient, dependent on wild fisheries and generally under regulated. Public aquariums (PA) overlap with private aquaria by acquiring many of the same species from the same sources. Here we posit that this overlap gives PAs opportunities to increase the sustainability of the trade. Improving the sustainability ethos and practices of the MAT can carry a conservation benefit with fewer fishes harvested and myriad ecosystem benefits. At the same time, these improvements can highlight the economic and educational benefits and impacts of aquariums. To accomplish this, we developed a trade decision tree to determine 1) if species should be in the trade, and 2) if they should be in the trade, should they be aquacultured or wild harvested. Using the RWU/NEAq Marine Aquarium Biodiversity and Trade Flow database, we evaluated the most traded species through the decision matrix. Results indicated species that should not traded, species that should traded and sourced from aquaculture, and species that should traded from wild sources. We believe our decision matrix, in concert with our database provides governments, NGOs, and industry a new tool to advance the sustainability of this trade.

C10.6  16:15  Six common mistakes in conservation planning. Game, ET *, The Nature Conservancy; Kareiva, P The Nature Conservancy; Possingham, HP University of Queensland;

Abstract: A vast number of planning and prioritization schemes have been developed to help marine conservation navigate tough decisions about the allocation of finite resources. However, the application of quantitative approaches to setting priorities in conservation frequently includes mistakes that can undermine their authors’ intention to be more rigorous and scientific in the way priorities are established and resources allocated. Drawing on well-established principles of decision science, we highlight 6 mistakes commonly associated with conservation planning: not acknowledging conservation plans are prioritizations; trying to solve an illdefined problem; not prioritizing actions; arbitrariness; hidden value judgments; and not acknowledging risk of failure. We explain these mistakes and offer a path to help conservation planners avoid making the same mistakes in future plans.

C10.7  16:30  Reserve effect on fish assemblages of a no-take zone in the Punta Campanella MPA (Gulf of Naples: center Tyrrhenia Sea ). Luca Appolloni , Marine Ecology Lab, Department of Science and Technology, University “Parthenope” of Naples.; Luigia Donnarumma *Marine Ecology Lab, Department of Science and Technology, University “Parthenope” of Naples.; Luisa Sbrescia Marine Ecology Lab, Department of Science and Technology, University “Parthenope” of Naples.; Florina Di Stefano Marine Ecology Lab, Department of Science and Technology, University “Parthenope” of Naples.; Roberto Sandulli Marine Ecology Lab, Department of Science and Technology, University “Parthenope” of Naples.; Giovanni Fulvio Russo Marine Ecology Lab, Department of Science and Technology, University “Parthenope” of Naples.;

Abstract: Changes in size and density of fish assemblages according to protection degree have been evaluated in the MPA of Punta Campanella, in order to assess the effect of fishery. Rocky habitats have been explored between June and October 2008, by visual census techniques (3 depths, 3 replicates) in no take zone and in 6 control sites placed in the transition zone at increasing distances along the coast. The univariate and multivariate analysis highlight that fish assemblages observed in no-take zone were statistically different from those present in the fished transition zone. Species richness and density were very high in no-take zone respect to the other sites. Many species catched by fisheries were exclusively present in the core area (e.g. Sphyraena viridensis and Diplodus puntazzo), while those shared by all sites, had by far greater density and size in the no-take zone (e.g. Oblada melanura, Diplodus vulgaris, Sarpa salpa, Serranus cabrilla and Epinephelus marginatus). These results clearly indicate that fishing activities strongly affects fish assemblages, by reducing densities and size of specimens. Due to the lack of a buffer zone around core area, there is no “distance effect” in control sites.

C10.8  16:45  Stakeholder engagement and Marine Protected Areas: Experience from around the UK. Henshall, B *, Joint Nature Conservation Committee; Chaniotis, P Joint Nature Conservation Committee;

Abstract: The UK is developing an ecologically coherent network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to meet its international commitments. The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), provides scientific advice on the identification, management and monitoring of MPAs in UK offshore waters to UK Administrations. As the UK embarks on the designation and management implementation phases of MPAs around the UK, stakeholder input has been critical to JNCC’s advice supporting the development of the network. The efficiencies of building on existing evidence provided by stakeholders have been demonstrated in our selection and refinement of possible offshore Nature Conservation MPAs in Scotland. Regular and strategic stakeholder engagement employing a range of techniques, including interactive mapping tools, coastal drop-in events and more focussed technical workshops also helps to build relationships, a shared understanding, and where possible, support for MPAs. The development of science advice on management in Special Areas of Conservation in the UK provides another example of the integral role stakeholders play in establishing adaptive management approaches for MPAs. We will give examples of the different types of information available from stakeholders and show how it has contributed to the designation and management phases of UK MPAs. We’ll also offer thoughts on how stakeholders will be involved in assessing the ecological, social and economic benefits of MPA networks in the UK.

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