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C11
Effective conservation planning (to include EBM and MPAs, cumulative impacts)

Room: Alsh     2014-08-17; 08:30 - 10:30

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

Chair(s)/Moderator(s): Gubbay, Susan

C11.1  08:30  Developing a Red List of marine habitats in European seas. Gubbay, S *, consultant; Haynes, T Nature Bureau; Janssen, J Alterra; Nieto, A IUCN; Rodwell, J consultant;

Abstract: The 2011 EU Biodiversity Strategy includes a target \"to halt the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystem services in the European Union by 2020, and restore them in so far as feasible, while stepping up the EU contribution to averting global biodiversity loss\". Reliable and timely information on the status and trends of biodiversity across Europe will show whether this is likely to be achieved. In 2013 the EU (DG Environment) commissioned a feasibility study on preparing a Red List of European habitats (marine, freshwater and terrestrial). This concluded that Red Listing would be possible and proposed a methodology. This paper will describe the marine elements of the follow on two year project to assess the status of marine habitats in the Baltic, Mediterranean, North East Atlantic and Black Seas. Standardised assessment criteria, compatible with the approach endorsed by the IUCN World Conservation Congress in 2012, are being applied to marine habitats defined according to the European Nature Information System (EUNIS) habitat classification. The presentation will describe progress to date as well as links to the EU Habitats Directive and Marine Strategy Framework Directive which are key to delivering marine nature conservation in the European Union.

C11.2  08:45  Vulnerability assessment of ecosystem components to human stressors: the case of a seagrass ecosystem. Sylvaine Giakoumi *, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Greece; Hugh Possingham University of Queensland, Australia; Sylvie Gobert University of Liege, Belgium; Charles - Francois Boudouresque Aix-Marseille University, France; Maria - Cristina Gambi Stazione Zoologica ; Stelios Katsanevakis JRC, European Commission, Italy; Pierre Lejeune Stareso Research Centre, France; Loic Michel , Stareso Research Centre, France;

Abstract: Predicting ecosystem responses to cumulative human impacts is crucial for effective ecosystem management. Conservation actions aiming at threat mitigation should be prioritized based on their expected ecological benefits and associated costs. However, establishing direct links between actions and their benefits is hindered by the diversity and complexity of ways in which human stressors impact ecosystem components. To better understand the direct and/or indirect impacts of stressors on various food web components, we used a case study of the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica. Based on expert knowledge elicitation, we produced a conceptual seagrass food web model, determined main trophic relationships, identified main threats to the food web components, and then assessed the vulnerability of trophic groups to those threats. We found that trophic groups differ in their vulnerability to threats. The majority of trophic groups were most vulnerable to large-scale irreversible coastal constructions, such as ports, although higher level predators were more vulnerable to fishing practices. The next step is to incorporate the obtained vulnerability values along with data on the change of the stressors’ state (e.g. decrease of domestic pollution and increased fishing) into a dynamic food-web model which will facilitate the estimation of cumulative human impacts and guide decision-making on action prioritization.

C11.4  09:15  Effective estuarine conservation: incorporating early life stages of fishes. Micheli Duarte de Paula Costa *, Laboratório de Ecologia do Ictioplâncton, Instituto de Oceanografia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande; Hugh P. Possingham ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland; José Henrique Muelbert Laboratório de Ecologia do Ictioplâncton, Instituto de Oceanografia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande;

Abstract: Estuaries are among the most productive and dynamic ecosystems in the world, acting as nursery grounds for a wide variety of organisms important to people. Conservation of estuaries is a challenge, with numerous natural and anthropogenic pressures. Unfortunately, systematic conservation planning in estuarine systems is rare, and to our knowledge none has combined artisanal fishery economic spatial data with a conservation plan that incorporates early life stages of several fish species. We report a study case for the Patos Lagoon estuary (Brazil) that shows how information on early life stages of Micropogonias furnieri has a significant impact on spatial planning priorities. We discovered that incorporating early life stage information changes spatial conservation priorities substantially using cluster analysis methods. Also, using a decision support tool can efficiently produce outputs that spatially prioritizes the estuarine essential fish habitat for a single species. For the Patos Lagoon estuary, prioritizing some shallow areas is particularly important for reaching our conservation targets. Our results support the notion that much needs to be done to devise better methods of spatial planning for dynamic environments such as estuaries.

C11.5  09:30  Don’t forget about the little guys: the global picture of seahorses in bycatch. Lawson, JML *, Project Seahorse, Fisheries Centre, The University of British Columbia; Foster, SJ Project Seahorse, Fisheries Centre, The University of British Columbia; Vincent, ACJ Project Seahorse, Fisheries Centre, The University of British Columbia;

Abstract: Small fishes dominate the bycatch of marine organisms, yet the vast majority of research on bycatch is focused on large and charismatic animals. As a result, the impact of bycatch on many small fishes is poorly understood. Seahorses (Hippocampus spp.) are one group of small fish that may respond poorly to non-target fishing because of their unusual life history and social behaviour. Our study conducts the first global analysis of seahorses in bycatch. We used a meta-analysis to characterize seahorse bycatch fisheries by collecting information on: total annual catches for each country, catch-per-unit-effort by gear type and the fate of seahorses in bycatch. Our meta-analysis showed that the gear type responsible for most seahorse bycatch (by total number of individuals and CPUE) was the bottom trawl, in particular those found in South East Asia. We also found that the total number of seahorses in bycatch outweighed the number documented in international trade. Although incidental capture of seahorses is often reported as sparse by individual fishers, the vast and diffuse scale of fishing effort in many countries extracts large volumes from the ocean each year. This diffuse but intensive fishing effort may mask serious conservation concerns for other bycaught small fish.

C11.6  09:45  Historical and ecological genetics of Leopard grouper (Mycteroperca rosacea) in the Gulf of California. Jackson, AM *, University of California Santa Cruz; Munguia-Vega, A Comunidad y Biodiversidad A.C.; Beldade, R University of California Santa Cruz; Erisman, BE Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego; Bernardi, G University of California Santa Cruz;

Abstract: Effective design of marine reserves for use in fisheries management requires a clear understanding of patterns of larval transport between populations. Mitochondrial and nuclear markers were analyzed to investigate patterns of connectivity among subpopulations of a commercially exploited species in the Gulf of California, Leopard grouper (Mycteroperca rosacea). We estimated global and pairwise estimates of F¬ST¬, Φ¬ST¬, or G’’¬ST¬ and utilized a computational geometry approach to identify barriers to larval dispersal. Average, long-term connectivity between geographic regions in the Gulf was also estimated. There was evidence of moderate genetic differentiation among subpopulations of M. rosacea. Complex oceanography in the Gulf of California may be the primary mechanism driving broad scale connectivity between biogeographic regions. Asymmetrical migration, with disproportionately more genetic exchange from the northern to the central Gulf, also suggests that the northern Gulf may be a net exporter of larvae to populations in the central Gulf. Findings from this study are the logical first step in creating a sustainable fisheries management plan for M. rosacea as part of the Pesca Artesanal del Norte Golfo de California – Ambiente y Sociedad (PANGAS) project, an interdisciplinary, ecosystem-wide approach to fisheries management in the Gulf of California.

C11.7  10:00  Adaptation of the control and monitoring strategy in the Coco´s Island National Park in Costa Rica based on the pelagic species data found in illegal fishing. GOLFIN. G,D *, next affiliation ; LOPEZ.A,G no affiliation; ZANELLA. I,C no affiliation;

Abstract: Coco´s Island National Park is a World Heritage Site stands out for its large congregations of sharks, billfish, tuna. Besides, this marine wealth attracts divers and scientists around the world. The main threat of this site is the interaction between pelagic and illegal fisheries inside and outside the protected area. Due to this fact, it has become necessary to direct the efforts of conservation planning in order to diminish this problem. The confiscation of illegal fishing that include the catching of sharks, startles and billfish can be used as an indicator for monitoring the effectiveness of the control and surveillance strategy. Since 2012, scientific information on the species caught by illegal fisheries in the marine area is collected. This information is used to adapt the surveillance and monitoring in surrounding waters with the actors that directly affect of the national park. So far, it has been found in 205.8 km, 47 illegal fishing lines and 4986 hooks within the Marine Protected Area (MPA). It was also found 130 individuals: 88 % were pelagic fish; where the tunas (Scombridae) and billfish (Istiophoridae) stand out. Elasmobranchs and marine turtles accounted for 8 % and 4 % respectively of the total catch. The most caught species was yellow fin tuna (Thunnus albacares), representing more than 75 % of the catch. Also, analyzed T. albacares showed an average total length of 155.8 ± 18.4 cm. In 2013, the trend continued so that the most vulnerable species was the (Thunnus albacares) and sharks.

C11.8  10:15  Designing marine protected areas to balance community fishing needs and conserving cetaceans at risk from entanglement in fishing gears . Smith, BD *, Wildlife Conservation Society, Ocean Giants; Redfern, JV National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Southwest Fisheries Science Center ; Mansur, RM Wildlife Conservation Society, Bangladesh Cetacean Diversity Project; Diyan, MAA Wildlife Conservation Society, Bangladesh Cetacean Diversity Project; Moore, TJ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Southwest Fisheries Science Center;

Abstract: Fisheries in the Bay of Bengal (BoB), Bangladesh, are vital to the livelihoods and food security of a large and growing human population. These waters also support relatively abundant and diverse cetaceans; some species are globally threatened, but at risk from increasing entanglements in fishing gear. Entanglement risk was assessed using three years of cetacean and fishing gear survey data. Specifically, we developed habitat models to predict the relative density of the seven most commonly occurring cetaceans in the BoB and mapped the co-occurrence of their predicted relative density and fishing gear. Habitat models were consistent with known species habitat preferences. For example, humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) were associated with lower salinity and more turbid waters, while bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) with higher salinity and less turbid waters. The models identified fishing grounds in areas with both high and low predictions of species relative densities. These analyses provide the tools needed to reduce entanglement risk by establishing marine protected areas (MPAs), where there is the greatest overlap between cetaceans and fisheries, while concurrently meeting fishery needs by concentrating fishing effort in areas that coincide with lower species densities. The establishment of these MPAs may also increase ecological resilience to the impacts of climate change, which are expected to be particularly severe in the coastal waters of Bangladesh.



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