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

Room: Carron B     2014-08-16; 17:30 - 19:30

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

Chair(s)/Moderator(s): Rees, Sian

C13.1  17:30  Social disruption, adaptive capacity and conservation in the New England groundfish fishery. Jonathan Grabowski *, Northeastern University; Steven Scyphers Northeastern University; Steve Picou University of South Alabama;

Abstract: The collapse of a renewable resource can cause ecological, economic and social disruption. Gulf of Maine cod were recently deemed “overfished,” and the U.S. Secretary of Commerce declared the Northeast groundfish fishery a disaster in late 2012. NOAA shortly thereafter announced that catches of Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank cod would be reduced by 78 and 61%, respectively. In early 2013, we conducted a study to document initial social impacts of the fishery failure, including social disruption, recreancy, stress, and resilience among fishery captains. We found that incidence of social disruption and levels of intrusive stress and avoidance behaviors among groundfish permit holders were severe. In fact, we documented stress levels similar to or exceeding those observed in individuals directly affected by oil spills or hurricanes. Greater than three quarters of fishers reported observing changes in their work environments and communities, and over half of fishers reported noticing changes in family cohesion. Stress levels were highest among fishers who had experienced changes in their communities, work environment, family cohesion, or altered their future plans. Stress was also inversely related to several aspects of social resilience, including risk perception, flexibility, and planning skills. Collectively, our findings suggest efforts to enhance adaptive capacity could lead to reduced stress, thereby reducing the impacts of fisheries management actions on stakeholders.

C13.2  17:45  Developing a marine zoning framework to implement ecosystem-based management in Canada's North Pacific Coast . Short, C , Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations; Diggon, S Coastal First Nations-Great Bear Rainforest; Smith, J *Birdsmith Ecological Research; Bones, J JG Bones Consulting; Justice, M Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations;

Abstract: The Marine Planning Partnership for the North Pacific Coast is a partnership between the Province of British Columbia and 18 First Nations. Marine plans are being developed in four sub-regions for the long-term health of the oceans and human well-being. To implement an Ecosystem-based Management (EBM) framework, MaPP designed a zoning framework using existing coastal plans, expert advice, and lessons learned from other areas of the world. Three zones were created: General Management Zone, Special Management Zone, and Protection Management Zone. The General Management Zone allocates space for a marine uses and activities that are compatible with ecosystem-based management principles. The Special Management Zone allocates space for high priority and high potential sustainable marine uses and activities, such as aquaculture, tourism, renewable energy and other emerging marine economies. The Protection Management Zone allocates space for conservation objectives, including localized conservation values, and informs a network of marine protected areas. The zoning framework is supported by a number of other tools, including an ecosystem vulnerability matrix, compatible use matrix, and recommended uses and activity tables. In this presentation, we will provide a brief overview of MaPP and discuss how the zoning framework was used to develop four spatial plans for the North Pacific Coast, Canada.

C13.3  18:00  Incorporating marine connectivity into fisheries and conservation under strong asymmetry of seasonally reversing gyres in Northern Gulf of California. Munguia-Vega, A *, PANGAS Science Coordination, Comunidad y Biodiversidad, A.C., Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico; Marinone, SG Departamento de Oceanografia Fisica, Centro de Investigacion Cientificas y Educacion Superior de Ensenada, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico; Alvarez-Romero, JG ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia; Moreno-Baez, M Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA; Castillo-Lopez, A Pronatura Noroeste, A.C., Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico; Turk-Boyer, P Centro Intercultural de Estudios de Desiertos y Oceanos, Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico; Green, A Indo-Pacific Division, The Nature Conservancy, West End, Queensland, Australia; Torre, J , Comunidad y Biodiversidad, A.C., Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico;

Abstract: Many guidelines exist for designing marine reserve networks, but is unclear how or if they can be universally applied. In the Northern Gulf of California, a counter-clockwise gyre during spring-summer is reversed during fall-winter, questioning how ecological processes are shaped by strong asymmetric currents, where reserves should be located and what exactly they will protect. We combined oceanographic models to generate hypotheses of larval connectivity with empirical validation via population genetics in multiple invertebrates and fish targeted by small-scale fisheries. Our results corroborate that populations show characteristic gradients of effective population size, larval dispersal and genetic diversity in relation to the direction of the predominant flow, and highlight that different life histories have distinct dynamics. Species reproducing on different phases of the gyre show similar patterns but arranged as mirror images. Prioritizing upstream source populations important for fisheries could selects for low genetic diversity. Heavily fished areas seem to be sustained by high levels of local retention and/or contribution of larvae from many upstream sites. Benefits from reserves are spatially biased in one direction and some fishing localities might not benefit from nearby reserves but might depend on distant sites located upstream. The asymmetry in the flow conveys multiple challenges in aligning fisheries and conservation of ecosystems under climate change.

C13.4  18:15  Using conservation-scapes to understand management outlooks: A comparative study of Irrawaddy dolphin bycatch in small-scale fisheries. Whitty, T.S. *, Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, Scripps Institution of Oceanography;

Abstract: Mitigating bycatch of cetaceans in small-scale fisheries (SSF) is a conservation priority at a key interface between ecosystems and human livelihoods. Studying the “conservation-scape” of bycatch elucidates obstacles and opportunities, allowing for assessment and targeted development of management plans. “Conservation-scapes” include: overlap between human activity and organisms; sociocultural and economic drivers of human activity; and governance potential. I developed this interdisciplinary approach to study Irrawaddy dolphin bycatch in SSF at four sites in Southeast Asia from 2010-2013, using line transect surveys, photo-identification, and interviews (n=865) to assess dolphin-human activity overlap, bycatch rates, community attributes, trends in and problems for SSF, and the history and status of management. Results suggest that: bycatch is unsustainable at all sites; fisheries have declined at all sites; perceived threats to fisheries and community responses to decreasing yield differ across sites; the relative magnitude of local versus external drivers of fishing effort varies across sites, as does the ability of local institutions to manage those drivers. These translate to different outlooks for bycatch mitigation across sites; e.g., one site exhibits strong community engagement and potential for improved government involvement, while another demonstrates obstruction of management by key institutions and low potential for community engagement.

C13.5  18:30  A legal and ecological perspective of ‘site integrity’ to inform policy development and management of Special Areas of Conservation in Europe. Rees. S.E., *, Plymouth University, UK; Sheehan, E.V., Plymouth University, UK; Jackson, E.L., CQUniversity, Australia; Gall, S.C., Plymouth University, UK; Cousens. S.L., Plymouth University, UK; Solandt. J.L., Marine Conservation Society, UK; Boyer. M. Matthew Boyer Solicitors, UK; Attrill. M.J., , Plymouth University, UK;

Abstract: The European Union Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) provides for the designation and management of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and requires that impacting activities are subject to ‘an appropriate assessment’ of their implications for the ‘integrity’ of the site. \'Site integrity’ and the role of SAC designated habitats and species in supporting ecological structure and function both within and beyond SAC site boundaries is, as yet, undefined and therefore not realised in conservation policy and SAC site management. We define the term ‘site integrity’ from a legal and an ecological perspective. We demonstrate that ‘site integrity’ is the maintenance of ecological processes and functions that support the wider delivery of ecosystem services. ‘Site integrity’ can be influenced by SAC management. Any ‘appropriate assessment’ of activities within an SAC must take into account the capacity of the site feature for self-repair and renewal. Management that seeks to support ‘site integrity’ may include the use of buffer zones or connecting areas that extend beyond the SAC site’s designated features. We conclude that ‘site integrity’ and ‘favourable conservation status’ are powerful legal terms that if fully transposed into the law and policy of Member States can enable the achievement of broader European and International goals for marine conservation.

C13.6  18:45  In the dark: should conservation biologists use blinding? Rocliffe, S *, Environment Department, University of York; Hawkins, JP Environment Department, University of York; Anderson, LG School of Biology, University of Leeds;

Abstract: Double blinding is widely used in healthcare sciences to prevent the risk of expectation affecting findings. Though usage varies, the term typically refers to keeping some combination of trial participants (usually patients receiving a treatment), investigators (those administering treatment), assessors (those running the trial), and data analysts unaware of which participant was assigned which intervention, so that they are not influenced by that knowledge. On average, trials that have not blinded investigators or assessors show larger treatment effects than properly blinded studies. This has important implications for conservation biology, particularly in assessments of marine reserves, where researchers may overestimate the magnitude of the reserve effect because they expect there to be more fish in a marine reserve than at a control site. Here, we present the results of a two-group double-blind randomised controlled trial using video transects. The unblinded group were made aware of which transects were filmed in a marine reserve and which were controls; the blinded group were not. We compared estimates of fish abundance from both groups and found that the unblinded group overestimated the reserve effect. We conclude that conservation biologists should consider blinding when designing research projects and call for the development of guidelines to encourage best practice.

C13.7  19:00  Developing a practical framework for integrating the ecosystem approach into marine planning . Stockill, J *, Marine Management Organisation;

Abstract: The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is the statutory body responsible for marine planning in England, which seeks to ensure sustainable development by balancing environmental, economic and social interests. The UK Marine Policy Statement requires marine planning to apply an ecosystem approach to the management of human activities, which ensures collective pressure of activities is kept within levels compatible with the achievement of good environmental status; that does not compromise the capacity of marine ecosystems to respond to human-induced changes; and that enables sustainable use of goods and services. With input from stakeholders, an assessment of the planning process has been undertaken and identified that many elements already implement the ecosystem approach. Development of a framework could improve implementation, parts of which could be taken forward through existing processes, which can contribute evidence and analysis into the marine planning process. Some of the requirements to improve implementation of the ecosystem approach are limited by gaps in data and tools. A key evidence gap relates to knowledge of marine ecosystem services, and how these will change in response to pressures and management. A broad effort across the marine community will be needed to address these gaps and the MMO will aim to contribute where possible, and make use of emerging research, thereby encouraging researchers to appreciate the practical implications of their work.

C13.8  19:15  Putting humans back in the ecosystem: Developing human dimensions tools for large ecosystem recovery planning in Puget Sound. Harguth, H *, Puget Sound Partnership; Biedenweg, K University of Washington - Tacoma, Puget Sound Institute; Stiles, K Puget Sound Partnership;

Abstract: The Puget Sound Partnership (PSP) in Washington State is tasked with coordinating the recovery of Puget Sound, a social-ecological system that contains iconic species, emerald vistas, diverse cultural heritage, and demands difficult management tradeoffs to support its 4.4 million residents. PSP is building an understanding of the human dimensions that encompass the ecosystem, and developing tools to monitor and synthesize social science information for management and policy decision-making. A team of internal and external planners, ecologists, and social scientists developed a common framework and language to guide restoration strategies, including an integrated ecosystem recovery conceptual model. The model illustrates PSP’s assumptions about the social-ecological system’s components and relationships, and integrates biophysical and social data. Examples of the model’s application in guiding restoration strategies will be described.

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