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

Room: Lomond Auditorium     2014-08-18; 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): Lawson, Julia

C16.1  15:00  A shifting budget of grazing and production: Functional responses of a coral reef community to herbivore protection. Kelly, ELA *, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Sparks, RT Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources; Williams, ID NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Division; Smith, JE Scripps Institution of Oceanography;

Abstract: Herbivore grazing pressure on coral reefs is considered a major driver in the maintenance of coral dominance over algae in competition for space. Here, we calculate a budget for herbivore consumption and algal growth on a Hawaiian coral reef. Daily algal production on the reef is determined through analysis of benthic community composition, standing stock of algal biomass, and growth rates of algal species. Production is compared to daily consumption on the reef, determined by combining abundance, biomass, and size class of herbivores, and the consumption rates of herbivores on different species of algae. Data were collected at Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area, established in 2009 to prohibit take of herbivorous fish and urchins on this declining reef. This study shows that algal production at the reef currently exceeds the grazing capacity of the herbivore community on the reef. Calculated annual budgets, however, reveal that this gap in production and consumption is shrinking with increasing herbivore biomass, a trend largely driven by increasing parrotfish populations and suggesting that a continued increase in herbivore biomass could be effective in reducing algal abundance. Examining the changes in the herbivore grazing and algal growth budget elucidates the role of different herbivores, what future increases in herbivore populations mean for the recovery of this declining coral reef, and the potential success of this type of management.

C16.2  15:15  Understanding and accounting for the limitations of biophysical maps in conservation planning: a risk assessment framework for practitioners. Hamel, MA *, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies; Pressey, RL ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies; Andréfouët, S Institut de Recherche pour le Développement; Devillers, R Memorial University of Newfoundland; Keith, D University of New South Wales;

Abstract: Biophysical maps are used extensively in conservation planning to provide information on the features they depict, or as surrogates for biodiversity. However, there are many ways to describe and map biophysical features in a particular region and all these maps have different inherent specifications, limitations and errors. If poorly understood and unaccounted for, these characteristics can lead to poor decisions about conservation investments and to adverse conservation outcomes. It can be difficult for conservation practitioners to understand when to adopt, update, or create maps to best achieve conservation objectives. Here we develop an explicit decision framework for conservation planners to assess and account for the risks associated with using a given biophysical map. A qualitative risk assessment allows practitioners to understand the limitations of their map(s) by exploring map characteristics known to influence conservation outcomes (e.g. spatial or thematic resolution, extent, currency). A risk profile for the map of interest can be created and compared with alternative maps. Risk mitigation options can then be then designed for each “risky” characteristic. Information on budget, capacity, and time required for each option helps users to identify a relevant mitigation plan. We illustrate the application of the framework with a real-world marine example for which conservation practitioners applied the framework to a conservation planning exercise.

C16.3  15:30  Using Marine Protected Areas to achieve seabird recovery . Walton, P , RSPB Scotland; Brydson, K RSPB Scotland; Whyte, A RSPB Scotland; Taylor, P *RSPB Scotland;

Abstract: Most of Scotland’s seabird species are suffering chronic declines. Of 11 species for which abundance can be calculated, nine are showing sustained declines. Arctic skua populations are now 20% of what they were in the 1980s, Arctic tern are 28% and black-legged kittiwake 32%. In some areas these impacts have been worse than others, productivity was almost non-existent in the northern isles last year, one of 325 black-legged kittiwake nests monitored successfully fledged a chick. Severely depleted prey base is being suggested as the cause, studies investigating the impact of changing North Sea temperature and structure show that warming is changing composition and abundance of zooplankton, in turn changing the abundance and availability of sandeels – surface shoaling, lipid-rich fish which have traditionally made up a large part of seabird diets around Scotland. The Scottish Government embarked on the identification and designation of MPAs following the establishment of the Marine (Scotland) Act 2009. They are expected to designate three sites for sandeels as part of this network. This talk will discuss the importance of these sites for sandeels, for seabirds and for other marine predators. It will then discuss whether management of specific areas can combat seemingly intractable climate change issues. MPA management that might offer resilience to these changes will be proposed and we will consider whether the management being proposed by Scottish Government will deliver it.

C16.4  15:45  Applying empirical estimates of marine protected area effectiveness to assess conservation plans . Ban, NC *, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria; McDougall, C Haida Fisheries Program – Council of the Haida Nation and Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance; Beck, M School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria; Salomon, A School of Resources and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University; Cripps, C Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance;

Abstract: Assessments of marine protected areas (MPAs) rarely take into account measures of effectiveness of different categories of protection, or other design principles. We carried out a meta-analysis of ecological effectiveness of IUCN categories I-II (no-take), IV and VI (MPAs) compared to unprotected areas. We then applied our ecological effectiveness estimates to a gap analysis of existing MPAs, and MPAs proposed by four indigenous groups on the Central Coast of British Columbia, Canada. We also assessed representation, size, spacing, and governance considerations against MPA design criteria outlined in the literature. We asked, how well do existing and proposed MPAs meet ecological and governance good practices? We found significant differences in response ratios for IUCN Categories IV and VI MPAs compared to no-take reserves and areas open to fishing, although variability in responses was high. Rescaling the average ecological effectiveness ratios, we found that, compared to no-take reserves (effectiveness 100%), IUCN Category IV had an effectiveness score of 60%, and IUCN Category VI had an effectiveness score of 24%. The existing MPAs did poorly when compared against most MPA design criteria, whereas the proposed MPA network achieved many of the best practices. By using a case study, we demonstrated a method for applying empirically-based ecological effectiveness estimates into an assessment of MPA design principles for an existing and proposed network of MPAs.

C16.5  16:00  Evaluating fish population connectivity combining larval dispersal models and genetics for MPAs network design. Delphine Rocklin *, University of Murcia, Department of Ecology and Hydrology, Spain; Manuel Muntoni University of Cagliari, Department of Life and Environmental Science; Irene Muñoz University of Murcia, Department of Ecology and Hydrology, Spain; Jonathan Beuvier Mercator Ocean - CNRM-GAME UMR 3589 Météo-France CNRS, France; José Antonio García Charton University of Murcia, Department of Ecology and Hydrology, Spain;

Abstract: International engagements call for the designation of representative networks of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) by 2020. Performance of MPAs for protecting local biodiversity and supporting fisheries by spillover has been widely studied. Understanding the connectivity patterns through larval dispersal during the fish early-life history is essential to build effective MPA networks. We combined larval dispersal dynamic models with population genetic analyses to study the connectivity of the striped red mullet Mullus surmuletus populations, one of the most important demersal fishing resource of the Western Mediterranean Sea. First, the dispersal patterns were estimated using a Lagrangian tool aiming to model the dynamic of fish larvae subjected to numerous biophysical factors, based on daily data of currents, temperature and wind directions. The outputs of the dynamic model, accounting for both annual variability and input parameters uncertainty, were processed using GIS and the highest connectivity probabilities were mapped. Then, we performed population genetic analyses using 10 microsatellites markers on individuals belonging to the previously detected sites, for evaluating the genetic diversity and population structure of M. surmuletus. Modeling and genetic approaches were combined for assessing the connectivity patterns of this species in the Western Mediterranean in order to propose an effective MPAs network design, aimed to achieve the awaited conservation goals.

C16.6  16:15  Promoting effective governance of the Channel Ecosystem. Shellock, RJ *, Plymouth University; Fletcher, S Plymouth University; Glegg, G Plymouth University; Carpenter, A Plymouth University;

Abstract: The Channel, in common with marine ecosystems worldwide, is under increasing pressure to support important economic activities, whilst also being subjected to significant ecological and environmental change. Effective governance of this shared space is therefore vital to the long-term sustainability of marine ecosystem services and benefits derived from the Channel Ecosystem. However challenges stem from the disparity between France and England with respect to legal frameworks, approaches to planning and political objectives. Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) and Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) have been advocated as approaches to govern European waters. However, at the Channel scale, it is not yet clear how these approaches can be effectively combined and applied. This paper presents the results of a wide-ranging meta-analysis of marine governance projects conducted under the INTERREG IVA Channel Programme (2008-14), in order to identify effective ICM and MSP practices, applicable at the Channel Scale. Effective practices will be considered in light of Marine Protected Area Planning in Northern France, the initiation of the Channel Integrated Maritime Strategy, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the forthcoming ICM-MSP Directive. The meta-analysis was undertaken through the ‘Promoting effective governance of the Channel ecosystem’ project funded under the INTERREG IVA Channel Programme (www.pegaseas.eu).

C16.7  16:30  SeaSketch: World-Wide Software Service for Marine Spatial Planning. Will McClintock *, University of California Santa Barbara;

Abstract: Marine spatial planning is being implemented globally to address competing interests for ocean resources. The process must balance ecological, economic, and social goals and objectives, be integrated across sectors, consider future use, and involve stakeholders. SeaSketch is a tool that agencies and planners can use to help meet the objectives of MSP. SeaSketch (www.seasketch.org) is designed for collaborative geodesign of marine spatial plans. An easy-to-use interface allows non-technical users including practitioners, policy makers, and citizens, to contribute in the planning process. Users can sketch potential plans including marine protected areas, aquaculture, fisheries, transportation, and renewable energy zones. Real-time reports for each proposal are then generated with information on the habitats protected, potential social or economic costs and benefits, and other metrics of interest. Users can then share their sketches, discuss their ideas, and participate in discussion forums. This presentation will highlight projects for MSP in New Zealand, British Columbia, Barbuda, and one world-wide project for predicting how prospective management plans may adjust cumulative impacts to marine ecosystems. I will also illustrate how SeaSketch projects may be rapidly configured and deployed for any new geography and customized to reflect the specific planning needs of any stakeholder- or science-driven marine spatial planning initiative.

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