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Food security and the oceans (e.g., sustainable fisheries, aquaculture, and livelihoods)

Room: Alsh     2014-08-15; 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): Hazan, Yael

C20.1  17:30  Innovation in the marine aquarium trade for improved social and environmental performance: offshore cage culture of green chromis. Hill, J. *, Olazul; Rhyne, A. Roger Williams University; Tlusty, M. New England Aquarium; Reksodihardjo-Lilley, G Indonesian Nature Foundation;

Abstract: Each year millions of marine animals are extracted from coral reefs to provide aesthetic pleasure in public and private aquariums across the world. Destructive collection practices are widespread, such as breaking corals and use of cyanide to stun fish, causing significant environmental and social impacts. Yet thousands of struggling communities rely upon this livelihood. To support community rearing of aquarium fish, a two-month pilot was conducted to determine the feasibility of rearing juvenile ornamental fish in underwater cages at remote fishing communities. Cages built from local materials were submerged at 5 m depth just off the reef slope in Les Village, Buleleng Regency, North Bali. Local aquarium fishermen collected recently settled Chromis viridis using hand nets. They captured collected 3734 fish at less than 1 cm total body length and stocked 3 cages over the course of October to November, 2013 and stocked 320 fish in land-based aquaria as a control. The juvenile fish adapted quickly to artificial food provided twice daily. The fish grown underwater and on land grew to 3.5 cm total body length within 8 weeks, a marketable size for the marine aquarium trade. This pilot demonstrates the potential for underwater growout methods to rear marine aquarium fish as a sustainable alternative to wild-capture methods. A future study will focus on establishing best practices for the capture of juvenile fish for application to this growout method.

C20.2  17:45  Effectiveness of periodically harvested closures to sustain small scale fisheries: diver operated stereo-video most accurately detects harvest impacts. Goetze, JS *, University of Western Australia; Jupiter, SD Wildlife Conservation Society; Langlois, TJ University of Western Australia; Wilson, SK Department of Parks and Wildlife Western Australia; Harvey, ES Curtin University Australia; Bond, T University of Western Australia; Naisilisili, W Wildlife Conservation Society;

Abstract: Small scale fisheries are essential to the livelihood and food security of millions of people worldwide, yet the resources supporting these fisheries are in decline. Periodically-harvested marine closures (PHCs) have become the most common form of spatial management for inshore fisheries in Melanesia. Despite their popularity, their effectiveness to sustain local fish stocks remains largely unknown and is likely to vary under different harvest regimes. We compare the ability of three commonly used non-destructive sampling techniques (underwater visual census; diver operated stereo-video, stereo-DOV; and baited remote underwater stereo-video, stereo-BRUV) to detect an impact of a moderately intense harvest on fish assemblages within a PHC in Fiji. The technique DOV recorded the impact of the harvest the most accurately with a significant decrease in harvested individuals at both the assemblage and species level. We conclude that the technique DOV is the most suitable technique for detecting the impacts of harvests and monitoring the effectiveness of PHCs as a fisheries management strategy. Based on DOV surveys, the surveyed PHC showed limited benefits to the protection of targeted fishes, however, these benefits were rapidly depleted from the harvest. The effectiveness of PHCs as a fisheries management strategy should now be investigated over a broader range of fishing intensities in order to provide guidance to communities on sustainable harvest thresholds.

C20.3  18:00  Beyond ecosystem services: Causal mechanisms linking marine protected areas and food security. Mascia, Michael B. *, WWF; Glew, Louise WWF; Pakiding, Fitryanti UNIPA;

Abstract: Marine protected areas (MPAs) represent the cornerstone of efforts to conserve marine biodiversity. Proponents claim that MPA establishment generates significant increases in fish biomass that both sustain healthy populations of marine species and enhance the food security of local fishers. This ecosystem service rationale dominates the MPA policy debate, but overlooks other potential pathways that link MPA establishment with human well-being. Other hypothesized pathways include the restructuring of resource rights and the infrastructure linked to conservation interventions, as alternative pathways by which conservation efforts may affect local communities. Drawing on quasi-experimental data (4,000+ surveys, 100+ interviews, 50+ focus groups) from six MPAs in the Bird’s Head Seascape, Indonesia, we explore the linkages between conservation interventions and human well-being (food security, household assets, etc.). We demonstrate the potential for such linkages to operate singly or in concert to affect one or more domains of human well-being. The synergies and trade-offs among these pathways have important implications for the design of effective marine conservation policies, practices, and spatial plans.

C20.4  18:15  Sea sharing or sparing: should we focus on more habitat protection or no-take marine areas? Jennifer McGowan *, ARC Center of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, The University of Queensland; Michael Bode ARC Center of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, The University of Queensland; Maria Beger ARC Center of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, The University of Queensland; Katrina Davis Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Western Australia.; Sylvaine Giakoumi ARC Center of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, The University of Queensland; Nils Krueck ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, The University of Queensland; Katherine Yates School of the Environment, Flinders University, South Australia 5042, Australia; Hugh P. Possingham , ARC Center of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, The University of Queensland;

Abstract: Unsustainable exploitation of the oceans has led to widespread degradation of marine ecosystems. To maintain the primary benefits humans derive from the sea, namely food supply and biodiversity that generates other ecosystem services, the ocean is divided into three general management regimes: open–access, managed, and reserved areas. Using a theoretical example of a fish stock that depends on habitat type, we explore the conditions by which is it better to spare the sea, by investing more in marine reserves or to share the sea by investing in management to maintain habitat quality. We model the fraction of the seascape in each management regime given a fixed budget and a minimum food supply. Our objective is to create a plausible model with a simple analytic answer for the purpose of guiding broad policy options. We explored the range of parameters where marine reserves are favored over managed areas and vice versa. The relative costs of reserves vs. management, the growth rate of the fish population, effectiveness of habitat protection and the amount of self-recruitment all influence this decision. Preliminary results suggest that intermediate levels of self-recruitment favor a mixed strategy of both reserves and managed areas. When the cost of reserving area increases in relation to managing for habitat loss, we prefer a management regime that protects habitat. We are working on a simple rule of thumb that determines the optimal management strategy given our constraints.

C20.5  18:30  Cultural bequest values for ecosystem service flows among indigenous fishers: A discrete choice experiment validated with mixed methods. Oleson, KLL *, UH Manoa, Blue Ventures Conservation; Barnes-Mauthe, M UH Manoa; Brander, L Institute for Environmental Studies; Oliver, T UH Manoa; van Beek, I Wageningen University; Zafindrasilivonona Blue Ventures Conservation; van Beukering, P Institute for Environmental Studies;

Abstract: Perhaps the most understudied ecosystem services are related to socio-cultural values tied to non-material benefits arising from human-ecosystem relationships. Bequest values linked to natural ecosystems can be particularly significant for indigenous communities, whose livelihoods and cultures are often closely tied to ecosystems. Here we apply a discrete choice experiment (DCE) to determine indigenous fishers’ preferences and willingness-to-pay for bequest gains from management actions in a locally managed marine area in Madagascar. We validate and discuss our results using a unique rating and ranking game and other mixed methods. We find that bequest is highly valued and important, with respondents indicating willingness to pay a substantial portion of their income to protect ecosystems for future generations. Through all of our inquiries, bequest emerged as the highest priority, even when respondents were forced to make trade-offs among other provisioning and regulating ecosystem services which support their livelihoods. This study is among a relative few to quantify bequest values and apply a DCE to model trade-offs and value ecosystem service flows in a developing country. Our results directly inform coastal management in Madagascar and elsewhere by providing information on the socio-cultural value of bequest in comparison to other ecosystem service benefits.

C20.6  18:45  Fisheries-based management of the coral reef crisis. MacNeil, MA *, Australian Institute of Marine Science; Graham, NAJ CoE Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University; Cinner, JE CoE Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University; McClanahan, TR Wildlife Conservation Society; Wilson, SK Department of Environment and Conservation, WA;

Abstract: The degraded state of many of the world\\\'s coral reefs combined with increasing threats from climate change have generated intense interest in the future of coral reefs as viable ecosystems. Threats to coral reefs include short-term, local disturbances that reduce ecosystem function and long-term, global drivers that degrade baseline conditions. While long-term press disturbances such as ocean warming and acidification require international agreements to reduce carbon emissions, many short-term drivers are amenable to national action that can be implemented rapidly. Fishing is a key short-term source of diminished reef ecosystem function managed at national scales; however management of most coral reef fisheries has failed due to widely varying social and ecological conditions. Selecting among management options in a given social-ecological context demands understanding the state of the fished system, generating expected returns for each management decision, and estimated timeframes for success. By defining where reef fisheries fit in reef fish biomass state-space, coral reef nations can tailor management of their reef fisheries to meet national objectives in the near-term.

C20.7  19:00  Data-limited stock assessment methods applied to global coral reef fisheries. Rudd, MB *, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington; Branch, TA School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington; Hilborn, R School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences;

Abstract: Although coral reef fisheries represent a small percentage of global catch, they provide food security for many of the world’s poorest peoples. Stock assessments assist managers in maintaining sustainable harvest, but are rarely conducted in developing countries and small-scale fisheries due to lack of data and training to run appropriate models. We applied data-limited assessment methods, which estimate total allowable catch for fish stocks that do not have rich databases of information, to global coral reef fisheries from the FAO capture fisheries database. These methods require only a time series of landings and prior information on life history characteristics such as natural mortality and age at maturity, depending on the model. We separated reef-associated taxa by species group, ocean area, and country to estimate biomass trends, overfishing limits, and productivity of reef fish on various spatial and taxonomic scales. Our research provides estimates of global coral reef fisheries status, with the added benefit of serving as a guide for applying data-limited assessment methods to other small-scale or data-limited fisheries. Improving communication between users (stakeholders and managers) and developers (stock assessment scientists) will broaden our application of data-limited assessment models worldwide, with the goal of improving fishing practices for healthy reef habitats and maintaining sustainable food resources to support local economies.

C20.8  19:15  Modelling resilience and extinction risk in sex-changing fishes: how much information do we need to conserve data-poor groupers? Kindsvater, HK *, Simon Fraser University; Reynolds, JD Simon Fraser University; Mangel, M UC Santa Cruz;

Abstract: Effective grouper conservation must account for their unique life-histories and habits, as well as socio-economic and environmental factors. Grouper species can be hermaphroditic, or have two sexes. They also may aggregate or migrate when spawning. These factors must be considered on top of life history traits such as body size and generation time when assessing grouper population dynamics. However, many groupers are data-poor species and these basic life-history data are unknown. We quantify the life history character combinations that matter most for grouper conservation with an individual based model of a grouper-like life history. Our model evaluates core life-history traits that are needed for effective grouper management: economic value, habitat, size at maturation, maximum body size, size at sex change (if any), and size of aggregation. If we assume hermaphroditic species can plastically adjust size at maturity and sex change, population resilience improves. Gathering this information should be prioritized for assessment and management of data-poor species.

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