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

Room: Dochart A     2014-08-16; 17:30 - 19:45

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

Chair(s)/Moderator(s): Burgess, Samantha

C22.1  17:30  Effects of artisanal fishing in the Galápagos Marine Reserve: the case of the regional endemic grouper Mycteroperca olfax. Pelayo Salinas de León *, Charles Darwin Foundation ; Tyler D. Eddy Dalhousie University;

Abstract: The Galapagos represent one of the last reef fisheries to be exploited worldwide since significant human presence dates back just to the 1950s. In 1998, The Galápagos Marine Reserve (GMR) was established as a multiple-use protected area, where industrial fishing is banned but an artisanal fishery is permitted. Over the past 20 years, the local population and the number of tourists have increased dramatically placing additional pressures on marine resources, clearly exemplified by the collapse of the profitable sea cucumber fishery in the mid 00s. Other fisheries like the whitefish fishery, which encompasses all fishes and invertebrates, has received very little attention and to date no management plans exist for any fish specie. Despite scarce catch records for this fishery, here we present evidence based on recent research on the Galápagos grouper Mycteroperca olfax that reveals a historical (i.e. 60 yr) abundance and size decline. Reasons for this decline include the complex life history of M. olfax; the overfishing of juveniles due to the lack of minimum landing sizes; overfishing of spawning aggregation sites; lack of compliance with established no take zones; and use of illegal fishing practices. Our results highlight the need to establish species-specific management actions for this and other socio-economically important species in the GMR, and the importance of protection for key habitats under the new forthcoming GMR zoning scheme.

C22.2  17:45  Continued low abundance of Prince William Sound herring 25 years after the Exxon-Valdez Oil Spill. Muradian, Melissa L *, Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management, University of Washington; Branch, Trevor A School of Aquatic and FIshery Science, University of Washington;

Abstract: The Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) population in the Prince William Sound crashed shortly after the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in 1989 and has yet to recover, affecting food web dynamics in the Sound. The commercial herring fishery has been closed for 21 years due to low biomass, resulting in approximately $230 million (€167M) in lost income to Alaskan communities. Today many questions persist about what caused the crash and the future of the population. Was it toxicity or habitat loss from the oil spill, an increase in disease mortality, or an increase in whale predation that caused the crash? Are these the same factors contributing to recent low abundance or have new pressures been introduced? To explore these questions we used a Bayesian assessment model which combines multiple data sets with prior knowledge to provide estimates of key ecological metrics with uncertainty, as well as probabilities of alternative hypotheses or states of the herring population. Herring biomass in 2012 was estimated to be between 9 690 and 18 805 t (95% credibility interval) and there was a >99% probability that biomass was below the management threshold of 22 000 t required before the fishery is reopened. This model will be used in a simulation study to explore which data types are most informative for estimating status. This research provides critical information about how to prioritize current and future monitoring efforts to better understand the past and future ecology of the species.

C22.3  18:00  Seafood security assessment for the Hawaiian Islands. Teneva, LT *, Stanford University; Chow, J Conservation International's Hawai'i Fish Trust; Kittinger, JN Stanford University;

Abstract: We develop novel metrics that researchers and conservation practitioners can use to evaluate progress toward seafood security goals. The metrics we provide can be used in two valuable ways: 1) for a present-day assessment of seafood security state for the Main Hawaiian Islands, and 2) for on-going monitoring and evaluation of the success of different actions and strategies designed to improve seafood security. Below, we provide a conceptual overview of seafood security, food supply systems and drivers of food security outcomes, bringing together literatures on food systems and security with concepts of ecosystem health, ecosystem services, and human well-being. Based on this, we then propose a set of metrics that can be used in monitoring systems to evaluate the success of different actions and strategies designed to improve seafood security. Our overarching goal is to inform conservation practitioners, policy and decision makers with practical ways to evaluate seafood security policies, interventions, and investment strategies. The metrics we develop are also meant to add resilience to ecosystems and governance structures the successful functioning of which will improve and maintain food security and human well-being in the region. We need to understand how stable the supply of seafood is in Hawaii, and specifically, what can be done to maintain it if our analysis shows it is stable, or if it is not, what can be changed to ensure a more seafood secure Hawaii.

C22.4  18:15  How behavioral economics can help save coral reefs and fisheries. Johnson, AE *, Waitt Institute; Saunders, DK University of California Santa Barbara;

Abstract: To investigate a potential relationship between financial and marine resource use decisions, we conducted a time preference experiment with 153 fishers and 197 SCUBA divers on Curaçao and Bonaire. The experiment was part of a socioeconomic survey wherein interviewees were asked about their fishing and diving practices, views on fish population and coral reef health, and preferred marine resource management approaches. We use a βδ-model to identify discounting and present bias. Divers had a mean individual discount factor (IDF) of 0.91, significantly higher than fishers' mean of 0.82. Fishers and divers had similar distributions of IDFs and present bias; overall 66% of interviewees were non-biased, 22% future-biased, and 12% present-biased. IDFs and present bias were able to predict management preferences after controlling for demographic factors. However, the effect of discount factors is unique to divers, and the effect of present bias is concentrated among fishers on Curaçao. Differences in time preferences between fishers and divers should be considered when developing management strategies. Transfer payments from the dive industry could facilitate a transition to sustainable fishing practices. Establishing property rights alone may not be sufficient for ensuring sustainability if fishers are present-biased and greatly discount the future.

C22.5  18:30  Resurrecting maximum sustainable yield as a major conservation tool. Appleby, TPS *, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of the West of England,;

Abstract: Article 61 of the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea specifically limits coastal state's fishing rights to Maximum Sustainable Yeild (MSY) and includes a duty to restore stocks to MSY which are depleted. The term is not defined in UNCLOS and it does not automatically follow that lawyers will adopt the same interpretation of MSY as established fisheries scientists which tend to assess MSY on the basis of individual stocks. There is good reason to approach the term from the perspective of the entire ecosystem: if the ecosystem is being damaged by a fishery then that fishery cannot be said to be sustainable. Increasingly international law is being enforced in domestic courts, and it is possible to see unsustainable fishing practices being curtailed by legal action. Rather than wait for court action it would be sensible for fisheries, marine conservation and ecosystem services scientists to triangulate their interpretation of a sustainable fishery and for governments to set fisheries management plans and regulations accordingly. This has important implications, because it could radically alter some approaches to fisheries management, for instance zonal management measures (marine protected areas) have tended to be ignored as means of achieving MSY, and yet using a triangulated approach are likely to be integral to sustainable management.

C22.6  18:45  Evaluating fisher’s perceptions of management and compliance in data-poor fisheries of southeastern Africa. McClanahan, TR *, Wildlife Conservation Society; Abunge, CA Wildlife Conservation Society;

Abstract: Sustainability, particularly in developing countries, is frequently undermined by low compliance with management. Compliance may be more important than technical information when self- and community-enforcement are key factors in successful management. To better understand the role of compliance we evaluated the state of ~300 coral reef ecosystems and the perceptions of ~2100 marine fisheries stakeholders towards different management systems in southeastern Africa. The biomass of fish increased with compliance and the most preferred management systems often had fish biomass that reflected sustainable fishing. Further, we evaluated how socio-economic, demographic, and structural factors were related to managers’ and fishers’ perceptions of the benefits of management. While some of the socioeconomic variables, such as stakeholder expenditures, education levels, and membership in social organizations, were significantly associated with perceived benefits, the major over-riding factor among resource users was the perceived disparity between the social benefits to the national versus local resource users. This disparity was, however, highly variable among communities and suggests a strong influence of governance and management history. Consequently, recognizing social disparity and managing to reduce it or the perception of inequality is expected to lead to greater willingness to comply with fisheries restrictions in data-poor fisheries.

C22.7  19:00  The Bay of Biscay, a sea for all. Citizen education and citizen science for safeguarding coastal biodiversity. . Dopico, E *, University of Oviedo, Spain; Borrell, Y University of Oviedo, Spain; Miralles, L University of Oviedo, Spain; Ardura, A University of Klaipeda, Lithuania;

Abstract: This study addresses two marine citizenship issues: Citizen engagement, and Improvement of societal understanding of marine conservation problems. The target problem was marine bioinvasions. Species move with climate change, aquaculture, maritime traffic, litter. Early detection is crucial for preventing invaders from spreading in new areas. However visual recognition is not always easy and DNA is used for identifying cryptic species and ambiguous phenotypes. Surveillance of marine biodiversity is therefore a huge task. Citizens can help, most valuably if they are formed for acting without endangering native biota. Researchers from Asturias (North Spain) contacted stakeholders (fishermen, divers, managers) in their workplaces for organizing together informative talks open to general public. Volunteers without previous scientific formation enrolled therein to participate in a laboratory workshop, for extracting DNA and using it for fish identification. A control group did not attend the talks before the workshop. About the learning outcomes, attendants to previous talks understood the manipulation and use of DNA significantly better than the control group. All participants were asked to be members of a Network of Marine Biodiversity Monitoring, and 97.5% accepted to volunteering for it. This confirms the value of introducing applied science to citizens, and of a close collaboration between stakeholders and scientists for promoting public participation in marine conservation.

C22.8  19:15  Threats and opportunities for local management of the endangered Nassau grouper. Calosso, MC *, Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University; Claydon, JAB Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University;

Abstract: Populations of Nassau grouper, Epinephelus striatus, have collapsed throughout the Wider Caribbean Region. Although densities remain relatively high in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), Nassau grouper is one of the primary targets of the local data-deficient reef fish fishery. We conducted a synthesis of fisheries and ecological data in order to identify key threats to Nassau grouper and opportunities for management actions that considered the full life-cycle of the species. Our findings support the size limits and seasonal closures proposed by the TCI government that, respectively, would reduce the high numbers of juveniles caught, and prevent an aggregation fishery from developing. In addition, revised placement of marine protected areas could facilitate better connectivity between settlement, juvenile, and adult habitats. Invasive lionfish was identified as a growing threat particularly to recently settled groupers in their seagrass nurseries. This threat could be mitigated by control efforts focused on nursery habitats and through novel strategies that reduce overlap between groupers and lionfish on a micro-habitat scale. Crucial investment in both fisheries-dependent and independent monitoring will enhance the potential to manage a species of high cultural and commercial value.

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