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Communicating marine conservation and public participation in marine conservation

Room: Carron A     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): Wells, Sue

C31.1  17:30  Smithsonian History of Marine Mammal Conservation. Ososky, John J. *, Smithsonian Institution;

Abstract: The Smithsonian’s history of working on ocean conservation issues dates from 1871 when second secretary of the Institution Spencer F. Baird was appointed first U.S. Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries and instituted marine fisheries research at Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Captain Charles Scammon, a whaler known for discovering and exploiting the gray whale calving lagoons in Baja California, collected cetacean specimens for Baird, but came to realize his industry was driving gray whales into extinction and became one of the first ardent whale conservationists. Smithsonian curators Frederick W. True and Remington Kellogg both closely monitored the whaling industry. Kellogg was appointed the first U.S. delegate of the International Whaling Commission in 1937, where he became a forceful voice for whale conservation. William F. Perrin, a NMFS biologist, working as an observer in the tuna fisheries, collected large numbers of dolphin by-catch for Smithsonian collections. Perrin’s testimony to Congress on the problem of dolphin by-catch mortalities helped inspire the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act. In 1970 a concerted and successful effort was made by scientists at the Smithsonian including Clyde Jones, Robert L. Brownell and Charles O. Handley to have large cetaceans listed under the 1969 Endangered Species Act. Smithsonian marine mammal conservation efforts continue to this day with research and outreach on issues such as endangered species, marine debris and invasive species

C31.2  17:45  CoralWatch - citizen science data for science, management and education. Marshall, J *, University of Queensland; Dean, A University of Queensland; Kleine, D University of Queensland; Hay, K University of Queensland;

Abstract: Coral bleaching events are predicted to occur more frequently in response to rising sea temperatures and other global or local stressors. CoralWatch integrates citizen science monitoring of coral bleaching with education about reef conservation and developed the Coral Health Chart, a tool that standardises changes in coral colour, providing a simple way to quantify coral bleaching. Laboratory and field validation techniques were run over three years and since 2003, CoralWatch citizen scientists have collected data from 70 countries. Five well-described bleaching events were identified from the scientific literature, for which CoralWatch data was available. We tested whether CoralWatch data effectively identified bleaching events, controlling for region, month, and season. Findings indicate that data effectively discriminated bleaching from non-bleaching events, for all five bleaching events: Caribbean 2005 (OR=14.2, p<0.001); Heron Island 2006 (OR=2.10, p<0.001); Gulf of Thailand 2010 (OR=6.57, p<0.001); Western Thailand 2010 (OR=31.4, p<0.01); and Persian Gulf 2010 (OR=4.70, p<0.001). These findings highlight the utility of the publicly available CoralWatch database for monitoring bleaching events. Perhaps more important than aiding science monitor a senescent World Heritage Site, CoralWatch also produces education materials, including the book ‘Coral Reefs and Climate Change: the guide for education and awareness’, DVDs and education packages (see Exhibitors booth).

C31.4  18:15  The response of fish communities to 28 years of Marine Protected Area management in the Ningaloo Marine Park. Holmes, TH *, Marine Science Program, Department of Parks and Wildlife, Western Australia, Australia; Wilson, SK Marine Science Program, Department of Parks and Wildlife, Western Australia, Australia;

Abstract: Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s) are seen as an effective tool for the management and conservation of fish communities in marine ecosystems. Whilst the spatial design and temporal longevity of MPA’s are seen as defining factors of their success, the ability of management strategies to adapt to the unique ecological and social characteristics that define different MPA’s is also critical. Ningaloo Marine Park (NMP), Western Australia, incorporates 17 ‘no take’ zones of varying size, and is considered relatively well-resourced. However, it presents unusual management challenges in its general remoteness and non-resident recreational fishers who, in the absence of commercial operations, constitute the primary pressure on fish communities. This study presents a meta-analysis of 28 years of independent datasets collected on fish communities within NMP. Whilst the density of recreationally targeted fish has been consistently higher within no take areas since NMP’s establishment in 1987, there is little evidence to suggest an overall increase in the ratio of target fish inside:outside no take areas through time. Additionally, large amounts of variability in the response of target fish communities between protection area and reef zone suggests patchiness in the effectiveness of current management practices. This study presents the possible reasons for this patchiness, stresses the need for strategic monitoring efforts, and highlights the complex challenges posed by recreational fishing.

C31.5  18:30  No-take marine protected areas: who’s counting? Harries, R *, Marine Reserves Coalition, Zoological Society of London; Yesson, C Institute of Zoology; Eckert, S Zoological Society of London; Llewellyn, F Marine Reserves Coalition, Zoological Society of London;

Abstract: The creation of marine protected areas (MPAs) has become an integral part in achieving global biodiversity goals. MPAs encompass a wide range of management measures, protection levels and designation types, making it difficult to determine how much of the ocean is fully protected. No-take MPAs, in which all extractive and damaging activities are prohibited, are the most identifiable measure of protection for marine biodiversity, providing a clear indicator to the question of ‘protected or not protected.’ But do we in the marine conservation community really know how much of the ocean is protected within no-take MPAs? While there have been recent assessments of total global MPA coverage, similar assessments of specifically no-take MPAs have received less focus, resulting in an unclear picture of current global marine protection. Utilizing and building upon the World Database on Protected Areas, we have reassessed global no-take MPA coverage, as it currently stands, and will present our findings at IMCC. While this work clearly illustrates the poor progress towards strict marine protection at the global scale, it also highlights the need for improvements in the access, reporting mechanisms and standardization of MPA data. We review the tools currently available to determine global MPA and no-take coverage, and how these impact upon our ability to effectively communicate progress and engage the outside world in marine conservation efforts.

C31.6  18:45  Project Ocean: Fish meets fashion. Llewellyn, F *, Zoological Society of London; Koldewey, H Zoological Society of London;

Abstract: If marine conservation is truly important then why is it such a low priority for most people? What will it take to make marine conservation fashionable, ultimately leading to changes in behaviour and a more sustainable relationship with our ocean? In 2011 the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) embarked on a conservation-communication, “retail activism” experiment called Project Ocean, teaming up with luxury department store Selfridges to bring ocean issues to new audiences. Focusing on overfishing, marine reserves and pollution, Project Ocean aims to make a positive difference by changing consumer buying habits and engaging people in marine conservation. As part of this initiative, Selfridges switched to only supplying sustainable seafood in their foodhalls and restaurants, produced an associated seafood guide, facilitated the implementation of a new marine reserve in the Philippines, and supported the creation of the Marine Reserves Coalition (ZSL, Greenpeace, Marine Conservation Society, Pew Charitable Trusts, Blue Marine Foundation). Four years on and Project Ocean is going from strength to strength; enhancing marine reserve enforcement in the Philippines, tackling the issue of shark oil use in cosmetics and addressing the growing problem of plastic in our oceans. We review this experiment and discuss how NGOs and industry can work together in often surprising and unlikely partnerships to achieve marine conservation goals.

C31.7  19:00  England’s new Marine Conservation Zones – an evidence-based and phased approach to completing an MPA network. Sue Wells *, independent consultant; Jon Davies Joint Nature Conservation Committee; Ollie Payne Joint Nature Conservation Committee;

Abstract: Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) are being set up in England as part of the United Kingdom’s planned network of marine protected areas. Over 100 sites were recommended as MCZs through a three year participatory process involving relevant stakeholder groups. This generated support from the public and recognition of the need for MPAs by fishing and other marine industries. MCZs are being designated in phases, given the time needed to confirm the scientific and socio-economic evidence base, hold public consultations, prepare legal documentation, and finalise boundaries. 27 MCZs were designated in 2013; further sites go to public consultation in early 2015; and the final MCZs will be designated in 2016, selecting from the remaining recommendations and using new sites, as required, to complete an ecologically coherent network. Several challenges remain. The government and stakeholders want confidence in the evidence for the presence and distribution of protected features within a site, requiring detailed technical assessments. Management depends on the sensitivity of the features to anthropogenic pressures impacting on them, and these are different for each MCZ and may change over time. Stakeholders cannot always predict how an MCZ will affect them, which creates uncertainty around the cost-benefit Impact Assessments required for each site. Taking an adaptive phased approach allows our collective understanding of the process to develop and permits improvements to be made.

C31.8  19:15  Innovation in Marine Communication. Day, A *, West Coast Aquatic; Lafolley, D IUCN; Davis, J Marine Affairs Research Education; Jeffrey, A MPApps.net; Musard, O French Marine Protected Areas Agency; Vick, C Sylvia Earle Alliance, Mission Blue;

Abstract: 1. Most of the people working in the field of marine protection share a common goal: that decision makers, stakeholders, and the public should see marine protection as a priority and dedicate a portion of their attention and resources to it, making decisions and taking actions that reflect the value of marine protection to ecological and human well-being. 2. If this goal is to be achieved, the field of marine protection needs to embrace the field of communication in a more concerted manner. 3. In this presentation, we outline some of the latest trends, principles and issues relevant to communication in marine protection and illustrate these with a range of examples. We discuss key themes emerging from our review. 4. We outline a number of strategies for strengthening the role of communications, including means for those involved in marine protection communications to connect with each other, increased testing and sharing of examples, the use of grounded theory methods to continuously define lessons and principles, and ways to increase coordination between marine protection organizations. 5. It is our hope and intention that this presentation will advance a cross-disciplinary field of study, and that such a field will in turn advance marine protection locally and globally. 6. The audience can contribute to this goal and emerging field by connecting with each other and with us around strategies, ideas and examples.

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