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Communicating marine conservation (marine conservation awareness and outreach, social media)

Room: Dochart A     2014-08-18; 11:00 - 12:45

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

Chair(s)/Moderator(s): Jones Littles, Chanda

C7.1  11:00  Incorporating modelled data confidence in marine planning. Peckett, FJ *, Plymouth University Marine Institute; Glegg, GA Plymouth University Marine Institute; Rodwell, LD Plymouth University Marine Institute;

Abstract: Planning of marine conservation areas is reliant on obtaining appropriate information to guide the identification of areas that meet species and habitat requirements. Currently this process assumes that data on habitats and species presented are equal, in accuracy, precision and value. This is not always the case with data based on a wide range of sources including routine government monitoring, specific innovative research and stakeholder based data gathering. The confidence that can be placed on these data varies widely and in the UK a dataset on the marine seabed characteristics has been assessed by Joint Nature Conservancy Council. This study uses Marxan to evaluate the impacts of using confidence levels in habitat data on the design and extent of marine conservation areas and the likely protection of marine biodiversity in the case study area in the English Channel. It was found that data outputs that best protected marine biodiversity used data with either over 20% or over 30% confidence. Less than that produced outcomes with inadequate protection while insisting on using data with higher confidence levels led to outcomes which covered much larger areas without any greater protection. How different levels of certainty about datasets can be incorporated into the planning outputs is not clear but this is a challenge which needs to be addressed especially given the widespread uncertainty in the marine environment.

C7.2  11:15  Addressing the challenges of monitoring the dugong (Dugong dugon) and its seagrass habitats in Malaysia. Rajamani,L *, Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, USM, Penang, 11800, Malaysia; Marsh,H School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, 00117J, Australia;

Abstract: The objective of this research was to explore alternative methods of monitoring dugongs and their seagrass habitats in a resource constrained environment in Malaysia using a case study approach. Previous studies indicate that dugongs are found in small populations associated with seagrass habitats in the lee of islands in Malaysian coastal waters. Despite legal protection, these populations are apparently declining due to anthropogenic threats such as incidental entangling in fishing nets, habitat loss and degradation, coastal development, unsupervised tourism and blast fishing. Most of the management solutions implemented to date have been top-down government initiatives such as statutory protection and the development of a national management and conservation dugong plan. However, these approaches do not tackle the root causes of the problem and there has been limited implementation of the plan without a cycle of adaptive management with associated monitoring of dugong and seagrass resources. Limited funding precludes the use of traditional monitoring approaches such as aerial surveys and there is a need to explore alternative methods that are cost effective and locally relevant. Our research previously in Sabah and currently in Johor indicates that an approach using interviews of key informants, a monitoring programme and local community knowledge, can provide important information about the dugong and its seagrass habitats while educating the local population about the problem.

C7.3  11:30  The best protected places in the sea: MPAtlas.org provides tools to analyze global marine protected area coverage. Pike, E.P. , Marine Conservation Institute; Moffitt, R. E. Marine Conservation Institute; Shugart-Schmidt, K. Marine Conservation Institute; Saccomanno, V. Marine Conservation Institute; Morgan, L.E. *Marine Conservation Institute;

Abstract: The world's oceans face enormous pressures from overfishing, mining, drilling and climate change. Marine protected areas are an important tool for recovering and revitalizing marine ecosystems. Despite current efforts to safeguard the ocean, less than 3% is protected globally. Only about 1% of the ocean is in no-take reserves – the highest conservation standard for MPAs – largely due to recent very large and remote MPA designations. MPAtlas.org aggregates the most up-to-date information on MPAs, including boundaries and regulations, to help people see how well governments are doing to protect oceans and meet commitments made under the Convention on Biological Diversity and other agreements. Serving conservation advocates, scientists, policy-makers, industry, and the interested public, the interactive atlas provides tools for analyzing MPA coverage by several protection categories within political and biogeographic regions. MPAtlas also tracks ongoing campaigns to establish new protected areas and other conservation goals. The tool is open to the conservation community to share ongoing activities and build collaboration between groups with similar initiatives. MPAtlas’ goal is to provide a platform that educates people about global marine protection efforts and helps accelerate the protection of our oceans. At IMCC3 we will showcase the tool’s utility in a public venue and engage experts to contribute their conservation stories and knowledge of MPAs.

C7.4  11:45  SeaStates.G20 2014: How much of your seas are governments really protecting? Moffitt, R. E. *, Marine Conservation Institute; Shugart-Schmidt, K. Marine Conservation Institute; Pike, E.P. Marine Conservation Institute; Saccomanno, V. Marine Conservation Institute; Morgan, L.E. Marine Conservation Institute; Norse, E. A. Marine Conservation Institute;

Abstract: Marine protected area (MPA) coverage is commonly used as a metric of progress of the marine conservation movement. Reporting to what extent governments are contributing toward the global target of 20% MPA coverage provides accountability and frames individual progress within context of the global effort. MPAs often offer varying levels of protection, but the gold standard are no-take areas – free from fishing, mining and other extractive uses. In 2013, using data from MPAtlas.org, we compared areal coverage of no-take MPAs in US coastal states and territories in SeaStates.US 2013, the first ever report quantifying and ranking MPA designations within US inshore waters. The results revealed remarkable quantitative differences between US states in protecting their citizens’ marine assets. Here we present follow-up research analyzing no-take areas and other levels of protection by the largest global economies – the G20 countries. Claims of national MPA coverage are misleading when areas with weak protections or enforcement are valued alike with the strongest no-take marine reserves. This report presents preliminary analyses of coverage by sensible protection levels within the waters of G20 countries. Who are the best and worst at protecting their oceans? Having a credible, well-publicized annual metric of progress can accelerate MPA designation, and we seek ideas from IMCC participants on ways to improve this metric and instigate political conservation action.

C7.5  12:00  The role of social media in the management and monitoring of the invasive lionfish in the Caribbean. Ali, FA *, University of Southampton; CIEE Research Station Bonaire;

Abstract: The Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans) is a venomous, voracious predator that is currently causing ecological and economical harm throughout the Caribbean. Their generalist diet and habitat preference coupled with their rapid growth rate and lack of natural predators has allowed their population to explode throughout the Caribbean. As a means to control lionfish populations, countries have designed lionfish removal programs which, in some instances, depend primarily on volunteer divers and are co-ordinated and communicated via social media. In Bonaire, lionfish removal events are shared solely on Facebook and have been exceptionally effective at lionfish control, and also contribute greatly to research and monitoring of the lionfish invasion. All findings gained from these efforts are simultaneously shared via Facebook, thus creating a positive feedback loop. Since October 2009, as a result of social media within Bonaire and Curacao, more than 10,000 lionfish have been submitted for further research on lionfish morphometrics, sexual maturity and feeding ecology. This submission of specimens has contributed to one of the most in-depth and long-term studies of lionfish feeding ecology in the Caribbean. The management of invasive species requires a dedicated, collaborative effort and using social media is an effective means of achieving this goal.

C7.6  12:15  A new approach to delivering fisheries management in English European Marine Sites. Solandt, JL *, Marine Conservation Society; Luk, S Clientearth; Gregerson, S Clientearth; Moore, M Marine Conservation Society; Appleby, T University of the West of England;

Abstract: Management of potentially damaging projects in Eu marine protected areas - so-called Natura 2000 Sites - are meant to be subject to strict protection measures. Despite this, up until 2012, there was no strategic approach across the UK to regulate potentially damaging fishing in sites, regardless of case law, or the implications of damage from certain fishing gears (e.g. bottom trawls and scallop dredgers). The UK Government has recently revised its approach to how it implements Article 6 of the Habitats Directive with respect to fisheries in England which has led to a new scientific risk-based approach to managing potentially damaging fishing activities. delivery of management has involved regulators, NGOs, government offices, statutory nature conservation agencies and fishing interests collaboratively populating a scientifically populated \'risk matrix\'. Regulators are now managing sites pro-actively by bringing into force local by-laws and permitting arrangements that restrict potentially damaging fishing. The work shows the ability for a number of different stakeholders to engage with improving the implementation of a law which is now over 20 years old, but which has generally been poorly implemented in the marine environment. It is an example of progressive protection that makes the marine Natura 2000 network more effective in achieving its conservation goals.

C7.7  12:30  Predicting Environmentally Sustainable Behaviour in the Restaurant Industry- A Sustainable Seafood Case Study. Dolmage, Katherine *, n/a; Macfarlane, Victoria Vancouver Island University; Alley, Jamie University of Victoria;

Abstract: Globally, fish consumption has reached an all-time high (FAO, 2012), while predatory fish biomass has decreased to ten percent of historical levels (Myers and Worm, 2003). This necessitates a change in the management paradigm (Myers and Worm, 2003; Pauly et al. 2002; Pauly, 2010; Sumaila et al. 2010). Restaurant participation in sustainable seafood labelling programs represents one way to reverse the trend. Through purchasing, responsiveness to consumer demand, and leadership in promotion of sustainable fishing, restaurateurs can pressure fisheries to utilize sustainable practices. Research suggests that personal, business, and program-related considerations impact individual and organizational decisions to participate in environmental programs (Clayton and Brook, 2005; McKenzie-Mohr, 2000). The present study examined factors associated with restaurateurs’ decisions to participate in Ocean Wise (OW), a seafood labelling program based in Vancouver (Canada). OW restaurateurs were more likely to adhere to a set of green values, and membership was associated with specific environmental attitudes related to knowledge of seafood. OW restaurateurs felt that membership helped shape the restaurant image they sought to create. General environmental attitudes and economic factors did not impact membership decisions. Members and non-members perceived the program as highly trustworthy. The study includes recommendations for program improvement and growth.

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