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

Room: Carron B     2014-08-16; 15:00 - 17:00

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

CS4.1  15:00  What lies beneath – probing the cultural depths of nature conservation conflict in the Outer Hebrides. Brennan, RE *, Scottish Association for Marine Science;

Abstract: The relationships of people with their marine environment are dynamic and inherently complex and call for expression in innovative ways. My research on Barra, Outer Hebrides, Scotland probes the cultural depths of a conflict between the local community and the Scottish Government around the creation of two marine protected areas off the coast of this island. I used a visual participatory methodology and art-science collaborations to explore the islanders\' connections to the sea, understand what \'conservation\' means for them and to find a way of connecting the language and obligations of marine policymakers with the marine environment lived and experienced by this local community. Results include: 1. A photo-text publication which reveals a rich picture of the unique relationships of the local community with their marine environment as part of a bigger ‘conservation’ picture, where humans and the natural environment work together as an intertwined system. 2. An interactive online cultural map of the seas around Barra (Sgeulachdan na Mara – Sea Stories) which reveals, through sound, image, story and naming, local worldviews of this marine environment. This audio-visual presentation illustrates the importance of acknowledging and embracing culture as an aspect of local ecologies, and extending the ecosystem approach to encompass the specific kinds of relationship that people have with their marine environment, and the ways in which they perceive and express those relationships.

CS4.2  15:15  "The future of our oceans” infographic- creating public and industry awareness of seafood traceability. DL O'Meara *, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California, San Diego; D Zeyen Conservation International; ADJ Haymet Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California, San Diego;

Abstract: The academic community increasingly recognizes seafood traceability as a way of reducing illegal, unregulated, or unreported (IUU) fish products from entering global markets. However, awareness by industry and the general public is lacking. To increase awareness in these groups, and encourage collaboration by stakeholders, we have developed an infographic titled “The future of our oceans” in partnership with the World Economic Forum Oceans Council. Through this graphic we address four key benefits of implementing a global system of seafood traceability: (1) encouraging sustainability by linking responsible fishing to markets, (2) helping the seafood industry meet its growing commitment to offer sustainable products, (3) creating a climate of fair competition by ending economic losses associated with illegal seafood entering the market, and (4) ensuring security of supply by preventing overfishing. By promoting these key features of traceability in an accessible well informed infographic, we intend to encourage a strong collaborative effort between academia, industry, and the greater public in an effort to maintain a sustainable supply of seafood for years to come. "The future of our oceans” infographic can be viewed at: http://www.weforum.org/community/global-agenda-councils/future-of-our-oceans

CS4.3  15:20  The Big Fish Network: An Incentive Based Approach to Citizen Science in the Maldives. Rees, R.G *, Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme; Hancock, J.W Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme;

Abstract: Open sharing of data via an online portal was used to incentivise wildlife tour operators in the Maldives to submit baseline data on spatial and temporal movements of the whale shark (Rhincodon typus). In the 2 months since the launch of the initiative, 493 stakeholder data submissions were received; equivalent to 29% of the total encounters recorded over 8 years by MWSRP researchers. An interactive online portal was developed to provide a platform for data exchange. Tour operators were invited to submit standardised data logs from their excursions. In return, operators were provided access to a photo-identification database of whale shark individuals and 8 years of corresponding encounter data. Outputs from the portal include an interactive map, a customised trip report, social-media bulletins and later a mobile app. These features were designed to aid tour guides in planning and marketing their excursions and informing and engaging guests, during and after the excursion. Guides that participated in photo-identification training became familiar with individual whale sharks and in the absence of enforced management guidelines, the portal also began providing a forum for stakeholder discussion on matters of self-regulation and stewardship. We believe that this example of using open data as a tool to produce carefully tailored incentives may strengthen stakeholder commitment to citizen-science initiatives within the tourism industry and result in a high return on data investment.

CS4.4  15:25  A transborder marine litter research programme undertaken in two regions between Italy and France in the Pelagos Sanctuary. Crosti, R , MATTM-ISPRA; Luperini, C Univ. Pisa; Campana, I *Univ. La Tuscia; Cerri, F Univ. Pisa; Di Clemente, J Southern denmark university; Paraboschi, M Accademia del Leviatano; Refice, S Legambiente ; Trampetti, F , Univ. Politecnica Marche; Arcangeli, A, ISPRA

Abstract: The increasing awareness of the harm on the marine environment of marine “plastic” litter and the consequent legislative measures (i.e. Waste and Marine strategy EU directive, Barcelona Convention Action plan) which are undergoing to respond to the problem need and efficient and effective indicator which can assess the composition and trend of abundance of litter in the sea in order to evaluate, particularly in the short time, the success of the litter reducing measures. In 2013 started a project that systematically monitors presence of floating litter (larger than 25 cm and using JRC categories) along two transborder transects between France and Italy using ferries as platforms of observation. Winter finding along the Tuscany archipelago-North Corsica transect were compared with summer results along the same route and with winter findings in the Bonifacio Strait Region transect. Results obtain from a total of 24 replicates/runs and 3.000 km travelled showed that density of object between winter and summer is different (P<0.01-from 1,06 to 2,2 obj/km2) as it is the relative abundance of artificial polymer between the two regions (P<0.05-from 80 to 93%). No difference was found among the frequency distribution of “plastic” materials. Overall the research programme showed that the monitoring protocol allowed to record, cost-effectively, for an indicator capable to return an information on trends in the amount of floating litter, its composition and spatial distribution

CS4.5  15:30  The human dimensions of marine conservation collaborations – A comparative analysis of two collaborations in the Central Visayas, Philippines. Pietri, Diana M. *, University of Washington, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences;

Abstract: Recent conservation initiatives in the Philippines have focused on ecosystem approaches that involve collaboration among multiple communities on interventions like marine protected area networks or joint fisheries enforcement. For conservation collaborations to yield ecosystem impacts, participants must form relationships, exchange ideas, and work together towards achieving socio-ecological goals. Thus, the human dimensions of conservation collaborations are crucial to their success. I studied the human dimensions of two collaborations in the Central Visayas, Philippines: the Southeast Cebu Coastal Resource Management Council (SCCRMC) and the Danajon Double Barrier Reef Management Council (DDBRMC). I conducted key informant interviews with 35 participants in both collaborations, and social network analysis with active members of the SCCRMC. I found that participants have formed relationships with and learned new management approaches from their counterparts from other communities. However, both collaborations have experienced challenges, such as obtaining political and financial support and sustaining member commitment. Additionally, participants communicate primarily with those from their own communities, which limits the collaborations’ potential to expose members to new ideas and information. My results highlight the importance of considering and strengthening the human dimensions of marine conservation collaborations in order to help them achieve their socio-ecological goals.

CS4.7  15:40  American sustainable fisheries for all 232 commercially valuable fish stocks. Moir, Rob *, Ocean River Institute;

Abstract: Today only 26 of the 232 commercially valuable fish stocks in the U.S. are overfished. Since 2000 thirty-four fish stocks have gone from overfished to sustainably fished. This is significant because overfishing is a very old problem. In 1197 Henry St. Clair and Kenneth Moir caught cod off of what would become known as a Massachusetts shore. The complex challenge is made more so by Fishery Councils moving away from maximum sustainable yield allocated catches towards ecosystem-based management of fish. How are they able to succeed when ocean ecosystems are dissembling due warming waters, changing currents and increasing acidity? The biggest challenge may be political, best met by communicating marine conservation and by engaging a savvy citizenry to call on federal legislators to act for responsible stewardship of fish and fishing communities with healthy seafood for all.

CS4.8  15:45  Estimate grey seal consumption in West of Scotland with limited observed data. Trijoulet, Vanessa *, Mathematics and Statistics Department, University of Strathclyde; Dickson, Alex Economics Department, University of Strathclyde; Cook, Robin Mathematics and Statistics Department, University of Strathclyde;

Abstract: Seals are well-known predators of fish around the UK. Previous studies have shown that fish stocks have decreased in the last fifty years, while the grey seal population (Halichoerus grypus) has increased. These observations are responsible for debates between conservationists and fishermen about the role seals would have played in the decrease of fish stocks. Currently opinions are still divided, and further studies need to be done to measure the impact of seals on fisheries and to propose future fishery management. Currently, grey seal diet has been estimated following two years of data collection (1985 and 2002). It is then difficult to obtain reasonable estimates of seal consumption for a given number of seals and a given fish abundance. Bayesian Statistics have been used to estimate grey seal consumption and its associated uncertainty from 1985 to 2012 on cod, haddock and whiting, the three main demersal fish species in West of Scotland. The results obtained fit reasonably well the observed data. The seal outputs for whiting differ substantially depending on the assumption taken as regards to the variability in seal catchability. However, it seems difficult to decide whether the outputs are reliable or denote an inconsistency in the survey’s data. Except for cod, the model predicts surprising low values of mortality due to seal compared to the natural and fishing mortalities. Most of all, this study highlights the benefit of using Bayesian analysis to estimate parameters when only few empirical data is available.

CS4.9  15:50  Movement patterns of tropical marine fishes and implications for conservation and management . Green, A.L. *, The Nature Conservancy, Brisbane, Queensland. Australia.; Maypa, A. Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation, Cebu City, Philippines.; Almany, G. Laboratoire d’Excellence ‘CORAIL’, USR 3278 CNRS-EPHE CRIOBE, Perpignan, France.; Rhodes, K. The University of Hawaii at Hilo, Hilo, Hawai’i, U.S.A.; Weeks, R. Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia.; Mumby, P. Marine Spatial Ecology Laboratory, School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland. Australia.; Gleason, M. The Nature Conservancy, Monterey, California, U.S.A.; Abesamis, R. , Silliman University, Angelo King Center for Research and Environmental Management, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, Philippines.;

Abstract: Connectivity is a key ecological factor to consider in designing spatial management tools for conservation and management. For these tools to protect biodiversity and enhance populations of fisheries species, they must be able to sustain focal species within their boundaries. Thus the size of spatial management tools must be informed by movement patterns of species for which protection is required. Our review of movement patterns of 34 families (210 species) of coral reef and coastal pelagic fishes demonstrates that movement patterns (home ranges, ontogenetic shifts and spawning migrations) vary among and within species, and are influenced by a range of factors (size, sex, behaviour, density, habitat characteristics, season, tide and time of day). Some species move <0.1-0.5 kms (e.g. damselfishes and butterflyfishes), <0.5-3 kms (e.g. most parrotfishes and surgeonfishes) or 3-10 kms (e.g. large parrotfishes and wrasses), while others move 10s-100s (e.g. some groupers and jacks) or 1000s of kms (e.g. some sharks and tuna). Synthesizing this information in different formats for a range of audiences (scientists, field practitioners, senior government officials and communities) allows us to provide species specific advice to a range of stakeholders to maximize benefits for conservation and fisheries management. This information is now being used to design, monitor and adaptively manage spatial management tools in tropical marine ecosystems worldwide.

CS4.10  15:55  Community Based Management of Invasive Lionfish in the Florida Keys. Spencer, Erin *, National Geographic, College of William & Mary;

Abstract: Originally from the Indo-Pacific, lionfish appeared off the coast of South Florida in the mid-1980s and have since been recognized as one of the top threats to marine conservation in the world. In the summer of 2013, I received a National Geographic Young Explorers Grant to study local responses to invasive lionfish. I spent one month interviewing divemasters, chefs, researchers, and lobstermen in the Florida Keys to determine how they perceived the lionfish problem, as well as learn the methods they employed (if any) to help mitigate the impacts of the fish. I discovered that a new but thriving culture has emerged surrounding lionfish hunting and consumption, inspired by an active education and outreach program by local nonprofits and government organizations. Actions include organized lionfish derbies, marketing lionfish in local restaurants, and individual removal with pole spears. Although the lionfish invasion is still a very serious problem, local efforts are making a difference. The response of locals in the Keys is an exciting example of the effectiveness of community-based invasive species management and the power of social media and outreach in inspiring local action.

CS4.11  16:00  Back to nature, and for a good cause. The Reef Check Italia experience with diving volunteers. Previati, M *, Reef Check Italia onlus, c/o DiSMar, Polytechnic University of Marche, Via Brecce Bianche 60131, Ancona (I); CEA (Environmental Educational Center), Viale Matteotti 157, Imperia (I) ; Milanese, M Studio Associato Gaia snc, Via Brigata Liguria 1/9, Genoa (I); Palma, M Reef Check Italia onlus, c/o DiSMar, Polytechnic University of Marche, Via Brecce Bianche 60131, Ancona (I); UBICA s.r.l. (Underwater Biological Cartography), Via San Siro 6 int. 1, 16124 Genova (I); Pantaleo, U Reef Check Italia onlus, c/o DiSMar, Polytechnic University of Marche, Via Brecce Bianche 60131, Ancona (I); UBICA s.r.l. (Underwater Biological Cartography), Via San Siro 6 int. 1, 16124 Genova (I); Scinto, A Reef Check Italia onlus, c/o DiSMar, Polytechnic University of Marche, Via Brecce Bianche 60131, Ancona (I); UBICA s.r.l. (Underwater Biological Cartography), Via San Siro 6 int. 1, 16124 Genova (I); Turricchia, E Reef Check Italia onlus, c/o DiSMar, Polytechnic University of Marche, Via Brecce Bianche 60131, Ancona (I); ; Ponti, M Reef Check Italia onlus, c/o DiSMar, Polytechnic University of Marche, Via Brecce Bianche 60131, Ancona (I); BiGeA, University of Bologna, Via S. Alberto 163, 48123, Ravenna (I); Cerrano, C , Reef Check Italia onlus, c/o DiSMar, Polytechnic University of Marche, Via Brecce Bianche 60131, Ancona (I); DiSMar, Polytechnic University of Marche, Via Brecce Bianche 60131, Ancona, (I);

Abstract: Growing up in a humanised world, we are losing our connection with nature as well as the environmental literacy that used to be part of our shared cultural heritage. This is often regarded as a root cause of the economic and social disparities existing at the global level. Sustainable development can only be achieved when no discontinuity occurs between humans and the environment they ultimately depend upon. Re-connecting people with nature is essential to rise awareness on environmental issues by making them personal, and no longer distant or other from self. SCUBA diving allows people to physically immerse in nature, offering precious opportunities to feel, experience and get back to often lost feelings and knowledge. Engaging divers in participatory science can maximise these opportunities. Reef Check Italia onlus relies on hundreds of volunteers, divers gathering distribution and abundance of 43 marine species easily recognisable, across the Mediterranean Sea. They produce baseline information on species distribution and abundance over regional spatial scales, tracking changes that can be used both as early-warning signals and long-time monitoring. Traditional academic-based approach can’t do the same, given logistic, economic and practical constraints. The collaboration between scientists and volunteers produces sound information to feed decision-making processes while increasing the personal fulfilment, knowledge and environmental awareness of participants.

CS4.12  16:05  What is more important for seagrass conservation? Measuring environmental & ecological parameters in seagrass beds with different forms of protection. Quiros, T E A *, University of California Santa Cruz; Tershy, B University of California Santa Cruz; Croll, D University of California Santa Cruz;

Abstract: Integrating terrestrial with marine protection can improve coastal conservation efficiency. We examine the relative impacts of marine and terrestrial protection on seagrass health and suggest management options for tropical seagrass conservation. On three islands in the Philippines, one with Terrestrial Protection only, one with both Terrestrial and Marine Protection, and one with No Protection, we measured environmental and seagrass health parameters during the rainy season. The No Protection site had the most sediment collected, lower visibility, a greater proportion of fine sediments and lower proportion of coarse sediments. The No Protection site had the lowest seagrass species richness, seagrass percent cover, shoot density, length, and epiphytes dry weight. Percent cover and seagrass density contributed to site differences for the ecological data, while grams of sediment collected, proportion of fine sand, silt, and very coarse sand contributed to site differences in the environmental data. Vector overlays on the MDS plots show that Halodule uninervis percent cover, proportion of silt, fine sand, and very fine sand, and grams of sediment collected characterized separation between sites. There were no differences in the environmental and ecological parameters between the Terrestrial Protected only and Terrestrial and Marine Protected sites. These data suggest that terrestrial protection is more important than marine protection for tropical seagrass health.

CS4.13  16:10  The intertidal zone in the Western Indian Ocean - understudied, undermanaged and with poor or no monitoring? Nordlund, LM *, WIO CARE, Tanzania; de la Torre-Castro, M Dept. of Physical Geography, Stockholm University; Erlandsson, J Vattenmyndigheten Västerhavets distrikt, Länsstyrelsen Västra Götaland; Conand, C Laboratoire Ecomar, Université de La Réunion; Muthiga, N Wildlife Conservation Society, Mombasa, Kenya ; Jiddawi, NS Institute of Marine Sciences, University of Dar Es Salaam; Gullström, M Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences; Stockholm University;

Abstract: The intertidal zone constitutes the coastal environment where land and sea meet, i.e. the area between extreme high water springs and extreme low water springs. Today land and sea are often separated and managed and conserved as different components and the “area in between” is often ignored by the different management authorities. Yet this area is not only ecologically diverse harboring some of the richest habitats in tropical coastlines, it provides a wide range of ecosystem services that are increasingly more vulnerable to human pressure. There is a clear lack of scientific publications dealing with this zone in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO), even though it is often mentioned in the grey literature which makes it difficult to develop science-based management interventions. This expert opinion study examined the current status of the intertidal zone in the WIO and ranked and discussed future management approaches. Information was gathered from scientists, practitioners and managers active in the WIO region through an interview form and a workshop during the 7th WIOMSA symposium. The experts stated that the productive intertidal environment is highly valuable but with several anthropogenic pressures, including pollution, overexploitation, and climate change. The experts ranked important management approaches that could be developed. The experts considered the WIO intertidal zone as generally understudied, undermanaged and with poor or no monitoring.

CS4.14  16:15  The Importance of Mangroves to People - A Call to Action. van Bochove, J *, UNEP-WCMC; Sullivan, E. UNEP-WCMC; Nakamura, T. UNEP/DEPI;

Abstract: Although they make up less than 1% of all tropical forests worldwide mangroves and their associated biodiversity help to deliver important goods and services that play a critical role in supporting human well-being. For example, over 100 million people live within 10km of large mangrove forests, benefiting from a variety of goods and services. In spite of their importance to people, mangroves are consistently undervalued and do not figure adequately in decision making about coastal development. They continue to be lost at a rate that is 3-5 times greater than global deforestation rates. The consequences of further mangrove degradation will be particularly severe for the well-being of coastal communities in developing countries, especially where people rely heavily on mangrove goods and services for their daily subsistence and livelihoods. Mangroves need to be understood for the valuable socio-economic and ecological resource they are, and conserved and managed sustainably. This talk provides findings from a 2014 UNEP 'call to action' to policy makers on the importance of mangroves. It will present the latest global statistics on mangrove change, protection and regional values, and highlight management and policy options to i) coordinate global action on mangroves; ii) stimulate mangrove conservation through financial mechanisms and incentives; and iii) improve management and protection of mangroves through regional and local initiatives.

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