Could California’s ocean ranches solve a global food shortage and fix the seafood trade deficit?
The Catalina Sea Ranch is a 100 acre plot of ocean located six miles off the coast of Huntington Beach, California. At the ranch farmer Phil Cruver grows mussels. However he dreams a larger dream. Mr. Cruver plans to expand the ranch to 3,000 acres splitting it evenly between mussel, seaweed, and cage cultures. (via The Washington Post)
Filling in the gaps: Managing endangered species on the high seas
With the aid of advanced technologies, researchers and ocean managers are discovering new motives to protect the high seas. Previously viewed by many as lifeless, the high sea is anything but. Now the need to protect endangered species that maneuver through this area is becoming abundantly clear. (via Mongabay)
Warning for Seafood Lovers: Climate Change Could Crash These Important Fisheries
Changes in temperature and acidity levels could cause major changes in fish populations by the end of this century. Cod, both Atlantic and polar, will face a harsh future with populations looking at a total reduction of around 60%. (via Inside Climate News)
‘Sad surprise’: Amazon fish contaminated by plastic particles
80% of fish tested in Brazil’s Xingu river were found to contain plastic particles. Of the plastics found, majority were broken down fishing gear with the remaining plastics coming from bags and other regular use items. (via The Guardian)
As the 2020 deadline grows nearer for nations to set aside 10% of waters in well-managed MPAs (Aichi Target 11), planners are being challenged to provide advice on what to protect and where to protect it. Climate change is making those decisions harder. As evidence mounts that warming oceans are already having effects on ecosystems, planners are faced with forecasting the changes the future could hold – then figuring how MPAs could account for those changes.
By Anne Nelson, Lauren Wenzel, and Gabrielle Johnson (IMPACT Team)
Kudos to the examples of proactive climate management in last month’s MPA News coverage. The examples from colleagues in Hawaii, Caribbean / Gulf of Mexico, Mediterranean, and Madagascar provide important lessons to consider with your MPA team as you move through your own climate assessment, adaptation planning, and plan review. Discussing these examples with your team can be a good way to start, restart, or reevaluate your climate planning process.
In the past half-decade, the annual Our Ocean conference has become the primary venue for nations and NGOs to announce new commitments to more sustainable ocean management, including the designation of new MPAs.
By Kerry Sink and Tamsyn Livingstone
On 25 October 2018, South Africa announced that the nation’s Cabinet approved 20 new marine protected areas for designation in 2019. The announcement represented the long-awaited implementation of the Operation Phakisa Oceans Economy Marine Protected Area Network. This establishes South Africa as a leader in African ocean protection, and contributes to protection of both the Southeast Atlantic and the Southwest Indian Ocean – a uniquely South African opportunity!
These recent articles or preprints on MPA-related science and policy are all free to access.
Article: Passadore, C., Möller, L. M., Diaz-Aguirre, F., and Parra, G. J. Modelling Dolphin Distribution to Inform Future Spatial Conservation Decisions in a Marine Protected Area. Scientific Reports 8, (2018).
European Commission study finds MPAs create jobs and business opportunities
A new study by the European Commission finds that MPAs can generate an array of direct and indirect economic benefits – including jobs and business opportunities – for industry sectors and surrounding communities. As a result, well-managed MPAs should be viewed as being at the core of building a blue economy.
Scientists acknowledge key errors in study of how fast the oceans are warming
A recent Nature study found that the ocean absorbed 60% more heat per year than previously believed. In recent post-review, inaccuracies were discovered within the margin of error causing the percentage of heat in the ocean to be higher. (via The Washington Post)
This fish could help corals recover rather than collapse
Studies by Jonathan Pruitt of UCSB on the coral reef dwelling Dusky Farmerfish colonies look at the relationship between the Farmerfish and Coral. The studies find that as waters warm the Dusky Farmerfish become more aggressive and their populations increase, helping to keep coral safe from predators. (via Anthropocene)