An opinion piece published in the New York Times in March 2018 – “Bigger Is Not Better for Ocean Conservation” – raised anew the issue of whether MPA designations should focus on large offshore sites or smaller inshore ones. The author, Luiz Rocha of the California Academy of Sciences, called the trend of designating large offshore MPAs disturbing, and recommended such protection should not come before coastal waters are secured.
By Jeff Ardron
One unseasonably warm April afternoon this year in London, I sat in a packed media center watching five foreign ministers from Commonwealth countries explain why their governments were going to become ‘Commonwealth Blue Charter Champions.’ It was a pinch-me moment. One full day before fifty-three Commonwealth Heads of Government were due to adopt the Commonwealth Blue Charter, and already ministers were stepping forward to lead on it!
By Carlos A. Espinosa
The colors and warmth of the tropics make Central America unforgettable. These rich, vibrant coastal landscapes have inspired marine scientists, foreign visitors, and local inhabitants alike in their efforts to protect and conserve the most pristine marine zones throughout the region, on both the Pacific and Caribbean sides.
These recent articles or preprints on MPA-related science and policy are all free to access.
Article: Davies, T. E. et al. “Assessing trade-offs in large marine protected areas.” PLOS ONE 13, e0195760 (2018)
Study: Due to global warming, today’s MPAs could be uninhabitable to most of their current species by year 2100
The Big Picture: The continuing debate over the value of large vs. small MPAs, and what it means for the field
MPA News wades back into the long-running debate over large offshore MPAs vs. small nearshore ones, and whether countries should stop designating the former to focus on the latter, as some individuals suggest. Several experts tell the newsletter, though, “It’s not an either/or - we need to do both. Just smartly.” (via MPA News)
“Most of us grew up in a world where data were rare and expensive to collect. In contrast, culturomics is firmly situated in the 21st-century world of abundant, ‘messy’ data, produced from the interactions between humans and the digital world.”
---- Richard Ladle, Federal University of Alagoas
In the past, MEAM’s coverage of social media has focused on how social media platforms (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Snapchat, Instagram) can be used to communicate with and educate stakeholders and the general public. But this view of social media as primarily an outreach tool largely ignores the fact that these platforms (as well as other digital venues such as online discussion groups and internet search engines such as Google) also provide a source of publicly available information on human interactions with coastal and marine environments. Analyzing data from these platforms can tell us where people are going in coastal and marine environments, why they are going there, what they are doing once they get there, what they are seeing and hearing, and how they are feeling about it – often complete with geotags, timestamps, photographs, and videos.
MEAM and you, an infographic
- Commonwealth nations agree on coordinated actions to protect oceans
- UN begins negotiations for treaty to protect high seas biodiversity
- Sweden developing marine spatial plans for its territorial waters and EEZ
- Northern Ireland soliciting public comment on draft marine plan until mid-June
- Belgium to begin soliciting comments on draft marine spatial plan in July
- New study published on marine spatial planning (MSP) for blue growth
- Trump administration opening up additional areas for wind energy in US Northeast
- Study estimates warming ocean could reduce global fish catch
- Researchers report catches from deep sea trawling grossly underreported
- Report examines ways to increase ocean food production sustainably
- US NOAA publishes global list of fisheries and their risks to marine mammals
- Only 2 percent of world’s oceans in strongly implemented, fully protected areas
- New tool analyzes how well important biodiversity and ecosystem services are represented in marine protected areas (see a webinar on this work on June 14)
- Free paper provides primer for how to use social media for fisheries science and management
- Experts requested for assessments of natural values and benefits and sustainable use of wild species
- Report proposes increases in foreign aid for solid waste management to improve quality of life for world’s poorest people and dramatically reduce plastic entering the ocean
- IOC/UNESCO MSP website updated to include extensive MSP glossary, downloadable versions of three major MSP publications, summaries of and status reports on MSP initiatives in 68 countries, longer descriptions of MSP activities around the world, an updated version of the IOC MSP guide, and more MSP-related resources from around the world
A new paper in Marine Policy (pre-print available for free in the MarXiv research repository) discusses the importance of effective metaphors for marine conservation and policy. Metaphors are figures of speech that describe something in terms more familiar to listeners, e.g., “a blanket of snow”. Good metaphors help shape understanding of something and can mobilize appropriate action. Poorly-chosen metaphors are, at best, ineffective at mobilizing support for the intended cause, and, at worst, counterproductive because they lead to oppositional behaviors or decrease the credibility of the messenger.