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Yerseke, Netherlands

Van Franeker J.A.,IMARES | Law K.L.,Sea Education Association
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2015

Fulmars are effective biological indicators of the abundance of floating plastic marine debris. Long-term data reveal high plastic abundance in the southern North Sea, gradually decreasing to the north at increasing distance from population centres, with lowest levels in high-arctic waters. Since the 1980s, pre-production plastic pellets in North Sea fulmars have decreased by ∼75%, while user plastics varied without a strong overall change. Similar trends were found in net-collected floating plastic debris in the North Atlantic subtropical gyre, with a ∼75% decrease in plastic pellets and no obvious trend in user plastic. The decreases in pellets suggest that changes in litter input are rapidly visible in the environment not only close to presumed sources, but also far from land. Floating plastic debris is rapidly "lost" from the ocean surface to other as-yet undetermined sinks in the marine environment. © 2015 The Authors. All rights reserved. Source

Beare D.,Worldfish Center | MacHiels M.,IMARES
ICES Journal of Marine Science | Year: 2012

Average towing speed by Dutch beam trawlermen has fallen substantially between 2002 and 2009. Changes in towing speed are related to changes in oil price. The price of their valuable main target species (sole, Solea vulgaris) did not influence towing speed. © 2012 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Source

Jansen T.,Technical University of Denmark | Campbell A.,Marine Institute of Ireland | Brunel T.,IMARES | Worsoe Clausen L.,Technical University of Denmark
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

A comparison of growth data (fish length) with latitude shows that southern juvenile mackerel attain a greater length than those originating from further north before growth ceases during their first winter. A similar significant relationship was found between the growth in the first year (derived from the otolith inner winter ring) and latitude for adult mackerel spawning between 44°N (Bay of Biscay) and 54°N (west of Ireland). These observations are consistent with spatial segregation of the spawning migration; the further north that the fish were hatched, the further north they will tend to spawn. No such relationship was found in mackerel spawning at more northerly latitudes, possibly as a consequence of increased spatial mixing in a more energetic regime with stronger currents. This study provides previously lacking support for spawning segregation behaviour among North East Atlantic mackerel - an important step towards understanding the migratory behaviour of mackerel and hence the spatiotemporal distribution dynamics around spawning time. © 2013 Jansen et al. Source

Floor J.R.,Wageningen University | van Koppen C.S.A.,Wageningen University | Lindeboom H.J.,IMARES
Journal of Sea Research | Year: 2013

The potential ecological effects of cockle fisheries and gas exploitation in the Dutch Wadden Sea and their implications for policy and management have been the topic of vigorous societal debates. Ecological science has played crucial but controversial roles in these debates. Several social science studies have been dedicated to analysing these roles and making recommendations for the improvement of science-policy interactions. In reviewing these studies, this article aims to draw lessons for (ecological) scientists and policy makers on how to understand and guide the interactions of science and policy in Wadden Sea management. Studies addressing science-policy interactions in the Dutch Wadden Sea can be grouped into three main perspectives, emphasizing the social and economic dynamics of resource management, the role of nature views and discourses in controversies, and the influence of science dynamics in policy and management debates. The review demonstrates that ecological knowledge and ecological scientists have played important roles in the controversies on cockle fisheries and gas exploitation. However, scientific knowledge was not always the most important factor in the decision-making process, and scientific insights were not always used as expected by the scientists. How scientific knowledge is used and interpreted by stakeholders was dependent on their interests, their nature views and on the dominant policy discourses. Ecological knowledge and scientists themselves became part of the policy debates, e.g. in discussions on uncertainty and reliability. The position of scientists in policy debates was strongly influenced by the policy setting and by changes in this setting, e.g. by the operation of mediators or by new interpretations of legal rules. A lesson to be drawn for scientists is that they should reflect on the sort of position - e.g. independent outsider, or engaged stakeholder - they take in a debate. They should also be aware that this position cannot be chosen at will: it is strongly influenced by the policy context. For government and other stakeholders, an important lesson is that by shaping adequate policy settings they can contribute to more productive and effective interactions with science and scientists. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

The European Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is a common policy that originates from 1983 and has been renewed every 10 years. The policy generally aims for sustainable fisheries in terms of living resources, economics and social aspects. The most recent version of the policy was agreed in co-decision by the European Parliament and the European Council of Ministers in 2013. The CFP has often been criticised for not delivering on the objectives and for developing into micro-management with very detailed regulations. In this paper, the evolution of the CFP has been analysed using a simple word-count indicator. The results show a strong increase in the number of words used to describe the basic regulation of the CFP from 3500 words in 1983 to 21,000 words in the agreed regulation in 2013. The expansion of words fits closely to an exponential growth curve. The co-decision process between the European Parliament and the Council showed a 55% increase in words and the article describing the new landing obligation showed a 360% increase in words. First reports on the new CFP have already shown that the complexity in the regulation could increase the likelihood of misunderstanding and suboptimal decisions. Word-counts are obviously a crude way to measure regulatory complexity but they are easy to generate and intuitive to understand to different audiences. The challenge is to create conceptual models that can link this intuitive indicator into an empirical framework that attempts to measure the relative regulatory complexity. © 2014. Source

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