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Jin D.,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | Hoagland P.,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | Wikgren B.,John H Prescott Marine Laboratory
Marine Policy | Year: 2013

Understanding the economic value of ocean space is critical for implementing marine spatial planning (MSP). Empirical data from 1999 to 2008 are compiled on the economic values arising from commercial fishing in the Gulf of Maine and adjacent areas. The data are analyzed to characterize factors affecting the spatial and temporal distribution of measures of economic productivity and fishing effort. The analysis consisted of four components: (1) estimation of net revenue at the 10-min square level by season and gear; (2) assessment of variability for catch revenue and catch per unit effort; (3) mapping net revenue and variability in the study area; and (4) estimation of interactions among catch, effort, season, and gear type. The results indicated that, at each location, average fishing efforts exhibited a positive response to increases in expected revenues and a negative response to variability in revenues. Most of the variability in catch revenue can be explained by changes in fishing effort, implying that the spatial patterns of fishery resources are relatively stable at the 10-min square level. An important conclusion is that a spatial scale of at least the 10-min square is appropriate for undertaking MSP involving allocations of commercial fisheries. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Tlusty M.F.,John H Prescott Marine Laboratory | Tlusty M.F.,University of Massachusetts Boston | Tausig H.,New England Aquarium
Reviews in Aquaculture | Year: 2015

The sustainable seafood movement is over a decade old. It has done much to raise awareness regarding improper production and harvest of seafood and to derive a course to lessen the deleterious environmental impacts of this industry. Certification has been a key tool, yet few programmes have demonstrated comprehensive improvements. Here, the degree of aquaculture improvement through the implementation of certification was assessed using data from the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) Best Aquaculture Practice (BAP) shrimp standard. An examination of 323 audits from 192 farms spanning 2005-2012 showed that overall, 35% of the farms were conditionally certified, indicating they had to improve prior to being certified. This version of the BAP shrimp farm audit had both compliance and scored components. Out of the 28 critical points, only six were in full compliance by all farms during all audits and hence provided no value to determine farm performance. Farms that passed the audit without compliance issues had a greater aggregate scored value than those that farms with noncompliances. However, performance-based metrics exhibited few differences between the compliant and noncompliant farms. Overall, issues pertaining to water quality were a leading cause of farms being scored as noncompliant, although they were distributed among the seven different water quality parameters. Certification systems have not been designed specifically to demonstrate adherence to continual improvement. Because of this, and the multitude of factors with which a fully compliant farm needs to acquiesce, the specific means by which certification improves aquaculture and the overall value of improvement will remain challenging to demonstrate. © 2014 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

Baumgartner M.F.,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | Fratantoni D.M.,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | Hurst T.P.,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | Brown M.W.,John H Prescott Marine Laboratory | And 4 more authors.
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America | Year: 2013

In the past decade, much progress has been made in real-time passive acoustic monitoring of marine mammal occurrence and distribution from autonomous platforms (e.g., gliders, floats, buoys), but current systems focus primarily on a single call type produced by a single species, often from a single location. A hardware and software system was developed to detect, classify, and report 14 call types produced by 4 species of baleen whales in real time from ocean gliders. During a 3-week deployment in the central Gulf of Maine in late November and early December 2012, two gliders reported over 25 000 acoustic detections attributed to fin, humpback, sei, and right whales. The overall false detection rate for individual calls was 14%, and for right, humpback, and fin whales, false predictions of occurrence during 15-min reporting periods were 5% or less. Transmitted pitch tracks - compact representations of sounds - allowed unambiguous identification of both humpback and fin whale song. Of the ten cases when whales were sighted during aerial or shipboard surveys and a glider was within 20 km of the sighting location, nine were accompanied by real-time acoustic detections of the same species by the glider within ±12 h of the sighting time. © 2013 Acoustical Society of America.

Rhyne A.L.,John H Prescott Marine Laboratory | Rhyne A.L.,Roger Williams University | Tlusty M.F.,John H Prescott Marine Laboratory | Kaufman L.,John H Prescott Marine Laboratory | And 2 more authors.
Conservation Letters | Year: 2012

The international trade in corals used to be primarily a curio trade of dried skeletons, but now focuses on live corals for the marine reef aquarium trade. The trade is still rapidly evolving, creating challenges including the addition of new species that outpace effective management strategies. New species in the live coral trade initially command high prices, but as they become common the price radically decreases with feedback effects to the trade. To understand these trends, 21 years of live coral import data for the United States were assessed. Trade increased over 8% per year between 1990 until the mid-2000s, and has since decreased by 9% annually. The timing of the peak and decline varies among species, and is a result of the rising popularity of mini-reef ecosystem aquariums, the global financial crisis, and an increase in aquaculture production. The live coral trade offers opportunities for coral reef ecosystem conservation and sustainable economic benefits to coastal communities, but realization of these externalities will require effective data tracking. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Reeves R.R.,Okapi W ildlife Associates | McClellan K.,John H Prescott Marine Laboratory | McClellan K.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Werner T.B.,John H Prescott Marine Laboratory | Werner T.B.,Boston University
Endangered Species Research | Year: 2013

Since the 1970s the role of fishery bycatch as a factor reducing, or limiting the recovery of, marine mammal populations has been increasingly recognized. The proceedings of a 1990 International Whaling Commission symposium and workshop summarized fishery and bycatch data by region, fishery, and species, and estimated the significance of the 'impacts' of bycatch in passive gear on all cetacean species and subspecies or geographically defined populations. A global review of pinniped bycatch in 1991 concluded that incidental mortality in passive gear had contributed to declines of several species and populations. Here we update the information on cetacean gillnet bycatch, assess bycatch data on marine mammals other than cetaceans (i.e. pinnipeds, sirenians, and 2 otter species), determine where important data gaps exist, and identify species and populations known or likely to be at high risk from bycatch in gillnets. We found that at least 75% of odontocete species, 64% of mysticetes, 66% of pinnipeds, and all sirenians and marine mustelids have been recorded as gillnet bycatch over the past 20-plus years. Cetacean bycatch information in some areas has improved, facilitating our ability to identify species and populations at high risk, although major gaps remain. Understanding of the scale of pinniped and sirenian bycatch has also improved, but this bycatch remains poorly documented, especially at the population level. This study reveals how little is known about marine mammal bycatch in gillnets in much of the world. Even as other significant threats to marine mammals have become better documented and understood, bycatch remains a critical issue demanding urgent attention if there is to be any hope of preventing further losses of marine mammal diversity and abundance, and of protecting, or restoring, ecological health. © Inter-Research 2013.

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