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Ban N.C.,James Cook University | Bodtker K.M.,Living Oceans Society | Nicolson D.,British Columbia Marine Conservation Analysis | Robb C.K.,Living Oceans Society | And 2 more authors.
Marine Policy | Year: 2013

Canada's Pacific coast is one region where there is a renewed commitment to pursue marine spatial planning (MSP). The British Columbia Marine Conservation Analysis (BCMCA) project aimed to set the stage for MSP, and was designed to provide resource managers, scientists, decision-makers, and stakeholders with a new set of resources to inform coast-wide integrated marine planning and management initiatives. Geographic Information Systems and the decision support tool Marxan were used to develop two main products: (1) an atlas of known marine ecological values and human uses; and (2) analyses of areas of conservation value and human use value. 110 biophysical datasets and 78 human use datasets were collated and refined where applicable, as identified through five ecological expert workshops, one expert review of physical marine classification and representation, and guidance from the human use data working group. Ecological data richness maps and Marxan results show the importance of nearshore and continental shelf regions. Data richness maps for the six categories of human uses show that all, except shipping and transport, are also closely linked to the shoreline and continental shelf. An example ecological Marxan solution identifying areas of conservation value overlapped human use sector footprints by percentages ranging from 92% (i.e., 92% of planning units selected by Marxan also contain commercial fisheries) to 3%. The experience of the BCMCA project has the potential to provide valuable guidance to regions seeking to jump-start planning processes by collating spatial information and carrying out exploratory analyses. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Robb C.K.,Living Oceans Society | Bodtker K.M.,Living Oceans Society | Wright K.,Living Oceans Society | Lash J.,Living Oceans Society
Marine Policy | Year: 2011

No-take marine protected areas (MPAs), where all fishing is prohibited, have been shown to provide benefits that include greater productivity of fish stocks due to increased densities, average sizes, and reproductive output. A critical component of this success is the effective management of MPAs to ensure that only those activities deemed permissible, are allowed to occur. As of 2008, 161 MPAs had been designated on the Pacific coast of Canada by federal, provincial or municipal authorities. The objective of this study was to discover how many of these MPAs are intended to provide full protection to habitats and species from commercial fishing and whether management measures were put in place to actualize this conservation intent. The comprehensive spatial dataset was built illustrating commercial fisheries closures and this was overlaid with MPA locations in a GIS. The majority of MPAs were designated as IUCN Strict Nature Reserve (Type Ia), Wilderness Area (Type Ib), and National Park (Type II) marine reserves, which are intended to be free from exploitation. It was found that 160 of the 161 MPAs are open to some commercial harvesting within their bounds. One small municipal MPA and portions of three other MPAs are not open to commercial harvesting. The incongruence between management intent and fisheries permitted suggests a management failure between designation of MPAs and implementation of fisheries management regulations.Recommendations include better coordination between the management of fisheries and the management of protected areas in Canada's Pacific Waters. This analysis and these recommendations are timely as Canada has made an international commitment as a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity to build a network of MPAs by 2012, in which at least 10% of each ecological region will be effectively conserved. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Robb C.K.,Living Oceans Society | Bodtker K.M.,Living Oceans Society | Wright K.,Living Oceans Society
Coastal Management | Year: 2015

As a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Canada has committed to establishing a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) that effectively conserves at least 10% of coastal and marine areas by 2020. Research shows that the most effective MPAs are large, well enforced, no-take, and designed as part of a network. Canada's Pacific MPAs, designated site-by-site, cover approximately 3% of Canadian Pacific waters. We investigated how these MPAs could effectively contribute to Canada's national network by analyzing the implementation of management intent through the application of fisheries closures and conducting a preliminary assessment of their size and spacing relative to scientific guidelines. Fisheries closures outside of MPAs were similarly assessed. Results showed that 90% of existing MPAs were intended to exclude commercial fishing, yet only 2.5% fully or partially met this goal, therefore management intent was not achieved. Further, existing MPAs were small, 75% less than 10 km2 in size, but were reasonably spaced, from one to 50 km apart. While a suite of fisheries closures may be better suited to effectively contribute to a network than MPAs without fisheries closures, they would require permanent designations and management plans to meet network inclusion criteria. © 2015, Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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