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Reid W.D.K.,Newcastle University | Sweeting C.J.,Marine Management Organisation | Wigham B.D.,Newcastle University | McGill R.A.R.,Scottish Universities Environmental Research Center | Polunin N.V.C.,Newcastle University
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2016

Aspects of between-individual trophic niche width can be explored through the isotopic niche concept. In many cases isotopic variability can be influenced by the scale of sampling and biological characteristics including body size or sex. Sample size-corrected (SEAc) and Bayesian (SEAb) standard ellipse areas and generalised least squares (GLS) models were used to explore the spatial variability of δ13C and δ15N in Kiwa tyleri (decapod), Gigantopelta chessoia (peltospirid gastropod) and Vulcanolepas scotiaensis (stalked barnacle) collected from 3 hydrothermal vent field sites (E2, E9N and E9S) on the East Scotia Ridge (ESR), Southern Ocean. SEAb only revealed spatial differences in isotopic niche area in male K. tyleri. However, the parameters used to draw the SEAc, eccentricity (E) and angle of the major SEAc axis to the x-axis (θ), indicated spatial differences in the relationships between δ13C and δ15N in all 3 species. The GLS models indicated that there were spatial differences in isotope.length trends, which were related to E and θ of the SEAc. This indicated that E and θ were potentially driven by underlying trophic and biological processes that varied with body size. Examination of the isotopic niches using standard ellipse areas and their parameters in conjunction with length-based analyses provided a means by which a proportion of the isotopic variability within each species could be described. We suggest that the parameters E and θ offer additional ecological insight that has so far been overlooked in isotopic niche studies. © 2016 Inter-Research.

Cross J.,Marine Management Organisation
Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Maritime Engineering | Year: 2010

The UK Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has been in operation since April 2010 and its acting chief executive, James Cross, has been meeting people working across the marine industries to explain the organisation's work. An overview of the MMO and how its planning and licensing functions will be developed is presented herein.

Rodwell L.D.,University of Plymouth | Fletcher S.,University of Plymouth | Glegg G.A.,University of Plymouth | Campbell M.,University of Plymouth | And 14 more authors.
Marine Policy | Year: 2014

Marine and coastal policy in the UK has faced a number of significant changes in recent years, most notably the passing of the Marine and Coastal Access Act in 2009. These changes have brought significant challenges and opportunities for all those involved in the management and use of the UK's marine and coastal environment. This new era of marine policy inspired the UK's first Marine and Coastal Policy forum held in June 2011. In this introductory paper the global context of marine policy changes and the themes which emerged from the forum, forming the basis of the articles in this special issue, are outlined. It is concluded that there is a high level of engagement, capacity and willingness of key stakeholders to work collaboratively to address the environmental, social and economic complexities of managing the marine and coastal environment. It is both evident and encouraging that progress is being made and the many challenges faced in this new era give rise to a number of opportunities to develop new ideas and effective mechanisms for finding solutions. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Borger T.,Plymouth Marine Laboratory | Beaumont N.J.,Plymouth Marine Laboratory | Pendleton L.,Duke University | Boyle K.J.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | And 11 more authors.
Marine Policy | Year: 2014

This paper scrutinises the use of ecosystem service valuation for marine planning. Lessons are drawn from the development and use of environmental valuation and cost-benefit analysis for policy-making in the US and the UK. Current approaches to marine planning in both countries are presented and the role that ecosystem service valuation could play in this context is outlined. This includes highlighting the steps in the marine planning process where valuation can inform marine planning and policy-making as well as a discussion of methodological challenges to ecosystem service valuation techniques in the context of marine planning. Recommendations to overcome existing barriers are offered based on the synergies and the thinking in the two countries regarding the application of ecosystem service valuation to marine planning. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

PubMed | CEFAS - Center for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Marine Management Organisation, Fugro and Sea Mammal Research Unit SMRU Marine Ltd.
Type: | Journal: Advances in experimental medicine and biology | Year: 2015

Monitoring and mitigation reports from 19 UK and 9 other European Union (EU) offshore wind farm (OWF) developments were reviewed, providing a synthesis of the evidence associated with the observed environmental impact on marine mammals. UK licensing conditions were largely concerned with mitigation measures reducing the risk of physical and auditory injury from pile driving. At the other EU sites, impact monitoring was conducted along with mitigation measures. Noise-mitigation measures were developed and tested in UK and German waters in German government-financed projects. We highlight some of the reviews findings and lessons learned with regard to noise impact on marine mammals.

News Article | May 31, 2016

William Whyte has a new flag flying from the rigging of his vast blue-hulled trawler, its fabric snapping in the brisk breeze coming in off the North Sea. It features the cartoon of a militant-looking fish wearing armour, a union jack shield at its waist and the legend “Fishing for Leave”. These flags are appearing on boats around Britain’s coast. The country’s trawlermen are placing themselves in the vanguard of the campaign to quit the EU. There is talk of a flotilla massing on the Thames, as the country’s fishing fleets press the case for Brexit. For Scottish trawlermen such as Whyte, the EU referendum is a godsend. Striding over long, brightly coloured coils of rope, netting and sun-bleached floats laid out on the quayside at Fraserburgh, north of Aberdeen, Whyte hopes the UK will vote to leave the EU, finally releasing his industry from the constraints, the wheeling and dealing, and complexities of the common fisheries policy (CFP). The owner of a 210ft-long (64 metres) mackerel and herring trawler, the Forever Grateful, Whyte said he has “salt in my veins”. His great-grandfathers were fishermen 110 years ago; his semi-retired father left the sea in 2003 yet still repairs and recycles fishing nets just steps from Whyte’s boat. Whyte said his “biggest gripe” is with the unelected European commission official in Belgium who fixes the quotas for mackerel and herring on which his livelihood depends – whoever that official might be. “He doesn’t know me. I have never met him. My thinking is he needs to know how my boat works, and how I fish, before he negotiates,” he said. “Our guys can whisper in this guy’s ear, but the Dutch guy is also whispering in his ear and the Spanish guy is whispering in his ear. How can we keep all these people happy?” Fishermen’s leaders and pro-EU fisheries ministers dispute Whyte’s account. They insist that elected governments negotiate, and that the CFP protects them, even shielding it against powerful competing interests in Whitehall likely to trade UK fishing stocks for other concessions. But Britain’s trawlermen appear unanimous that quitting the EU is a necessity. The referendum has unified an often fractious, routinely competitive business. Skippers from ports such as Lerwick and Inverness to the north, Whitby and North Shields in the north-east of England, Folkestone and Rye in the south-east, and Southampton, Brixham and Penzance to the west, up to Fleetwood in Lancashire, and across to Newry and Coleraine in Northern Ireland, have signed up to the Scottish-led Fishing for Leave campaign. Trawlermen see themselves as the worst affected by the UK’s membership of the EU. They talk of shrinking quotas, of backroom deals with the Spanish, Danes or French, and most of all, a sense that UK fisheries ministers have been too soft with their competitors. The UK fleet has shrunk as controls on overfishing and competition have bitten, and as efficiencies have improved output: there were less than 6,400 registered vessels in 2014 compared with more than 7,000 in 2004, employing just under 12,000 fishermen, 12% down on 2004. Yet it is becoming more profitable, largely after the quota for mackerel grew sharply: in 2014, the total value of landings by UK vessels within the UK and abroad rose to £861m – its highest yet, while the volumes increased, too, to 756,000 tonnes overall. Much of that is landed at Peterhead, Fraserburgh and Lerwick in Shetland: Scotland’s ports generated 64% of the UK’s landings in 2014, thanks largely to the huge mackerel and herring boats based there. Even so, said the UK government’s Marine Management Organisation, the industry is actually only worth some £426m to the UK’s GDP, down from £542m in 2010. That makes it worth 4-6% of the UK’s entire agriculture, fisheries and forestry output – making it vulnerable when the UK’s overall economic interests are at stake, despite its political and cultural importance. David Milne, 52, also works out of Fraserburgh. While Whyte makes his money hauling in 9,000 tonnes of mackerel and herring a year during three tight fishing windows each autumn and winter, Milne’s trawler works year round for cod, haddock, whiting and hake, staples of Britain’s kitchens. His son was out skippering it last week. Himself the son of a trawlerman, and a skipper for 30 years, Milne was a member of the Scottish Fishermen Federation delegation to the CFP quota talks in December. “You can see things happening which shouldn’t be happening,” he said. “We’re always told that it’s mostly science, everything is based on the science, but when it comes to the 11th hour, it is a political agreement. The commission will buy off Denmark or wherever, and the UK will roll over, buying into whatever the commission wants.” Milne acknowledges that North Sea fish stocks, cod in particular, are improving. Fisheries experts say that is because the common fisheries policy is finally working correctly. Scottish ministers will argue that Scotland’s strategy of implementing closed fishing areas to protect stocks, in a deal brokered with trawlermen, has played a part, too. Milne said the improvement means the Dutch and Danish want a greater share of fish in British waters, as do Norwegians, who must negotiate quota shares from outside the EU. “They’re getting more and more out. We’re getting very little in return, I would say. We’re basically getting the crumbs,” he said. If the UK does vote to leave the EU on 23 June, Milne believes the UK should introduce a regional management system in British waters, where local trawlermen, ministers and fisheries expert assess stock levels, and parcel out quotas to suit local circumstances. “That’s the way forward for our stocks: manage our own destiny,” Milne said. “Because the fishing will be here long after the oil. It’s how we manage it. That’s the key thing for us.” The same sentiments can be heard 720 miles south on the southern tip of Britain in Newlyn, a bustling white fish and shellfish port beside Penzance in Cornwall. And among the fish merchants gathered for the 6am daily market, the idea of remaining in Europe provokes grimaces and unamused laughs. One or two expressed their stance with phlegmy spits. “You’ll struggle to find anyone around here who’s for remaining,” said Julian Bick, a buyer. “The EU has been terrible for this industry. It’s got too big and it’s corrupt.” The fishing waters off the south-west coast are some of the richest in the world. Boxes of brill, wrasse, ray, John Dory, smooth hounds (a small shark), crab claws, megrim are whisked off to luxury hotels in the south-west of England, restaurants in London or via the Channel tunnel to mainland Europe, mainly France and Spain. Dave Stevens, who has worked out of Newlyn in the Channel for 26 years, is also a Fishing for Leave activist. From his boat, the Crystal Sea, he usually works well within the UK’s 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone that their campaign believes should be brought solely into the UK’s sovereignty. It rankles with Stevens that these grounds are managed as zone VII under EU law and that he is fishing alongside boats from mainland Europe much more often than alongside fishermen from Cornwall or elsewhere in Britain. “These are no longer British waters – they are EU waters,” he said. He believes the French and Spanish were much better at securing good deals for their fishermen than the UK. “It means that our fleet has declined and places like Newlyn are nowhere near what they used to be,” he said. “As a nation we seem to have forgotten how innovative and how good we are at getting out in the world and trading. I believe we are being held back by Europe.” About 40% of Stevens’ fish is sent to Spain or France but he does not worry that the market will be closed to him if the UK does leave. “If they deny us access to their market, we will be within our rights to completely deny them access to our waters,” he said. The industry’s political leaders are split down the middle: George Eustice, the Eurosceptic UK farming and fisheries minister, is campaigning for Vote Leave. He joined Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, at a Brexit rally in Aberdeen’s fisheries expo last week. Eustice argues that UK the could assert itself as a leading power in the north-east Atlantic, able to exercise its authority independently and strike favourable deals with neighbours such as Iceland and Norway. He insists, however, that quotas would remain in force for conservation and economic reasons. The case for leaving, he said, is overwhelming. “At the end of the day, fishermen are just not the sorts of people to be spooked by trite, pro-EU campaigns that try to tell them they should be scared of the open sea,” he said in a recent blog. His view is disputed by Richard Lochhead, who stood down as Scotland’s fisheries minister this month after nine years in the post. He supports the EU for a range of reasons, including to protect Scottish agriculture. International law and quota deals, he argues, would impose their own restrictions on a post-Brexit UK, adding fresh, different complexities. “It’s like untying a very complicated knot,” he said. “There’s a whole web of negotiations out there, involving lots of countries and lots of stocks, which would have to be unwound. There could be benefits there, potentially, but there would be wider consequences and no one can foresee those costs.” Some fishermen do openly favour the EU, as does Marine Harvest, the Norwegian-owned aquaculture giant that dominates Scotland’s £630m salmon farming industry. Some fishermen rely on fast access to Spanish and French restaurants for their sought-after live produce, such as the langoustine creelers off western Scotland or the crab fishermen in Shetland. In Lough Neagh, Northern Ireland, there is the eel fishery. This is the UK’s largest freshwater lake and here, most will be voting remain. The Lough Neagh Fishermen’s Co-operative exports £3m per year of brownish green eels, which slither and slide around plastic boxes each day, and air-freight their live catch to customers in the Netherlands and Germany, or to Billingsgate fish market for London’s jellied eel trade. On a murky morning inside their huge building at Toome, Pat Close, the co-op’s chairman, said that market reinforced the need to remain within the EU single market. “It just makes sense given that we export 80% of our eels to northern Europe, mostly the Netherlands and a bit in Germany,” he said. “The big concern among fishing communities here on the lough is the fear of the unknown – the fear about what might happen if the UK votes for Brexit. Will we be hit with import tariffs if we are no longer in the EU? Will our competitors on the continent who, unlike us, produce their eels in eel farms, try to squeeze us out of the market?” Many in the fishing industry who do favour the EU are keeping their heads down, according to Teresa Portmann, a fishing industry consultant based in Plymouth. “Because those that want to leave are so militant and so vocal, people feel awkward about putting their heads above the parapet,” she said. She said the idea that foreign fishing vessels would suddenly vanish from around the UK’s coasts while European markets remained open for fishermen such as Stevens was nonsense. “Foreign trawlers have historically fished our waters before the common fisheries policy. We don’t know what the legal basis would be to stop them in the future.” And if foreign boats were banned, Britain simply would not have the naval vessels, planes and helicopters to patrol vast areas of open sea. “It would be impossible to police,” she said.

News Article | December 19, 2016

The mystery of why hundreds of thousands of fish were found washed up on a Cornish beach over the weekend has been solved: they were dumped by a fishing vessel that caught too many sardines in shallow water. After a photographer happened on the huge shoal of dead fish on Marazion at St Michael’s Mount beach, various explanations were offered for her eerie discovery – just two weeks after a similar sighting on another Cornish beach. Bad weather out at sea and attempts by the fish to escape large predators were both suggested as explanations. However, according to Gus Caslake, the chairman of the Cornish Sardine Management Association, one of its member vessels was responsible. It had been following shoals of fish that were closer to the shoreline than normal this winter, and was forced to release large numbers after it caught too many to safely pull aboard. The Cornwall Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (Cifca) and the UK government regulator, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), have launched investigations into the two incidents. Simon Cadman, Cifca’s principal enforcement officer, told the Guardian that “it’s likely that the fishing in that area has been the cause of the problem” in both cases. Cadman said he was aware of several boats that were operating in the area on Saturday evening, targeting the shoals of sardines that return to the Cornish coast each winter. Caslake said that the first incident at Pentewan Sands was likely caused by fishing vessels driving the sardines on to the beach as they tried to escape the nets. It had previously been reported that the dead fish included mackerel, but Prof Heather Koldewey, head of marine and freshwater conservation programmes at the Zoological Society of London, confirmed the fish were sardines after visiting the site on Monday. Dumping sardines is legal because the species are not covered by the European Union’s landing obligation laws. Debbie Crockard, the Marine Conservation Society’s fisheries policy officer, said: “If they are discarding that amount of sardines then [the MMO] should be looking into that, because that is a ridiculous amount to be throwing back into the sea ... If this is happening on a regular basis then the law should be looked at.” However, Cadman said that public embarrassment may drive behavioural change within the fishing industry. “We will be speaking to these guys. It is for the industry itself to actually put its operations straight in terms of how they conduct their fishing,” he said. Cadman would not say which boats or companies he was investigating. Cornish sardine fishermen plan to put boats on standby to assist others that catch too much too close to shore, Caslake said. That would allow them to offload fish and make it back to port safely. A spokesman for Ocean Fish, one of the companies that operates boats in the sardine fishery, said that none of their boats had been involved. He confirmed that the MMO had contacted the company on Monday morning seeking information. A spokeswoman for the MMO said: “We are looking at the activity of vessels in the area but it is too early to say what the cause [of the beached fish] might be.” The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), which certifies sardines caught off the coast of Cornwall as sustainable, said it had also launched an investigation into the event. James Simpson, the MSC communication officer, appealed for more information. The body’s auditors would be looking closely at the incident when they next assess the fishery’s accreditation, Simpson said.

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