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Sale P.F.,Longwood University | Agardy T.,Sound Seas | Ainsworth C.H.,University of South Florida | Feist B.E.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | And 23 more authors.
Marine Pollution Bulletin | Year: 2014

Over 1.3 billion people live on tropical coasts, primarily in developing countries. Many depend on adjacent coastal seas for food, and livelihoods. We show how trends in demography and in several local and global anthropogenic stressors are progressively degrading capacity of coastal waters to sustain these people. Far more effective approaches to environmental management are needed if the loss in provision of ecosystem goods and services is to be stemmed. We propose expanded use of marine spatial planning as a framework for more effective, pragmatic management based on ocean zones to accommodate conflicting uses. This would force the holistic, regional-scale reconciliation of food security, livelihoods, and conservation that is needed. Transforming how countries manage coastal resources will require major change in policy and politics, implemented with sufficient flexibility to accommodate societal variations. Achieving this change is a major challenge - one that affects the lives of one fifth of humanity. © 2014 The Authors. Source


Guidetti P.,University of Nice Sophia Antipolis | Notarbartolo-Di-Sciara G.,Tethys Research Institute | Agardy T.,Sound Seas
Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems | Year: 2013

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have gained increasing popularity worldwide as tools for biodiversity conservation and management of human uses. This rise in popularity has been accompanied by an increasing body of scientific papers and books on MPA design and management, the vast majority of which are almost completely focused on coastal or insular MPAs. A small number of MPAs have also been established in the pelagic domain, however, these pelagic sites have been considered in isolation from coastal/insular MPAs, even when the sites are adjacent or nearby. Pelagic and coastal ecosystems are not at all isolated from each other, but interconnected both physically via the flow of water, and biologically, via the movement of organisms. In order to maximize the effectiveness of MPAs, it is suggested that spatial management planning encompass large areas that span both coastal and pelagic domains. This requires integrated, large-scale spatial management, which may extend across borders and thus require international cooperation. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source


Alvarez-Berastegui D.,Spanish Institute of Oceanography | Amengual J.,Espais de Natura Balear Parc Nacional de Cabrera | Coll J.,Direccio General de Pesca | Renones O.,Spanish Institute of Oceanography | And 2 more authors.
Journal for Nature Conservation | Year: 2014

A method is described for rapid multidisciplinary environmental assessment of coastal areas within the conceptual framework of comprehensive management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The aim is to provide tools for the selection, design and management of coastal MPAs when time, budget or potential human pressures, either alone or in combination, create an urgent need for prioritisation. Maximising results and minimising cost and time is the goal, using a methodology that re evaluates existing information on the area, allows use of physical, environmental and socio-economic indicators, and finally integrates information in a Geographic Information System capable of generating outputs in the form of thematic maps to support managers.The final products obtained inform planners and managers about the study areas, across multiple aspects that all need to be considered in integrated coastal management. Although originally proposed for widespread use in the Mediterranean, this methodology can be flexibly adapted, with minor modifications in the selection of indicators, for its use in other regions. The results show its potential for merging and synthesising information not only as a tool in Rapid Assessment Programs but also as a tool for facing management of wide coastal areas as social-ecological ecosystems. © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. Source


Portman M.E.,Technion - Israel Institute of Technology | Notarbartolo-di-Sciara G.,Tethys Research Institute | Agardy T.,Sound Seas | Katsanevakis S.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | And 2 more authors.
Marine Policy | Year: 2013

Although significant advancements on protecting marine biodiversity and ecosystems of the Mediterranean Sea have been made, much remains to be done to achieve the targets set by the Convention for Biological Diversity (and the Barcelona Convention) and ratified by the 21 Mediterranean governments. Particularly, these targets require the design and implementation of an ecologically representative network of marine protected areas that covers 10% of the Mediterranean surface by 2020. Despite the many efforts to gather spatial information about threats to the Mediterranean and conservation planning initiatives that identify sensitive areas for conservation, we are far from achieving this target. In this paper, we briefly review existing and proposed conservation initiatives at various scales throughout the Mediterranean to recognise those that have political endorsement and those that serve more as lobbying tools. We then propose a model process that can be applied to advance marine spatial planning within the eleven ecologically and biologically significant areas (EBSAs) through a multi-step process designed for moving conservation forward in this particularly complex region. The proposed process combines tenets of professional urban/regional planning and systematic conservation planning. As shown with two specific examples, despite some conventional wisdom, there is enough information on the Mediterranean Sea to move forward with ecosystem-based marine spatial management for conservation purposes using the EBSAs as a starting point - and the time is right to do so. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Agardy T.,Sound Seas | di Sciara G.N.,Tethys Research Institute | Christie P.,University of Washington
Marine Policy | Year: 2011

A blind faith in the ability of MPAs to counteract loss of biodiversity is fraught with risk, especially when MPAs are poorly planned and when the consequences of establishing MPAs are not adequately thought out. MPA shortcomings are categorized as one of five main types: (1) MPAs that by virtue of their small size or poor design are ecologically insufficient; (2) inappropriately planned or managed MPAs; (3) MPAs that fail due to the degradation of the unprotected surrounding ecosystems; (4) MPAs that do more harm than good due to displacement and unintended consequences of management; and (5) MPAs that create a dangerous illusion of protection when in fact no protection is occurring. A strategic alternative, which fully utilizes the strengths of the MPA tool while avoiding the pitfalls, can overcome these shortcomings: integrating marine protected area planning in broader marine spatial planning and ocean zoning efforts. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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