Sound Seas

Van Nuys, MA, United States

Sound Seas

Van Nuys, MA, United States
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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.


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.


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.


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.


PubMed | Anglia, Australian National University, Florida Institute of Technology, University of Washington and 14 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: 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.


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.


Agardy T.,Sound Seas | Claudet J.,CNRS Insular Research Center and Environment Observatory | Claudet J.,Laboratoire Dexcellence Corail | Day J.C.,James Cook University
Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems | Year: 2016

The use of targets to provide measurable objectives and benchmarks for management, conservation, and restoration of ecosystems is commonplace. In the marine and coastal realms, targets have been successful in setting sustainable limits to fisheries harvests, thresholds for pollutants, and recommended amounts of representative habitat included in marine protected area (MPA) networks. Quantifiable targets can dissuade governments from making dubious claims about investments in ocean protection that sound impressive but cannot be verified. Examples are presented where protection targets have been used successfully for marine management, and instances where measurable and meaningful benchmarks serve to allow tracking of true progress. However, the setting of targets can also be a double-edged sword. In some cases, targets have proven useful, but in many instances, interventions made to fulfil targets not only give a false illusion of progress or even success, they present opportunity costs that impede further conservation. Some of these issues were raised in the 2003 article ‘Dangerous Targets?: Unresolved issues and ideological clashes around marine protected areas’ that appeared in Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. Since its publication, the article's warnings about how targets can sometimes be dangerous and counter-productive have led to intense debate among scientists and policy-makers alike, and the paper has been cited in more than 500 publications. Yet today, more than a dozen years after the first ‘Dangerous Targets' publication, new targets are driving more MPA designations and conservation strategies than ever before, and the ‘dangerous’ aspects of target setting have been largely ignored. This paper discusses old ‘dangers' in the context of new developments in marine conservation, including the lingering problem of having simplistic metrics drive marine policies, and the unintended result that can often occur when outputs (percentage of area under MPA designation) do not align with true outcomes of effective management and conservation. Newly emerging ‘dangers’ in letting areal targets (percentage of area under MPA designation) drive MPA designations are also discussed, including how the rush to fulfil obligations to protect a certain proportion of area is taking place in planning, separate from broader level, and potentially more holistic, marine spatial planning (MSP). The paper suggests five recommendations that would allow policy-makers to use targets more effectively, including: (1) increase transparency in planning, especially around specific goals and objectives of MPA establishment; (2) use time-based areal targets when representativity is a goal of the protected area strategy; (3) use MPAs when spatial protections are the best solution to the management challenge; (4) design MPAs with intrinsic performance goals, and use performance-based metrics in subsequent evaluation of MPAs; and (5) embed MPA planning into broader policy frameworks, including MSP. These five recommendations are oriented toward multilateral institutions, governments, and non-governmental organizations, suggesting concrete ways to utilize target-setting to their best advantage, in order to fight the downward spiral of degradation affecting marine and coastal environments worldwide. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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