Literature Library

Currently indexing 229 titles

Sustainable Tourism in the Mediterranean: State of Play and Strategic Directions

Fosse J, Le Tellier J, Santarossa L, Manca E, Tambaktis T. Sustainable Tourism in the Mediterranean: State of Play and Strategic Directions. Valbonne, France: Plan Bleu ; 2017. Available from: http://planbleu.org/sites/default/files/publications/cahier17_tourisme_en_web.pdf
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

Over time the Mediterranean region has developed a unique blend of tourism activities associated with sea, health, sports, nature, business, as well as cruise and culture, offering consistent employment (11% of total employment) and economic growth (11% of regional GDP)1 . However, the economic growth due to tourism development has often been to the detriment of environmental integrity and social equity. Sea-Sand-Sun (3S) dependency, weak governance and degradation of cultural heritage, environmental pollution and resource depletion, contribution to climate change and climate vulnerability, political insecurity and social instability, economic and human capital leakage are some of the issues that threaten the longterm sustainability of the Mediterranean region and the tourism sector itself (Table 1).

Under the auspices of the UN Environment/MAP-Barcelona Convention, the recently approved regional sustainability frameworks such as the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development 2016-2025 (MSSD 2016-2025) and the Regional Action Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production for the Mediterranean (SCP AP) are completing the Protocol on Integrated Coastal Zone Management in the Mediterranean (ICZM Protocol) and making a contribution to tackling some of these issues. But inherent societal characteristics and the exponential development of the tourism sector are generating a need for a dedicated set of actions to be included in Strategic Directions for Sustainable Tourism in the Mediterranean to be implemented by regional, national and local policymakers and stakeholders under the following shared vision: 1 WTTC (2014). Economic impact of Travel & Tourism in the Mediterranean Promote sustainable Mediterranean tourism in which visitors and hosts enjoy balanced, respectful and fruitful relationships and value the unique Mediterranean environmental, human and cultural heritage, while ensuring inclusive socio-economic development, taking into account the carrying capacity of healthy natural ecosystems, and developing complementarity between various economic activities at the tourist destination level. Looking at the gaps between the vision and the issues identified makes it possible to list a set of Objectives and Strategic Directions for integrating the basic pillars of sustainability for the environment, society, economy, culture, and governance into the tourism sector (Table 2). In order to successfully implement the proposed Strategic Directions for Sustainable Tourism in the Mediterranean, relevant international institutions have been identified to coordinate specific objectives, directions or actions. These include: UN Environment/MAP and its Regional Activity Centres (technical coordination), UNWTO and UNESCO (thematic expertise), OECD (policy knowledge, economic governance), European Union (funding mechanisms) and Union for the Mediterranean (political support). While the costs associated with developing content for the Strategic Directions for Sustainable Tourism in the Mediterranean are relatively low, the budget for implementing the actions recommended could be significantly high and will require innovative financial instruments. In particular, lack of public funding increases the need to attract private and alternative investments to finance concrete actions and activities. Finally, a comprehensive, transparent and reliable monitoring system with relevant indicators has to be built to support the implementation and follow-up of the Strategic Directions that should be fully integrated within the MSSD 2016-2025.

Undaria pinnatifida: A case study to highlight challenges in marine invasion ecology and management

Epstein G, Smale DA. Undaria pinnatifida: A case study to highlight challenges in marine invasion ecology and management. Ecology and Evolution [Internet]. 2017 ;7(20):8624 - 8642. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5648660/
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Marine invasion ecology and management have progressed significantly over the last 30 years although many knowledge gaps and challenges remain. The kelp Undaria pinnatifida, or “Wakame,” has a global non‐native range and is considered one of the world's “worst” invasive species. Since its first recorded introduction in 1971, numerous studies have been conducted on its ecology, invasive characteristics, and impacts, yet a general consensus on the best approach to its management has not yet been reached. Here, we synthesize current understanding of this highly invasive species and adopt Undaria as a case study to highlight challenges in wider marine invasion ecology and management. Invasive species such as Undariaare likely to continue to spread and become conspicuous, prominent components of coastal marine communities. While in many cases, marine invasive species have detectable deleterious impacts on recipient communities, in many others their influence is often limited and location specific. Although not yet conclusive, Undaria may cause some ecological impact, but it does not appear to drive ecosystem change in most invaded regions. Targeted management actions have also had minimal success. Further research is needed before well‐considered, evidence‐based management decisions can be made. However, if Undaria was to become officially unmanaged in parts of its non‐native range, the presence of a highly productive, habitat former with commercial value and a broad ecological niche, could have significant economic and even environmental benefit. How science and policy reacts to the continued invasion of Undaria may influence how similar marine invasive species are handled in the future.

Social innovation – A future pathway for Blue growth?

Soma K, van der Burg SWK, Hoefnagel EWJ, Stuiver M, C. van der Heide M. Social innovation – A future pathway for Blue growth?. Marine Policy [Internet]. In Press . Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X17305870
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The European Union has launched the Blue growth concept as a strategy for stimulating economic growth in European seas. It is accompanying the core principles of the Green growth paradigm that seek to stimulate smart, sustainable and inclusive growth of economic activities. Focusing on Blue growth, this article examines its adequacy to enable social innovation as a strategy for the use and management of marine resources. Social innovation is interpreted as the changing behaviour of a group of actors joined in a network, leading to new and improved ways of collaborative action within the group and beyond. Social innovation can contribute to changing behaviour across different institutional settings, across markets and public sectors, and to enhancing bottom-up responsible inventiveness towards integration of social, economic and environmental objectives. Based on case-study research it is concluded that, to secure long-term sustainable development over short-term benefits, a social innovation perspective in the maritime domain will depend on cooperation, inclusiveness and trust.

Healthy fisheries are good for business: How better management of European fisheries will create jobs and improve the economy

Anon. Healthy fisheries are good for business: How better management of European fisheries will create jobs and improve the economy. Madrid, Spain: Oceana Europe; 2017. Available from: http://eu.oceana.org/en/publications/reports/healthy-fisheries-are-good-business
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

The study demonstrates what should be obvious to us all: by killing fisheries resources, EU governments are killing the fishing industry. This is why Oceana has been actively campaigning to stop overfishing, as sustainable fishing would not only benefit the environment, but also the economy and society as a whole.

Recreational fisheries in Portofino Marine Protected Area, Italy: Some implications for the management

Venturini S, Campodonico P, Cappanera V, Fanciulli G, R. Vietti C. Recreational fisheries in Portofino Marine Protected Area, Italy: Some implications for the management. Fisheries Management and Ecology [Internet]. 2017 ;Volume 24:382–391. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/fme.12241/full
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $38.00
Type: Journal Article

Since the 1970s, recreational fishing has become a mass hobby in Italy, reaching a large number of people, who, using modern equipment, increased their harvesting capacity, provoking serious conflicts with the professional fisheries. Recreational fishing is strictly regulated inside Italian Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and is generally allocated to local residents, mainly to reduce the tensions caused by limitations of access to the resources. The aim of this study was to provide an analysis of recreational fishing activities within the Portofino MPA (Mediterranean Sea), to assess the possible impact on the local fish stocks and to plan potential management actions. Furthermore, some serious inconsistencies on the minimum lengths of fish caught as defined by law relative to the minimum size of first reproduction are discussed. Since 2014, all anglers exploiting the Portofino MPA have been obliged to fill out a logbook. The compilation of these was not completely satisfactory, when compared with a group of reliable anglers whose catches were accurately monitored, but allowed for estimated yields of about 24 kg/angler/yr. After 15 years of protection, the fish biomass has increased within the Portofino MPA, generating a positive spillover effect. At the same time, it has attracted many anglers whose gross harvesting was estimated at about 8 t/year, representing about the 8% of the total yield of the local small-scale fishery.

Critical Inconsistencies in Early Implementations of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and Common Fisheries Policy Objectives Hamper Policy Synergies in Fostering the Sustainable Exploitation of Mediterranean Fisheries Resources

Raicevich S, Battaglia P, Fortibuoni T, Romeo T, Giovanardi O, Andaloro F. Critical Inconsistencies in Early Implementations of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and Common Fisheries Policy Objectives Hamper Policy Synergies in Fostering the Sustainable Exploitation of Mediterranean Fisheries Resources. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2017 ;4. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2017.00316/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
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No
Type: Journal Article

The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) aims to achieve “Good Environmental Status” (GES) in EU marine waters by 2020. This initiative started its first phase of implementation in 2012, when each member state defined the GES and environmental targets in relation to 11 descriptors and related indicators for 2020. In 2013, the EU Commission launched the reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), which aims to achieve biomass levels capable of producing maximum sustainable yield (MSY) for all commercial stocks exploited in EU waters by 2020, as well as contribute to the achievement of GES. These two pieces of legislation are aligned since according to Descriptor 3 (commercial fish and shellfish), the MSFD requires reaching a healthy stock status with fishing mortality (F) and spawning stock biomass (SSB) compatible with the respective MSY reference limits for all commercial species by 2020. We investigated whether the two policies are effectively aligned in the Mediterranean Sea, an ecosystem where the vast majority of stocks show unsustainable exploitation. For this purpose, we assessed and compared the number and typology of stocks considered by the member states when assessing GES in relation to data on stocks potentially available according to the EU Data Collection Framework (DCF) and the proportion of landings they represented. The number of stocks considered by the member states per assessment area was uneven, ranging between 7 and 43, while the share of landings corresponding to the selected stocks ranged from 23 to 95%. A lack of coherence between GES definitions among the member states was also revealed, and environmental targets were less ambitious than MSFD and CFP requirements. This could possibly reduce the likelihood of achieving fishery sustainability in the Mediterranean by 2020. These conditions limited the envisaged synergies between the two policies and are discussed in consideration of the recent Commission Decision on criteria and methodological standards for GES.

Macrofouling communities and the degradation of plastic bags in the sea: an in situ experiment

Pauli N-C, Petermann JS, Lott C, Weber M. Macrofouling communities and the degradation of plastic bags in the sea: an in situ experiment. Royal Society Open Science [Internet]. 2017 ;4(10):170549. Available from: http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/4/10/170549
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The increasing amount of plastic littered into the sea may provide a new substratum for benthic organisms. These marine fouling communities on plastic have not received much scientific attention. We present, to our knowledge, the first comprehensive analysis of their macroscopic community composition, their primary production and the polymer degradation comparing conventional polyethylene (PE) and a biodegradable starch-based plastic blend in coastal benthic and pelagic habitats in the Mediterranean Sea. The biomass of the fouling layer increased significantly over time and all samples became heavy enough to sink to the seafloor. The fouling communities, consisting of 21 families, were distinct between habitats, but not between polymer types. Positive primary production was measured in the pelagic, but not in the benthic habitat, suggesting that large accumulations of floating plastic could pose a source of oxygen for local ecosystems, as well as a carbon sink. Contrary to PE, the biodegradable plastic showed a significant loss of tensile strength and disintegrated over time in both habitats. These results indicate that in the marine environment, biodegradable polymers may disintegrate at higher rates than conventional polymers. This should be considered for the development of new materials, environmental risk assessment and waste management strategies.

Reviving the economy of the Mediterranean Sea: Actions for a Sustainable Future

Randone M, Di Carlo G, Costantini M. Reviving the economy of the Mediterranean Sea: Actions for a Sustainable Future. Rome, Italy: WWF Mediterranean Marine Initiative; 2017 p. 64. Available from: http://awsassets.wwfffr.panda.org/downloads/170927_rapport_reviving_mediterranean_sea_economy.pdf
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

In this report we have used two key concepts 1) ‘gross marine product’ (GMP), which can be compared to a country’s annual gross domestic product (GDP), and 2) ‘shared wealth fund’ which represents the total “asset” base of the ocean, to illustrate the economic value of the Mediterranean Sea which directly relies on healthy ocean assets.

Healthier seas, healthier people - Socioeconomic benefits of Marine Protected Areas

Rodríguez-Rodríguez D, D K, C W. Healthier seas, healthier people - Socioeconomic benefits of Marine Protected Areas. [Internet]. 2017 ;(6). Available from: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw8D-TFFFccxXzloQ09RNHRndTQ/view
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Yes
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No
Type: Newsletter
  • MPAs, primarily aimed to the conservation and restoration of nature, may provide, in parallel, some social and economic benefits.
  • Benefits are likely to occur at different time scales, which need to be identified to prevent or act against short-term losses.
  • Participatory approaches to MPA establishment and management, along with effective communication, lessen conflicts and enhance management effectiveness.

Coastal dynamics vs beach users attitudes and perceptions to enhance environmental conservation and management effectiveness

Aretano R, Parlagreco L, Semeraro T, Zurlini G, Petrosillo I. Coastal dynamics vs beach users attitudes and perceptions to enhance environmental conservation and management effectiveness. Marine Pollution Bulletin [Internet]. 2017 . Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X17307385
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $39.95
Type: Journal Article

This work carries out a landscape analysis for the last 60 years to compare the degree of preservation of two areas on the same Italian coastline characterized by different environmental protection levels: a National designated protected areas and a highly tourist coastal destination. The conversion of natural land-covers into human land uses were detected for protected and unprotected coastal stretches highlighting that the only establishment of a protected area is not enough to stem undesirable land-use outcomes. A survey analysis was also conducted to assess attitudes of beach users and to evaluate their perception of natural habitats, beach and coastal water quality, and coastal dynamic over time. The results of 2071 questionnaires showed that there is similarity between subjective and objective data. However, several beach users perceived a bad quality of coastal water in the legally unprotected coastal area. The implications from a planning and management perspective are discussed.

Fishing in a congested sea: What do marine protected areas imply for the future of the Maltese artisanal fleet?

Said A, MacMillan D, Schembri M, Tzanopoulos J. Fishing in a congested sea: What do marine protected areas imply for the future of the Maltese artisanal fleet?. Applied Geography [Internet]. 2017 ;87:245 - 255. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0143622816306191
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

Inshore artisanal fishing in Malta is under intense spatial competition as the coastal zone is fragmented by multiple uses and designations including maritime transport, infrastructure, industrial fisheries, aquaculture, tourism and recreation. This research, adopting a grounded visualization methodology, explains how the artisanal fishing sector has undergone and been affected by ‘spatial squeezing’. Our results show that artisanal fishermen have been forced to give up fishing grounds or co-exist with other uses to the point where the ability to fish is becoming increasingly challenging. These difficulties might escalate with the advent of the marine protected areas (MPAs) which encompass nearly half of the inshore fishing zones. Since there does not seem to be effective MPA consultation mechanisms that elicit the real social, cultural and economic value of artisanal fishing grounds, fishermen feel threatened, alienated and disempowered. This study urges for a more holistic approach to spatial marine planning and accentuates the need of realizing the dependency of the artisanal sector on the inshore zones in the implementation of conservation measures, such that the prolonged existence of the coastal fishing communities is not jeopardized.

Recommendations for developing and applying genetic tools to assess and manage biological invasions in marine ecosystems

Darling JA, Galil BS, Carvalho GR, Rius M, Viard F, Piraino S. Recommendations for developing and applying genetic tools to assess and manage biological invasions in marine ecosystems. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2017 ;85:54 - 64. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X17303421
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

 

The European Union’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) aims to adopt integrated ecosystem management approaches to achieve or maintain “Good Environmental Status” for marine waters, habitats and resources, including mitigation of the negative effects of non-indigenous species (NIS). The Directive further seeks to promote broadly standardized monitoring efforts and assessment of temporal trends in marine ecosystem condition, incorporating metrics describing the distribution and impacts of NIS. Accomplishing these goals will require application of advanced tools for NIS surveillance and risk assessment, particularly given known challenges associated with surveying and monitoring with traditional methods. In the past decade, a host of methods based on nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) analysis have been developed or advanced that promise to dramatically enhance capacity in assessing and managing NIS. However, ensuring that these rapidly evolving approaches remain accessible and responsive to the needs of resource managers remains a challenge. This paper provides recommendations for future development of these genetic tools for assessment and management of NIS in marine systems, within the context of the explicit requirements of the MSFD. Issues considered include technological innovation, methodological standardization, data sharing and collaboration, and the critical importance of shared foundational resources, particularly integrated taxonomic expertise. Though the recommendations offered here are not exhaustive, they provide a basis for future intentional (and international) collaborative development of a genetic toolkit for NIS research, capable of fulfilling the immediate and long term goals of marine ecosystem and resource conservation.

Ecological effects of full and partial protection in the crowded Mediterranean Sea: a regional meta-analysis

Giakoumi S, Scianna C, Plass-Johnson J, Micheli F, Grorud-Colvert K, Thiriet P, Claudet J, Di Carlo G, Di Franco A, Gaines SD, et al. Ecological effects of full and partial protection in the crowded Mediterranean Sea: a regional meta-analysis. Scientific Reports [Internet]. 2017 ;7(1). Available from: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-08850-w
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are a cornerstone of marine conservation. Globally, the number and coverage of MPAs are increasing, but MPA implementation lags in many human-dominated regions. In areas with intense competition for space and resources, evaluation of the effects of MPAs is crucial to inform decisions. In the human-dominated Mediterranean Sea, fully protected areas occupy only 0.04% of its surface. We evaluated the impacts of full and partial protection on biomass and density of fish assemblages, some commercially important fishes, and sea urchins in 24 Mediterranean MPAs. We explored the relationships between the level of protection and MPA size, age, and enforcement. Results revealed significant positive effects of protection for fisheries target species and negative effects for urchins as their predators benefited from protection. Full protection provided stronger effects than partial protection. Benefits of full protection for fish biomass were only correlated with the level of MPA enforcement; fish density was higher in older, better enforced, and —interestingly— smaller MPAs. Our finding that even small, well-enforced, fully protected areas can have significant ecological effects is encouraging for “crowded” marine environments. However, more data are needed to evaluate sufficient MPA sizes for protecting populations of species with varying mobility levels.

Recent Trends and Impacts of Fisheries Exploitation on Mediterranean Stocks and Ecosystems

Colloca F, Scarcella G, Libralato S. Recent Trends and Impacts of Fisheries Exploitation on Mediterranean Stocks and Ecosystems. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2017 ;4. Available from: http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmars.2017.00244/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

This review focuses on the recent data on Mediterranean fishing fleets and landings, results from stock assessments and ecosystem models to provide an overview of the multiple impacts of fishing exploitation in the different Mediterranean geographical sub-areas (GSAs). A fleet of about 73,000 vessels is widespread along the Mediterranean coasts. Artisanal activities are predominant in South Mediterranean and in the eastern basin, while trawling features GSAs in the western basin and the Adriatic Sea. The overall landings of fish, crustaceans and cephalopods, after peaking during mid 90s at about one million tons, declined at about 700,000 tons in 2013. However, while landings are declining in EU countries since the 90s, in non-EU countries a decreasing trend was observed only in the last 5–10 years. The current levels of fishing effort determine a general overexploitation status of commercial stocks with more than 90% of the stock assessed out of safe biological limits. Indicators obtained from available ecosystem models were used to assess the sustainability of the fisheries. They included primary production required to sustain fisheries (PPR), mean trophic level of the catch (mTLc), the loss in secondary production index (L index), and the probability of the ecosystem to be sustainably exploited (psust). In areas exploited more sustainably (e.g., Gulf of Gabes, Eastern Ionian, and Aegean Sea) fishing pressure was characterized by either low number of vessels per unit of shelf area or the large prevalence of artisanal/small scale fisheries. Conversely, GSAs in Western Mediterranean and Adriatic showed very low ecosystem sustainability of fisheries that can be easily related with the high fishing pressure and the large proportion of overfished stocks obtained from single species assessments. We showed that the current knowledge on Mediterranean fisheries and ecosystems describes a worrisome picture where the effect of poorly regulated fisheries, in combination with the ongoing climate forcing and the rapid expansion of non-indigenous species, are rapidly changing the structure and functioning of the ecosystem with unpredictable effects on the goods and services provided. Although this would call for urgent conservation actions, the management system implemented in the region appears too slow and probably inadequate to protect biodiversity and secure fisheries resources for the future generations.

Multi-objective spatial tools to inform maritime spatial planning in the Adriatic Sea

Depellegrin D, Menegon S, Farella G, Ghezzo M, Gissi E, Sarretta A, Venier C, Barbanti A. Multi-objective spatial tools to inform maritime spatial planning in the Adriatic Sea. Science of The Total Environment [Internet]. 2017 ;609:1627 - 1639. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S004896971731985X
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $41.95
Type: Journal Article

This research presents a set of multi-objective spatial tools for sea planning and environmental management in the Adriatic Sea Basin. The tools address four objectives: 1) assessment of cumulative impacts from anthropogenic sea uses on environmental components of marine areas; 2) analysis of sea use conflicts; 3) 3-D hydrodynamic modelling of nutrient dispersion (nitrogen and phosphorus) from riverine sources in the Adriatic Sea Basin and 4) marine ecosystem services capacity assessment from seabed habitats based on an ES matrix approach. Geospatial modelling results were illustrated, analysed and compared on country level and for three biogeographic subdivisions, Northern-Central-Southern Adriatic Sea. The paper discusses model results for their spatial implications, relevance for sea planning, limitations and concludes with an outlook towards the need for more integrated, multi-functional tools development for sea planning.

North East Atlantic vs. Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas as Fisheries Management Tool

Pérez-Ruzafa A, García-Charton JA, Marcos C. North East Atlantic vs. Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas as Fisheries Management Tool. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2017 ;4. Available from: http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmars.2017.00245/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The effectiveness of management initiatives implemented in the context of the European Common Fisheries Policy has been questioned, especially with regard to the Mediterranean. Some of the analyses made to compare the fishing activity and management measures carried out in the North East Atlantic and in the Mediterranean do not take into account some of the differentiating peculiarities of each of these regions. At the same time, they resort to traditional fisheries management measures and do not discuss the role of marine protected areas as a complementary management tool. In this respect, the apparent failure of marine protected areas in the North-East Atlantic compared with the same in the Mediterranean is challenging European fishery scientists. Application of the classical holistic view of ecological succession to the functioning of fishery closures and no-use areas highlights the importance of combining both management regimes to fully satisfy both fishery- and biodiversity-oriented goals. We advocate that an optimal management strategy for designing an MPA to protect biodiversity and sustain fishing yields consists of combining a network of no-use areas (close to their mature state) with fish boxes (buffer zones maintained by fishing disturbance in a relatively early successional stage, where productivity is higher), under a multi-zoning scheme. In this framework, the importance of no-use areas for fisheries is based on several observations: (1) They preserve biological diversity at regional scale, at all levels—specific, habitat/seascape, and also genetic diversity and the structure of populations, allowing natural selection to operate. (2) They permit the natural variability of the system to be differentiated from the effects of regulation and to be integrated in appropriate sampling schemes as controls. (3) They maintain the natural size and age structure of the populations, hence maximizing potential fecundity, allowing biomass export to occur from core to regulated areas, dampening the fluctuations derived from deviations from the theoretical optimal effort in the fishing zone.

Integrating natural capital assessment and marine spatial planning: A case study in the Mediterranean sea

Picone F, Buonocore E, D’Agostaro R, Donati S, Chemello R, Franzese PP. Integrating natural capital assessment and marine spatial planning: A case study in the Mediterranean sea. Ecological Modelling [Internet]. 2017 ;361:1 - 13. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304380017302648
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

Marine and coastal ecosystems are among the most productive environments in the world and their stocks of natural capital offer a bundle of vital ecosystem services. Anthropogenic pressure seriously threatens health and long-term sustainability of marine environments. For these reasons, integrated approaches capable of combining ecological and socio-economic aspects are needed to achieve nature conservation and sustainability targets. In this study, the value of natural capital of the Egadi Islands Marine Protected Area (EI-MPA) was assessed through a biophysical and trophodynamic environmental accounting model. The emergy value of both autotrophic and heterotrophic natural capital stocks was calculated for the main habitats of the EI-MPA. Eventually, the emergy value of natural capital was converted into monetary units to better communicate its importance to local managers and policy-makers. The total value of natural capital in the EI-MPA resulted in 1.12·1021 sej, equivalent to about 1.17 billion of euros. In addition, using Marxan software, the results of the environmental accounting were integrated with spatial data on main human uses. This integration took into account the trade-offs between conservation measures and human exploitation by means of two different scenarios, with and without considering human uses in the EI-MPA. The comparison between the scenarios highlighted the importance of taking into account human activities in marine spatial planning (MSP), allowing the identification of key areas for natural capital conservation. In conclusion, this study showed the importance of integrating environmental accounting with conservation planning to support effective strategies for ecological protection and sustainable management of human activities. The results of this study represent a first benchmark useful to explore alternative nature conservation strategies in the EI-MPA, and, more in general, in Mediterranean MPAs.

Habitat modeling for cetacean management: Spatial distribution in the southern Pelagos Sanctuary (Mediterranean Sea)

Pennino MGrazia, Mérigot B, Fonseca VPrado, Monni V, Rotta A. Habitat modeling for cetacean management: Spatial distribution in the southern Pelagos Sanctuary (Mediterranean Sea). Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography [Internet]. 2017 ;141:203 - 211. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0967064516301904
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Effective management and conservation of wild populations requires knowledge of their habitats, especially by mean of quantitative analyses of their spatial distributions. The Pelagos Sanctuary is a dedicated marine protected area for Mediterranean marine mammals covering an area of 90,000 km2 in the north-western Mediterranean Sea between Italy, France and the Principate of Monaco. In the south of the Sanctuary, i.e. along the Sardinian coast, a range of diverse human activities (cities, industry, fishery, tourism) exerts several current ad potential threats to cetacean populations. In addition, marine mammals are recognized by the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive as essential components of sustainable ecosystems. Yet, knowledge on the spatial distribution and ecology of cetaceans in this area is quite scarce. Here we modeled occurrence of the three most abundant species known in the Sanctuary, i.e. the striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba), the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus), using sighting data from scientific surveys collected from 2012 to 2014 during summer time. Bayesian site-occupancy models were used to model their spatial distribution in relation to habitat taking into account oceanographic (sea surface temperature, primary production, photosynthetically active radiation, chlorophyll-a concentration) and topographic (depth, slope, distance of the land) variables. Cetaceans responded differently to the habitat features, with higher occurrence predicted in the more productive areas on submarine canyons. These results provide ecological information useful to enhance management plans and establish baseline for future population trend studies.

Natural capital accounting in marine protected areas: The case of the Islands of Ventotene and S. Stefano (Central Italy)

Franzese PPaolo, Buonocore E, Donnarumma L, Russo GF. Natural capital accounting in marine protected areas: The case of the Islands of Ventotene and S. Stefano (Central Italy). Ecological Modelling [Internet]. 2017 ;360:290 - 299. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030438001730248X
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

Marine ecosystems are exposed to significant anthropogenic pressure mainly due to the exploitation of biotic and abiotic marine resources. Marine protected areas (MPAs) are important tools to achieve local and global marine conservation targets. Marine ecosystems generate goods and services vital for human well-being. Their value can be explored not only from an economic viewpoint based on market and human preferences, but also using a biophysical perspective based on the accounting of environmental costs sustained for the generation of natural capital stocks and ecosystem services flows.

In this study, the value of natural capital in the MPA “the Islands of Ventotene and S. Stefano” (Central Italy) was assessed applying a biophysical and trophodynamic environmental accounting model based on emergy accounting. The value of natural capital was estimated for the main habitats of the investigated MPA in terms of the work done by the biosphere for its generation and maintenance. Both the autotrophic and heterotrophic natural capital of the MPA was evaluated. The highest value of emergy density of 4.26∙1011 sej m−2 was shown by the habitat “Posidonia oceanica seagrass bed” when investigating the autotrophic natural capital. The sciaphilic hard bottom habitat (coralligenous) showed the highest value of emergy density of 2.76∙1012 sej m−2when investigating the heterotrophic natural capital. The high emergy cost of coralligenous confirmed the importance of this habitat that represents one of the most important hot spot of species diversity in the Mediterranean Sea. The total emergy value of natural capital of the MPA was converted to monetary units by using the emergy-to-money ratio for Italy, resulting in 8.26 M€. Finally, a GIS tool was used to show the spatial distribution of natural capital values in relation to different habitats. The outcomes of this study highlighted the usefulness of the applied biophysical and trophodynamic environmental accounting model to explore the ecological value of natural capital in marine ecosystems while supporting local managers and policy makers for the sustainable development of MPAs.

Fishery-independent surface abundance and density estimates of swordfish (Xiphias gladius) from aerial surveys in the Central Mediterranean Sea

Lauriano G, Pierantonio N, Kell L, Cañadas A, Donovan G, Panigada S. Fishery-independent surface abundance and density estimates of swordfish (Xiphias gladius) from aerial surveys in the Central Mediterranean Sea. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography [Internet]. 2017 ;141:102 - 114. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S096706451730142X
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Fishery–independent surface density and abundance estimates for the swordfish were obtained through aerial surveys carried out over a large portion of the Central Mediterranean, implementing distance sampling methodologies. Both design- and model-based abundance and density showed an uneven occurrence of the species throughout the study area, with clusters of higher density occurring near converging fronts, strong thermoclines and/or underwater features. The surface abundance was estimated for the Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals in the summer of 2009 (n=1152; 95%CI=669.0–1981.0; %CV=27.64), the Sea of Sardinia, the Pelagos Sanctuary and the Central Tyrrhenian Sea for the summer of 2010 (n=3401; 95%CI=2067.0–5596.0; %CV=25.51), and for the Southern Tyrrhenian Sea during the winter months of 2010–2011 ( n=1228; 95%CI=578–2605; %CV=38.59). The Mediterranean swordfish stock deserves special attention in light of the heavy fishing pressures. Furthermore, the unreliability of fishery–related data has, to date, hampered our ability to effectively inform long-term conservation in the Mediterranean Region. Considering that the European countries have committed to protect the resources and all the marine-related economic and social dynamics upon which they depend, the information presented here constitute useful data towards the international legal requirements under the Marine Strategy Framework Directory, the Common Fisheries Policy, the Habitats and Species Directive and the Directive on Maritime Spatial Planning, among the others.

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