Archives for August 2016

August 2016

Sustainable management of the high seas could recoup fish stock losses due to climate change

Closing the high seas to fishing could increase fish catches in coastal waters by 10%, compensating for expected losses due to climate change, finds a new Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program study published in Fish and Fisheries.

The high seas are those areas of the ocean outside the jurisdiction of countries; the high seas cover nearly two thirds of the ocean’s surface. These results could be seen by 2050 relative to 2000 and cooperatively managing the high seas fisheries would have similar effects.

Nereus Scientific & Technical Briefs on ABNJ series

The Nereus Scientific & Technical Briefs on ABNJ series was developed out of a workshop held prior to this year’s 4th International Marine Conservation Congress in St. John’s, Newfoundland (July-August 2016). They were prepared for the second meeting of the BBNJ Preparatory Committee meeting, held from August 26 – September 9, at the UN. The PrepComm is developing an international legally binding instrument under the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. These policy briefs are meant to inform this process and different aspects of high seas conservation and use.

POLICY BRIEF: Space for conservation and sustainable use: area-based management in areas beyond national jurisdiction

Marine areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction contain ecosystems with marine resources and biodiversity of significant ecological, socioeconomic, and cultural importance. These areas and their resources are subject to increasing impacts from ongoing human activities and global climate change and their associated cumulative and combined effects.

POLICY BRIEF: Climate Change in Oceans Beyond National Jurisdictions

Despite their remoteness, the high seas and deep ocean in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) are at the forefront of CO2-induced climate stress, both in their mitigation capacity, and their vulnerabilities. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emission alters ocean conditions, leading to ocean warming, deoxygenation and acidification. These ocean changes affect marine life throughout the ABNJ, from the surface to the deep sea, by changing species’ distributions, migration routes, ecosystem structure and functions.

POLICY BRIEF: A review of the impacts of fisheries on open-ocean ecosystems

Up until the 1960s, the open-ocean in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) was one of the last frontiers of fisheries exploitation. The magnitude and inaccessibility of open-ocean ecosystems, as well as technological constraints, deterred fisheries from operating intensely in them. However, open-ocean fisheries expanded exponentially from the 1960s through the 1980s and 1990s, at which point global fish catches peaked, plateaued and possibly began to decline.

POLICY BRIEF: Satellite tracking to monitor area-based management tools & identify governance gaps in fisheries beyond national jurisdiction

A new source of publicly accessible data on fishing vessel activity is providing unprecedented insight into the scope of fishing in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) and governance gaps therein. This emerging source of ocean ‘big data’ can help quantify who is fishing where in ABNJ, can enhance cooperation between competent authorities, and can help States and competent organizations implement policies and management measures related to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction.

POLICY BRIEF: Open Data: enabling conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction

Open data is critically important for effective conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ). Open data enables effective and efficient environmental impact assessments, area-based management, sharing of non-monetary benefits of marine genetic resources and achieving marine technology transfer. As components of marine technology transfer, data acquisition (including biological, genetic, environmental and other forms of data) and accessibility are therefore both important issues for the new instrument.

POLICY BRIEF: Technology Transfer

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) Part XIV provides for State cooperation with the view to promoting the development and transfer of marine science and technology. In addition, Article 202 refers to the provision of scientific and technical assistance to developing States for the protection and preservation of the marine environment. UNCLOS Part XIV and XIII refer to various forms of technology transfer including training, access to information, international scientific research cooperation and establishing national and regional marine science and technology centres.

Biomass modeling and transfer efficiency: Mathieu Colléter completes fellowship

Biomass is the mass of organisms in an ecosystem or community; it is thought of in terms of energy for the next trophic level – the higher chain in the food web. For example, the biomass of plankton, which may be eaten by herring, which may be eaten by tuna. Mathieu Colléter recently completed his Nereus Program fellowship at UBC. The focus of his study was on ecosystem modeling and, more particularly, work on biomass estimates for the world ocean using ecosystem models.