Designation and management of large-scale MPAs drawing on the experiences of CCAMLR

Ross Sea (wiki commons)

By Julia Whidden, SRC Intern   While national governments have complete control over the resources in their exclusive economic zone (200 nautical miles from a country’s coastline), the “high seas”, or open ocean, belongs to no one. Resources are extracted from the high seas at an astonishing rate by nearly every country on our planet, and even though no one owns it, everyone benefits (at different rates). So how do you decide how to manage it? Picture a group of kids in a room around a busted piñata, except it’s pitch black. No one knows exactly what they’re taking, or … Continue reading

The Three Pillars of Ecotourism

Boom and bust fishing cycles in the Galapagos Islands has led to the development of ecotourism, some of which as been very difficult on the locals.

By Emily Rose Nelson, SRC Intern Conservationists, scientists, and politicians alike are increasingly starting to understand that the natural environment can no longer be effectively managed as a separate entity from humans. We have left footprints nearly everywhere on earth and therefore, it is essential we start to factor ourselves into the equation when putting together management plans. One means of doing this, the development of ecotourism, has gained popularity in recent years. At its best, ecotourism brings people to some of nature’s most pristine areas, which then promotes conservation of wildlife and habitat, all while improving the lives of … Continue reading

Integration of Indicator Alarm Signals for Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management


Figure 1: ROC plots where each point represents a fish stock time series. The further to the top left corner, the more often management actions were appropriate to indicator signal. Points below the line and right indicate inappropriate responses to indicator signal.

By Robert Roemer, SRC Intern Taking into account different stakeholder’s priorities, while combining ecological, economic, and recreational indicators for managing sustainable fisheries have been a long-standing problem. While not a new issue, these quandaries are only compounded when opinions conflict within each ecological, socioeconomic, and recreational stakeholder class. A recent study conducted by Duggan et al. 2015 aim to address this problem by utilizing a ‘signal detection” approach, by focusing on shifting issues of multiple indicators usually with inconsistent, conflicting units to a simpler state. In the researchers eyes, simplicity is vital to successfully managing fisheries stocks. By reducing conflicting … Continue reading

Lifting, Not Shifting, Baselines in the Face of Conservation Success

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By Kevin Reagan, SRC Intern Twenty years ago the term “shifting baselines” was explored and coined by a fisheries scientist named Daniel Pauly in his paper titled “Anecdotes and the shifting baseline syndrome of fisheries.” This term is used to describe the idea that with each successive generation, in this case speaking of generations of fisheries scientists, the baseline (or standard) of fish stocks, abundance, size, growth rate, etc. is what they observed in the population at the beginning of their careers. Losses before this time are not really seen as losses because the norm is what’s observed when scientists begin, and this … Continue reading

Marine Biota and The Well Being of Humans

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By Melissa Soto, SRC Intern A small dose of nature can go a long way. Studies show that exposure to nature has a significant calming and stress reducing effect on humans. A recent study published in the United Kingdom examined how people’s behavior, physiological, and psychological reactions varied when exposed to an aquarium. The researchers recorded the participant’s reactions when the aquarium was unstocked (meaning no marine life), partially stocked (some marine life), and fully stocked (with plenty of marine life). Previous research suggests that humans inherently want to be surrounded by nature. Taking place in the United Kingdom’s National Marine … Continue reading

Social structure in a critically endangered Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) population

An Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin surfaces. Note the extensive and unique spotting pattern (Photo credit: Formosa Cetus Research and                         Conservation Group)

by Robbie Roemer, SRC student It is sometimes hard to comprehend animals besides humans, have the ability to ‘socially learn’ having complex social structures within their animal community. But such is the case with a variety of species including: lemon sharks (Guttridge et al. 2012; Guttridge et al. 2009), a variety of marine mammals (Krützen et al. 2005), and most astonishingly, the common crow (Hunt and Gray 2003).  Recently published in the journal of Aquatic Conservation: Marine And Freshwater Ecosystems, a new study investigated the social structure and behavior of a critically endangered Eastern Taiwan Straight (ETS) population of Indo-Pacific … Continue reading