The study, by Natalie Ban and Amanda Vincent of Project Seahorse, proposes modest reductions in areas where fisheries take place, rather than the current system of marine protected areas which only safeguard several commercially significant species, such as rockfish, shrimp, crab, or sea cucumber. The article is published today in PLoS ONE, an online journal of the Public Library of Science,
Using B.C.'s coastal waters as a test case, the study affirms that small cuts in fishing – if they happen in the right places – could result in very large unfished areas. For example, a two per cent cut could result in unfished areas covering 20 per cent of the B.C. coast, offered real conservation gains.
"The threat of over-fishing to our marine ecosystems is well-documented," says Ban, who recently completed her PhD at the UBC Fisheries Centre. "Our study suggests a different approach could reduce the impacts on fishers as well as helping us move towards achieving conservation goals."
Part of the reason for the research was to open a debate on how to meet conservation goals set during the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, which included establishing a network of marine protected areas by 2012.
"With the current rates of progress, there is no chance of meeting our 2012 targets," says Ban. "Given that fishers recognize the problem of overfishing but often regard marine protected areas as serving only to constrain them, another approach must be found. That's why we undertook this study."
The research looked at spatial catch data from Fisheries and Ocean Canada for 13 commercial fisheries on Canada's west coast to show that large areas representing diverse ecoregions and habitats might be protected at a small cost to fisheries.
"Given the dismal state of many fisheries, we urgently need to identify alternative approaches to sustaining marine life while respecting the needs of fishers and fishing communities," says Amanda Vincent, Canada Research Chair in Marine Conservation at UBC and Project Seahorse director. "We have little to lose – and much to gain – in trying a new approach in areas where marine conservation remains inadequate. Our research is globally relevant."
Project Seahorse (www.projectseahorse.org) is an interdisciplinary and international organisation committed to conservation and sustainable use of the world's coastal marine ecosystems. This team engages in connected research and management at scales ranging from community initiatives to international accords. It has won many awards for its effective collaborations with stakeholders and for its capacity to advance solutions for marine conservation problems. Project Seahorse is based at the UBC Fisheries Centre and the Zoological Society of London, UK.
The UBC Fisheries Centre (www.fisheries.ubc.ca) undertakes research to restore fisheries, conserve aquatic life, and rebuild ecosystems. To that end, it promotes multidisciplinary study of aquatic ecosystems and broad-based collaboration with maritime communities, government, NGOs and other partners. The UBC Fisheries Centre is recognized globally for its innovative and enterprising research, with its academics winning many accolades and awards.
Brian Lin | EurekAlert!
Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy