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Published 27.06.2018 - Updated 27.06.2018

Version 6 of the Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas now available

SOCAT scientists proudly announce the release of Version 6 of the Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas.

The Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas (SOCAT, www.socat.info) is a synthesis activity by international marine carbon scientists (>100 contributors) with annual public releases. SOCAT version 6 has 23.4 million quality-controlled in situ surface ocean fCO2 (fugacity of carbon dioxide) measurements from 1957 to 2017 for the global oceans and coastal seas, as well as additional calibrated sensor fCO2 measurements.

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Published 20.06.2018 - Updated 20.06.2018

John Claydon is the new IMBeR Executive Officer

We are delighted to introduce, John Claydon, IMBeR’s new Executive Officer!

John has a background as a marine ecologist focusing on tropical marine systems, and has worked in a range of roles that includes research, teaching, management, policy, and governance. His most recent position was Director of the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources for the Turks and Caicos Islands Government.

Originally from the UK, after studying at St Andrews University in Scotland, John moved to Australia for postgraduate studies and finished up with a PhD from James Cook University focused on spawning aggregations of coral reef fishes. During much of this time he lived in Papua New Guinea collecting data and helping deliver environmental education programs to local school children.

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Published 08.06.2018 - Updated 08.06.2018

When push comes to shove in recreational fishing compliance, think ‘nudge’

Mary Mackay, Sarah Jennngs, Ingrid van Putten, Hugh Silby and Satoshi Yamazaki

Enforcing compliance with rules and regulations in recreational fisheries has proved difficult due to factors such as the high number of participants and costs of enforcement, the absence of regular monitoring of recreational fishing activity, and the inherent difficulties in accurately determining catch levels. The effectiveness of traditional punitive deterrence is limited, yet current management is heavily reliant on this compliance approach. In this paper, the potential of behavioural based management is considered through a narrative review of the relevant literature; specifically, exploring the use of nudges, which aim through subtle changes and indirect suggestion to make certain decisions more salient, thereby improving voluntary compliance. A number of potential nudges for compliance management in recreational fisheries are suggested, but caution is advised. As with any novel management approach, nudges must be rigorously tested to demonstrate their cost-effectiveness and to avoid unintended consequences.

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Published 06.06.2018 - Updated 06.06.2018

Marine Spatial Planning in Romania: State of the art and evidence from stakeholders

Natasa Vaidianu & Madalina Ristea. Ocean & Coastal Management

In the past few decades, unsustainable activities and increasing demands on marine resources have compromised the future use of the marine environment. Within this context, Romania has initiated efforts to incorporate a Maritime Spatial Planning Directive into the national legislative framework; and, in 2017, established a competent authority to undertake its implementation, so that marine spatial plans can be enacted by 31 March 2021. The authors reviewed Romania’s legal regime on MSP and developed a first approach for a MSP framework in Romania. The paper identified key challenges and concerns that are anticipated from the incorporation of MSP into the national spatial planning framework in its current form: a) Romanian stakeholders have a relatively poor understanding of European, national and regional sea planning regulations, b) concerns related to MSP implementation at regulatory level, c) huge need for sharing of MSP-relevant information for coherent planning, d) challenges of assessing the needs of interconnected ecosystems (including relevant EU and international legislation). Public engagement in marine spatial planning design is not commonplace. The study considered very specific aspects of how the marine spatial planning process evolves and will contribute to providing a coherent approach to reduce conflicts in the Romanian marine environment, appropriate MSP implementation, as well as minimizing the pressures and impacts on the marine resources.

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Published 24.05.2018 - Updated 24.05.2018

Call for Expressions of Interest to host the IMBeR International Project Office

IMBeR is a multidisciplinary global environmental change research initiative sponsored by the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) and Future Earth.

It began in 2005 and has advanced understanding about potential marine environmental effects of global change, and the impacts and linkages to human systems at multiple scales. It is apparent that the complex environmental issues and associated societal/sustainability choices operate at and across the interfaces of natural and social sciences and the humanities, and require both basic, curiosity-driven research and problem-driven, policy-relevant research. This underpins IMBeR's vision: “Ocean sustainability under global change for the benefit of society”.

The IMBeR International Project Office (IPO) provides management support for the planning and implementation of IMBeR activities, coordination between the international network of IMBeR scientists, and collaboration with related international projects and programmes. 

The IPO is currently hosted at the Institute of Marine Research in Bergen, Norway until the end of March 2020. IMBeR is soliciting offers for a new host arrangement from April 2020 onwards, for a period of at least three, and preferably five years.

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Published 08.05.2018 - Updated 08.05.2018

A Framework for Combining Seasonal Forecasts and Climate Projections to Aid Risk Management for Fisheries and Aquaculture

Alistair Hobday, Claire M. Spillman, J. Paige Eveson, Jason R. Hartog, Xuebin Zhang and Stephanie Brodie. Frontiers in Marine Science April 2018, 5(137): 1-9

A changing climate, in particular a warming ocean, will very likely impact marine industries. For example, aquaculture businesses may not be able to maintain production in their current location into the future, or area-restricted fisheries may need to follow the fish as their distribution shifts. Preparation for these potential climate impacts can be improved with information about the future.. The authors suggest risk management in a globally changing environment can be improved by combining seasonal forecasting to manage short-term variability, while using climate scale projections to plan transformative change, such as when to relocate a seafood business. Use of seasonal forecasts can reduce the costs and increase the profits at a location, thus extending the time that the business can operate.

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