Logo-banner
Published 26.10.2018 - Updated 26.10.2018

’Mind the Gap’ between ecosystem services classification and strategic decision making

Although ecosystem services are increasingly embedded in policy agendas, it is largely unknown if and how policy actors are considering them. This paper features a retrospective analysis of interviews with key policy actors involved in the strategic decision-making process leading to an innovative large-scale Dutch coastal management project, the Sand Motor mega beach nourishment. The interviews were analysed to ascertain which ecosystem services were considered and how they were described by policy actors. The findings suggest that broad, unspecified ecosystem services were adopted highly by the policy actors, while specific ecosystem service categories were rarely considered. Also, relatable and easy to understand cultural ecosystem services also constituted critical arguments for policy actors in their strategic decision making. The study suggests a ‘translation step’ between ecosystem services research and decision making for ecosystem services to truly align with relevant aspects of decision making.

Alexander van Oudenhven et al, 2018, ’Mind the Gap’ between ecosystem services classification and strategic decision making. Ecosystem Services. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2018.09.003

Read more
Published 08.10.2018 - Updated 08.10.2018

Call for abstracts - Future Oceans2 Brest, France 17-21 June 2019

We are now accepting abstracts for Future Oceans2. We welcome abstracts for oral and poster presentations. Abstracts must be submitted for specific sessions or workshops, and so it is advised to consult the session and workshop details prior to submission. The deadline for abstract submission is 1st December 2018. Abstracts must be submitted via the registration and abstract submission portal. There is no fee for abstract submission. 

 

Read more
Published 11.09.2018 - Updated 11.09.2018

New IMBeR publication: Extending regional stable isotope analyses to global scales

IMBeR´s regional programme, CLIOTOP’s largest Task Team ‘Marine Predator Isotopes’ recently published an article in Global Ecology and Biogeography. The paper presents a global spatial and comparative analysis of nitrogen stable isotopes for three species of tuna: yellowfin, albacore and bigeye. Predictive models were employed to assess broad-scale spatial patterns and environmental drivers of oceanic food webs. The analyses highlighted that while there are regional differences in the trophic structure of oceanic ecosystems, globally, tunas share similar functional trophic roles. Their work suggests that habitat compression resulting from the predicted global expansion of oxygen minimum zones with ocean warming will impact marine food webs and the corresponding foraging habits of marine predators.

Pethybridge, H., Choy, C.A., Logan, J.M., Allain, V., Lorrain, A., Bodin, N., Somes, C.J., Young, J., Ménard, F., Langlais, C. & Duffy, L., (2018) A global meta‐analysis of marine predator nitrogen stable isotopes: Relationships between trophic structure and environmental conditions. Global Ecology and Biogeography. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12763

Read more
Published 06.08.2018 - Updated 06.08.2018

An introduction to achieving policy impact for early career researchers

Scientists are increasingly required to demonstrate the real world tangible impacts arising from their research. Despite significant advances in scholarship dedicated to understanding and improving the relationships between science, policy and practice, much of the existing literature remains high level, theoretical, and not immediately accessible to early career researchers (ECRs) who work outside of the policy sciences. In this new paper, Megan Evans and Chris Cvitanovic draw on the literature and their own experiences working in the environmental sciences to provide an accessible resource for ECRs seeking to achieve policy impact in their chosen field. They (i) describe key concepts in public policy to provide sufficient background for the non-expert, (ii) articulate a number of practical steps and tools that can help ECRs to identify and enhance the policy relevance of their research, and (iii) highlight some of the key personality traits that ECRs can foster to operate more effectively at the interface of science, policy and practice.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
Published 13.04.2018 - Updated 13.04.2018

Growing seasonal extremes in ocean acidity

A new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change finds that if atmospheric CO2 continues to increase, the differences in extremes in surface-ocean acidity between summer and winter will roughly double by the end of the century. The amplified seasonality in acidity is projected to occur in all ocean regions. In the tropics and subtropics, associated impacts on organisms are likely to worsen during summer when acidity is highest and improve during winter when acidity is lowest; in colder ocean regions, these summer-winter tendencies are reversed. Future projections of these seasonal extremes come from nine Earth System Models that participated in the last Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Report. Projections were made not only for acidity (hydrogen ion concentration) but also for a saturation index that indicates how suitable conditions are for calcification, a process by which corals and shell builders produce hard skeletal material. The seasonal amplitude of that index (the aragonite saturation state) was found to generally decline as atmospheric CO2 increases. With time this could affect the ability of shell forming organisms to grow, with summer seawater conditions becoming less suitable for growth over most of the ocean.
Article: Kwiatkowski, L., & Orr, J. C. (2018). Diverging seasonal extremes for ocean acidification during the twenty-first century. Nature Climate Change, 8(2), 141-145. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-017-0054-0

Read more
Published 19.03.2018 - Updated 19.03.2018

Welcome to the new IMBeR endorsed project – MEMFiS !

IMBeR is pleased to announce its endorsement of the Marine Ecosystem Modelling and Forecasting System in the China Seas and Northwestern Pacific (MEMFiS) project.

China´s coastal regions are under increasing pressure from both climate change and intensive human activity. The ecology of the coastal regions are particularly threatened by eutrophication, red tides and hypoxia events, etc. This raises the question of whether, and to what extent, ecological changes in coastal regions can be predicted, in order to preserve and retain their function and economic value.

Focusing on the ecology of the Bohai, Yellow, East and South China Seas, and the Northwestern Pacific, the MEMFis project aims to develop an integrated modelling and forecasting framework, using high-resolution physical-ecosystem models and data from multiple sources. By investigating ecosystem variability at different temporal and spatial scales, several key scientific questions will be tackled. Marine ecosystem variability will be addressed at the interface of different systems, parameterizations optimized for biogeochemical processes in different regions, data assimilation and ecosystem forecasting using multiple observations not only from moorings, buoys and ships, but also from bio-Argo, gliders and high-resolution satellite imagery.

More than 15 research institutes are involved in MEMFiS including the Second Institute of Oceanography, Tianjin University, the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, and the National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center.

Read more
Published 09.02.2018 - Updated 09.02.2018

Climate vulnerability and resilience in the most valuable North American fishery

Climate change is impacting global fisheries and societies that depend on them. Identifying climate adaptation measures requires understanding of how environmental changes and management policies interact in driving fishery productivity. Coincident with the recent exceptional warming of the northwest Atlantic Ocean and removal of large predatory fish, the American lobster has become the most valuable fishery resource in North America. A new PNAS paper by Arnault Le Bris et al. shows that interactions between warming waters, ecosystem changes, and differences in conservation efforts led to the simultaneous collapse of the lobster fishery in southern New England and record-breaking landings in the Gulf of Maine. The results demonstrate that sound, widely adopted fishery conservation measures based on fundamental biological principles can help capitalize on gains and mitigate losses caused by global climate change.

Read more
Published 01.02.2018 - Updated 01.02.2018

Global Change in Marine Systems: Societal and Governing Responses – a new publication by the IMBeR Human Dimensions Working Group (HDWG)

Marine social and ecological systems are facing multiple challenges due to global change. The IMBeR Human Dimensions Working Group’s recently published book “Global Change in Marine Systems: Societal and Governing Responses”, examines some of the actions taken in response to an environmental or other impact resulting from global change in 20 case studies from a range of marine systems around the world. The "I-ADApT" analytical decision support tool developed by the HDWG to help decision makers consider possible responses to global change, based on experiences elsewhere was applied to the case studies. Assessment of the societal and governing responses, highlighted similarities and differences between “the good, the bad and the ugly” - successful, and less successful, responses. Beth Fulton says “…This is the kind of go-to guide that will see us jump from simply identifying problems to doing something about it and finding our way to robust solutions." Rosemary Ommer: “While emphasizing on the importance of in-depth disciplinary perspectives, it also applies an innovative framework for cross-disciplinary analysis, which the governability of these systems requires. Thus, the book has important lessons for policy makers, management practitioners and academics alike." Read the full reviews here

 

Read more
Published 23.01.2018 - Updated 23.01.2018

New IMBeR Scientific Steering Committee members

IMBeR is very pleased to welcome the following new members who have just joined its Scientific Steering Committee: Chris Cvitanovic (Early Career Rep.), Oscar Iribarne, Olav Sigurd Kjesbu, Frank Muller-Karger, Alice Newton, Suvaluck Satumanatpan, and David VanderZwaag. They come to IMBeR from an array of marine disciplines with wide and varied research interests, and a staggering amount of expertise and experience!

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Alida Bundy, Ratana Chuenpagdee, Masao Ischii, Tatiana Rynearson and Svein Sundby who are rotating off, for their amazing contributions to IMBeR over the years that they served on the SSC.

Read more
Published 29.11.2017 - Updated 29.11.2017

Climate-driven changes in functional biogeography of Arctic marine fish communities

The distribution of fish species in the Barents Sea is changing due to increasing temperatures and reduced sea ice cover. We were eager to know if shifts in species composition and distribution are also reflected in changes in ecosystem functioning, i.e., in the way important biological and biogeochemical processes work. The warmer temperatures and reduction in sea ice coverage are rapidly altering how marine communities function in the Barents Sea. The rapid changes in functional characteristics of Arctic communities indicate that it is not only the species that are changing, as previous studies had shown, but the way the ecosystem functions is also changing. The functional characteristics associated with warmer boreal fish species are quickly replacing the functional characteristics associated with the colder Arctic fish species. Boreal and Arctic communities each previously covered about 50% of the Barents Sea, but the Arctic communities were reduced to 20% of the region during the recent warming period.

Read more
Published 20.11.2017 - Updated 20.11.2017

The 2016-2025 IMBeR Science Plan and Implementation Strategy has been ratified!

After an intensive consultation and review process that began in 2012, the IMBeR Science Plan and Implementation Strategy (SPIS) has now been sanctioned by IMBeR’s sponsors – the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) and Future Earth. The SPIS outlines IMBeR´s research agenda until 2025, towards its vision of Ocean sustainability under global change for the benefit of society.

Read more
Published 23.10.2017 - Updated 23.10.2017

New CLIOTOP special issue - Tunas and their fisheries: safeguarding sustainability in the twenty-first century

Tuna are one of the pelagic species central to IMBeR´s CLIOTOP regional programme. The relationship of tunas to their environment has been studied for decades and is increasingly important as the effects of climate change become more apparent in the pelagic environment. Recent studies relating climate change to changes in movements and distributions of tunas are based on physiological studies on tunas and awareness of species-specific suitable habitats. This special issue focuses on these commercially and ecologically important species, with contributions on species, life history stages, fisheries, and bycatch, with the following contributions.

Read more
Published 28.09.2017 - Updated 28.09.2017

Expanding marine predator isotope work: community-level metrics, mercury isotopes, and data-model linkages

Ecological applications of stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis are rapidly expanding through the analysis of metadata. Recent efforts of the IMBeR CLIOTOP Task Team on Marine Predator Isotopes have focused on finalising an open-access data paper and three research papers that present novel findings of global scale, spatial and temporal analyses on migratory tuna muscle isotopes. The task team recently met in Brest, France to discuss novel ways to expand our ecological understanding of the ocean. The main approaches included formulating community level metrics, using isotopes of mercury, and finding practical ways to link isotopic data with ecosystem and biogeochemical models.

Read more
Published 24.08.2017 - Updated 24.08.2017

Emergent constraints on projections of declining primary production in the tropical oceans

Marine primary production by phytoplankton provides the main source of food and energy to the marine food web, and influences the concentration of atmospheric CO2. Projections of how such primary production will respond to climate change are currently highly uncertain with models projecting both increases and declines of up to 20% by 2100. This uncertainty is mainly driven by the sensitivity of tropical ocean primary production to climate change, with the latest models suggesting 21st century tropical declines of between 1 and 30%. A new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change by Lester Kwiatkowski, Laurent Bopp, Olivier Aumont and others, identifies a novel way to reduce the uncertainty associated with projections of marine primary production. The study shows that across a large ensemble of models there is a consistent relationship between the long-term sensitivity of ocean primary production to climate change and the interannual sensitivity of primary production to El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Models that are highly sensitive to interannual climate variability are also highly sensitive to long-term climate change. By using this relationship in combination with satellite-based observations of the historical interannual sensitivity of primary production, the authors were able to constrain projections of the long-term climate impact on primary production.

Read more
Published 07.09.2017 - Updated 07.09.2017

Governing fisheries through the critical decade: the role and utility of polycentric systems

The next 10 years are considered a critical decade for fisheries. Declining fish stocks in combination with mounting climate pressure are likely to lead to significant and adverse socio-ecological impacts, threatening sustainability. Responding to these challenges requires modes of governance that are capable of dealing with the complexity and uncertainty associated with the world’s fisheries and their ecosystems. While a range of governance frameworks exist, the concept of polycentric governance has gained prominence in the environmental sector and is posited as a key principle underpinning the resilience of complex socio-ecological systems. However, the application of polycentric governance to fisheries management has been seldom explored. To address this, a new paper in Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries by Chris Cvitanovic, Alistair Hobday, Ingrid van Putten and others reviewed the literature on polycentric governance to elucidate its potential value in improving the outlook for fisheries and their associated ecosystems. They identify a number of characteristics unique to polycentric governance arrangements that overcome known limitations in other forms of governance - polycentric systems are highly participatory and promote the broadest levels of stakeholder involvement, they increase policy freedom at the local level, and they improve the spatial fit between knowledge, action and socio-ecological contexts to ensure that governance responses are implemented at the most appropriate scale. Through fisheries case-studies, they then demonstrate that these characteristics are important in helping fisheries respond to complex challenges, and articulate future research needs that should be addressed to understand the conditions under which polycentric governance systems are most suited, and the ways in which they can be operationalised most effectively.

Read more
Published 15.08.2017 - Updated 15.08.2017

A global science–business initiative for ocean stewardship

The oceans are under considerable pressure from a wide variety of anthropogenic activities. Addressing the challenge of ocean sustainability necessitates collaboration between multiple actors. A recent paper by Henrik Österblom et al investigates the process of identifying the “keystone actors” in marine ecosystems – specifically global fisheries and aquaculture corporations - and engaging with them to explore how together they could promote transformative change, that could alter the international seafood business, and support global ocean sustainability. The authors established a global science-business coalition “Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship” (SeaBOS) with the CEO’s of some of the largest seafood businesses to work together towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, starting with making the seafood industry more sustainable.

Read more
Published 19.06.2017 - Updated 19.06.2017

2019 IMBeR OSC will be held in Brest, France

IMBeR is delighted to announce that its 2nd Open Science Conference will be held in Brest, France in 2019.
In some ways, this is a bit like going home – as Brest hosted the IMBeR International Project Office at the European Institute for Marine Sciences (IUEM) from 2005-2012. We look forward to working with the local scientific community and staff of the Campus Mondial de la Mer, to organise a great event in 2019.
We would like to thank all those who submitted bids to host the event. You gave us a difficult choice!

Watch this space for more details about the 2019 IMBeR OSC!

Read more
Published 02.06.2017 - Updated 26.07.2017

Deadline to submit abstracts for IMBIZO5 has been extended to 15 June!

IMBIZOs are IMBeR´s flagship conferences and IMBIZO5 is the fifth in the series. They are limited to about 120 participants, which we have found is a good size for stimulating discussions. Participants are selected on the relevance of their abstracts, so you must submit one to be considered.

Read more
Published 20.03.2017 - Updated 20.03.2017

Tackle global change challenges using I-ADApT

Ratana Chuenpagdee, leader of the Too Big To Ignore (TBTI) project and member of IMBeR’s Scientific Steering Committee and Human Dimensions Working Group, gave a plenary talk at the ICES/PICES Symposium on the Drivers of Dynamics of Small Pelagic Fish Resources (March 2017, Victoria, BC). The title of her presentation was Small fish, big stake: Vulnerability and adaptation of small-scale small pelagic fisheries to global changes.

Read more
Published 23.02.2017 - Updated 28.02.2017

IMBIZO 5: Marine biosphere research for a sustainable ocean: Linking ecosystems, future states and resource management

Abstract submission and registration is now open for the IMBeR IMBIZO 5!  We will follow the proven IMBIZO format of three parallel workshops with joint plenary and poster sessions. To ensure good discussions and interactions, the number of participants is limited to about 40 per workshop. For a diversity of scientific interests, selection willl be based on the research interests and abstracts submitted by would-be attendees. Choose a workshop and submit an abstract soon!

Read more
Published 07.12.2016 - Updated 07.12.2016

The 2016 PICES Annual Science Meeting and 25-year anniversary celebration

IMBER was well represented at the 2016 PICES Annual Science Meeting (ASM) that was held in San Diego, CA, USA, from 2 - 11 November. It was a special meeting as PICES was celebrating its 25th anniversary, so the meeting included a look back at where they have been as well as where they are going.

 

Read more
Published 30.11.2016 - Updated 30.11.2016

Global patterns and trends of tuna isotopes

Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis is a common tool to estimate trophic position and examine habitat patterns of a range of coastal and marine predators, but due to the extensive oceanic habitat and logistics required to conduct wide-scale sampling, global comparisons have been limited to date. The CLIOTOP 2016-01 ‘Tuna Isotopes’ Task Team recently convened two workshops in Hobart, Australia to draft two scientific papers. 

Read more
Published 17.11.2016 - Updated 18.11.2016

East China Normal University to host the IMBER Regional Project Office for a further three years

A ceremony to mark the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between IMBER and the East China Normal University (ECNU) was held on 20 October 2016 at ECNU in Shanghai, China. This MOU relates to the renewal to host and support the IMBER Regional Project Office (RPO) at the State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research (SKLEC) at ECNU for an additional three years. Carol Robinson, IMBER Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) Chair and Rongming Wang, ECNU Vice President, signed the MOU on behalf of IMBER and ECNU.

Read more