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Sea Around Us project newsletter, issue 15, January/February 2003 Forrest, Robyn; Sea Around Us Project Jan 31, 2003

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SSSS Seeee e aaaa a     AAAA Arrrr r ouououou ounnnn ndddd d     UUUU Ussss sThe Sea Around Us Project NewsletterIssue 15 – January/February 2003When most peopletry to visualizethe “Sea” theyenvisage large marineexpanses, and theirunderwater ecosystems.Until recently, the SeaAround Us project (SAUP)was way offshore, too. Yet,the sea also includes thecoast – where the landmeets the sea and whereone finds some of theworld’s most productivemarine areas such as reefs,mangroves and seagrassbeds. Coastal areas are ofgreat importance tofisheries, not to mentiontourism, aquaculture,transportation and gas andoil. Adding an emphasis onthe coast is a naturalprogression for the SeaAround Us as it moves intolow latitude areas, i.e., theCaribbean, West Africa andthe tropical Indo-Pacific,where large numbers offishers depend on coastalresources. So what doesthis mean for the project?Dealing explicitly withcoastal areas opens up awealth of researchopportunities for the SeaAround Us that haveimmediate and wideapplication around theworld.  We will be able toinvestigate:-   the importance ofcoastal habitats to fisheriesat the global scale;-  specific relationshipssuch as those betweenestuaries and prawns;-  re-valuation of ecosystemservices of various coastalhabitats;-  marine protected areahabitats and communitylinks;-  impacts of climatechange on coasts and thehealth of coastalpopulations;-  links between small-scalefishers and coastal habitats;-  river-basin impacts oncoastal systems;-  plus many more excitingand interesting studies.Specific projects such asthe Millennium EcosystemAssessment (seeMillennium update  box,p 8) will also benefit.The Sea Around Us projectis currently collatingcoastal habitat informationover a diverse range ofsubjects as the first step tocapitalizing on theseresearch opportunities.Substantial progress hasbeen made in collatinginformation fromcollaborating institutessuch as the WorldConservation MonitoringCentre (coral reefs, seagrasses and mangroves),University of NewHampshire (riverdischarges into estuaries),Millennium EcosystemAssessment (coastalpopulations) and LandOcean Interaction in theCoastal Zone (coastalgeochemical processes).More collaborationarrangements are inprogress.Where much-neededinformation is not availablefrom other sources, the SeaAround Us project hasgenerated its owndatabase to meet theproject’s needs. Theseinclude:-  Global estuary database(1200+ records, seeFigure 1)-  Database of mangroveand estuary associated fish-  16,000+ “coastal” cellscontaining fisheriescatches.Putting the coast in theSea Around Us projectby Jackie AlderContinued on page 2 - CoastsPage 2Sea Around Us – January/February 2003The Sea Around Us project newsletter ispublished by the  Fisheries Centre at the Uni-versity of British Colum-bia. Included withthe Fisheries Cen-tre’s newsletterFishBytes,six is-sues of this news-letter are pub-lished annually.Subscriptions arefree of charge.Our mailing address is: UBC Fisheries Cen-tre, 2204 Main Mall, Vancouver, British Co-lumbia, Canada, V6T 1Z4. Our fax number is(604) 822-8934, and our email address isSeaNotes@fisheries.ubc.ca. All queries (in-cluding reprint requests), subscription re-quests, and address changes should be ad-dressed to Robyn Forrest, Sea Around UsNewsletter Editor.The Sea Around Us website may be foundat saup.fisheries.ubc.ca and contains up-to-date information on the project.The global estuarydatabase is the first to bedesigned at a globalscale and the first toinclude digitized shapecells for each estuary.There are a few nationalestuarine databases(one is being maintainedin Australia) whichcontain scanned maps,but these do not treatestuaries as GIS objects,which are required fordeeper types of analysis.The Sea Around Us databasecontains information about thename, location, area in km2,perimeter and freshwater inputwith an annual time serieswhere available, as well asdocumentation of sources ofinformation. The database willbe enhanced in the future withinformation on sedimentloading, links to relevanthypoxic zones, upstreamdamming and primaryproduction.  Specifically, itcontains:-  1201 estuaries, of 127countries and territories,digitized to date with completeinformation for 97% of these(Figure 1);-  data that accounts for morethan 80% of the world’sfreshwater discharge;-  coastal lagoons and fiords;and-  a wide range of estuary sizes.Developing the coastalcomponent has its challenges –convincing other agencies toshare their data has been thebiggest challenge so far. Otherchallenges include findinginformation that isrepresentative, current andFigure 1.  Map showing the location of the1201 estuaries in the Sea Around Us projectaccurate.  As the projectprogresses we are continuallyredefining estuaries and theirboundaries, how watershedmodifications should behandled, when data need to beupdated, etc.The step of linking informationto the ‘coastal’ cells of the SeaAround Us project database hasalready commenced for someof the datasets, and once it isfinalized we hope to undertakeour first ‘coastal’ study.  We willbe presenting the database atthe upcoming InternationalEstuarine FederationConference in Seattle, thiscoming May, whose participantsmay help to expand the datasetas well as enhance itsusefulness to other projects.  Inthe meantime, the estuary teamwill continue to put the “C”oastinto the SCAUP!Coasts - Continued frompage 1The Sea Around Us project is a Fisheries Centre partner-ship with the Pew Charitable Trusts of Philadelphia,USA. The Trusts support nonprofit activities in the areas ofculture, education, the environment, health and human serv-ices, public policy and religion. Based in Philadelphia, the Trustsmake strategic investments to help organisations and citizensdevelop practical solutions to difficult problems. In 2000, withapproximately $4.8 billion in assets, the Trusts committed over$235 million to 302 nonprofit organisations.The globalestuarydatabase isthe first to bedesigned at aglobal scalePage 3 Sea Around Us – January/February 2003Around the year in fourweeks – that needs anexplanation. At this timeof writing, I’m sitting inDenmark preparing forChristmas and for a meeting ofthe Global Modelling Group ofthe Millennium EcosystemAssessment, to be held inAmsterdam in early January2003. It is winter outside, cold,below zero, but good to beback-home. We may have anice-winter coming if thiscontinues - would be theseventh in the last hundredyears.SummerLast week it was summer. I wasin Cape Town for a workshopand a meeting. Let’s start withthe former (which was later): DrLynne Shannon, of Marine andCoastal Management, CapeTown (whom many willremember from her visits to theFisheries Centre) had organizeda workshop at the University ofCape Town to introduce anEcosystem Approach toFisheries (EAF) in South Africa,and I was invited as a resourceperson. Not that the EAF idea isnew to South Africans: theyhave actually shown the rest ofthe world how to do ecosystemresearch through the BenguelaProgram (previously headed byFC reviewer Prof. John Field),even before that kind of workbecame fashionable. Further,Lynne defended her Ph.D. lastyear on Ecopath with Ecosim(EwE) modeling of the southernBenguela.  Indeed she has beenour ambassador in South Africafor years.The purpose of the workshopwas to discuss the feasibility ofintroducing an EAF to thesouthern Benguela ecosystem,and examine how to go aboutan implementation in SouthAfrica. A wide range of local andinternational scientistsparticipated, including worthiessuch as Doug Butterworth,André Punt, John Field, GunnarStefansson, Kevern Cochrane,Tony Smith, Beth Fulton, AstridJarre, and Kerim Aydin tomention but a few. A range ofmodels for ecosystemmanagement was presented,with focus on EwE, which hadalready been extensivelyapplied to the southernBenguela ecosystem.Quoting from the workshopreport: “The anticipatedoutcome of the workshop wasto propose a framework ofpractical ways in which wecould try to incorporateecosystem considerations(including information fromother types of multispeciesapproaches) into currentOperational ManagementProcedures and othermanagement strategies forSouth African marine resources[…] It was recommended thatan EAF be implemented as anincremental procedure withimmediate effect, e.g., bystarting to use ecosystemmodels to provide guidance onreference points still currentlyset according to single-speciesassessments.”The workshop thus illustrateshow ecosystem approaches aregradually but surely findingtheir way into assessment.Moreover, it is becomingincreasingly clear that EAF willbe useful for strategicmanagement (i.e., policyexploration), and play acomplementary role to ourtraditional, tactical (fire-fighting) management, basedon single-species assessments.The IOC/SCOR Working Group119 meeting preceding theMCM workshop was held in aformer prison at the famousCape Town Waterfront. Theplace, for those who don’t knowit, is like Big Sur in California,complete with a waterfront thatis a bigger version of SanFrancisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf,only within a real, workingharbor. As a tourist in CapeTown one can get away seeingvery little of what is happeningin the hinterland of SouthAfrica.The meeting was devoted to‘Quantitative EcosystemIndicators for FisheriesManagement’ (seewww.ecosystemindicators.org),and included an internationalgroup of scientists (Figure 1),Last week it was summer -confessions of an ecosystemtravellerBy Villy ChristensenContinued on page 4 - Last weekTheworkshopthusillustrateshowecosystemapproachesare graduallybut surelyfinding theirway intoassessmentPage 4Sea Around Us – January/February 2003hand-picked by the two co-chairs, Philippe Cury (Figure 4)and yours truly. WG 119 is ajoint activity of UNESCO’sIntergovernmentalOceanographic Commission(www.ioc.unesco.org) and theScientific Committee onOceanic Research of ICSU(www.jhu.edu/~scor) – whichby itself is remarkable, as thesetwo organizations usually donot co-sponsor Working Groups.The WG has a very strongmembership (which helps a lotin getting the work done andthe message accepted), andwas set up in response to alarge number of countriesasking for advice on how to useindicators as part of EAF oper-ational frameworks. As TonySmith, a former grad student ofCarl Walters, formulated it: “InAustralia the legislation [withregards to EAF] has been aheadof the science”. The existence ofWG 119 shows that ‘Science’ isnow catching up. A similardevelopment is taking place inmany other countries, and oneindicator of this is that interestand support for the WG is hugeand still-growing. Manyorganizations have already listedas co-sponsors.One goal of this meeting was toprepare for the main event of WG119: an international symposiumto be held at the UNESCO/IOCHQ next to the Eiffel Tower 31March – 3 April 2004, with the co-sponsorship of NMFS, PICES, IRDand our very own Sea Around Usproject (seewww.ecosystemindicators.org).The meeting also included aseries of presentations, mostavailable at the WG’s website,including one by D. Pauly (and anabsent R. Watson) on “Meantrophic levels and related indicesof ecosystem status” and onethat I devoted to “Fittingecosystem models to time seriesdata & their use for indicatorevaluation.” The presentationsserved to set the stage for whatcan be expected from keynotelectures in Paris, and gaveprospects for a goodsymposium.WinterThe week before Cape Townwas a cold winter-week inDenmark, and hence thefreezing workshop participantsin Figure 5, gathered for a weekat a field station of AarhusUniversity, the RønbjergLaboratory, on the shores ofLimfjord. I came quite often tothe lab as a grad student, andespecially remembered asummer course workingexperimentally with food of thefishes of the largest fjord inDenmark. The lab has a neat,bound collection of decades ofcourse reports, and I spenthours going through them,returning mentally to student-hood. At first, it seemed as if Ihad been erased from history - Icouldn’t find my report, norremember what year it was. Ifinally found it, and to my greatrelief, and perhaps that of theworkshop participants, I wasreinstated as a person with apast -  through a report thatwasn’t even embarrassing aftera couple of decades.Last week - Continued from page 3Continued on page 5 - Last week I especiallyremembereda summercourse as astudentworkingwith food ofthe fishes ofthe largestfjord inDenmarkFigures 1-4,  clockwise from top left:Figure 1.IOC/SCOR WG 119 met at CapeTown waterfront, at the foot of theTable Mountain - smiling thoughthey couldn’t stay outside ...Figure 2. ... as the very serious meeting washeld underground ...Figure 3.... in a former prison.Figure 4.My co-chair,  Philippe Cury.Page 5 Sea Around Us – January/February 2003Existential angst wasn’t thereason for going to Rønbjerg,though. We were there toconstruct a trophic model ofthe Limfjord in order to addressan overwhelming question:Why aren’t there any fish in thefjord anymore? It is not simply aquestion of fishing effort: manyof the demersals startingdeclining 10-15 years ago, whilethe pelagic fishes did well. Theusual suspects are the seals andcormorants, both of whichhaving grown from nearlynothing to population-sizesthat may be near carryingcapacity. However, some think itmay be, paradoxically, a result ofcleaning up the water in thefjord: the sewage thatpreviously flowed into the fjordwas effectively cleaned justwhen the fish starteddisappearing.The participants of theworkshop were an interestinglot.  Small groups representingthe Danish Institute for FisheriesResearch, the environmentalagency, the counties around thefjord, and the national fishers’organization (Figure 6), withrepresentatives from part-timefishers’ organizations droppingby. Funding for the workshopcame from anglers’ license fees,obtained only through supportand approval from the variousfishers’ organizations (whodecide how these license feesare distributed). These peoplenot only want ecosystem-basedmanagement of fisheries, butthey are willing to pay for it!Indeed, one representativejoined our workshop with a boxof oysters (Figure 7), andanother arranged for press andTV coverage of the workshop.A preparatory workshop withsome 40 participants havingmade it possible for a widerange of data to becomeavailable, we were able toconstruct a model, balance it, fitit to time series and examine itsbehavior in just a few days.Ecosystem modeling was newto about all of the participants,and it was remarkable how farwe got in a week. Based on thispositive experience, plans arenow underway to widen thescope to a series of fjords inDenmark.AutumnThe week before was abeautiful autumn week, sunnyFigure 5.  Participants in the Limfjord workshop.  Smiling                           Figure 6.  A small dedicated workshop with one aim:because they didn’t have to stay outside                               the Limfjord Model. A week around a table.Me too!by Daniel PaulySince I participated in early December at the WG 119 meeting heldin Cape Town, South Africa (‘Summer’), then moved on to give aseries of lectures in Reykjavik, Iceland (definitely ‘Winter,’ evencloser to the North Pole than Denmark), I think I may be allowed tomention that, I too, went through a few climatic changes lately.I had been invited by Dr. Tumi Tómasson, Director of theFisheries Training Program (FTP) jointly operated by the Tokyo-based United Nations University, and a number of Icelandicorganizations, foremost the Institute of Marine Research, inReykjavik. Every year, about 20 participants, mainly young or mid-career professionals from developing countries (e.g., Cuba,Vietnam, Cape Verde, Gambia) are invited, about half in fisheriesresearch, the other in fish processing. This year, the fish processingfolks drew the shorter straw, as they had to listen to the series ofsix lectures/seminars I presented (besides having individualdiscussion with the ‘fisheries’ participants).  At night in my hotelroom, I added comments to those six lectures (Powerpoint makesthis easy, but it still took hours), as Tumi wanted to have them onthe FTP website (see www.unuftp.is, and click on ‘VisitingLecturers’).There was barely time to buy some Christmas treedecorations (that they have any is surprising, given there areessentially no trees in Iceland), before trading the gloom ofReykjavik with that of Vancouver.Last week - Continued from page 4Continued on page 6 - Last weekThesepeople notonly wantecosystem-basedmanagementof fisheries,but they arewilling topay for it!Page 6Sea Around Us – January/February 2003and up to 18o C, back inVancouver. After 3½ years inVancouver I’m gettingconvinced that the reason whyVancouverites say it’s alwaysraining in Vancouver is to avoidthe city being flooded from theinterior. Vancouver weather isfar better than is rumored andputting this in print will enableme to cite a publishedreference when the rumorreappears.SpringThe week before Vancouver, itwas sunny, a bit chilly and withspring popping-up all over inSouthern Chile. Hugo Arancibiaand Sergio Neira fromUniversidad de Concepción hadinvited Bob Olson from IATTCand me to Concepción for asmall workshop on the Chileanmid-shelf, a big area withcatches measured in millions oftonnes. We spent the first half ofthe week working with a localEcopath model, focusing onfitting time series data, andexploring optimization policies.It worked out quite well.Meanwhile Bob Olson wasworking on predicting primaryproduction (PP) from seasurface temperature (SST)anomalies, and when wecompared notes, it turned outthat the predicted PP anomaliesestimated by Ecosim matchedthe SST-based anomaliesremarkably well.The last part of the week wasset aside for discussing themodel and how to incorporatean ecosystem approach tofisheries into the managementof the mid-Chilean shelf. Theparticipants were from theMinistry of Fisheries, the privatesector and from several Chileanuniversities. Bottom-line: thetrain is moving in Chile as well. Ialso had the pleasure of givinga well-attended (100+)presentation at the university,Figure 7. Erik Hoffman, DIFRES,               Figure 8. Carl Walters played a prominent role at thedemonstrated strong workshop               Mote Conference, and was even allowed to congratulatecapabilities as the fastest, most               the winner of the Young Scientist Award, Sarah Gaichas,tireless oyster-opener.               NMFS, Seattle.“Ecosystem-basedmanagement offisheries: the role ofmodeling.”SummerThe week before itwas summer, and wewere in sunny Florida,at the 2002 MoteSymposium(www.bio.fsu.edu/mote/abstracts02.html) on“Confrontingtradeoffs in theecosystem approachto fisheries,” held 5-7 November,one in a series of annualgatherings held at the MoteLaboratory in Sarasota, whereCarl Walters likes to go fishing.He managed to take so many ofus fishing, be it for lunch orafter-hours (Figure 9) that I’mbeginning to see what he seesin Florida. Despite his fishingescapades, he clearly was, froma scientific perspective, thehead honcho of the Symposium(Figure 8), which was organizedby Felicia Coleman.  TheSymposium had attracted lotsof neat contributionsdemonstrating variousLast week - Continued from page 5Continued on page 7 - Last weekFigure 9. Pufferfish (Sphoeroides nephelus) and professor (Jim Kitchell, at right)observed during Mote post-Conference field sampling.Despite hisfishingescapades,Carl Waltersclearly was,from ascientificperspective,the headhoncho oftheSymposiumPage 7 Sea Around Us – January/February 2003approaches to ecosystemmanagement of fisheries (witha strong dominance of EwE-based approaches, though)along with the consequences(tradeoffs) that must beconsidered when taking anecosystem perspective tomanagement. Clearly, the fieldhas shifted in recent years.  Thiswas elegantly summarized byJason Link from Woods Hole inone of the last presentations, “itis no longer a question ifecosystem modeling has acontribution to make tofisheries management, buthow.”Fisheries Centre staff (currentand former) served prominentroles at the Symposium, e.g.,through Carl’s opening lectureon trade-offs in sustainablemanagement of marineecosystems, Steve Martell’scontribution on fishery/mammal/enhancement trade-offs in the Pacific Northwest,Tom Okey’s “chasing Walters’demon toward ecosystem-based fishing policies in PrinceWilliam Sound,” and Sean Cox’on “the Lake Superiorecosystem, its sequentialfisheries collapses andconflicting objectives forrehabilitation”. For my part, Idescribed a furtherdevelopment of the ecosystempolicy optimization module ofEcosim and its use.And now we are back to where Istarted in early November, and Ithus haven’t been spending fartoo many uncomfortable nightsin too many planes in too manytime zones, so I’m feeling reallyquite good.The GLOBEC (Global OceanEcosystem Dynamics)project held its SecondOpen Science Meeting fromOctober 15-18 October, 2002 inQingdao, China. From myperspective as an economist,the interesting thing about thismeeting was that three socialscientists - Rosemary Ommer ofthe University of Victoria, B.C.,Kenneth Broad of the Universityof Miami,  and myself,representing both the SeaAround Us project and theFisheries Economics Unit of theFisheries Centre, UBC - wereinvited to give plenarypresentations to a groupconsisting essentially of naturalscientists. Dr Ommer presentedher work with Ian Perry, of theDepartment of Fisheries andOceans, Canada, on “Scale issuesin marine ecosystems/humaninteractions”.  Dr Broad spokeabout “Climate, culture andscientific uncertainty: the caseof Peruvian fisheries”.  Finally, Ipresented my work on“Discounting: A crucial link inSocial scientists go to GLOBECBy Ussif Rashid Sumailathe interaction between coastalcommunities and globalchanges in marine ecosystems.”It was amazing to see theamount of discussion that thesepresentations generated, giventhe interest of the audience. Ithink this is a good sign for thefuture of marine ecosystemmanagement - the more we getsocial and natural scientiststalking to each other, the betterthe prospect of fixing some ofour resource problems.GLOBEC is a core project of theInternational Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP),and is tasked with elucidatinghow global change will affectthe abundance, diversity andproductivity of marinepopulations (see http://www.pml.ac.uk/globec/main.htm). GLOBEC is focusedon zooplankton – theassemblage of herbivorousgrazers on the phytoplanktonand the primary carnivores thatprey on them, which are themost important prey-items forlarval and juvenile fish, andhence have a crucial role inmarine ecosystems.So, if GLOBEC is focused onzooplankton, what were socialscientists doing at one of itsmeetings? I think it is because,increasingly, scientists arediscovering and acknowledgingthat understanding theproblems of ocean ecosystemdynamics and theirdownstream effects on humans,and devising science-basedsolutions to them, is outside thescope of any one discipline. Forthis reason, GLOBEC intends toexpand the involvement ofsocial scientists in its work – alaudable and necessary move,which other global marineresearch endeavors may needto emulate, in the interest ofreaching the broadunderstanding of theinteractions between humansand marine ecosystems that isnow required as a basis formanagement advice.Last week - Continued from page 6So, ifGLOBEC isfocused onzooplankton,what weresocialscientistsdoing at oneof itsmeetings?Page 8Sea Around Us – January/February 2003Millennium updateby Jackie AlderI represented the Sea Around Us project at the recent Conditions Working Group meeting of theMillennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) in Sao Carlos on the plateau behind Sao Paulo, apeaceful city set in the middle of an agricultural region of large cattle ranches, with cattle, orangegroves and various crops. Sao Carlos also boasts a disco modeled on the pyramids of Egypt.The aim of this meeting was to progress the structure and content of the various conditionschapters and the confirmation of Lead Authors (LAs) for the chapters. The marine and coastalchapters were a party of three – Dr. Tundi Agardy, the chapter-author for the coastal chapter, Dr. JuanRestrepo, a junior scholar, and myself. Compared to many other chapters, represented by six or sevenpeople, we were outnumbered.  However, it did not slow us down. By the end of the meeting we hada long list of potential authors and chapter outlines for the coastal sections, and a rough draft of thechapter for the marine section.In addition to this, two major benefits emerged from the meeting. First, it gave delegates anexcellent opportunity to meet with other chapter-authors to clarify areas of overlap, to define workboundaries and to share ideas. I found it interesting to see how other authors perceived the role ofmarine and coastal environments in chapters with topics ranging from human health tobioprospecting. Second, there was a session on the databases available to MA authors, which provedto be quite informative and lively as we debated such things as data-security and distribution. It wasalso reassuring to find out that the MA is providing a resource person to assist other authors insearching and accessing information.The next Conditions Working Group meeting is scheduled for May in Washington DC. The timing isperfect for the marine and coastal chapters, since we will have just held our April cross-cuttingmeeting here in Vancouver and made substantial progress towards finalizing the two chapters. Nodoubt the next issue of the Sea Around Us Newsletter will be able to report on much progress wehave made on the MA.For more on the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, see articles by Daniel Pauly in Issue 13 andJackie Alder in Issue 14.Neville Ash (right), Bob Scholes chairpersons of the conditionsworking group, and Jillian Thonell (left), the new databaseofficer for the MA.Photos by J. AlderCan anyone guess what the coils pictured above aremade of?   Hint – they are NOT made of any materialfound below high water mark!  (Answer below).Answer: They are coils of cigarette tobacco sold in the local market in Sao Carlos.I found itinterestingto seehow otherauthorsperceivedthe role ofmarine andcoastalenvironments


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