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Sea Around Us project newsletter, issue 16, March/April 2003 Forrest, Robyn; Sea Around Us Project Mar 31, 2003

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Sea Around UsThe Sea Around Us Project NewsletterIssue 16 – March/April 2003			This April, theSea Around Usproject hostedthe  MillenniumAssessment’s (MA)Marine and CoastalCross-CuttingWorkshop. Theworkshop was thethird in a series offive, designed toensure that all facetsof the MA includespecific componentssuch as marinesystems throughout.Several coordinatingand lead authors (LA) forthe various chapters in theMA reports attended thismeeting to provide adifferent perspective andto help clarify questionsand issues related to areasoutside of the expertise ofthe marine and coastalparticipants.     Daniel Pauly of the SeaAround Us project iscoordinating lead author(CLA) for the Marinechapter and Tundi Agardy,a private consultant basedin Washington D.C. is theCLA for the Coastal chapter.Several members of theSea Around Us project arealso involved in the MA:Villy Christensen, DengPalomares, Reg Watson andmyself participated in theworkshop and will continueto contribute to the writingof both chapters as well asfurthering the scenarioswork.     The previous two cross-cutting workshops were onhuman health issues andbiodiversity.   This workshopwas the first  to focus onspecific ecosystems – themarine realm and coasts.Despite the earth surfacebeing 70% marine, theworld’s oceans and coastsare often forgotten in globalstudies.  The results of thisworkshop, however, willensure that this does nothappen in the MA.     While the group of over20 dedicated researchers,from a wide range ofexpertise (and not all ofthem of the ‘wet’ sort), wassmaller than the previoustwo workshops, we madesignificant progress on thewriting of the marine andcoastal chapters of theplanned conditions andtrends report,strengthened andexpanded the coverage ofthe other chapters, andtuned the work of thescenarios and responsesworking groups. Theaddition of experts fromother fields provided adifferent perspective tomarine and coastal issues,which will furtherstrengthen the marine andcoastal work. Many of theContinued on page 2 - MAA raven dancer greets Richard Dugdale (left) and Andrew Bakun (right) to theworkshop.                                                                                                                             Photo by J. Alder		The Sea Around Us project newsletter ispublished at the  Fisher-ies Centre, Universityof British Colum-bia. Six issues ofthis newsletter arepublished annu-ally, included withthe Fisheries Cen-tre’s newsletterFishBytes. Subscriptionsare free 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 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.participants who did not have amarine background commentedon how much they had learnedand how they now have a betterappreciation of marine andcoastal issues.     The workshop was launchedat the First Nations House ofLearning with welcomingremarks from the University ofBritish Columbia’s MichaelGoldberg, Director ofInternational Affairs and DickCarson, Pacific Regional Managerof Ocean Policy, Department ofFisheries and Oceans. TheLonghouse venue, combinedwith BC’s rich history of fishingand the spiritual values of BC’sFirst Nations, provided aninspiring start to the workshop,especially since the MA has beenworking hard to ensure thataboriginal needs are recognizedand included.   The first day ofthe workshop was concludedwith a dinner of traditionalaboriginal food and The LaxKaien Tsimshian Dancers. Theevening’s entertainmentprovided visitors with a glimpseof the importance of the coastand offshore resources toaboriginals in British Columbiaand set the scene for aproductive week.     The workshop then moved toSt John’s College for theremainder of the week and muchwork was accomplished. Thecurrent drafts of the three majorreports on ‘Conditions andTrends’, ‘Scenarios’ and‘Responses’ were reviewed indetail, includingrecommendations onincorporating important marineand coastal aspects.  The groupreviewing the Scenarios reportfound it quite a challenge todetermine the likely events thatwould play out for the fourscenarios that have beenproposed by the MA’s ScenariosWorking Group. The scenarioshave previously been described(see Sea Around Us Issue 14:www.saup.fisheries.ubc.ca/Newsletters/newsletter.htm).Because of the limitedknowledge of marine systemscombined with even lessknowledge of the impacts ofsome of the proposedinitiatives for such systems, thescenarios breakout group cameto a consensus that any of thesescenarios will have considerableuncertainty about how marinesystems will behave.  But underall four scenarios, it was agreed,fish landings  would notincrease above what theycurrently are.     The crosscutting workshopalso made substantial progressin defining marine and coastalconcepts and clarifying anumber of terms that are usedin the MA.  The MA authors fromoutside of the marine andcoastal chapters highlighted anumber of concepts that theywere not familiar with. Termssuch as ‘production’ or ‘harvest’Participants at the MA Marine and Coastal Crosscutting Workshop with members ofthe Lax Kaien Tsimshian Dancers.MA - Continued from page 1Continued on page 3 - MATheevening’sentertainmentprovidedvisitors witha glimpse oftheimportanceof the coastand offshoreresources toaboriginalsin BritishColumbia	 	are used extensively in theterrestrial realm to define theoutput of cultivated systems.  Inthe marine sector, they do nothave the same meaning.Gathering marine and coastalexperts from different areasallowed identification of  arange of datasets that will beuseful for other researchersparticipating in this MA as wellas for providing baseline datafor subsequent MAs.     The workshop also providedthe CLAs with the opportunityto meet with colleagues whoare contributing to the marineand coastal chapters and tohighlight information gaps andapproaches to fill those gaps aswell as to reach a consensus onwhat are the major issues andMA - Continued from page 2 how they should be presented.     Some of the MA workshopparticipants took advantage ofthe weather and spent a fewhours on Wednesday afternoontouring the Fraser Inlet andcoast.  It was a beautifulafternoon: the weather, sun andmarine wildlife cooperated sothat participants were given aglimpse of the coast ofVancouver -  a mix of industry,recreation, urban and portdevelopment.  Within thisseascape they saw a real falsekiller whale, seals and a widevariety of sea birds and waders.Participants from the UnitedStates were thrilled to see baldeagles, their national bird, insuch numbers while otherswere amazed that such wildlifecould be seen so close to a city.     The Sea Around Us project ispleased that,  through hostingthe workshop, it could make asignificant contribution to theprogress of the MillenniumAssessment.  The workshopallowed us to make a majorleap forward in making surethat marine and coastal systemsare considered throughout theMA. It also highlighted the factthat there is considerably morework to be done to make surethat decision-makers in thepublic and private sectors, themajor end-users of the MA,have the most up-to-date andbest advice available to ensurethe sustainability of oceans andcoasts. No doubt the SeaAround Us through its part-icipation in the MA has much tocontribute to this end!		 !	"#		Long-term readers of this newsletter may remember a storypublished in May/June 2001 (Sea Around Us, Issue 9, p.  3),where scientific writer Jay Maclean is described as workingfeverishly through the night, during a Sea Around Usworkshop in Nanaimo,  to finish the first draft of In a PerfectOcean: The State of Fisheries and Ecosystems in the NorthAtlantic Ocean.   Those who have been waiting ever since forthe book’s publication will be glad to know that it has justbeen published by Island Press.       In a Perfect Ocean, by Daniel Pauly and Jay Maclean,presents the first comprehensive empirical assessment ofthe status of ecosystems in the North Atlantic ocean.Drawing on the results of the work of the Sea Around Usproject, the book provides a picture of an ocean whoseecology has been dramatically altered by fishing.  In additionto presenting some of the many maps and graphs producedby members of the Sea Around Us, including Reg Watson,Villy Christensen, Rashid Sumaila, Kristin Kaschner and DirkZeller, the book provides a snapshot of the past health of the North Atlantic and compares itto its present status; presents scientific assessments based on the key criteria of fisheriescatches, biomass and trophic level; discusses the factors that have led to the current situation;and discusses the policy options available for halting the decline.  The book is intended to bethe first in a series of assessments by the world’s leading marine scientists.The SeaAround Usproject ispleased thatit couldmake asignificantcontributionto theprogress oftheMillenniumAssessment	$			%&In the past year or so I’vegiven talks in various parts ofthe world on howdiscounting may affect ourability to manage marineresources sustainably, for thebenefit of both current andfuture generations. In January2003, I gave one such talk atStanford University on theinvitation of the Institute forInternational Studies. Given thatthe lecture was  very early inthe semester, my host, DrRosamond Naylor, informed menot many people were likely toattend.  To our pleasant surprisewe ended up with a full house,with several Stanfordeconomists, including NobelLaureate Kenneth Arrow, inattendance.     I began my talk by asking thequestion: do economic modelsof marine resource useadequately capture theinterests of future generations?In other words, are economicmodels altruistic?   I discussedwhat the literature says, andpresented fisheries data toexamine the empirical evidenceregarding this question.  I thenproceeded to introduce theconcept of intergenerationaldiscounting, which has thepotential to solve the vexingproblem of discounting of flowsof net benefits from natural andenvironmental resources.Finally, I used results from amodel of the Icelandicecosystem to illustrate thebenefits from restorationprograms for the ecosystem,compared to those frommaintaining the status quofishing strategy (Sumaila, 2001).     A key message of mypresentation is thatconventional discountingresults in the ‘front loading’ ofbenefits and the ‘back loading’of costs.  This in turn leads to asituation where the interest offuture generations iscompromised.  It should benoted that I am not the first tomake this point; many othershave been concerned about theeffect of discounting onbenefits to be received fromnatural systems in the distantfuture (e.g. Clark, 1973;Weitzman, 2002).  To deal withthis problem, I presented thenewly developedintergenerational discountingapproach of Sumaila (2001) andSumaila and Walters (2002), andresults from an analysis of theIcelandic model mentionedearlier, using the conventionaland intergenerationaldiscounting approaches.          In the discussion thatfollowed. First, a point wasmade that discounting asconventionally practiced ismeant to demonstrate theeconomic efficiency ofenvironmental projects andpolicies, and nothing more.Concerns such as inter- andintra-generational equity andecosystem sustainability shouldbe dealt with outside theeconomic valuation framework.My response to this is that,while there is a need for policymakers to know the state ofenvironmental projects withregards to economic efficiency,there is also a need forevaluation approaches thatexplicitly include legitimatepolicy questions as part of theframework of economics.  Byincorporating the concerns forfuture generations within theeconomic framework, policymakers can determine what theyhave to give up in terms ofeconomic efficiency in order tomeet crucial societal objectivessuch as intergenerational equity.     Another interesting point,made by Kenneth Arrow andothers, was that most of theoverfishing observed in variousparts of the world is due to theopen access nature of fisheriesand not the way we value theflow of benefits.  I think Isucceeded in convincing theaudience that it is bothineffective fisheries managementand the way we discount flows ofnet benefits that contribute toover-fishing.  Another commentworth mentioning is that amember of the audienceencouraged me to try to link theidea of discounting clocks toDaniel Pauly’s  “shifting baselinesyndrome”.  Rather coincidentally,Daniel  and I  had alreadydiscussed a joint contribution todo just that.     I had a wonderful time atStanford and I believe that myvisit has created the potential forfuture collaboration between theFisheries Centre and the Institutefor International Studies atStanford.References     Clark, C.W. (1973) Theeconomics of overexploitation.Science 181, 630-634.       Sumaila, U.R., (2001)Generational Cost BenefitAnalysis for Evaluating MarineEcosystem RestorationIn: T.J. Pitcher, U. Sumaila, and D.I think Isucceeded inconvincingthe audiencethat it is bothineffectivefisheriesmanagementand the waywe discountflows of netbenefits thatcontribute toover-fishingContinued on page 5- Stanford	' 	Yes, it was!   I went to sunnyand beautiful Malta.Don’t get me wrong, I wentthere to work !  The invitation togive a FishBase overview to theFauna Europaea Third End-usersForum Meeting, 7-10 March 2003,was welcomed and acceptedwith much enthusiasm(especially since I had never beento that part of the world).Organizers were Dr Patrick J.Schembri and Marika J. Gaucifrom the University of Malta.     The purpose of this meetingwas to obtain an insight into whatusers of biodiversity databases inEurope want, and how theywould like the access ofinformation provided.  Themeeting was attended by: a) a 9-member Maltese end-user panel,consisting of representativesfrom the Ministry of Agricultureand Fisheries, the Natural HistoryMuseum of Malta, the Universityof Malta, and two national NGOs;b) a panel of 3 invited speakersfrom the FishBase Consortium (Irepresented the Fisheries Centre,and there  were alsorepresentatives from theUniversity of AgriculturalSciences,Vienna, and from theEuropean Topic Centre on NatureProtection & Biodiversity(European Environment Agency,Paris); c) the 5-member FaunaG46 (	)*	+&	Europaea Bureau; and d) the 5-member Fauna Europaea NewlyAccessing States (to theEuropean Union) panel.     The Fauna Europaea Bureaupresented the prototype of theonline interface which willprovide access to their databasecontaining scientific names aswell as information on thedistribution of all Europeanfauna.  This primarily taxonomicdatabase will link to similardatabases ( e.g. Species 2000,and others like FishBase)providing more in-depthbiological and geographicalinformation for each species.One of the many importantquestions addressed andresolved in this meeting was theinclusion of common names inthe different languages of theregion.     All of the invited speakerswere asked to present theirexperiences in the building andmaintenance of their databases.Special attention was given tofuture plans of collaborations andsynergies between these variousdatabases.  I presented FishBase,using Maltese examples, notablythe many Maltese commonnames supplied by FisheriesCentre graduate student, YvetteRizzo, who is from Malta.  I alsooutlined some of the reasons forthe success of FishBase as aninformation and biodiversitydatabase.   I emphasized thelessons we learned through the12 years of working with acomplex, ‘data hungry’ database -notably that quality is notcompromised by the quantity ofdata encoded and that allcollaborators, data providers andauthors  of the variouspublications used in FishBase aregiven explicit credit.  I alsostressed the importance ofvernacular names: the primaryreason for the more than 6 millionFishBase hits in February 2003.FishBase was well received as a‘model’ database and mypresentation generated anumber of queries and offers ofcollaboration from the Maltesecolleagues, notably, Mr. DarrinStevens, from the Convention onBiological Diversity for Malta.     In addition to the opportunityof presenting FishBase to areceptive audience, who couldnot have resisted enjoying thesun, the clear blue skiescontrasting with the limestonebuildings of the old city of theKnights of St. John, the fantasticblue waters of the Mediterran-ean Sea and the friendly smiles ofthe Maltese people? I amhappy I went …...  an insightinto whatusers ofbiodiversitydatabaseswant andhow theywould likethe access ofinformationprovided ...Pauly (eds) Fisheries CentreResearch Reports 9(5), 3-9.(www.saup.fisheries.ubc.ca/report/impactpolicy/sumaila1.pdf).     Sumaila, U.R., C. Walters(2002)  IntergenerationalDiscounting.  Presentation atAmerican Association for theStanford - Continued from page 4Advancement of Science,Boston.  February, 2002(www.aaas.org/meetings/2002/MPE_01_PRINT.html).     Weitzman, M.L. (2001)Gamma Discounting.  TheAmerican Economic Review.91(1): pp 260-272.	,		Sea Around Us members presented several posters at the Fisheries Centre Open House in February this year.  Herewe present a selection of these, representing some of  the diversity of research interests in the Sea Around Us team.“This poster introduces an initiative to establish acatalogue of late 18th to early 19th centuryoceanographic expeditions and early 20th centuryscientific surveys and also the detailed work ofrecovering baseline fish occurrence data fromthese expeditions and surveys. It can bedownloaded at www.saup.fisheries.ubc.ca/ExpeditionsPoster.pdf.  A website on this work iscurrently under construction - watch this space!” Deng Palomares.“My research uses GIS tools to investigate thedegree of trophic overlap between marinemammals and fisheries on a global scale. Thisposter shows some preliminary results for theNorth Atlantic in the 1990s and demonstrates howspatially explicit modeling of trophic overlap mayimprove the assessment of potential impacts offisheries on marine mammal populations. Theposter can be downloaded at www.saup.fisheries.ubc.ca/FisheriesMammalOverlap.pdf.” Kristin Kaschner.“We designed this poster to give a geographical depiction andcomments on the spatial and temporal trends in global fisheriesthat have been revealed through our research with Daniel Paulyand other Sea Around Us members.  Interactive maps of this workcan be viewed under ‘WebProducts’ atwww.saup.fisheries.ubc.ca. Youcan also download the poster atwww.saup.fisheries.ubc.ca/GlobalTrendsPoster.pdf”.  RegWatson (left) and AdrianKitchingman.

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