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Sea Around Us project newsletter, issue 57, January/February 2010 Bailey, Megan; Sea Around Us Project Jan 31, 2010

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Sea Around UsThe Sea Around Us Project NewsletterIssue 57 – January/February 2010Building bridges andmaking maps at AAASSherman Lai and Villy Christensen present fisheries visualizations at the 2010 Annual Meeting of AAAS heldin February in San Diego, CA.                Photo by Jennifer Jacquet.Continued on page 2 - AAASby Jennifer JacquetSo much of what the scientists do isless relevant than it could be.  This wasthe motivation behind the theme atthe 2010 AAAS annual meeting, BridgingScience and Society, and Sea Around Usmembers delivered on this theme in threedifferent sessions.Daniel Pauly presented on a panel thatshowed the growing consensus amongfisheries scientists.  Although globaloverfishing is becoming an acceptedpremise, questions inevitably arose on thefuture of aquaculture.  Pauly explained thatit would be wrong to look at gladiatortournaments and vilify sports, when there iscurling; similarly, it would be wrong to lookat salmon farming and vilify aquaculture,when there are oyster farms.Metaphors are powerful communicationtools.  So are 3-D visualizations, especially ina world that is already too big and too fast-paced to keep track of information.  Can wehelp manage the future by allowing peopleto see it?  To address this question, VillyChristensen co-organized a panel on theuse of visualizations to bridge science andsociety for sustainability.The Sea Around Us Project’s Sherman Laishowed the game-like tool he andChristensen developed to allow users tovisualize the real-time effects of theirfishing decisions.  Multiple players canwatch how their choices would play out inthe underwater world using a video gameinterface that can also display theembedded EcoSim models.  George Basilfrom Arizona State University showedmodels of local water consumption tostakeholders in Phoenix and emphasizedthe need to become aware of water usageat the regional scale rather than a city block.Page 2Sea Around Us – January/February 2010The Sea Around Us project newsletter ispublished by the  FisheriesCentre at theUniversity of BritishColumbia. Includedwith the FisheriesCentre’s newsletterFishBytes, sixissues of thisnewsletter arepublished annually.Subscriptions are free ofcharge.Our mailing address is: UBC FisheriesCentre, Aquatic Ecosystems ResearchLaboratory, 2202 Main Mall, Vancouver,British Columbia, Canada, V6T 1Z4. Our faxnumber is (604) 822-8934, and our emailaddress is SeaNotes@fisheries.ubc.ca. Allqueries, subscription requests, and electronicaddress changes should be addressed toMegan Bailey, Sea Around Us NewsletterEditor.The Sea Around Us website may be foundat www.seaaroundus.org and contains up-The Sea Around Us project is a scientific collaborationbetween the University of British Columbia and the PewEnvironmental Group. The Trusts support nonprofit activitiesin the areas of culture, education, the environment, healthand human services, public policy and religion. Based inPhiladelphia, the Trusts make strategic investments to helporganizations and citizens develop practical solutions todifficult problems. In 2000, with approximately $4.8 billion inassets, the Trusts committed over $235 million to 302 nonprofitorganizations. ISSN 1713-5214   Sea Around Us (ONLINE)The AAAStheme ofbridgingscience andsociety wascommendable,but there isstillhesitationfromscientistswho try toavoid beingperceived asadvocates.AAAS - Continued from page 1Continued on page 3 - AAASRather than simply talking about various climatechange predictions, UBC’s Steven Sheppardpresented a visualization of Richmond, B.C. underseveral feet of water.  These tools, currently used inimmersion labs like our own in the FisheriesCentre, are designed to allow managers toexperience the results of potential policies.  Thepanel also discussed the potential for these toolsonline.A panel I organized showed the importance ofkeeping track of information so that we can gaugecooperative use of common goods like freshwater,greenhouse gases, and fisheries.  We discussednon-regulatory means of enhancing cooperation –namely through reputation and shame.  RalfSommerfeld, a recent graduate who worked withthe Max Planck Institute, presented several of hisnew game-theoretical studies showing that gossipand reputation can lead to increases in overallcooperation (Sommerfeld et al.  2007, 2008).  Thistheory underpinned my presentation proposingthat we migrate away from guilt-based efforts inconservation (e.g. eco-labels) toward shame-basedstrategies, which we can use to motivate large-scale resource users — a more effectiveconservationstrategy.  Toshow evidenceof this in thereal world, JohnHocevar, headof oceanscampaigns forGreenpeaceUSA, presentedhow they affectretailerreputation toencouragegreatercooperation.  Inparticular, he focused on the seafood scorecard,which has been released in 15 countries around theworld and ranks major supermarkets according totheir seafood procurement policies.  As a result,many large retailers have stopped selling certainfish, like Orange roughy and sharks, and haveengaged in discussions with the ‘good cops’ ofconservation, like WWF.The AAAS theme of bridging science and societywas commendable, but there is still hesitation fromscientists who try to avoid being perceived asadvocates. For instance, Chris Clark, head of theBioacoustics lab at Cornell University and an experton sound in the ocean, showed that the oceans arethree times louder than they were in the 1960s –much of it on account of shipping.  For acousticfeeders like right whales, this means greaterdifficulty locating food and each other,  as noisedisturbance causes “frequent tears in their socialfabric”.  The evening before, at the COMPASS marinemixer between scientists and journalists, Clarkmentioned to me that a potential solution was toslow boat speeds, which was also more fuelefficient and cheaper for shipping.  A Norwegianfirm had, in fact, already committed to slowing theirship speeds.  Clark has also made progress ininstalling ‘smart buoys’ that alert ship captains to thepresence of right whales to help them avoidcollisions (http://www.listenforwhales.org/) .  Thefollowing day, Clark made a very compellingpresentation of the problem of acousticdisturbances, but he did not mention any solutionsin his presentation.This is why scientists need to build bridges and theyneed to make maps.  I am not necessarily referringto literal ` map making’,  which is what a colleaguedubbed the spatial planning session at AAAS.  I referto an action map to guide the audience where theymight go if they want to know more or dosomething with the science they just learned.Page 3 Sea Around Us – January/February 2010In bridgingscience andsociety,scientistsneed toconsideravenues togive theiraudience anaction map.AAAS - Continued from page 2Since the 1960s, studies have shown that behaviordoes not change merely as a result of information,even if it is fear inducing.  Behavior can change ifinformation is combined with an action plan.  In a1965 study on tetanus inoculation, researchersshowed students the somewhat terrifying results ofcontracting tetanus, which resulted in 3 percent ofthe students getting a tetanus shot.  Other subjectswere given the same lecture but were also given acopy of a campus map with the location of thehealth center circled.  They were then asked tomake a plan for when they would get the shot andlook at a map to decide what route they would taketo get there.  In this case, 28 percent of the studentsmanaged to show up and get their tetanus shot.The medical message seemed to influenceattitudes but a specific plan influenced action(Leventhal et al. 1965).In bridging science and society, scientists need toconsider avenues to give their audience an actionmap.  One obvious solution could be for scientists toincorporate policies and actions that would dealwith the issues they study, like Chris Clark’srecommendation to slow shipping speeds to reduceocean noise.  In some cases, scientists can takeaction, as happened in 1974 after two chemists atthe University of California Irvine proposed ahypothesis that related CFC use to the depletion ofthe atmosphere.  Sherwood Rowland and MarioMolina did not stop there but advocated for the banof CFCs, which occurred regionally just three yearslater and, globally, with the 1987 Montreal Protocol(Haas 1990).However, many scientists feel uncomfortable withaction plans or, what many call ‘advocacy’.  In thiscase, scientists can team up with people whoalready have action plans, which is why AAASsupported a panel that included a main player atGreenpeace.  It is why coral reef ecologist TerryHughes, who presented about the fish biomassimprovements within no-take zones, presentedalongside Jay Nelson from Pew who is working toestablish large marine reserves in an ocean whereless than 0.08 percent of the area is no-take.Hughes also nicely exhibits the benefit of havingscientists to examine the effects of action plansthemselves.  Like the scientists who examined theeffects of a map on tetanus shots, Hughes hasstudied the biomass improvements in certain fish,like the coral trout, afforded by society’s decision tore-zone and protect a greater area of the GreatBarrier Reef (McCook et al. 2010).  His research wasa nice reminder that the bridge between scienceand society is a two-way street.ReferencesHaas, P.M. 1990. Obtaining InternationalEnvironmental Protection throughEpistemic Consensus. Millennium - Journalof International Studies 19: 347-364.Leventhal, H., R. Singer, R. and S. Jones. 1965. Effectsof fear and specificity of recommendationupon attitudes and behavior. Journal ofPersonality and Social Psychology, 2, 20–29.McCook et al. 2010. Adaptive management of theGreat Barrier Reef: A globally signiûcantdemonstration of the beneûts of networksof marine reserves. PNAS. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0909335107.Sommerfeld, R. H. Krambeck, D. Semmann, and M.Milinski. 2007. Gossip as an alternative fordirect observation in games of indirect rreciprocity. PNAS 104:17435-17440.Sommerfeld, R. H. Krambeck, and M. Milinski. 2008.Multiple gossip statements and their effecton reputation and trustworthiness.Proceedings of the Royal Society B275(1650): 2529-36.‘Jellyfish Burger’ by JenniferJacquet and David Beck receivedHonorable Mention in the 2009International Science andEngineering VisualizationChallenge. See the next article tolearn more about the potential ofjellyfish burgers landing on themenu.Page 4Sea Around Us – January/February 2010Publications Mail Agreement No: 41104508What’s for dinner?by Lucas BrotzIf the thought of eating a jellyfish burger leaves abad taste in your mouth, you might just have toget used to it.  While they aren’t available at drive-through windows quite yet, we may discover thatour future seafood options are more jelly than fish,especially if we can’t break our bad habits.Over the last two decades, jellyfish have increased ina number of locations around the world includingAsia, Europe, and the eastern United States.Unfortunately, knowledge of jellyfish from mostmarine environments is limited, making it difficult tounderstand how jellyfish and ecosystems areresponding to changes at regional and global scales(Mills 2001).In an attempt to see the bigger picture, jellyfishscientists from around the world are starting to pooltheir data, and I am privileged to be collaborating onthe project.  The first in a series of meetings wasrecently held at the National Center for EcologicalAnalysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) in Santa Barbara,California.  NCEAS is an ideal host for the JellyfishWorking Group, as it facilitates the synthesis ofexisting data in order to advance ecologicalunderstanding.  Over the next two years, the projectwill strive to develop a composite picture of jellyfishpopulations and their associated effects around theglobe.The population dynamics of jellyfish can impactmore than just your day at the beach.  Jellies areimportant members of ecosystems, and theirexceptional ability to form massive blooms can havedramatic consequences for food webs and carboncycling.  Large ` smacks’ of jellyfish are also directlyinterfering with human activities, resulting insignificant economic losses and even puttinghuman lives at risk.  In several locations, nets thatnormally catch shrimp and fish are coming up full ofjellyfish.  If the massive weight of the jellies doesn’tsplit the net or break hauling equipment, any usefulcatch is spoiled.  Last year, one such haul evencaused a Japanese trawler to capsize, tossing thethree crewmen into icy waters.  Thankfully, theywere all rescued, but the event is a soberingreminder that we truly are “fishing down the foodweb” (Pauly et al. 1998).  And major socioeconomicimpacts of jellyfish are not limited to fisheries.Shipping, mining, aquaculture, power generation,and tourism have all been negatively affected byjellyfish blooms, and the list of incidents continuesto grow.Ironically, we may have only ourselves to blame forcertain increases in jellyfish populations.  Effectsfrom overfishing, climate change, pollution,aquaculture and coastal development have all beenlinked to increases in jellyfish (Purcell et al. 2007).While such cause and effect relationships are stillbeing investigated, it is clear that humanity is not ona sustainable path.  Unless we change how we treatour oceans, a more gelatinous future may beinevitable.If the idea of a jellyfish burger seems outlandish,you may be surprised to know that vast amounts ofjellyfish are consumed by humans everyday, mostlyin Asia.  Over the last ten years, annualjellyfish production has averaged over350,000 tonnes, exceeding the global catchof many other fisheries, such as lobster.Jellyfish salad is celebrated as a delicacy, andthere’s evidence to suggest that eating it mayeven be good for you.  For those with a sweettooth, a company in Japan adds jellyfish tocandy, cookies, and even ice cream.  Butsimply shifting our diets won’t solve theworld’s jellyfish problems.  While there arethousands of gelatinous species around theglobe, only a handful are sought after forhuman consumption.  Even an expansion ofthe fishery is unlikely to result in fewerjellyfish, as some edible stocks are now beingenhanced.  One such example comes fromChina’s Liaodong Bay, where a hatcheryParticipants at the first meeting of the NCEAS Jellyfish Working Group.Back row (L-R): Craig Carlson, Carlos Duarte, Lucas Brotz, Hermes Mianzan,Steve Haddock, Rob Condon; Middle row (L-R): Kelly Robinson, AlenkaMalej, Jennifer Purcell, Cathy Lucas; Front row (L-R) Monty Graham, MaryBeth Decker, Kylie Pitt; Absent: Mike Dawson, Shin-ichi Uye, Kelly RakowSutherland, Ric Brodeur, Mark Gibbons. Continued on page 5 - JelliesUnless wechangehow wetreat ouroceans, amoregelatinousfuture maybeinevitable.Page 5 Sea Around Us – January/February 2010program releases hundreds of millions of juvenilejellies every spring in the hopes of harvesting themin the fall (Dong et al. 2009).Given the current state of world fisheries and theglobal need for protein, our oceans are in a crisis ofsupply and demand.  Jellyfish cannot fill the gap, butif we don’t change our behavior they will be one ofthe few items on the seafood menus of tomorrow.While we may have to get used to telling our kids toeat their jellyfish, let’s hope they have anotherchoice.ReferencesDong, J., Jiang, L., Tan, K., Liu, H., Purcell, J. E., Li, P., Ye,Latest version of the Sea Around UsCatch Database casts a wider netC. 2009. Stock enhancement of the ediblejellyfish (Rhopilema esculentum Kishinouye)in Liaodong Bay, China: a review.Hydrobiologia 616:113-118.Mills, C. E. 2001. Jellyfish blooms: are populationsincreasing globally in response to changingocean conditions? Hydrobiologia 451:55-68.Pauly, D., Christensen, V., Dalsgaard, J., Froese, R.,Torres, F. 1998. Fishing down marine foodwebs. Science 279:860-863.Purcell, J. E., Uye, S., Lo, W. T. 2007. Anthropogeniccauses of jellyfish blooms and their directconsequences for humans: a review.Marine Ecology-Progress Series 350:153-174.by Wilf Swartz and Reg WatsonOne of the key objectives of the Sea AroundUs Project is to provide spatially referencedestimates of global marine fisherieslandings (Watson et al. 2004, Pauly 2007), allowingus to determine who caught what where. Thisinvolves assigning the over 3 billion tonnes of catchlanded since 1950 into 180,000 half degree ‘cells’that make up our global ocean grid system using aseries of constraints, including the statistical areasused in the source dataset (e.g. the 18 FAO majorstatistical areas), the known distribution of nearly1500 exploited taxa and a database of fishing accessagreements that, taken together, provideinformation on the likely distribution of fishingfleets.Such a task requires an immense amount of work byhumans and machines, with countless challenges aswe continuously test and refine our methodology.The previous version of the catch database wasreleased in late 2007. Now, after two years ofintense work led by Reg Watson and assisted by askilled team including National Geographic-fundedscientist Sean Tracey on loan from the TasmanianAquaculture and Fisheries Institute, and GracePablico, we are proud to announce that the newand improved version of the database is availableonline at www.seaaroundus.org (Figure 1).Our methodology for spatial disaggregation offisheries catch has evolved since it was firstdescribed in Watson et al. (2004). Some of the mostnoteworthy changes are documented below.The first of the major updates to the database are itsdata sources. Previous versions of the database haverelied almost exclusively on the official landingsreported by international (e.g. NAFO, ICES) and bynational (e.g. NMFS) agencies. However, we nowrealize that official catches, particularly from smallisland states and generally less-developed countriescan severely underestimate actual catches. Hence,the project has developed and applied amethodology for ‘reconstructing’ the catches ofsuch countries based on detailed analyses ofsecondary data (Zeller & Pauly 2007). Catchreconstructions have been completed or areunderway for over 80 countries, and we consideredsuch reconstructions for 12 countries in the presentversion, plus China, whose catch was, as in theprevious version, adjusted downward (see Watsonand Pauly 2001).We have also implemented some changes to theancillary databases that serve as constraints in thespatial allocation of catch. The fishing agreementdatabase, for example, has undergone a majoroverhaul, with records from the original, FAO-supplied, fisheries agreement database re-examined and, where possible, validated withalternative sources as to the nature of the recordedagreements and their durations. While the contentsof many private fishing agreements, if not theirexistence, remain a mystery, we were encouragedto see that an increasing number of governmentsare making the contents of their fisheriesagreements available online. This trend towardJellies - Continued from page 4Continued on page 6 - CatchWe are proudto announcethat the newand improvedversion of thedatabase isavailableonline atwww.seaaroundus.org.Page 6Sea Around Us – January/February 2010increased transparency will greatly improve ourunderstanding of the nature of distant waterfisheries.The updated database also represents a major shiftin our assumptions about distant water fishingactivities in the years leading up to the UnitedNations Convention on the Laws of the Sea(UNCLOS) and to the Exclusive Economic Zones(EEZ) that it allowed for, i.e., the late 1970s-early1980s. Previously, we operated under theassumption that distant water fleets did not operatein these ‘undeclared’ EEZs unless there weredocumented observations of fleets in such regions;such assumptions were deemed necessary in orderto prevent catches from being ‘smeared’ across theworld. However, with improvements in ourknowledge of species distributions (which now usekey ecological information such as depth and habitatpreferences to derive predicted distribution: seeClose et al. 2006) and reconstructed catch estimates,we can apply rules that allow the assignment of thecatch of distant water fishing fleets to cells laterassigned to host EEZ areas (provided they meet theconstraints based on the species distribution and thesource data reporting), up to the year of EEZproclamation by coastal countries. We believe suchassumptions better represent the ‘Freedom of theSea’ principle that these fleets operated underduring the pre-UNCLOS period, and better capturethe offshore displacement of fishing that followedthe UNCLOS.We hope that as a result of these and other changesour database will prove to be an even better tool forresearchers and governments as they struggle toresolve the many issue that impact global fisheriessustainability. We also acknowledge that this kind ofdatabase can only be useful through constant updateand improvement, and are already at work on thenext version. We are encouraged to find that ourglobal methodology has yielded results that conformwith local datasets, e.g. for Mauritania (Gascuel et al.2007) and look forward to feedback and continuedsupport from the fisheries research and NGOcommunities.References:Close, C., W. Cheung, S. Hodgson, V. Lam, R. Watsonand D. Pauly. 2006. Distribution ranges ofcommercial fishes and invertebrates, p. 27-37In: M.L.D. Palomares, K.I. Stergiou and D. Pauly(eds.). Fishes in Databases and Ecosystems.Fisheries Centre Research Reports 14(4).Gascuel, D., D. Zeller, M.O. Taleb Sidic and D. Pauly.2007. Reconstructed catches in theMauritanian EEZ, p. 105-119 In: D. Zeller andD. Pauly (eds.). Reconstruction of marinefisheries catches for key countries andregions (1950-2005). Fisheries CentreResearch Reports 15(2).Pauly, D. 2007. The Sea Around Us Project:Documenting and Communicating GlobalFisheries Impacts on Marine Ecosystems.AMBIO: a Journal of the Human Environment,34(4): 290-295.Watson, R., A. Kitchingman, A. Gelchu and D. Pauly.2004. Mapping global fisheries: sharpeningour focus. Fish and Fisheries, 5: 168-177.Watson, R. and D. Pauly. 2001. Systematic distortionsin world fisheries catch trends. Nature, 414:534 536.Zeller, D. and D. Pauly (eds). 2007. Reconstruction ofmarine fisheries catches for key countriesand regions (1950-2005). FisheriesCentre Research Reports 15(2), 163 p.Catch - Continued from page 5Figure 1. Map of world’s marine fisheries catch (annual average 2000-2005).We hopethat ourdatabasewill prove tobe an evenbetter toolforresearchersandgovernmentsas theystruggle toresolve themany issuethat impactglobalfisheriessustainability.


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