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      Modulation of Habitat-Based Conservation Plans by Fishery Opportunity Costs: A New Caledonia Case Study Using Fine-Scale Catch Data

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          Numerous threats impact coral reefs and conservation actions are urgently needed. Fast production of marine habitat maps promotes the use of habitat-only conservation plans, where a given percentage of the area of each habitat is set as conservation objectives. However, marine reserves can impact access to fishing grounds and generate opportunity costs for fishers that need to be minimized. In New Caledonia (Southwest Pacific), we used fine-scale fishery catch maps to define nineteen opportunity costs layers (expressed as biomass catch loss) considering i) total catches, ii) target fish families, iii) local marine tenure, and iv) gear type. The expected lower impacts on fishery catch when using the different cost constraints were ranked according to effectiveness in decreasing the costs generated by the habitat-only scenarios. The exercise was done for two habitat maps with different thematic richness. In most cases, habitat conservation objectives remained achievable, but effectiveness varied widely between scenarios and between habitat maps. The results provide practical guidelines for coral reef conservation and management. Habitat-only scenarios can be used to initiate conservation projects with stakeholders but the costs induced by such scenarios can be lowered by up to 50–60% when detailed exhaustive fishery data are used. When using partial data, the gain would be only in the 15–25% range. The best compromises are achieved when using local data.

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          Current and future sustainability of island coral reef fisheries.

          Overexploitation is one of the principal threats to coral reef diversity, structure, function, and resilience [1, 2]. Although it is generally held that coral reef fisheries are unsustainable [3-5], little is known of the overall scale of exploitation or which reefs are overfished [6]. Here, on the basis of ecological footprints and a review of exploitation status [7, 8], we report widespread unsustainability of island coral reef fisheries. Over half (55%) of the 49 island countries considered are exploiting their coral reef fisheries in an unsustainable way. We estimate that total landings of coral reef fisheries are currently 64% higher than can be sustained. Consequently, the area of coral reef appropriated by fisheries exceeds the available effective area by approximately 75,000 km(2), or 3.7 times the area of Australia's Great Barrier Reef, and an extra 196,000 km(2) of coral reef may be required by 2050 to support the anticipated growth in human populations. The large overall imbalance between current and sustainable catches implies that management methods to reduce social and economic dependence on reef fisheries are essential to prevent the collapse of coral reef ecosystems while sustaining the well-being of burgeoning coastal populations.
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            Striking a balance between biodiversity conservation and socioeconomic viability in the design of marine protected areas.

            The establishment of marine protected areas is often viewed as a conflict between conservation and fishing. We considered consumptive and nonconsumptive interests of multiple stakeholders (i.e., fishers, scuba divers, conservationists, managers, scientists) in the systematic design of a network of marine protected areas along California's central coast in the context of the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative. With advice from managers, administrators, and scientists, a representative group of stakeholders defined biodiversity conservation and socioeconomic goals that accommodated social needs and conserved marine ecosystems, consistent with legal requirements. To satisfy biodiversity goals, we targeted 11 marine habitats across 5 depth zones, areas of high species diversity, and areas containing species of special status. We minimized adverse socioeconomic impacts by minimizing negative effects on fishers. We included fine-scale fishing data from the recreational and commercial fishing sectors across 24 fisheries. Protected areas designed with consideration of commercial and recreational fisheries reduced potential impact to the fisheries approximately 21% more than protected areas designed without consideration of fishing effort and resulted in a small increase in the total area protected (approximately 3.4%). We incorporated confidential fishing data without revealing the identity of specific fisheries or individual fishing grounds. We sited a portion of the protected areas near land parks, marine laboratories, and scientific monitoring sites to address nonconsumptive socioeconomic goals. Our results show that a stakeholder-driven design process can use systematic conservation-planning methods to successfully produce options for network design that satisfy multiple conservation and socioeconomic objectives. Marine protected areas that incorporate multiple stakeholder interests without compromising biodiversity conservation goals are more likely to protect marine ecosystems.
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              Adaptive Comanagement of a Marine Protected Area Network in Fiji

              Abstract Adaptive management of natural resources is an iterative process of decision making whereby management strategies are progressively changed or adjusted in response to new information. Despite an increasing focus on the need for adaptive conservation strategies, there remain few applied examples. We describe the 9-year process of adaptive comanagement of a marine protected area network in Kubulau District, Fiji. In 2011, a review of protected area boundaries and management rules was motivated by the need to enhance management effectiveness and the desire to improve resilience to climate change. Through a series of consultations, with the Wildlife Conservation Society providing scientific input to community decision making, the network of marine protected areas was reconfigured so as to maximize resilience and compliance. Factors identified as contributing to this outcome include well-defined resource-access rights; community respect for a flexible system of customary governance; long-term commitment and presence of comanagement partners; supportive policy environment for comanagement; synthesis of traditional management approaches with systematic monitoring; and district-wide coordination, which provided a broader spatial context for adaptive-management decision making. Co-Manejo Adaptativo de una Red de Áreas Marinas Protegidas en Fiyi Resumen El manejo adaptativo de los recursos naturales es un proceso interactivo de toma de decisiones donde las estrategias de manejo son cambiadas progresivamente o ajustadas en respuesta a información nueva. A pesar del incremento en el interés por la necesidad de estrategias de conservación adaptativa, todavía hay pocos ejemplos de su aplicación. Describimos el proceso de 9 años de co-manejo adaptativo de una red de áreas marinas protegidas en el Distrito Kubulau, Fiyi. En 2011, la necesidad de mejorar la efectividad del manejo y el deseo de mejorar la resistencia al cambio climático motivó a realizar una revisión de los límites del área protegida y las reglas de manejo. A través de una serie de consultas, con la Sociedad de Conservación de Vida Silvestre proporcionando entradas a la toma de decisiones comunitarias, la red de áreas marinas protegidas se reconfiguró para maximizar la resistencia y la conformidad. Los factores que se identificaron como contribuyentes para este resultado incluyen: derechos de acceso a recursos bien definidos, respeto comunitario hacia un sistema flexible de gobernanza común, compromiso a largo plazo y presencia de compañeros de co-manejo, una política ambiental que apoye el co-manejo, una síntesis de los acercamientos de manejo tradicional con monitoreo sistemático y una coordinación a lo largo del distrito, que proporcionó un contexto espacial más amplio para la toma de decisiones en el manejo adaptativo.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                16 May 2014
                : 9
                : 5
                [1 ]UR-CoRéUs, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Laboratoire d'Excellence, CORAIL, Nouméa, New Caledonia
                [2 ]UR-CoRéUs, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Laboratoire d'Excellence, CORAIL, Port-Vila, Vanuatu
                [3 ]Fisheries Department of Vanuatu, Port-Vila, Vanuatu
                [4 ]Nicolas Guillemot Consultant, Noumea, New Caledonia
                University of Waikato (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research), New Zealand
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors declare that no competing interest or financial disclosure exists between the authors and Nicolas Guillemot Consultant, and that the affiliation of one author to this company does not alter in any way the adherence of all authors to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: MD SA ML. Performed the experiments: MD SA. Analyzed the data: MD SA ML. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: MD SA ML NG. Wrote the paper: MD SA ML NG.


                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Pages: 13
                Data acquisition funded by: New Caledonia ZONECO Program, the LITEAU French national Program (COGERON Project) and the Koniambo Nickel SAS mining company. The Millennium map is a product funded by NASA and the IRD. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Research Article
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Marine Ecology
                Marine Biology
                Marine Conservation



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