• Don't miss tomorrow's AAAS session!

    Posted on February 18th, 2010 emily No comments

    More details for you all on tomorrow’s AAAS session, “Limits to Sustainability of Coral Reef Fisheries,” organized and moderated by CMBC’s very own Ayana Johnson.  See you there!

    Joshua Cinner, James Cook University (joshua.cinner@jcu.edu.au) – speaker
    Socioeconomic Constraints to Reef Fisheries Sustainability

    This presentation will examine coral reef management approaches and discuss lessons for sustainable use, with particular attention to marine reserves. Dr. Cinner will address the human carrying capacity of a reef for subsistence harvest using historical and contemporary examples, and the societal forces that promote or impede sustainability.

    Marah J. Hardt (marah.hardt@gmail.com) – speaker
    Long-term Perspective Looks Like ‘Luxury Only’ for Coral Reef Fisheries

    Fisheries on coral reefs will likely not sustainably support more than a small luxury trade (or very limited subsistence fishing) over at least the next century or longer. This presentation will draw on historical ecology and modern climate change science, to show how past use and future conditions both indicate that coral reef ecosystems over the next several decades cannot support more than a very minimal amount of fishing pressure.

    James N. Sanchirico, UC Davis (jsanchirico@ucdavis.edu) – speaker
    Prioritization in Ecosystem-based Management of Coral Reefs

    This presentation will discuss the importance of integrating fisheries economics into sustainable management plans.  The focus will be on the value of bioeconomic models for understanding the sensitivity of management objectives to trophic interactions, and for determining optimal harvest rates.

    Jennifer Jacquet, Sea Around Us Project, UBC Fisheries Centre (j.jacquet@fisheries.ubc.ca) – discussant

    Dr. Jacquet will comment on whether sustainable fisheries are feasible in the face of increasing demand for seafood.

    Tim R. McClanahan, Wildlife Conservation Society (tmcclanahan@wcs.org) – discussant

    Dr. McClanahan will discuss where we are now with reef fish harvest compared to ecologically sustainable levels.

  • CMBC at AAAS

    Posted on February 10th, 2010 emily No comments

    For those folks who are planning to visit San Diego for the upcoming American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting, check out the session below organized by CMBC PhD student Ayana Johnson:

    Limits to Sustainability of Coral Reef Fisheries

    Friday, February 19, 2010: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
    Room 17A (San Diego Convention Center)
    Coral reefs are overfished; there are too many people and too few fish for harvest to continue at its present rate. While some level of fishing may be ecologically sustainable, it remains an open question whether fishermen can make a living in such a scenario. Can artisanal fishing on coral reefs be sustainable at an economically viable level? What are the ecological limits to reef fishery sustainability? These are important questions because reef resources are critical to the welfare of tens of millions of people in developing countries. Although many answers may be location-dependent, this symposium will explore current research on coral reef ecology, fisheries management, sociology, and economics to develop a framework for how to manage fishing on coral reefs. Applying their expertise on reefs from Indonesia to Jamaica to Papua New Guinea, presenters will attempt to identify the scale (e.g., numbers of fishermen, types of gear) at which sustainable harvest is possible. They will discuss hindrances to sustainability, provide examples of sustainably fished reefs, describe an ideal reef fishing regime, and suggest how best to move management in that direction.
    Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, University of California
    Timothy McClanahan, Wildlife Conservation Society
    and Jennifer Jacquet, University of British Columbia Fisheries Center
    James N. Sanchirico, University of California
    Prioritization in Ecosystem-Based Management of Coral Reefs
    Joshua E. Cinner, James Cook University
  • (Marine) National Parks: America's Best (Future) Idea

    Posted on February 3rd, 2010 emily No comments

    Thanks to my brother and his awesome Christmas present, I’ve recently been catching up on our national parks heritage via Ken Burns and his Fall 2009 PBS series:  The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.  While I have to say there is NOTHING like emerging from the tunnel as you enter Yosemite and getting your first view of the Yosemite Valley, Ken Burns gets you as close to that exhilarating feeling as possible from the comfort of your couch and bunny slippers.

    Learning how just a few people made our amazing collection of (terrestrial) national parks possible is quite humbling.  And should be (and can be) motivating as well.  Each park seems to have come about through some fairly fortuitous circumstances, requiring a few (or one) strong personality or dedicated patron to usher through legislation.  Last night fellow CMBCer Aly and I lamented the speed of Congressional decision making these days as compared to the days of old (and, might I add, the days of no air conditioning on Capitol Hill).

    Hawaiian Archipelago, including the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

    My marine take-away for all of this is:  What will be the story of our marine national parks described in the next PBS series?  and what sorts of ecosystems and ecosystem processes will be protected in these parks?  Clearly Yellowstone is an incredible refuge for bison, wolves, elk, etc.  But just outside its borders, each of these animals is in direct conflict for space and resources with humans.  Does that meet the goals of (terrestrial) national parks and are these the same goals we have or should have for marine parks?  I think we have an opportunity to think more about ecosystem protection more now than we did in the 1850s.  As such, I would agrue that we need more and larger marine parks / reserves / national monuments even for increased human welfare.  Of course, that’s easy to say, hard to do but I think it’s important in making marine national parks America’s best future and realized idea.  With it, Ken Burns will have a new project already.