Please select your home edition
Edition
Kilwell - 1

Marine reserves ‘must adapt to climate change’ scientists say

by ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies on 28 Nov 2012
.
Australia can be a world leader in designing marine reserves that keep pace with variations in the climate and human activity and still successfully protect their sea life, a leading marine scientist said today.

Professor Bob Pressey of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University told the Australian Academy of Science’s Earth System Outlook Conference in Canberra that developing marine protected areas that can absorb the impact of warming oceans, storms and flood events from the land is ‘doable’.

His comments come as government leaders from around the world meet in Doha for the United Nation’s Climate Conference (Nov 26-Dec7) to try to impart new momentum to stalled efforts to fight climate change.

'The challenge we face is that a marine reserve or park usually covers a fixed geographical area – but bodies of hot ocean water, storms and flood runoff move unpredictably in space and time,' Prof. Pressey explains.

'This means either that the reserve boundaries may have to move as things change – or else they need to located and designed carefully. If they’re fixed reserves, they need to be placed away from frequent disturbances, or configured so that individual disturbance events don’t affect them entirely. That way, we can include areas where sea life may take refuge to be safe from the impact.'

Prof. Pressey says that 25 years of ocean temperature data had given scientists a much better understanding of where on the Great Barrier Reef the impacts of coral bleaching were likely to be most severe – and where corals appeared to be consistently safe from high temperatures.

'While we can’t easily predict when an episode of hot ocean water will move in, we can definitely see some areas which appear to avoid the harshest effects over time – whether because they are shielded in some way or cooled by cold upwelling currents.

'This gives us the ability to design marine protected areas for the GBR and elsewhere that are resilient over time, no matter what changes take place.

'On top of the sea temperatures, we can also potentially factor in historical data from cyclone tracks and flood plumes, or bodies of floodwater with high loads of sediment. By superimposing all these we can identify and be sure to protect those special areas of the reef which are naturally resilient and which can recharge other areas that may be damaged.'

In a separate paper to the conference Professor Geoff Jones of CoECRS and JCU said there was now plenty of evidence that marine reserves work – not only by replenishing fish populations in no-take zones, but also by recharging fish populations in areas open to fishing.

'Our a new application of genetic parentage analysis shows protected populations of coral trout are helping to sustain juvenile recruitment in both reserves and in fished populations,' he says.

'At the Keppel islands, local reserves (about 30% of the reef area) now account for about 60% of juvenile recruitment of coral trout in the region, both in reserves and fished areas. Hence, reserves do have the potential to conserve coral trout and sustain fisheries in the long-term.'

However Prof. Jones cautioned that coral trout populations could still suffer if coral cover on the reef declined – and added that size and catch limits would still be needed in areas outside the reserve to ensure there were enough adult fish to sustain the fishery.

'While no take zones are extremely valuable, we need both them and more traditional fisheries management practices to ensure a healthy fish population on the Great Barrier Reef into the future,' he concluded.

http://www.coralcoe.org.au/
T Clewring J-classInSunSport - NZBakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

WHO statement on Zika virus
The third meeting of the EC convened by the Director-General under IHR 2005 regarding microcephaly and Zika virus The third meeting of the Emergency Committee (EC) convened by the Director-General under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR 2005) regarding microcephaly, other neurological disorders and Zika virus was held by teleconference on 14 June 2016, from 13:00 to 17:15 Central European Time.
Posted on 16 Jun
Atlantic Cup 2016 - a race with an environmental commitment
The Atlantic Cup continues to further its mission for the 2016 race by examining the global economic impact of the ocean The Atlantic Cup continues to further its mission for the 2016 race by examining the global economic impact of the ocean and how an unhealthy ocean can affect the economy.
Posted on 7 Apr
Zika virus situation report
From 1 January 2007 to 16 March 2016, Zika virus transmission was documented in a total of 59 countries and territories. From 1 January 2007 to 16 March 2016, Zika virus transmission was documented in a total of 59 countries and territories. Cuba and Dominica are the latest to report autochthonous (local) transmission of Zika virus on 14 and 15 March, respectively. Five of these countries and territories reported a Zika virus outbreak that is now over.
Posted on 2 Apr
Have Norway scientists solved the Bermuda Triangle mystery?
The Bermuda Triangle has been said to have claimed numerous ships and aircraft over the years The Bermuda Triangle has been said to have claimed numerous ships and aircraft over the years, and everything from aliens to remnants from the lost island of Atlantis have been fingered as the culprits.
Posted on 15 Mar
Cyclone Winston Relief Fund – Help the people of Fiji
Sea Mercy is sending volunteer fleet of small and large vessels, loaded with shelter, food and medical supplies to Fiji. Sea Mercy is once again sending our volunteer fleet of small and large vessels, loaded with shelter, food, water and medical supplies and teams to Fiji.
Posted on 27 Feb
Flying Scot Atlantic Coast Champs - Hanson Medals awarded for rescues
US Sailing Safety at Sea Committee awarded the Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medals to eight boats for their heroic efforts The US Sailing Safety at Sea Committee awarded the Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medals to eight boats for their heroic efforts when a microburst storm hit the 2015 Flying Scot Atlantic Coast Championship, hosted by the Blackbeard Sailing Club, in New Bern, NC on September 12.
Posted on 2 Feb
Eco-warriors Sea-Bin crowd sharing critical stage with nine days to go
The automated marina cleaning SeaBin project has raised 86% of their target with 9 days left. The automated marina cleaning SeaBin project has raised $198,020 of $230,000.00 with nine days left on their Indiegogo crowdfunding platform, but they need more help now.
Posted on 29 Dec 2015
Higher levels of Fukushima Cesium detected offshore
Scientists monitoring the spread of radiation in the ocean from the Fukushima nuclear accident report Scientists monitoring the spread of radiation in the ocean from the Fukushima nuclear accident report finding an increased number of sites off the US West Coast showing signs of contamination from Fukushima. This includes the highest detected level to date from a sample collected about 1,600 miles west of San Francisco.
Posted on 6 Dec 2015
Don’t be a Tosser – Not your usual environmental article!!
The word ‘Tosser’ in the Oxford English dictionary means – ‘a person or thing that throws something’. The word ‘Tosser’ in the Oxford English dictionary means – ‘a person or thing that throws something’. There is no need for me to tell you the other meaning that is commonly used around the world. However in this article it will refer to both at the same time as someone who tosses trash into the ocean, truly is a tosser.
Posted on 3 Dec 2015
Warming ocean worsened Australia’s fatal 2010/2011 floods
Researchers shows that warming of Indian and Pacific oceans played a role in increasing the risk of floods in 2010/2011 A study by a team of U.S. and Australian researchers shows that long-term warming of the Indian and Pacific oceans played an important role in increasing the risk of the kind of devastating floods that struck Australia in 2010/2011.
Posted on 21 Nov 2015