International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network
Document list
26 May 2017 by eve | event   Asian LME Symposium Program 2017
24 May 2017 by eve | publication   Strengthening Global Governance of LMEs by Incorporating Coastal Management and Marine Protected Areas (2015)
After 20 years of programming GEF International Waters (IW) LME projects, it is time to assemble experiences and promote learning and capacity building among the projects in the LME portfolio. This review is focused on strengthening the multi-scale approach to LME governance by reviewing existing approaches and advocating the incorporation of Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) and Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) at local scales into all GEF-funded LME projects.
24 May 2017 by eve | publication   Planning and networking for ecosystem based management of large marine ecosystems (2015)
The LME modular approach promotes the integration of natural and social sciences to advance application of EBM practice in LMEs. The approach is fully compatible with the bottom-up planning as prescribed by the GEF for projects in support of GEF International Waters focal area requiring Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDAs) and Strategic Action Plans (SAPs). The processes to be carried out in prioritization of transboundary issues to be addressed in TDA formulation and in the subsequent project implementation plan (SAP) are discussed by Alfred Duda in this theme issue under the Governance section.
24 May 2017 by eve | publication   IOC-UNESCO's Support for Management of LMEs (2016)
Over the past two decades the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has been a key actor in the global effort to promote sustainable use and management of Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs). Among the Commission's LME initiatives are a global comparative assessment of LMEs under the Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme and the LME: Learning Exchange and Resources Network project, both supported by the Global Environment Facility, and annual meetings of the LME Consultative Committee. A brief description of each of these initiatives is given in this commentary.
24 May 2017 by eve | publication   Collaboration between the Nansen Programme and the Large Marine Ecosystem Programmes (2016)
The Nansen Programme has collaborated with the Agulhas and Somali Currents LME (ACSLME) pro- ject, the Benguela Current LME (BCLME) project and its successor the Benguela Current Commission (BCC) as well as the Canary Current LME (CCLME) project and the Guinea Current LME (GCLME) project. In South Asia, the Nansen Programme has also collaborated with the Bay of Bengal LME (BoBLME) project. This paper chronicles the nature of the collaboration and the mutual benefits accruing to all the parties.
24 May 2017 by eve | publication   Adaptive management institutions at the regional level- The case of Large Marine Ecosystems (2013)
A global effort is underway by scientists, stakeholders, resource managers, and multi-sectoral ministerial representatives (e.g. fisheries, transportation, mining, energy, tourism, environment) from 110 economically developing countries to implement ecosystem-based management at the Large Marine Ecosystem scale.
24 May 2017 by eve | publication   A new imperative for improving management of large marine ecosystems (2002)
A five-module assessment and management methodology is being tested that moves the countries toward adopting practical joint governance institutions through place based management. This LME approach engages stakeholders, fosters the participation of the science community, and leads to the development of adaptive management institutions. Comprehensive initiatives in four LMEs are described. The importance is underscored for establishing and coordinating partnerships between the North and South for specific LMEs and their linked watersheds. These coordinated North–South partnerships significantly augment catalytic interventions made by the GEF leading to reforms and investments that are helping make the transition to sustainable development.
24 May 2017 by eve | publication   A large marine ecosystem governance framework (2007)
A large marine ecosystem (LME) governance framework, developed from a need to effectively address the sustainable management of the shared living marine resources of the Caribbean, is proposed. The framework is based on four propositions and focuses on a linked examination of two well-known components of LME-level governance: the policy cycle process by which decisions are made and the multi-level nature of LMEs. It accommodates the diversity of policy cycles at multiple levels and the linkages among them required for effective governance of LMEs. The framework takes into account of factors such as context, purpose, jurisdictional scale, capacity and complexity and provides a means to identify critical areas for intervention.
24 May 2017 by eve | publication   A governance perspective on the large marine ecosystem approach (2009)
The large marine ecosystem (LME) concept and approach has had a global impact on marine ecosystem-based management. The LME approach provides a framework for assessing and monitoring LMEs and is based on five modules: productivity, fish and fisheries, pollution and ecosystem health, socioeconomics, and governance. It appears that the LME approach is also being used to structure intervention stobring about change. Its appropriateness for the latter purpose is questioned. The major concerns are that the LME approach is not consistent with current thinking about enabling governance and its compartmentalized structure does not facilitate effective governance intervention. Current thinking on good governance suggests that it is more appropriate to approach governance interventions at the LME scale through multi-level governance policy cycles.
24 May 2017 by eve | publication   The application of satellite remote sensing for assessing productivity in relation to fisheries yields of the world's large marine ecosystems (2011)
In 1992, world leaders at the historical UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) recognized that the exploitation of resources in coastal oceans was becoming increasingly unsustainable, resulting in an international effort to assess, recover, and manage goods and services of large marine ecosystems (LMEs). More than $3 billion in support to 110 economically developing nations have been dedicated to operationalizing a five-module approach supporting LME assessment and management practices. An important component of this effort focuses on the effects of climate change on fisheries biomass yields of LMEs, using satellite remote sensing and in situ sampling of key indicators of changing ecological conditions. Warming appears to be reducing primary productivity in the lower latitudes, where stratification of the water column has intensified. Fishery biomass yields in the Subpolar LMEs of the Northeast Atlantic are also increasing as zooplankton levels increase with warming. During the current period of climate warming, it is especially important for space agency programmes in Asia, Europe, and the United States to continue to provide satellite-borne radiometry data to the global networks of LME assessment scientists.
24 May 2017 by eve | publication   Regional fishery management organizations and large marine ecosystems (2015)
The LME approach was fleshed out in the 1980s and initiated as both the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and country projects, beginning in the mid-1990s. LMEs have fisheries as a major component to be addressed under the LME five-module concept. As LME Programs enter the stage where they need to move to develop their governance responsibilities, the relationship with existing RFMOs is critical. This paper examines possibilities for this interaction with special attention to, but not exclusively, the Western coast of Africa. Possible inferences from the US east coast experience are also addressed, considering the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission as a pseudo RFMO with the states assuming a role similar to countries.
24 May 2017 by eve | publication   Potential consequences of climate change for primary production and fish production in large marine ecosystems (2012)
Existing methods to predict the effects of climate change on the biomass and production of marine communities are predicated on modelling the interactions and dynamics of individual species, a very challenging approach when interactions and distributions are changing and little is known about the ecological mechanisms driving the responses of many species. An informative parallel approach is to develop size-based methods. These capture the properties of food webs that describe energy flux and production at a particular size, independent of species' ecology. We couple a physical -biogeochemical model with a dynamic, size-based food web model to predict the future effects of climate change on fish biomass and production in 1 1 large regional shelf seas, with and with- out fishing effects. Changes in potential fish production are shown to most strongly mirror changes in phytoplankton production. We project declines of 30-60% in potential fish production across some important areas of tropical shelf and upwelling seas, most notably in the eastern Indo-Pacific, the northern Humboldt and the North Canary Current. Conversely, in some areas of the high latitude shelf seas, the production of pelagic predators was projected to increase by 28-89%.
24 May 2017 by eve | publication   Pathways between Primary Production and Fisheries Yields of Large Marine Ecosystems (2012)
The shift in marine resource management from a compartmentalized approach of dealing with resources on a species basis to an approach based on management of spatially defined ecosystems requires an accurate accounting of energy flow. The flow of energy from primary production through the food web will ultimately limit upper trophic-level fishery yields. In this work, we examine the relationship between yield and several metrics including net primary production, chlorophyll concentration, particle-export ratio, and the ratio of secondary to primary production. We also evaluate the relationship between yield and two additional rate measures that describe the export of energy from the pelagic food web, particle export flux and mesozooplankton productivity. We found primary production is a poor predictor of global fishery yields for a sample of 52 large marine ecosystems. However, chlorophyll concentration, particle-export ratio, and the ratio of secondary to primary production were positively associated with yields. The latter two measures provide greater mechanistic insight into factors controlling fishery production than chlorophyll concentration alone. Particle export flux and mesozooplankton productivity were also significantly related to yield on a global basis. Collectively, our analyses suggest that factors related to the export of energy from pelagic food webs are critical to defining patterns of fishery yields. Such trophic patterns are associated with temperature and latitude and hence greater yields are associated with colder, high latitude ecosystems.
24 May 2017 by eve | publication   Long-term changes and recurrent patterns in fisheries landings from Large Marine Ecosystems (1950–2004) (2012)
The regional dynamics of industrial fisheries within Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) boundaries were investigated by means of a historical-descriptive approach. Landings data from the Sea Around Us Project database were used to detect trends in total yields and variations in landings composition by functional groups over time. The temporal and spatial scales covered by this study allowed general issues to be addressed such as the detection of recurrent patterns and synchronies in fisheries landings. An unsupervised artificial neural network, Self Organizing Map (SOM), is used as a tool to analyze fisheries landings composition variation over five decades in 51 LMEs all over the world. From the historical analysis of “fishing behaviors” within LMEs a broad distinction between two main types of fisheries emerged: (1) small and medium pelagics fisheries, with stable compositions or cyclic behaviors, occurred in LMEs which share common productive features, despite different geographical locations and (2) demersal fisheries, which are more affected by economic drivers and tend to concentrate in LMEs in the Northern Hemisphere. Our analysis can be regarded as a first step towards the challenging scope of describing the relative influence of environmental and economic drivers on exploited ecosystems.
24 May 2017 by eve | publication   Is fisheries production within Large Marine Ecosystemsdetermined by bottom-up or top-down forcing (2016)
Understanding the mechanisms driving fisheries production is essential if we are to accurately predict changes under climate change and exploit fish stocks in a sustainable manner. Traditionally, studies have sought to distinguish between the two most prominent drivers, ‘bottom up’ (resource driven) and ‘top-down’ (consumer driven); however, this dichotomy is increasingly proving to be artificial as the relative importance of each mechanism has been shown to vary through space and time. Nevertheless, the reason why one predominates over another within a region remains largely unknown. To address this gap in understanding, we identified the dominant driver of commercial landings within 47 ecosystems, encompassing a wide range of biogeochemical conditions and fishing practices to elucidate general patterns.
24 May 2017 by eve | publication   Fishery production potential of large marine ecosystems- A prototype analysis (2016)
Satellite-based estimates of primary productivity by size classes, and a more complete food web relative to earlier approaches, were used to estimate marine ecosystem productivity. Including microbial, benthic, and micro plankton components of production resulted in an overall fishery production potential of 140–180 million metrictonnes and an additional 30–50 million metrictonnes of benthos. Increased exploitation of components of this production such as mesopelagic fishes or benthic organisms may have serious ecosystem wide negative consequences and other problems. Accordingly, a full risk analysis will be necessary before considering increased exploitation of these ecosystem components.
24 May 2017 by eve |   Fisheries in a warming ocean- trends in fish catches in the large marine ecosystems of the world (2015)
Trends in annual catches of fish species in the large marine ecosystems (LMEs) of the world were analysed, relating them with changes in sea surface temperature. LMEs are large coastal areas with broad ecosystem similarities, and the vast majority of them have warmed in the period of 1982–2006. Changes in sea water temperature, induced by climate change, affect the geographic distribution of fish species in marine ecosystems. Shifts in distribution of fish will most likely affect the abundance, distribution and composition of fisheries catches. In the present paper, a decreasing trend in the catches of fish species in warming LMEs was observed. Catches in years of cold and warm winters were compared for each of the eight fish species most caught in the world. Generally, mean catches of polar and temperate species were higher in years of warm winters in the LMEs located in the northern part of the species range and in years of cold winters in LMEs of the southern regions of their ranges. Mean catches of subtropical species were higher in cold years in LMEs of lower latitudes and in warm years in LMEs of higher latitude regions. The results obtained for fish catches agree with a poleward shift of fish species as a response to ocean warming, posing challenges for future fisheries management.
24 May 2017 by eve | publication   Accelerated Warming and Emergent Trends in Fisheries Biomass Yields of the World's Large Marine Ecosystems (2009)
Information on the effects of global climate change on trends in global fisheries biomass yields has been limited in spatial and temporal scale. Results are presented of a global study of the impact of sea surface temperature (SST) changes over the last 25 years on the fisheries yields of 63 large marine ecosystems (LMEs) that annually produce 80% of the world's marine fisheries catches. Warming trends were observed in 61 LMEs around the globe. In 18 of the LMEs, rates of SST warming were two to four times faster during the past 25 years than the globally averaged rates of SST warming reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007. Effects of warming on fisheries biomass yields were greatest in the fast-warming northern North east Atlantic LMEs, where increasing trends in fisheries biomass yields were related to zooplankton biomass increases. In contrast, fisheries biomass yields of LMEs in the fast-warming, more southerly reaches of the Northeast Atlantic were declining in response to decreas es in zooplankton abundance. The LMEs around the margins of the Indian Ocean, where SSTs were among the world's slowest warming, revealed a consistent pattern of fisheries biomass increases during the past 25 years, driven principally by human need for food security from fisheries resources. As a precautionary approach toward more sustainable fisheries utilization, management measures to limit the total allowable catch through a cap-and-sustain approach are suggested for the developing nations recently fishing heavily on re sources of the Agulhas Current, Somali Current, Arabian Sea, and Bay of Bengal LMEs.
23 May 2017 by eve | report   The UNEP Large Marine Ecosystems report
This report is a result of a collaborative effort to promote a global view of conditions within LMEs across the North-South divide. It was generously coordinated by UNEP Regional Seas Programme, and the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA Coordination Office) in The Hague, Netherlands. In summer 2005 it was agreed that UNEP, in partnership with the GEF supported Global International Waters Assessment (GIWA) project, and NOAA’s Large Marine Ecosystem Program, would provide synopses of ecological conditions for each of the worlds’ Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs). In accordance with the outcome of a series of consultations among the three parties, it was concluded that the five-module LME assessment framework of productivity, fish and fisheries, pollution and ecosystem health, socioeconomics, and governance, would provide a useful basis for describing ecological conditions within the world’s LMEs.
23 May 2017 by eve | report   TWAP Large Marine Ecosystems - Status and Trends
Recognizing the value of large marine ecosystems (LMEs) and other transboundary water systems (open ocean, groundwater aquifers, lakes and reservoirs, and river basins), their continued degradation, the fragmented approach to their management, and the need for better prioritization of interventions, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) embarked on the Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme (TWAP) from 2009 to 2015. TWAP objectives were to undertake global assessments of the five transboundary water systems to assist GEF and other international organizations set priorities for interventions; and develop formal institutional partnerships for periodic assessments of these systems.