marine conservation

Simon Donner

University of British Columbia, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography

Enric Sala

Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Scientific Researcher, Department of Marine Ecology, Centre for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CEAB)

Fiorenza Micheli

Stanford University, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, Hopkins Marine Station

Dianna Padilla

Stony Brook University, Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolution

February 29, 2012

Bright spots: lessons from marine conservation success stories

Nancy Knowlton

photo: Nick Hobgood

When Nancy Knowlton (1999) and her colleague Jeremy Jackson were planning a symposium about marine conservation successes, others wondered if they could find enough examples to fill the program. What began with this event in 2009 has grown into "Beyond the Obituaries," a movement among marine scientists who are looking to conservation success stories to understand what's working -- and what we should do more of -- to preserve the world's oceans.

January 26, 2012

An alternative path for saving whales?

Leah Gerber

In spite of an international moratorium put in place in 1986, the number of whales killed for commercial purposes continues to grow. Given the limited success of current policy in conserving whales, Leah Gerber (2011) and her colleagues propose creating a whale market featuring quotas and shares allocated in sustainable numbers to all member nations to buy and sell. Conservation groups could also participate by buying shares, an approach that the authors say would be more effective in saving whales. They believe that the plan stands a good chance of being acceptable both to anti- and to pro-whaling nations as a framework that would be "economically, ecologically and socially viable for whalers and whales alike."

September 16, 2011

Clues about ocean health from ancient art

Fiorenza Micheli

photo: E. Trainito

Fio Micheli (2004) and her colleagues faced a challenge in measuring the success of marine reserves across the Mediterranean Sea: a lack of ecological data from times before large-scale fishing. They found a unique solution in using depictions of one key species, the dusky grouper, in Roman mosaics to make baseline comparisons. According to their study, the ancient works suggest that the dusky grouper, an endangered species protected in the reserves, was much larger and lived in shallower waters than it does today. "Historical information and nontraditional data sets may help in setting appropriate conservation and fisheries management goals," the research team says.

August 18, 2011

Local engagement achieves surprising marine recovery

Enric Sala

photo credit: Octavio Aburto-Oropeza/iLCP

A research team including Enric Sala (2005) has documented a spectacular recovery of marine life in Cabo Pulmo National Park, an area previously depleted by fishing in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Local citizens established the marine reserve in 1995 and have strictly enforced its "no take" restrictions. Sala and his colleagues found a 463 percent increase in the total amount of fish in the reserve ecosystem from 1999 to 2009. This success is "greatly due to local leadership, effective self-enforcement by local stakeholders, and the general support of the broader community," the research team says.

April 28, 2010

Hawaii bans trade in shark fins

Robert Richmond

photo: Tanaka Juuyoh

The Hawaiian state legislature has passed a bill banning the possession, sale, and distribution of shark fins. Sharks are considered protective deities by many Native Hawaiians. At a press conference before the vote in mid-April, Bob Richmond (2004) spoke about the decline of sharks and their role in protecting the health of marine populations.