Massachusetts governor concerned that federal conservation actions could undermine regional ocean planning

The Gloucester Daily Times newspaper reports that the governor of the US State of Massachusetts Charlie Baker has expressed concerns to US President Barack Obama about the potential designation of one or more national marine monuments off the coast of New England. Baker’s concerns include a lack of stakeholder involvement in the potential designation process and the potential to undermine existing regional ocean management systems, namely the New England Fishery Management Council and the Northeast Regional Planning Body. The Northeast Regional Planning Body, Baker writes, expects to submit the nation’s first regional ocean plan to the National Ocean Council next year. Read the full article at

Paper illustrates steps for assessing climate change vulnerability of fisheries and aquaculture

FAO has released a new technical paper on understanding vulnerability to climate change in fisheries and aquaculture, “Assessing climate change vulnerability in fisheries and aquaculture: Available methodologies and their relevance for the Sector”. This paper provides an overview of vulnerability assessment concepts and methodologies, and analyzes how they have been applied in the context of fisheries and aquaculture, with examples. A series of practical steps to assess vulnerability in the fisheries and aquaculture sector is proposed for climate change specialists working with dependent communities, as well as for practitioners wishing to incorporate adaptation planning into the sector’s management and development. The paper can be downloaded for free from

Coral reef society says Paris climate change conference targets not good enough

The International Society for Reef Studies (ISRS) has prepared a consensus statement on the current scientific view of the impact of climate change on coral reefs. The group concludes that the targets being proposed for the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference being held in Paris from November 20 to December 11 will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions nor limit temperature rise enough to prevent widespread coral reef decline. ISRS calls on all nations and negotiators at the conference to commit to limiting atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations to no more than 450 ppm in the short-term and 350ppm in the long-term. The group believes this will keep the average global temperature increase to less than 2°C in the short-term and 1.5°C in the long-term, relative to the pre-industrial period, and would prevent global collapse of coral reef ecosystems. The statement is available at

EBM guide now available in Spanish and French

The UNEP publication “Taking Steps toward Marine and Coastal Ecosystem-Based Management: An Introductory Guide” is now available in Spanish and French. This guide covers why EBM is necessary, the core elements of EBM, and how to move from visioning to planning to implementation of EBM. It draws from practical experiences and lessons across the globe. The target audience is planners and decision-makers in local, national and regional governments and communities. The guide (in Spanish, French, and English) is available for free at

Handbook provides global overview of ocean uses and management strategies

The Routledge Handbook of Ocean Resources and Management provides an overview of several facets of knowledge needed for the use and management of the world’s oceans. The handbook provides information on relationships between people and the sea on a global scale, uses of the sea (e.g., food, ocean space, materials, and energy), and regional management strategies. The handbook is available for purchase (USD$220) at

Future seafood supply at risk from climate change, overfishing, and habitat destruction, report finds

The Nereus Program has released a new report “Predicting Future Oceans: Climate Change, Oceans & Fisheries.” The report concludes that climate change and ocean acidification, overfishing, and habitat destruction will lead to declines in fisheries and alterations of marine biodiversity and food web structure in many regions in the absence of improved ocean governance. According to program co-director William Cheung, “The types of fish that we will have on our dinner table will be very different decades later compared to now.” The report also finds that the long-term ecological and social sustainability of aquaculture is unclear. The report is available for free at