New publications on coral bleaching and management

There are two new publications available on managing coral reefs in an era of climate change. A Reef Manager’s Guide to Coral Bleaching – co-produced by the (US) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, and IUCN – provides managers with the latest scientific information on the causes of coral bleaching and new strategies for responding to this threat. These strategies include meaningful actions for before, during, and after bleaching events. The guide makes several references to protected areas, such as identifying the key role that MPA networks can play in helping reefs rebound from bleaching events via larval connectivity. Featuring advice and case studies from dozens of experts in coral bleaching and coral reef management, the report is available in PDF format at

The second report, Coral Reef Resilience and Resistance to Bleaching, published by IUCN and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), provides similar advice to reef managers. Co-author Rodney Salm of TNC says it is essential to anticipate climate change. “Rising temperatures and sea-level challenge reef managers to be flexible and adapt their approaches to make the reefs under their care more resilient to climate change as new science and understanding emerges,” says Salm. The report is available in PDF format at (A sister publication on mangrove management ­ Managing Mangroves for Resilience to Climate Change, also published by IUCN and TNC – is available in PDF format at

WWF-Canada proposes framework for MPA network planning

A new report from WWF-Canada offers guidance on planning regional MPA networks across Canada, with best practices and a proposed set of actions for national leadership. The target audience for the report is planners, decision-makers, and stakeholders playing a role in shaping Canada’s approach to planning MPA networks. A Policy and Planning Framework for Marine Protected Area Networks in Canada’s Oceans is available in PDF format at

Thirteen tons of derelict fishing gear removed from Hawaiian MPA

More than 13 tons of derelict fishing gear were removed from coral reefs of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument during a recent month-long, multi-agency removal effort coordinated by the (US) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. The derelict gear was collected from an area totaling three square miles (7.8 km2). NOAA has worked since 1996 to remove hazardous marine debris from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI), where it injures marine life, destroys coral reef habitat, and threatens safe navigation. The NOAA marine debris team has collected more than 580 tons of debris in the islands since the beginning of the program; the collected debris is then incinerated on land to provide electricity for Hawai’i residents. The NWHI archipelago is in the North Pacific Gyre, a swirling vortex of ocean currents that routes debris in a circle around the North Pacific. Annually more than 52 tons of marine debris accumulate in the 362,000-km2 Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument. Information on NOAA’s marine debris removal operations for NWHI is available at

Experimental lobster reserves established in Norway

Norway’s Department of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs has designated four small experimental reserves (0.5-1 km2 in area) along the Skagerrak coast in southeastern Norway with the goal of establishing and studying baseline populations of lobster in the closures, including their movement patterns in relation to the size and shape of reserves. Fishing for lobster inside the reserves is now banned for 10 years; only hook-and-line fishing is allowed. The four areas – the first lobster reserves in the nation – were nominated by local fishing organizations following a series of consultations with public officials. Even Moland of the Institute of Marine Research (Flodevigen station), who is conducting the lobster population experiments, says the reserves will serve to raise local awareness of MPAs as a management tool, and could provide a basis for regional discussion of the concept of large-scale zoning of the coastline.

For more information: Even Moland, Institute of Marine Research, Flodevigen, 4817 His, Norway. Tel: +47 37059027; E-mail:

Upcoming events

Newly added meetings on the MPA News conference list include:

January 5-9, 2007 – “4th Annual CoralWatch Focus on Corals Workshop”. Heron Island Research Station, Australia. Instructing marine educators on using a simple technique for monitoring coral bleaching.

April 2-5, 2007 – “MARXAN Best Practices Workshop”. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Clarifying the relationship of planning tools to decision-making on marine resource management, and drafting text for a best-practices handbook on MARXAN.

September 25-28, 2007 – “European Symposium on MPAs as a Tool for Fisheries Management & Ecosystem Conservation”. Murcia, Spain. Discussing ecological, economic, and social aspects of MPA development, and emphasizing integration of fisheries and ecosystem management.

For a complete calendar of MPA-related events in 2007, visit