Threats to Marine Ecosystems and Conservation of the Marine Environment

Elsevier, S20 Japan 2019, 6 March 2019

This collection of articles focusses on SDG 14 (life below water). Every coastal State, including several members of G20, face threats to marine ecosystems and the environment as complex societal, economic and governance challenges. Ocean management involves multi-disciplinary science and complex issues of policy design, while implementation demands consultative decision making and long term capacity development. In order to achieve sustainable development and conservation goals, we must improve the integration of science into marine policy, whilst achieving social and economic inclusivity and diversity. From coastal systems where human activities are layered in ocean space, to remote oceanic systems, management faces complex challenges in identifying and quantifying  trade-offs between conservation and sectoral interests.

In this special collection, we have selected articles published in Elsevier’s peer-reviewed journals that showcase the current issues of marine environment and policies. Topics that are covered include marine pollution, climate change impact on ocean, UN Sustainable Development Goals, coastal management, fisheries management and high seas governance, with several articles dedicated to highlighting the latest scientific developments on these issues from Japan. The articles were selected in consultation with ocean experts of the Nippon Foundation Nereus Program, an interdisciplinary global research network.

Elsevier, Marine Policy, Volume 94, August 2018
This viewpoint emphasizes gendered perspectives and reflects on gender roles for sustainability-focused governance. It argues that when considering gender in this context, not only equity, or power-plays between genders are at stake; in addition, for effective ocean governance, an irreducible contribution of female voices is necessary. Some key contributions of women in the field of ocean governance-related research are described as examples. If women, for instance, are not included in fisheries management, we miss the complete picture of social-ecological linkages of marine ecosystems.
Elsevier, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 136, November 2018
Increasing accessibility of coral reefs from the latter third of the 20th century led quickly to recognition of the vulnerability of coral reef communities to a combination of direct and indirect human impacts. Coral reefs are confronted by the stark threats of climate and ocean changes from the increasing number, intensity and forms of human use impacting global and marine systems. Management, particularly of accessible coral reefs, occurs in the context of multiple scale transboundary water column linkages of lifecycle processes and increasing human use of coastal and marine space.
Elsevier, Marine Policy, Volume 99, January 2019
The current regime governing Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) as a global commons has resulted in overutilization of fisheries resources and patchwork attempts to regulate resource extraction. States are looking to expand resource extraction in ABNJs, including marine genetic resources, creating pressures to regulate these activities. As a result, since 2004, the United Nations has been holding preparatory meetings to lay the groundwork for a new international legally binding instrument (ILBI) to address the gaps left by UNCLOS.
Elsevier, Ocean and Coastal Management, Volume 154, 15 March 2018
Mangrove forests provide critical services around the globe to both human populations and the ecosystems they occupy. However, losses of mangrove habitat of more than 50% have been recorded in some parts of the world, and these losses are largely attributable to human activities. The importance of mangroves and the threats to their persistence have long been recognized, leading to actions taken locally, by national governments, and through international agreements for their protection. In this review, we explore the status of mangrove forests as well as efforts to protect them.
Elsevier, Marine Policy, Volume 74, 1 December 2016
Increasing interest in deep-seabed mining has raised many questions surrounding its potential environmental impacts and how to assess the impacts’ significance. Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the International Seabed Authority (ISA) is charged with ensuring effective protection of the marine environment as part of its responsibilities for managing mining in seabed areas beyond national jurisdiction (the Area) on behalf of humankind.
Elsevier, Marine Policy, Volume 74, 1 December 2016
Changing forms of seafood consumption in China hold immense significance for the marine ecosystems that supply this market, and are a fundamentally important challenge to address for global environmental sustainability. Drawing on recent findings from extensive ethnographic and survey research with seafood traders and consumers in China, this paper analyses policies for improving sustainable seafood consumption in China.
Elsevier, Marine Policy, Volume 93, July 2018
Achieving the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) results in many ecological, social, and economic consequences that are inter-related. Understanding relationships between sustainability goals and determining their interactions can help prioritize effective and efficient policy options. This paper presents a framework that integrates existing knowledge from literature and expert opinions to rapidly assess the relationships between one SDG goal and another.
Elsevier, Marine Policy, Volume 91, May 2018
In spite of the growing attention towards the overall quality of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), most empirical studies so far have narrowly focused their assessments on specific natural or social features and governing structures. In response, this study analyzed multi-use MPAs in the eelgrass restoration site in Hinase, Okayama, Japan in their environmental, economic and social dimensions. Considering changes in time and space as well as internal and external influences, the study faced many difficulties in dealing with the dynamics of MPA environments.
Elsevier, Marine Policy, Volume 88, February 2018
To establish an estimation procedure for reliable catch amount of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, light-gathering fishing operations in the northwestern Pacific were analyzed based on the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) day/night band (DNB) data provided by the Suomi National Polar Partnership (SNPP) satellite. The estimated fishing activities were compared with the navigation tracks of vessels obtained from the automatic identification system (AIS).

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