Project

Nereus Program

Goal: http://www.nereusprogram.org/

Who we are:

The Nereus Program is a global interdisciplinary initiative created to further our knowledge of how best to attain sustainability for the world’s oceans.

The Nereus Program, a collaboration between the Nippon Foundation and the University of British Columbia, has engaged in innovative, interdisciplinary ocean research since its inception in 2011. The Program is currently a global partnership of six leading marine science institutes with the aim of undertaking research that advances our comprehensive understandings of the global ocean systems across the natural and social sciences, from oceanography and marine ecology to fisheries economics and impacts on coastal communities.

What we do:

The Program is built around three core objectives:

Research: conducting collaborative ocean research across the natural and social sciences

Capacity building: developing a network of experts that can engage in discussion of complex and multifaceted questions of ocean sustainability

Public outreach: transferring these ideas to practical solutions in global policy forums and public engagement

Mission Statement:

The Nereus Program strives to explore a broad range of perspectives and scientific opinions on ocean sustainability, and to create an inclusive community of researchers and other marine professionals. This principle is founded on the Nippon Foundation’s vision of global capacity building to ensure that our oceans’ legacy is preserved and potential is protected for future generations.

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Project log

Tyler Eddy
added a research item
Coral reefs worldwide are facing impacts from climate change, overfishing, habitat destruction, and pollution. The cumulative effect of these impacts on global capacity of coral reefs to provide ecosystem services is un- known. Here, we evaluate global changes in extent of coral reef habitat, coral reef fishery catches and effort, Indigenous consumption of coral reef fishes, and coral-reef-associated biodiversity. Global coverage of living coral has declined by half since the 1950s. Catches of coral-reef-associated fishes peaked in 2002 and are in decline despite increasing fishing effort, and catch-per-unit effort has decreased by 60% since 1950. At least 63% of coral-reef-associated biodiversity has declined with loss of coral extent. With projected continued degradation of coral reefs and associated loss of biodiversity and fisheries catches, the well-being and sustain- able coastal development of human communities that depend on coral reef ecosystem services are threatened.
Tyler Eddy
added a research item
Coastal regions are essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) given their importance for human habitation, resource provisioning, employment, and cultural practice. They are also regions where different ecological, disciplinary, and jurisdictional boundaries both overlap and are obscured. We thus propose the land-sea interface as areas where governance systems are most in need of frameworks for systems analysis to meet the SDGs—which are inherently interconnected— and integrate complex interdependencies between human livelihoods, energy, transport, food production, and nutrient flows (among others). We propose a strategic land-sea governance framework built on the sustainable transitions literature to plan for governance to achieve sustainable development across the land-sea interface. To illustrate our proposal, we compare governance planning processes across four case-based scenarios: an industrialized coastal country, a least developed coastal country, a developing coastal country with local dependencies on ocean resources, and a small island developing state primarily dependent on tourism. Through the lens of aligning governance actors and actions vertically (subnational to national), horizontally (across sectors), and programmatically (from goals to implementation), we propose scales at which governance systems may be misaligned, such as where different agencies that affect marine systems have conflicting visions and goals, leading to stalled progress or counterproductive actions. Where possible, we also highlight strategies to align across scales of high level strategic policy, tactical scale institutional mandates and cooperation, and on the ground activities and operations, such as aligning actors based on an analysis of interdependencies of goals.
Gabriel Reygondeau
added a research item
The future of the global ocean economy is currently envisioned as advancing towards a ‘blue economy’—socially equitable, environmentally sustainable and economically viable ocean industries. However, tensions exist within sustainable development approaches, arising from differing perspectives framed around natural capital or social equity. Here we show that there are stark differences in outlook on the capacity for establishing a blue economy, and on its potential outcomes, when social conditions and governance capacity—not just resource availability—are considered, and we highlight limits to establishing multiple overlapping industries. This is reflected by an analysis using a fuzzy logic model to integrate indicators from multiple disciplines and to evaluate their current capacity to contribute to establishing equitable, sustainable and viable ocean sectors consistent with a blue economy approach. We find that the key differences in the capacity of regions to achieve a blue economy are not due to available natural resources, but include factors such as national stability, corruption and infrastructure, which can be improved through targeted investments and cross-scale cooperation. Knowledge gaps can be addressed by integrating historical natural and social science information on the drivers and outcomes of resource use and management, thus identifying equitable pathways to establishing or transforming ocean sectors. Our results suggest that policymakers must engage researchers and stakeholders to promote evidence-based, collaborative planning that ensures that sectors are chosen carefully, that local benefits are prioritized, and that the blue economy delivers on its social, environmental and economic goals.
Tyler Eddy
added a research item
Transfer efficiency is the proportion of energy passed between nodes in food webs. It is an emergent, unitless property that is difficult to measure, and responds dynamically to environmental and ecosystem changes. Because the consequences of changes in transfer efficiency compound through ecosystems, slight variations can have large effects on food availability for top predators. Here, we review the processes controlling transfer efficiency, approaches to estimate it, and known variations across ocean biomes. Both process-level analysis and observed macroscale variations suggest that ecosystem-scale transfer efficiency is highly variable, impacted by fishing, and will decline with climate change. It is important that we more fully resolve the processes controlling transfer efficiency in models to effectively anticipate changes in marine ecosystems and fisheries resources.
Gabriel Reygondeau
added a research item
Quantifying species spatial distribution and biodiversity patterns represents one of the pillars of ecology. The ocean and human society are in a closed interaction loop, with the ocean providing benefits such as food provision and humans influencing the natural state of the ocean either by direct pressures such as fisheries or indirect pressures such as modification of climate. Ecosystem services provided by the ocean are structured at local or regional scales by the biodiversity pool of species occurring, which define the trophodynamics of the ecosystem. Therefore the study of species distributions and their interactions allows for the characterization of ecosystem functioning and the quantification of the potential benefits of the ocean to human society. The discipline of biogeography is defined as: “The study of the spatial distributions of organisms, both past and present, understanding all patterns of geographic variation in nature-from genes to entire communities and ecosystems-elements of biological diversity that vary across geographic gradients including those of area, isolation, latitude, depth, and elevation.”.
Lisa Dellmuth
added a research item
How does the legitimacy of global marine institutions vary over time, across institutions, and across audiences? This chapter presents new evidence from expert surveys about the legitimacy of almost twenty global marine institutions and discusses central benefits and risks associated with varying legitimacy for effective marine management. It draws attention to political science research showing that legitimacy increases might lead to enhanced compliance but lower political scrutiny.
Rebecca Asch
added a research item
Phenology (the study of how climate and weather affect seasonal, ecological cycles) has been understudied in marine ecosystems despite its vital role in mediating interspecific interactions and promoting ecosystem services. Seasonal mismatches between larval fishes and their prey can result in low larval survival and poor fisheries recruitment. Climate change may increase the frequency of mismatches if seasonal plankton blooms and fish reproduction are cued by different climatic drivers. Multi-decadal time series with a high temporal resolution are needed to document to how climate change impacts marine phenology, but such time series are rare due to the challenges of gathering such data at sea. In locations where such time series exist, rapid changes in fish and zooplankton phenology have been observed, whereas phytoplankton and seabirds have experienced smaller or more variable phenological changes. This suggests that each trophic level is responding differently to changes, which could restructure many ecological interactions.
Tyler Eddy
added a research item
The oceans provide us with ecosystem services such as food provision from fisheries and aquaculture, carbon sequestration, flood control and waste detoxification for people living in coastal communities, and biodiversity provision. These services play a direct role in the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere that regulates our weather and climate. The capacity of the oceans to provide these ecosystem services can change over time due to human activities such as fishing, emission of greenhouse gases, pollution, and coastal development. We can measure components of nature to quantify the capacity of the ocean to provide ecosystem services and how capacity changes with time. One component of ocean capacity is the extent and quality of habitats such as coral reefs, mangroves, sea grasses, and kelp forests, which are directly related to the abundance and biomass of species and biodiversity associated with each habitat. Habitats, biomass, and biodiversity respond to human activities such as fishing, habitat destruction, pollution, and sedimentation as well as to environmental conditions that are affected by climate change such as temperature, nutrient flux, pH, and oxygen levels of the oceans. By tracking these key aspects of ocean capacity through time, we can understand how ecosystem services respond to human activities and climate change.
Tyler Eddy
added 2 research items
Recent EU policies known as Plan S require researchers funded with EU grants to publish in open-access journals to make articles more publicly accessible. Critics of these policies claim that they will cause a gradual shift toward publishing in open-access journals and will deepen the divide between authors who have the capac- ity to pay open-access publishing fees and those who do not (1). However, the distinction between the open-access and paywall model is not the only axis that needs to be considered. An important dividing criterion that predicts journals’ behavior toward promoting accessibility is whether they have a for-profit or nonprofit business model.
Rebecca Asch
added a research item
Substantial interannual variability in marine fish recruitment (i.e., the number of young fish entering a fishery each year) has been hypothesized to be related to whether the timing of fish spawning matches that of seasonal plankton blooms. Environmental processes that control the phenology of blooms, such as stratification, may differ from those that influence fish spawning, such as temperature-linked reproductive maturation. These different controlling mechanisms could cause the timing of these events to diverge under climate change with negative consequences for fisheries. We use an earth system model to examine the impact of a high-emissions, climate-warming scenario (RCP8.5) on the future spawning time of two classes of temperate, epipelagic fishes: "geographic spawners" whose spawning grounds are defined by fixed geographic features (e.g., rivers, estuaries, reefs) and "environmental spawners" whose spawning grounds move responding to variations in environmental properties , such as temperature. By the century's end, our results indicate that projections of increased stratification cause spring and summer phytoplankton blooms to start 16 days earlier on average (±0.05 days SE) at latitudes >40°N. The temperature-linked phenology of geographic spawners changes at a rate twice as fast as phyto-plankton, causing these fishes to spawn before the bloom starts across >85% of this region. "Extreme events," defined here as seasonal mismatches >30 days that could lead to fish recruitment failure, increase 10-fold for geographic spawners in many areas under the RCP8.5 scenario. Mismatches between environmental spawners and phytoplankton were smaller and less widespread, although sizable mismatches still emerged in some regions. This indicates that range shifts undertaken by environmental spawners may increase the resiliency of fishes to climate change impacts associated with phenological mismatches, potentially buffering against declines in larval fish survival, recruitment, and fisheries. Our model results are supported by empirical evidence from ecosystems with multidecadal observations of both fish and phytoplankton phenology. K E Y W O R D S earth system model, marine fish reproduction, phenology, phytoplankton blooms, species range shifts, trophic mismatches
Gabriel Reygondeau
added 2 research items
The ocean is a critical source of nutrition for billions of people, with potential to yield further food, profits, and employment in the future (1). But fisheries face a serious new challenge as climate change drives the ocean to conditions not experienced historically. Local, national, regional, and international fisheries are substantially underprepared for geographic shifts in marine animals driven by climate change over the coming decades. Fish and other animals have already shifted into new territory at a rate averaging 70 km per decade (2), and these shifts are expected to continue or accelerate (3). We show here that many species will likely shift across national and other political boundaries in the coming decades, creating the potential for conflict over newly shared resources.
Guillermo Ortuno Crespo
added a research item
Between 1950 and 1989, marine fisheries catch in the open-ocean and deep-sea beyond 200 nautical miles from shore increased by a factor of more than 10. While high seas catches have since plateaued, fishing effort continues to increase linearly. The combination of increasing effort and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing has led to overfishing of target stocks and declines in biodiversity. To improve management, there have been numerous calls to increase monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS). However, MCS has been unevenly implemented, undermining efforts to sustainably use high seas and straddling stocks and protect associated species and ecosystems. The United Nations General Assembly is currently negotiating a new international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ). The new treaty offers an excellent opportunity to address discrepancies in how MCS is applied across regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs). This paper identifies ways that automatic identification system (AIS) data can inform MCS on the high seas and thereby enhance conservation and management of biodiversity beyond national jurisdictions. AIS data can be used to (i) identify gaps in governance to underpin the importance of a holistic scope for the new agreement; (ii) monitor area-based management tools; and (iii) increase the capacity of countries and RFMOs to manage via the technology transfer. Any new BBNJ treaty should emphasize MCS and the role of electronic monitoring including the use of AIS data, as well as government-industry-civil society partnerships to ensure critically important technology transfer and capacity building.
William Cheung
added a project reference
Andrew Merrie
added a research item
Scenarios can help individuals, communities, corporations and nations to develop a capacity for dealing with the unknown and unpredictable, or the unlikely but possible. A range of scientific methods for developing scenarios is available, but we argue that they have limited capacity to investigate complex social-ecological futures because: 1) non-linear change is rarely incorporated and: 2) they rarely involve co-evolutionary dynamics of integrated social-ecological systems. This manuscript intends to address these two concerns, by applying the method of Science Fiction Prototyping to develop scenarios for the future of global fisheries. We used an empirically informed background on existing and emerging trends in marine natural resource use and dynamics to develop four ‘radical’ futures in a changing global ocean, incorporating and extrapolating from existing environmental, technological, social and economic trends. We argue that the distinctive method applied here can complement existing scenario methodologies and assist scientists in developing a holistic understanding of complex systems dynamics. The approach holds promise for making scenarios more accessible and interesting to non-academics and can be useful for developing proactive governance mechanisms.
Guillermo Ortuno Crespo
added 3 research items
Highlights • Open-ocean ecosystems are very large scale and are highly dynamic in space and time. • A robust ILBI should consider the unique challenges inherent in the large scale, connectivity and variability of these ecosystems. • Adaptive governance approaches to these open-ocean communities and ecosystems are critical given the impacts from climate change and increasing use of resources. • The scale and variability of open-ocean ecosystems require that the monitoring mechanisms be put in place at regional or global scales and be sustained over longer time periods than may be necessary in static systems • Highly-mobile species contribute to the ecological, social and economic stability of socioecolog-ical systems both within and beyond national jurisdictions. Therefore, any changes to the diversity , abundance or range of these highly-mobile species, and the subsequent impacts of these changes, should be tracked and assessed.
Chris Mcowen
added a research item
Achieving ocean sustainability is paramount for coastal communi es and marine industries, yet is also inextricably linked to much broader global sustainable development—including increased resilience to climate change and improved social equity—as envisioned by the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This report highlights the co-bene ts from achieving each SDG 14 target: progress towards each of the other 161 SDG targets when ocean targets are met, given ten-year lag mes between ocean targets and other SDG targets. The iden ca on of co-bene ts is based on input from more than 30 scien c experts in the Nereus Program. Below we highlight notable co-bene ts of achieving each target within SDG 14. Sustainably managing and restoring marine ecosystems promotes ecologically resilient oceans that can produce more food and economic bene ts in the longer term, as well as mi gate carbon emissions and withstand impacts of climate change such as sea level rise and coral bleaching. Pg. 12-13 Ending over shing, illegal and destruc ve sheries promotes the recovery of sh stocks, improving food security and sustainable livelihoods of coastal communi es. Restructuring sheries can promote sustainable industrializa on and innova on, and build ecological resilience to climate change impacts. Pg. 16-17 Reforming sheries subsidies ac vely remedies inequali es in sheries. Redesigned public investments mi gate underlying causes of over shing and promote sustainable produc on and consump on, contribu ng to increasing adap ve capacity of sheries to climate change. Pg. 20-21 Achieving the targets in SDG 14 will be complicated by growing climate change impacts and issues related to social inequity. Achieving the targets will become more di cult the later they are a empted, and in some cases the targets may not be achievable. Even with the great di cul es the future presents, progress towards the targets and their associated co-bene ts - the subsequent contribu on to the achievement of other targets- can s ll be made through policy strategies (highlighted at the end of the report) from local to global scales.
Gabriel Reygondeau
added a research item
In several Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs), rapid population growth and inadequate management of coastal fish habitats and stocks is causing a gap to emerge between the amount of fish recommended for good nutrition and sustainable harvests from coastal fisheries. The effects of ocean warming and acidification on coral reefs, and the effects of climate change on mangrove and seagrass habitats, are expected to widen this gap. To optimise the contributions of small-scale fisheries to food security in PICTs, adaptations are needed to minimise and fill the gap. Key measures to minimise the gap include community-based approaches to: manage catchment vegetation to reduce sedimentation; maintain the structural complexity of fish habitats; allow landward migration of mangroves as sea level rises; sustain recruitment and production of demersal fish by managing ‘source’ populations; and diversify fishing methods to increase catches of species favoured by climate change. The main adaptions to help fill the gap in fish supply include: transferring some fishing effort from coral reefs to tuna and other large pelagic fish by scaling-up the use of nearshore fish aggregating devices; developing fisheries for small pelagic species; and extending the shelf life of catches by improving post-harvest methods. Modelling the effects of climate change on the distribution of yellowfin tuna, skipjack tuna, wahoo and mahi mahi, indicates that these species are likely to remain abundant enough to implement these adaptations in most PICTs until 2050. We conclude by outlining the policies needed to support the recommended adaptations.
Daniel C Dunn
added 2 research items
Open‐ocean fisheries expanded rapidly from the 1960s through the 1980s, when global fish catches peaked, plateaued and possibly began to decline. While catches remain at best stagnant, fishing effort globally continues to increase. The likelihood of ecosystem impacts occurring due to fishing is related to fishing effort and is thus also expected to be increasing. Despite this rapid growth, ecological research into the impacts of fisheries on open‐ocean environments has lagged behind coastal and deep-sea environments. This review addresses this knowledge gap by considering the roles fisheries play in controlling the open-ocean at three ecological scales: (i) species (population or stock); (ii) biological community; and (iii) ecosystem. We find significant evidence for top-down control at the species and community scales. While evidence of ecosystem-level impacts in the open-ocean were not explicit in the literature, we provide examples of these impacts in several marine pelagic systems and encourage further research at this ecological scale. At the species level, fishing can reduce abundance, and alter physiology and life history traits, which, in turn, affect the functional role of the species within the biological community. Fishing may also induce changes to open-ocean community trophodynamics, and reduce biodiversity and resilience in open-ocean ecosystems. Our ability to manage open-ocean ecosystems has significant implications for provisioning of ecosystem services and food security. However, we posit that the monitoring required to assure the sustainability of open-ocean ecosystems is not being undertaken, and will require coordination with the Global Ocean Observing System, industry, and academia.
Rebecca Asch
added a research item
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. Specifically, given the important role of the oceans in the world's social-ecological systems, this study focuses on how SDG 14 (Life Below Water), and the targets within that goal, contributes to other SDG goals. This framework differentiates relationships based on compatibility (co-benefit, trade-off, neutral), the optional nature of achieving one goal in attaining another, and whether these relationships are context dependent. The results from applying this framework indicate that oceans SDG targets are related to all other SDG goals, with two ocean targets (of seven in total) most related across all other SDG goals. Firstly, the ocean SDG target to increase economic benefits to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and least developed countries for sustainable marine uses has positive relationships across all SDGs. Secondly, the ocean SDG target to eliminate overfishing, illegal and destructive fishing practices is a necessary pre-condition for achieving the largest number of other SDG targets. This study highlights the importance of the oceans in achieving sustainable development. The rapid assessment framework can be applied to other SDGs to comprehensively map out the subset of targets that are also pivotal in achieving sustainable development.
William Cheung
added a research item
Significance Phytoplankton provide the energy that sustains marine fish populations. The relationship between phytoplankton productivity and fisheries catch, however, is complicated by uncertainty in catch estimates, fishing effort, and marine food web dynamics. We enlist global data sources and a high-resolution earth system model to address these uncertainties. Results show that cross-ecosystem fisheries catch differences far exceeding differences in phytoplankton production can be reconciled with fishing effort and variations in marine food web structure and energy transfer efficiency. Food web variations explaining contemporary fisheries catch act to amplify projected catch trends under climate change, suggesting catch changes that may exceed a factor of 2 for some regions. Failing to account for this would hinder adaptation to climate change.
Andrew Merrie
added 2 research items
Human activities have substantial impacts on marine ecosystems, including rapid regime shifts with large consequences for human well-being. We highlight the use of model-based scenarios as a scientific tool for adaptive stewardship in the face of such consequences. The natural sciences have a long history of developing scenarios but rarely with an in-depth understanding of factors influencing human actions. Social scientists have traditionally investigated human behavior, but scholars often argue that behavior is too complex to be represented by broad generalizations useful for models and scenarios. We address this scientific divide with a framework for integrated marine social–ecological scenarios, combining quantitative process-based models from the biogeochemical and ecological disciplines with qualitative studies on governance and social change. The aim is to develop policy-relevant scenarios based on an in-depth empirical understanding from both the natural and the social sciences, thereby contributing to adaptive stewardship of marine social–ecological systems.
Keystone species have a disproportionate influence on the structure and function of ecosystems. Here we analyze whether a keystone-like pattern can be observed in the relationship between transnational corporations and marine ecosystems globally. We show how thirteen corporations control 11-16% of the global marine catch (9-13 million tons) and 19-40% of the largest and most valuable stocks, including species that play important roles in their respective ecosystem. They dominate all segments of seafood production, operate through an extensive global network of subsidiaries and are profoundly involved in fisheries and aquaculture decision-making. Based on our findings, we define these companies as key-stone actors of the Anthropocene. The phenomenon of keystone actors represents an increasingly important feature of the human-dominated world. Sustainable leadership by keystone actors could result in cascading effects throughout the entire seafood industry and enable a critical transition towards improved management of marine living resources and ecosystems.
Chris Mcowen
added 7 research items
Marine industries face a number of risks that necessitate careful analysis prior to making decisions on the siting of operations and facilities. An important emerging regulatory framework on environmental sustainability for business operations is the International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standard 6 (IFC PS6). Within PS6, identification of biodiversity significance is articulated through the concept of “Critical Habitat”, a definition developed by the IFC and detailed through criteria aligned with those that support internationally accepted biodiversity designations. No publicly available tools have been developed in either the marine or terrestrial realm to assess the likelihood of sites or operations being located within PS6-defined Critical Habitat. This paper presents a starting point towards filling this gap in the form of a preliminary global map that classifies more than 13 million km2 of marine and coastal areas of importance for biodiversity (protected areas, Key Biodiversity Areas [KBA], sea turtle nesting sites, cold- and warm-water corals, seamounts, seagrass beds, mangroves, saltmarshes, hydrothermal vents and cold seeps) based on their overlap with Critical Habitat criteria, as defined by IFC. In total, 5798×103 km2 (1.6%) of the analysis area (global ocean plus coastal land strip) were classed as Likely Critical Habitat, and 7526×103 km2 (2.1%) as Potential Critical Habitat; the remainder (96.3%) were Unclassified. The latter was primarily due to the paucity of biodiversity data in marine areas beyond national jurisdiction and/or in deep waters, and the comparatively fewer protected areas and KBAs in these regions. Globally, protected areas constituted 65.9% of the combined Likely and Potential Critical Habitat extent, and KBAs 29.3%, not accounting for the overlap between these two features. Relative Critical Habitat extent in Exclusive Economic Zones varied dramatically between countries. This work is likely to be of particular use for industries operating in the marine and coastal realms as an early screening aid prior to in situ Critical Habitat assessment; to financial institutions making investment decisions; and to those wishing to implement good practice policies relevant to biodiversity management. Supplementary material (available online) includes other global datasets considered, documentation and justification of biodiversity feature classification, detail of IFC PS6 criteria/scenarios, and coverage calculations.
Daniel C Dunn
added 2 research items
Temperature controls important physiological processes in fish and determines aspects of their niches. In an effort to inform selective fishing and spatiotemporal management in the U.S. Northeast Multispecies fishery, we used 16 years of data from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center Spring and Fall Scientific Trawl Surveys to determine if bottom temperature can be used to differentiate the distribution of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) from other species within the fishery management plan (FMP). We identified two separate regimes in spring temperatures and used empirical cumulative distribution functions to calculate biomass availability by temperature for each species. We applied a bagged approach to find optimum thermal threshold values that maximize the difference in cod biomass from each of the other species. For our study area, 38% to 54% of the species considered were well separated from cod by temperature in spring, whereas only 17% were separable in the fall. This study suggests that temperature targeting can be used seasonally to separate cod from many other species in the FMP including top catches and no-retention species. The use of temperature targeting may allow fishermen to better meet multiple quotas while avoiding choke species. Our results also suggested increasing thermal overlap between cod and species inhabiting higher median temperatures (e.g., spiny dogfish, Squalus acanthias) under the current warming temperature regime. These results indicate that the ability to selectively fish in the US Northeast Multispecies fishery will become more difficult under a warming ocean.
Gabriel Reygondeau
added a research item
Marine benefits of the Paris Agreement Keeping recent global agreements to limit temperature increases to 1.5° to 2°C above preindustrial levels will have benefits across terrestrial ecosystems. But what about marine ecosystems? Cheung et al. modeled the influence of temperature increases on two key measures of fishery sustainability, catch and species turnover (see the Perspective by Fulton). Limiting temperature increases to 1.5°C substantially improved catch potential and decreased turnover of harvested species. These results provide further support for meeting this important goal. Science , this issue p. 1591 ; see also p. 1530
Andrew Merrie
added 2 research items
The expanse of ocean which makes up all marine areas beyond national jurisdiction has been characterized as the last frontier of exploitation on the planet, a figurative final “Wild West”. Existing users of areas beyond national jurisdiction, with the exception of fisheries, currently have a limited footprint there as a consequence, in part, of substantial hurdles in technological development that need to be overcome before many resources can be extracted at a commercially viable scale. However, we argue surprise shifts perpetuated by both established and emerging users could lead to an expansion in actors taking opportunities to chase lucrative resources that they are currently constrained from exploiting. Rapid development could also lead to a “crowded ocean” due to the multiplication of users which could present a problem given the current lack of a unified institutional framework for governance connecting the different user groups. Here, we have collated trends in human use of areas beyond national jurisdiction and offer a framework for, and examples of, unexpected dynamics relevant to living and non-living marine resources. Such an approach is necessary in order to begin to mobilize an adequate governance response to changing conditions and uses of areas beyond national jurisdiction. This governance response must be able to govern established or potential users, be flexible and adaptive in response to unexpected and unpredictable dynamics and be able to transform in the face of unpredictable future uses of this vast area. Here we present a set of institutional design principles as a first tentative step in this direction.
a b s t r a c t The roles of governance and technological innovation have been widely recognized as important parts of sustainability transitions. However, less attention has been paid to understanding the mechanisms of the emergence and spread of innovative ideas for stewardship of social–ecological systems. This study considers how theories of innovation and agency are able to provide explanatory power regarding the spread and impact of such ideas. This includes how innovations may contribute to resolving the mismatches between the scale of ecological processes and the scale of governance of ecosystems. The emergence and spread of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) is used as an illustrative case study. The study shows that individuals embedded in informal networks have played a key role in driving the emergence of MSP across scales and in constantly re-framing the tool in order to overcome obstacles to adoption and implementation. In a number of cases, MSP has been decoupled from the ecosystem despite being framed as a tool for ecosystem-based management. Finally, this study is important to understand the process of emergence of new integrated tools for ecosystem stewardship at the global level.
Lindsay Lafreniere
added an update
POLICY BRIEF: Open Data: enabling conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction
This policy brief is part of the Nereus Scientific & Technical Briefs on Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) series. The briefs are products of a workshop held prior to the 4th International Marine Conservation Congress in St. John’s, Newfoundland (July-August 2016). These briefs were prepared for the second meeting of the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) Prep Com, held from August 26 – September 9, at the UN.The series includes policy briefs on 1) Area-based management tools, 2) Climate change in oceans beyond national jurisdictions, 3) Open data, 4)Tech transfer, 5) AIS data as a tool to monitor ABMTs and identify governance gaps in ABNJ fisheries, and 6) Impacts of fisheries on open-ocean ecosystems.
 
Lindsay Lafreniere
added an update
POLICY BRIEF: Satellite tracking to monitor area-based management tools & identify governance gaps in fisheries beyond national jurisdiction
This policy brief is part of the Nereus Scientific & Technical Briefs on Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) series. The briefs are products of a workshop held prior to the 4th International Marine Conservation Congress in St. John’s, Newfoundland (July-August 2016). These briefs were prepared for the second meeting of the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) Prep Com, held from August 26 – September 9, at the UN.The series includes policy briefs on 1) Area-based management tools, 2) Climate change in oceans beyond national jurisdictions, 3) Open data, 4)Tech transfer, 5) AIS data as a tool to monitor ABMTs and identify governance gaps in ABNJ fisheries, and 6) Impacts of fisheries on open-ocean ecosystems.
 
Lindsay Lafreniere
added an update
POLICY BRIEF: A review of the impacts of fisheries on open-ocean ecosystems
This policy brief is part of the Nereus Scientific & Technical Briefs on Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) series. The briefs are products of a workshop held prior to the 4th International Marine Conservation Congress in St. John’s, Newfoundland (July-August 2016). These briefs were prepared for the second meeting of the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) Prep Com, held from August 26 – September 9, at the UN.The series includes policy briefs on 1) Area-based management tools, 2) Climate change in oceans beyond national jurisdictions, 3) Open data, 4)Tech transfer, 5) AIS data as a tool to monitor ABMTs and identify governance gaps in ABNJ fisheries, and 6) Impacts of fisheries on open-ocean ecosystems.
 
Lindsay Lafreniere
added an update
POLICY BRIEF: Climate Change in Oceans Beyond National Jurisdictions
This policy brief is part of the Nereus Scientific & Technical Briefs on Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) series. The briefs are products of a workshop held prior to the 4th International Marine Conservation Congress in St. John’s, Newfoundland (July-August 2016). These briefs were prepared for the second meeting of the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) Prep Com, held from August 26 – September 9, at the UN.The series includes policy briefs on 1) Area-based management tools, 2) Climate change in oceans beyond national jurisdictions, 3) Open data, 4)Tech transfer, 5) AIS data as a tool to monitor ABMTs and identify governance gaps in ABNJ fisheries, and 6) Impacts of fisheries on open-ocean ecosystems.
 
Lindsay Lafreniere
added an update
POLICY BRIEF: Space for conservation and sustainable use: area-based management in areas beyond national jurisdiction
This policy brief is part of the Nereus Scientific & Technical Briefs on Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) series. The briefs are products of a workshop held prior to the 4th International Marine Conservation Congress in St. John’s, Newfoundland (July-August 2016). These briefs were prepared for the second meeting of the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) Prep Com, held from August 26 – September 9, at the UN.The series includes policy briefs on 1) Area-based management tools, 2) Climate change in oceans beyond national jurisdictions, 3) Open data, 4) Tech transfer, 5) AIS data as a tool to monitor ABMTs and identify governance gaps in ABNJ fisheries, and 6) Impacts of fisheries on open-ocean ecosystems.
 
Gabriel Reygondeau
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Who we are:
The Nereus Program is a global interdisciplinary initiative created to further our knowledge of how best to attain sustainability for the world’s oceans.
The Nereus Program, a collaboration between the Nippon Foundation and the University of British Columbia, has engaged in innovative, interdisciplinary ocean research since its inception in 2011. The Program is currently a global partnership of six leading marine science institutes with the aim of undertaking research that advances our comprehensive understandings of the global ocean systems across the natural and social sciences, from oceanography and marine ecology to fisheries economics and impacts on coastal communities.
What we do:
The Program is built around three core objectives:
Research: conducting collaborative ocean research across the natural and social sciences
Capacity building: developing a network of experts that can engage in discussion of complex and multifaceted questions of ocean sustainability
Public outreach: transferring these ideas to practical solutions in global policy forums and public engagement
Mission Statement:
The Nereus Program strives to explore a broad range of perspectives and scientific opinions on ocean sustainability, and to create an inclusive community of researchers and other marine professionals. This principle is founded on the Nippon Foundation’s vision of global capacity building to ensure that our oceans’ legacy is preserved and potential is protected for future generations.