Marine and Coastal news round-up in the Western Indian Ocean Region (06 October 2017)

Date posted: 
Friday, October 6, 2017

The Conservation Status of Sharks, Rays and Chimaeras in the Arabian Sea and Adjacent Waters 

This report provides an overview of the conservation status of chondrichthyans (sharks, rays, and chimaeras) in the Arabian Seas Region (ASR) and describes the results of a regional Red List workshop held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in February 2017. It identifies those species that are threatened with extinction at the regional level, so that appropriate conservation action can be taken to improve their status. A regional overview of chondrichthyan fisheries, management and conservation is also presented.

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No-take Marine Reserves are the Most Effective Protected Areas in the Ocean

Marine protected areas are an essential tool for reversing the global degradation of ocean life. Hence, it is important to know which types of marine protected areas are more effective, and under which conditions. No-take marine reserves – the marine protected areas with stronger protection – are very effective in restoring and preserving biodiversity, and in enhancing ecosystem resilience. A new meta-analysis of previous studies shows that biomass of whole fish assemblages in marine reserves is, on average, 670% greater than in adjacent unprotected areas, and 343% greater than in partially-protected marine protected areas. Marine reserves also help restore the complexity of ecosystems through a chain of ecological effects (trophic cascades) once the abundance of large animals recovers sufficiently. Marine reserves may not be immune to the effects of climate change, but to date, reserves with complex ecosystems are more resilient than unprotected areas.

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River Plastic Emissions to the World's Ocean

Plastics in the marine environment have become a major concern because of their persistence at sea, and adverse consequences to marine life and potentially human health. Implementing mitigation strategies requires an understanding and quantification of marine plastic sources, taking spatial and temporal variability into account.The research estimates that between 1.15 and 2.41 million tonnes of plastic waste currently enters the ocean every year from rivers, with over 74% of emissions occurring between May and October. The findings of this study provide baseline data for ocean plastic mass balance exercises, and assist in prioritizing future plastic debris monitoring and mitigation strategies.

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Call for Expression of Interest as Authors: A Regional Outlook on Critical Habitats and Marine Protected Areas in the Western Indian Ocean Region

The Regional Outlook on critical habitats and Marine Protected Areas in the Western Indian Ocean region when completed will comprise three sections as follows: Regional assessment of critical habitats; Regional assessment of  marine protected areas status and baselines; and brief synthesis of critical habitats & marine protected areas with recommendations on available future strategic options. 

The Nairobi Convention in collaboration with Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association calls for expression of interest from experts who would be  interested in authoring country chapters on marine protected areas status and baselines.

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