Southern Australia MPA Reserves 5-Year Review Reveal Problems With Stakeholder Group
When the Australian Government declared 83 marine sanctuary reserves 5 years ago, many people we sceptical about their effectiveness. The critics worried that the MPAs would become “paper parks,” parks laid out on paper, but had little enforcement. Paper parks don’t lead to increases in fisheries abundance or biomass, they lead to decreases in both; however, this set of MPAs neither increased or decreases after a 5-year review was conducted to assess the MPAs’ effectiveness.
Researchers are hopeful about the results as they say more time may be needed to assess the MPAs’ effectiveness on fish abundance and biomass. The large fish being protected have various larval dispersal mechanisms, where some travel with Ocean currents farther than others. Those distances could lengthen the time it would take to show increases in evaluation indexes such as abundance and biomass of fish. The 83 marine sanctuaries will remain inaccessible to fishers until the next review can assess the changes in important commercial and recreational fish species. One fishing group has a problem with this process.
The Abalone fishing group does not like the fact that they are not allowed to access specific sites where abalone species tend to inhabit. The abalone larval dispersal distance is short, so the next generation does not disperse beyond the borders of the MPAs, in fact, they remain inside the borders that are off limits. The fishing group would like special access to be able to fish within the areas to avoid having to switch industries as many abalone fishers have already done.
Take a listen to the podcast (above or on your mobile device) to find out my thoughts on this article.
Ocean Conservation’s Social Media Game Is Behind The Times
I go on a rant in the podcast about how badly the Marine Science and Conservation fields use Social Media. I see many organizations out there on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pushing out their information to their followers and would be followers to gain enough more followers so they may get access to more funding as number of followers = relevance in the space. Well, I hate to break it to you, social media IS NOT ABOUT THE NUMBER OF FOLLOWERS you have, but the conversations you have with your followers.
Far too often do I see organizations push out information for people to consume, but fail to engage in a conversation on Twitter, for instance, about the information that they pushed out. Most of the posts from some organizations are just when they want to push out information. It’s ineffective plain and simple. Most of the posts should consist of conversations the organization is having with people, whether it is through video, audio or text. The more personal the conservation (as in deep) the more people are going to release that the organization cares about its mission and building a community.
Listen to the podcast to find out more of my thoughts on this topic and the books that really opened my eyes to this thought process.
Washington State Cancels Aquaculture Lease Held By Canadian-Based Company For Atlantic Salmon Release
Last August, I covered a story about a few hundred thousand species of Atlantic Salmon that were released into the Pacific Ocean where they were considered invasive. The Canadian-based company who were in charge of the operation tried to say that the stronger than normal tides due to the lunar eclipse caused the fish to escape. Of course, no one believed them and an investigation was launched.
The results of the multi-agency state investigation ended with the cancellation of the Aquaculture company’s lease in Washington State. The investigation determined that the company was negligent as they did not maintain the integrity of the net by not cleaning off mussels and other organisms that settled on the net eventually causing the net to spill out Atlantic Salmon into the Pacific Ocean.
Find out what I have to say about this story by listening to the podcast episode above.
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