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Sustaining Aquatic Biodiversity


Sustaining Aquatic Biodiversity Chapter 11 * * * * * Figure 11.6 Natural capital degradation: this graph illustrates the collapse of the cod fishery in the northwest ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Sustaining Aquatic Biodiversity

Sustaining Aquatic Biodiversity
  • Chapter 11

Core Case Study A Biological Roller Coaster
Ride in Lake Victoria
  • Loss of biodiversity and cichlids
  • Nile perch deliberately introduced in 1950s and
    1960s to stimulate exports of the fish
  • Frequent algal blooms due to
  • Nutrient runoff
  • Spills of untreated sewage
  • Less algae-eating cichlids

Natural Capital Degradation The Nile Perch
Nile perch population is decreasing due to
reduced food supply of smaller fishes (cichlids)
and being overfished.
What Are the Major Threats to Aquatic
  • Aquatic species are threatened by habitat loss,
    invasive species, pollution, climate change, and
    overexploitation, all made worse by the growth of
    the human population. (HIPPCO)

We Have Much to Learn about Aquatic Biodiversity
  • Greatest marine biodiversity occurs in
  • Coral reefs
  • Estuaries
  • Deep-sea ocean floor
  • Biodiversity is higher
  • Near the coasts because of great variety of
    producers, habitats, and nursery areas than in
    the open sea
  • In the bottom region than in the surface region
    of the ocean due to a greater variety of habitats

Human Activities are Destroying and Degrading
Aquatic Habitats
  • Habitat loss and degradation the H in HIPPCO
    the greatest threat to the biodiversity of
  • Marine only 4 of the worlds oceans are NOT
    affected by pollution
  • Coastal coral reefs, mangrove forests, and
    coastal wetlands
  • Ocean floor effect of trawlers which drag huge
    nets weighted with heavy chains and steel plates,
    reduce coral reefs to rubble
  • Freshwater Habitats
  • Dams
  • Excessive water withdrawal

Invasive Species are Degrading Biodiversity
  • Invasive species - the I in HIPPCO
  • Threaten native species
  • Disrupt and degrade whole ecosystems
  • Three Examples
  • Water hyacinth Lake Victoria (East Africa)
  • Asian swamp eel waterways of south Florida
  • Purple loosestrife indigenous to Europe
  • Treating with natural predatorsa weevil species
    and a leaf-eating beetleWill it work?

Invasive Water Hyacinth
Science Focus How Carp Have Muddied Some Waters
  • Lake Wingra, Wisconsin (U.S.) eutrophic,
    excessive nutrient inputs from run off with
    fertilizers from farms/lawns
  • Contains invasive species
  • Purple loosestrife and the common carp, which
    devour the algae
  • Dr. Richard Lathrop
  • Removed carp from an area of the lake
  • This area appeared to recover

Population Growth and Pollution Can Reduce
Aquatic Biodiversity
  • The two Ps in HIPPCO
  • By 2020, 80 of the worlds population will live
    near coasts
  • Population growth and pollution have drastic
    effects on ocean systems
  • Nitrates and phosphates mainly from fertilizers
    enter water
  • Leads to algal bloom and eventual eutrophication,
    fish die offs
  • Toxic pollutants from industrial and urban areas
    kill some forms of aquatic life by poisoning them

Hawaiian Monk Seal
Plastic items from ships and litter on beaches
kill seabirds, mammals, and sea turtles
Climate Change Is a Growing Threat
  • The C in HIPPCO
  • Global Warming sea levels will rise and aquatic
    biodiversity is threatened during the past 100
    years, average sea levels have risen an average
    of 10-20 cm and scientists estimate they will
    rise another 18-59 cm, and perhaps as high as
    1-1.6 m between 2050 and 2100
  • Destroy coral reefs
  • Swamp some low-lying islands
  • Drown many highly productive coastal wetlands
    including New Orleans, Louisiana

Overfishing and Extinction
  • Overfishing the O in HIPPCO
  • Marine and Freshwater Fish
  • Threatened with extinction by human activities
    more than any other group of species.
  • Commercial Extinction due to overfishing which
    occurs when it is no longer profitable to
    continue fishing the affected species.
    Industrialized fishing fleets can deplete marine
    life at a much faster rate. Can deplete 80 of
    target fish species in 10-15 years.
  • Collapse of the cod fishery off the coast of
    Newfoundland and its domino effect leading to
    collapse of other species.
  • Bycatch seals, dolphins (non-target species,
    1/3 of annual fish catch)
  • Biological Extinction 34 of marine and 71 of
    fresh water species face extinction within your
    life time.

Fish landings (tons)
Fig. 11-6, p. 254
Science Focus Protecting and Restoring Mangroves
  • Protect and restore mangroves because they
    provide important ecological services.
  • Reduce the impact of rising sea levels
  • Protect against tropical storms and tsunamis
  • Cheaper than building concrete sea walls
  • Due to coastal development in Indonesia, about
    70 of mangroves have been degraded or destroyed.
    Now efforts to protect those areas.

Case Study Industrial Fish Harvesting Methods
are Vacuuming the Seas
  • Trawler fishing fish and shellfish
  • Purse-seine fishing surface dwelling species
    like tuna, mackerel
  • Long-lining open ocean fish species like tuna,
    swordfish, sharks
  • Drift-net fishing 1992 ban on the use of drift
    nets longer than 2.5 km in international waters

How Can We Protect and Sustain Marine
  • We can help to sustain marine biodiversity by
    using laws and economic incentives to protect
    species, setting aside marine reserves to protect
    ecosystems, and using community-based integrated
    coastal management.

Legal Protection of Some Endangered and
Threatened Marine Species
  • Why is it hard to protect marine biodiversity?
  • Human ecological footprint and fishprint are
  • Much of the damage in the ocean is not visible.
  • The oceans are incorrectly viewed as an
    inexhaustible resource that can absorb an almost
    infinite amount of waste.
  • Most of the ocean lies outside the legal
    jurisdiction of any country.
  • Treaties - CITES, Marine Mammal Protection Act,
    Endangered Species Act, Whale Conservation and
    Protection Act, International Convention on
    Biological Diversity.

Protecting Whales A Success Story So Far
  • Cetaceans two groups toothed whales and
    baleen whales
  • Overharvesting has driven some valuable species
    to almost extinction.
  • 1946 International Whaling Commission (IWC)
    set annual quotas
  • 1970 U.S.
  • Stopped all commercial whaling
  • Banned all imports of whale products
  • 1986 IWC imposed a moratorium on commercial
    whaling this worked
  • Japan ,Norway, Iceland, Russia do not support the
    IWC ban.

Norwegian Whalers Harpooning a Sperm Whale
Economic Incentives Can Be Used to Sustain
Aquatic Biodiversity
  • Tourism example sea turtles, worth more to
    local communities alive than dead (WWF) brings
    in almost three times more money than does the
    sale of turtle products such as meat, leather,
    and eggs.
  • Economic Rewards
  • Reconciliation Ecology science of inventing,
    establishing, and maintaining habitats to
    conserve species diversity in places where people
    live, work, and play. Example artificial coral
    reef created in Israel.

Case Study Holding Out Hope for Marine Turtles
(6 of the 7 species are endangered)
  • Carl Safina, Voyage of the Turtle
  • Studies of the leatherback turtle
  • Threats to the leatherbacks
  • Trawlers destroy coral reefs which is their
    feeding grounds
  • Entangled in fishing nets and lines
  • Pollutiondiscarded plastic bags
  • Climate changerising sea levels will flood
    nesting and feeding areas
  • Communities protecting the turtles
  • Turtle Excluder Devices required on trawlers
    (shrimp boats) by the U.S. government

An Endangered Leatherback Turtle is Entangled in
a Fishing Net
Marine Sanctuaries Protect Ecosystems and Species
  • Offshore Fishing Zone extends to 370 kilometers
    from its shores
  • Exclusive Economic Zones foreign fishing
    vessels can take certain quotas of fish within
    these zones with a governments permission.
  • High Seas ocean areas beyond the legal
    jurisdiction of any country. Laws and treaties
    pertaining to the high seas are difficult to
    monitor and enforce.
  • Law of the Sea Treaty worlds coastal nations
    have jurisdiction over 36 of the ocean surface
    and 90 of the worlds fish stocks.
  • Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) 4000 world wide,
    200 in US waters. Most MPAs allow ecologically
    harmful activities like trawling, dredging, and
    resource extraction.

Establishing a Global Network of Marine Reserves
An Ecosystem Approach to Sustainability
  • Primary Objective protect and sustain whole
    marine ecosystems for current and future
    generations instead of focusing primarily on
    protecting individual species.
  • Marine Reserves closed to extractive activities
    such as
  • Commercial fishing
  • Dredging reserves
  • Mining and waste disposal
  • Core zone No human activity allowed
  • Less harmful activities allowed recreational
    boating and shipping
  • Fully protected marine reserves work and work
  • Fish populations double
  • Fish size grows by almost one-third
  • Reproduction triples
  • Species diversity increase by almost one-fourth
  • But, less than 1 of the worlds ocean area is
    closed to fishing in marine reserves.

Protecting Marine Biodiversity Individuals and
Communities Together
  • Integrated Coastal Management
  • Community-based effort to develop and use coastal
    resources more sustainably
  • Community-based group to prevent further
    degradation of the ocean
  • More that 100 such groups
  • Seek reasonable short term trade offs that can
    lead to long term ecological and economic benefits

An atoll of Australias Great Barrier Reef
How Should We Manage and Sustain Marine
  • Sustaining marine fisheries will require improved
    monitoring of fish populations, cooperative
    fisheries management among communities and
    nations, reduction of fishing subsidies, and
    careful consumer choices in seafood markets.

Estimating and Monitoring Fishery Populations Is
the First Step
  • Maximum Sustained Yield (MSY)mathematical model
    where the maximum number of fish that can be
    harvested annually without causing a population
    drop is calculated. Traditional approach.
  • Optimum Sustained Yield (OSY)takes into account
    interactions with other species and allows more
    room for error.
  • Multispecies Managementof a number of
    interaction species, which accounts for
    competition and predator-prey interactions.
  • Large Marine Systemsusing large complex computer
  • Precautionary Principleuse this method because
    of the uncertainty of all the above methods.

Some Communities Cooperate to Regulate Fish
  • Community Management of the Fisheries allotment
    and enforcement systems. Norways Lofoten
    fishery (cod) is self-regulated with no
    participation by the Norwegian government.
  • Co-management of the Fisheries with the
    Government sets quotas for various species and
    divide the quotas among communities.

Government Subsidies Can Encourage Overfishing
30-34 Billion Around the World
  • 2007 World Trade Organization, U.S.
  • Proposed a ban on fishing subsidies.
  • Reduce illegal fishing on the high seas and in
    coastal waters.
  • Close ports and markets to such fishers.
  • Check authenticity of ship flags.
  • Prosecution of offenders.

Some Countries Use the Marketplace to Control
  • Individual Transfer Rights (ITRs) assigned to
    each fisherman can be bought, sold, or leased
    like private property.
  • Use to control access to fisheries
  • New Zealand 1986 and Iceland - 1990
  • Difficult to enforce
  • U.S. - 1995 introduced tradable quotas to
    regulate Alaskas halibut fishery
  • Problems with the ITR approach
  • Transfers public ownership of fisheries in
    publically owned waters to private fishers
  • Squeezes out small fishing companies
  • Fishing quotas are often set too high

Consumer Choices Can Help to Sustain Fisheries
and Aquatic Biodiversity
  • 1997 Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), London
    operates in more than 20 nations
  • Support sustainable fishing and certifies that
    fish are caught using sustainable practices.
  • Manage global fisheries more sustainably.
  • Individuals
  • Organizations
  • Governments

Managing Fisheries
Fishery Regulations
Set catch limits well below the maximum
sustainable yield
Use wide-meshed nets to allow escape of smaller
Use net escape devices for seabirds and sea
Improve monitoring and enforcement of regulations
Ban throwing edible and marketable fish back into
the sea
Economic Approaches
Sharply reduce or eliminate fishing subsidies
Charge fees for harvesting fish and shellfish
from publicly owned offshore waters
Restrict coastal locations for fish farms
Control pollution more strictly
Protect Areas
Depend more on herbivorous fish species
Certify sustainable fisheries
Establish no-fishing areas
Nonnative Invasions
Establish more marine protected areas
Kill organisms in ship ballast water
Rely more on integrated coastal management
Filter organisms from ship ballast water
Consumer Information
Label sustainably harvested fish
Dump ballast water far at sea and replace with
deep- sea water
Publicize overfished and threatened species
Fig. 11-12, p. 265
How Should We Protect and Sustain Wetlands?
  • To maintain the ecological and economic services
    of wetlands, we must maximize preservation of
    remaining wetlands and restoration of degraded
    and destroyed wetlands.

Coastal and Inland Wetlands are Disappearing
around the World
  • U.S. has lost more than half of its coastal and
    inland wetlands since 1900.
  • Ecological Value
  • Highly productive wetlands
  • Provide natural flood and erosion control
  • Maintain high water quality natural filters
  • Effected by rising sea levels due to global
    warming which will degrade aquatic biodiversity

We Can Preserve and Restore Wetlands
  • Laws for protection
  • Mitigation Banking
  • Allows destruction of existing wetlands as long
    as an equal area of the same type of wetland is
    created or restored.
  • Ecologists argue this should be used only as a
    last resort.

Individuals Matter Restoring a Wetland
  • Jim Callender 1982
  • Scientific knowledge hard work
  • a restored wetland in California, U.S.
  • Marsh used again by migratory fowl

Natural Capital Restoration Wetland Restoration
in Canada
Case Study Can We Restore the Florida
  • River of Grass South Florida, U.S.
  • Since 1948 damages
  • Drained
  • Diverted
  • Paved over
  • Nutrient pollution from agriculture
  • Invasive plant species
  • 1947 Everglades National Park unsuccessful
    protection project

Can We Restore the Florida Everglades?
  • 1970s political haggling for 20 years
  • 1990 Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan
  • Restore the curving flow of most of the Kissimmee
  • Remove canals and levees in strategic locations
  • Flood 240 sq. km farmland to create artificial

Can We Restore the Florida Everglades?
  • Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP)
  • Create reservoirs and underground water storage
  • Build new canals, reservoirs and efficient
    pumping systems
  • Why isnt this plan working?
  • Cannot undue 120 years of ecological damage done
    by agriculture and urban development
  • Will take at least 50 years and too expensive

The Worlds Largest Restoration Project
How Can We Protect and Sustain Freshwater Lakes,
Rivers, and Fisheries?
  • Freshwater ecosystems are strongly affected by
    human activities on adjacent lands, and
    protecting these ecosystems must include
    protection of their watersheds.

Freshwater Ecosystems are Under Major Threats
  • HIPPCO major threats
  • 40 of the worlds rivers have been dammed or
    otherwise engineered.
  • Invasive species, pollution, climate change

Case Study Can the Great Lakes Survive Repeated
Invasions by Alien Species?
  • Collectively, worlds largest body of
  • Invaded by at least 162 nonnative species.
  • Sea lamprey
  • Zebra mussel
  • Good and bad
  • Quagga mussel
  • Asian carp

Zebra Mussels Attached to a Water Current Meter
in Lake Michigan, U.S.
Managing River Basins is Complex and
  • Columbia River U.S. and Canada
  • Dam System 119 dams, 19 of which are
    hydroelectric power plants.
  • Proelectricity Consalmon affected
  • Snake River Washington State, U.S.
  • Hydroelectric dams removed
  • Prosalmon saved Coneconomy affected

Natural Capital Ecological Services of Rivers
We Can Protect Freshwater Ecosystems by
Protecting Watersheds
  • Freshwater ecosystems protected through
  • Laws
  • Economic Incentives
  • Restoration Efforts
  • National Wild and Scenic Rivers Actpassed in
    1968 to protect rivers and river segments with
    outstanding scenic, recreational, geological,
    wildlife, historical, or cultural values.
  • Sustainable management of freshwater fishes
    involves encouraging populations of
    commercial/sport species, prevents overfishing,
    and reduces or eliminates less desirable fish

What Should Be Our Priorities for Sustaining
Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services?
  • Sustaining the worlds biodiversity and ecosystem
    services will require mapping terrestrial and
    aquatic biodiversity, maximizing protection of
    undeveloped terrestrial and aquatic areas, and
    carrying out ecological restoration projects

What Should Be Our Priorities for Sustaining
Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services?
  • 2002 Edward O. Wilson
  • Complete the mapping of the worlds terrestrial
    and aquatic biodiversity.
  • Keep old-growth forests intact cease their
  • Identify and preserve hotspots and deteriorating
    ecosystem services that threaten life.
  • Ecological restoration projects.
  • Make conservation financially rewarding.