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Towards Marine Ecosystem-based Management in the Wider Caribbean

Towards Marine Ecosystem-based Management in the Wider Caribbean

Lucia Fanning
Robin Mahon
Patrick McConney
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 428
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  • Book Info
    Towards Marine Ecosystem-based Management in the Wider Caribbean
    Book Description:

    An approach that encompasses the human and natural dimensions of ecosystems is one that the Wider Caribbean Region knows it must adopt and implement, in order to ensure the sustainable use of the region's shared marine resources. This volume contributes towards that vision, bringing together the collective knowledge and experience of scholars and practitioners within the Wider Caribbean to begin the process of assembling a road map towards marine ecosystem based management (EBM) for the region. It also serves a broader purpose of providing stakeholders and policy actors in each of the world's sixty-four Large Marine Ecosystems, with a comparative example of the challenges and information needs required to implement principled ocean governance generally and marine EBM in particular, at multiple levels. Additionally, the volume serves to supplement the training of graduate level students in the marine sciences by enhancing interdisciplinary understanding of challenges in implementing marine EBM. This title is available in the OAPEN Library -

    eISBN: 978-90-485-1280-5
    Subjects: Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-8)
  3. Preface
    (pp. 9-10)
    Lucia Fanning, Robin Mahon and Patrick McConney

    • 1 The Symposium on Marine EBM in the Wider Caribbean Region
      (pp. 13-26)
      Lucia Fanning, Robin Mahon, Patrick McConney and Sharon Almerigi

      Countries of the Wider Caribbean have committed to principled ocean governance through several multilateral environmental and fisheries agreements at both the regional (e.g., the Cartagena Convention’s SPAW Protocol) and international levels (e.g., the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement, the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing). They have also committed to the targets for fisheries and biodiversity conservation adopted at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). However, the ongoing challenge is to put in place the measures required to give effect to these principles at the local, national and regional levels. The ecosystem-based...

    • 2 Principled Ocean Governance for the Wider Caribbean Region
      (pp. 27-38)
      Robin Mahon, Lucia Fanning and Patrick McConney

      Attention to the sustainable use of the living resources of the oceans has lagged behind that given to terrestrial resources. In the 18thcentury, the oceans were considered inexhaustible and impervious to human impact. That view gradually gave way in the early 1900s to a grudging acceptance that indeed fishery resources could indeed be overfished. By mid-century it became clear that in addition to stock depletion, fishing was causing both direct and indirect changes on the ecosystems in which it was taking place (FAO 1995). Furthermore, there was the additional realisation that humans were degrading the oceans in other ways...

    • 3 Meeting the Challenge of Applying an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management: Some Experiences and Considerations Based on the FAO’s Work
      (pp. 39-52)
      Gabriella Bianchi and Kevern Cochrane

      During the past decade the world community has largely adopted the ecosystem approach as the most adequate means to meet the challenges of sustainable development in relation to the utilisation of natural resources. This has happened in response to widespread unsustainable practices and despite many uncertainties about the exact nature and intent of the concept. As a result, there has been a proliferation of efforts to define the ecosystem approach and its principles. While this has led to the adoption of somewhat different approaches and acronyms (e.g., FAO 2003; Murawski 2005; Ward et al. 2002; Garcia et al. 2003; UNEP...


    • Introduction
      (pp. 55-56)

      The second part of this book is concerned with the social and economic aspects of marine EBM/EAF. The distinction is not sharp and it includes several of the background presentations that addressed topics other than commercial fisheries and governance institutions. Bearing in mind that marine EBM does not stop or start at the shoreline, Sweeney and Corbin address the implications of land-based activities in small islands for marine EBM (Chapter 4). They show how important terrestrial influences can be for the nearshore environment and activities within it, as well as reminding us how these influences extend offshore and are transboundary...

    • 4 Implications of Land-based Activities in Small Islands for Marine EBM
      (pp. 57-68)
      Vincent Sweeney and Christopher Corbin

      The Caribbean Sea is an important natural resource for tourism, fisheries and general recreation. The associated coastal and marine ecosystems are extremely fragile and vulnerable to human activities, especially those that take place on land. Regional and national actions are urgently needed to protect these vital marine resources in the Wider Caribbean region.

      Human activities on land as well as in the ocean have changed coastal and marine ecosystems in the Caribbean and threaten their ability to provide benefits to society. These benefits include seafood, safe and clean beaches, and shoreline protection from storm surges and flooding. Ecosystem-based management (EBM)...

    • 5 Impacts of Land-based Marine Pollution on Ecosystems in the Caribbean Sea: Implications for the EBM Approach in the Caribbean
      (pp. 69-84)
      Diego L. Gil-Agudelo and Peter G. Wells

      The Caribbean Sea is one of the world’s largest salt water seas, with approximately 2,500,000 km² encompassing a wide variety of ecosystems including coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds, rocky shores, soft bottoms, and others (Sheppard 2000). An estimated 100 million people now live in the area in 26 countries and 19 dependent territories (Fanning et al. 2007), using the Caribbean Sea as a source of goods and services and in many places highly impacting its ecosystems (Jackson 1997).

      Land-based marine pollution (LMP) is a well recognised coastal issue for coastal states globally and is considered, due to its inherent complexity...

    • 6 Building Capacity and Networking among Managers: Essential Elements for Large-scale, Transboundary EBM through Effective MPA Networks
      (pp. 85-98)
      Georgina Bustamante and Alessandra Vanzella-Khouri

      Within the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR), there is an estimated 26,000 km² of coral reefs, developed in isolation with very few of the many thousands of species of flora and fauna in these waters found anywhere else in the world (Burke and Maidens 2004). Living coastal and marine resources in the WCR are under tremendous pressure. Much of the human population lives near the coast and is highly dependent on living marine resources for their livelihoods, employment and food. Fishery resources are intensively exploited by large numbers of small-scale fishers. Some species, such as lobster and conch, are in high...

    • 7 Why Incorporate Social Considerations into Marine EBM?
      (pp. 99-110)
      Patrick McConney and Silvia Salas

      Broadly speaking, marine EBM encompasses a whole suite of arrangements, approaches, processes, methods, tools, activities and the like that concern very comprehensive ocean (here taken as both marine and coastal) resource governance. Familiar examples may include the ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) or ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM), marine protected area (MPA) management, integrated coastal area management (ICAM), the ecosystem approach (EA) to biodiversity conservation, marine pollution control, sustainable tourism and more. Authors often make very fine distinctions among these terms based mainly on views of how and when ecosystem thinking gets integrated into management; see Christie et al. (2007) for...

    • 8 Economic Considerations for Marine EBM in the Caribbean
      (pp. 111-122)
      Peter W. Schuhmann, Juan Carlos Seijo and James Casey

      It is increasingly evident that the single-species approach to fisheries management is often ineffective in promoting the efficient and sustainable use of living marine resources and limiting frictions between user groups. While there is considerable discussion regarding the definition of the term, there is consensus that the ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) presents a more holistic approach to resource allocation and management (Larkin 1996), with the maintenance of ecosystem status and sustainability as the primary goals. Toward that end, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the purpose of an ecosystem approach to fisheries ‘is...

    • 9 An Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries: Linkages with Sea Turtles, Marine Mammals and Seabirds
      (pp. 123-142)
      Julia Horrocks, Nathalie Ward and Ann M. Haynes-Sutton

      The goal of ecosystem-based management (EBM) is to maintain an ecosystem in a healthy, productive and resilient condition, so that it can continue to provide services that humans want and need. The use of this approach in fisheries management emerges from an appreciation that exploited species are not independent entities but are integral parts of the ecosystem within which they function. Sea turtles, marine mammals and sea birds are important but little understood components of exploited marine ecosystems. Many of these species are, or were, themselves directly and often heavily exploited, whilst others may be indirectly impacted by other fisheries...


    • Introduction
      (pp. 145-146)

      Part 3 deals with fisheries ecosystems in the Wider Caribbean. In Chapter 10, reef resources are tackled by Appeldoorn, who perceives a “fog of fisheries and ecosystem-based management”. His lucid treatment of the issues helps to clear away some of the confusion while not denying that these fisheries are some of the most complex to manage for multi-objective sustainability among competing resource users. Ehrhardt, Puga and Butler deal specifically with the Caribbean spiny lobster in Chapter 11. It is one of the region’s most valuable commercial fisheries resources, and the other is queen conch, discussed in Chapter 12 by Appeldoorn,...

    • 10 Reef Resources, the ‘Fog of Fisheries’ and EBM
      (pp. 147-156)
      Richard S. Appeldoorn

      Napoleon wrote of the fog of war: ‘A general never knows anything with certainty, never sees his enemy clearly, and never knows positively where he is.’ One can equally speak of a ‘fog of fisheries’: A manager never knows anything with certainty, never sees the fishery clearly, and never knows positively where the stock is. Here the word ‘where’ can refer to the location of the stock in physical space, but more importantly it also can refer to its position relative to some optimal target value or critical threshold. Levels of fishing effort, fishing methods, the behaviour of fishers, market...

    • 11 Implications of the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management in Large Ecosystems: The Case of the Caribbean Spiny Lobster
      (pp. 157-176)
      Nelson Ehrhardt, Rafael Puga and Mark Butler IV

      Pragmatic management of fisheries resources requires stock assessment advice that promotes yields that are sustainable in the long term. This is not only a statutory requirement in many countries but paramount to achieving the long-term potential harvests of living marine resources. Fishery scientists strive to incorporate indices and functional relationships in stock assessment to improve forecasts of the implications of environmental change and fishing on the current and future status of those resources. Modeling environmental variables jointly with changing predator-prey interactions resulting from selective removals by fisheries and their overall effect on recruitment success is important to be able to...

    • 12 Applying EBM to Queen Conch Fisheries in the Caribbean
      (pp. 177-186)
      Richard S. Appeldoorn, Erick Castro Gonzalez, Robert Glazer and Martha Prada

      In the Caribbean, as elsewhere, fisheries management has become more complex, as both the scale of ecosystem exploitation and the nature and extent of anthropogenic impacts have increased (Appeldoorn 2008). Given that much of the region consists of island states with narrow shelves subjected to coastal and land-based activities and resource impacts, the merging of fisheries management and coastal zone management is a trend that is perhaps long overdue. Additionally, fisheries management is hindered by difficulties in data acquisition and analysis due to the high diversity but relative low abundance of species caught, the variety of gears and landing sites,...

    • 13 EBM for Fisheries in the Wider Caribbean: Deepwater Red Snapper Fisheries
      (pp. 187-196)
      Sherry Heileman

      Deepwater snappers support valuable artisanal, commercial and recreational fisheries throughout their range, including in the WCR. Many deepwater fish stocks are exploited beyond sustainable levels and some have already collapsed (Koslow et al. 2000; Morato et al. 2006; Clark et al. 2006). Overexploitation is also evident in the deepwater snapper fisheries throughout the WCR. It is widely acknowledged that fisheries management needs to move from a single-species approach to one that integrates ecosystem considerations. EBFM is an improvement over single-species management because it ensures that the health and productivity of ecosystems will be maintained, and provides the foundation for long-term...

    • 14 An Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries for Large Pelagic Fish Resources in the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem
      (pp. 197-212)
      Susan Singh-Renton, David J. Die and Elizabeth Mohammed

      An ecosystem approach to fisheries strives to manage fishery resources by managing and conserving the whole ecosystem concerned. EAF retains a central focus on human well-being but links this to the well-being of the ecosystem that provides for a strengthened approach to a sustainable development of fisheries (Garcia et al. 2003; FAO 2003). Recognised as a critical component of the management of large marine ecosystems (LMEs), EAF is prescribed by a number of legal instruments (Wang 2004).

      Applying an EAF to large pelagic fish presents many challenges. Large pelagic fish resources include a range of species from sharks, large tunas...

    • 15 Management of the Shrimp and Groundfish Fisheries of the North Brazil Shelf: An Ecosystem Approach
      (pp. 213-226)
      Terrence Phillips, Bissessar Chakalall and Les Romahlo

      The Wider Caribbean Region (WCR) encompasses four large marine ecosystems (LMEs): the North Brazil Shelf LME, the Caribbean Sea LME, the Gulf of Mexico LME and the Southeast United States Continental Shelf LME. The goal of the Caribbean LME (CLME) project, which focuses on the first two, is the sustainable management of the shared living marine resources through an ecosystem-based approach with mechanisms for facilitating informed decision-making based on sound natural and social science (Fanning et al. 2007; CERMES 2007).

      The shrimp and groundfish resources are found in the area comprised of the North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem (NBSLME)...

    • 16 Ecosystem Issues Pertaining to the Flyingfish Fisheries of the Eastern Caribbean
      (pp. 227-240)
      L. Paul Fanning and Hazel A. Oxenford

      The ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) is becoming the main reference framework for managing fisheries and implementing the principles of sustainable development. The following working definition is used for EAF:

      An Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries strives to balance diverse societal objectives, by taking into account the knowledge and uncertainties about biotic, abiotic, and human components of ecosystems and their interactions and applying an integrated approach to fisheries within ecologically meaningful boundaries (FAO 2003).

      The principles that underpin EAF clearly emerged in the 1995 Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, although they were inherent in earlier international instruments. EAF was more...

    • 17 Coastal Lagoons and Estuaries: The EBM Approach
      (pp. 241-254)
      Alejandro Yáñez-Arancibia, John W. Day, Bastiaan A. Knoppers and Jorge A. Jiménez

      Coastal lagoons and estuaries are highly productive, highly vulnerable and, particularly for tropical coasts, highly diverse with respect to both species and habitats. These ecosystems support many valuable populations of fish and shellfish as well as birds and macrophytes. At the same time, a high proportion of the world’s human population lives close to coastal lagoons and estuaries, which are therefore the recipients of many kinds of contaminants. The Caribbean region has an area of 15 million km², in which 1.9 million km² correspond to the continental shelf, with three main large marine ecosystems (LME); the Gulf of Mexico, the...


    • Introduction
      (pp. 257-258)

      The chapters that comprise Part 4 focus on significant aspects of governance within the Wider Caribbean. In Chapter 18, Fanning and Mahon explore the effectiveness of regional institutional arrangements for ecosystem-based management of fisheries resources in the Caribbean, recognising that success will depend on understanding the connectivity between interactions with other sectors in the marine environment at multiple scales. The chapter highlights the complexity of governing current and future activities within the Caribbean and identifies both the strengths that exist among and between institutions for governance, as well as the challenges that arise from having such an abundance of institutions...

    • 18 An Overview and Assessment of Regional Institutional Arrangements for Marine EBM of Fisheries Resources in the Wider Caribbean
      (pp. 259-270)
      Lucia Fanning and Robin Mahon

      Ecosystem-based management recognises that an ecosystem is comprised of both a natural component and a human component. The natural subsystem is that part of the ecosystem that consists of the physical environment, the natural processes occurring within that environment and the biological resources that inhabit it. The human subsystem consists of those who use the natural component of the ecosystem for a variety of purposes (e.g., economic, social, cultural, research-related, conservation and/or spiritual) as well as those who are responsible for governing how these differing demands on the resources are to be met.

      EBM seeks to integrate and balance the...

    • 19 International Environmental Instruments and the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries in CARICOM States
      (pp. 271-296)
      Milton O. Haughton

      The Caribbean region’s coastal and marine ecosystems and their biological diversity are complex and dynamic natural systems, and valuable national and regional assets. They have been providing the countries with countless benefits in the form of food, employment, transportation, information, culture and recreation. If these assets are used and managed well, they can make a sustained contribution to a broad range of economic, social, cultural and nutritional goals.

      Today, however, numerous challenges such as global warming and sea level rise, marine pollution, overfishing, population growth, increasing food prices and the continuing degradation of the coastal and marine environment are compelling...

    • 20 Spatial Data Infrastructures in Support of EBM and the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries in the Caribbean
      (pp. 297-306)
      Michael J. A. Butler, Paul R. Boudreau, Claudette LeBlanc and Kim Baldwin

      To quote Gillespie et al. (2000), “In order for data or information to be useful for coastal management, or any other application, it must be both comprehensive and accessible. A major challenge for anyone involved in the management of coastal areas is simple access to data and information in a timely fashion.” Gillespie et al. are referring to both geospatial and non-geospatial data and information. With regard to the former, the associated spatial data infrastructures – SDIs (also known as geospatial information infrastructures) – are vital to supply the data and information on which to base complex decision-making associated with...

    • 21 Roles for Non-Governmental Organisations in EBM of Marine and Coastal Areas of the Wider Caribbean
      (pp. 307-318)
      Bruce Potter and Kemraj Parsram

      This chapter briefly examines the range of environmental NGOs that might be able to provide support to EBM strategies for fisheries resource managers in the Caribbean. For a somewhat wider perspective on this issue, we urge you to consult Angulo-Valdes (2008). In addition, for an overview of organisations and their roles in the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem, see Parsram (2007).

      The thumbnail definition of ecosystem-based management that we have used for this chapter is that offered by Dan Dorfman in the EBM Tools March 2008):

      – Accounting for triple bottom line: environmental, social equity, economical interests in...


    • Introduction
      (pp. 321-322)

      Part five outlines the consensus of experts from throughout the Caribbean region and beyond regarding a shared vision for ecosystem-based management (EBM) and provides guidance for the strategic directions and activities to be implemented in order to achieve the vision. The first four chapters reflect the shared thinking on a vision for EBM for specific reef, pelagic and continental shelf ecosystems, as well as the governance regime needed to move towards the vision. To achieve this consensus, symposium participants were placed into each of the four working groups and were asked to reflect on the question“What do you see...

    • 22 The Vision for EBM of Coral Reef Ecosystems in the Wider Caribbean
      (pp. 323-334)
      Robin Mahon, Sharon Almerigi, Richard Appeldoorn, Kim Baldwin, Georgina Bustamante, Jeff Cramer, Nelson Ehrhardt, David Gill, Caroline Gooding, Winston Hobson, Phil Kramer, Mitchell Lay, Adolfo Lopez, Sergio Martinez, Judith Mendes, Armando Ramirez, Silvia Salas, Vincent Sweeny and Beverley Wade

      Coral reef ecosystems have great importance for the countries of the Wider Caribbean Region in terms of both use and non-use values and services. Several of the contributors to this symposium attest to their importance for fisheries and biodiversity (see Ehrhardt et al. in Chapter 11; Appeldoorn in Chapter 10; Appeldoorn et al. in Chapter 12; Horrocks et al. in Chapter 9). Coral reef ecosystems support livelihoods (see McConney and Salas in Chapter 7) and provide critical ecosystem services (Schuhmann et al. in Chapter 8) including for tourism, although this aspect of their value is not developed in detail in...

    • 23 The Vision for EBM of Pelagic Ecosystems in the Wider Caribbean
      (pp. 335-346)
      Patrick McConney, Kurt Baynes, Shelly-Ann Cox, Rufus George, Tenile Grant, Harold Guiste, Julia Horrocks, Martin Johnston, Anderson Kinch, Elizabeth Mohammed, Vernel Nicholls, Toney Olton, Hazel Oxenford, Christopher Parker, Indar Ramnarine, Justin Rennie and Susan Singh-Renton

      Pelagic ecosystems and their fisheries are of particular economic and social importance to the countries and territories of the Wider Caribbean for various reasons. In some countries (e.g. Barbados, Grenada) commercial pelagic fisheries already contribute significantly to total landings and seafood export foreign exchange earnings. Ports and postharvest facilities service the vessels, ranging from artisanal canoes to industrial longliners, and their catch which often reaches tourists as well as locals (Mahon and McConney 2004). In other places where the focus has previously been on inshore and demersal fisheries (e.g. Antigua and Barbuda, Belize) there is growing interest in the potential...

    • 24 The Vision for EBM of Continental Shelf Ecosystems in the Wider Caribbean
      (pp. 347-354)
      Robin Mahon, Thor Ásgeirsson, Radjeskumar Asraf, Katherine Blackman, Paul Boudreau, Mike Butler, Jen Cavanagh, Bissessar Chakalall, Shamal Connell, Diego Gil, Sherry Heileman, Nerissa Lucky, Terrence Phillips, Les Romahlo, Winston Rudder, Steven Smikle and Alejandro Yáñez-Arancibia

      Continental shelf ecosystems have high importance for the continental countries of the Wider Caribbean Region. They support important shrimp and groundfish fisheries (Phillips et al. Chapter 15) and snapper fisheries on their outer slopes (Heileman Chapter 13). There are also important linkages between the former fisheries and the many coastal and estuarine lagoons and wetlands that occur in these countries (Yáñez-Arancibia et al. Chapter 17). They support livelihoods (McConney and Salas Chapter 7) and provide critical ecosystem services (Schuhmann et al. Chapter 8). Continental shelf ecosystems have been degraded by many human impacts of both marine and land-based origin (Sweeney...

    • 25 Developing the Vision for EBM Governance in the Wider Caribbean
      (pp. 355-366)
      Lucia Fanning, Winston Anderson, Gabriella Bianchi, Wesley Clerveaux, Robert Fournier, Milton Haughton, Einar Hjörleifsson, Sandra Husbands, Donald Logan, Sarah MacIntosh, Jeanette Mateo, Kemraj Parsram, Bruce Potter, Peter Schuhmann, Ricardo Soto, Cesar Toro, David VanderZwaag and Glaston White

      Countries of the Wider Caribbean have committed to principled ocean governance through several multilateral environmental and fisheries agreements at both the regional (e.g., the Cartagena Convention SPAW Protocol) and international level (e.g., the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement, the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing). They have also committed to the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) targets for fisheries and biodiversity conservation. However, the ongoing challenge is to put in place the measures required to give effect to these principles at the local, national and regional levels (Fanning et al. 2009). While...

    • 26 Overall Synthesis and Future Directions for Marine EBM in the Wider Caribbean
      (pp. 367-376)
      Lucia Fanning, Robin Mahon and Patrick McConney

      This chapter provides an overall synthesis of the findings of the four working groups – Reef Fisheries Ecosystems, Pelagic Fisheries Ecosystems, Continental Shelf Fisheries Ecosystems, and Governance – on a shared vision and implementation of ecosystem-based management (EBM) in the Wider Caribbean. Drawing on the outputs from each of the working groups (Chapters 22-25), a combined vision and network of strategic directions was identified that was underpinned by a suite of agreed principles that would serve as a guide for decision-making. The fact that these were developed through group processes using methods that allowed all participants to make an input...

  9. List of Contributors
    (pp. 377-380)
  10. References
    (pp. 381-425)