09. The Role of Coastal Marine Spatial Planning in Stabilizing Food Security
Coordinator: Robbin E. Peach, Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate and Security, UMass Boston
1. Robyn Hannigan, UMass Boston
2. Dr. Tundi Argardy, Independent scholar
3. Leslie Ann-McGee, Director of Ocean and Coastal Solutions, Batelle Memorial Institute
Millions of people around the world depend on marine fisheries and aquaculture, directly or indirectly, for their livelihoods and health. Fish products provide about 20 percent of average per capita intake of animal protein for more than 2.8 billion people, most from developing countries. If growth in aquaculture can be sustained, it is likely to supply more than 50 percent of the total aquatic food consumption by 2015.
This session will explore the role of marine spatial planning in helping stabilize fundamental aspects of human security – specifically pertaining to global marine food supply. The many people who depend on fisheries and aquaculture – as producers, consumers or intermediaries in inland or coastal areas – will be particularly vulnerable to the direct and indirect impacts of predicted climatic changes, whether through changes in physical environments, ecosystems or aquatic stocks, or through impacts on infrastructure, fishing or farming operations, or livelihood options. Participants will discuss the science and tools needed to help address the uncertainty climate change will undoubtedly have on coastal ecosystems that support fisheries, and how marine spatial planning can be useful to fisheries management - both scalable and specific to regional and local marine-related food needs.
President Obama’s call for a national ocean policy created the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force. Their Interim Framework for Effective Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP) promotes sustainable, safe, secure, efficient, and productive uses of the ocean, including those that “contribute to the economy, commerce, recreation, conservation, homeland and national security, human health, safety, and welfare.” In the report, national security is mentioned many times, as is climate change. And although the report acknowledges the growing number of significant and often competing marine uses and activities that, combined, profoundly influence coastal, regional, and national economies and cultures, and the need for energy security and national security, what also remains to be communicated is the role of marine spatial planning in addressing our relationship with food and human security.
To achieve the goals in the proposed National Ocean Policy, and those of other global leaders, the presenters in this session believe that CMSP needs to use an ecosystem-based management approach that addresses cumulative effects, promotes multiple sustainable uses, and increases certainty and predictability for food security. Emerging uses, such as aquaculture, need to be managed in an adaptive manner that reduces conflict, enhances compatibility among uses, sustains ecosystem functions and services, and increases certainty and predictability for marine food source investments. Scientists need to improve predictive models and projections to anticipate the potential impacts of climate change (such as acidification, temperature increases, salinity and temporal changes, etc.) on fisheries, including aquaculture. We need to create metrics to anticipate which spatial (and temporal) areas are most vulnerable to climate change-related fisheries and aquaculture changes/depletion and adapt accordingly. And we need to determine where the most globally significant places are that could contribute materially to an increasingly disorderly and potentially destabilized and violent world due to climate induced food scarcity.
What is the role for CMSP? How do we “zone” to meet the climate challenges and food needs of the world? All aquatic animal species for human consumption are poikilothermic - any changes in habitat temperatures will significantly influence metabolism, growth rate, reproduction, and susceptibility to diseases and toxins. Climate change-induced temperature variations will therefore have a much stronger impact on the spatial distribution of fishing and aquaculture activities and on their productivity and yields. Adaptive marine spatial planning informed by science can help predict where to promote/protect the best areas for fisheries. Do managers need to permit aquaculture sites under changing conditions and spatially protect marine commercial fish nursery areas? How predictive and adaptive do managers need to be in order to create opportunities and reduce food shortages due to changing oceans? These are the types of questions to be explored in the session.
As way of example, paraphrasing the Technical Background Document from the Expert consultation held on 7 to 9 April 2008 in Fao, Rome, we could explore adaptation measures such as the following:
In fisheries a wide range of adaptations is possible, either carried out in anticipation of future effects or in response to impacts once they have occurred. Some are implemented by public institutions, others by private individuals. In general, responses to direct impacts of extreme events on fisheries infrastructure and communities are likely to be more effective if they are anticipatory, as part of long-term integrated management planning. However, preparation should be commensurate with risk, as excessive protective measures could themselves have negative social and economic impacts. As climatic change increases environmental variation, fisheries managers who have not already done so will have to move beyond static understandings of managed stocks or populations. Inflexible management approaches may no longer apply. There is a need for implementation of adaptive holistic, integrated and participatory approaches to fisheries management, as required for an ecosystem approach.
In aquaculture, integrated management and better practices could be the best and most immediate form of adaptation to climate induced stress. An ecosystem approach to aquaculture (EAA) management would be an effective adaptation measure; and science-informed adaptive marine spatial planning could take an important role in determining appropriate spatial and temporal siting. Appropriate marine spatial siting of extractive species, those using nutrients and carbon directly from the environment such as bivalves and macroalgae, deserve further attention for the positive ecosystem characteristics and potential food security benefits. Integrating aquaculture with other practices could also be an important role of marine spatial planning, and CMSP could inform adaptive management practices to fit into seasonal opportunities.
Understanding of food security provided by the marine environment and protecting it spatially is important to protecting our ecosystems and human security for future generations. We need nonpartisan, comprehensive support for science, predictive tools, and communication strategies now.
Better knowledge sharing and networking of CMSP and fisheries issues
Recommendations for tangible, effective actions to be taken at local, regional, and national levels.
Potential design of pilot project frameworek for a selected Regional Ocean Council within the Framework for Effective Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP)
DRAFT RECOMMENDATIONS – Prepared by breakout groups and subject to review. These recommendations are the result of group processes and do not necessarily represent that positions of NCSE, which served as the enabler of the process that generated the recommendations.
Task 1. There should be a national advertizing blitz informing the public about the topic/issues with industries, conservation organizations, and governments working together.
Task 2. NOAA should develop and participate in a centralized data collection and management system. They should involve land use planning agencies in collecting coastal and watershed data, in developing a understanding, and to connect the system to the local level.
Task 3. Collect social and economic impact data from stakeholders.
Task 4. FDA and USDA should fund education and research about food security and ocean interactions.
Task 5. Regional Fisheries Management Councils (RFMCs) and state regulatory agencies should use discretionary funding to collectively provide input on long- term food security and Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP).
Task 6. Regional Ocean Councils (ROCs) or advocacy organizations should improve literacy and begin conversations about the importance of healthy coastal oceans for food security.
Task 7. Require recommendations for Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) conservation from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and RFMCs to be addressed in permitting of non-fishing projects.
Task 8. Use existing tools, such as Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), to be considered in CMSP and food security.
Task 9. Industry beneficiaries of food security should engage with and fund CMSP.
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