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Published 28.09.2017 - Updated 28.09.2017

Expanding marine predator isotope work: community-level metrics, mercury isotopes, and data-model linkages

Ecological applications of stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis are rapidly expanding through the analysis of metadata. Recent efforts of the IMBeR CLIOTOP Task Team on Marine Predator Isotopes have focused on finalising an open-access data paper and three research papers that present novel findings of global scale, spatial and temporal analyses on migratory tuna muscle isotopes. The task team recently met in Brest, France to discuss novel ways to expand our ecological understanding of the ocean. The main approaches included formulating community level metrics, using isotopes of mercury, and finding practical ways to link isotopic data with ecosystem and biogeochemical models.

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Published 07.09.2017 - Updated 07.09.2017

Governing fisheries through the critical decade: the role and utility of polycentric systems

The next 10 years are considered a critical decade for fisheries. Declining fish stocks in combination with mounting climate pressure are likely to lead to significant and adverse socio-ecological impacts, threatening sustainability. Responding to these challenges requires modes of governance that are capable of dealing with the complexity and uncertainty associated with the world’s fisheries and their ecosystems. While a range of governance frameworks exist, the concept of polycentric governance has gained prominence in the environmental sector and is posited as a key principle underpinning the resilience of complex socio-ecological systems. However, the application of polycentric governance to fisheries management has been seldom explored. To address this, a new paper in Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries by Chris Cvitanovic, Alistair Hobday, Ingrid van Putten and others reviewed the literature on polycentric governance to elucidate its potential value in improving the outlook for fisheries and their associated ecosystems. They identify a number of characteristics unique to polycentric governance arrangements that overcome known limitations in other forms of governance - polycentric systems are highly participatory and promote the broadest levels of stakeholder involvement, they increase policy freedom at the local level, and they improve the spatial fit between knowledge, action and socio-ecological contexts to ensure that governance responses are implemented at the most appropriate scale. Through fisheries case-studies, they then demonstrate that these characteristics are important in helping fisheries respond to complex challenges, and articulate future research needs that should be addressed to understand the conditions under which polycentric governance systems are most suited, and the ways in which they can be operationalised most effectively.

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Published 24.08.2017 - Updated 24.08.2017

Emergent constraints on projections of declining primary production in the tropical oceans

Marine primary production by phytoplankton provides the main source of food and energy to the marine food web, and influences the concentration of atmospheric CO2. Projections of how such primary production will respond to climate change are currently highly uncertain with models projecting both increases and declines of up to 20% by 2100. This uncertainty is mainly driven by the sensitivity of tropical ocean primary production to climate change, with the latest models suggesting 21st century tropical declines of between 1 and 30%. A new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change by Lester Kwiatkowski, Laurent Bopp, Olivier Aumont and others, identifies a novel way to reduce the uncertainty associated with projections of marine primary production. The study shows that across a large ensemble of models there is a consistent relationship between the long-term sensitivity of ocean primary production to climate change and the interannual sensitivity of primary production to El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Models that are highly sensitive to interannual climate variability are also highly sensitive to long-term climate change. By using this relationship in combination with satellite-based observations of the historical interannual sensitivity of primary production, the authors were able to constrain projections of the long-term climate impact on primary production.

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Published 15.08.2017 - Updated 15.08.2017

A global science–business initiative for ocean stewardship

The oceans are under considerable pressure from a wide variety of anthropogenic activities. Addressing the challenge of ocean sustainability necessitates collaboration between multiple actors. A recent paper by Henrik Österblom et al investigates the process of identifying the “keystone actors” in marine ecosystems – specifically global fisheries and aquaculture corporations - and engaging with them to explore how together they could promote transformative change, that could alter the international seafood business, and support global ocean sustainability. The authors established a global science-business coalition “Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship” (SeaBOS) with the CEO’s of some of the largest seafood businesses to work together towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, starting with making the seafood industry more sustainable.

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Published 19.06.2017 - Updated 19.06.2017

2019 IMBeR OSC will be held in Brest, France

IMBeR is delighted to announce that its 2nd Open Science Conference will be held in Brest, France in 2019.
In some ways, this is a bit like going home – as Brest hosted the IMBeR International Project Office at the European Institute for Marine Sciences (IUEM) from 2005-2012. We look forward to working with the local scientific community and staff of the Campus Mondial de la Mer, to organise a great event in 2019.
We would like to thank all those who submitted bids to host the event. You gave us a difficult choice!

Watch this space for more details about the 2019 IMBeR OSC!

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