Dividing up the Pie: Biological and Fisheries Challenges in Coastal Marine Spatial Planning

Thursday, August 21, 2014: 2:10 PM
2101 (Centre des congrès de Québec // Québec City Convention Centre)
Adrian Jordaan , University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA
Coastal Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP) requires the ocean be divided into units, and that multiple stakeholders provide input towards this end.  Spatial ecology of single and multiple species can help guide biological division of ecosystems; however these decisions require the assumption of a closed system despite the knowledge that all ecosystems are open to varying degrees. Examples will be given that illustrate these challenges from ongoing work. Specifically, the northeast United States region will be divided up across different scales using fish communities as a metric through multivariate analyses. Then I will challenge these divisions with a host of data on seasonal movements of a number of important commercial species, including menhaden among others. Key findings include strong latitudinal differences in consistency of fish communities, influences of latitude, and an important influence of fishing effort on the spatial ecology of species. Further, climate and oceanography play key roles influencing both patterns of movement and of ecosystem structure. Climate change then represents a significant challenge for incorporation into CMSP, particularly in the nearshore. Finally, I will offer some thoughts on spatial analysis and assessment of fish populations towards development of geographically-based management.