Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCAs) established pursuant to the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 became operational in April 2011. IFCAs change the face of English fisheries' management: they retain local authority and industry representation, but a broader base of expertise in marine conservation and other marine stakeholder interests is provided for. Ultimately it is hoped that this will enable a true ecosystems approach to marine management to fl ourish in UK inshore waters. As a sector beset with considerable and competing interests, a broadening of the interest groups involved in regulatory decision making has been the preferred solution to promote such an approach and to move towards the ultimate goal of sustainable fisheries - using that term in its broadest sense. The aim is for IFCAs to overcome the more limited scope of the predecessor structures, the Sea Fisheries Committees, and to contribute to a contemporary, open and inclusive governance model. The researchers approached IFCA members and sought to establish how they envisaged their role in relation to a number of criteria as they embarked upon their management role. The article is intended to provide a snapshot of aspirations and initial perceptions of the IFCA as a more functional marine management model. A mix of views was discovered with an overall cautiously positive sense coming out of the respondents, who nonetheless were very aware of the challenges presented to improving inshore fi sheries sustainability in the context of regional, European Union driven policy imperatives and regulation
Scientists, a new quota species?
Globally, marine conservation is high on the agenda. The need to protect and conserve species and habitats from deleterious anthropogenic impacts has never been of more concern than it is currently. However, that is not to say we, as a society, are achieving effective marine conservation, in fact we are far from it. Global summits have come and gone, as have the targets they set for marine conservation. Most targets have largely been focused on percentage cover of our oceans, be that 10%, 15% or 80%, as the most...
Why degraded reefs could be the future of ocean conservation
When there’s not enough pristine habitat left to save an ecosystem, it’s time to take a new look at less-than-perfect places. When you think of a nature preserve, chances are you picture a tract of pristine, healthy wilderness, set aside in order to protect a functioning ecosystem. But what if not much remains of the ecosystem you want to protect? A new proposal by an international group of scientists and conservationists is challenging traditional ideas about what’s worth saving when it comes...
Wind & solar energy and nature conservation
Climate change and the degradation of ecosystems and biodiversity cannot be solved in isolation. Land and marine ecosystems play a crucial role in the climate system, capturing roughly half of carbon dioxide emissions generated by human activities (UNEP, 2009). Protecting biodiversity preserves ecosystem services that are important for regulating the climate and helping us to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Meanwhile, increasing the share of energy we generate from renewable sources eases pressure on...
Less Than 3 Percent of Oceans in Marine Parks Despite Recent Growth
In May 1975, rising concerns about overfishing and deteriorating ocean health prompted scientists and officials from 33 countries to meet in Tokyo for the first global conference on marine parks and reserves. Noting the need for swift action to safeguard more of the sea, the delegates were unanimous in calling for the creation of a global system of marine protected areas (MPAs)—zones explicitly managed for the conservation of aquatic ecosystems. Today, with oceanic resources more threatened than ever, the...
Marine litter – a growing threat worldwide
Increasing amounts of litter are ending up in the world’s oceans and harming the health of ecosystems, killing animals when they become trapped or swallow the litter. Human health is also at risk, as plastics may break down into smaller pieces that may subsequently end up in our food. These are just a few of the problems emerging from the waste collecting in our seas. There are now vast patches of litter and smaller plastic particles funnelled together by ocean currents in all oceans. The patch in the...