[MARMAM] Recent publication on practical cumulative impact management

Andrew Wright marinebrit at gmail.com
Sun Dec 21 12:43:58 PST 2014

Dear Marmammers,

I'd like to announce the recent publication of the following paper:

Wright, A.J. & Kyhn, L.A. 2014. Practical management of cumulative
anthropogenic impacts with working marine examples. Conservation Biology.
(Published online: 29th Nov 2014 DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12425.)

Abstract: Human pressure on the environment is expanding and intensifying,
especially in coastal and offshore areas. Major contributors to this are
the current push for offshore renewable energy sources, which are thought
of as environmentally friendly sources of power, as well as the continued
demand for petroleum. Human disturbances, including the noise almost
ubiquitously associated with human activity, are likely to increase the
incidence, magnitude, and duration of adverse effects on marine life,
including stress responses. Stress responses have the potential to induce
fitness consequences for individuals, which add to more obvious directed
takes (e.g., hunting or fishing) to increase the overall population-level
impact. To meet the requirements of marine spatial planning and
ecosystem-based management, many efforts are ongoing to quantify the
cumulative impacts of all human actions on marine species or populations.
Meanwhile, regulators face the challenge of managing these accumulating and
interacting impacts with limited scientific guidance. We believe there is
scientific support for capping the level of impact for (at a minimum)
populations in decline or with unknown statuses. This cap on impact can be
facilitated through implementation of regular application cycles for
project authorization or improved programmatic and aggregated impact
assessments that simultaneously consider multiple projects. Cross-company
collaborations and a better incorporation of uncertainty into decision
making could also help limit, if not reduce, cumulative impacts of multiple
human activities. These simple management steps may also form the basis of
a rudimentary form of marine spatial planning and could be used in support
of future ecosystem-based management efforts.

Copies are available online (
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cobi.12425/abstract) or from
myself at marinebrit at gmail.com

Best wishes to all for the holiday season and long into 2015.


Andrew Wright, Ph.D.
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