Welcome to PAP/RAC Mediterranean Coastal Alert! This newsletter is regularly updated monthly. It contains abstracts of selected current articles and archives on various environmental themes, in particular those dealing with all aspects of coastal issues. The selection is made from the articles published in the leading international scientific journals. This newsletter is an excellent way of keeping you updated with coastal studies and processes.
The MSP Data Study, undertaken on behalf of DG MARE between February and December 2016, presents an overview of what data and knowledge are needed by Member States for MSP decision making, taking into account different scales and different points in the MSP cycle. It examines current and future MSP data and knowledge issues from various perspectives (i.e. from Member States, Sea Basin(s) as well as projects and other relevant initiatives) in order to identify: What data is available for MSP purposes and what data is actually used for MSP; Commonalities in MSP projects and Member State experiences; The potential for EMODnet sea basin portals to help coordination of MSP at a regional level and options for realising marine spatial data infrastructures to implement MSP; Potential revisions to be made concerning INSPIRE specifications for MSP purposes. The study finds that across all European Sea Basins, countries are encountering similar issues with respect to MSP data needs. Differences are found in the scope of activities and sea uses between Member States and Sea Basins and the type of planning that is being carried out. Common data gaps include socio-economic data for different uses and socio-cultural information. By and large, data and information gaps are not so much about what data is missing but more about how to aggregate and interpret data in order to acquire the information needed by a planner. Challenges for Member States lie in developing second generation plans which require more analytical information and strategic evidence. Underlying this is the need for spatial evaluation tools for assessment, impact and conflict analysis purposes. Transnational MSP data needs are different to national MSP data needs. While the scope and level of detail of data needed is typically much simpler, ensuring its coherence and harmonisation across boundaries remains a challenge. Pan-European initiatives, such as the EMODnet data portals and Sea Basin Checkpoints have the potential to support transboundary MSP data exchange needs by providing access to a range of harmonised data sets across European Sea Basins and testing the availability and adequacy of existing data sets to meet commercial and policy challenges
Keywords: Data collection; Data processing; Maritime Area; Community directive; Technical cooperation; Added value; EU Member State.
Source: Corporate author(s): ASME - Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises; Private author(s): B. Cahill, A. Schulz Zehden, K. Gee et al. (2016); “MSP data study - Evaluation of data and knowledge gaps to implement MSP”; Publication year: 2017; DOI: 10.2826/25289
Beach erosion started to severely affect the Italian coast in the mid XIX century, mostly at river mouths where settlements were almost absent. When the problem reached developed areas a National law was enacted (1907) favoring defense of coastal settlements, which was mostly addressed through seawalls and revetments. In this way many coastal towns lost their beaches, which today could have a tourist and social function.
In the following years, when the beach became an economic resource, groins and detached breakwaters were implemented, frequently triggering down drift erosion, therefore justifying more coastal rock structures. In some localities more than 200 groins or detached breakwaters (or both) are present in a few kilometers of coast. Coastal resilience, previously reduced by longshore urbanization, was definitely zeroed.
Beach nourishment started to be carried out consistently in the ‘70s with quarried materials or sediment dredged in harbors or river mouths (for a total of approximately 10 M m3). In the ‘90s marine aggregates commenced to be used in protected and in a few unprotected beach nourishment projects. Approximately 21 M m3 have been emplaced since then.
Difficulties in finding quarried material due to restrictions in opening new quarries for environmental reasons, as well as finding suitable continental shelf sediments, together with the economic crisis, caused a reduction of beach nourishment schemes in recent years. Unsatisfactory results of some projects, where sand was quickly lost or the project did not have the stakeholders' acceptance, are additional reasons for the reduction in beach nourishment projects.
Designers are now much more confident with hard defenses, possibly with submerged breakwaters or groins, although many projects retrace the path of the '60s, proving that not all has been learned from past mistakes. This paper could serve as a warning for countries currently entering the process of coastal development.
Source: E. Pranzini (2017); “Shore protection in Italy: From hard to soft engineering … and back”, In Press, Corrected Proof, Ocean & Coastal Management; Available Online: 4 May 2017 under DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2017.04.018
The Ecosystem Approach to Management (EAM) has emerged over the past decades, largely to promote biodiversity conservation, and more recently sectoral tradeoffs in the management of marine ecosystems. To ascertain the state of practice of EAM operationalization, a workshop was held, which included a pre-workshop online survey. The survey gauged international participants’ perspectives regarding capacity, knowledge, and application of EAM. When asked about the subject, most survey respondents had a general understanding of EAM, and provided a clear definition. Major perceived challenges to EAM objectives by those surveyed included limited knowledge, conflicting interests, insufficient communication, and limited organizational legal frameworks or governance structures. Of those directly involved in an ecosystem approach, the majority responded that processes were in place or developed for application of integrated knowledge toward assessing key issues within their respective sectors (i.e. fisheries, conservation, energy), and that capacity was generally high. Our results show that most respondents, irrespective of sector or geography, see value in considering an integrated, broader ecosystem approach as they manage their sector. Although many participants were from the North Atlantic region, our results suggest that much of the international community is converging toward continued understanding of broad-scale, integrated approaches to marine resource management.
Source: A. R. Marshak, J. S. Link, R. Shuford, M. E. Monaco, E. Johannesen, G. Bianchi, M. R. Anderson, E. Olsen, D. C. Smith and J. O. Schmidt (2017); “International perceptions of an integrated, multi-sectoral, ecosystem approach to management”, ICES Journal of Marine Science (2017), Volume 74, Issue 1, January - February 2017, Pages: 414 - 420; Published: 9 December 2016 under https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsw214 ; Received: 6 August 2016; Revision Received: 4 October 2016; Accepted: 5 October 2016.
This paper focuses on the use of small, inexpensive, artificial reef modules as replacement juvenile fish habitat within marinas. The research hypothesis was that the placement of small, structurally complex artificial reef modules would increase fish abundance and species richness relative to unmodified marina seawalls. Non-destructive visual surveys of fishes were completed monthly for 14 months for 12 artificial reef sites and 12 control (unmodified) sites within a small marina. Divers recorded species, abundance, and size class (0–2 cm, >2–5 cm, >5–10 cm, >10–20 cm, >20–30 cm, >30–50 cm, and >50 cm) for all sites. Data was statistically analyzed using analysis of variance and a post-hoc Student Newman-Keuls test. Total mean fish abundance and mean species richness were both significantly higher at artificial reef sites than at control sites. Analysis of mean abundance by size class found that the >2–5 cm, >5–10 cm, >10–20 cm, and >20–30 cm classes were significantly higher for artificial reef sites. Species richness analysis by size class found that classes >2–5 cm, >5–10 cm, >10–20 cm, and >20–30 cm were significantly higher at artificial reef sites. Fishes from the grunt (Haemulidae) and snapper (Lutjanidae) families contributed the most to the total abundance for both types of sites. These results support the research hypothesis and have vital implications for mitigating ecological impact to coastal fish nursery areas with the use of artificial structure.
Source: Artificial Reefs as Juvenile Fish Habitat in a Marina
A. Patranella, K. Kilfoyle, S. Pioch and R. E. Spieler (2017); “Artificial Reefs as Juvenile Fish Habitat in a Marina”, Journal of Coastal Research In-Press; Received: 9 August 2016; Accepted: 9 November 2016; Revised: 3 January 2017; Available Online under http://dx.doi.org/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-16-00145.1