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The Marine Spatial Planning Index: a tool to guide and assess marine spatial planning

Marine spatial planning (MSP) has the potential to balance demands for ocean space with environmental protection and is increasingly considered crucial for achieving global ocean goals. In theory, MSP should adhere to six principles, being: (1) ecosystem-based, (2) integrated, (3) place-based, (4) adaptive, (5) strategic, and (6) participatory. Despite nearly two decades of practice, MSP continues to face critical challenges to fully realize these principles, hindering its ability to deliver positive outcomes for people and nature.

Climate change to drive increasing overlap between Pacific tuna fisheries and emerging deep-sea mining industry

In ocean areas beyond national jurisdiction, various legal regimes and governance structures result in diffused responsibility and create challenges for management. Here we show those challenges are set to expand with climate change driving increasing overlap between eastern Pacific tuna fisheries and the emerging industry of deep-sea mining. Climate models suggest that tuna distributions will shift in the coming decades.


This document presents a synopsis of the current state of knowledge for hawksbill turtles in the western Pacific Ocean region, including biological and ecological knowledge of nesting and foraging populations, legislative provisions, and detailed recommendations and proposals for addressing identified deficiencies.


At least 150 marine species have shown impacts from ocean noise pollution, but it has been difficult to specify the exact scenarios where ecosystem and population consequences from underwater noise will occur. Therefore, managing this threat requires a precautionary approach.

National-level evaluation of a community-based marine management initiative

Community-based approaches to conservation and natural resource management are considered essential to meeting global conservation targets. Despite widespread adoption, there is little understanding about successful and unsuccessful community-based practices because of the challenges of designing robust evaluations to estimate impacts and analyse the underlying mechanisms to impact. Here we present findings from a national scale evaluation of the ‘locally managed marine areas’ network in Fiji, a marine community-based management initiative.

A handbook for identifying, evaluating and reporting other effective area-based conservation measures in marine fisheries

This handbook for identifying, evaluating and reporting other effective area-based conservation measures in marine fisheries builds on a wealth of FAO fisheries guidance, including the FAO Technical Guidelines on Fisheries Management (FAO, 1997) and the various FAO Technical Guidelines for Responsible Fisheries (FAO, 2003; FAO, 2009a; FAO 2009b; FAO, 2011). The present document also draws on FAO’s experiences and lessons learned from workshops held in the Baltic, Mediterranean and Caribbean seas, as well as OECM discussions in Latin America and North Africa, inter alia.

Mangrove reforestation provides greater blue carbon benefit than afforestation for mitigating global climate change

Significant efforts have been invested to restore mangrove forests worldwide through reforestation and afforestation. However, blue carbon benefit has not been compared between these two silvicultural pathways at the global scale. Here, we integrated results from direct field measurements of over 370 restoration sites around the world to show that mangrove reforestation (reestablishing mangroves where they previously colonized) had a greater carbon storage potential per hectare than afforestation (establishing mangroves where not previously mangrove).

The past as a lens for biodiversity conservation on a dynamically changing planet

We are in the midst of a major biodiversity crisis, with deep impacts on the functioning of ecosystems and derived benefits to people (1, 2). But we still have time to pull back. To do so, it is imperative that we learn from plants’ and animals’ past actions (3, 4). Conservation biology, ecology, and paleontology all emphasize that natural systems must exhibit resilience and dynamic responses to rapid environmental changes (3, 5, 6). Both climate and land-use change have accelerated over the past decades, underscoring the urgency for increased understanding and action (7–9).

Half a century of rising extinction risk of coral reef sharks and rays

Sharks and rays are key functional components of coral reef ecosystems, yet many populations of a few species exhibit signs of depletion and local extinctions. The question is whether these declines forewarn of a global extinction crisis. We use IUCN Red List to quantify the status, trajectory, and threats to all coral reef sharks and rays worldwide. Here, we show that nearly two-thirds (59%) of the 134 coral-reef associated shark and ray species are threatened with extinction. Alongside marine mammals, sharks and rays are among the most threatened groups found on coral reefs.

Machine learning prediction of connectivity, biodiversity and resilience in the Coral Triangle

Even optimistic climate scenarios predict catastrophic consequences for coral reef ecosystems by 2100. Understanding how reef connectivity, biodiversity and resilience are shaped by climate variability would improve chances to establish sustainable management practices. In this regard, ecoregionalization and connectivity are pivotal to designating effective marine protected areas.