Ecosystem Management

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Invasive alien species (IAS) are now generally recognised as one of the greatest threats to global biodiversity. They also have serious economic, environmental and health impacts and, as a result, can place major constraints on development and natural resource use. In the marine realm there are examples of invasive species from all different taxonomic groups, ranging from plants, to vertebrates and even microbes.

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Coastal communities in Kenya have adopted the use of Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMAs) to conserve fisheries and marine resources and as a way of securing alternative livelihood activities. However, these LMMAs have been established in a somewhat ad hoc manner due to a lack of guidelines for their development and implementation. In this review we sought to determine if there are generic approaches and methods that LMMAs in Kenya have adopted that can be used for developing national guidelines. We also examined challenges and lessons learnt from the various LMMAs on the Kenyan coast.

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Marine industries face a number of risks that necessitate careful analysis prior to making decisions on the siting of operations and facilities. An important emerging regulatory framework on environmental sustainability for business operations is the International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standard 6 (IFC PS6). Within PS6, identification of biodiversity significance is articulated through the concept of “Critical Habitat”, a definition developed by the IFC and detailed through criteria aligned with those that support internationally accepted biodiversity designations.

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Trait-based approaches advance ecological and evolutionary research because traits provide a strong link to an organism’s function and fitness. Trait-based research might lead to a deeper understanding of the functions of, and services provided by, ecosystems, thereby improving management, which is vital in the current era of rapid environmental change.

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Transshipment at sea, the offloading of catch from a fishing vessel to a refrigerated cargo vessel far from port, obscures the actual source of the catch and is a significant pathway for illegally caught fish to enter the legitimate seafood market. Occurring out of sight and over the horizon, the practice enables other nefarious activity, ranging from smuggling to human trafficking. Increasing the transparency of transshipment could improve fisheries management and reduce human rights abuses.

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This vector layer shows the location marine areas managed at a local level by the coastal communities through collaborative groups, organisations and government representatives who reside or are based within the immediate area.

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This dataset displays the extent of our knowledge regarding the distribution of saltmarshes globally, drawing from occurrence data (surveyed and/or remotely sensed). The dataset was developed to provide a baseline inventory of the extent of our knowledge regarding the global distribution of saltmarshes, which are ecosystems located in the intertidal zone of sheltered marine and estuarine coastlines.