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.
Sea-level rise caused by global climate change has significant impacts on coastal zones. Mangrove ecosystems occur in the intertidal zone along tropical and subtropical coasts and are particularly sensitive to sea-level rise. We used the coastal zone of Tieshangang Bay, southern China, as a case study to evaluate the threats from sea-level rise to the mangrove ecosystems. The evaluation based on the projection of sea-level rise rates from present trend (2.9 mm/yr) and RCP4.5 scenario (0.53 m sea-level rise by 2100) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report, were performed for 2025, 2050 and 2100 using Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model. The results showed that the scenario using the present trend in the rate of sea-level rise would result in a 9.3%, 9.6% and 18.2% loss of mangrove habitats at the study area in 2025, 2050 and 2100, respectively. Under the IPCC's RCP4.5 scenario, however, the higher sea-level rise rate could result in a 11.1%, 12.2% and 25.2% loss of mangrove habitats in 2025, 2050 and 2100, respectively. The SLAMM employed was able to project the spatially explicit threats of sea-level rise on the coastal mangroves in the study area. Without proper mitigation options, the potential decrease and loss of mangrove habitats and ecosystem services in Tieshangang Bay is inevitable. Based on the results of this study, mitigation measures should be considered for securing the mangrove ecosystems, including managing sedimentation and controlling reclamation and rehabilitation.
Source: S. Li, X. Meng, Z. Ge and L. Zhang (2015); “Evaluation of the threat from sea-level rise to the mangrove ecosystems in Tieshangang Bay, southern China”, Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 109, June 2015, Pages 1–8; Received: 2 September 2014; Received in revised form: 28 January 2015; Accepted: 15 February 2015; Available online: 20 February 2015.
Maritime spatial planning (MSP) and fishery management may generate extra costs for fisheries by constraining fishers activity with conservation areas and new utilizations of the sea. More energy-efficient fisheries are also likely to alter existing fishing patterns, which already vary from fishery to fishery and from vessel to vessel. The impact assessment of new spatial plans involving fisheries should be based on quantitative bioeconomic analyses that take into account individual vessel decisions, and trade-offs in cross-sector conflicting interests. We use a vessel-oriented decision-support tool (the DISPLACE model) to combine stochastic variations in spatial fishing activities with harvested resource dynamics in scenario projections. The assessment computes economic and stock status indicators by modelling the activity of Danish, Swedish, and German vessels (>12 m) in the international western Baltic Sea commercial fishery, together with the underlying size-based distribution dynamics of the main fishery resources of sprat, herring, and cod. The outcomes of alternative scenarios for spatial effort displacement are exemplified by evaluating the fishers' abilities to adapt to spatial plans under various constraints. Interlinked spatial, technical, and biological dynamics of vessels and stocks in the scenarios result in stable profits, which compensate for the additional costs from effort displacement and release pressure on the fish stocks. The effort is further redirected away from sensitive benthic habitats, enhancing the ecological positive effects. The energy efficiency of some of the vessels, however, is strongly reduced with the new zonation, and some of the vessels suffer decreased profits. The DISPLACE model serves as a spatially explicit bioeconomic benchmark tool for management strategy evaluations for capturing tactical decision-making in reaction to MSP.
Source: F. Bastardie, J. R. Nielsen, O. R. Eigaard, H. O. Fock, P. Jonsson, and V. Bartolino (2015); “Competition for marine space: modelling the Baltic Sea fisheries and effort displacement under spatial restrictions”, ICES J. Mar. Sci. (March/April 2015) 72 (3): 824-840 DOI:10.1093/icesjms/fsu215; Received: 26 August 2014; Accepted: 2 November 2014.
More than 3,000 commercial vessels navigate through the Malamocco-Marghera Industrial Canal in Venice Lagoon, Italy in a given year, leading to an estimated annual resuspension of 1.2 × 106 metric tons of sediment. Hence, ship wakes contribute to the significant erosion of shoals in the central lagoon which has occurred over the last 30 years. Drawdown associated with the surface depression wave from successive ships induces sediment transport towards the shipping canal, where the cost of dredging amounts to tens of millions of Euro per year. Most ship traffic occurs near an industrial zone, resulting in substantial potential for resuspension of contaminated sediment. Thus, sediment resuspension by ship traffic in the Venice Lagoon has the potential for detrimental economic and environmental impacts.
This paper illustrates the impacts of ship induced depression waves and discusses management options for mitigating those impacts, based on extensive observational data and analysis conducted in Venice Lagoon, Italy. This article helps to further the understanding of the processes that govern sediment transport along the shipping channel and employ this knowledge to develop specific management recommendations.
A reduction in the navigation speed of ships, an increase in the distance between successive ships, and limiting navigation to tidal levels above 0.3 m from the local 1897 reference mean sea level can help to minimize these problems.
Source: J. Rapaglia, L. Zaggia, K. Parnell, G. Lorenzetti, A. T. Vafeidis (2015); “Ship-wake induced sediment remobilization: Effects and proposed management strategies for the Venice Lagoon”, Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 110, June 2015, Pages 1–11; Received: 12 December 2014; Received in revised form: 18 February 2015; Accepted: 10 March 2015; Available online.
The Spanish Region of Murcia was one of the several European regions, departments and provinces located in the Mediterranean area to participate in a number of ERDF-funded European research projects, which took place from 2008 to 2013. The aim of those projects was to create both methodologies and tools for improving governance in urban and regional planning. Issues such as land consumption, changes in land use or regional specialization policies as designed by government authorities are essential for achieving a balanced development in regions and cities. The said research projects have resulted in the creation of new analysis and diagnostic methodologies for improving political governance in the fields of land management and land use planning, as well as for achieving a more sustainable development in the cities involved. This paper presents the results of one of the research projects above – namely OSDDT – by means of land use indicators and urban operational tools. It is held that integrating research findings into the current relevant legislation will allow for generating new methods for studying urban and regional planning.
Keywords: GIS tools; Land management; Land use indicators; Urban operational tools; Urban planning.
Source: S. García-Ayllón and G. Martínez Marí (2015); “New Analysis and Diagnostic Tools for Improving Governance in Urban Planning and Land Management”, International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning; Volume 10 (2015), Issue 2 , Pages 137 – 154; DOI: 10.2495/SDP-V10-N2-137-154.