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CIGPT - Centro de Informação Geográfica e Planeamento Territorial

Universidade dos Açores
Rua da Mãe de Deus 13A
9501-801 Ponta Delgada

Scientific Editors
Helena Calado
Artur Gil

Scientific Committee
Agustín Lobo
Aldino Campos
Ana Cristina Costa
Artur Gil
Christopher Damon
David Johnson
Fátima Alves
Fátima Navas
Helena Calado
Nicole Schaefer
Jorge Gonçalves
Peter August
Rui Pedro Julião

Graphic Design

ISBN: 978-972-8612-64-1

August 2010



“The problems of ocean space are closely activities these uses can, sometimes,
interrelated and need to be considered as coexist and be developed in different
a whole” time schedules and levels (surface, water
UNCLOS,1982 column…) and in some cases multiple
uses are beneficial or complementary
The introduction of the United Nations and others are exclusive. However, the
Convention on the Law of the Sea magnitude and extent of their impacts
(UNCLOS) from 1982 summarizes in a is very different from those on land. The
sentence, most of the challenges that notion of competing (and even conflicting)
Planners face when working on the spatial consuming marine uses and
maritime space. The multidimensional activities lead to the development of
character, the interrelations with fuzzy management and planning tools adapted
borders, and mostly, the abysm of the to maritime space.
unknown, transform the marine realm
with a fantastic opportunity to be creative The definition presented on the “MSP
in exploring new methods for the planning Good Practice” (UNESCO-IOC, 2008) of
field. Marine Spatial Management is: “a public
process  of  analyzing and allocating
The sea has always been part of our the spatial and temporal distribution
imaginary references and a structural part of human activities in marine areas to
of our societies: first it was a barrier that achieve ecological, economic, and
no one dare to cross, but also a food and social objectives that usually have
salt supplier; then it challenged men to been specified through a political
establish latitude, and mostly longitude, process. Characteristics of marine spatial
in order to navigate and reduce distances planning include ecosystem-based, area-
for trading; it kept the world apart until based, integrated, adaptive, strategic and
the beginning of the nautical discoveries, participatory.”
but gave us romances, poems, drawings
and the most peculiar nautical charts… Marine Spatial Management can be
and yet, we still know very little about considered as a more complex process then
ocean space. land use planning, but it can profit from
its technologies and methods. On a first
The marine technologies are developing approach, its fundamental to understand
faster, the remote observation systems the international regulations as those
are more reliable, and yet we are not provided by UNCLOS, and the regional
aware of the real ocean carrying capacity seas based organisation, conventions
or the ecosystem limits to mitigate and treaties. Also the European Union
negative impacts of land based human has developed several sectored policies
activities. Coastal zones have already concerning marine resources. Therefore
been understood as fragile and the law, rules and regulations, national and
need for specific strategies and planning international, are the first base for Ocean
tools defined. Now, it is time to move to zoning.
maritime space: navigation, fisheries,
recreation, oil and gas exploitation, The following step will require a strong
marine protected areas, wind and wave scientific approach, as it must rely
energy systems, archaeological sites, etc, on scientific quality data concerning
the sea supports a growing number of resources and physical conditions of
uses and activities. Similar to land based marine areas. The characterization

of the existing activities must not be For helping pursuing this goal and take
considered the only basis for planning. another step to knowledge, also for their
The resources, their value (economical contribution to Marine Spatial Planning
and non economical) and also their development, we thank all those involved
potential for exploitation are as valuable in this special issue!
indicators for decision makers. This effort
will require an integrated approach and Helena Calado
a commom base for knowledge sharing.
Geo technologies provide this platform.
Spatial representation of maritime uses
and activities, as well as resources
distribution is a challenging theme. The
geo references to different dimensions
are more complex and still a developing

Looking at this book we can have a

glimpse of this complexity by the different
subjects that our authors provided: from
administrative layers to marine bird areas,
we have a world of spatial representations
of marine sectors and themes. These
papers present the base for marine spatial
planning: the resources, the problems,
the conflicts and the management
guidelines to face them. Being sector
based or thematically approach they will
be fundamental to provide the ultimate
piece that a marine spatial planner aims:
the zoning map.

Probably the first zoning map for Ocean

Space, was produced with “Tordesilhas
Treaty” were Portugal and Spain divided
the world, in an imaginary line in the
Ocean, to be discovered and colonies
to be claimed. The world is far more
complex now! But we know the world can
not be divided, as also marine uses and
activities. Management schemes, Zoning
maps, conflict solving Rules, Codes
of conduct, they all rely on the same
basis: the human need to solve their
problems, face their limitations and aim
for a better, healthier and vibrant future
for next generations. This path is made
of several steps on integration, sharing,
commitment and science based.


Perched upon the long, wavy spine we science constitutes the raw material for
call the Middle Atlantic Ridge, barely the construction of our understanding
visible on the map and easily overlooked of the dynamics of the systems, and
amidst the blue of the depth charts, the it is in the realm of the geographical
Azores islands are, nevertheless, the sciences that those bits are chewed,
epitome of what science really becomes: digested, integrated. The outcome is
integration. Minuscule specks of rock, rich, for it springs out of the most varied
their roots, however, encroach deep contributions; the applications are, for
in the grinding force of three tectonic that matter, many and enriching, for they
plates: to understand the Azores-land touch a wide range of aspects intersecting
we have to integrate the movements of the life of humans. Our efforts, though,
half the world. Lost in the vastness of the have for quite a long time been skewed,
ocean, they, however, split currents and when trying to fit nature to our needs;
dictate the fate of streams: to understand fortunately, however, our endeavour has
the Azores-sea we have to integrate the shifted toward our fitting in the natural
long, coiling path of the Gulf Stream. framing surrounding us. Such a shift
Whipped by roaring storms or caressed by in paradigm could hold the secret for
cool breezes, they, however, master the our survival, by fostering sustainability
influence of the winds over continents: through a well woven network of interests,
to understand the Azores-air we have to always under the all-encompassing eye of
integrate trade-winds and anticyclones. a global view. Only through integration
And this is what this book on Geographic will this goal be achieved; hence the
Technologies applied to Marine Spatial relevance of the continuous search for
Planning and Integrated Coastal Zone more appropriate instruments and more
Management” is all about: integration. adequate systematizations.
Information from every quadrant of

António M. de Frias Martins

CIBIO Azores Unit Director &
PI of Island Biogeography and
Conservation Research Group

Expectant beneficiary of your work

Book Chapters

P. Aguiar & A.C. Costa


A. Purroy, S. Requena, R. Sardá, J.M. Gili & E. Serrão


A.Bio, A.Meirinho, I. Ramírez & P. Geraldes


A.Z. Botelho, H. Calado & A.C. Costa


L. Fillinger, G. Försterra, V. Häussermann & C. Richter


C. Fowler, B. Smith & D. Stein


L.M. García, C. Sangil, L. Concepción, R.F. de León, J.B. Diez & I.Y.G. Rodríguez

M. Gianinetto, P. Maianti, R. Tortini, F. Rota Nodari & G. Lechi


M.H. Guimarães, A. Mascarenhas, C. Sousa, T. Dentinho & T. Boski


K. Jerosch, V.E. Kostylev & S.M. Blasco


P. Lozano-Rivera, C. García-Valencia & A.L. Rodríguez


L. Paramio


J.M. Pitt & M.L. Shailer

S. Rahman, S.H. Rahman & Md.W. Ullah


I. Ramírez, J. Andrade, A.Meirinho, P. Geraldes & B. Lascelles


P.D. Raposeiro, C.J. Fortes, M.T. Reis & J.C. Ferreira


K.A. Stamoulis


D. Stein, C. Fowler, C. Taylor, B. Smith & A. Bode


A. Wadwani

A. Wochna
P. Aguiar & A.C. Costa
Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources (CIBIO-Azores), University of Azores,
Ponta Delgada, Portugal. E-mail:

ABSTRACT vent sites should be considered within the

Island Park delineation, with the exception
There has been a crescent interest on the of the hydrothermal vent fields at D. João
scientific, cultural and socio-economical de Castro Seamount that fall within the
value of the Azorean hydrothermal vents Azores Marine Park domain.
by the Regional Government that has
sparked the public interest on these Unfortunately, not all shallow vent sites
unique ecosystems. The Azores are were included within the Island Park, and
a privileged region in what concerns in the cases in which they were included
hydrothermal systems since it is possible such was not done with the goal of
to find most ecological variants of protecting the hydrothermal ecosystem
these systems in close proximity (from itself. The later resulted in a protection
terrestrial hotsprings to deep-sea vents, status miscellaneous that should be
passing by shallow marine vents). The reviewed in order to obtain the same
shallow marine thermal ecosystems are conservation status and management
subject to higher human pressure than level for all shallow marine hydrothermal
their deep-sea counterparts due to their sites across the archipelago.
close proximity to the islands. However, at
present time, it is the deep-sea Azorean On other hand, the protection and
thermal sites that possess a more coherent conservation status of Azorean deep-sea
protection status (Menez Gween and vents is better defined since two of the
Lucky Strike) since they are considered three Azorean deep-sea hydrothermal
SAC under the Habitats Directive. Among vent filed areas (Menez Gween and Lucky
the shallower vent sites only D. João de Strike) are classified as SACs [2] within
Castro hydrothermal vents field is under the context of the European “Habitats
protection status due to the ecosystem directive” framework.
itself (SAC). A revision and a comparison
of the protection status of the nine shallow 2. SHALLOW MARINE VENTS IN THE
Azorean marine hydrothermal vent sites AZORES
are here discussed.
There are a total of nine shallow marine
Index Terms - Hydrothermal vents; Azores; hydrothermal vent sites identified within
sustainable development; MPAs the Azores Archipelago (Table I). Some
of these areas are characterized by an
1. INTRODUCTION intense degasification in addition to a
moderate to high thermal anomaly. One
The Azores Archipelago is a rich area can find the highest variety and number
in hydrothermal vent habitats. Within of shallow hydrothermal sites near S.
close proximity it is possible to find not Miguel Island, in the eastern islands
only terrestrial but also several marine group. The western shallow hydrothermal
hotsprings. Further more, the marine site is found at Flores Island shoreline and
hotsprings environments span from the is known as Lagedo hostsprings.
shoreline to deep-sea vents.

According to the areas defined by the

Azores Regional Network of Protected
Areas [1] all Azorean shallow marine
Table 1 - List of all shallow marine hydrothermal for Habitat or Species Management [4-
sites within the Azores Archipelago with island 5]. Varadouro is outside Faial Island
location and protection status. Park limits and Ribeira Quente is also
not included within S. Miguel Island Park
limits [6-7].
According to the present legislation
minerals or other geological extractions
are either forbidden or conditioned
according to a previous technical
appreciation at Carapacho, Ferraria, and
Ladeira da Velha. Scuba diving touristic
activity is also done under specific
Contrarily to the deep-sea hydrothermal conditions, after technical approval, at
vents protected areas none of the Ferraria [5-6]. It is not clear for the other
protection levels established for the shallow marine hydrothermal sites which
shallow marine hydrothermal sites were are the use restrictions for its utilization.
acquired in order to value and protect the Such guidelines are essential tools and
hydrothermal ecosystem it self. Even in the need to be added to the management
case of the hydrothermal vents located at plans for all these areas.
the D. João de Castro seamount the SAC
status was attributed primarily according 3. UNIQUE ECOSYSTEMS
to the habitat category of Reef [3] and
only afterwards it was also classified The diversity gradient between the
within the other type of sensitive habitats shallow marine hydrothermal ecosystems
under the “Submarine structures made and the surrounding “common coastal
by leaking gases”. marine environment” is very steep. The
unique microbial communities at these
The shallow marine hydrothermal sites of sites form vast microbial mats that
Lagedo (Flores), Carapacho (Graciosa), blend with sea-sponges and algal cover
Ferraria (S. Miguel) and Ladeira da Velha at the ecosystem limits. This biological
(S. Miguel) were previously classified as mixture of two worlds results on a unique
IBAs [4-6]. ecosystem powered by the two types of
primary production on Earth (based on
In Faial Island, the Espalamaca solar energy- photosynthesis; and based
degasification low temperature on mineral energy- chemosynthesis).
hydrothermal field is also integrated Such environmental constraints allow
in a larger protected area designated for the co-existence of a high variety of
Baixa do Sul (Canal Faial-Pico) recently metabolisms and lead to the prediction
classified as a SAC and integrated in the of a higher microbial diversity at
PNIFAI within the sector FAI010. The shallow marine hydrothermal sites when
marine hydrothermal site of Varadouro, compared with the deep-sea microbial
also in Faial Island, is located right at communities [8].
the shoreline near the Varadouro village,
immediately on the outside limit between Comparatively to the deep-sea and to
two protected sectors of the PNIFAI [7]. the terrestrial counterparts, the Azorean
Shallow Marine Vents Ecosystem has
Ferraria, Mosteiros, and Ladeira da Velha/ not been the target of many ecological
Porto Formoso on S. Miguel Island, as studies. However, it is possible to say,
well as Espalamaca (Faial) are classified based on the existing publications, that
as Protected Areas for Resources this ecosystem has a distinct community
Management within the framework of patterns from the surrounding coastal
the respective Island Park premises [6- marine environment even at the
7]. Carapacho (Graciosa) and Lagedo invertebrate community level [8-9]
(Flores) are classified as Protected Areas worthier of further studies.

such hydrothermal resources within
4. SHALLOW HYDROTERMAL VENTS the wellness tourism may lead to an
WITHIN THE AZOREAN SUSTAINABLE economical and social improvement
DEVELOPMENT CONTEXT however it demands an investment on
scientific knowledge of the fluid chemistry
Given the present socio-economic but has so far lacked on the biological
settings the Azores Regional Government and ecological contextualization for such
is keen on validation of the Azorean areas. In order to better promote a
natural thermal resources as a mean sustainable use this resources it would be
to promote the archipelago sustainable necessary to develop special management
development being on geothermal energy plans for this area that emphasis the
as a renewable resource or a motor for maintenance of the hydrothermal
technical and touristic innovation and ecosystem equilibrium.
Related to this sector, even though
4.1. Touristic development not directly, is the usage of marine
hydrothermal fluids and “hydrothermal
Since early times the Azores are known sand” and/or “mud” for cosmetic
for their “Caldeiras” and thermal waters. treatments [12, 13]. In this case the study
According with a few schollars Thomas of the thermal microbial communities
Hicking was the first true thermal tourist and their end products are studied and
at the archipelago [10]. Nevertheless the in some cases recreated in controlled
Azorean thermal waters (hydrothermal environments in order to mass produce
areas) start to be studied from the exfoliating or hydrating products just to
scientific perspective at the end of the name a few, that than can be used in
18th [11]. The exuberance of the warm treatment spas as well as at the comfort
seawater near Carapacho or Ferraria was of our homes. Such environmental mining
not left unnoticeable. of organisms from these ecosystems may
have small impact on the ecosystem itself
4.1.1. Wellness tourism at the time of the sample extraction. In
Historically some of these shallow this case the protection and management
hydrothermal sites have been explored measures should be implemented to
for therapeutically purposes. In some guarantee that a percentage of the profit
cases there were thermal bath houses of the eventual mass production of these
constructed within the hot springs vicinity resources reverts for the local community
(Varadouro, Carapacho, Ladeira da Velha, development.
and Ferraria) [8, 10]. The decline of the
patients number and the disbelief on 4.1.2. Eco-tourism
the therapeutically properties of these The constant search for new touristic
hydrothermal sites lead to the closure of products to offer within the Azores will
the thermal bath houses and to the lack eventually lead to a higher number
of specialized medical doctors within this of scuba diving touristic operators
field. offering a “dive within the Azorean
natural champagne”. While such offer
Recently, the public demand for may increase people’s awareness of the
alternative natural treatments as uniqueness of such habitats will also
well as for the wellness-spa tourism increase the human impact at the sites.
increased and sparked the investment The close proximity to the shoreline as
on this sector. Ferraria, Carapacho, and well as the shallow depth at which most
Varadouro thermal bathhouses were vents are found increases the vulnerability
or are being recovered as well as the of theses unique ecosystems. The
hydrothermal fluids caption systems geological degasification structures are
for the thermal fluids adjacent to these a unique site mingled with the remaining
areas. The sustainable exploitation of biodiversity of the Azores subtidal marine

system. Thus far only Ferraria has a level nucleation or mineral concentrations is
of protection that refers usage restrictions many times carried on not by a single
for scuba diving activity. It would be microorganisms but by a natural consortia
necessary to promote good practices that catalyzes the minerals deposition
among touristic diving operators that may [13].
offer this product as a way to preserve the
habitat equilibrium without compromising 5. UNIFYING CARACTER
the region sustainable development.
In addition it would be important to The long Azorean thermal heritage was
determine a carrying capacity for each reflected on a recent census conducted at
shallow marine vent site to facilitate S. Miguel Island from which it is possible
management measures and to cause the deduct that Azorean society values the
least impact possible. preservation and management of their
hydrothermal areas specially the shallow
4.2. Biotechnological development marine vent fields and recognizes that
they need to be better protected from a
On the last decades quite a few companies conservation status perspective in order
specialized on screening for marine to promote a sustainable development.
organisms enzymes. This type of mining The main value attributed to these
is once more a low impact activity when it hydrothermal systems is related to their
is carried on by knowledgeable personal. unique geological features paired with the
The need for protection status and mineral depositions integrated in the both
management measures in this sector are touristic sectors reported above. Less
not necessarily to maintain the ecosystem people are aware of their high economical
integrity but mostly to guarantee value within the biotechnological context
and promote a regional sustainable [15].
development trough the balanced
exploitation of such natural resources. There is no doubt that the Azorean
The seas cover 70% of the planet earth. hydrothermal systems are of high level
The oceans comprise a wide range of of importance for the Azores Regional
ecosystems and habitats that harbor a Government and that this class is aware
large biological diversity that may equal a of its importance in the biotechnological
large chemical and genetic diversity. Less market. Their protection status is
than 1% of all marine microorganisms however confusing at this stage with
has, thus far, been successfully cultured a higher protection level for deep-sea
and therefore offer a unique opportunity vents hydrothermal sites that due to
to find new enzymes. Last estimates their location are less impacted, than the
from marine biotechnology indicated protection settings for shallow marine
that it was worth $2.48bn year. Extreme vents, whose location near the islands
marine ecosystems enabled the biology to shoreline put them in at higher vulnerability
evolve and adapt to high/low temperature risk. Ferraria and Ribeira Quente,
(e.g. hydrothermal vents – superheated followed by Carapacho are the best
water); high salinity and even high known shallow marine hydrothermal
pressure to name a few characteristics, sites near shore [15]. Unfortunately,
the Azorean shallow marine vents are Ribeira Quente hydrothermal vent field
no exception [14] and together with the is not included within any reserved or
Azores deep-sea and with the terrestrial protected area of S. Miguel Island Park
hydrothermal vents can be a pivot on [6] at present. By other hand, the current
the biotechnological development of the shallow hydrothermal fields were not
region. purposely included in the Island Park
Besides the enzyme mining it protected areas, which resulted in a status
is necessary to better understand the miscellaneous that needs to be reviewed
biogeochemical cycling of these systems in order to obtain the same conservation
since the hydrothermal fluid mineral status for all shallow marine vents across

the archipelago. If the protection level [13] Câmara J., J. Medeiros, and P.
was given to the ecosystem itself a base AGUIAR, “Estudo comparativo da
line management policy could be more composição química de lamas e biofilmes
easily implemented as for example for termais das Furnas” in Actas do Encontro
the Transylvania hydrothermal vents SAC Internacional de Termalismo e Turismo
[3]. As a stepping-stone in this process Termal e III Fórum Ibérico de Águas
we propose the development of a geo- Engarrafadas e Termalismo p.419-424,
referenced layer with general ecosystem 2009.
information on all shallow marine vent [14] Aguiar, P., C.L. Pereira, C.M.
sites within the Azores archipelago. Loureiro, and L. Amaral-Zettler. Bacteria
communities at shallow marine thermal
6. REFERENCES vents within the Azores archipelago at the
light of the 454 V-tag pyro-sequencing.
[1] Decreto Legislativo Regional ICoMM Spring meeting Actas, Woods
nº15/2007/A from Hole, MA, EUA. 2009
[2] Addendum to Directiva Habitats [15] Gaspar C., H. Cabral, J. P. Raposo, T.
nº92/43/CEE (2009/1001/UE) from 22 Sousa, and P. Aguiar, “Nascentes Termais
December 2009 e o seu significado na cultura Açoriana”,
[3] Directiva Habitats nº92/43/CEE from Actas do Encontro Internacional
21 May 1992 Termalismo p.431-436, 2009.
[4] Proposal for Flores Island Park by
Decreto Legislativo Regional- waiting
[5] Decreto Legislativo Regional
nº45/2008/A from 05 November 2008
[6] Decreto Legislativo Regional
nº19/2008/A from 08 July 2008
[7] Decreto Legislativo Regional
nº46/2008/A from 07 November 2008
[8] P. Aguiar, Microbial ecology of Azorean
hotsprings as revealed by culture and
Molecular techniques, Portland State
University, Portland, OR, 2005.
[9] S. P. Ávila, Processos e padrões de
colonização e dispersão dos Rissoidae
(Mollusca: Gastropoda) dos Açores. PhD
Thesis, University of the Azores, Ponta
Delgada, 2005.
[10] Motta de Sousa, J. M. O Vale das
Furnas. Almedina. Coimbra, 2008.
[11] Mosely, H. N., “Notes on freshwater
Algae obtained at the boiling springs at
Furnas, St. Michael’s, Azores, and their
neighbourhood”, J Linn Soc Botany nº 14,
pp.321-325, 1874
[12] Quintela A., S.F.P. Almeida, D.
Terroso, E. F. Silva, F. Rocha, and V.
FORJAZ, “Microalgas colonizadoras de
Lamas Vulcânicas Açorianas Durante
a Maturação”, Actas do Encontro
Internacional de Termalismo e Turismo
Termal e III Fórum Ibérico de Águas
Engarrafadas e Termalismo p.329-336,

A. Purroy1, S. Requena1, R. Sardá2, J.M. Gili1, E.Serrao3
Institute of Marine Sciences, CSIC (ICM-CSIC). Passeig Maritim de la Barceloneta, 37-49.
E-08003, Barcelona (Spain), E-mail:
Centre for Advanced Studies of Blanes, CSIC (CEAB-CSIC). C/ d’accés a la Cala St. Francesc,
14. E-17300, Blanes (Spain)
Universidade do Algarve. Campus de Gambelas P-8005-139, Faro (Portugal)

“This work was presented by the first author in order to complete the requirements to achieve the
degree of Master of Science in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, within the ERASMUS MUNDUS
Master Programme EMBC”.

ABSTRACT but also as safeguard against most

fishing practices, either commercial or
North western Mediterranean is recreational, as for tourist attractions;
characterized by a high fishing activity which all together contribute to the decline
and consequently, the awareness to of biological resources [3]. Cape Creus
preserve and protect high ecological area is currently being studied in order to
important areas has been recently on evaluate its potential ecological value to
the scope. Cape Creus is lately being become the first MPA offshore from the
subjected of study in order to assess 1
LIFE+Indemares Project, in the frame
its values in the frame of European of the Habitat Directive and Natura 2000
Directives. By combining existing data of Network as well as the 2Biodiversity Law
artisanal fisheries’ components together at the national level. In order to define
with gathered seabed components, a a first step on the fisheries’ domains in
spatial distribution of fishing activity Cap de Creus, an instrumental study
is pretended. A spatial approach has pretends to be done by taking advantage
been the main tool when assessing the of the stocktacking conducted by the
consistency of fishing pressure onto the FAO-COPEMED Project. Fishing activities
seabed. Benthic communities seem to be increasingly participate in habitat
more affected when overlapping of fishing destruction, accidental mortality of non
types occur. Consequently, alternating target species, changing functioning and
parceling and seasonal closures among structuring of ecosystems and causing
fishing gear types, to minimize the impact evolutionary shifts in the demography
onto benthic communities as also setting of populations [12]. A direction towards
no-take zones is strongly suggested. The the participation of all stakeholders in
establishment of a MPA in the near future fisheries management needs to be taken;
has to be seen for all stakeholders as one worldwide, fishing is affecting the seabed
step contributing to the sustainability of habitat on the continental shelf [10].
the ecosystem, once the potential impact The fishing behavior in space and time
of this fishing activity is shown. Mid-scale resulting in a particular area will mark off
benefits by means of reducing fishing the habitat impact in a patchy distribution;
pressure in the area will enhance both likewise, levels of disturbance vary among
alternative income solutions and spillover habitat types as a result of fishing intensity
offset as a result of habitat recovery. and frequency [10]. It is clear that any
fishing gear will disturb the sediment
Keywords: métier, GIS, fishing spatial activity, and resident community at some degree
MPA, fisheries management. but not all fishing methodologies affect
habitats in the same way. Bottom-fishing
INTRODUCTION activities involving mobile fishing gear
have a physical impact on the seabed and
European directives are strongly the biota living there [10]. Consequently,
encouraging to increase the number of it is important to know the intensity of the
marine protected areas in each European disturbance which will depend on used
country. MPAs have been envisaged not gear, sediment type and water depth [10].
only as a potential tool for conservation
Accordingly, an approach throughout the habitat conservation; thus, achieving a
spatially definition of fishing activities well understanding of key communities
and their overlapping will serve to value and fisheries’ distribution is a first step for
the existent communities’ status. Thus, an integrated management with the main
this is an essential tool to be taken stakeholders, the fishermen.
into consideration when analyzing the
proposed area to be protected. By taking advantage of the stocktaking of
In order to define the real effort invested the main fishery components associated
in a resource, artisanal fisheries are with artisanal fisheries, a compilation with
defined by combining fishing arts, target other existent regional information from
species, fishing geographical zones the area is intended in order to find out the
and seasonality, the concept of métier main goal. GIS software has been used as
is applied [6]. The Mediterranean is the main tool aiming to obtain the most
characterized by a high diversity of complete conception of the spatial fishing
fishing gears and target species; artisanal activity in Cap de Creus and to assess
fisheries are mostly coastal owing the incidence of gears on an unprotected
boats with a maximum size of 12m and ecosystem. The focus on determining
small capital investment [4]. The EU the degree of impact of certain areas
Mediterranean fleet is represented in an according to the coexistence of one or
80% by artisanal fisheries [5]. From the more fishing gears will serve a priori to
point of view of fisheries exploitation, the assess the vulnerability of the existent
continental shelf and the shelf-break are community types. There is expectation
the most interesting areas where most of in the relationship between outstanding
the resources can be found. Coastline and communities and less exploited areas.
continental shelves host wide range of
habitats. Most types of artisanal fisheries MATERIAL & METHODS
extend from the coastline onwards into Study area: Cap de Creus
the continental shelf, decreasing in
their frequencies as distance and depth Historically, Cap de Creus has been the
increase [7]. Fishermen’s local knowledge first maritime-terrestrial park to be
determines seasonality in relation to established in Spain in 1998, representing
species behavior and its abundance along the marine domain in a 22% [11]. Even if
the year [15]. the protection figure is already existent, it
is intended to extend the protected area
The use of GIS tools is often used to to offshore waters comprising shelf, shelf-
account for spatial predictions [15, 9]. In break and canyon. By considering the
here, an approach to assess vulnerable depth gradient, a more complete scheme
and less damaged communities combined of the system can be offered.
with spatial coincidence in time of fishing
gears has been done. Cap de Creus canyon is the western
canyon of the conspicuous underwater
OBJECTIVES canyon system found in the Gulf of Lions.
It is an area of complex bathymetry and
When studying marine areas for very nutrient rich from the outflow of
conservation purposes, one of the main several rivers (Rhône River from Gulf of
objections is to localize the anthropogenic Lions, and the local rivers Ter, Fluvià and
pressure exercised in the area. Fishing Muga). It starts at the continental shelf at
tradition has distinguished this area since about 90-100m depth and it extends up
the old times; however, during the last to 5Km off the coast (42°18’49.202 N –
decades fishing pressure is an evident 003°34’ 6.000 E). The canyon is oriented
fact. Just like in other fishing regions northwest-southeast giving a V-shape
in Europe, the Mediterranean faces the structure breaking into the open sea. In
problem of reconciling the economic total is about 95Km long and presents a
activity with sustainable fish stocks and maximum depth of 2150m.

The Liguro-Provenzal-Catalan current Winds are strongly a limiting factor in this
(aka Northern Current) from the Gulf of area. Their high frequency and intensity
Lions, the input from the above mentioned mark the fishing activity in Cap de Creus
rivers together with strong dominant which preclude going out in the sea. North
north winds causing water mixing, make from Cape Creus northerly winds dominate
of this area a highly productive zone. the scene along with the rough conditions
Consequently, it is an area conducive to from the Gulf of Lions, especially during
the agglomeration of pelagic fish among winter season. The so-called Tramontane
others. and Mistral winds (northwest and northern
winds respectively) are characterized to
The presence of free water currents be the most frequent, strong, dry, cold
coming from the Gulf of Lions collide and reaching persistences up to several
with the outstanding Cape Creus causing days [14]. In turn, the noted episodes
its displacement from the coast and of vertical water mixing along the coast
allowing littoral currents between this are responsible of the water nutrient
and the coast. Another phenomenon is enrichment. In Gulf of Roses, Tramontane
the deep convection occurring in winter and south-west and western winds
when a maximum in surface salinity dominate the area, whereas heading
combined with strong, cold and dry south winds lose their intensity.
northerly winds and a cyclonic circulation,
known as the Western Mediterranean Regarding the substrate, variability along
Deep Water formation [14]. This process the coastal region is clearly observed. It
produces dense water which sinks to ranges from rocky, dark and high coast
the bottom as a section of newly formed to lower coast areas. Sandy and muddy
deep water. The cascading effect is been bottoms seem to dominate the area,
reported as an alternative mechanism however a mixture of sandy and muddy
to deep water formation in the northern bottoms as also gravel and rocks complete
Catalan Sea [8]. Ulses et al. (2008) [16] the substrate composition. In addition,
refer to water cascading and to marine protected seagrass beds can be found on
storms as two mechanisms responsible those coastal areas where well-conserved
of regulating shelf-slope exchanges communities of Posidonia oceanica are
causing downwelling to submarine developed. The southern part of the
canyons. During winter, the cooling canyon, in front of Roses Bay, is the
from northwesterly winds destratify and broadest and most extensive part of the
increase in density water from the shelf shelf due to river deposition processes.
enabling the plunging down the slope.
Underwater canyons present many areas
The current system along the Gulf is acting as deep reefs, in where many
strengthen and accelerated by the wind, species form structures where others
receiving the south westernmost part find refuge. High abundance of corals are
of the Gulf, the highest intensity. In present in the rocky bottoms whereas
this extremity, the narrowing of Cap de in the deepest parts Maërl beds abound
Creus shelf together with the offshore (concentration of species of calcified red
limitation by Cape Creus Canyon, result seaweed), commonly associated to a high
in a larger acceleration of currents. A diversity of sessile species. In other cases
well-figured simulation of currents in the in the Atlantic has been seen how deep
area can be found in Ulses et al. (2008). cold corals are an ideal habitat for juvenile
The spreading of continental influence on and larvae of several fish species. Many
waters is preferred for spawning as shown of these species have a high commercial
in studies with anchovy by Salat (1996), value, thus acting again as a refugee from
coinciding with the water stratification fishing pressure, by allowing the recovery
period in spring and summer, which of stocks in depletion. The high regime of
otherwise would be nutrient poor. currents mentioned above allows the high
concentration of particles in the water

column, serving to feed many organisms. location of fishing gears and the related
Additionally, cetacean species are also items. ArcView and ArcCatalog 9.3
associated to underwater canyons such GIS (ESRI Corp., Redlands, California)
are finback whales and bottlenose software in combination with the Spatial
dolphins and striped dolphins. Analyst extension has been used to
spatially distribute the data and to obtain
Topography of the area is already very the resulting maps.
precise but biology still needs to be
defined. Due to the previous projects Data structure and analysis
HERMES (UE) and DEEP CORAL (National All the information used in this case study
Project), a bioprospection from Cap de has been obtained from public sources
Creus canyon has been done. However, and institutions.
a deeper study on the ecology and In order to frame the area of interest
biology will allow establishing more based on the available information, a
adequate protection measures. By using fishnet of 500x500m square cell (0.25
ROV and manned submergible vehicle Km2) has been created. The fishnet has
images, a high abundance of cables and been set over the study area and those
abandonment fishing gears has been grids associated to the inland part have
detected showing the impact of fishing been deleted, thus containing each grid
activities in the area. It is known that associated qualitative marine data.
the past trawling activity destroyed The result obtained is a 4581-cell grid
many areas on the continental shelf and covering a surface area of 1145.25 Km2.
slope; this is supported by the presence This methodology has been recently
of surviving species in similar habitats, used to merge sparse data to map bird
which are known to be in unreachable communities [3] or to mark out the
areas, far from the fishing pressure. The boundaries of MPA in the Mediterranean
impoverished mud communities in the [14]. Cell grids provide harmonization and
continental shelf might be a consequence reduce the complexity of spatial datasets,
of: i. major activity of bottom trawling particularly when combined, due to each
by boats, ii. instability of the substrata cell has a unique cell code identifying
which is mainly composed by carcasses resolution, row and column.
of bivalves and detritus, together with the
slope of the area make colonization and Information processing:
settlement of sessile species even harder Adaptating available existent layer files
[11]. in order to convert those using GIS
extensions and applications to suit to
Data collection the fishnet of study. Geoprocessing tools
(Spatial joining, merging, dissolving
The information regarding artisanal
and clipping) have allowed fusing and
fisheries in Cap de Creus was obtained combining the information ensuring that
throughout questionnaires circulated each cell grid encloses each feature. The
around fishermen in the area of Catalonia selecting tool from the attribute table has
between December 2000 and March permitted to map for each of the selected
2001 by the regional FAO consultant. variables in study.
The surveys consisted in interviewing
either the majors or the secretariat of the Coverage layers referring to bathymetry,
fishing guilds and fishermen representing substrate and bionomy have been
the main métiers in the area in order to provided by CSIC scientists who had
fill in a sheet for each of them. The use previously created these layers for other
of surveys to the fishing communities projects.
has been seen in other studies [13, 9] to
provide a good assessment for fisheries. Layers referring to Coastline, European
rivers, ports and others have been
obtained from available European
Spatial structure
and regional sources (such as DARP –
The GIS software allows the spatial Department of Agriculture & Fisheries).

The coordinate reference system by excluding thus, minor gears. The
employed is the Universal Transverse added values can then be ranged from 0
Mercator (UTM), UTM zone 31, using to 4. The lack of fishing gears detected
the World Geodetic System 84 (WGS84) in an area obtains the value of 0, for
as the geodetic datum for storage and those areas where only one fishing gear
analysis. acts 1 is the given value, when two of the
gears overlap get a value of 2, and when
RESULTS up to three of the fishing gears coincide
the rating is 3. A value of 4 has not been
A complete map has resulted from obtained meaning that in any area the
combining layers with the data confluence of all arts has been recorded.
regarding type of substrate (bottom The resulting map reflects the limitations
quality), bathymetry and fishing zone. in the coexistence of particular fishing
Consequently, each cell grid contains a types, i.e. trammel nets and longlines
value attributed to each characteristic, hardly coincide due to the incompatibility
allowing their combination for a spatial of their fishing methodologies.
scale. The resulting spatial distribution
for each fishing gear type acting on the Key communities
area of Cap de Creus has been obtained Once the spatial distribution of fishing
by using a total number of 73 métiers. types and the value regarding the degree
Accordingly, the composition of artisanal of impact of such activities have been set, it
fisheries’ gear in the Mediterranean is was time to assess the local communities.
commonly dominated by trammel nets The existent major communities to
gillnets and longlines as also seen in other preserve include coral reefs, sponge
studies [2]. The use of one versus the gardens or maërl beds (calcareous algae)
other may vary with the fishing season, as other hard substratum communities.
target species’ behavior and particularly
in this area, due to the environmental DISCUSSION
conditions; hereby, the provided data by
métiers is considered to be more accurate To protect not only species but also
when spatially distributing their action of communities there is a need to know those
activity because it encompasses the local habitats exposed to more exploitation
tradition. Notwithstanding, to generally than others. In this study one can see
assess the potential influence for each how the seabed experiences different
type of gear, the métier concept has been levels of fishing activity; those areas
eventually grouped when visualizing the subjected to a greater effect correspond
results. Because the purpose of study to areas relatively undisturbed by natural
pays particular interest in analyzing the perturbations (i.e. muddy areas) unlike
offshore part of the area of Cape Creus areas suffering of high environmental
and in more detailed the proposed area influence with unconsolidated sediment
to protect from the LIFE+Indemares being predominant. It is important
Project, a focus in the already known knowing the benthic characteristics to
key communities has been made, as the ensure that fishing closures in no-take or
most well conserved, representative and partially protected areas do not cause a
emblematic communities. displacement to other vulnerable areas.
An opportunity for protection of particular
Overlap value areas where ecologically important
An overlap value has been set to define species have been recorded is by taking
the coincidence in space of two or more into consideration spatial distribution
fishing gears and to detect the degree of when managing.
impact over the system (see Figure 1).
Only those gears previously considered as The partition of fishing activities is
acting in a broader scale over the area of an effective approach for habitat
study for protection have been considered conservation. Both, areas used

exclusively by unique fishing gears (i.e. the existence of activity of three gear
parceling) or areas shared seasonally by types. Therefore, there is a relationship
two or more participants (i.e. considering of well-conserved communities and the
target species’ behavior) have seen to incidence degree of fishing activities.
work and to avoid conflict among the Because of the extent of fishing activities
several sectors [10]. Thus, this is an in the local economy and the urgency in
excellent consideration when managing protecting certain marine habitats and
areas where ecologically important species, MPA planning and management
species have been recorded, to ensure should be conducted on a multidisciplinary
their protection and the sustainability of basis [1].
the ecosystem. This seems to work well
for benthic communities; nevertheless, CONCLUSION
to fully protect mobile species and their
habitats it is urgent to identify the so- This study is intended to be an approach
called Essential Fish Habitats, which not for artisanal fisheries; however, for more
only encompass areas for nursery and concise results regarding global fishing
spawning, but areas as relevant to keep activities, such vessel monitored system
up other stages of their life cycles such data (VMS) to assess fishing by semi-
are food or predator avoidance sites [10]. industrial and industrial fleets should
A spatial overlap implies a greater impact be recovered. Notwithstanding, it is
onto the carrying capacity of the system important to note that most of the semi-
and an impoverishment in the seabed. industrial fleet move away from Cape
This reflects the degree of impact that Creus, off to waters from the Gulf of Lions.
destructive gear cause over habitats. In addition, environmental (i.e. currents),
Contrarily, by analyzing those areas socioeconomic (i.e. type of fishing gear)
with less confluence of different fishing and geophysical (i.e. narrowness of the
gears, one can see a higher abundance shelf) components in the area, make of
of key communities for protection. Some artisanal fisheries the prevailing activity.
benthic communities characterized by
providing abundant biogenic structures There is an ongoing need to review
are considered rich epifauna and thus artisanal fisheries in the Mediterranean
as target species for conservation [10]; through recurring debates on the future
these include coral reefs, sponge gardens status of fisheries. Bearing in mind
or maërl beds (calcareous algae) as other that data used for this case study was
hard substratum communities. These collected between December 2000 and
communities are most well-conserved, March 2001 and that fishing activity’s
representative and emblematic. In consequences are observable on a
Cape Creus, cold coral, brachiopoda, large-scale, continuous monitoring must
ceriantharia, pennatulacea, gorgonians, be highlighted in order to promote a
sponges and detritic littoral sandy mud responsible development respecting both
habitats are the key communities known the environment and fisheries.
up to date (see Figure 2).
Conservation needs to be seen from a more
When comparing bionomy and overlap integrated and proactive perspective,
value maps, it is seen how areas with assuming the relation of protected spaces
higher ecological interest coincide with with the surrounding territories and with
less overlapping of fishing gears, with human uses. Looking for coherent ways
values ranging from 0 to 2. The percentage of territorial ordination will keep the
of coverage of either one or none type of functions and natural services. Involving
fishing reach a 60%, the confluence of 2 local communities in taking the most
fishing gear correspond to 29% whereas profit of the economic potential of MPAs
only an 11% of the major area of study needs to be highlighted when planning
from the LIFE+Indemares Project shows with stakeholders [1].

i) LIFE+INDEMARESLIFE07/AT/E/000732 ii) Law 42/2007, December 13th, Natural and Biodiversity Heritage

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Fig. 1 - Overlap value in the study area from Cape Creus

Fig. 2 - Existent key communities in the study area from Cape Creus
(Puffinus mauretanicus) CENSUS DATA FOR THE
A. Bio1, A. Meirinho2, I. Ramírez2 & P. Geraldes2
CIMAR/CIIMAR – Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental, Universidade do
Porto, Rua dos Bragas 289, 4050-125 Porto, Portugal. Email:
SPEA – Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves, Avenida da Liberdade, nº 105, 2º Esq,
1250-140 Lisboa, Portugal.

ABSTRACT and prey, fisheries bycatch and oil

spills within their foraging grounds and
Marine Spatial Planning for seabird migratory routes [3, 4].
protection requires identification of
Important sea Bird Areas and, therefore, Recently, Marine Protected Areas have
insight into bird distributions and status. been extended to protect off-shore marine
Generally based on transect counts from areas, instead of protecting only breeding
ships, distribution maps can be built colonies on land [2]. Marine distributions
considering spatial patterns as well as are, however, technically difficult to
bird-environment relationships. Balearic study and monitor, and highly variable,
Shearwater May and October densities as birds are very mobile, occurring
in the Portuguese Atlantic area were associated to dynamic habitat features
modelled using: geostatistical, multiple like food availability. To understand and
regression and regression kriging model seabird distribution, ecologically
methods. While kriging reproduced the meaningful approaches are needed, such
observed patterns best, regressions with as the characterization of bird-habitat
environmental variables allowed better relationships, relating observed bird
understanding of bird distributions, presences or densities to environmental
which could be related to batimetry, conditions [5, 6]. The idea is to gain insight
distance from coast, chlorophyll a and into the causes of distribution patterns, to
sea surface temperature. Regression be able to understand observed patterns
kriging performed better than regression. and to estimate distributions for the
Regression also enabled bird density extremely vast area that could not be
prediction where and when observations sampled, or for other time periods or
were missing. Applications of our models potential scenarios.
to a vaster area and later time period,
which constitute spatial and temporal Multiple regression models have
extrapolations of the models, failed to been used for this purpose, generally
reproduce important spatial patterns. including oceanographic variables,
such as water depth and distances to
breeding colonies or the shore [6], and
Index Terms — seabirds, GLM, kriging, sea surface temperature and chlorophyll
regression kriging, GIS a concentration, which are considered
useful proxies of water mass distributions,
1. INTRODUCTION frontal systems, and ocean productivity
[7], characterizing the oceanographic
Seabirds are the most threatened of all habitats of seabirds [e.g. 8, 6]. These
birds worldwide [1] and pelagic seabirds, regression models tend, however, to
which visit land only for short periods explain only a small part of the observed
of time, are the least known, yet most variability, suggesting that the model has
representative of ocean ecosystems [2]. an inadequate structure or complexity, or
They are threatened by anthropogenic that it misses (unknown or unavailable)
activities causing loss of feeding grounds factors affecting species distribution. Part
of the non-modelled variability may have in May and October were modelled
spatial structure, or autocorrelation, which with species-environment multiple
can be geostatistically modelled and used regressions, through geostatistical
to improve regression predictions [9]. analysis and through regression kriging,
This method, generally called regression combining regression model estimates
kriging, allows a better spatial estimation with the estimated spatial autocorrelation
or interpolation for a sampled area, component of their residuals. Observed
but does not allow predictions for non- and modelled spatial patterns and bird
sampled periods. densities were compared, considering the
modelled time periods and sample sites.
In the present study spatial and temporal Regression models were further validated
patterns of Balearic Shearwater (Puffinus on an external data set, predicting bird
mauretanicus) distribution off the densities for May and October of one year
Atlantic Portuguese coast were assessed. that had not been used for model building.
Transect-observation data collected

Table 1 - Summaries of environmental data at the sampling sites, used for modelling, and those
for the whole study area, used for spatial and temporal extrapolation. Mean values are given, with
minimum and maximum values in brackets.

2. MATERIALS AND METHODS methodology [13], as recommended by

the European Seabirds at Sea Group [14].
2.1. Censuses Data were collected in transects defined
by a period of time (normally 5 minutes).
According to the International Union All birds in contact with the water inside
for the Conservation of Nature and the pre-defined transect were counted,
Natural Resources (IUCN), the Balearic and birds in flight were counted taking
Shearwater, Puffinus mauretanicus regular snapshots to not over-estimate
(Lowe, 1921), is a Critically Endangered the density.
seabird which is endemic of the Balearic
archipelago where it breeds [10]. In 2.2. Environmental data and GIS
Portugal, this species occurs year-round
with higher abundances during autumn/ To allow bird density estimations for the
winter and when migrating to their whole area of interest, we considered
breeding territory [11, 12]. They flock only variables available for that area:
mainly on the Atlantic coast between batimetry (courtesy of the Portuguese
Figueira da Foz and Aveiro, and the area Hydrographical Institute), distance from
between Cascais and Cabo da Roca, the Portuguese coast, mean monthly
occasionally forming groups of more than chlorophyll a (CHLO) and mean monthly
1000 birds. For modelling, we considered night-time sea surface temperature (SST)
May and October records, pooling data (Table 1). Sample CHLO and SST values
from 2005 to 2007. Predictions for the were extracted from the mapped MODIS
whole study area were done on 2008 Aqua satellite level 3 products (http://
data. Data were obtained from the, with cell-size
Marine IBA LIFE Project [2], with surveys of ~4x4  km, considering the respective
based on a modified version of Tasker’s month (May or October) and years (2005

to 2007). Bird density estimation for the were only removed after their respective
whole study area, covering 135 456 km2, quadratic terms, to keep the main effects
was carried out on May and October data in the models. Analogously, interactions
from 2008. Environmental data were implied inclusion of the respective
standardised and projected, and data and variables (at least as first-order term).
model results were compiled and mapped
in ArcGIS 9.3, using Spatial Analyst and For the RK models, we standardized the
Hawth’s tools, a.o. GLM regression residuals and assessed
their spatial autocorrelation through
2.3. Data analysis isotropic and anisotropic semivariograms.
Spatially autocorrelated residuals were
Spatial distribution of bird species was modelled and kriged and the kriging
analysed modelling: (1) spatial gradients estimates were added to the regression
in the observed data through geostatistical predictions to obtain the final model
kriging analysis (KRI) [15]; (2) bird prediction. A detailed description of the
densities in relation to environmental procedure has been published [9, 21].
variables through multiple Generalized
Linear Models (GLM) [16]; and (3) bird Results were mapped in birds/km2 units.
densities in relation to environmental All statistical analyses were done in R
variables and in terms of residual spatial [22].
autocorrelation, using Regression Kriging
(RK) [17, 18, 19]. 3. RESULTS

For the geostatistical analysis, Only the May 2005/2007 data showed
isotropic and anisotropic (4 directions) some spatial autocorrelation, allowing
semivariograms were computed to assess Block Kriging predictions for the sampling
the spatial autocorrelation structure. sites. The sample semivariogram was
Empirical semivariograms were modelled modelled with an isotropic spherical
and these models used to estimate bird variogram, with nugget  =  28.68, partial
densities for the sampling sites using spherical sill = 16.97 and range = 2517 m
Ordinary Block Kriging, with 4x4  km (Fig. 1).
blocks [20].
The GLM for the May 2005/2007 data
In the GLM regression, bird densities included batimetry, distance to the coast,
were related to environmental variables. SST and SST2, CHLO and the interaction
Predictor variables were checked for terms between the distance to the coast
normality; CHLO was log-transformed and SST and between CHLO and SST. The
to approximate normality. The response model explained 39% of the deviance.
variable, bird density/km2, was modelled Model residuals showed little spatial
considering a quasi‑Poisson distribution, correlation. They were modelled with
which computed the appropriate an isotropic spherical variogram, with
dispersion parameter for our bird count nugget  =  0.82, partial sill  =  0.44 and
data that showed many zeros and strong range  =  6203m (Fig. 1), and used for
over-dispersion. We started with a model regression kriging.
containing each of the predictor variables
as a linear or first‑order term (x) and
as a quadratic or second-order term
(x2), as well as all pair-wise first-order
interactions. Model terms were sorted
according to their statistical significance
in the model and the least significant
term was eliminated. This process was Fig.  1 - Sample semivariograms and fitted
repeated until all remaining model terms models for the May 2005/2007 Balearic
Shearwater density records (Observations) and
were significant (a=  0.05). Linear terms
the GLM regression residuals (GLM res).

Fig. 2 - Maps of Balearic Shearwater densities observed in
May 2005/2007, and respective regression (GLM), kriging
(KRI) and regression kriging (RK) predictions (we used few
and equal density classes for better visualisation). Boxplots of
observed (Obs.) and predicted Balearic shearwater densities,
as well as model standard errors (SE) and variances (VAR);
boxes show upper and lower quartiles, central lines mark
median values, and 1.5 IQR Tukey whiskers as well the
outlier points are given.

Fig. 3 - Maps of Balearic Shearwater densities observed in October 2005−2007, and respective
regression (GLM) predictions (we used few and equal density classes for better visualisation).
Boxplots of observed (Obs.) and predicted densities, as well as model standard errors (SE); boxes
show upper and lower quartiles, central lines mark median values, and 1.5 IQR Tukey whiskers as
well the outlier points are given.

October 2005/2007 data and GLM south. Considering October 2008, the
residuals did not allow variogram October 2005/2007 model predicted too
modelling. The October GLM included low densities for the Northern west coast.
batimetry, distance to the coast, SST, In terms of density values, GLM prediction
CHLO and the interaction terms between ranges were again smaller than those
batimetry and CHLO and between the of the observed densities; predictions
distance to the coast and SST, explaining tended to overestimate densities at most
25.9% of the deviance. sample points; and, October predictions
diverged more from observations, though
Model predictions for the sampling with a comparatively small prediction
points did not consistently reproduce the error (Fig. 4).
observed species distribution patterns. For
the May data (Fig. 2), regression failed to 4. DISCUSSION
predict bird accumulation near the central
east coast, which was partially predicted Results showed that regression and
by the kriging model. Regression kriging regression kriging, based on the Balearic
reproduced the observed distribution Shearwater ship-borne transect counts
better. For October only regression and on general environmental data,
models were feasible. The GLM failed to were able to reproduce part of the
predict most densely occupied sites in the spatial patterns observed. In spite of
north (Fig. 3). While mean densities for being indirect variables, distance from
the 2005/2007 data were approximately shore, depth, chlorophyll a and sea
the same for observations and all model surface temperature explained 26%
predictions (~0.9 for May and ~0.8 for to 39% of the observed variability in
October), the ranges of model predictions bird densities; good percentages for
were always smaller than those of the this type of data [2]. However, near
observed densities and medians were Portugal, species distribution is mainly
higher, showing the smoothing effect of determined by migration paths and
the modelling procedures. For the May feeding behaviour (the species feeds
2005/2007 data (Fig. 2), the GLM produced mostly on shoaling Clupeiforms) and
the smoothest results with the highest models could be improved with data on
errors, whereas RK results were closer fish densities, instead of the chlorophyll a
to the observed densities, both in terms concentrations which serve as proxies for
of range and distribution. KRI estimates primary production and, therefore, prey
showed higher (median) values and lower availability.
errors (variance), but cannot be directly
compared to the regression procedures
as kriging tends to reproduce values at
the sampling points (point- instead of
block-kriging would exactly reproduce
the observations, without any variance).
For the October 2005/2007 data (Fig. 3),
predictions did clearly overestimate bird
densities at most sampling sites, though
the model error was relatively small.

Considering the application of the

2005/2007 models to the 2008 data,
GLM predictions showed different spatial
distributions than those observed (Fig. 4).
Using the May 2008 environmental data,
the May 2005/2007 model missed bird
concentrations in the lower north coast
and predicted excessive densities in the

Fig. 4 - Balearic shearwater densities
observed in May and October 2008, and
regression (GLM) predictions for the
sampling points and for the whole study
area, using the models computed on
2005/2007 data (we used few and equal
density classes better visualisation).
Boxplots of the observed (Obs.) and
predicted Balearic shearwater densities,
as well as model standard errors (SE);
boxes show upper and lower quartiles,
central lines mark median values, and
1.5 IQR Tukey whiskers as well the
outlier points are given.

While kriging methods reproduce When these are scarce (as is the case with
sample values at sampling sites and bird censuses) or spatial autocorrelation
are considered optimal interpolators structure is poor, alternative or additional
for a single spatial variable, they only (environmental) information is needed
supply information in the range of spatial to predict bird distribution in larger non-
autocorrelation around sampling points. sampled areas [9]. GLM allow predictions

for non-sampled areas or periods, Portuguesa Para o Estudo das Aves,
but results should be considered with Lisbon, Portugal, 2008.
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the North Sea: combining geostatistics
We would like to thank the Marine IBA
and generalised linear models”. In:
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observers; this project was financed by
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Language and Environment for Statistical

A. Z. Botelho, H. Calado & A. C. Costa
CCPA – Environmental Protection and Conservation Center / CIBIO – Research Center in
Biodiversity and Genetics Resources - Biology Department of the University of the Azores.
CIBIO – Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetics Resources - Biology Department of the
University of the Azores.

ABSTRACT in marine ecosystems, we need a

solid scientific baseline from which to
Conservation measures are needed to be work, clear planning and development
taken to restrict and prevent impacts of guidelines, and a transparent decision-
human and natural pressures on coastal making system based on best available
and marine ecosystems. Ecosystem- data. Resource management decisions
based management (EBM) considers the cannot be made without considering their
whole ecosystem as a functional entity. social and economic ramifications. With
increasing pressure on coastal and marine
A biodiversity-based spatial distribution systems, there is an urgent need to
pattern enables the identification of the develop a marine spatial planning (MSP)
most sensitive and potentially threatened framework based on social, economic
areas. Integration of the biological and and environmental values to support
socio-economic information in a GIS sustainable decisions. Furthermore,
assists development of restricted use efforts must be made to improve policies
zones and enables a strong baseline for and instruments for marine and coastal
management decisions. A guideline is planning and management.
established for the definition of coastal
and marine priority areas for conservation Spatial planning is widely applied
based on biodiversity evaluation criteria to terrestrial systems although its
in São Miguel island, Azores. translation to the marine realm has only
recently begun. Differences between
This study proposes an integrated terrestrial and marine environments have
management strategy, with application significant impact for spatial planning
of modeling analysis together with implementation success: (a) Multi-
decision support towards an ecosystem dimensionality – essential processes and
conservation approach. spatial patterns occur not only on the
surface, but also on the seafloor and in
1. INTRODUCTION the water column (three dimensions)
and can change rapidly; (b) Mobility –
In the Azores archipelago there are several most of maritime activities doesn’t have
initiatives focusing on biodiversity and permanent structures, they use only a
its conservation. In addition to knowing common space; (c) Complex governance
the geographic patterns of biodiversity, – maritime activities are regulated by
we need planning and development sectoral laws, plans and licences instead
guidelines for the region in order to of the integrated planning approach
ensure that future human activities do not traditionally used to guide land use [5].
jeopardize biologically sensitive areas.
An ecosystem-base management
Biodiversity conservation and its (EBM) is a solution to improve existing
management are main goals when management frameworks; but the
natural amenities are strongly valued. actual process of “doing” ecosystem
For effective biological conservation management is still under development.
EBM is an integrated approach that measures to achieve three objectives: 1)
considers the entire ecosystem, including the conservation of biological diversity, 2)
humans and their activities, as well as the the sustainable use of its components, and
cumulative impacts of different activities 3) sharing the benefits derived from the
[9]. use of genetic resources. By committing
to a Global Program of Work on Protected
Protection of the marine environment Areas, over 180 countries adopted the
is necessary to achieve biodiversity goal of establishing comprehensive,
conservation and maintain a healthy ecologically representative and effectively
ecosystem that can support sustainable managed national and regional systems
economical and social activities, yet of protected terrestrial areas by 2010 and
maintain delivery of essential ecosystem of protected marine areas by 2012. The
services. Biodiversity valuation is one marine network consists of marine and
component of EBM that will allow defining coastal protected areas, where threats are
marine protected areas in order to managed for the purpose of biodiversity
preserve marine habitats. conservation and/or sustainable use.

MSP integrates ecological and social General awareness for the need of coastal
dimensions of ecosystems and fosters and marine conservation arose as a
implementation of successful management result of European policies and demands
strategies for coastal and marine regarding protection and management of
areas based on scientific knowledge. natural sensitive areas, namely the Bird
The ultimate goal of our project is the Directive (79/409/EEC of 2 April) and
development of a marine spatial planning Habitat Directive (92/43/EEC of 21 May).
effort in a GIS format that is based on a When applying terrestrial-based
hierarchy of uses and restrictions derived assessments to marine areas, problems
from a vision of sustainable use of natural arise as demonstrated by the difficulties
resources in the Azores. Specifically, we to implement the Habitats Directive
are developing a marine management (92/43/EEC) in the marine environment.
plan with a zoning scheme based on “How to do it?” and “Where and in what
potential and sustainable use of marine level should marine protected areas
resources. In this paper we present the be assigned?” are some of the most
strategy adopted and the ongoing work in frequent questions. Criteria developed for
order to achieve this objective. identifying terrestrial species and habitats
for conservation cannot be easily applied
2. INTERNATIONAL LEGAL to the marine environment [2]. The
FRAMEWORK - MARINE tridimensionality of marine environments
ENVIRONMENT increases the difficulty of its management.
The selection of protected areas was often
The international conservation policies, based on a very ad-hoc, opportunistic,
together with the extensive use of coastal or even arbitrary matter. The chance
land for industry, housing and tourism of selecting the areas with the highest
catalyzed the need to develop coastal and intrinsic biological and ecological value
marine planning and management. through these methods is small [11],
Recognition of the challenge of maintaining
biodiversity amidst growing human In 2005, the European Commission
pressures culminated at the World Summit (COM(2005)505 final) developed a Marine
(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992) where Strategy Directive that recognizes the
the Convention on Biological Diversity need for a strategy for the protection
(CBD) was first opened for adoption by and conservation of the European marine
national governments. By ratifying that environment with the overall aim to
convention, all members committed to promote sustainable use of the seas
implement national and international and conservation of marine ecosystems

[4]. The Marine Strategy introduced the isolated. This reinforces the need to
principle of ecosystem-based marine guarantee sustainable use and protection
spatial planning and provided a supportive of natural resources.
framework for national initiatives toward
spatial planning designed for achieving a Until now, the marine environment was
good status of the marine environment by never seen as a transdisciplinary system
2021. that required integration of diverse
components in a planning framework.
The “Green Paper on Future Maritime The present project aims to overcome
Policy for European Oceans and Seas” this issue and apply MSP to marine and
(2006) aims to provide the basis for a coastal areas in Azores. Therefore, we
future maritime policy for Europe. Green have initiated a MSP process with the
Paper is a maritime policy document that long-term goal of achieving coastal zone
allows the development of a well-balanced and marine management throughout the
and coherent suite of sea-based policies archipelago.
and activities that reassure mutual
reinforcement of economic growth and In the Azores, coastal and marine
social welfare on the one hand and good conservation public awareness has been
status of the marine environment and its heightened with the implementation
resources on the other hand [3]. In this of the Bird and Habitats Directives,
document MSP is seen as a key means leading to the classification of several
to manage maritime space and their protected areas that include coastal and
uses, while safeguarding biodiversity. The marine areas. It has classified 13 Special
Maritime Policy concludes that a spatial Protected Areas (SPAs) and 17 Special
planning system should be conducted Areas of Conservation (SACs) in coastal
through an ecosystem-based approach and marine environments under the
and established for offshore activities in Natura 2000 network.
all waters under jurisdiction of its Member
States. Only few classification demands take
in account coastal or marine criteria
With the adoption of the Blue Paper and consequently, they do not sustain
(2007) by the European Commission a an adequately application into marine
proposal of an Integrated Maritime Policy ecosystems. However, in 2007 the
(IMP) for the EU and a detailed Action European Commission published the
Plan was established; MSP was deemed “Guidelines for the establishment of
to be the fundamental instrument to the Natura 2000 network in the marine
achieve marine and coastal conservation. environment - Application of the Habitats
In 2008, a communication from the and Birds Directives” (EC, 2007), a
commission called “Roadmap for Maritime document that reveal some details on
Spatial Planning: Achieving Common the establishment of marine network of
Principles in the EU” was formulated with conservation areas under Natura 2000.
the aim to facilitate the development of The initial list of SAC within the Directive
MSP and encourage its implementation 92/43/EEC, was reviewed and an updated
at national and EU levels. Key principles list was published by the Commission
for MSP were established to encourage decision (2009/1001/EU – 22 December
the development of a common approach 2009), including some marine areas in the
among Member states (COM(2008) 791 vicinity of the Azores (e.g. PTMAZ0002 -
final) [6]. Lucky Strike; PTMAZ0001 - Menez Gwen)
for which it will be necessary to establish
3. AZORES – COASTAL AND MARINE conservation priorities and conservation

The Azores archipelago, as oceanic The regional legal framework on protected

islands, is vulnerable, fragmented and areas presents has diverse and confusing

aims for protection and management.. In Zoning terrestrial areas in Azores is
order to simplify the legal status and level already a common practice in the
of protection, the Regional Legislative planning and management process, but
Decree n.º 15/2007/A of 25 June zoning protected areas is still a relatively
promotes the integration of the protected new enterprise, especially when applied
areas in Azores into one Natural Park to marine protected areas (MPAs).
for each island (NPI). The NPI integrate
the areas previously protected into the The present challenge is to bring concepts
following classifications: Natural Reserve, into practice and to test plans and
Natural Monument, Protect area to the management measures in order to make
management of habitats or species, the necessary adjustments to achieve
Protected Landscape Area, and Protected the envisaged conservation goals under a
Area for Management of resources, for sustainable use policy.
which levels of protection are established.
In 1995, the concern of the scientific 4. BIODIVERSITY VALUATION
community resulted in a proposal to
conserve marine areas in Azores by Santos Biodiversity valuation is one of the
et al. (1995) [13]. At present, there is an most important factors that permits
increasing awareness of the need for a distinguishing different marine areas;
more objective valuation procedure due thus, it is necessary to compile all the
to the perceived limitations of the existing information available for a study area in
methods for assessing the value of marine order to make an accurate assessment
ecosystems in certain regions. To improve of the richness and unique properties of
the rate of actions implementation, local biodiversity.
scientific criteria to identify ecologically
and biologically significant areas and Information can be retrieved from a
guidance for designing MPA networks are database that derived from Atlântico
needed. (2003-2005) and Bionatura (2007-2008)
INTERREG III B Azores, Madeira and
The Conference of Parties for the CBD, in Canarias projects that accomplished a
their 9th meeting (COP9 - 2008) adopted detailed distribution of species in these
the scientific criteria for identifying archipelagos. These syntheses were
ecologically or biologically significant based on published studies. The software
marine areas in need of protection Atlantis Tierra 2.0 is being used to compile
in open-ocean waters and deep-sea all this information on certain taxonomic
habitats. Guidance for selecting areas groups, including marine invertebrates
to establish a representative network of present in coastal and marine areas in the
MPAs, including in open ocean waters and Azores.
deep-sea habitats was also presented.
A scientific experts’ workshop was The biodiversity database gives
performed in Azores allowing the selection information on which areas species were
of the following scientific criteria: 1. observed and recorded. It allows the
Uniqueness; 2. Special importance for life use of conservation and environmental
history stages of species; 3. Importance management metrics such as species
for threatened, endangered or declining richness, rarity and complementarities
species and/or habitats; 4. Vulnerability, at a spatial resolution of 500m unit cells
fragility, sensitivity, or slow recovery; along the coast.
5. Biological productivity; 6. Biological
diversity; 7. Naturalness. The MPA network The aim of the project was to improve
criteria established in Azores workshop knowledge about the Macaronesian
are: 1. Ecologically and biologically biodiversity and its spatial distribution
significant areas; 2. Representativity; patterns in order to contribute to a
3. Connectivity; 4. Replicated ecological sustainable management and conservation
features; 5. Adequate & viable sites. of natural values. Spatial distribution data

allow field ecologists to efficiently develop 5. MARINE SPATIAL PLANNING –
sampling procedures for further inventory AZORES
and monitoring activities. These data also
permit identification of priority topics for Managing the spatial dimension of the
future research investment. marine environment is very important as
decision-makers in both land and marine
Other databases of biological data areas of the coastal zone need to access
(e.g., those derived from collections marine datasets in order to effectively
obtained for the LusoMarBol and Inspect achieve their economic, social and
projects) are also important as they environmental objectives [10]. MSP is a
allow data integration for biodiversity strategic tool for regulating, managing
mapping, permit optimization of field and protecting the marine environment
sampling protocols, and facilitate better when there are multiple, cumulative, and
data management for information on potentially conflicting uses of the sea
biodiversity preservation (e.g., molecular [15].
data, ecological data).
Some observers advocate that MSP could
4.1. On going research work improve the ability to assess and make
decisions about cumulative impacts in
Based on data in the ATLANTIS database, the marine environment [7]. MSP strives
patterns of biodiversity (expressed as to integrate and implement successful
species richness) were determined for management strategies for coastal and
the biggest island of the archipelago, marine areas.
São Miguel. The information available
in the database with most relevance In the Azores the first activities to establish
for this project is the data on marine an MSP were a classification of protected
invertebrates. areas under international conservation
directives. An MSP protocol was recently
Invertebrates are one of the most adopted in Coastal Zone Management
representative groups of the Azores Plans in the Azores to integrate coastal
marine fauna with economic value such zoning with marine planning using
as food resources and a tourist attraction environmental criteria [14]. The MSP will
(e.g., scuba diving). In fact, some establish which uses and activities are
species of high economic importance permitted or restricted based on specific
(e.g., mediterranean slipper lobster - conservation targets and goals.
Scyllarides latus, limpet – Patella sp.)
are becoming overexploited and suffer Geographic information systems (GIS)
declining abundances. allow viewing and analysis of overlapping
information layers to understand and
Considering that most biodiversity achieve conservation goals (e.g.,
information derives from scattered grey biodiversity and protected areas). Here
literature and that there is a general we present the strategy and the on-going
lack of quantitative data, additional work in order to achieve this objective.
field work is almost always needed.
Field work provides database updates 6. MARINE PRIORITARY AREAS
and improves the resolution of spatial
distribution patterns of species. Direct Several research studies base their
observation (e.g., scuba diving) enables assessment on species richness, although
scientists to confirm the presence and for marine valuation, these data are not
absence of vulnerable, rare or threatened sufficient. Biodiversity metrics typically
species; evaluate the status of species focus exclusively on species numbers.
with economical value; and to gather Other levels of ecological organization
information about regionally important (genetic diversity, ecosystem services) are
habitats. not well-represented by simple diversity

metrics. Because of that, biodiversity by The classification and biotope/habitat
itself is not a complete measure of marine mapping had been developed and
valuation. Criteria for identification of the reported as an important tool for marine
most valuable marine areas should be planning [2].
based on integrated data that go beyond
species counts. Human uses and activities with direct
and indirect impacts on study areas
Biological valuation maps can also be will be assessed and these include:
used as baseline maps for future spatial fisheries, natural resource extraction,
planning in the marine environment. aquaculture, tourism, recreation,
Areas with high biological value tend to shipping, transportation, high human
also provide high socio-economic and population density on shore, and certain
ecosystem service benefits. They also infrastructures (e.g., waste water
indicate areas of high environmental treatment sites, ports, industrial sites).
quality that have not been degraded by Interviews with local fishing communities
pollution, sedimentations, or habitat will assist in developing use and intensity
disturbance. maps that would contribute to delineating
marine protected areas.
Habitat and species mapping from
coastal to marine areas in São Miguel (0 Species richness and species distributions
to -30 meters depth) will be included in will be included in the GIS database
the GIS database. Sampling will occur along with locations of particular
between July 2010 and September 2011 geological features, habitats and
on the seabed and in the water column. biotopes. Integration using GIS can
Visual census by scubadivers along reveal potentially sensitive areas that
1,5m transects will be done to evaluate are under studied deficit or areas where
presence and abundance of macrofauna. higher biodiversity is observed. Moreover,
Surveys for macroinvertebrates will be potential impacts to marine resources
done in 5m transect and fish surveys in will also be identified in each spatial unit.
20m long transects. Algal cover will be Integration of indicators of ecosystem
assessed in 50x50cm quadrats at three condition, biodiversity, and threats to
different depths: <5m, 5-25m, >25m marine habitats will be integrated and the
[8]. This procedure will be performed GIS and contribute to identifying MPA’s.
whenever when seafloor slope is not too

For comparative purposes, data will Threats to the coastal zone integrity
be taken in a variety of sites among are expected to increase from future
classified and protected areas (Natura development and increasing human
2000 Network and Regional Network of population densities. Our study will result
Azores Protected Areas – e.g., Caloura), in guidelines that ensure protection and
other marine areas in the vicinity of MPAs, restoration of natural resources and
and unprotected areas. ecosystem services in coastal and marine
systems in the Azores. Zoning of marine
Vulnerable and rare habitats will be areas will be proposed based on potential
surveyed for the study area. We will and sustainable use of marine resources.
also identify threatened, rare and We will present various use scenarios
endemic species. Dominant species for for the study area based on different
each site will also be measured. Marine economic development and conservation
communities are comprised of biotic perspectives. Compatible human uses
and abiotic components such as benthic will be provided for each management
substrate, topography, temperature, unit, including the delineation of “no-take
salinity and hydrologic conditions. These areas” where this is the most prudent
parameters will be recorded for each site. recommendation in order to preserve

ecosystem services and economic cumulative effects. English Nature
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Although the state of knowledge about [8] Martins, G. M., F. F. M. Wallenstein,
coastal and marine environments has N. Álvaro, A. I. Neto and A. C. Costa,
grown significantly over the past decade, “Sampling strategies for biotope
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information. In particular, monitoring data selected groups of macroinvertebrates in
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coastal ecosystems is woefully lacking. Helgol Mar Res, 59: 219-223, 2005.
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their desired effects and if the overall Scientific Consensus Statement on
management scheme is performing Marine Ecosystem-Based Management,
adequately. signed by 221 academic scientists and
policy experts with relevant expertise
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[7] Gilliland, P.M., S. Rogers, J. P. Conservation Committee, 2004.
Hamer and Z. Crutchfield, The practical
implementation of marine spatial
planning – understanding and addressing

L. Fillinger1, G. Försterra2, V. Häussermann2 & C. Richter1
Alfred Wegener Institute for Marine and Polar Research, Bremerhaven, Germany. E-mail: Laura.
Huinay Scientific Field Station, Puerto Montt, Chile.

ABSTRACT Several species of cold water corals

belonging to the Scleractinia [11], [16],
Chilean Patagonia´s coastal ecosystems [17] and to the Stylasteridea [20] have
support unique populations like shallow, been found along the southern Chilean
cold water corals. At the same time Chile coasts. In contrast to other populations
is the second largest producer of farmed observed elsewhere [27] dense
salmon in the world and its aquaculture populations of cold water corals live in
is intensifying. Three geographic areas surprisingly shallow waters in Chile. These
can be distinguished based on the level of conditions make them more accessible for
exploitation: the northern fjords heavily research and in situ observation, but at
used for aquaculture, the southern coast the same time more accessible also to
currently under development, and central potential sources of pollution.
Patagonia not exploited yet. Three species
of scleractinians and one stylasterid coral Benthic ecosystems in Chilean fjords
have been discovered in shallow depths. are poorly known and it is uncertain if
human activities are jeopardizing those
Scleractinians are more abundant in communities [17]. Nevertheless, fish
Northern Patagonia while Stylasteridea farming is rapidly expanding in the region
occur mainly in the south. Sedimentation and may pose a serious threat to the unique
and eutrophication caused by aquaculture biota living in the area [21]. For example,
have potential impacts on corals, but with few government restrictions at the
investigations are needed to confirm this. present time [2], Chilean aquaculture
Corals and salmon farms distributions is spreading to the southern part of the
overlap in the north and will overlap in country into relatively pristine marine
the south as aquaculture expands. The environments [8].
potential threats need to be addressed
through regulations, development of The primary focus of this paper is to
Marine Protected Areas and enhancing describe where and how salmon farms
research capacity before irreversible might impact cold water corals in Chilean
damages manifest. Patagonia. We also identify planning and
research actions that should be adopted
Index Terms— Scleractinia, Stylasteridae, cold to ensure that the expansion of fish
water corals, aquaculture impact, Chilean fjord aquaculture does not occur at the expense
of Chile’s fragile coastal ecosystems.
In the last decade, commercial fish farms CHILE
have expanded in the southern Chilean
fjord region. Fish aquaculture is a rapidly Aquaculture is a well-developed industry
growing industry in the country and Chile in Chile and is the fourth largest economic
is currently the second largest producer of activity in the country [8]. Species
cultured salmon after Norway, accounting cultivated include algae and mollusks, but
in 2008 for 31% of the world production fish have become the dominant product
[15]. over the past 15 years (Figure 1). In 2008,
630 000 tons of fish have been produced

by Chilean farmers, 75% of which were Salmon aquaculture in Chile is already
salmon species [30]. intensive [15] and will develop even more
in the near future. The location of existing
1000 and future salmon farms in Chile are
Production (tons*10 )

shown in Figure 2. Three areas emerge:

800 Mollusks
-North (Puerto Montt, Chiloe Island):
a zone of well-developed aquaculture
200 exists now with plans of further
0 intensification,
1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008

-South (Punta Arenas): a zone of
Fig. 1 - Aquaculture in Chile: annual production
developing aquaculture,
(tons) of algae, mollusks and fish between
1994 and 2008 (Source: Sernapesca [30])
-Center (south of the Golfo de Penas):
little or no aquaculture occurs at

Remote setting, poor weather conditions,

and difficult access [20] all have slowed
the expansion of fish farming in the
central Patagonian region and the lack of
infrastructure still makes it too expensive
to start commercial aquaculture
operations in the southern part [2].



Chilean fjords are poorly known marine

ecosystems [17] but a recent interest in
them has been triggered by the recent
discovery of large populations of cold
water corals in shallow waters where they
were not expected to occur [21]. The
distribution of these organisms is shown
in Figure 2.

3.1. Scleractinian
Twenty-three species of azooxanthellate
scleractinian corals have been found in
Chile, three of them occurring in depths
shallow enough to be reached by SCUBA
diving in the fjord region and two of them
having been described for the first time in
the past decade: Caryophyllia huinayensis
and Tethocyathus endesa [11]. C.
Fig. 2 - Existing (black dots) and future (grey huinayensis and T. endesa appear to be
dots) salmon farms in Chilean Patagonia along common in the northern Patagonian fjords
with the known distribution of scleractinian and Desmophyllum dianthus sometimes
(triangles) and stylasterid (asterisks) corals. forms large aggregations. The latter
(Sources: salmon farms: Subpesca [34], cold
species forming the basic framework
water corals: UNEP-WCMC [34] completed with
reviewed literature [10], [11], [16], [20], [21]) structure for benthic communities [21].

The shallowest coral found to date was an This is described in the following section.
individual of D. dianthus discovered in 8
m depth. Typically, larger banks of these 4. IMPACT OF AQUACULTURE ON
corals are found below 20 m on steep COLD WATER CORALS IN CHILEAN
slopes or overhanging ledges [16]. PATAGONIA

Concerning their distribution, there 4.1. Aquaculture inputs and outputs

seems to be a north-south gradient in Salmon aquaculture is conducted in
the distribution of scleractinian corals floating cages (net pens) and as such
along the Patagonian coast with all three directly in contact with the surrounding
species described above being more water [5], [9]. This kind of culture
abundant in the north [21]. Scleractinian facilitates the introduction of various
corals might be absent from the Golfo components in the natural environment.
de Penas and some continental fjords Several chemicals are used in fish
south of it because of their sensitivity to farming: antibiotics and antiparasitics are
sedimentation. The Gulf region and most added to the food or into the water to keep
southern fjords are under strong influence the salmons fit and antifouling treatments
from glacier run-off which carries a high prevent the net pens from being clogged
sediment load [21]. with algae and mollusks [5], [7].

3.2. Stylasteridea Salmon farming also affects the

Thirteen stylasterid species have surrounding water and associated
been recorded in Chile but only two of ecosystems through the input of fish
them occur along the coast and Errina feed and the output of processed
antarctica is the only one to have been products (feces, excreted metabolic
observed at SCUBA depth so far [20]. wastes) [8], [5]. With 5% to 20% of
E. antarctica is quite common south of the feed being uneaten and lost under
the Golfo de Penas. In some areas it can the cages (reviewed in [5]) fish farms
form reef-like structures in channels with are known to release large amounts of
a moderate to strong current, typically particulate organic and inorganic matter
at depths below 10 m [20], [21]. The in the surrounding waters [3]. Next to
distribution of stylasterids also seems to the increased sedimentation rates, high
follow a latitudinal gradient but reverse to loads of organic matter and nutrients
the one observed for scleractinian corals can cause oxygen depletion and low pH
as E. antarctica only scarcely occurs north in and above the bottom [5], [28]. Low
of the Golfo de Penas [21]. dissolved oxygen in bottom waters is
heavily influenced by stratification of the
3.3. Threats to corals in Chile water column. Where mixing of oxygen-
Longline fishing [6] and bottom trawling rich surface water and oxygen-poor
have a negative impact on deep bottom water is low, like in some fjords,
corals offshore [21], while in shallow hypoxia can develop and the pH is likely
environments the harvesting of the to decrease [24].
stylasterid coral E. antarctica by divers
has negative impacts on their populations. Concerning the nutrient load, Soto and
Furthermore, in shallow areas where Norambuena [33] were unable to detect
intensive harvesting of corals occurs, any significant nutrient increases in the
the surrounding habitats are damaged water column near fish farms in Chile.
by boat anchors used by the commercial They concluded that strong mixing in
divers. E. antarctica is sold locally as the water column distributed and diluted
souvenirs [20], [21]. nutrients in the fjord. However, samples
taken in Norway [3] and in Sweden [1]
Aquaculture is also believed to be a showed eutrophication as a result of
significant source of disturbance to cold aquaculture operations. Even though
water coral communities in Chilean fjords. the overall nutrient loads were small in

comparison to other sources, the local information available on warm water
effects were significant. corals, especially Scleractinian have been
taken into account to assess likely effects
4.2. Potential impacts of aquaculture of pollution resulting from fish farming on
on corals cold water corals. A listing of the potential
Due to the difficultly in studying cold impacts of salmon aquaculture on corals
water corals, their biology remains is presented in Table 1.
largely unknown [27]. For this reason,

Table 1 - List of potential impacts of aquaculture on cold water corals. Data in grey are known for
warm water corals only.

Chemicals released in the environment supporting the shallowest occurrence of
might interact with the corals directly cold-water corals. Although management
or with associated species. As such, of such a system mandates a
antibiotics may trigger pathogens precautionary principle, severe alterations
resistance to coral defenses [35] and of the environment have taken place in
this way disturb the natural bacterial the course of the rapid spread of intense
fauna associated to cold water corals aquaculture. [5], [8], [9], [21].
[22]. Antifoulants are likely to have lethal
effects on several coral development Fish farms already occur above and in
stages [25], [31]. vicinity of massive coral aggregations
[21] (Figure 2). This is particularly the
Little is known about cold water corals case around the already well-developed
sensitivity to sedimentation [27] however fish farming region in northern Patagonia
the exclusive occurrence of Chilean where even more aquaculture concessions
scleratinian corals in low sediment fjords are intended to be created. In the
and on vertical and overhanging substrate southern region, developing aquaculture
in Chilean Patagonia lead some authors doesn’t seem to threaten any corals yet
to conclude that they grow better in but the apparent absence of cold water
environments where sediment deposition corals may be due to the lack of biological
rates are low [16], [21]. surveys in the area. Scleractinian and
stylasteridean corals are quite abundant
In analogy to warm water corals [14], south of the Golfo de Penas, which so
high sediment deposition might have far hasn’t been intensively exploited for
lethal effects on Lophelia pertusa [18], a aquaculture.
deep water scleractinian. If this is found
to be true, cold water corals might be 5. CONCLUSIONS
vulnerable to large amounts of sediment
originating from fish aquaculture pens. The salmon farming industry is rapidly
Even if they might be able to cope briefly growing in importance in the Chilean
with the resulting hypoxia [13], associated economy [4]. The Chilean government
low pH might hinder their calcification. has not exercised much regulatory
We don’t know yet if high nutrient oversight over the industry and this might
concentrations have an impact on cold result in negative ecological impacts to
water corals. There is evidence, however, some aspects of the coastal and marine
that competition between algae and systems [9]. We recommend that an
warm water corals as well as bioerosion investment be made to enhance research
are increased in nutrient-enriched on the impact of aquaculture on Chilean
waters [23]. Furthermore, their growth ecosystems with special focus on cold
and calcification rates decrease and water coral communities. In addition, the
their reproduction success is reduced in research community needs to analyze
nutrient-enriched systems [14], [19]. aquaculture practices that might enhance
How long lasting are the damages of fish the sustainability of the industry; for
farming to cold water coral populations is example, adopting an Integrated Multi
unknown. Recovery of corals is possible Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) approach [9]
after the closing of a fish farm but recovery or retaining salmon farm waste and use
rates are highly variable between sites it as fertilizers in terrestrial agriculture
and the underlying mechanisms are not systems [29].
understood [5]. There are signs that the Chilean
government is beginning to recognize
4.3. Spatial overlap between coral the importance of protecting its coastal
distributions and salmon farms waters. The first marine protected area
(MPA) in Chile was created in 2003: the
The Patagonian fjords support a rich Franscico Coloane National Park near
biodiversity. They are globally unique in Carlos III Island on the southern tip

of Patagonia. A second MPA is being Häussermann, “Fishing in troubled waters
considered for an area near Chiloe – evidence for higher diversity and high
Island in Northern Patagonia [12]. This abundance of cold water corals along the
project is motivated, in large part, by Chilean coast”, pp. 234 in Brock R. and R.
whale conservationists and protection Y. George, eds. Deep-sea corals science
planned at the level of a multiple use and management. 3rd Int.Symp. Deep-
MPA. If applied seriously, it might yield Sea Corals, Miami, FL, 2005.
positive effects for protecting cold water [7] Burridge L., J. Weis, F. Cabello and
coral ecosystems. We recommend that J. Pizarro, “Chemical use in salmon
areas where cold water corals are known aquaculture: a review of current practices
to occur be considered as a possible and possible environmental effects”.
MPA site. It is urgent that the scientific WWF Report. 2008. Available from: www.
community and Chilean government act
as fast as possible to ensure that we allow aquaculture/WWFBinaryitem8842.pdf
development of salmon aquaculture in [8] Buschmann A.H, V.A. Riquelme,
a manner that does not damage Chile’s M.C.Hernandez-Gonzalez, D. Varela, J.E.
fragile cold water coral ecosystems. Jimenez, L.A. Henriquez, P.A. Vergara,
R. Guinez and L. Filun, “A review of the
6. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT impacts of salmonid farming on marine
coastal ecosystems in the southeast
Many thanks to Simon Blyth from the UNEP Pacific”, ICES Journal of Marine Science,
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have supported us during the preparation “Salmon aquaculture and coastal
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C. Fowler 1, B.Smith 2 & D. Stein 1
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),
Coastal Services Center, Charleston, South Carolina. E-mail:
IM Systems Group, on contract at the NOAA Coastal Services Center,
Charleston, South Carolina.

ABSTRACT timely geospatial data originating from

credible sources. An evolving effort to
Marine spatial planning (MSP) is emerging build a marine spatial data infrastructure
as a practical process to help achieve (MSDI) is tackling the complex challenges
the ecological, economic, and societal associated with providing authoritative
objectives of U.S. ocean management. geospatial data for the U.S. across a suite
Coastal and ocean data have unique of data themes.
challenges that need to be addressed.
Ambulatory boundaries, 4-D data needs, Since the early 1990s, the primary focus
and difficulty acquiring these data in the of U.S. national spatial data infrastructure
marine environment are some of the has been directed toward terrestrial
challenges not traditionally faced by land- themes, leaving marine data largely
based planners. To realize the full benefits underdeveloped. The rapid increase in
of MSP, the process will require accurate interest in MSP is uncovering this issue
and authoritative geospatial data from resulting in more attention from a broader
all sectors. Since MSP is an ecosystem- audience. There has been incremental
based approach, data are required at progress on the core cadastral data that
various resolutions. “Best available” and constitute the foundation of the MSDI
“science-based” data are often stated as (i.e., jurisdictional boundaries and limits).
necessary, but not often defined. How the More complex data themes with less well-
MSP process will be implemented in the defined or, in some cases, nonexistent
U.S. remains to be seen, but significant spatial attributes and legal foundation
work has already begun on developing a are currently being developed for
national marine spatial data infrastructure incorporation into the MSDI framework
(MSDI) for the U.S. This paper discuses (i.e., georegulations, marine habitat and
the history, institutional and technological biodiversity, human use, and geology
challenges, and ongoing development of and seafloor). These data are crucial to
the U.S. MSDI. the success of MSP as is shown by their
inclusion in planning efforts in U.S. states
Index Terms - marine spatial planning, marine like Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and
data, marine spatial data infrastructure Oregon, following the use of analogous
data in efforts on the international stage
1. INTRODUCTION in countries like Belgium, the Netherlands,
Demand for ocean space is outstripping and Germany [2].
the current policy frameworks designed
to manage how humans use the marine The objectives of this paper are to describe
environment. In response, marine spatial the key data themes of the MSDI, the
planning (MSP) processes are being used progress to date, and complexities and
around the globe to replace fractured challenges associated with each. The
single-sector approaches to management. paper will also detail some applications
The new processes attempt to ensure that of these data and outline the next steps
the ecological and socioeconomic services needed to continue moving the MSDI
that oceans provide and that societies forward in support of the shifting paradigm
depend upon, are protected for future in ocean management that is manifesting
generations [1]. Sound MSP, however, itself in MSP processes.
requires the availability and analysis of

2. Background planning on the U.S. outer-continental
shelf. In direct response to the act, the
A number of activities have shaped the FGDC Marine Boundary Working Group
current thinking on what constitutes coordinated the development of a
the MSDI. In 1990, the U.S. Federal mapping system called the Multipurpose
Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) was Marine Cadastre (MMC)1. The significance
created and charged with developing a of using the term “cadastre” in U.S. policy
national spatial data infrastructure for the is that it gives MSDI data development an
U.S. with much of the emphasis focused additional requirement to ensure data are
on terrestrial data themes [3]. from authoritative or trusted government
sources. This formed a fundamental
In 1999 the National Oceanic and operating tenet of the work that followed
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) led on the MSDI.
the development of the first regional ocean On December 14, 2009, President
planning information system and began Obama’s Interagency Ocean Policy Task
to systematically address MSP data issues Force released its Interim Framework
and requirements [4]. Data were found for Effective Coastal and Marine Spatial
to be sparse or nonexistent, primarily Planning for review, which offers a
because of the technological limitations comprehensive, integrated approach to
of acquisition. A primary marine data planning and managing uses and activities
source, the official nautical chart, was not [5]:
easily adaptable to MSP needs. Standards “Under the Framework, coastal and
developed for land (i.e., cadastral) didn’t marine spatial planning would be regional
address all aspects of marine data. Data in scope, developed cooperatively among
were spread across multiple agencies and Federal, State, tribal, local authorities,
not often accessible. and regional governance structures, with
substantial stakeholder and public input.”
To address these issues, the FGDC Marine The data needed to support MSP reside
Boundary Working Group was established within a heterogeneous community across
in 2001 []. This government and scientific organizations.
federal work group provides a venue for To make effective use of these varied data
communicating about and coordinating sources, regional and federal partners
marine and coastal geospatial issues such must collaborate to identify priorities,
as standards, partnerships, and access. employ mechanisms to integrate
The group began systematically working compatible data, manage quality, and
through federal geospatial data and enable exchange of spatial information
related policy issues needed to support using consistent techniques. To address
the MSDI. Federal agencies with offshore this need, the task force called for a
responsibility represent a broad spectrum national information system to establish
of traditional (i.e., navigation, fishing, and implement consistency in data
and energy) and nontraditional (i.e., radio products. This guidance from the task
spectrum) ocean uses are included in the force focuses even greater attention on
work group. In addition, because U.S. the evolving MSDI and greatly influences
territorial waters encompass individual data priorities, processes, scales, and
coastal states, work started soon after to access.
coordinate better across state and federal
jurisdictions. 3. DATA THEMES

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 accelerated “Improved decision-making”, “ecosystem-

the development of the MSDI. The act based”, science-based,” “best-available”,
mandated the development of a mapping and “managing human activities to reach
system to support alternative energy societal goals”, all are terms that have
Similar to the nation’s land-based parcel system, a marine cadastre describes the spatial extent, rights, restrictions, and
responsibilities of U.S. waters.

been used to describe requirements [4] Data should be served from as close
for MSP data. The reality is that all to the source agency as technologically
geographic data are an abstraction of possible. Vision is that all data will
reality. Trade-offs have to be made in eventually be served at source using Web
data development, updates, resolution, service2 technology.
and in the techniques for presenting the [5] Data must have FGDC-compliant
data. Since MSP is a continuous process metadata.
[6] the goal for developing the U.S. MSDI [6] Data should be built on national or
is to begin with fundamental data and international standards where they exist.
to increase the complexity and accuracy [7] Data have value across multiple issues
over time as requirements become better and jurisdictions and should be created
understood. once and used as many times as needed.
[8] Data life cycle should prescribe update
The data are currently divided process but not wait for data to be perfect.
thematically into the supporting areas Build on existing data and improve over
of jurisdictional boundaries and limits, time.
federal georegulations, navigation and
marine infrastructure, geology and 3.1 Jurisdictions Boundaries and
seafloor, habitat and biodiversity, and Limits
human use. Each theme has its own
unique challenges (addressed below) In the MSDI, jurisdictional boundaries and
but the following operating tenets apply limits refers to the set of data defining
broadly across the themes: areas or zones managed for official
purposes. This includes the internationally
[1] Data are issue-neutral and should recognized limits such as those specified
be able to be viewed and queried as by the United Nations Convention on the
necessary to support decision-making. Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), including the
[2] Efficient electronic access to data Territorial Sea and Exclusive Economic
should be provided using well-described Zone (EEZ), to more local zones such as
formats that can be broadly assimilated marine sanctuaries or parks.
by stakeholders.
[3] A foundation of authoritative and Marine jurisdictions are similar to their
trusted data sources should come from land-based counterparts in that, in order
agencies with legislative mandates or to map the boundary, the law must be
responsibility for data. interpreted in a spatial context [4].
Where the marine environment diverges
Fig. 1 - Marine Spatial Data Infrastructure is that marine boundaries generally have
Themes no demarcation or physical evidence
to mark the space (e.g., monument,
pin, or fence). As GPS technology
evolves, the delimitation of the marine
boundary is becoming more accurate,
but the challenge lies where the “old
world” mapping meets the “new world.”
Regulations and laws refer to these old
boundaries and the MSDI is working to
reconcile differences.
For example, historically the U.S.
territorial limits were mapped to reflect

Industry standard web services allow different applications to utilize each other’s data independent of software
or operating system utilizing XML. Federal agencies are implementing web services to support national geospatial
mandates, but institutional and IT security challenges still exist requiring interim system approaches for providing
data access.

the relatively straightforward technology makers understand ocean use conflicts
of the times – the 3-mile distance that a and compatibilities. To accomplish
cannon ball could be fired. Today, UNCLOS this spatial analysis requires a defined
uses terminology to define jurisdictions, geography of the regulation data layers in
such as a tidal datum of mean high water a form suitable for use in GIS.
(MHW). The lines sound plausible until an
attempt is made to create them digitally. Fig. 2 - Georegulation of the Marine
MHW is the average of all the high Plastics Pollution Research and Control Act.
waters over a 19-year cycle. Even though
tide gauges are extremely accurate in
measuring MHW at a point location, the
entire length of shoreline is still a modeled
value. The ambulatory nature of official
boundaries like MHW has a ripple effect
all through the development of data for
MSP. With changing sea level, it becomes
even more important to develop the MSDI
in a way that accommodates ambulatory

Why should the MSDI care about exactly

where a boundary like MHW is located?
Jurisdictions and regulations are tied
to the lines, and ultimately, money and Once developed, georegulations can be a
activities are allowed or denied based valuable part of the MSDI and contribute
on these boundaries. Recently, the first to the broader MSP process. Creating
offshore wind energy permit in the U.S. georegulations involves researching
was held up as the line between state the federal and state policy framework
and federal jurisdiction (tidal datum) in the area of interest and creating
was determined. The transition to clearly spatial “footprints” of the geographic
define boundaries with coordinates area where individual policies apply.
cannot happen overnight, but the MSDI The development of a georegulation
must facilitate access to the latest and requires careful scanning of the text for
most accurate data, continue to facilitate any geographic reference. This could be
partnerships that improve data and something as easy to map as defined
reduce conflicts, and encourage projects latitude and longitude to something
that document best practices for offshore more challenging such as “all navigable
data development [7]. waters” Because policy makers, not
geographers, generally write regulations,
3.2 Georegulations the challenge is to adequately capture the
geography intended by each individual
In MSP, much attention is applied to law. Georegulations offer the ability to
geospatial data development of physical visualize the spatial extent of regulations
and environmental components, but the and analyze intersections with other
legal regime is an often-overlooked and data layers. Georegulations are often
equally important regime to represent built on jurisdictional boundary data and
in the process. In context with other therefore must reflect the best practices
resource data, the regulations, laws, and of these underlying data. When added to
management structures help decision the MSDI, these data bring the ability to

Charts must portray any known bottom feature shallow enough to present a hazard to shipping but do not need
to indicate any deeper aspects of the bottom

ENCs are built to an International Hydrographic Office (IHO) specification called S-57.

more easily visualize compatibilities and MSP. Ecosystems and the services they
inconsistencies in federal or state policy. provide need to be represented in a
way that supports the MSP process of
3.3 Navigation and Marine considering ecological and socioeconomic
Infrastructure objectives in concert. Multiple approaches
to assessing ecological or biological values
Navigation and marine infrastructure of marine areas have been developed
data are considered baseline information and applied to MSP efforts [9, 10]. The
for any marine-related application. This availability and quality of these data,
theme consists of common navigational however, vary greatly across regions,
and infrastructure data such as shipping creating challenges for development of the
lanes, fairways, wrecks and obstructions, MSDI for marine habitat and biodiversity.
and oil platforms. Planners in the marine Unlike boundaries that are relatively
environment need to know where these consistent across geography, biology
data exist in order to avoid potential is intimately tied to local conditions.
conflicts. The official U.S. nautical chart is For example, many of the key habitats
developed to support safe navigation and and species that would be relevant
have a known navigation or “shoal” bias to a specific planning scenario in the
inherent in its production3. [8] Building Northeastern U.S. do not exist on the
this theme as part of the MSDI presents West Coast. This reality confounds the
several unique challenges, the most thought process surrounding which data
notable being that the data are organized are logical to include when describing
by individual chart geography across habitat and biodiversity at a national
multiple scales. Ideally, to construct scale. Additionally, there is no single
a seamless navigation and marine classification scheme accepted by the
infrastructure theme for the U.S., data U.S. government for marine habitat
would require reconstruction from source that provides a framework to support
data. This is a painstakingly detailed task visualization of these data at a common
of determining which agency collected level across the U.S.
the original chart information. U.S. chart
data are becoming more broadly available To deal with these challenges and realities
in the Electronic Navigational Chart associated with nascent MSP efforts,
(ENC) format4 but are still not specifically the approach to building marine habitat
designed for MSP and extensive and biodiversity data into MSDI is to
manipulation. use habitat and species designations
associated with laws like the Endangered
Another important data set in this theme Species Act and the Magnuson-Stevens
is the one that represents true vessel Fisheries Conservation and Management
locations termed Automated Information Act. This approach is in keeping with
System (AIS) data. Transponders on the legal-responsibilities information
ships send signals picked up by receivers conveyed in the core marine cadastral
on land used to track commercial data. Users can determine which of these
vessel movement in U.S. waters. AIS authoritative data sets are relevant to
data are proving vital to MSP efforts, their specific MSP process.
as demonstrated in the Massachusetts
Ocean Plan, and provide a more realistic 3.5 Geology and Seafloor
view of commercial shipping ocean use
than traditional chart products [9]. The MSDI includes bathymetric contours,
undersea place names, physical substrate
3.4. Marine Habitat and Biodiversity sample locations, and sediment grain size
distribution maps. These data apply to
Application of spatial data to describe and everything from the basic need to know
characterize the complexity of marine water depth, to more complex issues like
ecosystems is essential to implementing correlating physical characteristics of the

seafloor to habitat for species of concern. on human uses, especially in comparison
These data are essential to multiple steps to other complex data themes like marine
in MSP processes, but challenges like habitat and biodiversity [11]. Human uses
limited availability or access, and lack can be broken down into broad categories
of consistency in data products, present like commercial and recreational
obstacles to their inclusion in the MSDI. fishing, industrial and military and non-
Many of the publicly available geology and consumptive (i.e., paddle sports, scuba
seafloor data sets with large coverage diving, recreational boating, etc.).
areas are of insufficient resolution to
support MSP at the scale with which it is Considering where humans are using the
occurring, or are derived from data that are ocean and what areas and resources they
decades old. Remote collection of marine are depending on is critical to making
geology and seafloor data are more costly transparent and informed management
than the terrestrial equivalent, which decisions supported by the public [12].
can be done with aircraft or satellites. The challenge inherent in pursuing this
Advances in technology have closed the ideal is a general paucity of data that
gap, but highly accurate surveys on land depict human use patterns in our oceans
have been conducted for a longer period both current, and historical. Similar to
than those focused on the bottom of the the case of the geology and seafloor data
ocean. Energy exploration and national theme, collecting human use data often
security needs have both resulted in requires resource- and time-intensive
a large amount of data that are often methods of surveying users directly or
unavailable to the public, and therefore, via the Internet. Since many recreational
to support MSDI development either. activities do not require any kind of permit
or registration, users can be difficult to
Strong partnerships need to be fostered locate and contact for data collection.
between government agencies and There are efforts to address this lack of
offices that may not have traditionally human use data for specific initiatives
collaborated. To benefit the users of in the U.S. The California Ocean Uses
geology and seafloor data, the MSDI Atlas project [
should consider the state and regional atlas] and Open OceanMap tool [www.
data needed to support decision-making]
at these scales where MSP in the U.S. are both good examples. These efforts
is most likely to continue occurring. are focused on addressing specific needs
Compiling and serving spatial footprints related to local initiatives, however, and
and essential attribute information for do not contribute directly to the larger
existing geology and seafloor data, similar national-level MSDI needs. The data
to the georegulation approach, would be that presently populate this theme are
a valuable addition to the MSDI. This associated with energy leases and sand
approach will allow users to determine and gravel extraction areas. More work is
if information exists in areas they are needed to ensure that efforts undertaken
interested in. This will also keep the to increase our understanding of human
responsibility of data maintenance and activities in the ocean produce spatially
storage with the providers, allowing the explicit results that support mapping and
MSDI resources to be focused on other monitoring.
3.6 Human Use
Efforts to uncover and address issues
There is general agreement that associated with jurisdictional boundaries
understanding human use patterns in the and limits, development of methods and
ocean is important to making informed data for georegulations, and compilation
management decisions. However, there of marine navigation and infrastructure
is very little spatial information available data for MSDI all support current MSP

processes and can be visualized through Journal for Environmental Management,
MMC. The work to unravel the complexities Volume 90: 77-88, 2009.
associated with the geology and seafloor, [3] M. Lockwood and C. Fowler,
marine habitat and biodiversity, and ”Significance of Coastal and Marine Data
human use data themes is just beginning. within the Context of the US National
Strengthening the balance of the MSDI Spatial Data Infrastructure,” Marine and
themes to increase their utility to evolving Coastal Geographic Information System,
MSP processes in the U.S. requires several Taylor & Francis, London, 2000.
areas of focus: [4] C. Fowler and E. Treml, “Building a
- MSP in the U.S. is moving forward at marine cadastral information system
regional and sub-regional scales. Future for the United States – a case study”
MSDI efforts must consider development Computer, Environment and Urban
of data sets and viewers that take Systems, (25) pp.493-507, 2001.
advantage of locally available higher- [5] The U.S. White House Council for
resolution and more timely data that Environmental Quality, Interim Framework
support MSP efforts at the scale at which for Effective Coastal and Marine Spatial
they are occurring. Planning, 2009.
- Realizing the full potential of MSDI [6] Ehler, C. and F Douvere. Marine
requires addressing the challenge of Spatial Planning: a step-by-step approach
portraying uncertainty associated with toward ecosystem-based management,
spatial data. Since all data model reality, IOC Manual and Guides, No. 53, Paris:
it is important to find ways to convey how UNESCO, 2009.
close to reality the depictions of various [7] FGDC Marine Boundary Working
data sets are. Group, Marine Managed Areas: Best
- MSDI must be able to integrate the best Practices for Marine Boundaries, [www.
science available to describe the complex]
multidimensional aspects of ecosystem U.S. Government, 2006.
processes and, in turn, inform science [8] W. Smith and D. Sandwell,
about the gaps needing attention. “Conventional Bathymetry, Bathymetry
- The level of complexity inherent in the from Space, and Geodetic Altimetry”.
data themes discussed here requires there Oceanography, Vol 17 (1) The
to be multiple data products in the MSDI Oceanography Society, 2004.
that address issues specific to individual [9] Executive Office of Energy and
data types. Issues like standardization, Environmental Affairs, Commonwealth
authoritative sources, and user needs are of Massachusetts,. Massachusetts
still being resolved for the more complex Ocean Management Plan, Boston,
data and will continue to shape the Massachusetts, USA, 2009.
evolving MSDI. [10] S. Derous, T Agardy, H., K.Hillewaert
A great deal of progress has been made Hostens, G. Jamieson, L. Lieberknecht,
building the current MSDI. Continued J.Mees., I. Moulaert, S. Olenin, D.
work on the issues outlined here will Paelinckx, M. Rabaut, E. Rachor, J. Roff
ensure that the full potential of these ,E. Stienen, J. van der Wal, V.Van Lancker,
vital data resources for advancing MSP is E. Verfaillie , M. Vincx, J. Weslawski, and
realized. S. Degraer, “A Concept for Biological
Valuation in the Marine Environment”,
5. REFERENCES Oceanologia, 49 (1), pp. 99–128, 2007.
[11] K. St Martin, and M. Hall-Arber,
[1] Douvere F. and C. Ehler, “Ecosystem- “The Missing Layer: Geo-technologies,
based Marine Spatial Management: An Communities, and Implications for Marine
Evolving Paradigm for the Management Spatial Planning,” Marine Policy, 32, pp.
of Coastal and Marine Places,”  Ocean 779-786, 2008.
Yearbook, Volume 23: 1-26, 2009. [12] Eastern Research Group, Marine
[2] ] Douvere F. and C. Ehler,. “New Spatial Planning Stakeholder Analysis
Perspectives on Sea Use Management,” NOAA Coastal Services Center, Charleston,
SC, 2010.
L.M. García1,2, C. Sangil1,2, L. Concepción1, R.F. de León1, J.B. Diez2 & I.Y.G.
La Palma World Biosphere Reserve Consortium, La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain. E-mail:
La Laguna University, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.

ABSTRACT biodiversity conservation, sustainable

development and logistical support. But
GIS tools are nowadays essential for even so over the last years, economic
promoting adequate strategies for the activities and infrastructures in the Island
use, management and conservation have increased in the coastal zone. In
of littoral areas, especially in islands consequence, it is vital for long-term
where human population increase and sustainable development of these areas
concentrate in littoral zone. that the natural habitats are preserved
and managed in conjunction with
The present study therefore aimes economic development. To achieve this
to create an objective protocol for goal, it is an important task to develop
an ecological zonation, using terrain a successful system capable of assessing
information derived from multibeam data the quantity, quality and functional value
and biological variables. These data is of marine systems, thus should contain
applied for geographical conservation firstly a delimitation and classification of
regions classifications, using a decision the habitats according to their physical,
support tool. As a result, we identify 46 chemical and biological characters [4].
priority conservations sites from the area
studied, based on biological and ecological The management and protection of
values. marine waters can be developed at
different spatial scales, ranging from
Index Terms— Marine Zonation, Geographical broad (regional seas, marine landscapes)
Information Systems, benthic communities, to fine scale (habitats and species) [5].
Marxan, La Palma, Canary Islands. The different scales require different
variables for their analysis. The studies of
1. INTRODUCTION regional sites must include oceanographic
variables, but in a smaller scale where
Antropogenic activities, such as these conditions are similar, the study
habitat modification, pollution and the of variables derived from seabed terrain
overexploitation of living resources, is a priority. At present there are a wide
continue to have a detrimental effect on variety of techniques for mapping benthic
global biodiversity levels and ecosystems areas. With the advent of multibeam
[1], [2]. Furthermore, a significant technology [6] new possibilities are now
proportion of the human population available, as they provide full details
inhabits in coastal areas or close to of bathymetry data necessary for the
aquatic systems which are particularly production of Digital Terrain Models (MDT)
vulnerable to disturbance [3]. and essential for the study of the marine
In 2002 UNESCO declared the entire
territory of La Palma as Biosphere However, biotic information like
Reserve with the objective of achieving macrobenthic spatial distribution is
merely restricted to point observations activities on priority conservation sites.
at the sampling stations, and the full We focus on the problem of representing
coverage spatial distribution maps are a group of conservation targets within a
often absent [7]. But the combination geographic area, using different types of
of GIS applications and statistical and available information that include: the
mathematical techniques, now widely description of the seafloor morphological
used [8], [9], can solve this problem features, macrobenthic distribution maps
using different strategies in accordance and the presence of endangered marine
with, for example, the type of data (e.g. species.
quantitative data, presence/absence
data), the density of the samples or the 2. MATERIAL AND METHODS
level of variation of the abiotic parameters
[10]. 2.1. Study area

In an attempt to elaborate an objective The Canary Islands are a subtropical

zonation that includes different types of archipelago situate in the north of the
environment information, Geographical Eastern Central Atlantic Ocean. La Palma
Information Systems (GIS) are widely is located at the northwest of the Canaries
used [11], [12]. At the same time, recent (Fig. 1). Rough rocky bottoms characterize
computer software has been developed the narrow sublittoral platform of the
to systematize the selection process by island that with high slopes makes that
using a simulated annealing algorithm can reach a depth of over 200 m at only a
[13], [14]. The combined usage of GIS few meters from the coast line. Although,
tools and this specific software have the study area, located at the western
increased significantly for environmental margin of the Island, is characterized
planning and decision-making, mainly by sandy bottom due to de sedimentary
because of the need to compare a great action of the Las Angustias Ravine. It is
number of spatially related data [15]. about 875.6 ha extension to water depth
of 0 – 50 m. This zone is included in the
The aim of our paper is to give, by means Special Area of Conservation designated
of geographical tools, an objective process under the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC
to zonation of marine and littoral zones on to form a network of European protected
the framework of a fine scale, in order to areas known as Natura 2000.
integrate it on the local spatial planning
and prevent carrying out anthropogenic Fig. 1 - Study area location map.

2.2. Seafloor morphological features. For the creation of the macrobenthic
distribution map and the delimitation of
The quantitative topographic variables the distribution area as polygons with
that describe the seabed were obtained vector format, we used the sample points
form the Digital Elevation Model (DEM). and the seafloor morphological features.
DEM was elaborated by Medina-Villaverde
et al. [16] using sidescan sonar, and single- 2.4. The presence of marine
beam and multi-beam echosounders. endangered species.
Five parameters features were extracted,
using the spatial algorithms implemented The presence of marine endangered
in ArcGIS 9.2 software and the Spatial species is an important information about
Analyst extension. All of them have a the biodiversity to classify the priority
resolution of 5 m. Slope, or the maximum conservation zones. In this part of the
rate of change, was calculated in degrees. study we used the information collected
Aspect was calculated as the direction by Concepción [20] about the location in
of the cell’s slope and measured in La Palma of the marine species included
degrees. Benthic Position Index (BPI) in the “Catálogo de Especies Amenazadas
was calculated using ArcGIS extension de Canarias” (List of Endangered Species
Benthic Terrain Modeler (BTM) Version in the Canaries) elaborated by the local
1.0 [17]. The BPI allows classifying the authorities. This study revises and
pixels in crests, depressions, flats and situates all the marine species registered
slopes. Roughness is a measure of terrain in La Palma except marine mammals,
complexity and was calculated with a birds and reptiles. The presence of these
Jenness Enterprises [18] for Arc View species in the study area was register and
3.2. This information about topography collected as points in vector format.
and texture, in conjunction with video
camera direct observations, allows the 2.5. Database and GIS.
classification of the type of substrate in
hard and soft substrate. All the recorded information about
physical and biotic parameters with
2.3 Macrobenthic communities map. different format was included in the
same database of the study area. For this
For the creation of the macrobenthic purpose it was necessary to elaborate a
distribution map it was necessary to carry regular grid over the study area with a
out sampling surveys consisting in going resolution of 250 m. From this 200 cell or
through the entire study area with a small units of 62.5 ha were obtained. This unit
boat which has a video camera system, size was selected because macrobenthic
with the method described by Barquín et distribution maps were collected at this
al. [19], between 9th and 18th November scale. Each cell included the average value
2009. During the cruise we acquired for seafloor morphological features, the
visual samples with the video camera total extension of benthic communities
about the presence of the communities and the presence of endangered species.
and substrate types, and took the precise This information units or cells were used
position of the samples by means of a for the zonation process.
GPS. On board the information is included
using the OziExplorer software, tracking 2.6. Ecological Zonation.
the GPS position on real time.
The zonation was based on the information
In total 192 samples were taken during included in the grid data base and the
five days on the area studied, with use of the MARXAN, a computer tool for
an average distance of 98 m between designing priority conservation areas
them. The information was identified which includes heuristic and simulated
and mapped as sample points with the annealing algorithms [14]. This software
GIS applying the ArcGIS 9.2 software. is designed entirety to generate networks

of protected or priority conservation areas algorithm with 1,000,000 annealing
based on clear objectives, with specific iterations and 100 runs to identify an
conservation targets and an explicit and efficient set of sites. Output data includes
transparent decision-making framework. the best solution of all runs and summed
The classification process includes several solutions over all runs.
Conservation features. Not all the
information layers compiled in this study 3.1. Seafloor morphological features.
were selected for the design of priority
conservation zones. The parameters were The slopes of the area range from 0º,
chosen because they represent one or mainly for soft bottom, up to a value
more of the following criteria: (1) diversity of 63.9º for rocky beds which occur
representation and heterogeneity, (2) especially in the south of the area. In
vulnerability, (3) legal protection and (4) shallow-waters a rough bedrock belt is
conservation state. dominant. From there, a sandy and lower
roughness platform extends with an
Conservation targets. The conservation average slope of 4.5º over the northern
targets were defined for every region.
conservation feature in order to cover The dominant direction of the seafloor
the maxim variability and assure the is the westerly component (226º) and
permanence or stability of the feature the most frequent type of morphologic
throughout time. The representation seafloor is the flat bottom (up to 70%),
requirements for the conservation mostly sandy (Fig.2). Soft or mobile
features can be moderately complex. bottom (sand and pebbles) are the most
For conservation goals, the benefit of a common substrate that occupy 62.7%
conservation zone increases with size, but of the study area. Hard substrate,
in terms of sustainability, it occurs when it which includes rocky and blocks (stable
is large enough to export sufficient larvae substrate) represents 37.3% of the total
and adults, and small enough to minimize surface (Fig. 3).
the initial economic impact [23]. After 80 53.10 Ha
reviewing the literature, targets of 0%,
20% and 40% of conservation features
Coverage %

were established for analysis. 40

14.79 Ha
Selection of the priority conservation 642.19 Ha
164.12 Ha
units. The database of 200 units that 0
divides the study area was used to Flats Slopes Crests Depressions

create the planning units. The cost of

Fig. 2 - Coverage percentage and total
each planning unit was its size, so it was extension (on top of the column) of the
the same cost for each planning unit. In morphologic seafloor classified by Benthic
this way, the economic impacts are not Position Index (BPI).
considered in the conservation plan and
the ecological values are emphasized. 549.24 Ha
Coverage %

In addition to establishing conservation 40 283.97 Ha

features and targets, there are a couple 20

22.61 Ha 8.67 Ha 4.26 Ha 6.74 Ha
of spatial requirements which could be 0
included: the size, number and spacing of Sand Rock Large Pebbles Round Port
the protection zones. These parameters boulder cobbles

are considered in Marxan which makes

Fig. 3 - Coverage percentage and total extension
it possible to reach conservation targets
(on top of the column) of type substrate.
but minimizing the conservation area.
The software uses simulated annealing

3.2. Macrobenthic communities.

Firstly, we expect to represent in this study

the communities based on definitions
of the European Nature Information
System [21]. Although most of the ones
considered in this study aren’t included
in this classification, this paper proposes
new categories for the Canary region.
Eight communities were observed (Table
1). The most common was the brown
garden eel (Heteroconger longissimus)
community that occupies almost 40%
of the area, the second were frondose
algal communities (22.7%) and third,
infralittoral fine sand. The other
communities have an extension below
7%. The distribution maps are showed in
Fig. 4.

Fig. 4 - Distribution map of the macrobenthic


3.4. Ecological Zonation.

Table 1 - Macrobenthic communities observed
in the study area with total extension (ha) and Fifteen conservation features, that
coverage percentage (%). represent environmental complexity and
the presence of relevant communities
3.3. Marine endangered species. and species, were identified. Table 2
includes the conservation features with
Seven endangered species were registered they targets and percentages included in
in the study area (Fig. 5): the arthropod the proposed priority conservation zones.
Scyllarides latus, the echinoderm These conservation features were selected
Echinaster sepositum, three fishes to respond to the criteria previously
Gaidropsarus guttatus, Gymnothorax described: (1) diversity representation
miliaris and Hippocampus hippocampus and heterogeneity, (2) vulnerability, (3)
and two seaweeds Cystoseira abies- legal protection and (4) conservation
marina and Gelidium arbuscula. The state. The surrounding zone of Tazacorte
position on the map of these species is Port was excluded for the analysis. All
represented as point layer except the macrobenthic community distributions
seaweed represented as lines across and endangered species were included as
the intertidal zone. Most of the species conservation features except sea urchin
were located on rocky surfaces in depths communities and ports communities
ranging from 13-25 m. because correspond to degradation or
non-balancing states of the communities.
The roughness was selected from the
seafloor morphological features as a
measure of terrain complexity.

rocky with high complexity bottom that
correspond with the gorgonian and black
coral communities.

Fig. 6 - Ecological zonation of the study area.

Fig. 5 - Distribution map of the marine

endangered species.


The proposed protocol is repeatable and

objective; it forms a good alternative to
the currently used methodologies which
imply marine reserve design decisions.
The representation and area calculations
of benthic habitats, communities and
species have been the fundamental
step for the delimitation of protected
zones. At present there is a wide variety
of methodologies for benthic habitat
Table 2 - Conservation features using in mapping [3], but the technique applied
ecological zonation. in this study for the sampling is simple,
with a low-cost and allows to analyse
The best solution selects 46 planning large areas in short time. Other mapping
units as priority conservation zones, tools as the habitat suitability modelling
that represent 287.5 ha and 23% of [23], [10] are very usefull but the large
the study area (Fig. 6). This scenario amount of samples taken and the clear
met all conservation goals and even delimitation of the communities in our
overrepresented in some cases. Most study do not need the application of these
of the selected units are located in techniques.
the littoral zone with rocky bottoms Suitable environmental variables
and seaweed communities and deep (bathymetry, slope, substrate, roughness
and morphology seafloor features) were allows an easy application in other areas.
selected as the most important variables
for determining the distribution of the 6. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
macrobenthos. They have already been
indicated in many other studies [3] [5]. The work reported here is part of the
However the use of only these variables Marcopalma proyect, supported by
could imply an oversimplification of Fundación Biodiversidad and GISMACAN
reality. Many other environmental proyect co financed by Canary Islands
variables could also contribute: surface Government and EU (FEDER). Additional
temperature, hydrodynamics turbidity or support was provided by Tazacorte
primary productivity [10]. But this data Townhall. This is a contribution of the
are more difficult to obtain and even more Biodiversidad Group of La Palma World
expensive to measure. Biosphere Reserve Consortium in
collaboration with La Laguna University
It is an important consideration in We also thank Roberto Cáceres for his
the mapping process to use terms or assistance in the sampling.
benthic communities names based on
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M. Gianinetto, P. Maianti, R. Tortini, F. Rota Nodari & G. Lechi
Politecnico di Milano, Laboratory of Remote Sensing (LaRS), Building Environment Sciences and
Technologies (BEST) Department, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, 20133 Milano, Italy

ABSTRACT for both exploration and environmental

applications. For exploration, persistent
In this paper Moderate Resolution Imaging or recurrent oil slicks can point out
Spectroradiometer (MODIS) multispectral the presence of undersea oil seeps.
imagery is used for oil spills mapping as an For environmental applications, early
integration to radar data. MODIS images detection of anthropogenic oil slicks can
of the northern Gulf of Mexico (USA) make possible timely protection of critical
are analyzed to study the sea anomalies habitats and helps identify polluters [17].
from visible to thermal infrared in order The environmental impacts of oil spills can
to detect a reported oil slick. A simple be considerable. Oil spills in water may
Fluorescence/Emissivity Index and RGB severely affect the marine environment
false color bands combination are applied causing a decline in phytoplankton and
to detect fluorescence and emissivity other aquatic organisms. Phytoplankton
anomalies due to oil spills in particular is at the bottom of the food chain and can
sun glint conditions. A monitoring system pass absorbed oil on to the higher levels.
of sea surface may be built using high Oiled birds suffer from behavioral changes
temporal resolution imagery as MODIS and this may result in the loss of eggs
data. Applying the proposed index and or even death. The livelihood of many
RGB bands combination, also suitable on coastal people can be impacted by oil
night-time overpasses, it’s possible to spills, particularly those whose livelihood
further increase the availability of clouds is based on fishing and tourism [14].
free images using optical sensors.
On April 20th, 2010, an explosion
Index Terms — Deepwater Horizon, oil spill, occurred to the Deepwater Horizon
Remote Sensing, MODIS, thermal infrared. offshore oil platform, located about 80 km
off the coast of the Louisiana, USA. After
1. INTRODUCTION a two days fire (Figure 1), the drilling rig
sank on April 22nd, causing a massive
Petroleum products play a fundamental oil spill in the northern Gulf of Mexico
role in modern society, particularly in that we estimated on April 29th to be at
the transportation, plastics, and fertilizer least 5,840 km2. The spill was originated
industries and there are typically ten to by the oil rig placed about 1.5 km under
fifteen transfers involved in moving oil the sea surface, and could reach an
from the oil field to the final consumer. Oil estimated total amount of millions of
spills can occur during oil transportation barrels until the flow will be stopped.
or storage and spillage can occur in water, The oil spill rapidly expanded during the
ice or on land. Marine oil spills can be initial 8-day period and covered a very
highly dangerous since wind, waves and large area along the coast of Louisiana,
currents can scatter a large oil spill over extending approximately north to south
a wide area within a few hours in the for 120 km. Sediments in the region
open sea [8]. The detection of oil slicks are generally thick, with the greatest
is an important Remote Sensing objective sediment load carried by the Mississippi

River [19]. Moreover, on April 30th the oil 11], the evaluation of slick thickness [7,
slick reached the Mississippi river delta, 9] and the classification of the oil type, in
approaching the Delta National Wildlife order to estimate environmental damages
Refuge and the Breton National Wildlife and take appropriate response activities
Refuge. Since the Mississippi river delta [12].
systems support a variety of coastal
habitats [13], the spilled oil will adversely In the visible (VIS) region of the
affect these fragile ecosystems, including electromagnetic (E.M.) spectrum, oil has
endangered and threatened species. a higher surface reflectance than water
[6], but also shows limited nonspecific
Previous studies showed the potentialities absorption tendencies. Sheen shows
of the Moderate Resolution Imaging up silvery and reflects light over a
Spectroradiometer (MODIS) for wide spectral region down to the blue.
environmental monitoring (e.g. rapid However, oil has no specific characteristics
response flood mapping [18]). The study that distinguish it from the background
area is shown in Figure 1, in which it’s [12]. Therefore, techniques that separate
possible to notice a smoke plume coming specific spectral regions in the VIS do not
out from the platform fire. In this paper increase detection capability.
we assess the capability of MODIS for oil
spills detection and mapping. This work Oil is optically thick and absorbs solar
aims at demonstrating the great potential radiation re-emitting a portion of this
of coastal and marine environment radiation as thermal energy, primarily in
monitoring using high temporal resolution the 8-14 µm region. In thermal infrared
MODIS datasets, in particular to identify (TIR) images, thick oil appears hot,
anomalies over the sea surface and to intermediate thicknesses of oil appear
evaluate their evolution in narrow time cool, and thin oil or sheens are not
ranges. detectable [12]. Specific studies in the TIR
show that there is no spectral structure
in this region [17]. Tests on a number
of IR systems show that emulsions are
not always visible in the IR, and cameras
operating in the 3 to 5 µm range seem to
be only marginally useful [10].

2.2. Limitations of optical satellite

sensors for oil slicks detection

Optical satellite sensors provide a synoptic

view of the affected area, but several
problems are associated with relying
on those for oil spill Remote Sensing.
Fig 1 - April 21, 2010 - MODIS true color Besides a lower spatial resolution than
composition image of the study area. The white airborne images (an extremely important
cross indicates the oil platform coordinates; the matter when the oil is distributed in
box indicates the zoom area on the platform fire sparse windows and patches over large
and smoke plume. areas), atmospheric transmission in
the ultraviolet (UV) region in which oil
2. BACKGROUND fluoresces [17] is poor, making satellite
observations unprofitable in that E.M.
2.1. Spectral properties overview region [3]. Another limitation is due to
the timing and frequency of overpasses
Remote Sensing data have been employed and the absolute need for clear skies to
by a large number of researchers to perform optical image collection. The
investigate oil spills, focusing mainly on chances of the overpass and the clear
the mapping of the areal extent [1, 2, 4,
skies occurring at the same time give a suitable practice use a costly combination
low probability of detecting a spill on a of techniques, including airborne radar
satellite image. Moreover, the difficulty and IR/UV line scanner [12].
in developing algorithms to highlight the
oil slicks and the long time required to 3. METHODOLOGY
do so may disrupt oil spill contingency
planning [12]. For example, in the case 3.1. MODIS data
of the EXXON VALDEZ disaster, although
the spill covered vast amounts of Gulf MODIS is a key instrument aboard the
of Alaska for over a month, there was Terra (EOS AM) and Aqua (EOS PM)
only one clear day that coincided with a satellites. Terra’s orbit around the Earth
satellite overpass. As a consequence, is timed so that it passes from north to
it took over two months before the first south across the equator in the morning,
group managed to detect the oil slick while Aqua passes south to north over
through satellite imagery, although its the equator in the afternoon. Terra
location was precisely known [15]. MODIS and Aqua MODIS observe the
entire Earth’s surface every 1 to 2 days
In addition, other limitations are due to by acquiring data in 36 spectral bands,
properties of oil surface on water in the from the visible to the thermal infrared as
TIR region [17]: shown in Table 1.
- the spectral reflectance properties of
different crude oils vary, and TIR oil Table 1 - MODIS band setting, wavelength
properties vary from day-time to night- ranges, resolution and primary uses.
- water roughness changes the reflectance
of surface, due to the backscatter of sun
glint from wave sides oriented at the
specular angle, as does the presence of
sea foam;
- although in the TIR oil has a lower
emissivity than water [17], resulting in a
brightness temperature contrast that may
be used for oil slick detection, variations
in real kinetic temperature of water
can produce false targets, and oil slicks
and seawater may not be at the same

Consequently, we assume that reflectance

contrasts between water and oil at any
given wavelength in the VIS and IR
may vary with sea status, illumination
conditions and oil properties [16].

In conclusion, currently no single

processing algorithm is able to identify all
oil slicks in the optical region of the E.M.
spectrum and the potential detection of
false targets is consistent. Thus, although
oil slicks (especially known slicks) have
been repeatedly detected using different
spectral bands, no single technique has
been developed that unambiguously and
reliably detects all oil slicks. The most

64 MODIS scenes from April 20th to 4. IMAGE PROCESSING
May 5th, 2010 from both Terra and
Aqua satellites day-time and night-time 4.1. Pre-processing
overpasses were acquired. Among these,
16 images are cloud free over the slick All MODIS images were supplied
and are potentially appropriated for the atmospherically corrected and resampled
aim of this study. Table 2 shows a subset to a unique value of 1 km of spatial
of data actually processed in this study. resolution. They provide directional
hemispherical reflectance (ρ) from
Table 2 - Date, time of acquisition and satellite band 1 to 19 and directional emissivity
of the processed images. (ε) from band 20 to 36. Every single
scene was georeferenced to allow the
Date Time (GMT) Satellite overlay with ancillary vector data (i.e.
April 21, 2010 19:20 Aqua coastline, localization of the platform).
April 29, 2010 07:30 Aqua
April 29, 2010 16:55 Terra 4.2. Oil slick detection on MODIS day-
May 05, 2010 04:10 Terra time VIS and IR data
3.2. Approach
Spatiotemporal variations in the
thermodynamic properties of oil and
Previous works demonstrated that
seawater have been mapped in order
although real differences in temperature
to identify oily surfaces. Although sun-
between oil slicks and nearby seawater
glint and wind sheen may create a similar
caused by differing absorption of sunlight
impression to an oil sheen, we assume
may disguise the effects of emissivity
that any observed anomaly is caused by
differences, the spectral behavior of
the oil spill.
oil slicks and seawater in the 8-14 µm
For opaque bodies the transmittance
atmospheric window is distinctly different
is negligible and Kirchhoff’s law can be
and surprisingly unaffected by variables
written in the following simplified form
that might be expected to alter them
[17]. Even then, real water temperature
differences due to currents may introduce
false targets. Thus, the only unambiguous
difference between spectra of oil slicks The oil seeping from the sea bed passes
and seawater lies in the different shapes from a colder to a hotter status during
of their spectral curves, usually referred the ascension. We assume that its
to as their spectral signatures, making temperature gets to equilibrium once
night-time measurements desirable oil has reached the marine surface and
because less dependent upon the remains constant regardless of its spatial
observation conditions. Oil absorbs the distribution. Thus, we can further simplify
solar radiation and emits a part of it as Kirchhoff’s law in the following:
thermal energy mainly in the TIR (8-14
μm). Oil has a lower emissivity than water
in TIR; therefore, at these wavelengths,
it has a distinctively different spectral During the day oil has a lower emissivity
signature compared to the background and higher UV fluorescence than water.
water [17]. To enhance the contrast between the
In this study we aim at detecting the oil slick and the surrounding seawater a
slick at first during day-time exploiting Fluorescence/Emissivity Index (FEI) has
reflectance properties of oil and seawater been developed on MODIS data and was
and subsequently during night-time defined as follows:
analyzing the IR emissivity information.

This normalized index is based on the
relationship between blue and TIR ranges,
respectively band 3 and band 31 in
MODIS data, combining the theoretically
higher blue range component of oil, due
to fluorescence induced by λ < 0.400 µm
sunlight rays [4], and the lower emissivity
in the TIR. The higher is the value of the
contribution of blue and the lower is the
one of emissivity, the greater will be the
FEI values.

4.3. Oil slick detection on MODIS IR

Fig. 2 - April 29, 2010 - MODIS day-time
grayscale composition image of FEI. The white
Given that the information from IR should
cross indicates the oil platform coordinates.
theoretically be useful to discriminate
materials with different emissivity values,
On the same day-time MODIS image,
the intra-image emissivity variation on
a RGB false color visualization was
seawater surface was used on MODIS
performed by combining bands 23, 31
night-time data. The different spectral
and 29 respectively (Figure 3). This
features of oil and seawater in this region
combination clearly highlights the slick
can be enhanced with an appropriate
from the background and the obtained
IR bands visualization. For example,
result is consistent with Figure 2.
it is possible to combine emissivity
The same band combination was
values taken from mid-wavelength and
performed on a MODIS image acquired
thermal range limits, and on the edge
during the previous night (Figure 4). The
between these two spectral regions. This
oil slick seems to be well highlighted from
visualization can also be performed on
the surrounding pixels. Moreover, the
night-time images, potentially increasing
location, shape and extension of the slick
the availability of clouds free images on
have a good correspondence with both
the study area.
the previous results.

The considered dataset (acquired from

April 20th, 2010 to May 5th, 2010 by
both Terra and Aqua satellites day-time
and night-time overpasses) is almost
centered on the investigated sector and
clearly shows anomalies close to the
Louisiana coast: as sun-glint conditions
emphasize the contrast against the
surrounding marine water, applying the
FEI index to the day-time MODIS data of
April 29, 2010 it was possible to detect
in the sea a curved plume brighter than
the surrounding seawater and expanding Fig. 3 - April 29, 2010 - MODIS day-time IR
from the platform coordinates (Figure 2). false color composition image. The white cross
This anomaly seems to be corresponding indicates the oil platform coordinates.
for geographical position and shape to the
oil slick reported in those days.

in particular sun glint conditions. In case
of massive oil spills, MODIS sensor may
highlight anomalies using a geometric
resolution of 1 km.

The Fluorescence/Emissivity Index,

calculated using MODIS bands 3 and 31,
may represent an interesting mean to
identify and discriminate oily substances
floating on the sea surface, as enhancing
the results obtainable using only visible
data. Moreover, an appropriate RGB
false colors bands composition of infrared
Fig. 4 - April 29, 2010 - MODIS night-time IR emissivity data (bands 23, 31 and 29
false color composition image. The white cross respectively) highlights the oil slick in
indicates the oil platform coordinates; the dark both day-time and night-time images.
line indicates the coastline. This also allows to detect the presence
of potential clouds coverage, that could
Whereas on day-time images clouds represents false targets.
were filtered out exploiting reflectance
information, night-time data can be
In conclusion, MODIS data may give
affected by potential clouds coverage.
a significant contribution for a marine
However, Figure 5 shows the proposed
and coastal monitoring system, also
RGB bands combination on a cloudy
considering the availability of several
image, in which the slick keeps the same
daily acquisitions from Terra and Aqua
hue as in Figure 3 and 4, while clouds are
satellites. A limitation of a MODIS data
well distinguishable from oil.
based monitoring system remains the
meteorological conditions, as cloud cover
may prevent radiance penetration from
sea surface, but using infrared data from
night-time overpasses the frequency
of acquisition of clear sky scenes may
sensibly improve.


The authors would like to acknowledge

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center -
LAADS Web program for the availability of
free MODIS data.

Fig. 5 - May 05, 2010 - MODIS night-time IR 8. REFERENCES

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Godoy, “MODIS detects oil spills in Lake

M.H. Guimarães1,2, A. Mascarenhas2, C. Sousa2, T. Dentinho1 & T.
Gabinete de Gestão e Conservação da Natureza, Universidade dos Açores, 9701-851, Angra do Heroísmo,
Centro de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental, Faculdade de Ciência do Mar e Ambiente, 8005-139, Faro Portugal

ABSTRACT impact has been recognizing worldwide

by inequalities in economic and social
System Approach Framework (SAF) circumstances that, in turn, generates
includes a sequence of steps with political pressures. Going back in human
the overall purpose to develop a self- history the susceptibility of humans to
evolving, holistic research approach for the exhaustion of its resource is well
integrated appraisal of Coastal Systems documented [1] and the same behavior
so that the existing scientific knowledge has been registered in modern society
can be available to support deliberative [2, 3]. Coastal zone due to its population
and decision-making processes aimed at is one of the most important human
improving the sustainability of Coastal habitats, as well as, in great risk.
Systems by implementing Integrated
Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Due to this, Sustainable Development has
policies. The main goal is to achieve become one of the most important global
equilibrium between Ecological, Social and achievements. Eu policies reveal this
Economic sectors of the Coastal System agenda by the distinct action: Bird and
and to explore it´s dynamics, as well as, Habitat directives, Agenda 21, Lisbon and
the possible consequences of alternative Göteborg Strategies, Water Framework
policy scenarios. Achieving this objective Directive, Sustainable Impact Directive,
requires a reorganization of the science Integrated Coastal Zone Management
required to comprehend the interactions (ICZM) recommendations and
between multifaceted natural and social forthcoming Maritime Strategy and new
systems at different spatial and temporal ICZM directive. From EU recommendation
scales including the overall economic for ICZM we can conclude that to achieve
evaluation of alternative policies. The sustainable development there is a need
present work explains SAF using practical to better integrate scientific knowledge
examples of its application in two distinct into policies at the most appropriate level
national coastal environments: Southeast [4]. Taking this to account, the present
coast of Terceira Island and Guadiana framework wants to contribute to this
Estuary. process.
Index Terms - System thinking,
multidisciplinary approach, integrated coastal System Approach Framework (SAF)
management includes a sequence of steps with
the overall purpose to develop a self-
1. INTRODUCTION evolving, holistic research approach for
integrated appraisal of Coastal Systems
Human activities have incessantly so that the existing scientific knowledge
threatened the stability of our present can be available to support deliberative
society due to the continual and fast and decision-making processes aimed at
degradation of natural resources, which improving the sustainability of Coastal
support our existence through its goods Systems by implementing Integrated
and services. The need to stop this Coastal Zone Management (ICZM)
degradation is imperative, while its policies. This framework is based on
several concepts including systems makers have in the SAF process: they
thinking and multidisciplinary assessment are involved since the first stage of the
framework that explores and applies process by identifying the most relevant
methodologies in the ecological, social policy issue, as well as, the possible
and economic fields of research. decisions. In the more advance stages of
SAF process stakeholders are ask to work
With systems we can look at connections together with the product developed so
between elements, at new properties that refinements can be done. In the end
that emerge from these connections of the process they receive an adapted,
and feedbacks, and at the relationships interactive information portfolio.
between the whole and the part [5].
This worldview is referred to as “systems SAF is being tested in 18 case studies along
thinking”. The roots of systems thinking Europe under the umbrella of SPICOSA
go back to studies on systems dynamics Project - Science and Policy Integration
at MIT led by Jay Forrester in 1956, who for Coastal Systems Assessment, in the
was also the inventor of magnetic-core 6th framework program, priority
memory, which evolved into the random Global Change and Ecosystems. One
access memory used in all computers of the goals of SPICOSA project is to
today. With his background in electrical create an operational Systems Approach
and computer engineering, Forrester has Framework for assessments of policy
successfully applied some of the same alternatives in Coastal Zone Systems. The
engineering principles to social, economic SAF emerges from existing knowledge
and environmental problems. In more and progress with new knowledge.
recent years, system approach and A SAF Portfolio consisting of generic
analysis has been spread through distinct assessment methodologies, specific tools,
disciplines and tools (e.g. in management, models, and new knowledge useful for
[6]; in environmental management, [7]; ICZM, will be created in a manner that
and in applied mathematics, [8]). is comprehensible and updateable for
future Costal Zone (CZ) researchers and
SAF main goal is to achieve a balance professionals. In addition, SPICOSA will
between Ecological, Social and Economic produce new curricula, training modules
sectors of the Coastal System so that its and opportunities for academics and
dynamics can be explore, as well as, the professionals involved in Sustainability
potential consequences of alternative Science and ICZM implementation.
policy scenarios. Achieving this objective
requires a reorganization of the science The aim of this article is to present the
required to comprehend the interactions ongoing work that has been developed in
between multifaceted natural and social two case studies in Portugal: Guadiana
systems at different spatial and temporal Estuary case study and Southeast coast
scales including the overall economic of Terceira Island in Azores archipelago.
evaluation of alternative policies. Guadiana Estuary is a case study
included in SPICOSA project and the
SAF can be included in the category work developed is quite advance since
of tools defined as Decision Support the project started in 2007. Terceira
Systems (DSS) since the aim is to produce Island case study is included in a PhD
information useful for distinct end-users. project that tests SAF approach in terms
End-users include politicians making of methodologies and particularities by
the final decision, experts advising comparing its application in two distinct
decision makers, bodies in charge of ecological and socio economic realities.
policy preparation, implementation or The work in Terceira Island started in
monitoring and stakeholders influence or 2009 so comparison of results is not yet
influencing the process. Importance and possible. For this reason, the main goal
effectiveness of this tool is enlarged by of this article is to present SAF approach
the role that stakeholders and decision- giving particle examples.

2. CASE STUDIES earliest colonization [15, 16]. In recent
years pressures on littoral and offshore
Guadiana is one of the most important resources have grown [17] with the
rivers on Iberian Peninsula, whose total subsistence or artisanal exploitation to
length is 730 km of which the last 200 km more commercial operations. The coast
forms a natural border between Portugal line of Terceira Island is characterized by
and Spain. Brackish conditions can be cliffs that vary from small to moderate
observed circa 40 km upstream of the heights interrupted by small bays, above
river mouth. Mértola in the Portuguese all through east and south sides (figure
margin is the last point of tidal influence 2). The northern coast is constantly
and defines the end of the estuarine area submitted to the wave action, and on the
(fig. 2). Guadiana estuary catchment other hand, the eastern part is protected
basin is the fourth largest in the Iberian from these actions [18]. This way it
Peninsula, ca.67,500 km2 [9]. The climate, was possible to emerge a wetland that
typically Mediterranean, is classified as attracted many kind of sea birds exclusive
semiarid, being arid in July and August, from this place, and form a long beach with
and temperate-humid from November to 3 kilometers length; unique in Azores, and
January [10]. Accordingly, the Guadiana with a dune field of 13 meters width. In
area shows clear seasonal and inter- our days this wetland is reduce to a small
annual variations, characterized by severe fraction. Human activities mainly related
droughts and heavy floods. The Guadiana construction drained the wetland and the
basin is under increasing pressure for habitat disappeared some decades ago as
exploitation of water resources, especially well as the beach, only remaining a small
since the 1960s, with the construction strip of sand.
of dams and reservoirs that affect the
river and its tributaries. The existence
of more than forty dams along the river
causes a severe decrease of river flow
which is leading to significant impacts on
the estuarine hydrodynamics, sediment
transport and water quality [11, 12]. A
number of environmental problems, such
as eutrophication, untreated wastewater
discharges, and habitat destruction, are
presently taking place.

The Azorean archipelago is located in the

North Atlantic Ocean between 37-40o N
latitude and 23–31o W longitude (Fig. 3)
and the closest point to mainland Europe
is around 1,400 km [13]. It is composed
of nine volcanic islands of relatively
recent origin (varying between 0.25 and
8 Myr, although most areas are less than
1 Myr old). Terceira is the third largest
island, with c. 402 km2 and a maximum
altitude of 1,021 m. The climate is
temperate oceanic, characterized by mild
temperatures, moderate to high rainfall, Fig. 1 - Guadiana Estuary geographic location
and high atmospheric humidity [14]. The (source: Google earth)
Azores were uninhabited until colonized
by the Portuguese in the 15th Century.
Man has exploited littoral, near shore
and offshore living resources since the

designated by system design. This stage
involves the identification of the structure,
function and dynamics of the system. The
conceptualization can begin with a very
raw definition that becomes increasily
accurate during the process. The
development of the conceptual model and
the identified policy issue is a schematic
way that facilitates the development of
Fig. 2 - Geographic location of Azores, Terceira scenarios and outputs. In this stage is
Island and Praia da Vitoria city. also important to identified the necessary
information and methods that should be
3. METHODOLOGY AND RESULTS use to pass from a concept to a formal
structure, that includes mathematical
SAF concept follows the common
formalization of the cause and effect
sequential strategy described by
relation identified.
Jeffers (1978) presenting the following
attributes: 1) it can be functional to any
type of system hence its suitable for any To define the system we also need to
system investigation, 2) the approach is define a question we want to address.
holistic and hierarchical. It considers the This question can be of any nature but
entire system but it´s possible to focus it is usually related with a dysfunction,
the analysis on first-order functions and impact or change in the system that is
deeper into the system if required, 3) causing ecological, economic and or social
iteration and rescaling is a requirement problems. This question is designated by
in order to insure a balance between policy issue that requires a prognostic
effort, precision and resolution, 4) helpful to the process of deliberation and
it’s multidisciplinary, 5) it gives high decision making. From this policy issue we
significance to information flows in the can identify the impacts on the ecological
system which facilitates the enclosure and socio economic system, as well as,
of controls and constrains that human the human activities that are causing this
society implies, finally, 6) it is suitable for change.
modeling and scenario building. Figure
4 presents a scheme of SAF process System design includes a series of tasks;
showing that the research design starts definition of the policy issue, system
by defining the problem and from there definition, elaboration of the conceptual
tries to understand the chain of cause and model, design of information base and
effects that exist. the scale of the problem. All subtask
are interrelated but can be identified
individually. The definition of the policy
issue is primarily a social process that
describes a series of interconnected social
changes that impact what we designate
by the ecological system, separating
human activities from the rest of the
ecosystem. Hence this first task must be
supported by social tools that can helps
us understand the patterns of though and
behavior of the society of the study area,
Fig. 3 - System Approach sequence of steps.
the way this society is organized including
(Adapted from SPICOSA work document)
rules and the relations among groups.

5.1. System design Going into the practical application of this

stage, the definition of the policy issue
SAF application starts with the stage
was performed using different techniques
in each case study. This process started Fig. 4 - Q sort questionnaires: a) individual
with stakeholder’s identification of each response b) group response.
system. Ultimately all residents are
Results haven´t been analyzed in detail
stakeholders; however the identification
so it´s is too premature to identified
was narrowed to governmental institutions
the policy issue. However, from a first
with responsibilities in the decision
analysis of the data the highly ranked
making, human activities affecting
issues are related with the maintenance
the system and Non Governmental
and optimization of wetlands existing
Institutions (NGO) acting in the area. In
in the area, the impact of the industrial
Guadiana estuary one-to-one meetings
park that surrounds these wetlands,
were undertaken so that the project
the impact of heavy construction and of
could be presented and stakeholders
garbage deposition.
could engage with SAF application. After
this meeting a questionnaire was sent
by email so each participant could rank
from a predefined list of possible policy
issues the most relevant ones. This list
was produce by a team of researchers
and it was based on problems identified
in previous works. From data treatment
of these questionnaires the identified
policy issue was: water and sediment
quality of Guadiana Estuary related with
untreated wastewater and river runoff
control by dams existing along the river
and tributaries.
In Terceira Island we have used
participative methodologies that included
the application of Q-sort methodology
[19] and small group meetings. The
process started with semi-directed
interviews to key stakeholders; review
of these interviews extraditing the
different policy issues; application of Q
sort questionnaire (fig. 5a) where each
individual ranked the identified policy
issues taking into account its relevance.
This process was also performed in small
groups (fig. 5b) where stakeholders were
asked to perform the same ranking all Fig 5 - Evolution of conceptualization of the
together. These groups included 3 to 6 system using conceptual models: a) Conceptual
stakeholders from different categories map of Guadiana estuary case study using
(researchers, governmental institutions, CMAP® tools (source: spicosa project) b)
NGO, economic activities, etc). simple conceptual map of Terceira island case

5.1. System Formulation

In this second step the aim is to represent
the operation of the system in qualitative
and quantitative terms. During the
formulation step, the conceptual map
might be adapted and changed. This
a) b) iterative process is also consider in SAF as

it can be observed in scheme of figure 4 the influence of wastewater treatment
that show connection between the distinct levels and different river discharge
steps (thin arrows). This iterative process regimes on fecal coliforms concentration
is due to two main reasons: data available (fig. 7). So the output of this model is
to represent the system and stakeholders ecological although the inputs are derived
needs in terms of process, scenarios and from Human activities.

Formulation step requires the use of a

platform that allows the conversion of
a qualitative conceptual system to a
quantitative system. The software used in
this task is ExtendSim®, a simulation tool
that allows the development of dynamic
models of real-life processes in a wide
variety of fields. ExtendSim® allows the Fig. 6 - Output of the ecological component
use of building blocks, the exploration of model in ExtendSim®
the processes involved in the blocks, how The socioeconomic model was developed
they relate and how the system behaves using Cost-Benefit Analysis [20] and
after a change in the assumptions. Economic Base Theory [21]. These two
Building blocks can be divided in six approaches have been defined so that
basic groups: decision variables, state distinct stakeholder’s needs could be
variables, exogenous variables, random answered. The application of Cost-Benefits
variables and output variables. Still in the Analysis (CBA) is in consonance with
system design all the variables are put in the requirements of Water Framework
one of these categories so that we can Directive (WFD) and can contribute to
formulate the system, prepare scenarios the challenge that each member state
and present the outputs. ExtendSim® has. This directive calls for an economic
software has been use along all case analysis of water use, in order to promote
studies of SPICOSA project and will also cost effective measures. In addition, the
be use in system formulation of Terceira WFD presents a clear concern for the
case study. Until this moment practical social cost of implementing regulatory
examples can only be demonstrated in approaches and enhances the need to
Guadiana Estuary. develop strategies that secure social
Although SAF aims to be an integrated
approach, at this stage of the proceedings, The effectiveness and short-term cost of
each component is formalized separately reducing bacterial loadings were analyzed
so that the simulations model can be by comparing the costs with the benefits
produced and validated previously to of each possible scenario. At the moment
integration. In Guadiana estuary the the defined scenarios are related to the
ecological component allows us to level of waste treatment, from bad (6%
understand how water quality reacts to removal rate), fair (50%; removal rate) to
distinct inputs of fecal coliforms. Within good (99% removal rate) and with the level
the model the user can define these inputs of river runoff that can go from ecological
by changing river runoff and wastewater minimum river discharge (2m/s), half of
discharges. For these results the estuary the actual river discharge, actual river
was approached as a sequence of three discharge to double of the actual river
interconnected segments: upper, middle discharge. The term actual represents the
and lower estuarine sectors. The transport registered river discharge from 2002 until
of a given contaminant along the estuary 2007 in Pulo do Lobo station localized in
(across sectors) was simulated through Guadiana River immediately before the
the advection-diffusion equation. With estuarine area that is being modeled. One
this simulation model we can understand the benefits side we included the revenues
that the company responsible for waste that interest other group of stakeholders as
treatment receives from each user. This Municipalities and investors of the region.
indicator is interesting in a financial point One of the main economic activities in
of views hence it is more useful for the the Algarve region is related with sun
company managers and to some extent to and beach [22]. Every year the beaches
all users of the treatment system. Taking of this region are visited by national and
into account WDF concerns we have use foreigner tourists. Along the Algarve coast
Contingent Valuation Methodology to there about 60 beaches awarded with the
evaluate residents and visitors willingness Blue Flag award. This award is attributed
to pay for improvements in water quality to beaches that respect several quality
(Guimarães et al, in submission). This standards including the thresholds’ of
methodology is included in a very broad fecal coliforms concentration defined by
class of stated preference methods that the regulation of bathing waters [23].
elicit preferences directly from people. Taking this into account, a data base was
These preferences are listed as stated created and statistical analysis performed
(as compared to reveal) because there to test if the number of visitors in a beach
are no behaviors being observed that is related with the existence of Blue Flag
can be used to identify the preferences. on the beach. Among other variables it
That is, the preferences are elicited from was observed that the beaches with Blue
conversations with individuals rather than flag have more visitors than the ones
from purchases, votes, expenditures of without this certification. In addition
time in activities, or other observable we could also found that the number of
behaviors. Contingent valuation is visitors on a beach is related with the
consistent with economic valuation since amount of employment in restaurants and
it elicits preferences from individuals accommodation. Applying the Base Model
and provides monetary values. The use Theory we were able to understand how this
of Contingent Valuation Method gives employment affects the local population.
an economic output in the model that The beach demand demonstrates the
translates changes in human welfare due importance of a good water quality in
to changes in water quality of the estuary. terms of beach attractiveness. This
In addition we confront these changes indicator shows a time cumulative effect
with the costs of different policy options. i.e. if a good water quality is maintained
This comparison (fig. 8) is useful for during several years, the Blue Flag status
evaluating different management options is awarded to the beach and contributes
in relation to policy objectives and to find to the increase in attractiveness of that
the optimal option in relation to ecological beach followed by a measurable increase
results. in the number of visitors per year, hence
to the employment and population.
Population output is then used as input
in the ecological model representing a
feedback loop in our simulation model.

5.1. System Appraisal

In the Formulation step each component
of the system: ecological, economic
and social are analyzed and developed
individually. This is necessary due to
the complexity and work needed to
Fig. 7 - Output of the ecological component
perfect the simulation model of each
model in ExtendSim®
component previously to the integration
process. In System Appraisal we begin
The Economic Base Theory [21] was used the set-up preparations and outputs from
to produce other socioeconomic outputs System Formulation, which consist of the
related with employment and population
integration of all components in a single the present simulation model. In Appraisal
component designated by Ecological- step an intense process of interaction with
Social-Economic component (ESE). The stakeholders occurs so that feedback on
distinct models are coupled to construct the simulation model design and output.
the simulation model. This step can be This is the stage that Guadiana estuary is
very challenging not only in terms of at the moment. Around 8 meetings with
multidisciplinary approach but also in distinct stakeholders groups have been
modeling task mainly due to the distinct perform. The results of this work are still
units and time steps use in each ESE being process and will not be presented
component. here.

After the acquisition of a valid ESE model 5.1. System Output

we need to arrange the model and it´s This step starts after the process of
outputs to serve the main goal; utility in iteration of the model, scenarios and
simulating management questions. Model stakeholders needs. In this step all
outputs and significance must be put in necessary information is organized for
a format rapidly understandable by non- policy deliberation and dissemination to
scientist, which implies that indicators and the non-science end-users community.
interpretative material must be prepared. This step can be achieved using distinct
This will help the synthesis of the model formats adequate to each reality and
results including the difference between necessities. Formats can varies from
each scenario. qualitative descriptions, dynamic
indicators, error and effectiveness
In Guadiana case study the ecological critique, recommendations forecast
and socioeconomic model were linked scenarios with multiple policy options,
using the threshold of fecal coliforms economic analyses of scenarios, and
for bathing waters (fig. 5). The model interactive deliberations conducted with
starts the simulation of a certain scenario the policy end-users, with stakeholders
with an initial population driven from and with the public. The preparation of
the National Institute of Statistic. The a diversity of formats of this end product
simulation runs for 6 years, each year has to do with the distinct targets of SAF:
the model gives an ecological output; governance, discussion forum, end users
daily concentration of fecal coliforms. This and public.
output is then compared with the water
bathing regulation. This is the first link 6. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS
between the distinct components. Fecal
coliforms concentrations are checked Comparison among case studies is not
against the water quality thresholds used possible at the moment due to the early
for the attribution of Blue Flag award. stage of Terceira island case study.
During the bathing season if the standards However it is possible to say that SAF
are respected the beach is considered a application in Guadiana Estuary allowed
Blue Flag beach. This output is used to us to understand some interesting issues
calculate people’s willingness-to-pay for arising from the challenge of working in
water quality improvement and is also multidisciplinary arena. Ecological, social,
used to predict the amount of visitors that economic and modeling field follow very
will visit the beach each year. This is then different assumption and methodologies
linked with employment and then with which can make SAF application difficult.
population. For this reason the ecological However the use of a common platform
component of this integrated model uses related with the modeling is a stimulus to
simulated population values from the find a common ground among disciplines.
second year until the end of the simulation, Hence the requirement of passing from
which represents an interesting feedback a conceptual model to a simulation
loop between components. In figure 5a) models forces disciplines to find common
we can observe the conceptual model of solutions. In addition, modeling produces

a series of generic blocks that can be Journal of the European Communities. p.
used in other case studies due to the 4.
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K. Jerosch, V.E. Kostylev & S.M. Blasco
Geological Survey of Canada,(Atlantic), Natural Resources Canada, Bedford Institute for Oceanography, 1
Challenger Drive, Dartmouth, NS, B2Y 4A2, Canada. E-mail:

ABSTRACT [17]. There are exceptions to this rule,

e.g., cold seeps where biogenic or
The study focuses on a unique geologic thermogenic organic matter is being
environment throughout the Canadian provided from deeper layers of the
Beaufort Shelf and its likely role as a seafloor. The correlation of unique benthic
unique arctic habitat. Pingo-like-features assemblages to a definite methane-
(PLFs) are bathymetric features formed driven geochemical environment, building
by gas-driven sediments derived from definite biogeochemical habitats, has
decomposing gas-hydrate associated been proven in several studies (e.g. [2],
with Holocene sea level rise. They are [11], [15], [16]).
unique habitats arising more than 15m
off the seafloor, with a small diameter of To date, the Beaufort Shelf is known as
about 80-90m. Based on multibeam data an area of free gas occurrence and mud
and video analysis this paper details the volcanism, as shown by the presence
distribution of epibenthos living on top of of actively venting gas on sub-bottom
the PLFs and in the vicinity surrounding data and the observation of gas bubbles
two PLFs. We, attribute to the PLFs a role at the sea surface in the vicinity of the
as a distinct habitat in the Beaufort Sea. volcanoes. Sediment cores taken in 2003
We found a considerably higher number contained high amounts of methane and
of species at or near PLFs than at the ice nodules[12]. Gas voids were present
reference station at a distance of several in push cores [14]. Discrete dome-
hundreds. Furthermore, we located more shaped bathymetric features that have
sessile species on the shallower and wider been described as diapirs, mud volcanoes
PLF which possibly indicates less activity or pingo-like-features (PLFs) are known
and age than the steeper and higher to be formed by gas-driven sediment
PLF’s. expansion and movement. They occur
on the Canadian Beaufort Shelf and
Index Terms - pingo-like-features, other shelves (e.g. offshore California
epibenthos, habitat mapping, GIS, Beaufort [13] and the mid-Norwegian Margin
[9]. Venting methane, freshwater ice
uplifted over older sediments on the PLF,
1. INTRODUCTION and depressions surrounding some PLFs
containing younger sediments, can be
It is well known that benthic distribution considered as a consequence of thermal
and community features, such as warming of subsurface gas hydrate in
composition, diversity, and standing permafrost associated with the Holocene
stock, are influenced by a complex transgression of the Arctic Shelf [12].
of abiotic and biotic factors. The food
supply of the majority of benthic faunas So far, 384 PLFs have been mapped since
depends on the availability of organic 2001 by the Geological Survey of Canada
matter, ultimately originating from the (GSC) using multibeam, sidescan sonar,
autotrophic production in the upper and single-channel seismic systems.
euphotic layer of the water column
Several of these features were initially Conan et al. (2008)).
discovered in the 1970s and 1980s (Fig. Given the environmental and regional
1). These submarine PLFs are rising as variation in food supply, geochemistry
little as 18m below the sea surface and and upwelling processes at PLFs, we
some, but not all, PLFs emanate from hypothesize that the benthos will reflect
within roughly circular, 1–2km diameter, these processes in their local community
10 to 20m deep bathymetric depressions, pattern. Specifically, we hypothesize that
referred to here as moats. benthic community composition at Gary
Benthic studies were initiated on Knoll’s PLFs is distributed as a result of its
the Canadian Shelf by hydrocarbon immediate surroundings.
exploration during the 1970′s but A key question for arctic benthic studies is
syntheses in the literature have been whether PLFs feature prominent ‘hotspots’
sparse until this past decade (Clarke and of geochemical–benthic coupling.
Warwick (2001); Cusson et al. (2007) and

Fig. 1 - Distribution of video stations and PLFs over the Beaufort Shelf. 192 video stations have
been recorded in the period from 2004-2008. The red rectangle defines the study area which
includes two PLFs, four video stations and multibeam data. 384 PLF features have been mapped
since 2001 by the Geological Survey of Canada using multibeam, sidescan sonar, and single-
channel seismic systems.

2. METHODS The camera used was a SeaView SV-
DSP2002 high resolution digital signal
2.1. Study area processor underwater color video camera
with two external lights mounted on a
The study area is located at about tripod frame. Scaling lasers are attached
137º12’26W and 69º 58’4N on the to the frame on either side of the camera.
Beaufort Shelf. Gary Knoll’s PLFs appear The camera was set at 35cm above the
alike a corridor of diapirs in water depths tripod base, which resulted in a 45 x
of 54m, approximately 25km east of 32cm wide view field when the camera
Mackenzie Trough (Fig. 1). There has legs were on the seabed. Shark Marine
been no gas observed coming from the Technologies (video overlay v1.3.2)
PLFs at Gary Knolls, however, the region was used to produce an overlay of GPS
is known for sub-surface gas in shallow coordinates, depth, and temperature data
sediments [4]. in addition to date and time (UTC) on the
video recording.
2.2. Shipboard operations
2.3. Identification and analysis of
The video footage used in this study was epibenthos
recorded aboard the Coastguard vessel
CCGS Nahidik during the summers of GIS-based queries identified four video
2006 and 2007. The expeditions have stations either close to or across a PLF,
been conducted as part of the Beaufort where multibeam data was available (Fig.
Sea Coastal Marine Program to collect 2). These four video stations represent a
seabed sediment, fauna samples and circa 2km long video swath of the seabed.
video footage. They establish a study area of two PLFs
(P1 and P2) with video data

Fig. 2 - 3-dimensional view on the study area at Gary Knoll. P1, P2 and the REF sites are directly
located next to an area of ice scours and PLFs accumulation (corridor). Black lines represent the
video transect. Upper left: single-channel seismic record (Line 73, 2005) showing the outcropping
PLFs and the undisturbed seafloor between the PLFs [4].

close or across these features and one steep (<12.5º). Video swath lengths have
reference video station (REF) 350-1300m been defined as video transect meters
away. (mv) according to the morphological slope
Fauna was identified and quantified from zones of the PLFs (top, and periphery),
the video image to the lowest possible and the nearby relatively flat REF station.
taxonomic level and logged using a
GSC-developed computer program into 3.2. Epibenthos distribution at Gary
a text-file which was joined with ship’s Knoll’s pingos
navigation data. Total abundance of
epibenthic macrofauna was recorded for In general, we found a considerably
each transect. Multibeam data were used higher number of species at or near PLFs
to calculate the slope and to divide the (P1: 3.52/mv; P2: 4.74/mv) than at a
study area into zones of slope gradients distance of several hundred meters (REF:
(steep, moderate and flat) in order to 0.94/mv.) Furthermore, P1 shows a higher
differentiate the ‘hot-spot’ areas and species richness (11 families) than P2 and
reference areas surrounding the PLFs REF (7 families each). Despite the gas-
closely. hydrate decomposing environment there
was no visual evidence for chemosynthetic
3. RESULTS species on the videos.
Analysis of the distribution of several
3.1. Slope and video data distribution groups of benthic megafauna on and near
the features has shown that the relative
Multibeam bathymetric data and video abundance of benthic invertebrates
transects have enabled the detailed depends on the seabed slope and distance
assessment of the epibenthos distribution to PLFs.
on the specific morphology of two PLFs Analyzing the species distribution
on the Canadian Beaufort Shelf. PLFs according to slope and not to the location,
are widespread across the shelf between we see that at both PLFs the relative
140ºW and 130ºW (384 known PLFs) (Fig. abundance of Echinodermata., Mollusca
1). Along the northeastern shelf and at and Coelenterata prefer a moderate to
the Gary Knoll’s corridor they accumulate steep slope (Tab. 1). All observed fishes
significantly - at Gary Knoll’s 147 PLFs and Annelida were located near P1 on a
appear in an area of 44 km2 (see extract flat seafloor (Fig. 4). All Species recorded
in Fig. 2), which is 3-4 PLFs per square in the reference area seems to prefer the
kilometer. flat regions.
The slope analysis has shown that the We selected four families (Crinoidea,
PLFs have a periphery with moderate Asteroidae, Ophiuroidea and Anthozoa)
slope values, followed by a steep ascent for further analysis, because
and have a flattened top.
The designated areas in this study -
P1, P2 and REF - for a habitat analysis
are located closely to ice scours and
the PLFs accumulation (corridor). The
heights of P1 and P2 from their crest to
their 2 m deep moats are 18m and 15m,
respectively and their diameter 82m and
92m, respectively. Therefore, P1 has a
significantly higher slope gradient than
P2. The REF station is in a consistently flat
surrounding. According to the distribution
of slope values we classified the slope grid
into three major slope zones following
Jenk’s Natural Breaks method [9]: flat
(<3.81º), moderate (3.81º - 12.5º) and

Gary Knoll - Pingo 1

Relative abundance





0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40

Annelida Anthozoa Asteroidea
Crinoidea Isopoda Ophiuroidea
Polychaetea Expon. (Ophiuroidea) Expon. (Anthozoa)

Gary Knoll - Pingo 2


Relative abundance





0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40


Annelida Anthozoa Asteroidea

Crinoidea Isopoda Ophiuroidea
Polychaetea Expon. (Ophiuroidea) Expon. (Anthozoa)

Table 1 - (above) Relative and absolute

abundance of major epibenthic groups related
Gary Knoll - Reference
to slope at and near Gary Knoll’s PLFs P1 and
P2 (mv: video swath meter). Species richness
is higher at the steeper P1 than at P2 and REF.

The number of species is significantly higher at

Relative abundance


or near PLFs than at REF.

Fig. 3 - charts (left) Relationship between


relative abundance of major groups of benthic
megafauna and seabed slope on and around
0.0 5.0 10.0 15.0 20.0

25.0 30.0 35.0 40.0
bathymetric features. Two nearby pingos on
Gary Knoll’s and the surrounding reference
Pycnogonida Expon. (Ophiuroidea)
seabed station is shown.

these taxa were the most abundant than at REF. The three Echinodermata
at the sampling stations. The analysis families have been recorded as extremely
was done with regard to their location abundant on top and in the periphery
on the PLFs (on top, in the periphery of P1. Conversely, all of these species
or in the surrounding area). Anthozoa showed highest abundances in the
occur considerably more often in the surrounding area of P2.
surrounding area of P1 and on top of P2

4. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION The species distribution supports this
hypothesis. We identified more mobile
PLFs hold particular interest to the oil species (Asteroidae, Ophiuroidea) on the
and gas industry, and environmentalists peak of P1, whereas sessile Anthozoa
and scientists, due to their association are more abundant on top of P2. Is there
with possible greenhouse gas emissions, thus a general distribution pattern on
potential hydrocarbons at depth, active versus inactive PLFs? Or does the
geohazards, and unique ecosystems. observed distribution pattern just reflect
In this small-scale case study we have an enhanced food supply caused by the
shown that because of the differences additional current exposed location of the
in the species structure in the PLFs steeper and higher P1? So far, a large
versus REF, there is evidence for PLFs as number of PLFs has been detected on the
unique habitats (see Figure 4 and Table Beaufort Shelf. Since the Beaufort Shelf
2). However, the question remaining is part of an extensive oil drilling program
is whether or not species distribution and there is a lack of knowledge regarding
is a result of methane hydrate seepage PLFs as marine habitats, it is important
or current activity over the PLF feature. to carefully analyze PLF epifauna and
P1 is steeper and shows higher species to establish the role of PLFs as unique
richness when compared to P2 and seabed habitats. This knowledge supports
REF. This may suggest the influence the assessment of the impact of proposed
of geochemical activity as a result offshore pipeline routes and exploration
of methane hydrate release at P1. drill sites on the Beaufort Sea ecosystem.

Fig. 4 - Quantitative and qualitative mapping on Gary Knoll’s PLFs P1, P2 and REF of all species
recorded. Left: Echinodermata (except Ophiuridae) appear to be more abundant at the PLF sites.
Center: Ophiuridae arise extremely abundant on all three test regions. Right: remaining Phyla occur
considerably in a higher number and type of species close to the tops of the geological features.

Table 2 - Relative (per video transect meter [mv]) and absolute quantification of Echinodermata
and Anthozoa according to their location: on top, in the periphery or in the surrounding of the PLFs.
The variation in the relative abundance shows a relation between occurrence and slope.

5. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Beaufort Sea Mapping Program, Geological

Analysis”, Report of the Geological Survey
We thank the officers and crew, the of Canada, Atlantic, 2006.
shipboard scientific party for excellent [5] Campbell, A., Blasco, K., White, M.,
support during CCGS Nahidik cruises to Campbell, P., Burke, R. and Blasco, S.M.,
the Gary Knoll’s PLFs in 2006 and 2007. “2005 Beaufort Sea Mapping Program,
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Geological Analysis”, Report of the
Research Council Canada (NSERC) Geological Survey of Canada, Atlantic,
provided support in granting a Visiting 2007.
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P. Lozano-Rivera, C. García-Valencia, A. L. Rodríguez
Marine and Costal Research Institute “Jose Benito Vives de Andreis”, Cerro Punta Betín, Santa Marta Colombia, AA
1016. E-mail:

Index Terms— Integrated Coastal Zone
Several ecologic, economic and Management, GIS, Remote Sensing, Colombia
institutional processes converge in
coastal areas that require especial 1. INTRODUCTION
planning and management. The study
area of this research is the Colombian In a general context, part of the
coastal zones, northwest corner of importance of coastal zone areas lies on
South America. We describe the results that 72% and 20% of the earth’s surface
from several Integrated Coastal Zone is covered by seas and coastal areas
Management (ICZM) projects carried respectively, and that approximately 60%
out between 2000-2010 by the Marine of the world’s population lives in coastal
and Coastal Research Institute. The areas [1]. Coastal areas are also spaces
methodology is based on the national where several ecological, economic and
initiative COLMIZC (Colombian Integrated institutional processes convey conferring
Coastal Management Methodology) that the need for particular planning and
is supported on the use of transversal for specific management that respond
tools such as Geographic Information to these specific environments. Such
Systems and Remote Sensing. The strategies should reconciliate ecosystem’s
progress of the ICZM plans is described conservation, the use of natural resources
on Environmental Coastal Units (UAC in provided by such environments and aim
Spanish). In general, 22% of coastal areas the sustainable development of these
have been addressed by ICZM studies areas.
that have identified a variety of coastal
and marine geomorphologic features, Colombian coastal zones are defined
ecosystems and land use units. Moreover, as a national space with natural,
potential management units provided to demographic, social, economical and
the decision makers include measures cultural characteristics, where interaction
such as protection, ecosystems recovery, processes between sea, land and air
sustainable and development. Another occur; where biodiversity supply goods
important outcome is the identification and services that support activities such
and location of problems and conflicts as fishing, tourism, shipping, harbor
present in the coastal zones. GIS offers development, mining exploration; and
diverse advantages related with facility where urban and industrial settlements
for processing large amounts of data, are placed. It is a natural, unique,
selection, definition and rate criteria for fragile and limited natural resource of
environmental zoning. Nevertheless, we our country that demands and adequate
found some limitations on this approach management in order to assure its
related to information availability and conservation, its sustainable development
differences in temporal and space scales. and its traditional communities’ cultural
Colombia’s IZCM process is still in values [2-4].
progress, further work will include areas
without ICZM and more detailed studies Considering the above, it becomes clear
on submerged zones. that some of the causes originating this

situation are related to deficient planning and rocky shorelines; with the typical
processes and lack of management productivity of tropical marine and coastal
strategies accord to the needs of these ecosystems.
areas. For this reason proper planning
and management strategies are required Coastal zone pressures from population
in order to: 1) solve problems and growth are not clearly evident in
conflicts related to the several interests Colombia as they are in other parts of the
from different users; 2) establish the word. However, there is a great threat
environmental cost and impacts caused by over coastal resources particularly on
human activities 3) set up guidelines that certain areas where coastal ecosystems
improve coastal resources; 4) Identify are at a critical state [2]. This pressure
coastal spaces of particular interests, as is developing mainly as consequence of
well as resources at risk to guarantee their the land use patterns, which in most of
protection and conservation; 5) place the the cases are incompatible with natural
different uses and activities in such a way ecosystems’ sustainability.
that are not incopatible
Along the Colombian coastal zones, in
Geographic information technology is a general, is evident the expansion of
wider concept of (computerized) tools unplanned activities such as tourism,
for handling spatial data, including waste disposal (domestic and industrial),
multimedia tools. Geo-information destruction and/or habitat loss, loss of
technologies integrate information with biodiversity related to flora and fauna
their location (x and y coordinates). The overexploitation, coastal erosion and
capacity of geo-information technologies conflicts arising from incompatible
to integrate information make them very productive activities. Although the
useful tools to support ICZM [5]. situation cannot be compared with the
global situation, population growth along
The present document shows the results the Colombian Caribbean has been the
from diverse studies on Integrated most significant at the national level.
Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) carried Barranquilla, Santa Marta and Cartagena,
out at various locations of the Colombian the main urban areas have shown a
coastal zones between 2000 and 2010. considerable population growth.
In those studies geographic information
technologies such as Geographic The ICZM process in Colombia has been
Information System GIS and remote developed using the Environmental
sensing, have been successfully applied Coastal Units (UAC by its Spanish acronym)
for collecting, organizing, visualizing and which are defined as: environmental
integrating marine and coastal information units, geographically continuous, with
[6-12]. We present as well the advance clearly defined ecosystems, that require
of environmental and management units a unique visualization and management
knowledge and the progress of ICZM in order to bring together local and sub
application. regional territorial entities. Currently the
Colombia coastal zones are divided into
2. MATERIALS AND METHODS ten UAC (Figure 1), five in the continental
Caribbean, one in insular Caribbean and
2.1. Study area four in the Pacific coastal zones.

There are 3.882 km of shorelines along 2.2. Methods

the Colombian Pacific, Caribbean and
insular zones; the Caribbean shoreline The method applied promotes the
is 1642 km. [13]. There are several adoptions of ICZM in Colombia and
types of ecosystems including mangrove proposes an environmental approach to
forests, beaches, coastal lagoons, coral coastal zone planning. This methodology
reefs, sedimentary sea beds, sea grasses, is compound by the following steps:

1) Preparation: this step includes based on Lozano-Rivera [14], is used
the definition of boundaries of study mainly for land cover identification. Basic
area; setting technical and scientific steps are images acquisition, atmospheric
objectives; institutional arrangement, and geometric corrections, mosaic, field
team conformation and stakeholder visit, region segmentation of image,
identification. 2) Characterization and classification and vector edition and map
diagnosis: inventory and description coverage elaboration. The integration
of biophysical, socioeconomic and of information is carried out using the
government characteristics; trough ecological landscape concept [15],
an integral analysis and identification where characterization of study area
of critical problems. 4) Environmental is stored by components, integrating
zoning: definition of criteria and units of geomorphology, land coverage,
management units. 5) Formulation of associated fauna, land use and productive
guidelines plans: proposal of programs systems and governance. All components
and management actions. As transversal are integrated in a GIS database that
tools, besides GIS and remote sensing, allows calculating ecological landscape
the methodology proposes participatory units (geomorphology + coverage + land
actions of community and institutions and use). These units in conjunction with
results divulgation and socialization [2]. whole compiled data (geodatabase) are
the starting place for rating of zoning
criteria and elaboration of environmental

Data capture and storage

Digitalization R emote Sensing Normalization Field work

• A tmospheric and
geometric correction
• M ask and mosaic
• Segmentation
• Classification
• M ap edition

U nits creation

G eomorphology C overage L and use Fauna

L andscape ecology units

R ating of zoning criteria

Preliminary zoning map

Zoning map no
is C riteria review


Zoning and thematic maps

Fig. 1 - Study area Fig. 2 - Geotechnologies methodology for ICZM

Use of geo-technologies includes 3. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

digitalization of existed geographic
data, satellite images and aerial The advantages of using GIS tools are
photographs processing, standardization commonly recognized, based on its easy
and normalization of alphanumeric and ‘integration’ of different type of data from
geographic data, field work, GPS locations, different disciplines. The term ‘integration’
GIS implementation and thematic maps in ICZM can be related to many aspects:
elaboration. The Remote sensing method, integration of different levels in a

government, integration of government more effort to be completed.
and non-government agencies and
institutions, spatial integration of land- The main GIS request from scientists,
based activities and marine issues, and technicians or decision makers is an
integration of science and management. inventory of areas. Table 1 describes the
These different types of integration require total area of Colombian coastal zones,
large sets of data from several disciplines. emerged and submerged areas; it shows
A substantial amount of this data has a as well the percentage of advance in ICZM
spatial component and GIS becomes an by UAC.
essential tool for supporting information
analysis at the different levels. Moreover, We identified along the Caribbean the
GIS allows incorporating field data and following geomorphology units: dunes
historic information in a fast and efficient fields, beaches, alluvial fan, alluvial
way and supports most of ICZM steps. plain, coastal lagoon, swamp, mangrove
swamp, salt marsh, sandbanks, sand bars,
There are some inherent technical ancient beaches, hills and mountains,
limitations from the application of continental shelf, marine terraces, spurs,
geoinformation tools that we had to solve and escarpments. Along the Pacific
trough the development of the ICZM coast the geomorphology is dominated
projects. Usually we had to use different by escarpments, cliffs, beaches, deltas,
types of remote sensing products sandbars, alluvial valleys, swamps and
according to information requirement mangrove swamps. Land cover units
and satellite images availability, causing include urban and suburban areas, bare
dissimilarities between spatial, temporal soil, grasslands, crops, aquaculture ponds,
and spectral resolutions. Governmental stubbles, shrub vegetation, swamps,
information availability is frequently of mangrove forest, tropical rain and dry
limited access or in an inadequate format forest, forest plantation, herbaceous
forcing time for adapting or creating vegetation, water bodies, salt marshes,
data in order to incorporate into GIS. sedimentary and reef bottoms with coral
In addition we observed difficulties to formations, rocky coastline, beaches and
estimate areas due to the combination of beach vegetation.
multi scale and multi source information.
Land use units are mostly agricultural,
Currently, we have worked on nine UAC livestock, aquaculture, artisanal and
along the Colombian coastal areas. The industrial fisheries, transport, tourism,
advance on this process during 2000- general services and trade, hunting, and
2010, is shown in Figure 3; there are only port development.
two UAC where the entire ICZM process
has been concluded (characterization,
diagnosis, zoning and guidelines for a
Management Plan). In three UAC the
planning process is completed; in four
UAC the characterization process has
begun; and in one UAC the process has
not started. If these results are express
in terms of percentages of area, ICZM
studies have achieved near of 22%
of Colombia coastal zone, including
emerged and submerged areas. Along
the Caribbean and the Pacific coasts the
advance is 15% and 74%, respectively.
In the Caribbean the low advance can
be explained by the presence of insular
marine area (UAC-CI), which will require


Pacific coastal UAC-MB





Caribbean coastal UAC-MS




0 1
Characterization 2
Diagnosis 3
Zoning 4 Plan

Fig. 3 - ICZM progress in Colombia by UAC

Table 1 - Areas of ICZM progress by UAC

Environmental zoning units have been ecosystems have not been significantly
classified in five categories: 1) Protection distorted. Main recommended activities on
zones: areas indexed into the National protected areas are ecotourism, scientific
Protection Area System or areas research and educational programs. 2)
susceptible to be protected. These zones Strategic ecosystems recovery zones:
allow their ecologic auto regulation and show high deterioration conditions,

low auto regulation capacity, land use activities of ICZM, INVEMAR has developed
conflicts and potential community a structured information system where
agreement for recover activities. 3) geographic and alphanumeric data is
Sustainable use zone, these areas have available for users. This system has
high natural resource supplies which allow evolved during the past 10 years since the
rational use trough traditional productive production of printed thematic maps to
techniques. Main recommended activities the development of internet map services
in these areas are subsistence activities (
for rural populations, improvement of
live conditions trough activities such as 4. CONCLUSIONS
transport, artisanal fishing or aquiculture.
3) Sustainable production zone: these After these 10 years of work on ICMZ using
areas are suitable for economic productive GIS, we conclude that the characterization
development due to their aptitude and of coastal areas according to their biotic,
potentialities (e.g. agriculture, livestock physic and governance characteristics is
and forest extraction). These zones foresee one of most important contributions. The
higher technological level and high natural opportunity to offer useful information
resource intervention. 4) Industrial, port (e.g. environmental indicators, thematic
and service development zone: these cartography) to decision maker is another
areas are related with infrastructure, significant result from this process.
ports and services activities or present In addition, GIS successfully supports
these potentialities. These zones selection, definition and criteria rate to be
require efficient social, economical and used on environmental zoning, facilitates
environmental activities development. 5) and makes more dynamic the generation
Urban and rural development zone: urban of environmental units making them more
areas and population settlements. Main coherent and realistic, helping on planning
activities are commercial, business and and decision making development.
services. GIS allows us processing large amount
of (spatial) data in a structured and
Through geoinformation analysis organized way, integrating different types
and participatory activities were also and sources of data using location as a
identified environmental problems along common identifier.
the coastal zone. Such problems are
integrated to GIS trough landscape Nevertheless, there are limitations when
ecology units. The main problems using GIS for ICZM. Some of those
identified were: water contamination, limitations include availability of baseline
coastal erosion, population settlements cartography, historical data and satellite
on risk areas, deforestation, habitat images (adequate spectral, temporal
loss, land use change, inappropriate and spatial resolution) as well as the
productive techniques for resource dissimilarities on temporal and spatial
extraction, unsustainable productive and scale of data sources.
extractive activities, over exploitation
of hydro biological resources and wild We consider the ICZM process in Colombia
fauna, loss of natural landscape, deficient is still in progress although this national
tourism development, unsuitable urban experience has taught us lessons on the
growth, deficient income distribution, application of geo-technologies. Further
land property concentrated in few, work will include the study of those areas
poor productive project investment, without ICZM progress and more detail on
deficient community and institution submerged zones.
management participation, deficient
coordination between institutions and, low 5. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
environmental planning, among others.
The authors wish to thanks the Marine and
As part of the divulgation and socialization coastal Research Institute especially to the

Coastal Management Research Program Colombia, 2003.
team and the Ministry of Environment, [8] INVEMAR, CRC and CORPONARIÑO,
Housing and Territorial Development and Unidad Ambiental Costera de la Llanura
Environmental regional authorities. Aluvial del Sur: Caracterización,
Diagnóstico Integrado y Zonificación
6. REFERENCES Ambiental, in: A. López (Ed.), Santa
Marta, Colombia, 2006.
[1] B. Cicin-Sain, V. Vandeweerd, P.A. [9] INVEMAR, CRC, CORPONARIÑO and
Bernal, L.C. Williams and M.C. Balgos, IIAP, Formulación del Plan de manejo
Meeting the Commitments on Oceans, Integrado de la zona costera del complejo
Coasts, and Small Island Developing de las bocanas Guapi Iscuandé, Pacífico
Status Made at the 2002 World Summit colombiano. Fase I Caracterización y
on Sustainable Development: How Well Diagnóstico, in: P. SierraandA. López
Are We Doing?. The Global Forum on (Eds.), Instituto de Investigaciones
Oceans, Coasts and Islands Co-Chairs’ Marinas y Costeras INVEMAR, Santa
Report, Third Global Conference on Marta, Colombia, 2003.
Oceans, Coasts, and Islands: Moving the [10] INVEMAR, GOBERNACIÓN DE
Global Oceans Agenda Forward UNESCO, ANTIOQUIA, CORPOURABA and
Vol. 1, Paris, p. 65 2006. CODECHOCO, Formulación de los
[2] D. Alonso, P. Sierra-Correa, F. Arias- lineamientos y estrategias de manejo
Isaza and M. Fontalvo, Guía metodológica integrado de la Unidad Ambiental
para el manejo integrado de zonas costeras Costera del Darién, in: A.P. Zamora,
en Colombia, manual 1: preparación, A. LópezandS.-C. P.C. (Eds.), Serie de
caracterización y diagnóstico, 2003. Documentos Generales INVEMAR No. 22,
[3] MMA, Ministerio del Medio Ambiente. Santa Marta, Colombia, 2008.
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Desarrollo Sostenible de los Espacios Rodríguez and J.L. Freyre-Palau, Plan de
Oceánicos y las Zonas Costeras e manejo integrado de la zona costera del
Insulares de Colombia – PNAOCI, 2001, complejo de las bocanas Guapi Iscuandé,
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[4] R. Steer, F. Arias-Isaza, A. Ramos, P. Documentos Generales INVEMAR No.
Sierra-Correa, D. Alonso and P. Ocampo, 17, INVEMAR-CRC-CORPONARIÑO-
Documento base para la elaboración de IIAP. Ministerio de Ambiente, Vivienda
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Integrado de las Zonas Costeras Colombia, 2003.
Colombianas”. Documento de consultoría [12] A. López-Rodríguez, J.C. Rodríguez-
para el Ministerio del Medio Ambiente, Peláez, G. Arteaga-Morales, L.M. Prieto,
Santa Marta, 1997. G. Almario, S. Espinosa and P.C. Sierra-
[5] T. Moore, K. Morris, G. Blackwell, Correa, Unidad Ambiental costera de
S. Gibson and A. Stebbing, “An Expert la Llanura Aluvial del Sur (UAC-LLAS),
System for Integrated Coastal Zone Pacífico colombiano: Plan de manejo
Management: A Geomorphological Case integrado de la zona costera. , Serie de
Study”, Marine Pollution Bulletin 37, 1998. Documentos Generales INVEMAR No. 23,
[6] INVEMAR, Ordenamiento Ambiental INVEMAR – CRC – CORPONARIÑO, Santa
de la Zona Costera del Departamento Marta, Colombia, 2006.
del Atlántico. Informe Final, in: A. López [13] INVEMAR, Informe del Estado de los
(Ed.), INVEMAR – CRA, Santa Marta, Ambientes y Recursos Marinos y Costeros
Colombia, 2007, p. 588 p + Cartografía en Colombia: Año 2008, Santa Marta,
Anexa. 2009.
[7] INVEMAR, CARSUCRE and CVS, [14] P. Lozano-Rivera, Técnicas
Formulación del plan de manejo integrado de percepción remota y sistemas
de la Unidad Ambiental Costera Estuarina de información geográfica para la
del Río Sinú y Golfo de Morrosquillo, delimitación de bosques de manglar,
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del Paisaje: un marco de integración para
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Bogotá, 1990.

L. Paramio
CIBIO- Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources
University of Azores, 9500-855 Ponta Delgada, Portugal. Email:

ABSTRACT governance now appears as a way to

establish the foundations of institutional
Ocean governance issues had developed mechanisms, policies and programs
disconnected approaches, the actual for current approaches to this process.
interest about resolving the depletion Problems arising from current ocean uses
of the environmental system and patterns seriously threaten the viability of
implications at global development scales the marine environment, leading different
leads us to seek new forms to improve countries to reconsider the governance
ocean sustainability. Apply “sustainability systems of ocean uses [1]
perspectives” at the ocean governance, is
a crucial challenge, to design and develop Actual political developments at regional
a sound ocean governance model. This and national level for integration at a
paper describes the initial stage for Azores holistic level the marine affairs, are in
ocean governance system, through the top of the ocean global agenda.
general marine issues and presents These advances seek to establish national
developing and existent institutional and ocean frameworks in coherence with the
legal structures. The initial goal of these Law of the sea Convention (UNCLOS)
structures will be identifying strategic dispositions. In this sense, the actual
priorities for making adequate sustainable great interest is promoted in part by
and integrated policies for marine Azorean the UNCLOS, based in the article 76º of
development. the LOS, that have invited all assignant
countries to presented proposal for
Index Terms— Ocean Governance, extend their marine jurisdictions (beyond
Sustainability, Ocean issues, legal dimension, the actual 200 nautical miles) and
institutional dimension. consequently its resources exploration.

1. INTRODUCTION Other actual concerns, such as climate

change and global financial crisis, showed
Recently, human use of the ocean at implications at different governance
global level has increased exponentially levels, threatening political structures
reflecting a pattern of intensification and relations. For the ocean these
of historical activities, as well as the implications affect the strategic priorities
emergence of new uses. Following and measures; one example could
this tendency to use the ocean is the be limited financing and exploration
concentration and a significant population necessities. This entire situation has
growth near the ocean, with increasing implications for the role of the ocean
demand for food, energy and economic and the way it is governed, possible
opportunities. The cumulative impact threats to sustainability, and a need to
of these developments increases the raise awareness concerning approaches
number of conflicts between ocean uses capable of maintaining ocean systems
areas and is an imminent threat to ocean and where necessary restoring them [2]
ecosystems sustainability. Moreover, this
intense use of the oceans and seas by all 2. GOVERNANCE FOR OCEAN
sectors, combined with climate change, SUSTAINABILITY
powers the pressure exerted on the
marine environment. Structuring ocean Actual ocean governance looks to the

sea as a global resource [2]. Ocean
management and governance concepts
are not synonymous, governance not
only includes management process, but
all other mechanisms and institutions
that serve to alter and influence human
behaviour [3]. Governance draws upon
fundamental objectives and institutional
processes for the basis of planning
and decision making. Management, by
contrast, is the process by which humans
and resources are deployed to achieve a
defined objective within an institutional Fig. 1 - Ocean Governance dimensions &
structure known. Governance sets the Sustainability perspectives.
stage at which management occurs.
Governance is constituted by institutions, The features associated at the ocean
formal and informal agreements and system (3D, flux, interconnectivity,
behaviours, how resources are used, how complexity) are not the unique constrains
the problems and chances are assessed, for sustainable oceans. Some problems
about actions permitted or prohibited; interconnected to ocean sustainability
and the regulation and sanctions that are occur as consequence of failures in
applied [4]. governance. Some challenges that
governance have to overcome are:
The growing interdependence and the
inadequate responses international 1. Zonal approach given by instruments
policies are accorded, have lead to the as a Law of the Sea (LOS) and defined
emergence of political rules with only and adapted ocean system boundaries
partial success at local and regional level. are controversial;
In this context, governance is seen as a
policy synonymous of “adaptive” because 2. Role of the oceans at the global
it currently goes beyond the political ecological system, and how to limit the
dimension, as it integrates the idea of use and take conservation measures;
“social-ecological resilience” [5]. This
concept thus introduces the importance 3. Open access and common property
and implications that policy decisions characteristics, special attention should
may have on society and on ecological be given to regulate access and take
systems, including response to the the decision for allocation, regulation,
precautionary principle. monitoring and enforcement of rights
of use, ownership, and stewardship to
Sachs [6] described the dimension of marine resources. Providing effective
sustainability applied to natural resources: means to prevent and reduce disputes;
social (equity), economic (efficiency),
ecological (carrying capacity and 4. The intergenerational and interspatial
resilience), spatial (compatibility areas) effects of the use of ocean resources,
and cultural (heritage and knowledge). specially the accumulative impacts and
For ocean system the application of these where (special goals) and when (temporal
perspectives is related to governance goals);
dimensions (legal, institutional,
mechanism of implementation, and 5. Uncertainty about the behavior of the
decision-making behaviours and system;
dynamics) is the approach aimed to
achieve sustainability of the oceans 6. Consider and integrate the social value
(Figure 1). of ocean and the services that could be
develop starting from assets and required
ways to guide behaviors .
international level specially, security and
7. Consider globalization because ocean surveillance.
sometimes it ignores environmental
externalities. Ocean use is particularly As a political unity autonomous regions
susceptible to this problem. [7] have some powers related to the
management of marine resources and
3. APPROACH TO AZORES SEA the use of ocean space, institutional
arrangement is based in a autonomy
3.1. Characterisation framework that implies the exercise of
their own legislative and executive powers,
The Azores Islands in the North Atlantic as well as administrative and financial
Ocean, located between 36º to 41º N autonomy [8] always in coherence with
and 25º to 31º W, are an archipelago the rights approves by Azores statutes.
composed by nine volcanic islands divided
into 3 groups: eastern group (S. Miguel On the other hand Azores is considered
and Sta. Maria), central group (Graciosa, in EU as an Ultraperipheral Region (UPR),
Terceira,S. Jorge, Pico and Faial) and which benefits from the EU and its
western group ( Flores and Corvo). With a institutions on the basis of a special effort
total land surface of 2325 km2 and a sea to adapt policies and actions that have an
territory that represents the biggest sub- impact on these regions according to their
area of Portugal Economic Exclusive Zone unique conditions. In this respect some
being the largest sub-area in Europe with political incentives are given with a goal
953,633 km2 [9]. Azores is an autonomous to integrate at community level in sectoral
region of Portugal with a fair degree policies such as fisheries are always in
of political and financial leeway. The negotiation state.
geographical and administrative features
mark the basis of governance regimes, 3.2. Azorean Ocean Issues
for Azores peculiarities showing important
implications in ocean governance. Some Different sea issues are highlighted below
of them are: to provide a general characterization of
the Azorean sea, all are interrelated and
Insular regions have an important focus only in main characteristic points:
component of isolation, this characteristics
is remarked by own history, distance to 3.2.1. Culture and heritage
the mainland, furthermore by territorial From the beginning of Azorean history,
fragmentation, these peculiarities are the islands served as supply bases and
reflected in a different temporal scale stopovers for ships in their long ocean
for the development and in the society voyages to the New World. This provides
dynamic. historic ties with influence on culture
and society: for example, whaling was
The inherent oceanic character of island an important activity for the Azorean
groups has an influence on governance population which have a important
regime, which should be clearly oriented relation with migratory flux.
towards the sea environment on which
they depend for development. An 3.2.2. Fisheries
important privilege is given by this Fisheries are an important economic
allocation and the unique biophysical and activity on all islands. Fishing methods
environmental conditions being a research are highly traditional among Azorean
platform in different areas, oceanography, fishermen,. The sizable EEZ, has access
geology, biology. Other characteristics are conflicts boundaries and measures to
implicit at this point as a geo-strategical manage this area. Demersal fishing is
allocation in the Atlantic, as a boundary/ the most important fishery at economic
bridge between America and Europe, with level, besides tuna which supports the
difference political implications at the canning industry, In this sense research

projects search for measures to mitigate In the beginning Azores marine research
impacts. [10] Fisheries and its industry had been carried out by foreign scientists,
have important export value. studies by Azorean scientist started to
increase in the early 1980s when the
3.2.3. Marine Conservation University of Azores was created [10]. This
The Azores Ecosystem is part of the issue has great potential, at the moment
Macaronesia bio-geographical region. we may consider that research in Azores
Conservation priorities are supported by seas is mainly developed in the University
the great number of instruments that of Azores by Oceanography and Fisheries
exists to manage natural resources. Department (DOP), and by other research
Oceanographic conditions from the gulf centres at the University of Azores.
stream generate an arm nominated Several international projects have
Azores Current which brings unique cooperation with the Azores University
conditions as it transports water of and its research centres. Research needs
equatorial and tropical origin into the focus not only offshore, coastal research
colder northern waters, with high salinity studies have great importance too.
, high temperature and low nutrient
regime [11]. For marine biodiversity the Azores was proposed as excellent platform
marine fauna and flora has a low number to support oceanographic research in the
of endemic species, with the majority wider Atlantic [12]. A proposal to create a
of the Azorean coastal and marine biota centre for resources and sustainability is
being very modern and comprising under consideration..
species that have arrived predominantly
from the eastern Atlantic, especially 3.2.5. Transports
the area between southern Europe Maritime transport is the principal
(Lusitanian Region) and northwest Africa entry for goods at the islands but the
(Mauretanian Region), including the maritime transportation structure is not
Mediterranean, but also contains species consolidated, especially between islands.
from other Atlantic sources. Azores Azores is one of the desirable destinations.
archipelago is considered as important
areas for several species of marine birds, 3.2.6. Recreation
species of marine turtles occurs in Azores. Maritime leisure activity has seasonal
In terms of marine mammals, the region characteristics, influenced by climacteric
is a privileged location for sighting whales conditions, developing primarily between
and dolphins. [10] the months of May and October. [11]

All this natural heritage is protected by The importance of the Azores for sailing
an innovative conservation instrument, is particularly important at Faial island.
the regional network of protected areas, Whale watching started in 1993; since
that conveys a homogeneous status on thenactivity has been continuously
all existing legal areas (including Natura growing and has now become a successful
Network) and no legal environmental industry in the Azores. The conversion of
figures (Ramsar and Important Bird whale fisheries to whale watching tourism
Areas), with a management unit for in the Azores has been a successful
each island (included territorial waters, initiative, with whalers providing much
12 nautical miles) and one more for aid and expertise to scientific researchers,
all. ”Azorean marine waters” (EEZ), even to the extent that former whalers
denominated Azores Marine Park. are employed by many of the whale
watching companies [12]. Diving is a
Other legal specific instruments exist to growing activity
protect and manage coastal and marine
areas and species. Research tourism is an activity in practice
at Azores, some restriction are being
3.2.4.Research developing at the moment specially in

marine protected areas as hydrothermal manganese were found at continental shelf
vents and banks. south of the Azores. Marine biotechnology
is a young sector of knowledge and
3.2.7. Maritime infrastructures and therefore should be considered as part of
defense research and development. Life around
deep hydrothermal vents has a wide
Ports have core of military along of history range of potential applications: antibiotic,
with the capitanias that have competence catalyzes, etc [11].
of defense and management of ports and
marinas. In Azores there are two principal 4. AZORES GOVERNANCE SYSTEM
ports, Ponta Delgada and Angra de
Heroismo but there is a growing interest To make the approach to Azores ocean
in the construction of ports and harbours governance framework is necessary to
for coastal development [11]. consider it at an international, regional and
national level (Table 1). At international
3.2.8 Coastal system level the development and evolution of
Coastal areas have occupation, especially ocean governance are sustained in:
in small Islands. For ocean development 1. A first global framework based on
the role of the coastal areas has a great principles of international law: the Law
importance to support the activities of the Sea (LOS); Chapter 17 of Agenda
and the governance process (distance, 21, Action Plan (1992) at the United
infrastures, etc.) Other coastal problems Nations Conference on Environment
are associated such as erosion, and the and Development (UNCED) and Plan of
rise of sea level. Implementation adopted at World Summit
on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in
3.2.9 Areas beyond national jurisdiction Johannesburg in 2002, which establishes
These areas provide a challenge to the general principles and rules for global
governance, with limitations to control application.
and management, both in terms of
physical conditions and at legal level. The 2. A second framework comprising
Portuguese task group for continental regulatory regimens consisting in a variety
shelf extension presented a proposal of instruments for the implementation
for extension with two particular areas of general rules at the global level: for
that correspond to hydrothermal vents, example, regulatory tools that address
Lucky Strike and Rainbow, with a great specific sources of pollution; multilateral
importance in resources (mineral and environmental agreements and regional
biological) [11] and at this moment are levels, for example, Regional Seas
being clasificated as Natura Network Conventions.
Sites. Actually this point is a challenge at
legal level, between European directives At regional level for Atlantic and for Azores
and Law of the Sea disposition. to the conventions are: Agreement on the
implementation of conservation measures
3.2.10..Future uses: of offshore resources, adopted by the
Some potential uses could be: FAO Conference in 1993, states marine
Allocation of wind farms needs research. biological resources and sets international
Islands have a high potential of wave conservation and management. OSPAR
energy due to fairly regular waves Convention is one of the regional
generated by wind movement and even instruments that have most contributed
stronger. A tentative enterprise was to the preservation of Azores marine
developed at Pico Island but proved environment designating marine
unsuccessful. protected areas and elaborate measures
to conservation.
Prospecting is one potential sector, iron
magnesia nodules, with high composition We have to take in consideration

European Community (EC) level. Two (Figure 1) a clear Institutional structure
driving instruments exists to implement need coherence with a legal dimension.
the protection and use of marine waters, Azores institutional ocean governance
Water Framework Directive, for coastal is framed at the National structure. At
water quality and Marine Strategy the beginning of 2010 Azores approved
Framework Directive, for the rest of EEZ its own institutional schedule that
of each member State. Natura Network by would allow coordinate of affairs for an
“Birds” and “Habitats” Directives reports integrate governance of the Azorean
protection on coastal and marine habitats sea. Some of the principal competences
for 19 Special Areas of Conservation of the coordination group CIAMA are:
(SAC) and 15 Special Protection Areas support European Marine Strategy and
(SPA) harmonization with regional instruments,
relation with national structures (see
At national level, Portugal have developed figure 2), coordination, implementation
sectoral rather than unified policies and monitoring measures at cross-policies
for coastal and ocean domains, only related with maritime affairs, develop a
after 2004 and following the European marine spatial plan (POEMA).
recommendations were out two
documents outlining strategies, the bases
for the National Integrated Coastal Zone
Management Strategy and the National
Strategy for the Oceans.. National
Programme for Territorial Planning policy
(2006) is the overarching instrument to
regulating the organization and utilization
of national territory. Two other types of
instruments at higher level are the special
land-use plans, comprising among ocean
domains: coastal zone management
plans, protected areas, and the sectoral
plans that have territorial incidence, as
marine spatial plans [13].

At the regional level, Azores ocean

governances system are now developing
as the basis for ocean governance.
Nevertheless, some sectoral instruments
related to ocean domain have already
been developed. These are supported by
jurisdiction and spatial domains, in this way
territorial planning is assured by means
of regional territorial management plans;
In particular coastal zone management
plans (CZMP) are developed practically
for the nine islands. Azores Maritime
Spatial Plan (AMSP) begins now to be
elaborated. These instruments, together
with the Azores Regional Protected Area
Network, including Azores Marine Park,
will be a spatial legal framework for all
Azorean Marine waters (Table 1).

In accordance with the perspective of

sustainability and governance process


Table 1 - Legal Framework to support ocean governance structure for Azores.

Establishing structures with a legal of designing such programmes and they

dimension of ocean governance are a must be development in a strategic way
critical first step towards sustainable to ensure the sustainability of the sea
development and an ecosystem approach of Azores. The unique component of
However, it is necessary to define the the Azorean archipelago must be well
mechanism and dynamics for such a understood to allow policy makers scope
process. Azores is now in the early phases to give these proper emphases.

Fig. 2 - Institucional structure for support ocean governance in Azores
(Council of Regional Government Resolution 8/2010 (15/01/2010))

11. REFERENCES 2008. 32(6): p. 1090-1093.

[6] Sachs, I. “Transition Strategies for
[1] T. P. Hughes, et al. New paradigms the 21st Century.” Nature and Resources
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Evolution. Vol:20(7). 380-386(2005. economics and sustainable governance of
[2] Borgese, E.M.. The Oceanic Circle – the oceans. Ecological Economics, 1999.
Governing the Seas as a Global Resource. 31(2): p. 171-187.
United Nations University Press, Tokyo, [8] Suárez de Vivero, J.L., Atlantic
Japan 1998 archipelagic regions: self-government
[3] Juda L, Hennessey T. Governance and ocean management in the Azores,
profiles and the management of the Madeira and Canary Islands. Ocean &
uses of large marine ecosystems. Ocean Coastal Management, 1995. 27(1-2): p.
Development and International Law 47-71.
32:41-672001. [9] Regional Government of Azores,
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a functional approach to the governance European Maritime Policy. Maritime Green
of large marine ecosystems. Ocean Paper, 2006. Position, downloaded at:
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Marine research and conservation in the
Azores. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and
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[11] SaeR/ACL,2009. O Hypercluster da
Economia do Mar. Um domínio de potencial
estratégico para o desenvolvimento da
economia portuguesa
[12] O’Connor, S., Campbell, R.,
Cortez, H., & Knowles, T., 2009, Whale
Watching Worldwide: tourism numbers,
expenditures and expanding economic
benefits, a special report from the
International Fund for Animal Welfare,
Yarmouth MA, USA, prepared by
Economists at Large. Downloaded: http://
P u b l i c at i o n s / W h al es / a s s e t _ u p l o a d _
[13] Carneiro, G., The parallel evolution
of ocean and coastal management policies
in Portugal. Marine Policy, 2007. 31(4): p.

J.M. Pitt1 & M.L. Shailer2
Department of Environmental Protection, P.O. Box CR52, Crawl CRBX, Bermuda
Department of Conservation Services, P.O. Box FL588, Flatts FLBX, Bermuda.

ABSTRACT permanently or on a temporary basis,

has long been an important tool in
GIS technologies have many roles in both terrestrial and marine resource
marine resources management. This paper management. In the marine context,
discusses their role in the delineation of the practice goes back millennia, with
closure areas for spatial management of the customary tenure systems of Pacific
resource extraction, providing examples island communities often involving areas
of different types of closures with various that were closed to fishing [1]. Closing
objectives in a variety of locations. The areas of the sea as a technical measure to
benefit of being able to calculate the control fishing has a relatively long history
exact size of closed areas in order to in the west as well [2], and Bermuda’s first
further the case for closure and measure Fisheries Act in 1912 included provisions
progress towards management goals is for closing specified areas to fishing [3].
noted. The role of GIS in communicating
management measures to the public is Spatial closures can be utilized to address
also highlighted, focusing on the timely a variety of fisheries management
creation of readily understandable maps objectives, but their effectiveness
that can be distributed electronically depends on the life history of the stock
and the production of data that can be as well as regulations in place outside of
combined with navigational instruments. the closure area. For relatively sedentary
These improvements in communications stocks, closing an area to harvest activities
also promote adaptive management and creates a refuge that protects a portion
assist enforcement. of the biomass, as a kind of insurance in
case other management measures fail [4,
Index Terms - Marine resources 5, 6]. However, it is generally recognized
management, spatial management, time / area that closing areas to fishing may simply
closures, GIS, Bermuda
lead to the redistribution of effort without
reducing fishing mortality, and that, if
1. INTRODUCTION harvest reduction is required, the use of
closures should be one tool in a suite of
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) management measures that control catch
technologies have many roles in marine and effort [2, 4, 5, 6, 7].
resources management. They provide a
powerful tool for storing, manipulating, The theoretical benefits of harvest
analysing and comparing spatial data to refugia, also known as fishery reserves,
enable the assessment and monitoring go beyond the protection of individuals,
of marine resources, as well as patterns as the population inside the closed areas
of resource use. For resource managers, may then supplement the stock outside
an important output application of GIS is via the supply of recruits or through
in the spatial management of extractive the migration of adults (spillover) once
activities. densities reach certain levels [6, 8].
However, the evidence supporting these
Closing off certain areas to extractive benefits is somewhat equivocal, with
activities, whether it be fully or partially, positive results dependent on life history

of the species, status of the stock, other closure may be a viable alternative that
management measures and a range of still permits some degree of harvest
other variables [8]. For complex, multi- [2, 6, 7]. Seasonal closure of spawning
species fisheries and data-poor situations, aggregation sites is now common in
fishery reserves may be the best available coral reef ecosystems, where many
management option, but the caveats of species come together in large groups
the previous paragraph must apply [8, 9]. at defined locations and predictable
Building on harvest refugia by working to times to reproduce [13, 14, 15]. Indeed,
limit other damaging uses of the marine Bermuda was the first place to enact such
environment and address contamination management measures in 1976, and
issues can help restore ecosystem has three seasonal closures operating at
integrity and function, thus promoting present [3, 14, 15]. The North Sea ‘Plaice
resilience and contributing not only to the Box’ was a good example of a time /
health of fish stocks but also that of the space closure that afforded protection to
wider ecosystem [6, 7]. This approach the aggregated juveniles of a harvested
tends to focus on biodiversity and species [16]. However, broader ecosystem
ecosystem conservation goals however. changes encouraged the spread of the
juveniles to other areas, and this case
For fisheries, spatially-based management illustrates that such measures must be
measures are frequently a tool for carefully applied and monitored [17].
resolving conflict, whether the conflict is
between certain gear types and habitat Rotating spatial closures can be useful for
types, or between different user groups. building up stocks of sessile organisms
An example of the former is the closure of such as bivalves, where pulsed fishing
over 1000 km2 of deepwater Oculina coral can allow the stock to recover to densities
habitat on the Florida shelf to trawling, that allow harvesting to be more cost-
dredging and benthic longlines in order effective [2, 6, 7]. The primary advantage
to protect the structurally complex coral of rotating closures over seasonal harvest
habitats and their associated fauna [10]. bans or straightforward pulsed fishing
The intent of this type of measure is (e.g. in alternate years), is that the supply
epitomized by the Habitat Preservation of product remains consistent, and this
Zone of the Great Barrier Reef Marine form of closure was common in traditional
Park zoning system [11]. An example of community-based management [6, 7]. In
conflict resolution between user groups addition to giving populations of target
is the Inshore Potting Agreement, a organisms time to increase, this strategy
long-standing voluntary separation of can also allow the rest of the benthic
static potting gear and mobile trawling community to recover to a greater extent
and dredging activities off the south if the intervals between fishing pulses
coast of England [12]. This community- are sufficient [12]. However, the use
based management initiative benefits of rotating closures as a management
both sectors of the local fishing industry strategy requires timely and effective
by reducing gear damage and loss, and communication with stakeholders as the
also has benefits for the environment, in closed areas change, and such closures
that there are some areas of the benthos have been somewhat underutilized as a
that are not subjected to trawling where result [6]. However advances in GIS and
faunal communities can co-exist with the GPS technology may lead to an increase in
less destructive fixed potting gear [12]. the use of rotating closures in the future.
What does the advent of GIS mean
For many fishery species, a closed for spatial management measures in
season aimed at protecting reproductive practice? First, it must be noted that the
organisms or new recruits is applied in influence of GIS cannot really be separated
the form of a total ban on harvest, but from that of its sister technology, GPS.
for species that reproduce or recruit in The joint impacts of these technologies
relatively defined areas, a time / space can be categorized under delineation,

communication and enforcement. compliance, and GIS facilitates this in
several ways, from paper maps to web-
In Bermuda, at least, boundaries of based maps and downloadable data
closed areas were traditionally based layers. Using a variety of proprietary and
on distances that had to be estimated open source software, GIS data layers can
visually, compass bearings and lines of be converted into formats for use with
sight from landmarks, depth contours that Google Earth and many commonly used
required continuous monitoring of a depth GPS chartplotters. Provided the converted
sounder for compliance, and intervals data adheres to appropriate standards
of latitude and longitude as marked on of accuracy, incorporation of closure
Admiralty Charts. These limited options boundaries into onboard GPS devices can
often resulted in closures that were larger also aid enforcement. In highly developed
than strictly necessary, with ambiguous fisheries utilizing vessel monitoring
boundaries which were awkward to systems (VMS), GIS can also be used to
enforce. However, while GIS can be analyse VMS data for compliance with
used to delineate complex boundaries closed areas [18].
based on conceptual definitions, closure
areas should be easy to recognize and 2. DESCRIPTION OF CASE STUDY
enforce, and the use of visible features LOCATION
to help define boundaries is desirable.
Unfortunately, in the absence of man- Bermuda is a small pseudo-atoll island
made markers, distinguishing features of chain located in the western north Atlantic
the marine environment are usually under at 32° 20’ N and 64° 45’ W. It is the
water and often not visible to those on the location of the northern-most coral reefs
surface. Remote sensing products such as in the Atlantic Ocean. For the purposes
aerial photos and satellite imagery can be of managing marine resources, Bermuda
used in a GIS to digitize these features waters are divided into the shallow
and put closure areas in a spatial context platform which tops the ancient volcano
that users can understand and recognise that created the island, and offshore
while on the water. waters. The official delineation between
these areas is considered to be the break
Another advantage of GIS technology is at the 200 m depth contour, at which point
the ability to calculate the exact extent of the sides of the volcanic pedestal slope
closure areas, and express these areas as steeply to depths of 1000 m and greater
a percentage of the total area available. over a lateral distance of 2 - 5 km. The
Such figures can be used to further the area of the shallow platform is 991 km2,
case for closure or evaluate progress and this compares to a total land area of
towards habitat protection goals. 53.7 km2 (Figure 1). These proportions
illustrate the importance of the marine
Informed consultation on proposed environment and its associated resources
management measures, and compliance to the Bermudian people.
with existing ones, are both difficult to
achieve when the system is too complex An interesting feature of the Bermuda
for stakeholders to understand [18]. platform is the series of algal-vermetid
Perhaps the most important role of GIS cup reefs, or ‘breakers’, that ring the
in marine resources management is in platform in the vicinity of the 10 m depth
the creation of maps to clearly explain contour [19]. These reefs frequently
existing, changing and newly proposed break the surface, forming a visible
regulated areas to members of the public, natural delineation between the shallower
along with their underlying rationale [18]. and deeper areas of the platform (Figure
Using layers, options for the location and 1). Of the total platform area, 545.6 km2
dimensions of proposed closures can be is shallower than 10 m, while 445.4 km2 is
readily compared and evaluated. at depths of 10 – 200 m (Figure 1).
Sharing quality mapping data improves

popular activity. The legislation protects
plants and animals that are attached
to the seabed from harvest or damage.
The total area encompassed under this
designation is 131 km2, or 13 % of the
Bermuda platform. These areas are now
largely redundant since the protection of
all hard and soft coral species from harvest
under a Protected Species Order. They
are, however, a classic illustration of the
traditional methods for delineating closed
areas based on latitude and longitude
lines on the Admiralty Chart (the North
Shore Preserve) and lines of sight from
Fig. 1 - The Bermuda Platform, delimited by terrestrial landmarks (the South Shore
the 200 m depth contour and showing the 10
Preserve) (Figure 2).
m depth contour to illustrate the approximate
distribution of the ‘breaker’ reefs.


All Bermuda’s current marine closure

areas have now been digitized using
ESRI’s ArcGIS Desktop software (version
9.3.1). Based on boundary descriptions
from the relevant legislation, or direct
communication with staff of the Marine
Resources Section, polygon shapefiles of
each area were digitized using standard
GIS techniques, and are stored and
managed within the Department of
Conservation Services’ file-based spatial
information infrastructure. When a Fig. 2 - The north and south shore coral reef
boundary description included reference preserves (hatched areas) and Protected
to an existing feature, such as a shipping dive sites (circles). Note the concentration of
the protected dive sites in the vicinity of the
channel or depth contour, a scanned ‘breaker’ line.
and georeferenced version of the U.K.
Hydrographic Office’s Admiralty Chart 4.2. Protected dive sites
number 334 was used as the reference
layer. The GIS database also includes a Beginning in the late 1980s and
georeferenced aerial photograph from culminating in 2000, a series of 29
2004 for reference. popular dive sites were closed to all
fishing and collecting activity. Two factors
4. EXAMPLES influenced these closures. First, there was
a need to install permanent moorings at
4.1. Coral Preserves the most popular sites in order to reduce
the amount of damage being done to the
Designated in 1966 under the Coral Reef coral reef by the anchors of the various
Preserves Act, the two coral reef preserves dive and tour boats that used these sites.
(hatched areas in Figure 2) are the oldest Second, it was felt that some separation
regulated marine areas currently in force. of marine tourism and fishing activities
Their goal was to protect corals and the was warranted, and that unless the areas
structural integrity of important areas around the moorings were closed to
of coral reef habitat when the advent of harvesting, then fishing boats would use
SCUBA diving made collection of corals a them as well.
Since the moorings were the starting irregularity of this zone, and noting that
point for this initiative, they were also the total area encompassed under this
used as the basis for the closure areas. management measure is 244 km2, or 25
Depending on the location and primary % of the Bermuda platform, reinforces
uses of the different sites, closures were the extent of the area. This also provides
designated based on a radius of between a counter argument for those who
100 m and 1 km. Most sites have a radius would like to see greater restrictions. In
of 300 m, five sites have a radius of 500 addition, having the GIS layer available to
m or 600m, and there is a single site distribute to users makes it possible for
with a 1 km radius of protection (Figure them to compare the GPS co-ordinates
2). For the purposes of developing maps of their fishing locations with those of the
for public distribution, polygon layers of management zone in order to confirm
these protected areas were generated that their activities are not infringing on
with an ArcDesktop buffer analysis using the zone.
the designated radius for each site. The
GPS co-ordinates of the buoy at each dive
site were used as the input point for the

The total area encompassed under this

management measure is 13.7 km2, or
just 1.4 % of the Bermuda platform. That
the percentage of the platform under
full permanent protection is so small,
and that most of this area falls within
a single habitat zone (Figure 2), are
primary motivating factors for developing
comprehensive marine spatial planning.
Fig. 3 - The 1 nm / 1.85 km spearfishing
4.3. Management of Spearfishing
exclusion zone around the islands.
The nearshore zone in which spearfishing
4.4. Management of the Spiny Lobster
is prohibited is a longstanding
management measure which removes
spearfishers from swimming areas in
The spiny lobster fishery has both
order to reduce the likelihood of injuries
commercial and recreational components.
to swimmers. As with many measures
As such, the management of harvesting
that separate conflicting user groups,
activities needs to focus not only on the
there is also an environmental benefit in
target organisms but also needs to include
that the fish species particularly targeted
some spatial separation of conflicting
by this method enjoy at least a partial
user groups. Both types of harvest
harvest refuge in this area. However,
require a licence from the Department
although banning spearfishing within
of Environmental Protection, and minor
1 nautical mile (1.85 km) of the island
changes to management measures can be
is theoretically simple, the complex
instituted through changes in the Terms
coastline results in this measure being
and Conditions associated with these
less clear cut that it might at first seem.
licences. This approach allows a more
The spearfishing exclusion zone was
timely response to any changes noticed
generated in ArcGIS using a 1 nautical mile
in the stock, and facilitates adaptive
(1.85 km) buffer analysis of the existing
management. This approach would not be
Bermuda islands shoreline shapefile,
feasible, however, without the availability
available from the Ministry of Works and
of GIS to create and distribute revised
Engineering. The visual representation
helps spearfishers appreciate the

% plus 18 % of the shallow platform area
inside the 10 m depth contour.

4.5. Evolution of seasonal spawning

aggregation closures off the east end

Seasonally protected area closures were

established in the 1970s to protect
spawning aggregations of Red hinds,
Epinephelus guttatus [15]. Initially these
areas were cones based on lines-of-sight
and compass bearings (hatched areas in
Figure 5) but this system unnecessarily
restricted activities in areas close to shore
Fig. 4 - Inshore areas where lobster harvest when the important spawning activity
is not permitted at all (light grey), and the needing protection was taking place close
additional reservoir area where commercial
to the edge of the platform. Use of the
lobster fishing is not permitted (dark grey).
200 m depth contour as the outer limit of
the closures still permitted trolling along
Spiny lobsters undertake significant
the platform edge, however. The two
migrations across the Bermuda platform,
areas off the east end of the island were
but are known to settle in inshore waters
redesigned in 2005, following the 2004
[20]. Accordingly, the lobster fishing
discovery of a Black grouper, Mycterperca
exclusion area, where no harvest is
bonaci, spawning aggregation in the area
permitted, follows the entire inshore line
between the two original cones.The 200
of the islands and extends northward to
m depth contour remains as the outer
the South Channel (light grey area, Figure
limit, but the amalgamated site is now a
band whose inner margin is a straight line
approximately 2 km in from the platform
Recreational harvesters noose lobsters
edge, with the northern and southern
while free-diving, so this activity is limited
boundaries simply delimited by sets of
to relatively shallow waters, and the
co-ordinates (solid area to the right in
commercial lobster harvest is reported
Figure 5). The area now covered by the
based on offshore versus inshore areas,
Northeastern Seasonally Protected Area
delineated by the ‘breaker’ line at the 10
is 36.9 km2, all of which lies between 20
m depth contour. The Lobster Reservoir,
m and 200 m. This compares to a total of
where commercial lobster trap fishing is
58.2 km2 covered by the former northeast
not permitted but recreational harvest
and southeast areas. Evolving from
may take place, was digitized according
the cone system to the more technical
to the specifications of the Senior
offshore band opens up a lot of nearshore
Marine Resources Officer, using the U.K.
space where fishing may now take place.
Hydrographic Office Admiralty Chart
While not having a visible feature to
number 334 as a reference. It is directly
set the boundaries against could make
adjacent to the northern boundary of the
enforcement more complicated, with
lobster fishing exclusion area, and follows
almost every vessel equipped with GPS
the North Shipping Channel for much of
technology, users can easily determine
its boundary (dark grey area, Figure 4).
where they are in relation to this closure
The eastern margin follows the boundary
area, so this was considered a reasonable
of the North Shore Coral Preserve (see
4.1), previously established along
longitude line 64° 50’  W. Spiny lobsters
The southwestern seasonal closure area
therefore receive full protection from
has been left as a line-of-sight cone
harvest in 81.7 km2 of inshore waters,
covering 112.5 km2. Of this, 21.2  km2
and protection from commercial harvest
lie within the shallow area inside the
in an additional 96.1 km2, equating to 15

breakers, while 91.2 km2 are in waters of The total area encompassed under this
between 10 m and 200 m depth. GIS was management measure is 1.7 km2, or 0.2
used to create maps for distribution when % of the Bermuda platform.
the areas were changed in 2005. The total
area presently managed through these
annual seasonal closures is 149.5 km2, or
15 % of the Bermuda platform.

Fig. 6 - Blue striped grunt Fish Aggregation


Fig. 5 - Current (solid) and former (hatched)
Seasonally Protected Areas to the east and west The designation of closed areas is an
of Bermuda. attempt to balance the wants and needs
of the resource users and the mandate of
4.6. Blue striped grunt Fish managers to ensure that the resource is
Aggregation Area closure used wisely. The use of GIS, in conjunction
with available GPS technology, improves
An example of a nearshore seasonal flexibility in the delineation of closure
closure, the Blue striped grunt Fish areas, as in the case of the northeastern
Aggregation area has been closed for the seasonally protected area (see 4.5),
months of May and June each year since reducing unnecessary closed areas and
2007, and is regulated using a provision improving stakeholder equity.
of the Fisheries Act 1972 which enables
the temporary prohibition of fishing GIS also facilitates enhanced
in any area demonstrated to be a fish communications with stakeholders
aggregation area for up to 90 days at a by providing a visual representation
time, based on published notification in the of the issues and assigning numbers
Official Gazette. This temporary measure to previously nebulous areas (see
is being used pending confirmation of the 4.3). This can improve stakeholder
exact nature and spatial extent of what is understanding and help generate support
almost certainly a spawning aggregation for management measures. GIS has a
[21], at which time a permanent Protected key role in communicating management
Areas Order may be created under the measures to the public, because it
Fisheries Act. The area extends from the facilitates the timely creation of readily
shoreline and utilises existing features understandable maps that can be printed
such as the navigation channel and a line or distributed electronically. This is critical
of sight to the Bermuda Radio tower. This for adaptive management, as illustrated
closure area was digitized in accordance by the case of the lobster fishery (see
to the boundary descriptions published in 4.2), for efficient changeover to new
the official gazette, using the Admiralty regulations (see 4.5), and for utilizing
Chart number 334 as a reference layer temporary closure measures, as for the
for the location of the shipping channel Blue striped grunt Aggregation Area (see
and the land based reference points. 4.6).

More efficient and effective communication Herpetologists Special Publication No. 4,
in turn improves compliance. Electronic Allen Press, Kansas, U.S.A., 1999.
maps illustrating management changes [4] Sumaila, U.R., S. Guenette, J. Alder,
can be made available instantly over the D. Pollard and R. Chuenpagdee, Marine
internet and, as Government increasingly protected areas and managing fished
takes its services online, electronic ecosystems, Chr. Michelsen Institute for
distribution fits in with new business Development Studies and Human Rights,
processes. With up-to-date maps of Bergen, Norway, 1999.
management areas readily accessible, [5] S.N.  Murray, R.F.  Ambrose,
the onus is now on users to ensure that J.A.  Bohnsack, L.W.  Botsford, M.H. Carr,
they stay informed and abide by the G.E. Davis, P.K. Dayton, D. Gotshall, D.R.
regulations. A recent agreement with Gunderson, M.A.  Hixon, J.  Lubchenco,
leading GIS software provider ESRI will M.  Mangel, A.  MacCall, D.A.  McArdle,
permit the development of a web-based J.C.  Ogden, J.  Roughgarden, R.M.  Starr
GIS to share this information in an and M.J.  Tegner, “No-take Reserve
interactive manner. Networks: Sustaining Fishery Populations
and Marine Ecosystems”, Fisheries, vol.
Having these closure areas captured in a 24, pp. 11-25, 1999.
GIS assists enforcement by making the [6] Jennings, S., M.J. Kaiser, and J.D.
closure boundaries, converted into .gpx Reynolds, Marine Fisheries Ecology,
files or tracks, available for incorporation Blackwell Science, Oxford, U.K., 2001.
into the GPS navigation systems of both [7] King, M., Fisheries Biology Assessment
fishers and wardens (J. Edmunds, pers. and Management, Second Edition,
comm.). This simplifies judgement as to Blackwell Publishing, Victoria, Australia,
whether or not fishers are in violation. 2007.
While vessel monitoring systems (VMS) [8] Russ, G.R., “Yet another review
have many benefits, Bermuda is not yet in of marine reserves as reef fishery
a position to implement such a measure. management tools”, Chapter 19 / pp.
Lastly, the separate maps shown here 421- 443 in P.F. Sale (editor), Coral Reef
illustrate the complex nature of the Fishes, Elsevier, California, U.S.A., 2002.
various spatial management measures [9] C.M. Roberts, and N.V.C. Polunin,
in existence in Bermuda. The next phase “Marine Reserves: Simple Solutions to
will be to use GIS to incorporate the Managing Complex Fisheries?” Ambio,
management measures discussed here vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 363-368, 1993.
into a new, integrated marine spatial [10] J.K. Reed, “Deep-water Oculina coral
management plan over the course of the reefs of Florida: biology, impacts, and
next 10–15 years. management, Hyrdobiologia, vol. 471,
no. 1-3, pp. 43-55, 2002.
6. REFERENCES [11] J.C. Day, “Zoning: lessons from the
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park”, Ocean &
[1] R. E. Johannes, “The Renaissance Coastal Management, vol. 45 pp. 139–15,
of Community-based Marine Resource 2002.
Management in Oceania,” Annual Review [12] R.E. Blyth, M. J. Kaiser, G. Edwards-
of Ecology and Systematics, vol. 33, pp. Jones and P.J.B. Hart, “Implications of a
317-340, 2002. zoned fishery management system for
[2] Waugh, G., Fisheries Management: marine benthic communities”, Journal of
Theoretical Developments and Applied Ecology, vol. 41, pp. 951–961,
Contemporary Applications, Westview 2004.
Press, Colorado, U.S.A., 1984. [13] Y. Sadovy de Mitcheson, A. Cornish,
[3] Smith-Vaniz, W.F., B.B. Collette and M. Domeier, P.L. Colin, M. Russell, and
B.E. Luckhurst, Fishes of Bermuda: K.C. Lindeman, “A Global Baseline for
History, Zoogeography, Annotated Spawning Aggregations of Reef Fishes”,
Checklist, and Identification Keys, Conservation Biology, vol. 22, no. 5, pp.
American Society of Ichthyologists and 1233–1244, 2008.

[14] B.E. Luckhurst, “Evaluation of 7. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
fisheries management and conservation
measures taken to protect grouper The authors would like to acknowledge
spawning aggregations in the wider the assistance of Dr. Tammy Trott, Senior
Caribbean: Case studies of Bermuda, Marine Resources Officer, during the
Belize and Cayman Islands”, Proceedings preparation of this manuscript.
of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries
Institute, vol. 58, pp. 281-282, 2007.
[15] B.E. Luckhurst and T.M. Trott,
“Seasonally-Closed Spawning Aggregation
Sites for Red Hind (Epinephelus guttatus)
: Bermuda’s Experience over 30 years
(1974–2004)”, Proceedings of the Gulf
and Caribbean Fisheries Institute, vol. 61,
pp. 331-336, 2008.
[16] G. J. Piet and A. D. Rijnsdorp,
“Changes in the demersal fish assemblage
in the south-eastern North Sea following
the establishment of a protected area
(“plaice box”)”, ICES Journal of Marine
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3, pp.420-429, 1998.
[17] O.A. van Keeken, M. van Hoppe, R.E.
Grift and A.D. Rijnsdorp, “Changes in the
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[18] Carocci, F., G. Bianchi, P.
Eastwood, and G. Meaden, Geographic
Information Systems to support the
ecosystem approach to fisheries: Status,
opportunities and challenges, F.A.O.
Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper
No. 532, F.A.O. Rome, 2009.
[19] A. Logan, “Holocene reefs of
Bermuda”, Sedimenta, vol. XI, 63  pp.,
[20] B.E. Luckhurst, T. Trott, N. Simmons
and S. Manuel, “Movement Patterns of
Tagged Spiny Lobsters Panulirus argus on
the Bermuda Reef Platofrm”, Proceedings
of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries
Institute, vol. 53, pp. 76-82, 2002.
[21] T.M. Trott, J.M. Pitt and B.E.
Luckhurst, “Occurrence and Management
of a Spawning Aggregation of Blue striped
grunt (Haemulon sciurus) in Bermuda”,
Proceedings of the Gulf and Caribbean
Fisheries Institute, vol. 62, in press.

S. Rahman1*, S. H. Rahman2 & Md. W. Ullah3
Junior Environmentalist, Center for Environmental and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS), House # 6,
Road # 23/C, Gulshan-1, Dhaka-1212, Bangladesh. E-mail:
Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka-1342, Bangladesh.
Deputy Executive Director, Center for Environmental and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS), House # 6,
Road # 23/C, Gulshan-1, Dhaka-1212, Bangladesh.

ABSTRACT remains stagnant for long time due to

increased sedimentation of Riverbeds
Since 2000, water-logging had been a and reduced height differential between
regular phenomenon for the hundreds embankment and peak water level [1].
of villages adjacent to the Kopotaksho Water-logging has been affecting about
River in Jessore and Satkhira district of millions of people in Bangladesh during
Bangladesh. The analysis of satellite the past two decades leading to a large
images revealed that over the years water- scale damages of crop, employment,
logging problem had increased, as in 1999, livelihoods and national economy [2].
the water-logged area was about 865 Water-logging is a form of flooding within
hectares; in 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2008 the embankments caused by hydro-
it was about 12867, 12238, 11723 and geophysical factors where water remains
19467 hectares respectively. Upstream stagnant for long time due to increased
freshwater flow reduction, unplanned and sedimentation of Riverbeds and reduced
unauthorized structural interventions and height differential between embankment
regular encroachment at the upstream and peak water level [3]. Water-logging
and downstream of the Kopotaksho River involves deterioration of drainage
were the main causes of this unwanted condition in coastal Rivers of south-
prolonged water-logging. Ecological and western Bangladesh causing difficulties
social environment has been degrading as towards maintaining livelihoods [4].
the people of the waterlogged area have
been experiencing settlement, economic, River Kopotaksho is one of the main
health and sanitation problem due to arteries of the water resources system
four to seven months prolonged water- located in the south west region of
logging. Alternative Drainage routes and Bangladesh. It is flowing from north to
Tidal River Management (TRM) technique south over the most matured part of
were suggested for the long-term possible the Gangetic delta. Its total length is
remedial measures and participatory TRM around 200 kilometer from Tahirpur to its
practice was identified as the best possible confluence with the Sibsa River. This River
long-term remedial option to diminish drains an area of about 1,067 square
water-logging problem at the Kopotaksho kilometer spread over nine upazilas in
Basin Area. Jhenidah, Jessore, Satkhira and Khulna
district. Numerous existing drainage
Water-logging, Sedimentation, Landsat channels/khals in south-west region drain
TM, Participatory, TRM out water through the Kopotaksho River.
About two hundred years ago, the
1. INTRODUCTION Mathabhanga River supplied fresh water
throughout the year to the Kopotaksho
Water-logging is a form of flooding River [5]. Since then, the Mathabhanga
within the embankments caused by River had remained a flood spill channel,
hydro-geophysical factors where water deteriorating over time. The Farakka

barrage in upstream across the Ganges in process and the high salinity also facilitates
India aggravated the deterioration of the the sediment deposition at the location of
Mathabhanga River. So, the Kopotaksho tidal limit especially in the dry season.
River virtually could not be fed from So, rising bed level, reducing cross-
the Mathabhanga River any more, and sectional area and conveyance capacity
it is now only drains flood spill from the of the Kopotaksho River aggravated the
Ganges through the Mathabhanga River spillage of River water along the bank of
and surface run-off generated from the the Kopotaksho River resulting flood and
monsoon precipitation. After being cut- water-logging situation for four to seven
off from the Mathabhanga River, the months in every year after the year 2000
Kopotaksho had been subjected to tidal [7].
domination, associated with increasing
sedimentation by tidal pumping process, The main objective of this paper was to
particularly in the dry season. During identify the water-logging situation over
the last few decades, the flow of the the years, from the year 2000 to 2008,
Kopotaksho River had been declining very with delineating root causes of water-
rapidly. Tide generated from the bay brings logging problem and to proffer possible
huge sediment towards the inland through participatory remedial measure at the
the so-called “tidal pumping process”. As Kopotaksho Basin Area. Few villages along
a result of successive siltation both in the the both bank of the Kopotaksho River
upstream and downstream, the linked among hundreds of waterlogged villages
up surrounding area suffers from severe had been taken to conduct participatory
drainage congestion in several upazilas field surveys including questionnaire
of Jessore and Satkhira district during survey.
the monsoon and post-monsoon season.
Due to prolonged drainage congestion, 2. PROCEDURE, MATERIALS AND
both physical and social environment METHODS
experiences immense degradation and
the people of the congested area faces At first the study area was defined with
settlement, economic and health (disease the preliminary field survey at the water-
and sanitation) problems. logging affected area. The satellite images
of the study area from the base year 2000
Unplanned and unauthorized structural to year 2008 were analyzed considering
interventions and constructions (roads, the hydro-meteorological parameters
settlement) and regular encroachment of of the study area. Extensive literature
natural drainage system at the upstream review was conducted at every stages of
and downstream of the Kopotaksho River this research work. With the participatory
due to over-population were the main field survey and the outcomes of the
causes of the unwanted and unexpected analyzed secondary data (satellite images
water-logging [6]. The lower reach of the and hydro-meteorological) root causes
Kopotaksho River is under the influence of the water-logging at the study area
of high salinity and tidal activities which were identified. Environmental losses due
bring huge sediments and get deposited to water-logging were assessed through
in River conveyance channel. Fresh participatory sessions and analyzing
water from the upstream pushes the the hydro-meteorological data. Social
salinity towards the sea and washes degradation assessed by the participatory
away the deposited sediments but due field survey, via FGD, TGD and PRA
to the loss of upstream freshwater sessions. The possible remedial measures
supply and connectivity with the other to mitigate water-logging problem were
Rivers, the natural hydro-morphological justified at the participatory survey.
balance of the Kopotaksho River had Overall participation ensures that only
been depreciated. Sediments started to the local level participation can be a
enter the Kopotaksho River system from sustainable way to mitigate water-logging
the downstream through tidal pumping problem at the congested area of the

Kopotaksho basin (Fig. 1). pattern of the waterlogged area and
athwart dispersal of water over the years
Fig. 1 - Steps of the research work using digital image processing software,
ERDAS Imaging 8.6.

At first, the collected satellite images were

transformed into Bangladesh Transverse
Mercator (BTM) projection to conduct
analysis with ease. After georeferencing
with collected GPS data and projecting
the images into the same projection
parameters (BTM), images of different
years were overlaid to extract the real
situation of the water-logging condition
at the Kopotaksho Basin Area from the
year 2000 to 2008. The collected images
were mainly classified with unsupervised
classification. Then the waterlogged area
from the year 2000-2008 was identified
with subsequent expert discussions and
experience gained from the participatory
field visits. Congregated Local knowledge
from the questionnaire survey and
participatory sessions were incorporated
to delineate the waterlogged area of
the year 2008 as very coarse resolution
Temporal Satellite images of different
MODIS images (MODIS: Moderate
resolutions were used and analyzed to
Resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer)
identify the water-logging extent over the
were analyzed to delineate waterlogged
years from the year 2000 to 2008. The
area for that year.
following satellite images (Table 1) were
analyzed to conclude the extent of water-
All the GIS layers used in this study were
logging over the years at the Kopotaksho
derived from the analysis of collected
Basin Area.
images exporting as coverage files using
Table 1 - List of satellite images used in this
aforementioned digital image processing
study software and then transformed into
shapefile (.shp) layers using GIS
Satellite Resolution
software, ArcGIS 9.2. Illustration of final
Date Source maps and waterlogged area calculation
Image (m)
Landsat were conducted in ArcGIS 9.2 platform.
30 15.11.1999 USGS
7 ETM+
5 TM
Landsat Human interventions such as construction
30 16.12.2003 USGS
7 ETM+
of bridges narrowing down the River
30 27.02.2006 SPARRSO sections, construction of cross-dams
MODIS 15- for different purposes over the years
250 USGS
Image 29.10.2008 aggravated the situation. Adams Williams
(1919) in his book on the History of the
2.1. Processing of Satellite Images Rivers in the Ganges Delta warned that
any interventions considered for the tidal
Digital image processing of satellite River system should be done cautiously
images (from year 2000 to 2008) was [5]. According to the local people there
executed to visualize the overall change were no water-logging problem in 1994

at the Kopotaksho Basin Area but this during dry season. According to Uttaran
was started from 1999. In 1999, it was (2008) [10], about 50 thousand water-
in small scale (8.65 km2) but in the year logging affected people were taken into
2000 waterlogged area had increased asylum at the adjacent shelter centers.
significantly (Figure 3a). The main reason People of the surveyed area were not
of the flooding in the year 2000 was an prepared for such extent of water-logging
unusual upstream water supply and in the year 2008 and about 210 villages
heavy rainfall over the south-west region of the Kopotaksho Basin Area were
of Bangladesh. Sudden flood of the year severely get affected by flood and then
2000 in the south-western region of four to seven months prolonged water-
logging (Figure 2a & 2b). According to
the participatory survey, in the year 2008,
the extent of the water-logging had been
increased significantly comparing the
year of 2003 (Table 2).

Table 2 - Comparison of water-logging problem

in the year of 2003 and 2008

Fig. 2 - (a) People’s initiative, wooden overpass

to cross at Saraskathi Bazaar; (b) Water- 2003 2008
logging at the study area (Inundated Eid-Gagh
at Sarsa) Jessore, Satkhira
Jessore and
District and Khulna
Bangladesh had increased the intensity
of water-logging at the Kopotaksho Basin
Jhikargacha, Manirampur,
Area [8]. Upazila Manirampur, Keshabpur,
According to the participatory survey, the Keshabpur Kolaroa, Tala
and Paikgacha
cross dams built after the flood in 2000
might be liable for further deterioration of Union* 16 55
the River through siltation in the Riverbed Affected
73 426
and causing the drainage congestion. Since Villages*
2000, widespread drainage congestion Area* (km2)
126.87 223.89
turned into a regular phenomenon along Affected
101800 845000
the long stretch of the Kopotaksho River People*
starting from Jessore district in the north
to Satkhira district in the south. The worst [Source: * Participatory Social Survey, Uttaran]
victims of this prolonged water-logging
problem were the people of Jhikargacha, The main problem was not only the
Manirampur and Keshabpur upazilas of rainfall, as in 2007, total rainfall reduced
Jessore district and Kalaroa, Tala upazilas about 20% from the year 2000 and in
of Satkhira district in Bangladesh. Due to the year 2008 it was 35% low to that of
huge sedimentation at the downstream the year 2000. Before the water-logging
and non-availability of upstream flow in occurred in 2008, the people of the
the dry season, the Kopotaksho River had study area had experienced a prolonged
been facing water-logging problem [9]. drought from the last two years which
had a significant impact on agriculture
The main causes of water-logging were sector of the Kopotaksho Basin Area. The
increase of sedimentation rate on River climatic variability was quite apparent
bed due to upstream fresh water flow
reduction, increase of sedimentation
process due to construction of adversely
affecting bridges, sluice gates and other
local constructions along and over the
Kopotaksho River, decrease of tidal
dominant area due to downstream polders
Fig. 3 - Waterlogged area over the years from 2000 to 2008; (a) Waterlogged area in 1999 and
2000; (b) Water-logging extent in 2003; (c) Waterlogged area in 2006; (d) Waterlogged area in

from the last few years and asymmetrical of Tala upazila and about 22 km from
behavior of climatic variables (rainfall, Patkelghata to Paikgacha (Kopilmoni)
temperature) indicated a sign of changing is about to be abandoned due to high
climatic pattern of the study area. sediment deposition (Figure 4).

3.1. Comparison of water-logging Figure 4: Temporal tidal water

extent at the Kopotaksho Basin Area
from 2000 to 2008

Before the year 2000, water-logging was

not a concern for the Kopotaksho Basin
Area. Analyzing satellite images, in 1999,
it was found that about 8.65 km2 of land
inundated at a limited scale, which rose
up to 128.67 km2 in 2000 (Figure 3a).
Due to the continuous sedimentation and distribution limit in the Kopotaksho River
improper human interventions aggravated If this decrepit scenario of Kopotaksho
the bed level inclination of the Kopotaksho River continues, within next decade,
River. The water-logging situation in 2003 the Kopotaksho River would have been
(122.38 km2) was as resembling as the abandoned up to the Sibsa reach at its
year 2000 (128.67 km2) with some extent downstream. Most of the khals over the
of Keshabpur upazila area was inundated waterlogged area were used to drain
in 2003 (Figure 3b). into the Kopotaksho River. Khals of the
waterlogged area in some locations were
After the flood 2000 and over the last getting deeper than the River so natural
seven-eight years water-logging has been flushing of water stopped. Fish barricades
emerged as a serious problem even in the (Komar and Patta) causes silt deposition
dry season. The extracted information on Riverbed which stimulate water-
from the Landsat TM image for the year logging. As the drainage capacity has
2006 revealed that as it was about 117.23 declined over the years, the floodwater
km2 (Figure 3c). But the water-logging could not drain out properly and water-
condition of year 2008 was quite unusual logging occurs every year (Figure 5).
compared to the year 2000, 2003 and
2006 (Figure 3d). The affected area due According to the social survey, from
to water-logging was about 194.67 km2 the year 2005 to 2008, rapid mount of
and was identified using coarse resolution Kopotaksho River bed level had been
image (MODIS image) and participatory observed at the Surighat of Keshabpur
social survey (Table 3). to Kopilmoni of Paikgacha, 25 km of the
Kopotaksho course-way. Formation of
Table 3 - Extent of inundation over the years
(1999-2008) at the Kopotaksho Basin Area
sediment humps at the middle reach (44
derived by analysis of satellite images to 130 km) of Kopotaksho River impede
tidal penetration and now tidal influence
couldn’t reach up to the upstream as before
logging (Figure 4), and at downstream, Riverbank
Extent 1999 2000 2003 2006 2008*
erosion and tidal water dispersion at local
report divulged about 189 villages (92
(in km2)
8.65 128.67 122.38 117.23 194.67 locations of 134 km River course-way)
were affected by water-logging in the
year of 2008. In 2008, about 200.00 km2
[* Participatory Survey]
land of 41 unions, 75,000 households and
0.4 million people were severely affected
About 50 km of Kopotaksho River had by water-logging in Jessore and Satkhira
already been dilapidated from the Jhapa district [10].
of Manirampur upazila to Patkelghata

Fig. 5 - Planform changes of Kopotaksho River Fig. 6 - (a) Possible TRM Basin Location; (b)
over the years (1772-2006) Alternative drainage routes of Kopotaksho

The Kopotaksho River still get connected

with Mathabhanga and Bhairab River at
the monsoon. An alternate drainage route
at the upstream of the Mathabhanga with
the Ganges River had been suggested as
if the water flow subsists permanently
the water flow of Kopotaksho River fluxed
away the deposited sediment at the lower
reach of its path (Figure 6b). Harihar River
and Upper-Bhadra River were connected
with Kopotaksho in recent past. But due
to the changing flow regime and rapid
About 50,000 people were subsisted in sedimentation these inter-linking Rivers
shelter center due to the loss of settlement get was separated from the main channel
for three months. Jessore-Satkhira of the Kopotaksho River.
highway was inundated up to a month.
About 90% respondents of the water- 4. CONCLUSION
logging affected area in participatory
sessions suggested implementing Tidal The Kopotaksho River has been in a
River Management (TRM) technique in declining state from the last two decades
Jethua and Krishnakathi beel (Figure 6a), due to the reduction of upstream freshwater
“beels are to act as tidal storage basins supply; obstructions created by the local
which allow natural tidal flows up and people and accelerated siltation plugged
down in the River system. During high in by tidal pumping process. The extent
tides, the large volume of water flows into of water-logging over the years, from
the beels and huge sedimentation occurs the year 2000 to 2008, had been found
in the beels area. This sedimentation increasing with satellite image analysis
would have been occurred into the and participatory field survey. Three
Riverbed if the beels are not being to six months elongated water-logging
utilized for storage. This tidal storage imparted significant negative impacts on
basin makes River alive by keeping tidal the natural and social environment of the
flow characteristics in the downstream Kopotaksho Basin Area. According to the
River system and thereby prevents silt people’s view and ecological perspectives,
deposition in the river bed” [11], to revive participatory TRM technique will be the
the flow of Kopotaksho River to eradicate best possible long-term remedial option
water-logging problem. to revive the previous water flow regime
of the Kopotaksho River and to reduce the
water-logging up to a great extent at that

Kopotaksho Basin Area, some people also Baseline of Re-excavation of Kopotaksho
had suggested River dredging in specific River Project, Center for Environmental
locations with khal excavation, inter- and Geographic Information Services
linking with adjacent Rivers and establish (CEGIS), Bangladesh Water Development
re-connectivity with the Mathabhanga Board (BWDB), Dhaka, June, 2004.
River, etc. [8] SWMC, Late Monsoon Flood in the
South West Region of Bangladesh, Flood
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Report, November, Bangladesh Water
Development Board, Ministry of Water
Authors are thankful to Mr. A.Z.Md. Resources, Dhaka, 2000.
Zahedul Islam, Principal Scientific Officer, [9] Kranti, Feasibility Study of Re-
SPARRSO, Mr. Golam Rahman, Principal Excavation of Kopotaksho River, Final
Scientific Officer, SPARRSO and Mr. Md. Report, Bangladesh Water Development
Fazlul Haque, Principal Scientific Officer, Board (BWDB), Desh-Upadesh Limited,
SPARRSO, for their generous supports. 2000.
[10] Uttaran, Water logging in the South
REFERENCES West Coastal Region of Bangladesh, Water
Logging in News Media, Khulna, 2008.
[1] Islam, S., Fakir, H.A., Ahmed, F.H. [11] Ullah, W. M. and Rahman, R.,
and Shawpan, S.S.A., 2004. Bangladesh Tidal River Management: A Sustainable
Dakkhin Paschim Upokul Anchaler Solution to Drainage Congestion in the
Jolaboddhota O Koroniyo ( in Benglali), Coastal Region, Bangladesh Environment,
Uttaran, Satkhira, p65-72. 2002, pp. 1022-32, 2002.
[2] Mirza, M.M.Q., Ahmad, Q.K. and
Ahmed, A.U., Adaptation Options for
Managing Water Related Extreme
Events under Climate Change Regime:
Bangladesh Perspectives, Climate Change
and Water Resources in South Asia,
Balkema Press, Leiden, pp. 255-278,
[3] Islam, S., Fakir, H.A., Ahmed, F.H. and
Shawpan, S.S.A., Bangladesh Dakkhin
Paschim Upokul Anchaler Jolaboddhota O
Koroniyo (in Bangla), Uttaran, Satkhira,
pp. 65-72, 2004.
[4] Rahman, A., Beel Dakatia: The
Environmental Consequences of a
Development Disaster, University Press
Limited, Dhaka, 1995.
[5] Williams, C.A., History of the Rivers
in the Gangetic Delta (1750-1918).
Netherlands Engineering Consultants
(NEDECO), Calcutta, Bengal Secretariat
Press, pp. 40-43, 1919.
[6] Rahman, S., Rahman, S.H. and Ullah,
W. M., Assessment of Environmental
Degradation due to Water-logging
and its Possible Remedial Measures at
Kopotaksho Basin Area (Unpublished
M.S. Dissertation), Department of
Environmental Sciences, Jahangirnagar
University, Dhaka-1342, 2009.
[7] CEGIS, Environmental and Social

I. Ramírez1, J. Andrade1, A. Meirinho1, P. Geraldes1 & B. Lascelles2
SPEA – Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves, Avenida da Liberdade, nº 105, 2º Esq., 1250-140 Lisboa,
Portugal. E-mail
BirdLife International – Girton, 3-4 Wellbrook Way, Cambridge CB3 0NA, United Kingdom

ABSTRACT gathering, migration and/or roosting. The

world’s oceans are open and dynamic
The Important Bird Areas (IBA) systems that pose few physical barriers
programme of BirdLife International to the dispersal and migration of many
seeks to identify, document and seabirds: seas are not separated as are
conserve sites that are key for the the continents. Seabird conservation
long-term viability of bird populations. issues need therefore to be addressed
BirdLife International has successfully globally, which led BirdLife International
implemented a network of terrestrial IBAs to establish a Global Seabird Conservation
and has obtained general recognition that Programme in 1997. Understanding the
these sites represent prime sites for bird at-sea movements of seabirds requires a
conservation. This European network of multidisciplinary approach that combines
IBAs has formed an important scientific direct and indirect data gathering
reference for the designation of Special methods with statistical analyses and
Protection Areas (SPAs) under the Wild spatial distribution prediction models. The
Birds Directive of the European Union. combination of direct and indirect data,
The identification of marine Important plus the development of a standard IBA
Bird Areas started in the early 90’s [1] identification criteria, allows scientists to
[2] but had a major boost in 2004 thanks identify hotspots of seabird activity, and
to the approval of two major LIFE-funded also to draw limits (the IBA approach is
Projects in Spain and Portugal [3] [4]. To site-based and therefore should only be
assist with tackle some of these issues, applied to those bird species for which a
and to draw together existing experience, site-based approach is appropriate) and
several workshops were organised by apply numerical thresholds that will later
BirdLife during the period 2004-2010 at define the marine IBA national networks.
a national and regional level to develop Portugal posses the eleventh’s largest
guidance and propose methodologies. EEZ of the world, and therefore has a
These methodologies have been just very important role to play in the field of
now compiled into a single document seabird conservation. In 2004, and over a
[5]. This paper summarises the marine 4-year period, the Sociedade Portuguesa
identification methods proposed by para o Estudo das Aves (SPEA), BirdLife
BirdLife International using the example parntner in Portugal, coordinated a
of the marine IBA PTM02 (Berlengas). LIFE-funded Project that ended with the
Index Terms - seabirds, IBAs, publication of the first Portuguese marine
conservation, Berlengas IBA inventory in 2008 [3].
1. INTRODUCTION The Berlengas archipelago is mainland’s
Portugal only known seabird colony. It
Seabirds come in many shapes and holds important populations of Cory’s
sizes, from the very small storm petrels shearwater Calonectris diomedea
to the great albatrosses with the biggest borealis with 800 pairs, approximately
wingspan in the bird world. Despite these 2.400 individuals (Miguel Lecoq personal
differences, all seabirds depend greatly communication, unpublished data),
on the marine environment for food Madeiran storm-petrel Oceanodroma

castro and, being relatively close to distribution of seabirds occurring at
mainland Portugal, represents a unique the Berlengas archipelago are shown,
scenario for the application of the marine different data-collection methods are
IBA methodology. presented and a final IBA proposal is
In the present study, spatial and temporal made.


2.1 Individual tracking of Calonectris diomedea borealis

Table 1 - Summaries of Cory’s shearwater tracked with compass-loggers and GPS-loggers at

Berlengas colony between 2005 and 2008.

Year No. of birds Compass-logger GPS-logger No. of tracks

2005 16 16 0 24
43 17 23 44
59 32 18 85
2008 5 5 0 15
Total 123 70 41 168

Cory’s shearwater was the only species of occurrence of the trip duration; b)For
fitted with tracking devices in Berlenga. compass-loggers data were used the birds’
Two different types of devices where actual diving locations to perform the
used: compass-loggers and GPS-loggers kernel analysis. It was possible to filter the
(for a detailed description of each device feeding events thanks to the temperature
please see [5]). Only one device was sensor on these devices; c)For GPS-
attached per bird and per trip, but the loggers (which don’t have a temperature
same bird can carry it more than once sensor) were used positions where speed
during a breeding season. As detailed was measured as less than 10km/h (again
in Table 1, a total of 168 tracks were based on the frequency of occurrence
obtained in Berlenga from 123 birds. of the foraging speed distributions) to
Compass-loggers were set to record data identify the areas of most interest at-sea
every 5 seconds for the duration of a trip, (these included areas where birds were
while GPS-loggers were programmed to landing, on the water’s surface or taking
record a position every 10 minutes. These off, i.e. feeding); d)A kernel analysis was
settings were chosen according to the preformed for each single campaign and
devices memory or battery-life and so then joined the kernel density contours
as to achieve the desired precision while into a single shapefile (p.e. at Berlengas
maximising data collection. Cory’s did not 6 different shapefiles were produced
show any particular abnormal behaviour with the 50% kernel of birds´ dives from
while carrying the devices. Each individual the short trips and then intersected to
was weighted before and after logger produce one single shapefile); e)Rafting
deployment to assess the body-mass and locations were selected by filtering both
over 90% of birds returned with same or compass and GPS-logger locations
higher body-weight. These data is similar (using the temperature sensor registry
to that of [6]. for the compass, and locations with an
Some prior assumptions on the instantaneous speed of 0 km/h for the
arrangement of the data: a)Data-sets GPS-loggers) prior to returning to their
were divided the into short (less than breeding colonies. Again kernel analysis
4 days) and long (more than 5 days) were conducted for each campaign and
foraging trips, based on the frequency then joined into a single shapefile.

Significant tracking data Kernels for these sites where used as
follows: a)75% contour density kernel
The team agreed that significant data of diving positions during short trips
(meaning having enough data to consider (compass-loggers); b)50% contour
defining a marine IBA solely on the basis density kernel of diving positions during
of the tracking data) was achieved when long trips (compass-loggers; with the
any of the following conditions were only exception of offshore IBAs); c)100%
reached: >20 different birds tracked; >30 contour density kernel of rafting locations.
bird trips recorded; >1 year of tracks from
the same colony; >2 different tracking 2.2 Aerial surveys
efforts for more than 10 different birds at
one colony. The areas/islands considered A total of 24 aerial surveys were carried
as having significant tracking data where: during the LIFE Project, totalling 4143
Corvo and Faial in Azores and Berlengas km, during the 2005-2007 period [3].
in mainland. These surveys were carried out in
coastal areas and up to 20 nautical miles
Kernels of bird activities for these sites offshore, following the methodology
where used as follows: a)50% contour defined by [7]. This type of survey
density kernel of diving positions was mainly directed towards migrating
during short trips (compass-loggers); populations, as its fast execution allows
b)50% contour density kernel of diving vast areas to be assessed for density and
positions during long trips (compass- specific diversity in a short space of time.
loggers); c)50% contour density kernel Specific surveys were also carried out on
of foraging/resting positions (GPS- local wintering populations, to determine
loggers) by selecting the lower speed more accurately the use of these areas.
periods of the GPS-logger tracks; d)50% The main objective of aerial surveys was
contour density kernel of foraging/resting to complement the information obtained
positions obtained from long trips (GPS- from marine surveys, mainly the coastal
loggers); e)100% contour density kernel zones between 0 and 20 nautical miles
of rafting locations (both for compass and from the coast. Areas nearer the coast
GPS-loggers). (generally between 0 and 3 nautical
miles) are not easily covered by marine
The 50% figure requires fewer tracks to surveys due to the draught of the ships
reach a stable maximum value, which used in investigation and so aerial
is an important asset when identifying surveys complement these data. Another
Marine IBAs, nevertheless, it is important advantage is the ability to travel long
to have a good sample size of tracks to distances in a relatively short period of
make sure the hotspots identified by each time. This makes it a suitable tool for
single track coincide and do not vary too assessing migration routes or the main
much. wintering areas of seabirds present along
the continental coast. A more thorough
Non-significant tracking data assessment of both methods (aerial and
marine surveys) can be found in [7].
The team agreed that if none of the above Data obtained from aerial surveys was
conditions occurred, the site should be not modelled because it was collected in
classified as having no-significant tracking a different grid format than that used in
data. However the data available in these boat surveys (due to speed differences).
other locations should be used only as an Instead, the available aerial data was
indication of likely locations of birds and used to calculate population sizes per
used to complement other sources of sector of the mainland coast and mean
data. densities for seasons when aerial surveys
had taken place (See aerial sectors in Fig.
Areas included in this category where: Vila 1).
islet and Praia islet (Azores) and Desertas
and Selvagens islands (Madeira).
order. The 95th percentile means that
95% of occurrences have a value below
the selected standard, in other words, 5%
of the highest occurrences in the sample.

2.3 Boat surveys

Marine and air surveys of seabirds were

the main method for data collection at
sea. The Marine IBA LIFE Project based
its marine surveys on boats, under
the European Seabirds At Sea (ESAS)
methodology [7]. Data was collected
in transects defined by a period of time
(normally 5 to 10 minutes) and were
expressed in density (birds/km).
All birds in contact with the water inside
the pre-defined transect were counted.
Birds in flight were counted by carrying
out regular snapshots, so as not to over-
estimate the density.
Fig. 1 - Sectors and strips analysed with aerial In order to make proper use of the ESAS
surveys. Sectors North, West, SouthWest and methodology, the presence of the seabirds
South. Strips < 3Nm (A), < 15 Nm (B) and < must not be influenced by the presence of
3000 m bathymetry (C). the observer’s vessel. Therefore, the use
of fishing boats was avoided, as they could
attract seabird presence and bias the final
Direct observations counts obtained from
results. Trained observers were placed
the aerial surveys were used to help
on board of as many vessels as possible,
define marine IBA boundaries and to
following an opportunistic approach and
complement other data sources. The direct
therefore using different platforms, from
observations were presented as densities
oceanographic cruises to hired big-game
per km2 for each specie, and the final
fishing medium-sized boats. An extra
maps used in the marine IBA delimitation
effort was made to collect data during
process included only the observations
breeding periods and, whenever possible,
belonging to the 95 percentile of number
surveys were repeated in order to obtain
of birds recorded for each species
robust sequential data for later analysis of
(more detailed direct observations from
the distribution of seabirds in space and
European Seabirds At Sea). Percentile is
a value that divides the total frequency
Table 2 presents the total number of
into 100 equal parts put into ascending
surveys carried within the project.

Table 2 - Summary of boat surveys carried out during the period 2004-2007.

Year 2004 2005 2006 2007 2004-2007

Total nº of birds observed 1154 43824 68221 72808 186007

Distance travelled (km) 259 13207 19729 30148 63343

Area (km )
78 3962 5923 9062 19025

Hours of observation 14 794 1105 1889 3802

Nº of bird species identified 12 64 62 81 102

2.4 Environmental data and Statistical versatility, they have recorded satisfactory
Modelling results for the type of data analysed,
which contains a large number of zeros
Seabirds depend on trophic resources (observations points with no birds). These
and tend to concentrate in areas of GLMs are designed to determine whether
higher productivity. These are often any explanatory variable(s) (called
associated with characteristics of physical predictive variables, and in this case they
variables (e.g. surface sea temperature are environmental variables) influences
– SST, salinity); oceanographic the behaviour of another variable (that is,
variables (e.g. currents, upwelling); the dependent variable, bird density); the
topographical variables (e.g. bathymetry, intensity of this influence (represented by
seamounts); or biological variables parameters); and how this is manifested
(e.g. primary productivity determined (represented by the relationship between
by the concentration of chlorophyll- parameters). As a general rule, the GLMs
CHL, availability of prey). The analysis explain only a small part of the total
of these environmental data was an variation observed, as in the modelling
essential factor in drawing up coherent process there are predictive variables
proposals for marine IBAs, as it allowed that may be important in explaining the
a measurement of which variables have distribution and numbers of different
the greatest influence in the distribution species but that are not measurable
of seabirds and allowed an interpretation (such as real-time distribution of biotic
and interpolation to non-sampled areas. variables, like different types of potential
The use of statistical modelling in marine prey). In some cases, it was possible
surveys was designed to understand to combine estimates from GLMs with
whether the spatial distribution of a geostatistical estimates obtained by
particular bird at sea was significantly kriging, thus adding further spatial
influenced by some environmental information to the seabird distribution
variable(s) and, if so, estimate the bird estimate. All calculations were carried out
density outside the sampling points using R software-package.
and within the study area. Statistical
modelling was applied only to priority Taking into account the different
seabird species for the Marine IBA LIFE behaviour of each species according to its
Project having a minimum number of phenology, one model (on average) was
records to enable modelling. performed for each breeding month (in
the case of breeding birds) and for each
For each model, only the most relevant wintering month (in the case of wintering
environmental variables available at each birds). For some species, in an effort to
area were considered (See Table 3). The maximise the data obtained, modelling
information from the marine surveys and was performed using data from two or
on environmental variables was analysed more years and/or aggregate months,
using Generalized Linear Models (GLMs). considering the species phenology. Table
GLMs are mathematical extension of 3 presents the more significant variables
classical linear models. Due to their encountered at mainland Portugal.

Table 3 - Summary of significant variables identified by statistical modelling at mainland Portugal
per species.

Species Year Period Significant variables

Puffinus 2005 June-August
Distance to shore
mauretanicus Distance to shore
2006 June-August Sea Surface Temperature
Chlorophyll-a concentration
Morus bassanus 2005 Distance to shore
Chlorophyll-a concentration
2005 June-August Sea Surface Temperature
Chlorophyll-a concentration

2.5 Data Analysis In order to identify primary or

supplementary layers, the following
The steps followed to identify a marine criteria were defined:
IBA site when undertaking a marine IBA Primary: a) Tracking datasets with large
programme, once data was collected is sample sizes collected over multiple
presented below: seasons/year; b) At-sea survey data
collected in a systematic way recording
a) Creation of Geographical Information presence/absence; c) Land-based counts
System (GIS) layers of these data on a collected over multiple years.
species by species basis. Environmental Supplementary: a) Tracking datasets with
variables and seabird distributions at sea small sample sizes (e.g. <5 tracks from
should be organised to allow comparison one season/year); b) Bycatch data; c)
between different months/seasons. If it is At-sea distribution data collected from
not possible to convert data into a GIS- fishing boats or from ad-hoc surveys; d)
compatible format, these can still be used Habitat suitability models.
as supporting information. Only once suitable weightings were
b) Determine which layers should be been applied it was possible to begin
regarded as primary and supplementary site identification. Overlaying the data
for identification and delineation (apply layers will identify areas of commonality
weightings as appropriate). and hence the most likely sites; these
c) Identify candidate sites for each species sites were then assessed against IBA
(using the methodologies and guidance thresholds. As a general rule, no marine
that follows to ensure a consistent IBA should be identified on the basis of
approach). supplementary quality data alone, and
d) Apply IBA criteria and thresholds to that sites identified where two primary
candidate sites on a species by species data layers coincide or overlap are the
basis, to confirm they merit being strongest cases for recognition as IBAs.
identified as marine IBAs. See [5] for more details.
e) Delimit final boundaries for sites
triggering IBA criteria. When appropriate, 3. RESULTS
overlap sites for different species located
in the same area to merge them into a As for the Berlengas Marine IBA, the
single marine IBA. Re-apply IBA criteria species that triggered IBA criteria was
for the final delimited area as required. the Cory’s shearwater. The main source of
f) Produce IBA site description and data used to define this IBA were density
propose IBA in the World Bird Database. kernels obtained from data-loggers (see
g) IBA reviewed and confirmed or rejected Figure 2). Direct observations obtained
by BirdLife Secretariat. from ESAS boat surveys were used in
two different ways: densities – nº birds/
km2 (Figure 3) and birds on water – nº
birds feeding or resting (Figure 4). The 95
percentile threshold of observed densities
for this specie was 26 birds/km2. This
threshold wasn’t applied to the “birds in
water” layer, as this layer was used just
to check what the main spots where
birds were observed feeding or resting
overlapped with the other data layers.
The most significant GLM for Calonectris
diomedea in this area was for the summer
of 2005. This was also the most robust
model, and was based on the most data
obtained within the Cory’s breeding
season (Figure 5).

Fig. 3 - ESAS Direct Observations for Calonectris

diomedea – Density (P95 Threshold = 26 birds/

Fig. 2 - Analysis of kernels derived from data-

loggers in Calonectris diomedea in Berlengas
showing areas used for rafting, short trips and
long trips.

The last data source used to identify

this MIBA was aerial census, also the
95 percentile was used, totaling 2 birds/
km2. Finally, all primary layers were
Fig. 4 - ESAS Direct observations – Number of
overlaid using ArcGIS 9.3 and limits
birds on water (Calonectris diomedea).
were drew following the two-independent
layer approach. Before final publication,
a straight sided polygon was defined As for marine IBA criteria application, a
instead of the irregular one defined population estimate of the total IBA area
by the overlaying technique. This was was defined using data from bibliography
decided as to facilitate easy navigation and direct at-sea censuses.
and management by the relevant
authorities. See Figure 6 for final results.

in order to filter out the significant data
from a vast dataset. If planes and boats
are not widely available for observers to
board, the prediction models used will be
weak, as well as population assessments,
that will later be the base for the marine
IBA criteria threshold definition.


We would like to thank the Marine IBA

LIFE Project team, particularly the bird
Fig. 5 - Prediction model for summer 2005
(P95 Threshold = 10 birds/km2). observers and Vitor Paiva, Martin Poot
and Peter van Horssen; this project
was financed by the EU (LIFE04NAT/


[1] H. Skov, J. Durinck, M. F. Leopold

& M.L. Tasker, “Important Bird Areas
for seabirds in the North Sea”. BirdLife
International, Cambridge. Copenhagen.
[2] J. Durinck, H. Skov, F. P. Jensen &
S. Pihl, “Important marine areas for
wintering birds in the Baltic Sea”. Ornis
Consult Report. Copenhagen. 1994.
[3] I. Ramírez, P. Geraldes, A. Meirinho,
Fig. 6 - View of the Core Area Marine IBA P. Amorim & V. Paiva, “Áreas Importantes
proposed for Berlengas. para as Aves Marinhas em Portugal –
Important Areas for seabirds in Portugal”.
4. DISCUSSION Projecto LIFE04 NAT/PT/000213 –
Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das
Results shown above suggest that it is Aves (SPEA). Lisboa. 2008.
possible to map the at-sea behavior of [4] J. M. Arcos, J. Bécares, B. Rodríguez
most of the seabird species occurring & A. Ruiz, “Áreas Importantes para la
in Portugal. It also shows that a site- Conservación de las Aves marinas en
approach is feasible for many Portuguese España”. Projecto LIFE04NAT/ES/000049
areas within the EEZ. There are two – Sociedad Española de Ornitología (SEO/
major limitations to the abovementioned BirdLife). Madrid. 2009.
protocol: a) Seabird size could prevent the [5] BirdLife International. Marine
deployment of data-loggers and therefore Important Bird Areas toolkit: standardised
a “tracking” layer won’t be available for techniques for identifying priority sites
medium or small-sized birds that so far for the conservation of seabirds at-sea.
cannot carry tracking devices without BirdLife International, Cambridge UK.
compromising their own safety; b) At-sea Version 1.1: May 2010.
direct data (e.g. boat or plane census) [6] J. M. Igual, M. G. Forero, G. Tavecchia,
must be large. J. Gonzalez-Solis, A. Martinez-Abrain,
K. Hobson, X. Ruiz & D. Oro, “Short
As explained above, the identification of term effects of data-loggers on Cory’s
the 95 percentile proved quite essential shearwater Calonectris diomedea”. Marine

Biology 146, 619 - 624. 2005.
[7] C. J. Camphuysen & S. Garthe,
“Recording foraging seabirds at sea:
standardised recording and coding of
foraging behaviour and multi-species
foraging associations”. Atlantic Seabirds
6(1):1-32. 2004.

P.D. Raposeiro1,2, C.J. Fortes2, M.T. Reis2, J.C. Ferreira1
Universidade Nova de Lisboa – FCT/DCEA
Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil – Núcleo de Portos e Estruturas Marítimas.

ABSTRACT The greater or lesser exposure of

infrastructure or the population to
This paper illustrates the methodology events that may cause harm is crucial
developed to evaluate the risk of for risk assessment. This is important
flooding of a coastal area, as well as because it is possible to identify coastal
the application of such methodology areas with a high degree of vulnerability
to Vale do Lobo beach, situated in the to energetic activities of the sea, but
Loulé Municipality, a Portuguese coastal without major risks due to lack of
area under significant touristic pressure. human occupation, equipment or natural
The methodology is based on four main resources, or otherwise, that is, areas of
steps: a) division of the study area into low vulnerability index, but high human
sub-areas with similar characteristics in occupation, which confers a high risk.
terms of coastal defense; b) determining Within this context, the term risk is
the probability of exceedance of pre-set defined as the probability of an adverse
thresholds of flood levels for each study event multiplied by its consequences, [2]
area; c) establishment of qualitative and [16].
factors related to the consequences of
exceedance of pre-set thresholds of flood The extent of the Portuguese coast, the
levels; d) combination of the above steps severity of the sea conditions and the
for expeditious assessment of flood risks. concentration of population and economic
The determination of flood levels follows activities in its coastal zone, justify the
the methodology presented in [10] and importance of carrying out wave induced
[11], which is based on the transference risk studies. For a correct assessment of
of the Faro wave-buoy regime to the these risks, the determination of shares
study area by using the SWAN model of flooding is essential.
integrated in a geographic information
system (GIS). Indeed, emergency situations caused by
adverse sea conditions are frequent and
Index Terms — Geographic information put in danger the safety of persons and
systems, numerical models, coastal planning goods, with a negative impact for society,
and management, risk and vulnerability, Vale
economy and natural heritage.
do Lobo beach
The detailed research on the sea waves,
1. INTRODUCTION currents and tide levels at the local level
is essential to improve the methodologies
The impact of climate change on coastal for risk assessment, increasing the
zone has manifested itself in different reliability of results and enabling timely
ways, including the rise in sea level issue of alerts and the preparation of
and increase in number and intensity of mitigation plans.
phenomena causing risk of flooding. Given
the geographic location and concentration Thus, in this paper, a methodology to
of people and infrastructure along the evaluate the risk associated with the
coast, these phenomena are revealed flooding of coastal areas is proposed,
today as genuine challenges in managing which is essential for the proper planning
the Portuguese coast.
and land management. The final goals methodologies to automatic support risk
are: assessment studies. The work presented
- to provide simple instructions for here represents the development of a
use by the authorities to increase methodology for assessing flood risk and
their effectiveness in responding to its application to Vale do Lobo beach,
emergencies produced by floods whose Municipality of Loulé, Portugal.
cause is directly related to the sea;
After this introduction, section 2 presents
- to provide information to decision a general characterization of the area
makers on the extent of risk exposure under study. Section 3 briefly describes
facing the coastal areas, contributing to the methodology for determining the run-
the mapping of areas with high degree up and flood levels at the study area. In
of flood risk; section 4, a risk assessment is provided.
Finally, section 5 contains the main
- to assist those responsible for conclusions of the work and the future
managing the infrastructure of coastal developments.
protection and minimize risk associated
with them. 2. CASE STUDY

It is in this sense that the system GUIOMAR Vale do Lobo is located at Loulé
[7] was developed based on a geographic Municipality, in the Algarve region. The
information system (GIS) and built to beach, 2 km long, has a sedimentary
support the use of sea wave propagation origin, and almost vertical cliffs. The
models. Its intent is to support and be cliffs heights may vary between 2 m and
part of the critical process of decision 20 m, depending on the location along
making in current studies of coastal the beach. The cliffs have different layers
engineering in emergency situations. At of sand from the Plio-plistocenic age and
present, this system has the capability of present a medium to gross sand grain in a
coordinating the use of numerical models, clay composite structure [6].
including the management of input data,
computational mesh generation and Vale do Lobo beach has been affected
geographical analysis of results. by a strong urban littoral expansion,
with undesirable environmental and
The GUIOMAR system is based on three economical impacts, particularly in the
main components: one is a commercial areas of Ria Formosa and of Vale do
SIG software; the second is a set of Lobo tourist resort. The main causes of
numerical wave propagation models the damages have been anthropogenic
and other pre and post processing factors, such as construction in the coastal
programs developed in FORTRANTM; and line and coastal erosion. At Vale do Lobo,
the third is a user interface, developed there are houses built right on the top of
in programming language Visual Basic the cliffs, beaches with restricted access
for Applications ArcGISTM. The system due to the imminent danger of a land slide
was build in a modular approach, which and a weak dune system that protects Ria
makes it easily expandable to allow any Formosa from the sea.
inclusion/replacement of the following: a)
modules for the most updated versions Vale do Lobo is an example of an
of existing numerical models or other occupation in areas of high vulnerability
numerical models to simulate more to sea wave attack, including flooding
accurately certain physical phenomena, and coastal erosion (Figure 1). The
and b) specific modules for analysis and occupations of these vulnerable areas
processing of results for the functionality create risks of collapse/demise of the cliff
that one might want to give to the results. (endangering homes, golf courses and
The latest developments into the anyone making use of the beach) and
GUIOMAR system include procedures and coastal erosion (endangering the pool and

the Ria Formosa of breach of the front line levels according to empirical formulas
sand dunes). proposed in [4], [5], [8] and [14],
implemented in programs developed in
FORTRANTM language [3].

The following sections provide, as an

example, some of the characteristics of
the local wave regime in Vale do Lobo
beach and the calculation of run-up and
flood levels.

3.1. Characteristics of the local wave

regime at Vale do Lobo beach

The characteristics of the local wave

Fig. 1 – Vale do Lobo Beach Resort (EPRL/IGP) regime were based upon the 9 years
records measured at the Faro wave-buoy,
3. RUN-UP AND FLOOD LEVELS which were transferred to Vale do Lobo
beach by using SWAN model through an
To calculate the run-up and flood levels interface developed for the GUIOMAR
at Vale do Lobo beach, it is necessary to system [7] and the module REGIMES/
characterize the offshore and local wave SOPRO [9]. Calculations were performed
regimes. In this respect, the methodology taking into account a sea-level of +4.64
presented in [10] and [11] was used and m (CD), which results from the sum of
it may be summarized as follows: the maximum high-water mark recorded
• - Use of the wave in Lagos during 2009, with the estimated
parameters measured at Faro by value with 100-year return period to
the WAVERIDER directional buoy account for rise in sea level due to
of the Portuguese Hydrographic extreme meteorological conditions (value
Institute. The buoy is located at based on studies carried out under the
-93  m  (CD), at 36°  54’  17’’  N, Project SIAM II [12]).
07° 53’ 54’’ W. In normal conditions, the
data acquisition is carried out every 3 hours In particular, the wave characteristics
for a period of 30 minutes. During storm – the significant wave height, the zero-
conditions (conditions with a significant crossing wave period and the wave
wave height which exceeds 3 m), the data direction - were established in 16 points
acquisition period is reduced to every 10 along 3 profiles across the beach (Figure
minutes. The period of records considered 2).
in this work corresponds to 1986 to 1995.
With these values, a Faro wave-buoy
regime is established;

- Transfer the data from the wave-buoy

to Vale do Lobo beach using the wave
generation, propagation and dissipation
model SWAN [1], through the GUIOMAR
system [7]. In this work, a sea water
level of +4.64 m (CD) was considered;

- Establishment of the local wave

regime at several points along different
cross-sections of the beach based upon
Fig. 2 - Location of the 16 points in the three
the above data; different cross-sections perpendicular to the
- Calculation of run-up and flood
To illustrate the calculations performed for predicted by harmonic analysis, which
the run-up and flood levels, the authors is the superposition of many sinusoidal
have only considered in this work the components with amplitudes and
results obtained for Point 6 (cross-section frequencies determined by a local analysis
A1) and Point 9 (cross-section A2), of the measured tide.
located just upstream of the surf zone.
The meteorological elevations may be
3.2. Run-up analyses for Vale do Lobo obtained from the difference between the
beach values of the water level measured by
tide gauges and the corresponding ones
The calculation of the run-up on estimated for the astronomical tide. These
beaches is done in most cases by using elevations are considered to be induced
essentially empirical formulations based by strong or long duration winds and/
on field measurements or tests on two- or by abnormal high or low atmospheric
dimensional scaled models of constant, pressures.
smooth and impermeable slopes
(beaches) [15]. In previous work, [10] In this work, due to the lack of tide gauge
and [11], and herein, the run-up on the data for the period between 1986 and
beach of Vale do Lobo was estimated using 1995, we extrapolate the two full years of
the formulas proposed in [4] and [5], recorded tide, RT, for the whole period of
developed on the basis of physical model nine years under study.
test results, and also in [8] and [14], R-values considered correspond to the
developed based on field data (Figure 3). estimates of Rmax obtained with the
Note that the formula presented at [14] is methods presented in [4], [8] and [14]
based on field data collected specifically for the conditions of sea waves for the
for the study area considered in this work. period 1986 to 1995.

Cross-section A1 - Série de JAN 1989 a MAR 1989
Mase (1989)
Table 1 shows the maximum values of FL in the
cross-sections A1 and A2 for the conditions
6 Nielsen & Hanslow (1991)
5 Teixeira (2009)
Rmax (m)

mentioned above. Table 1 shows that the


maximum value of FL is very similar for


the methods described in [8] and [14]

23-12-1988 12-01-1989 01-02-1989 21-02-1989 13-03-1989

and much lower than the value obtained

Fig. 3 - Run-up values, Rmax, obtained at cross- by the methodology shown in [4], since
section A1, for the series of wave data between the later is based on tests on impermeable
January and March 1989, using the formulations
slopes. For the methods presented in [8]
of Mase (1989) - [4], Nielsen & Hanslow (1991)
- [8] and Teixeira (2009) - [14], all with the and [14], the contribution of Rmax for FL
wave conditions at Faro wave-buoy. is less than the contribution of AT+MS,
while for the method in [4] it is not.
3.3. Calculation of the flood levels
Table 1 – Maximum flood levels estimated with
different methodologies for cross-sections A1
Once the run-up values for given wave
and A2.
conditions have been estimated, the flood
levels, FL, can be determined assuming Cross- Rmax FL
that they result simply from the sum of section (m) (m CD)
the contributions of the astronomical tide, MASE (1989) A1 6.60 9.56
AT, of meteorological elevations, MS, and - [8] A2 6.91 9.87
of the run-up, R: NIELSEN & A1 2.71 6.40
(1991) - [10] A2 2.88 6.57
FL = AT + MS + R (eq. 1)
TEIXEIRA A1 2.70 6.39
(2009) – [11] A2 2.87 6.56
The astronomical tide can be accurately
estimated for the majority of the
locations. In general, tides can be

4. RISK ASSESSMENT 4.2. Probability

4.1. Methodology Table 2 shows a preliminary classification

of the probability of exceedance of pre-set
For the development of the methodology thresholds of flood levels.
for assessing the risk of flooding of coastal
areas three tables have been used: i) Description
a table of probability of occurrence of (Guidelines)

an adverse event, as the wave induced Improbable 0 – 1% 1

Remote 1 – 10% 2
flooding; ii) a table with the consequences
Occasional 10 – 25% 3
of flooding; and iii) based on the two
Probable 25 – 50% 4
previous tables, a table of risk of coastal
Frequent > 50% 5
flooding. The contents of these tables is
supported on earlier studies, [2], [16]
Table 2 – Probability of exceedance of pre-set
and [13], taking into account that, since thresholds of flood levels.
the 90’s, the coast under study reveals
a lower resistance, to episodes of storm 4.3. Definition of critical coastal
or episodes of tides, which shows the regions
beginning of a new cycle timer.
The methodology is based on four main Table 3 shows a preliminary description of
steps: the consequences of exceedance of pre-
set thresholds of flood levels.
1. division of the study area into sub-
areas with similar characteristics in This table takes into account the intrinsic
terms of coastal defense; importance and sensitivity of the coastal
area to the occurrence of flooding. It
2. determining the probability of aims to identify natural resources values,
exceedance of pre-set thresholds of cultural-socio-economic and man-
flood levels for each study area; made high sensitivity areas. The criteria
consider the recognition of ecologically
3. establishment of qualitative factors valuable habitats, land use, density of
associated with the consequences in construction and location of buildings in
terms of property damage in each sub- relation to the proximity of the element
area, caused by exceedance of those potential culprit, the permanence of
thresholds of flood levels; houses and other unique values whose
loss would be irreparable. The values of
4. combination of the above steps in the level of consequences were assigned
order to proceed to the expeditious so that it is possible to calculate the risk
assessment of flood risks. level (section 4.4) taking into account
the importance of risk in relation to its
The series of the significant wave heights, control and prioritization. For example,
run-up and flood levels from 1986 to it is important to distinguish between an
1995 in Vale do Lobo beach were used to event with high probability of occurrence
illustrate the application and validation of but with low level of consequences and
methods that identify those areas which an event with a low level of probability of
are associated with the most serious occurrence but with a very high level of
consequences of flooding and greatest consequences.

Table 3 – Consequences of exceedance of pre-set thresholds of flood levels.

Description Consequences (Guidelines) Level

Places with geotechnical characteristics relatively stable, natural sand beach,

Insignificant squats in habitats of low ecological value; local paths or drainage ditches 1

Sites with soil geotechnical characteristics of weak or processing any type of

Marginal woody vegetation or other that would give some stability, areas occupied by 2
habitat conditions weak plant
Places to infrastructure and coastal protection, local structures relevant to
economic activities, local geotechnical characteristics very weak, unstable and
Serious low resistance to breakdown, areas occupied by some habitats with ecological 5
Places with permanent human habitation (urban planned); local geotechnical
characteristics very weak, very unstable and very low resistance to breakdown,
Critical without stabilizing vegetation, sites with natural elements of great value whose 10
loss would be difficult to compensate.

Places with permanent human occupation; sites absolutely unique and of

Catastrophic tremendous value, the loss would be irreparable, beach-dune system. 25

4.4. Risk

Risk is the product of the probability of an adverse event by the value assigned to its
consequences. The methodology presented here is a qualitative assessment of the risk
of flooding being the degree of risk the product of the probability of flooding (Table
2) by the consequences of flooding (Table 3). The array provided by the product of
these two variables is presented in Table 4 while Table 5 describes the assessment and
acceptability of the obtained level of risk.

Table 4 – Risk level.

Risk Level Consequences

1 2 5 10 25
1 1 2 5 10 25
2 2 4 10 20 50
Probability 3 3 6 15 30 75
4 4 8 20 40 100
5 5 10 25 50 125
Table 5 – Assessment of the acceptability of the risk level.

Level Description Risk Mitigation (Guidelines)

Insignificant risk; no further consideration

1–3 Negligible

Risk can be considered acceptable/tolerable

4 – 10 Acceptable
provided the risk is managed.

Risk should be avoided if reasonably practicable;

detailed investigation and cost/programme
15 – 30 Undesirable
benefit justification required; top level approval
needed; monitoring essential.

Intolerable risk; it is mandatory to undertake

risk mitigation (e.g. eliminate the source of risk,
40 – 125 Unacceptable
change the probability and/or consequences,
transfer risk).

After the assessment of the risk impact - Scenario 1 - Occurrence of flood levels
into the areas affected by the flooding, exceeding the threshold of +3 m (CD);
the use of the GIS and its database,
allows a quick, precise and efficient - Scenario 2 - Occurrence of flood levels
creation of flood maps, and its respective exceeding the threshold of +6.5 m
risk maps. For the creation of the flood (CD).
maps, it is required to identify the areas
below the pre-set threshold of flood level, Figures 4 to 7 present the flood and risk
while its respective risk map provides the maps for these two scenarios, for cross-
associated risk level for each sub-zone of section A2. As it can be seen, at the
the areas of study. central part of the beach, where the cliffs
have a lower crest level, the risk level is
In this work and for illustrative purposes higher than at both ends of the beach.
only, two scenarios were considered:

+0 m (CD) +0 m (CD)

Fig. 4 - Flood level +3 m (CD). Fig. 5 - Flood level +6.5 m (CD).

+0 m (CD)


Cliffs line

Fig. 6 - Risk map +3 m (CD). Fig. 7 - Risk map +6.5 m (CD).

5. CONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE planning and sustainable management
DEVELOPMENTS of coastal zone. The development of a
system for flood forecasting and warning
Effective coastal management, based on for coastal areas and ports is one of the
the assessment of vulnerable areas and future steps in the development and
associated risks, should allow preventing application of this methodology.
degradation and irreversible loss of
natural resources. This paper presents 11. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
the latest results of the development of
a methodology for assessing flood risk The authors would like to acknowledge
and its application to Vale do Lobo beach, the support provided by Fundação para
Municipality of Loulé, Portugal. a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT), Portugal,
through project PTDC/AMB/67450/2006.
The methodology presented here is a
qualitative assessment of the risk of 12. REFERENCES
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K.A. Stamoulis
University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Geography Department. E-mail:

ABSTRACT summarize coastal and marine spatial

planning (CMSP) as “a public policy
Marine spatial planning (MSP) is an process for society to better determine
international initiative to address how the oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes
conflicting objectives of conservation are sustainably used and protected
and resource development and usage now and for future generations.” CMSP
in marine spaces. At this time MSP encompasses nearly identical concepts as
exists more as a concept then a well MSP and may be more accurate given that
defined framework, therefore continued coastal and marine space and processes
development of theory and methods is are inextricably linked and should not
essential. A critical component of marine be considered as distinct in a planning
spatial planning is spatial data collection process. For the purpose of simplicity
and analysis. Geotechnology has made however, the more widely used term of
this data more accessible and provided MSP will be used in this paper.
tools to organize, analyze, and integrate
it into the MSP process. A review of the A primary goal of marine spatial planning
current literature reveals the technological is to support current and future uses
and methodological tools that are best of ocean ecosystems and maintain the
suited for marine spatial planning as well availability of valuable ecosystem services
as suggests areas for further research in for future generations [2]. An MSP
order to better inform this process. process also addresses the legal, social,
and economic aspects of governance,
Index Terms— marine, spatial, planning, including the designation of authority,
data, tools stakeholder participation, financial
support, enforcement, monitoring, and
1. INTRODUCTION adaptive management. Key steps include
defining and analyzing existing and
Marine spatial planning is a concept that is future conditions and preparing a spatial
rapidly gaining momentum. Regional MSP management plan [1]. These critical steps
projects are currently underway in the are facilitated by the use of software tools
United States and abroad. According to or other well-defined spatially-explicit
the United Nations Educational, Scientific, methodologies which we will collectively
and Cultural Organization, “marine spatial refer to as “tools”. They fall into three
planning is a public process of analyzing major categories as relevant to MSP and
and allocating the spatial and temporal will be the basis upon which this review
distribution of human activities in marine is organized. The categories are: 1) data
areas to achieve ecological, economic, and collection; 2) data management and
social objectives that are usually specified analysis; and 3) decision support.
through a political process” [1]. In June of
2009 the Obama administration created The practice of marine spatial planning
a Task Force to develop a framework for is made possible by the increasing
coastal and marine spatial planning. In availability of high quality spatial data.
December of that year, the US Interagency Various software and other tools allow
Ocean Policy Task Force released an for the management and analysis of this
Interim Framework for Effective Coastal data and give practitioners the ability to
and Marine Spatial Planning. They create alternate management scenarios

upon which planning decisions are made. information. An area that is less developed
It is important to remember that MSP is and often represents a knowledge gap
not a simple linear progression but rather in MSP is (spatial) information about
a dynamic process with many feedback human activities [4]. With the current
loops. Analyses of existing and future proliferation of MSP initiatives this
conditions will evolve as new information “missing layer” is increasingly becoming
is identified and incorporated into the addressed through various techniques. A
planning process. Understanding and critical consideration for the collection of
utilization of the proper tools is essential for data for MSP is the issue of scale. Data
successful MSP endeavors. The purpose of sets should be of similar scale as the
this review is to present and describe the planning units. It is often unproductive
kinds of tools that are available for MSP to collect fine-scale data sets for small
and provide examples from the current parts of the management area, because
literature. Much discussion has occurred when put together they are frequently not
regarding MSP policy, frameworks, and compatible [1]. Types of spatial data that
best practices. A comprehensive review are necessary for marine spatial planning
of data requirements and available tools include administrative, ecological,
is timely. environmental, and human use. Each of
these main data types will be discussed
2. DATA COLLECTION in turn along with key sources and tools
utilized for their collection.
The collection of pertinent spatial data
is critical to the marine spatial planning 2.1. Administrative
process. For the purpose of this review
we will make a distinction between Administrative data includes jurisdictional
the tools and technologies used for boundaries and government regulations.
collecting primary data and the tools Maritime boundaries and limits delineate
utilized by MSP practitioners to define, the extent of a nation’s exclusive rights
manage, and analyze this information. and control over the maritime areas off its
Ehler and Douvere [1] identify five coast. The boundaries may include a 12
primary sources for MSP relevant data nautical mile territorial sea, a 24 nautical
which include scientific literature; expert mile contiguous zone, a 200 mile exclusive
scientific opinion or advice; government economic zone, and the continental
sources; local knowledge; and direct shelf. Government regulations regarding
field measurement. Most spatial planning coastal and marine areas apply to specific
efforts rely heavily on the first three legislative and jurisdictional zones and can
sources; however local knowledge is be represented as spatial footprints. The
increasingly recognized as an important combination of jurisdictional boundaries
source of information. Direct-field and the regulations that apply to the areas
measurements are typically outside they delineate are essential for MSP.
the scope of MSP practitioners, though
are sometimes necessary if significant The Multipurpose Marine Cadastre is
knowledge gaps are identified. Current an online spatial database provided
technology and methods have made by the NOAA Coastal Services Center
available a great deal of spatially-explicit (CSC) and the US Minerals Management
data for use in MSP, especially in terms of Service [5]. It is a useful tool for the
ecological and environmental information. retrieval of administrative layers needed
Palumbi et al. [3] describe the application for MSP efforts including jurisdictional
of some of the tools currently used in boundaries, restricted areas, laws, and
oceanography and marine ecology to marine infrastructure. The Legislative
inform the design of ocean reserves atlas is a component of the Digital Coast
which have implications for all aspects produced by the CSC and provides the
of MSP. Remote sensing data is a major spatial footprint for a range of coastal
source of ecological and environmental and ocean laws, policies, and regulations

[6]. Both of these tools are accessible via remote sensing from satellites records the
the internet. They share an online GIS, same data on the scale of whole ocean
in which a user zooms into and selects basins. On a much smaller scale, land-
their area of interest to identify available based remote sensing techniques, such
data resources for that region which they as Coastal Ocean Dynamics Application
then have the option to download. A Radar, allow precise measurements of
GIS application is necessary to view and surface currents within a few kilometers
analyze the downloaded spatial data. of shore [3]. Marine environmental and
circulation patterns are important for
2.2. Ecological determining different uses for marine
spaces. In addition, knowledge of ocean
Ecological data necessary for MSP include currents can allow us to infer dispersal
biodiversity, animal distributions, and patterns for marine larvae, which is
habitat information. This data is essential particularly important for the design of
for identifying sensitive or ecologically marine reserves. Oceanographic maps for
important areas, otherwise known as different parameters at appropriate scales
biological valuation. In most cases these are useful for MSP. These are obtainable
types of data are collected by scientific through US government agencies such as
and/or government organizations. Various the NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS)
methods are used to generate ecological and the NASA Physical Oceanography
distribution and biodiversity data as part Distributed Data Archive Center (PO.
of inventory and monitoring projects. DAAC).
The scale and extent of these datasets
however, are often small and patchy, 2.4. Human Use
making them unsuitable for larger scale
MSP endeavors. Benthic habitats are also Data regarding human activities in marine
important indicators of ecological value. spaces is instrumental for marine spatial
This information is increasingly obtained planning. The social seascape however,
through remote sensing methods, allowing is largely undocumented and often
data collection on large scales (see Diaz represents a “missing layer” in decision
et al. [7] for a review of methods). Recent making [4]. Human uses of ocean and
research has focused on the relationship coastal areas encompasses a broad
between benthic habitat and marine life range of activities which can include:
assemblages [8-10]. Studies indicate that fishing (commercial and recreational),
benthic habitat parameters may be used aquaculture, marine transportation and
as predictors for diversity and abundance shipping, oil and gas development and
of fish and corals [11-14]. This has exploration, sand and gravel mining,
important implications for MSP as it offshore renewable energy, military
represents large scale, low cost means of operations, scientific research, as well
collecting information useful for biological as a range of recreational activities.
valuation. Some of these activities are site specific
and can be mapped fairly easily, others
2.3. Environmental such as fishing and recreational uses,
can be variable in time and space. Due
The marine environment is dynamic to the proliferation of ecosystem-based
and complex, and patterns and trends management and marine spatial planning,
exist on different time scales. An researchers have begun to focus on
understanding of ocean and near shore quantifying and mapping these activities.
physical parameters is important for MSP. Vessel monitoring systems (VMS) are
Oceanographic information can include used to define principle areas for fisheries
sea surface height, temperature, ocean [15-17]. Participatory mapping draws on
winds, circulation, currents, and water stakeholder and local knowledge to locate
chemistry. While historically much of this fishing communities at sea [4] as well as
data was collected directly by ships, today collect other MSP relevant information

[18]. Questionnaire surveys [19] and [5]. These are valuable resources for
shipboard surveys [20] have been used obtaining MSP relevant data which are
to collect information about marine updated on a continual basis.
recreational activities. Analyzing existing and future conditions
represents another critical part of the
3. DATA MANAGEMENT AND MSP process. Various tools have been
ANALYSIS developed for this purpose, all of which
fall under the realm of Geographic
Data management is nearly as important Information Science (GISc) which is the
to successful marine spatial planning as foundation of Geographic Information
are the data themselves. Information and Systems (GIS). Of the four primary data
data collected and created in the MSP types discussed previously, ecological
process may remain underused without and human use data require additional
careful management. Organizing and analysis to maximize their usefulness
managing spatially-explicit databases is in a MSP framework. These analyses
typically the most time-consuming aspect include mapping important biological and
of planning activities. Data models and ecological areas, human use mapping,
other resources exist to assist practitioners and the assessment of possible conflicts
during this phase. A well organized and compatibilities among human
inventory of available data facilitates activities. Second order analysis draws on
analysis and subsequent planning steps. ecological, human use and environmental
It should be refined during the planning data to assess possible conflicts and
process to reflect modified objectives and compatibilities among human activities
new sources of information. and the natural environment.

A geodatabase or spatial database is Biological valuation mapping (BVM) is

designed to store, query, and manipulate a type of analysis that compiles and
geographic information and spatial data. summarizes all available biological and
This is the preferred method for managing ecological information for a study area,
MSP data specific to a particular area and allocates an overall biological value to
or project. Guidance on the theory and subzones. BVM provides a baseline map
practice of designing geodatabases is of biological and ecological information
provided by Arctur and Zeller [21]. A and calls attention to areas which have
data model such as ArcMarine provides particularly high significance. This
a basic template to implement a MSP informs provision of a higher degree
geodatabase, and facilitates the process of risk aversion for those areas in a
of extracting, transforming, and loading MSP process [1]. Derous et al. [26-28]
data. Users can build upon the common provide a framework for marine biological
marine data types provided by the valuation based on a review of existing
model to suit the needs of their project criteria and the consensus reached
[22]. Regional and national initiatives to by a discussion group of experts. This
manage and make accessible coastal and concept was developed and utilized to
MSP relevant data, utilize spatial data conduct a biological valuation map of the
infrastructures (SDI) [23,24]. An SDI is Belgian part of the North Sea [29]. The
a system or framework that facilitates Commonwealth of Massachusetts adapted
the exchange of spatial data. Benefits of this concept to produce a biological value
developing SDIs include improved access map for its waters as part of its ocean
to data, reduced duplication of effort in management plan development process
collecting and maintaining data, better [30].
availability of data, and interoperability
between datasets [24]. Examples of SDI’s Human use data that is obtained as part of
for the United States include the NOAA a MSP process needs to be standardized
Coastal Services Center - Digital Coast into spatial layers that can then be overlaid
[25] and Multipurpose Marine Cadastre in a GIS to identify existing or potential

conflicts between human activities. These management strategies [33]. They can
are complex processes across a variety also be made available online to further
of scales and to be properly represented facilitate user collaboration. The primary
should integrate a temporal as well as benefits of good DSS are the ability to
a spatial component. Unfortunately, centralize and manage spatial data,
little research has been conducted on the speed of processing those data,
the social or human geography of the and the ease of use and clarity for the
oceans and it may well be necessary for users. Governing bodies must still make
MSP practitioners to utilize some of the decisions among alternative solutions,
techniques presented in the previous but these alternatives can be defined and
section to generate appropriate data. Ehler understood more quickly and easily. The
and Douvere [1] suggest a matrix method need for DSS increases with the number
for identifying conflicts and compatibilities of planning objectives and potential
among existing human activities. The tradeoffs. Conversely, the amount of
next step would be to integrate this data, technical challenges, and cost of
information into maps of human-uses to tool implementation also increase [33].
locate conflict areas and for comparison
with other spatial attributes. Spatial Development of DSS has been primarily
analysis of human activities is a critical for the purpose of conservation and more
part of MSP and a proportional amount of specifically, for the sighting of marine
effort should be spent on this phase. reserves. There are multiple examples
Assessing conflicts and compatibilities from the literature that describe the
between human activities and the use of DSS to produce and evaluate
natural environment follows, informed by marine reserve placement scenarios.
previous analyses of ecological and human Airame et al. [34] used a computer-
use data. A framework for evaluating the based siting tool (DSS) called SITES to
interactive and cumulative impacts of generate potential options for the no-take
human activities is provided by Halpern reserve network in the California Channel
et al. [31]. In a related study, Halpern et Islands. The computer used previously
al. [32] generated a global map of human compiled geographic information to
impacts on marine ecosystems. The maps create a network of randomly placed
produced by this research can help to reserves and then improved it slightly,
inform MSP efforts, though the scale is searching progressively for layouts that
likely too broad for most marine planning were closer to the specified criteria. The
efforts. The analytical process however, outputs were used as a starting point for
could be adapted to delineate human discussions about where to implement
impacts at a finer scale. individual reserves, and what trade-
offs would be necessary in different
4. DECISION SUPPORT potential network configurations. Other
examples demonstrate the effectiveness
Another key step in the MSP process of combining siting tools and GIS data in
is identification and evaluation of designing marine reserves in the Gulf of
alternative management measures. It is Mexico [35] and the Florida Keys [36].
in this capacity that interactive decision These studies make it clear that there
support systems (DSS) have played an are multiple approaches to implementing
increasingly important role. Decision marine reserves in a particular area.
support systems constitute a class of Sarkar et al. [37] provide a review of
interactive computer-based information conservation planning tools that can help
systems that support decision-making inform potential users about their theory
activities. Interactive DSS can integrate, and utility. Almost all of the theory for
share, and contrast many people’s spatial conservation planning has been
ideas about planning options and focused on identifying no-take reserves.
help managers and stakeholders to This trend has been translated into tool
visualize tradeoffs between different development such that most available

DSS are designed to identify one type of has been under constant development
zone (ie. marine reserves). Marine spatial over the last quarter of a century [43-
planning seeks to develop multi-use 46]. During this time the approach has
zoning schemes for which a broad range grown to become the most widely applied
of objectives are represented. Therefore, ecosystem modeling technique [47]. The
an optimization tool or framework that most recent version of Ecospace (EwE6)
allows for multiple zones is necessary. incorporates a new optimization module
Marxan is the most widely used based on a seed cell selection approach,
conservation planning software in the where the spatial cell selection process
world [38]. It uses the simulated annealing is influenced by geospatial information
algorithm [39] to minimize the total cost [48]. The new sampling procedure
of a reserve system, while achieving a set may be complementary to the Marxan
of conservation goals. Similar to other approach in that Ecospace provides a
reserve siting tools it provides two zoning robust evaluation of ecological processes,
options for each planning unit: reserve including spatial connectivity, due to its
and non-reserve. A new extension called trophic modeling foundation. These topics
Marxan with Zones generalizes this are not fully developed in the Marxan
approach by providing multiple zoning analysis. Christensen et al. [48] advocate
options for each planning unit. Each zone that the two approaches, with their
then has the option of its own actions, unique advantages and limitations, be
objectives and constraints. The purpose applied in conjunction. Further research
is to minimize total cost while ensuring should reveal the efficacy of the updated
a variety of (user-defined) conservation Ecospace approach and how it compares
and multi-use objectives [38]. Marxan with the already well established Marxan
provides a flexible approach capable of with Zones.
incorporating large amounts of data and
use categories. It is computationally 5. CONCLUSIONS
efficient, and lends itself well to enabling
stakeholder involvement in the site Technological advances have enabled us
selection process [40]. This tool has to gather and share information about our
been used for the design of multiple-use environment at an unprecedented rate.
marine parks in both Western Australia We use geographic information science
and California [41]. Currently Marxan to manage and explore this wealth of
with Zones is being utilized to produce spatial data. Marine spatial planning is
planning scenarios for a MSP effort led by a marriage of geographic information
The Nature Conservancy in the Birds Head science, environmental management,
Seascape, Indonesia [33]. and land use planning. It is a complex,
data intensive process. Spatial analysis
One shortcoming of the Marxan approach lies at the heart of MSP and is surpassed
is its inability to deal with issues of in importance only by stakeholder
demographic connectivity. Marxan participation. To a large extent, the
considers that including into a reserve success of a MSP effort depends on the
system a site that contains a particular abundance and quality of its data, and the
feature will ensure the persistence of that capacity for its analysis. Various tools can
feature, even though surrounding sites enable and facilitate different aspects of
may not have the same protection, and may MSP. It is in the interest of all involved
therefore be ecologically compromised to make the best use of the technology
[36]. For this reason, the evaluation of available.
the ecological components and tradeoffs
of alternate planning scenarios may The scope and scale of the data collected
be better provided by another freely for MSP are important considerations,
available DSS, Ecospace [42]. Ecospace is and should as much as possible match
the spatial component of Ecopath which the scope of the planning area and the
is an ecosystem modeling approach that scale of planning units. Given that many

MSP projects have a large scope, it can and the organization and cooperation of
be difficult to obtain datasets that are stakeholders is paramount. Second, it is
consistent across the area of interest. an analytical process, and this component
This issue is particularly pronounced for is nearly as critical for success. The
ecological and human use data. Though stakes are high as we increasingly look
biological valuation provides a method to to the development of ocean and coastal
standardize disparate ecological datasets, resources to support global consumption of
a consistent source is more ideal. Remote food and energy. Successful management
sensing has increasingly provided us of our marine spaces is less of a choice
with benthic habitat models, attributes of then a necessity.
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D. Stein1, C. Fowler1, C. Taylor2, B. Smith3 & A. Bode4
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Coastal Services Center (CSC), Charleston, South
Carolina. E-mail:
U.S. Minerals Management Service, Herndon, Virginia.
IM Systems Group, Charleston, South Carolina.
The Baldwin Group, Charleston, South Carolina.

ABSTRACT energy, marine aquaculture, commercial

and recreational fishery products,
Multiple U.S. federal agencies are maritime commerce and trade, national
collaborating to build a marine information security operations, and other activities. At
system called the Multipurpose Marine risk is the health of our ocean ecosystems
Cadastre (MMC). The MMC is a multiagency and the benefits they provide to coastal
effort to build a GIS-based marine communities and national economies [1].
information system for U.S. waters that
provides authoritative geospatial data and There is a compelling need to develop
supporting information to inform decision- the capacity—in data, tools and policies—
making on a range of ocean issues. At its to manage the full range of current and
core, the MMC contains marine cadastral emerging ocean uses in U.S. waters [1].
data, which encompass the spatial
extent, usage, rights, restrictions, and
responsibilities of marine areas, as well as
other framework data needed to support
planning, management, and conservation
of submerged lands and marine spaces.
The combination of marine cadastral,
biological, geo-physical, ocean use, and
legal authority data provides users with Fig. 1 - MMC Web Map Viewer – Southeast
the spatial context needed to address Coast [2]
issues such as alternative energy siting,
aquaculture, submerged lands leasing, Recent policy developments such as the
marine conservation, and marine Energy Policy Act of 2005 have mandated
spatial planning (MSP). This paper will the development of a mapping and
demonstrate how spatial data are being information systems to support renewable
organized and integrated into the MMC; energy development in U.S. waters.
and how the MMC can be used to support Additionally, the Interim Framework
MSP. for Effective Coastal and Marine Spatial
Planning (2009) calls for a national
Keywords - Marine Cadastre, Marine Spatial
information management system to inform
Planning, Decision-Support Tools, Marine
Spatial Data Infrastructure marine spatial planning. In direct response
to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the
1. INTRODUCTION U.S. Federal Geographic Data Committee
(FGDC) Marine Boundary Working Group
Human uses of ocean resources are developed the Multipurpose Marine
increasing dramatically, outgrowing the Cadastre (MMC). The project is being
laws, policies, and human resources co-led by the U.S. Minerals Management
needed to manage them. More frequent Service and the National Oceanic and
conflicts are unavoidable as demands Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The
to use the oceans increase for offshore MMC, through its Web map viewers and

spatial data portal, is intended to address several agencies to combine resources
the need for accessible and authoritative and dedicate staff members to long-term
data and science-based decision- support development and maintenance of the
tools. The MMC’s purpose is to serve as
a planning and screening tool to inform
decisions on ocean uses, specifically to
provide the spatial context needed to Authoritative and Trusted Data Sources
make decisions about where suitable At its core, the MMC contains the official
areas exist for offshore activities and U.S. Marine Cadastre and is the only place
where to avoid development (see figure where users can visualize all the official
1). U.S. marine boundaries on one map.
Similar to the nation’s land-based parcel
The following sections will describe how system, a marine cadastre is a system
the MMC is being developed, managed, that enables the boundaries of maritime
and used by the ocean planning and rights and interests to be recorded,
management community. Furthermore, spatially managed and physically defined
this paper will address the technical in relationship to the boundaries of other
challenges and opportunities that are neighboring or underlying rights and
foreseen as the U.S. engages in marine interests [3]. Additionally, to encourage
spatial planning. multisector use, the following data themes
are included in the MMC framework (see
2. THE FRAMEWORK FOR A figure 2):
Georegulations: Includes geographical
Inherent in any spatial data infrastructure extent of federal laws and policies.
(SDI) are the people, technologies, Agency Regions: Includes geographical
extent of federal agency regions and
policies, and standards needed to develop
planning areas.
and share geographic data among
users. The MMC employs each of these Navigation and marine infrastructure:
SDI concepts through key partnerships Includes common navigational and
among data providers, a commitment to infrastructure data such as shipping
obtain and make available authoritative lanes, fairways, wrecks and obstructions,
data, and the development of interactive and oil platforms.
mapping tools. Key components of the
MMC include the following: Human uses: Includes active and
proposed oil and gas and alternative
energy sites
Marine habitat and biodiversity: Includes
biological data directly tied to U.S. federal
Many federal agencies have been working statutes, such as the Marine Mammal
collaboratively through the Marine Protection Act and Endangered Species
Boundary Working Group (MBWG) over Act.
the past decade to organize, standardize,
and make readily accessible national Geology and seafloor: Includes
marine boundary data—also referred bathymetric contours, undersea
to as the U.S. Marine Cadastre. This placemames, physical substrate samples,
venue has provided the opportunity for and small-scale geological maps.
multiagency collaboration and strategic
partnerships which have culminated in All data in the MMC originate from the
the development of the MMC. Formal appropriate authoritative source1. These
agreements have been made between organizations are responsible for data

updates and maintenance; whereby in the development of web services, the
the MMC serves as a trusted source2 by state of current technology and partner
visualizing, value adding, and providing capacity necessitates an intermediate
step: data harvesting. Data harvesting is
direct access to the authoritative sources
the process of accessing and downloading
through a national web map viewer and a data on an agreed-upon schedule. To
spatial data portal. ensure that the content contained within
the MMC is current and up-to-date, data
Data Management are harvested, or collected from the
MSP planning and decision making relies source, on a periodic basis. Since this
heavily on the availability and analysis of approach to project data management
timely geospatial information originating involves multiple roles and interactions
from the authoritative sources. Users between partner agencies, a data update
of tools like MMC must be confident the and maintenance plan was created to
information they have is current and define the general pattern of data flow
accurate. Consequently, good data between providers and consumers.
management is paramount to the success Beyond defining the general flow of data
of the project and substantial resources from provider to consumer, the plan also
are devoted to this activity. defines a proposed update frequency
schedule for harvesting, and guidelines
for data inclusion in both the national Web
map viewer3 and spatial data portal4.

While it will take many years to fully

build-out the MMC with authoritative and
other data relevant to MSP, the project
team is taking a strategic approach
by populating the national viewer with
statutorily mandated data first; then
prioritizing other data needs based on
user requirements.
Fig. 2 - Marine National Spatial Data
Infrastructure (NSDI) Data Themes Data Standards

The long-range goal of the project is to

All data in the MMC are critical for coastal
build a distributed Web mapping system
and ocean planning. However, since the
that utilizes web services to consume
backbone of the project is the U.S. Marine
spatial data directly from the authoritative
Cadastre, the project team has gone to
source. Realizing this vision will enable great lengths to ensure that this data
interoperability and enhanced use of theme is regularly updated, standardized
these data across multiple platforms. and available in multiple data formats.
This technology provides efficiencies for Two federally endorsed content standards
all levels of government and contributes have been used in the construction of the
to a more dynamic coastal and marine U.S. Marine Cadastre database. They are
spatial planning framework. the Cadastral Data Content Standard and
the Governmental Unit Boundary Data
While data providers and the MMC project Content Standard. The data produced
team are making incremental progress using these content standards have also

Authoritative Source – An entity that is authorized by a legal authority to develop or manage data for a specific
business purpose. The data this entity creates is authoritative data [4].
Trusted Source and Trusted Data – A service provider that publishes data from a number of authoritative
sources. These publications are often compilations and subsets of the data from more than one authoritative source.
The provider is “trusted” because there is an “official process” for compiling the data from authoritative sources [4].

been made available in Open Geospatial 3. THE MULTIPURPOSE MARINE
Consortium endorsed transfer standards, CADASTRE AS A DECISION-SUPPORT
including Web Map Service5 (WMS) and TOOL: CASE STUDIES
Keyhole Markup Language (KML).
MMC was designed to be used as a
Additionally, all data contained in the screening tool for offshore activities. Two
web map viewer includes metadata early implementing agencies are the NOAA
using the FGDC Content Standard for National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
Digital Geospatial Metadata, as well as and the U.S. Minerals Management
data sheets which provide a laypersons Service. The NMFS Habitat Conservation
overview of each data set. Division, located in Santa Rosa,
California, is using the MMC to evaluate
Data Visualization and Analysis ocean energy projects in California; and
the U.S. Minerals Management Services
Data visualization is another key is using the MMC as a screening tool for
component of the MMC effort. A renewable energy projects. Additionally,
comprehensive Web mapping application coastal states engaging in MSP efforts
was built on the ESRI ArcServer platform are using the MMC’s authoritative data
that enables viewing, analysis, and map- to support their planning efforts and
making. The Web mapping application industry is beginning to use the MMC to
was designed to visualize the data in identify areas suitable for development.
the MMC and is currently being used by
regulatory agencies to review permits 3.1 Permit Review for Hydrokinetic
for offshore activities and by coastal Activities
states engaging in coastal and marine
spatial planning. Some of the custom In evaluating a license application for
functionality includes point, line, and an ocean energy project in northern
polygon buffering; measuring tools; California, the NMFS Habitat Conservation
coordinate input; screen capture; and Division used the MMC to determine the
freehand drawing (see figure 3). proximity of the proposed project to a
variety of marine species and habitats.
The tool is being used to evaluate
whether these projects would impact a
number of ecological resources, which
include designated essential fish habitat
and threatened- and endangered-species
habitat. The agency’s findings were
as follows: the project, as originally
proposed, would impact numerous
salmonid species and marine mammal
species protected under the Endangered
Species Act; it would be located within
designated essential fish habitat and a
habitat area of particular concern; and
it would be situated within the migration
Fig. 3 - MMC Functionality–Coordinate input corridor for several important species that
and Get URL [2]
are part of the West Coast commercial
salmon fishery. As a result of the findings,

National Web Map Viewer – Web map viewer for the MMC that visualizes the U.S. Marine Cadastre and other
nationally relevant spatial data.
Spatial Data Portal – Catalog of spatial data found in the web map viewer, plus additional data sets that are
relevant to MSP. The portal refers users directly to the authoritative source.
Web Map Service – The OpenGIS Web Map Service Interface Standard (WMS) is an HTTP interface for requesting
geo-registered map images from one or more distributed geospatial databases.

the division created a variety of maps a state, provides landmark reference
using the MMC-supported information, points, shows potential issues for the
and four conservation divisions worked siting of renewable energy development,
cooperatively to provide comments and highlights information gaps between
recommendations in response to the federal agencies and state agencies,
application. and provides an interactive tool the task
forces can use to discuss and visually
illustrate concerns and issues.   As more
In a similar example, a preliminary
information is added, the utility of the
permit application was filed for a wave
MMC will continue to grow in this area.
energy project to be located off the
California coast. When the NMFS Habitat
3.3 Industry Interaction with the
Conservation Division compared the
proposed project area to the data included
in the MMC Web map viewer, the agency
The Renewable Energy Program of the
found that the proposed project footprint
U.S. Minerals Management Service has
extended into a major shipping lane and
introduced the MMC to state and industry
into two national marine sanctuaries. The
planners interested in developing wind
U.S. Coast Guard and NOAA’s Office of
and wave energy projects in state and
National Marine Sanctuaries were notified
federal offshore waters.
of these potential conflicts. As a result, the
NMFS worked cooperatively with NOAA
To date, industry has been able to
Sanctuaries to write a joint comment
use the MMC to provide an overview of
letter and motion of intervention. The
potentially important issues associated
applicant corrected the coordinates of
with the siting of an offshore wind
the proposed project as a result of these
facility. For instance, a manager within
documents and comments submitted by
a development company can visualize
the U.S. Coast Guard (see figure 4).
the location of shipping fairways where
development is unlikely and determine
the proximity of a proposed development
to various resources without engaging
technical staff members or vetting
contracts.  This allows managers to
identify if studies may be needed at
the onset of a project plan or to quickly
determine if the area is not conducive for
development. As offshore wind and wave
energy development in the U.S. becomes
a reality, there will be many opportunities
to engage with this sector.

3.4 MMC Use in Incident Response

Fig. 4 - Wave Energy Proposals in northern
California [2] The MMC is being used by the U.S.
Minerals Management Service (MMS)
3.2 State and Regional Interaction and other federal agencies to view and
with the MMC download authoritative data sets during
the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Specifically,
The MMC has recently been utilized as a the MMC is being used by MMS, NOAA,
part of the Minerals Management Service’s and the U.S. Coast Guard to combine
state renewable energy task forces largely map services with other data sets being
because of the increase in processing used by some of the incident response
speed of the MMC application.  The MMC teams. Although the MMC was originally
visually illustrates the offshore areas of envisioned as a tool for renewable energy

planning, it is turning out to be invaluable Ocean Council, regional planning bodies,
for oil and gas incident response. and other agencies to develop a regional
engagement strategy in keeping with the
4. IMPLICATIONS FOR MARINE Interim Framework and any resultant

On December 14, 2009, President 5. FUTURE DIRECTION

Obama’s Interagency Ocean Policy Task
Force released its Interim Framework Successful planning and delivery of
for Effective Coastal and Marine Spatial products and services for MSP requires
Planning, which offers a comprehensive, coordination between national-scale
integrated approach to planning and priorities and capabilities and local- and
managing uses and activities.  The regional-level practitioner needs. The
Ocean Policy Task Force defines coastal MMC is in a position to bridge the gap
and marine spatial planning as a between national and regional data
comprehensive, adaptive, integrated, priorities by providing authoritative data
ecosystem-based, and transparent spatial and technical support to enable regional
planning process, based on sound science, entities as they engage in MSP. However,
for analyzing current and anticipated uses a substantial level of effort must be
of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes areas devoted to maintaining existing data and
[5]. Under the Framework, coastal and developing new data and products that
marine spatial planning would be regional meet diverse user requirements while
in scope, and developed cooperatively building the National Marine Spatial Data
among federal, state, tribal, and local Infrastructure. The following are data and
authorities, and regional governance tool enhancements that are envisioned as
structures, with substantial stakeholder the project moves forward.
and public input [5].
As the MMC becomes more widely known,
It is envisioned that the MMC could be and regional groups and states adopt their
used in multiple steps of the MSP process, own sets of tools, the MMC team envisions
as defined by Ehler and Douvere in their that the authoritative data provided
step by step approach to marine spatial within the MMC will be ingested directly
planning [6]. Ready access to authoritative into an increasing number of specialized
foundational data layers is essential viewers and decision-support tools. To
for defining and analyzing existing and support this use, it will become imperative
future conditions, preparing coastal and that existing data be maintained and
marine spatial plans, and monitoring and updated on a frequent basis; that new
evaluating plan performance. As MSP data be included that enhance regional
becomes formalized in the U.S., these applications; and that data be provided
process steps will be supported by a host in multiple formats, including Web Map
of visualization and analysis tools. Services.

Additionally, the Interim Framework In addition to the above data

for Effective Coastal and Marine Spatial enhancements, MSP will require
Planning calls for national CMSP innovative, intuitive, and flexible
information management system along decision-support tools enabling ocean
with centralized or regional portals that managers and stakeholders to visualize
connect to CMSP information [5]. The and compare the ecological and
MMC can play a key role by integrating socioeconomic implications of alternative
regional data into its map viewers, and scenarios for siting ocean uses across
conversely, by providing framework areas, depths, and time. These include
data to regional viewers and desktop analytical and visualization tools that
applications. The MMC project team plans enable MSP planners and stakeholders to
to work closely with the U.S. National (1) understand, visualize, and evaluate

the consequences of alternative ocean use Administration
scenarios under varying environmental Infrastructure Requirements,” UN-FIG
and socioeconomic conditions and over Conference on Land Tenure and Cadastral
multiple time horizons; (2) facilitate Infrastructure for Sustainable
compatible uses; and (3) monitor and Development, Melbourne, Australia,
evaluate effectiveness of coastal and (1999).
marine spatial plans [1]. [4] FGDC Subcommittee for Cadastral
Data “Authority and Authoritative
To meet the diverse requirements of Sources:
MSP and renewable energy planning in Clarification of Terms and Concepts for
the U.S., the MMC team will focus on the Cadastral Data Version 1.1,” (2008).
following future activities: [5] The U.S. White House Council for
Environmental Quality, Interim Framework
- Development of tools to enable users for Effective Coastal and Marine Spatial
to locate optimal marine space for ocean Planning, (2009).
activities based on weighted criteria [6] Ehler, Charles, and Fanny Douvere,
Marine Spatial Planning: a step-by-
- Development of tools to identify all step approach toward ecosystem-based
spatial data within a user-defined marine management, Intergovernmental
space Oceanographic Commission and Man and
the Biosphere Programme, IOC Manual
- Development of standardized marine and Guides No. 53, ICAM Dossier No. 6
base maps to promote consistency in Paris: UNESCO, (2009).
“look and feel” across multiple platforms

- Engagement in cross-sector
demonstration projects focused on
decision support tools to facilitate the
MSP process

It will take a suite of practical decision

support tools and authoritative data
to meet the objectives of MSP. It is
envisioned that through the work of the
MMC and the continued development of
related decision-support tools, managers
and practitioners will have the necessary
data and analytical capabilities to foster
proactive decision- making in the marine


[1] National Oceanic and Atmospheric

Administration (NOAA), “NOAA Internal
Reports on Coastal and Marine Spatial
Planning,” (2009).
[2] National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) and U.S. Minerals
Management Service (MMS), Multipurpose
Marine Cadastre Website – http://www. (2010).
[3] Robertson B., Benwell G., and
Hoogsteden C., “The Marine Resource:

A. Wadwani
Applied Field Data Systems Inc, Houston, TX, USA. E-mail:

ABSTRACT of the animal? Won’t that make your job

much easier and more efficient? After
For geospatial mapping, use of GPS is all as they say “A PICTURE IS WORTH A
very common. However, the receivers do THOUSAND WORDS”. Due to this reason
not provide adequate information on the and the availability of low priced digital
condition of the feature. The availability cameras, GIS professionals are capturing
of high resolution GPS enabled camera actual pictures of condition of the assets
is allowing users to take photographs to prove/disprove something or show the
of features along with location, date/ actual condition. However in the past,
time and transfer directly into GIS. The it has been difficult to link the actual
photographs are embedded with attribute photograph to the location data and bring
information allowing scientists to actually the data into GIS software.
review the feature in GIS and Google

Keywords - GPS, GPS Enabled Camera


The primary reason for collecting GPS/

GIS data is to find the location (WHERE),
date and time (WHEN) and feature and
attribute information (WHAT). I call it the
3 W’S of GPS/GIS Data collection. While
the latest GPS receivers with memory
and appropriate software capture the
attribute and feature information, a lot Fig. 1 - Large Size Wildlife Data Collection
of feature description and information is
left to operator’s judgments. For example
if you are collecting data on wildlife,
the operator may fill in under attribute
column “LARGE” for size of animal (See
Figure 1). Or data collection operator may
say several penguins in the colony but
has to write long texts to say how many
are standing, how many are sleeping
(See Figure 2). Or describe the size of
wingspan as medium (See Figure 3).

Now imagine you are the scientist and

are viewing this data in the office and
trying to interpret how “LARGE” is large,
or how many penguins are standing. Of
course, you will try to make the best Fig. 2 - Populations Data Collection
estimate in your mind of the attribute
data but what if you had an actual picture
For marine applications one can use this
package in  studying  pollution,  wildlife,
coastal zones, water quality sampling,
bio diversity, ecology, etc. All one has to
do is to take the picture and enter the
associated attribute data on the picture
for further analysis in the office. The
data can  also be  imported into GIS  for
additional analysis in studying pollution,
wildlife, coastal zones, water quality
sampling, bio diversity, ecology etc.

Below are some examples of how the

actual pictures with GPS and other
attributes data will look like.

Fig. 3 - Medium Size Wildlife Data Collection

Over the last few years high resolution

digital cameras have been introduced
with GPS and Compass options and
software to link actual photographs to
position data with date and time is printed
on the picture itself. For example, one can
embed the species of the penguins, air
temperature, water temperature, wind
speed, etc. All the data required to study
the migration pattern of penguins. So
instead of reading notes, the scientist can
look at the pictures and analyze the data.
Fig. 4 - Example of Wildlife Geo-referenced
Some of the cameras have video and Photo
recording option and capability to add
tele-photo lens, The GPS modules are
WAAS enabled so in the USA one is
able to get 2 meter accuracy. For better
accuracy, one can use a standalone
GPS receiver  offering better accuracy
and  transfer the position  data to the
camera via the BLUETOOTH option.
These cameras are an excellent tool for
handling the 3 W’S of GPS / GIS data
collection. With this package one can
actually see the condition of the feature
on a PC without having to go to the field or
ask operators further questions. It allows
one to prove or disprove something. This
package has become a necessary tool for
various MAPPING applications. Fig. 5 - Example of Environmental Monitoring
Geo-referenced Photo

The pictures above show the position
data, data and time and also OPERATOR
ACTION is required. All these attributes
are embedded in the picture for anyone in
back office to review and make decisions.


In conclusion the use of GPS enabled

camera is increasing rapidly. Several GPS
manufacturers are now offering a camera
built into their hand held units. The use of
this package is rapidly growing in all areas
of GIS mapping. With more manufacturers
introducing this type of technology, a user
has additional wider selection of products
and in the long run prices will drop. Over
all this technology will very soon become
a mandatory tool for GIS mapping.


[1] Ricoh 500 SE Manual 2010

A. Wochna
Institute of Oceanography, University of Gdansk, Al. Pilsudskiego 46, 81-378 Gdynia, Poland. E-mail: agnieszka.

ABSTRACT oceans, as there is no restrictions about

its quality nor brine production efficiency
In coastal area of Poland an Underground and lowest costs are involved [15]. In the
Gas Storage in salt domes is planned to be case of introduction of brine into natural
formed. Brine from salt caverns lixiviation receiver the influence of the inflow of
is planned to be disposed to the Puck Bay highly salinated water on the ecosystem
– an inert bay of Baltic Sea included in must be known and considered. As there
NATURA 2000 protection network. In the is a number of desalination plants in
article theoretical considerations about parts of the world with poor freshwater
potential environmental impact of brine resources, many research was performed
on natural waters are presented. The on ecological effects associated with
influence of salinity increase on organisms brine discharge from this process [among
living in specific conditions of brackish others: 26, 17, 11]. Research on the
waters is discussed. In conditions of weak environmental impact of brine discharge
water dynamics the stratification may be from lixiviation of underground gas
formed, creating density gradient by the storages were performed by Quintino
bottom. In the simultaneous situation et al. [21]. The experiment showed
of high productivity in surface layer and that not only increased salinity but also
connected high mineralization of organic the ionic composition of the brine has
matter by the bottom, conditions of influence on organisms living in affected
oxygen depletion may occur. A threat environment. Effects of brine discharge
of hypoxia conditions in the investigated on environment depend not only on
area is identified. A location of a discharge the physico-chemical properties of the
site with higher water dynamics and effluent, but also on hydrographical
lesser biological value is proposed. and biological features of the receiver.
Shallow and enclosed bays, especially
Index Terms— Brine disposal, brackish with abundant in wildlife are recognized
waters, coastal eutrofica tion, hypoxia, semi- as sensitive to brine introduction due to
enclosed bay limited water exchange. Locations with
the lowest sensitivity – exposed open
1. INTRODUCTION sea, are characterized by high capability
of brine dilution and dispersion, by rapid
Brine is a highly salinated water produced water exchange and high energy [8, 1].
during several processes, most often sea Brine plume dispersion in natural waters
water desalination and cavern leaching. was modeled and described, inter alia, in
This technological effluent, usually reports: [6], [10], [12] and articles: [1],
produced in great amounts, may be [27], experimental observations were
disposed in different ways depending presented by Shiau et al. [27]. Zemke et
on location of the investment, costs and al. [31] described alternative solution of
capabilities. Brine of high quality, highly brine disposal in geological structures by
saturated and with low level of impurities, injection into deep aquifer. This method
may be used in chemical processing and the use of evaporation ponds are
for Na and Cl or table salt production. useful opportunity in the inland areas [2,
However, most often brine is discharged 3].
into natural waters: rivers, seas or

In Poland there are plans of creating an for brine spreading are poor, the investor
Underground Gas Storage facility in the is obliged to discharge brine with the
coastal region, and brine produced during usage of diffusers initially diluting brine
cavern leaching is going to be discharged with sea water. The diffusing system will
to the Puck Bay, a semi-enclosed bay consist of 48 nozzles for proper dilution
of a Baltic Sea. In twelve years 14,96 of the highly salinated water outflowing
million m3 of brine with salinity 250 PSU the pipeline, the maximum allowable
will be introduced to the bay. Baltic is discharge rate is 300 m3 per hour, what
an example of brackish sea and average gives 7200 m3 per day. With brine salinity
salinity in the Puck Bay is on the level of 250 kg/m3, 1800 tons of salt may be daily
7,5 PSU [14], more than 30 times lower introduced to the bay. Theoretically brine
than brine salinity. Even though degraded induced salinity should not exceed 0,5
by great amounts of nutrient introduced PSU, as restricted in permission of brine
with sewage, rivers and atmospheric discharge to this protected area, what was
deposition in previous century, the confirmed by modeling results [25]. For
environment of this semi enclosed bay brine dispersion in Puck Bay periods with
is characterized by the highest aquatic different hydrological and meteorological
biodiversity in Polish coast. Specific conditions were chosen, however, most
hydrological conditions in different parts of simulations lasted 10 days and none
of the bay allow for coexistence of marine exceeded two months, what seems very
and fresh water organisms in one basin. short comparing the planned period of
The state of bay waters improved after discharge – twelve years. The modeling
building the wastewater treatment plants results were not verified as no brine have
and discharge of part of treated wastes to been introduced to the reservoir.
the open sea, however, the eutrofication
and resulting algae blooms are still every For cavern lixiviation a treated wastewater
year problem [14]. will be used, so together with brine
some amounts of organic matter will be
As Puck Bay is one of the most biologically released. In the neighborhood of pipeline
valuable areas in Poland [9] and is included transporting brine, another pipeline,
in EU environmental protection network - introducing treated wastewater from
Natura 2000, acute investigation of the nearby treatment plant, will be placed
influence of highly salined water on this (Fig. 1). As outflows of pipelines will be
important and unique marine life need to in a distance of 500 meters, the inflow of
be conducted. In the article the impact of positive buoyancy wastewater must be
increased salinity on organisms living in considered in the environmental impact
and around the Puck Bay is discussed and analysis. As described later this may
potential threats connected with brine significantly influence oxygen conditions
discharge to this specific environment in the area of brine discharge.
are identified. At the beginning a short
description of parameters of discharge is
given, at the end brine disposal location
with lower environmental risk is proposed
and its advantages and disadvantages are



Brine will be discharged to the bottom of

the Puck Bay to the depth of 8 meters,
2300 meters from the coast, in the
period of twelve years. Since the bay is a
sheltered reservoir and natural conditions Fig. 1 - Facilities involved in brine discharge to
the Puck Bay.


Waters of the Puck Bay are characterized

by low salinity, from 3.84 to 8.00
PSU, what creates specific conditions
for organisms. The number of species
occurring in this range of water salinity is
much lower comparing to ocean and fresh
waters (Fig. 2). The specific ecosystem of
the Puck Bay is represented by species
originating from ocean waters that were
able to adopt to low salinity, freshwater
and migratory species [14]. The salinity
rise due to brine, if on the planned level
(0,5 PSU), should not have significant
influence on organisms of the Puck Bay. Fig. 2 - Dependence of number of species on
There may be some changes in species the salinity of water [adopted from 22].
composition but probably they will be
in the range of natural variations, alike 4. POTENTIAL INFLUENCE OF
the primary production of phytoplankton BRINE ON WATER CONDITIONS -
[13]. The occurrence of freshwater FORMATION OF STRATIFICATION
species is connected with inner Puck
Bay and with river inflow areas where Due to higher density than naturally
the brine effects should be the least. occurring waters brine, even diluted,
Still, no laboratory experiments were will follow towards the bottom. In the
performed, and effect of a continuous conditions of weak water dynamic,
exposure of organisms living in Puck brine spreading and mixing may be
Bay to changed conditions is unknown. low enough for stratification formation.
The laboratory research should give the Accumulation of brine by the bottom and
knowledge of salinity tolerance limits of resulting stratification may have severe
organisms of the bay and investigate the consequences as it limits vertical mass and
influence of the ionic composition of the gas exchange between water if difference
brine, that slightly differs from the bay of density is high enough. Stratification
waters. Such studies would enable proper forming and consequent hypoxia effect
predictions of changes in marine life of resulting from brine discharge to shallow
the Puck Bay, accurate assessment of bay was investigated by Hodges et al.
the risk to this ecosystem. The Puck Bay [10] and Ritter and Monatagna [23, 24].
and its surrounding are very important From the field studies Hodges et al. [10]
for birds and an indirect effect of brine concluded that a thin-layer stratification
on birds by changes on their food base can occur in a shallow embayment (3-5
(fishes, benthos, underwater plants) meters), which is generally vertically
should be considered. Nevertheless, if the mixed, and may induce hypoxia. Hypoxia
influence on marine organisms will not be events are determined by the length of
critical this indirect influence should be time sediments are isolated from the
insignificant [13]. ambient water by the saline layer. The
scheme of the processes that may occur
when high-salinity water is introduced
into a shallow embayment is illustrated
in figure 3. Described hypoxic events
were intermittent, usually overnight
or early morning, local and persisted
rather for hours than days or weeks. It

was indicated in that under well-mixed discharge that may limit vertical mixing
conditions, development of low oxygen and prevent dissolved oxygen from
conditions is generally attributable to penetration through the water column
excessive nutrient loading. what will enhance depletion of available
dissolved oxygen.
The phenomenon of salinity stratifications
and resulting problem with dissolved Crucial in this consideration is whether
oxygen by the bottom was widely shallow Puck Bay would remain well-
described in the estuary areas, where mixed in the presence of a brine
fresh, usually nutrients rich waters discharge. The modeled salinity increase
interact with saline ocean waters [16, (0,5 PSU) is much lower than the one in
29, 19]. Usually the bottom hypoxia and mentioned research [10], however the
anoxia occurs in summer due to additional, depth at which brine will be released is
except saline, thermal stratification [30, bigger. The model results show that there
28] and excessive primary production may be a situation when brine will remain
– algae blooms [18, 4], even in shallow by the bottom, with salinity differences
areas potentially well mixed. between bottom and surface on below 1
PSU. Effler et al. [7] documented the river
In case of brine discharge to the Puck Bay salinity stratification induced by the ionic
it is crucial that in a distance of 500 meters pollution related impacts on dissolved
from the end of discharging pipeline there oxygen. During the inflow of ionic
will be a wastewater released. A great pollution the salinity difference between
amount of nutrients to the surface waters upper and lower layer was 1,9 PSU and
will be introduced in the area around the severe DO depletion in the lower river
brine discharge. This will lead to high layer occurred. Few years after the inflow
primary production (algae blooms) and of pollution finished the salinity gradient
high biomass of chlorophyll A in the late remained at the level of 0,4 PSU and was
spring and summer and consequently high enough for stratification formation
high amounts of organic matter by the and oxygen concentration depletion even
bottom. to 1 mg/L. Hypoxia conditions occurred
only during low flow of the river and had
shorter extend, but was not eliminated

As hypoxia creates physiological stress

that is poorly tolerated by most animals
and may significantly decrease quality
of biological conditions in Puck Bay, the
Fig. 3 - Conceptual development of thin-layer dissolved oxygen content of bottom
gravity currents and hypoxia in shallow estuary. waters should be constantly monitored
Development or avoidance of hypoxia depends during brine discharge, at least in the
on wind-induced mixing [10]. period of the biggest risk of oxygen
depletion occurrence. According to
observations the oxygen saturation of the
The period of higher vegetation Puck Bay waters is very unstable [5].
corresponds with weak winds and Authors suggests that the oxygen balance
small water dynamic, what will result is seriously disturbed. On the shore
in weak conditions of brine spreading. the situation is most unstable: during
Phytoplankton may cause the dissolved summer intense phytoplankton blooms
oxygen supersaturation in surface layer occur in the pelagic layer and oxidation of
(enhanced bubble formation and release the deposited organic matter occurs. The
of oxygen into the air), but in deeper salinity stratification limiting the transport
parts of the basin a lot of oxygen will be of oxygen to bottom layers may intensify
needed for mineralization processes of problems with oxygen balance.
the great amount of organic matter. Brine
The oxygen measurements should be
performed rather in the distance of few
kilometers around the diffusing system,
as brine is going to be oxygenated so
at the beginning there will be enough of
oxygen for organic matter mineralization.



More environmentally safe solution

would be to discharge brine to the less
sensitive site than the inert, biologically
important bay. The exposed open sea
site on Polish coast was proposed by the
Fig. 4 - Near bottom current in Polish marine
president of Section of Sea Ecology of
areas. The circle marks the proposed brine
Ecological Committee of PAS, prof. J.M.
discharge site [9].
Węsławski. This location is presented on
the figure 4 and marked with a circle. The
velocity of currents in this region is much 6. SUMMARY
higher than in Puck Bay, and generally
this region is one of the most dynamic In Poland 3,6 million tons of salt form
along the coast [9]. This solution would underground caverns in the form of
introduce brine into a big reservoir of the brine will be introduced to the Puck Bay
south Baltic Sea, and the impact of brine - shallow enclosed part of the Baltic Sea
on the natural environment would be safe with brackish waters. This basin, the
and insignificant. Moreover disturbance most biologically significant on Polish
of waters and habitats that protected coast, is included in the EU protection net
by Polish law (Seaside Landscape Park) NATURA 2000. Brine will be introduced
and European environmental protection in the bottom of the bay by the diffusing
net Natura2000 would be eliminated. system initially diluting highly salinated
On the other hand this would require with natural waters. The restrictions were
building over a 20 kilometer long pipeline imposed that the salinity increase cannot
through the Seaside Landscape Park and exceed 0,5 PSU, what will probably have
increase significantly the costs of the insignificant influence on organisms in
investment, that is why this alternative brackish water ecosystem. Nevertheless in
was rejected by the investor [raport]. In shallow and semi-enclosed bay, in periods
such circumstances precise and objective of low water dynamics a stratification
monitoring of the state of Puck Bay may be formed due to accumulation of
waters and life should be conducted, higher density water by the bottom. The
and any possible means of minimizing co-existence of excessive algae blooms at
environmental risk should be undertaken. the surface at the same time may result
in oxygen depletion in the bottom layer,
as high amounts of oxygen used in the
intensive organic matter mineralization
will not be supplied from atmosphere due
to limitations of gas exchange through
layer of the density gradient [10]. As in
a 500 meter distance, treated wastewater
rich in nutrients will be released, the
spring and summer algae bloom will
probably occur in surface layer in the
brine discharge site. The oxygen depletion
may have severe consequences to aquatic

bottom life, so the constant monitoring of Energy, Office of Petroleum Reserves,
dissolved oxygen level in the period of Washington, DC, 2006
vegetation (V-X) is needed. The constant [7] S.W. Effler, S.M. Doerr, E.M. Owens,
observations of salinity increase will “Effect of reduced salinity input on river
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[8] R. Einav, K. Harussi, D. Perry, “The
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