Protection and Restoration of Resources

This theme focuses on research designed to provide decision support tools for spatial/habitat management for living marine resources protected or managed by NOAA.  This includes research to improve understanding of stressors, especially those tied to human activity, that influence mortality, recruitment, and distribution of protected/managed populations.

Protection and restoration of living marine resources has goals to:

  1. rebuild populations of species of concern;
  2. conserve habitat; and
  3. restore ecosystem function where it has been compromised (NOAA 2008).

 

To achieve these goals, specific objectives include:

  1. assessments of protected species, emphasizing enhanced distribution predictions, links with ecosystems and physics, and the intersection with human activities such as shipping and fishing;
  2. defining space-time boundaries for habitat;
  3. understanding roles of habitats in population dynamics; and
  4. characterizing pathways for pollutants (NMFS 2005). Management decisions have at their core the modification or curtailment of human activity (e.g. fishing, shipping) across specified regions and time periods. Accordingly, we will focus on research designed to provide decision support tools for spatial/habitat management for living marine resources protected or managed by NOAA. This focus includes research to improve understanding of stressors, especially those tied to human activity, that influence mortality, recruitment, and distribution of protected/managed populations. Stressors must be understood in the context of climate change. In open systems, understanding stressors will entail research and decision support tools aimed at defining habitats not as stable geo-referenced layers, but as dynamic entities.

 

Research under Theme IV will draw on information and models from Themes I, II, & V, recognizing that predicted and monitored changes to the LME, together with economic activities and management restrictions, will influence the future status of protected and managed species. Model output and information from Theme IV will inform improved ecosystem-based management (Theme III). We will pursue research in four sub-themes:

  1. protected areas,
  2. conservation of essential fish habitat (EFH),
  3. restoration of ecosystem components and functions, and
  4. spatial and temporal distribution of protected species and species of concern. Spatial management decisions, ecological links between habitats and living resources, and movements (spatial and temporal) of living resources unite these sub-themes.

Funded Protection and Restoration of Resources Abstract

Health implications of entanglements of large whales - Michael Moore, WHOI