Who pays for the real costs of the Oil Industry

We often hear that we need to extract oil and ship it overseas in order to support “Canadian jobs and the Economy”  I thought I would provide in this post a few links here to some references worth noting on the subsidization of the fossil fuel industry in Canada . GF

1. In July 2014, The Pembina Institute published a report titled: Fossil Fuel Subsidies: An analysis of federal financial support to Canada’s oil sector.
Published July 10, 2014 by Sarah Dobson, Amin Asadollahi

“The oil industry provides economic benefits in the short and medium term, but more permanent external benefits are less certain and are countered by the sector’s environmental impacts. This paper provides an analysis of federal financial support for the oil sector as well as recommendations on policy options. It recognizes progress made by Canada in phasing out certain subsidies, while noting that remaining federal direct and indirect support measures are largely inefficient and unnecessary.”

2. Fossil Fuels – At What Cost? Government Support for Upstream Oil Activities in Three Canadian Provinces: Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland & Labrador

Abstract:    Continue reading

Why Sand Is Disappearing ( from beaches)


The heavily impacted Weir’s Beach which has experienced considerable sand loss in recent years largely due to bad management of the shoreline.

This article highlights a good example how human interference ( anthropogenic) in a number of ways can result in the loss of Natural Capital and long term sustainability . 

The beaches of Metchosin are not immune  to the forces of Climate change and uninformed decisions of upland landowners and municipal governments which refuse to enact rigid Shoreline Development Bylaws. 

This has been quoted  from: The NYT Opinion Pages    NOV. 4, 2014

” BERKELEY, Calif. — To those of us who visit beaches only in summer, they seem as permanent a part of our natural heritage as the Rocky Mountains and the Great Lakes. But shore dwellers know differently. Beaches are the most transitory of landscapes, and sand beaches the most vulnerable of all. During big storms, especially in winter, they can simply vanish, only to magically reappear in time for the summer season.

It could once be said that “a beach is a place where sand stops to rest for a moment before resuming its journey to somewhere else,” as the naturalist D. W. Bennett wrote in the book “Living With the New Jersey Shore.” Sand moved along the shore and from beach to sea bottom and back again, forming shorelines and barrier islands that until recently were able to repair themselves on a regular basis, producing the illusion of permanence.

Today, however, 75 to 90 percent of the world’s natural sand beaches are disappearing, due partly to rising sea levels and increased storm action, but also to massive erosion caused by the human development of shores. Many low-lying barrier islands are already submerged.

Yet the extent of this global crisis is obscured because so-called beach nourishment projects attempt to hold sand in place and repair the damage by the time summer people return, creating the illusion of an eternal shore.

Before next summer, endless lines of dump trucks will have filled in bare spots and restored dunes. Virginia Beach alone has been restored more than 50 times. In recent decades, East Coast barrier islands have used 23 million loads of sand, much of it mined inland and the rest dredged from coastal waters — a practice that disturbs the sea bottom, creating turbidity that kills coral beds and damages spawning grounds, which hurts inshore fisheries.

The sand and gravel business is now growing faster than the economy as a whole. In the United States, the market for mined sand has become a billion-dollar annual business, growing at 10 percent a year since 2008. Interior mining operations use huge machines working in open pits to dig down under the earth’s surface to get sand left behind by ancient glaciers. But as demand has risen — and the damming of rivers has held back the flow of sand from mountainous interiors — natural sources of sand have been shrinking.

One might think that desert sand would be a ready substitute, but its grains are finer and smoother; they don’t adhere to rougher sand grains, and tend to blow away. As a result, the desert state of Dubai brings sand for its beaches all the way from Australia.

And now there is a global beach-quality sand shortage, caused by the industries that have come to rely on it. Sand is vital to the manufacturing of abrasives, glass, plastics, microchips and even toothpaste, and, most recently, to the process of hydraulic fracturing. The quality of silicate sand found in the northern Midwest has produced what is being called a “sand rush” there, more than doubling regional sand pit mining since 2009.

But the greatest industrial consumer of all is the concrete industry. Sand from Port Washington on Long Island — 140 million cubic yards of it — built the tunnels and sidewalks of Manhattan from the 1880s onward. Concrete still takes 80 percent of all that mining can deliver. Apart from water and air, sand is the natural element most in demand around the world, a situation that puts the preservation of beaches and their flora and fauna in great danger. Today, a branch of Cemex, one of the world’s largest cement suppliers, is still busy on the shores of Monterey Bay in California, where its operations endanger several protected species.

The huge sand mining operations emerging worldwide, many of them illegal, are happening out of sight and out of mind, as far as the developed world is concerned. But in India, where the government has stepped in to limit sand mining along its shores, illegal mining operations by what is now referred to as the “sand mafia” defy these regulations. In Sierra Leone, poor villagers are encouraged to sell off their sand to illegal operations, ruining their own shores for fishing. Some Indonesian sand islands have been devastated by sand mining.

It is time for us to understand where sand comes from and where it is going. Sand was once locked up in mountains and it took eons of erosion before it was released into rivers and made its way to the sea. As Rachel Carson wrote in 1958, “in every curving beach, in every grain of sand, there is a story of the earth.” Now those grains are sequestered yet again — often in the very concrete sea walls that contribute to beach erosion.

We need to stop taking sand for granted and think of it as an endangered natural resource. Glass and concrete can be recycled back into sand, but there will never be enough to meet the demand of every resort. So we need better conservation plans for shore and coastal areas. Beach replenishment — the mining and trucking and dredging of sand to meet tourist expectations — must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, with environmental considerations taking top priority. Only this will ensure that the story of the earth will still have subsequent chapters told in grains of sand.

Preparing for Climate Change: DPAs

Page 35 Development Permit Areas
Creating a DPA is a way to shape the development or redevelopment of a given area, and guidelines for the DPA (in the OCP or in a zoning bylaw) can include both broad prescriptions for land use as well as site specific requirements. Preparing for climate change impacts may mean updating existing DPAs to account for different levels of risk or changes to best practices, or in some cases developing new DPAs. There is already well-established practice in BC with respect to using DPAs to manage land use in areas with defined hazards, such as interface wildfires, or slope stability issues and many examples to draw on. DPAs for wildfire hazards may also include requirements about landscaping and the siting, form, exterior design and finish of buildings. DPAs can also be used to restrict development and protect and/or restore natural features and areas, and can be used to help protect key natural ecosystems in the face of climate change.
DPAs can offer local governments a more flexible approach to regulating development than zoning because guidelines can specify results and allow site-specific solutions. For example, a DPA can specify a certain level of onsite stormwater infiltration, while a zoning bylaw could only specify the site coverage allowed.
The Local Government (Green Communities) Statutes Amendment Act (2008) created the opportunity for new types of DPAs, including those designed to promote energy and water conservation. Local governments can employ these DPAs to help make their communities more resilient to climate change impacts like water shortages and potential disruptions in centralized energy supply due to heavy seasonal demand or extreme weather events. Like
DPAs for wildfire hazards, they may also include requirements about landscaping and the siting, form, exterior design and finish of buildings to further energy and water conservation and greenhouse gas reduction goals. For more information see
DPAs can offer local governments a more flexible approach to regulating development than zoning because guidelines can specify results and allow site- specific solutions.

An Implementation Guide for Local Governments in British Columbia DPAs for energy and water conservation may also establish restrictions on the type and placement of trees and other vegetation in proximity to the buildings and other structures in order to provide for the conservation of energy, which can be considered in the context of reducing the heat island effect in urban areas. DPAs can be used together with complementary measures such as servicing requirements, development cost charges and other local government tools to achieve climate change adaptation objectives


DEVELOPMENT PERMIT AREAS: Local Government Act, ss. 919.1-920
In an OCP a local government may designate areas within its jurisdiction where development permits are required before any subdivision, rezoning, construction or (in some cases) any disturbance of the land may occur, the reason the development permit is required, along with guidelines outlining the requirements for obtaining a development permit (which may be in the OCP or a zoning bylaw). The range of purposes that may be relied on for creating development permit areas is quite broad. Those of most interest with respect to climate change adaptation measures are likely protection of the natural environment, protection of the community from hazardous conditions, and establishing objectives to promote conservation of water and energy

Anything for a View?

Living on a steep coastal bluff with million dollar views may be a dream of many, but with it comes a few responsibilities. The references on development along coastal areas provides many examples of how development has to be done responsibly.  One aspect of concern is vegetation removal and tree cutting and topping on cliffs in order to provide better views to the landowner. In Metchosin, two areas, the Albert Head Cliffs and the Taylor Beach Cliffs provide many examples of this.

In April of 2013 the sound of a chainsaw on the Taylor cliffs led to the discovery of many alder trees on the almost vertical slope that had been topped  and even a few arbutus trees had been cut down.

Topped Alder Trees on the Taylor Beach Cliffs

Topped Alder Trees on the Taylor Beach Cliffs

2013-04-19 aldersectionlThese trees were about 25 years old  as can be seen by the tree rings on chunks of trees that had rolled down to the beach.

It might be pointed out that these trees are from the  area of Metchosin’s Coastline included in the  development permit zone.

This reference from the Center for Ocean Solutions points out he problems of interferring with natural processes on an seaside  cliff given the threats of climate change and sea level rise.

Photo of slope failure from Mail Online

Photo of slope failure from Mail Online

A good example taken from “Mail Online” of what slope failure looked like on Whidbey Island.




perchedoncliffAnd if one still has doubts, check out these images :

Macroalgae ( Kelp) beds around Southern Vancouver Island and their role in Carbon Sequestration .

Sometimes viewed as a nuisance for boaters around the shores of Metchosin, kelp beds (Nereocystis luetkeana) are however a valuable species of our natural capital

Nereocystis leutkeana, Bull kelp

Nereocystis luetkeana, Bull kelp

Our kelp beds provide ecosystem services such as habitat for juvenile fish, and marine mammals. Research on macroalgae of the temperate coastal areas in the world  has also shown extremely high rates of photosynthetic capacity and therefore another ecosystem service, in these algal beds, carbon fixation,  In this post I will  annotate  some of the significant research that documents the value of this resource.

“Kelp forests occur in cold, nutrient-rich water and are among the most beautiful and biologically productive habitats in the marine environment. They are found throughout the world in shallow open coastal waters, and the larger forests are restricted to temperatures less than 20ºC, extending to both the Arctic and Antarctic Circles. A dependence upon light for photosynthesis restricts them to clear shallow water and they are rarely much deeper than 15-40m. The kelps have in common a capacity for some of the most remarkable growth rates in the plant kingdom. In southern California, the Macrocystis can grow 30 cm per day.”

Abstract: There has been a good deal of interest in the potential of marine vegetation as a sink for anthropogenic carbon emissions , (Blue Carbon). Marine primary producers contribute at least 50% of the world’s carbon fixation and may account for as much as 71 percent of all carbon storage. In this paper, we analyze the current rate of harvesting of both commercial and growing and wild growing macro algae, as well as their capacity for photosynthetically driven carbon dioxide assimilation and growth. We suggest that carbon dioxide acquisition by marine macroalgae can represent a considerable sink for anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions and the harvesting and appropriate use of macroalgal primary production could play a significant role in carbon sequestration and amelioration of greenhouse gas emissions.


Sea Lettuce, ( Ulva lactuca)

Sea Lettuce, ( Ulva lactuca)

Off the  shores of Weir’s Beach  grows a large bed of Sea lettuce (Ulva lactuca) .  the following article attests to the efficiency of sea lettuce  in carbon dioxide fixation:

Carbon sequestration by a few marine algae: observation and projection

Kaladharan, P and Veena, S and Vivekanandan, E (2009) Carbon sequestration by a few marine algae: observation and projection. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India, 51 (1). pp. 107-110

Abstract: CO2 sequestration by the marine planktonic microalgae Nannochloropsis salina and Isochrysis galbana as well as macroforms Gracilaria corticata, Sargassum polycystum and Ulva lactuca was estimated under laboratory conditions. The green seaweed U. lactuca registered 100% utilization of CO2 towards carbon fixation from the ambient water up to 15 mg/l and beyond that it declined to 60%. The microalgae were able to utilize 27.7% of dissolved CO2 at 15 mg/l, but did not show any effect either for carbon fixation or for emission at lower and higher levels. Gross primary productivity of these algae were also not affected by increase in the CO2 levels. It is estimated that the seaweed biomass along the Indian coast is capable of utilizing 9052 tCO2/d against emission of 365 tCO2 /d indicating a net carbon credit of 8687 t/d.

  • A detailed mapping of Nereocystis beds  and Ulva lactuca beds on the Coast of Metchosin  should be done to quantify the extent of these resources.


Concerns for the Kelp Resources of Metchosin:

The potential for commercial exploitation of this species is of concern, since he value as habitat for marine animals may far outweigh commercial possibilities. This reference explains the uses of the plant and it does not even include the potential for harvest for biomass , gas extraction:

Both the stipe and the blades of Nereocystis luetkeana are used for fresh and dried foods, nutritional supplements, cosmetic products such as exfoliants, fertilizers, animal feed, dog snacks, and dog shampoo and moisturizer.  Producers have found that it is rich in calcium, magnesium, sodium, iodine, potassium, phosphorus, iron, bulk fiber, and vitamins A, B complex, C, D, E, and K, protein and free amino acids.  It is used as an herbal remedy, with claims that it detoxifies body tissues of heavy metal and radioactive agents, treats thyroid disorders, arthritis and digestive problems; purifies blood, aids in weight loss, eases lymphatic swelling; treats herpes infections, eases inflammation and neuritis, soothes mucuous membranes, and reduces side effects of chemotherapy and radiation.  Other benefits mentioned for Nereocystis luetkeana in the spa include that it is stimulating, firming, revitalizing, tonic and slimming.  Over 25 products have been identified from over 10 different sellers in Canada, the United States, and the Netherlands.


Commercial harvesting is known to occur in British Columbia and California

Harvesting Techniques 

As Nereocystis luetkeana grows in the subtidal and shallow intertidal zones, it is typically harvested from a skiff or small boat with a knife, although in some areas it may be harvested on foot at low tide.


Nereocystis tends to grow in large kelp forests, and the blades create lush surface canopies. Kelp forests provide important sheltering habitat for many marine fishes and invertebrates, including urchins, sea stars, snails and crabs, and are an important food source for sea urchins.  These forests also provide habitat for sea otters since sea otters eat the invertebrates that live on the kelp forest floor and the kelp itself provides a canopy which the otter can anchor to while resting to keep from drifting away.  The anchoring holdfast can reach a diameter of more that a foot, and can harbor its own collection of organisms by offering them protection among the haptera.  Nereocystis luetkeana is the only kelp which will drop spore patches, so that the right concentration of spores lands near the parent’s holdfast.  They grow out continuously from a meristem located at their base and slough off at their older outer tips.  The detritus formed by the sloughing tips has been shown to be an important source of carbon for inshore intertidal communities.  This detritus feeds species such as Blue rockfish (Sebastes mystinus) and many of the filter feeders, such as Pacific Blue Mussels (Mytilus trossulus) in the intertidal zone.  Urchins feed on Nereocystis luetkeana, and conversely this kelp can opportunistically and rapidly colonize areas that have been cleared by urchins.”


Research into the role of marine algae and its importance in contributing to energy flow when they end up on a beach is reported in the following research out of the Bamfield Marine Station:

by Malte Mews, Martin Zimmer, Dennis E. Jelinsk
ABSTRACT: The fate of subtidally drifting macrophytal detritus after its deposition ashore was studied based on short-term mass loss effects and species composition of beach-cast detritus. Different species of macroalgae and seagrass varied in both physical and microbial decay, as well as faunal decomposition rates. Their preferred status as food for detritivorous amphipods also varied. Thus, beach-cast detritus changed in species composition during detritus aging. Estimated turnover rates, based on daily input rates and mass loss rates, ranged from <1 d for Nereocystis luetkeana, Macrocystis integrifolia and Ulva spp. to roughly 30 d for Fucus spp. and Phyllospadix spp. Thus, the dynamics of nutrient fluxes within the marine–terrestrial ecotone depends not only on the spatial distribution and amount of beach-cast detritus, but also on its species composition.
  • Recommendation: The municipality should investigate the possibility of influencing provincial legislation to place a moratorium on the harvest of any natural kelp resources on our shoreline.



6.2 Global Change means Ocean Change


1. Impacts of Climate Change Coming Faster and Sooner: New Science Report Underlines Urgency for Governments to Seal the Deal in Copenhagen…Washington/Nairobi, 24 September 2009

“Recent estimates of the combined impact of melting land-ice and thermal expansion of the oceans suggest a plausible average sea level rise of between 0.8 and 2.0 metres above the 1990 level by 2100. This compares with a projected rise of between 18 and 59 centimetres in the last IPCC report, which did not include an estimate of large-scale changes in ice-melt rates, due to lack of consensus” http://www.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp?DocumentID=596&ArticleID=6326&l=en

2. Widespread Arctic Warming Crosses Critical Ecological Thresholds,Scientists warn.


3. Climate ‘altering UK marine life’

The UK’s coasts are becoming stormier places, the report says
The biodiversity and productivity of seas around the UK could already be suffering the consequences of climate change, a report has concluded.


4. Scientists Warn Of Climate Change Risk To Marine Turtles


ScienceDaily (Feb. 22, 2007) — North American marine turtles are at risk if global warming occurs at predicted levels, according to scientists from the University of Exeter. An increase in temperatures of just one degree Celsius could completely eliminate the birth of male turtles from some beaches. A rise of three degrees Celsius would lead to extreme levels of infant mortality and declines in nesting beaches across the USA.



Climate change impacts on marine life and marine ecosystems are likely to dramatically affect human societies and economies. Notable impacts of climate change on marine biodiversity have been observed throughout the world – principally due to the existence of long-term data series. Evidence from Australian waters is sparse, mainly due to a lack of historical long-term data collection. Importantly, little modelling has been conducted to predict future changes in Australian marine ecosystems and this remains a critical gap. This report identified six key questions that need to be addressed by future modelling and monitoring programmes:

6. Ocean climate change and its effects on marine life at all depths


7. http://www.ec.gc.ca/climate/overview_canada-e.html

“British Columbia/Yukon
Climate change will have significant impacts on British Columbia and Yukon, including increased flood dangers in some areas, drought in others, and widespread disruption to forests, fisheries, and wildlife.
Sea levels are expected to rise up to 30 cm on the north coast of British Columbia and up to 50 cm on the north Yukon coast by 2050, mainly due to warmer ocean temperatures. This could cause increased sedimentation, coastal flooding, and permanent inundation of some natural ecosystems, and place low-lying homes, docks, and port facilities at risk.
Other changes that may result from climate change include:

In winter, increased winter precipitation, permafrost degradation, and glacier retreat due to warmer temperatures may lead to landslides in unstable mountainous regions, and put fish and wildlife habitat, roads, and other man-made structures at risk. Increased precipitation will put greater stress on water and sewage systems, while glacier reduction could affect the flow of rivers and streams that depend on glacier water, with potential negative impacts on tourism, hydroelectric generation, fish habitat, and lifestyles.
Spring flood damage could be more severe both on the coast and throughout the interior of British Columbia and Yukon, and existing flood protection works may no longer be adequate.
Summer droughts along the south coast and southern interior will mean decreased stream flow in those areas, putting fish survival at risk, and reducing water supplies in the dry summer season when irrigation and domestic water use is greatest.

Climate change in the Atlantic region has not followed the national warming trend of the past century, and, in fact, a slight cooling trend has been experienced over the past 50 years. This trend is consistent with projections by climate models.
Atlantic Canada is particularly vulnerable, however, to rising sea levels, whose impacts could include greater risk of floods; coastal erosion; coastal sedimentation; and reductions in sea and river ice.
Other potential impacts include:
• loss of fish habitat;
• changes in ice-free days, which could affect marine transportation and the offshore oil and gas industry; and
• changes in range, distribution, and breeding success rates of seabirds”

6.3 Profiles of Individuals

Return to Index

Climate Change, Coastal Erosion and Seawalls

These links to external sources on this post are focused on the interactions with Humans in Coastal Areas.

waterfront_cottage CRD– Limit the Impacts of Shoreline and Streamside Development
KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA CRD–Protecting Shorelines and Streamsides
rockyshores CRD –Rocky Shorelines
structures Shoreline Structures Environmental Design ( pdf file) –
A Guide for Structures along Estuaries and Large Rivers
greenshore From Green Shores–The Green Shores program promotes sustainable use of coastal ecosystems through planning and design that recognizes the ecological features and functions of coastal systems.
coastalsediment Coastal Sediment Processes
climchange Climate Change and Coastal Shores In British Columbia
CoastErosionTH Center for Ocean Solutions:
Coastal Erosion and Climate Change
olympia Climate Change : Pacific NW of USA
Impacts on Coastal Areas

6.1 Thresholds in Ecological Systems:

The following references are intended to highlight the concept of thresholds, and the implications this may hold for Marine Systems: They delineate problems of the uncertainty of thresholds and the implications when there is interference in ecosystem integrity by Global Climate change and poorly managed fisheries and habitat conservation in marine areas.

1. This reference on “Thresholds in Ecological and Social–Ecological Systems: a Developing Database explains some research into this problem:


“Increasing interest in regime shifts in ecological and linked social–ecological systems (SESs) has placed a strong focus on the thresholds of change. However, research into this topic has been hampered by a lack of empirical data. This paper describes a developing database established to address this need. The database is freely available and comprises a set of summarized published examples and a searchable bibliographic database of publications on the topic. Thresholds in the database are characterized in terms of a standardized set of 24 descriptors, including the variables along which they occur, the variables that change, and the factors that have driven the change. Readers are encouraged to contribute new examples. Examples range from conceptual models to empirical evidence. The former predominate in the literature and, although they make valuable contributions and will continue to be included, the intention is build up the number of examples based on data. Examples are presented in terms of whether the threshold occurs in the ecological system, the social system, or both, and the direction of interactions between systems. The paper concludes with some initial observations on thresholds based on the examples included so far, and poses some questions for future research. Research on a typology of thresholds is a priority topic in the emerging area of “sustainability science” and it requires a rich database of empirical data.”

2. Confronting he coral reef crisis:http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v429/n6994/full/nature02691.html

The worldwide decline of coral reefs calls for an urgent reassessment of current management practices. Confronting large-scale crises requires a major scaling-up of management efforts based on an improved understanding of the ecological processes that underlie reef resilience. Managing for improved resilience, incorporating the role of human activity in shaping ecosystems, provides a basis for coping with uncertainty, future changes and ecological surprises. Here we review the ecological roles of critical functional groups (for both corals and reef fishes) that are fundamental to understanding resilience and avoiding phase shifts from coral dominance to less desirable, degraded ecosystems. We identify striking biogeographic differences in the species richness and composition of functional groups, which highlight the vulnerability of Caribbean reef ecosystems. These findings have profound implications for restoration of degraded reefs, management of fisheries, and the focus on marine protected areas and biodiversity hotspots as priorities for conservation.

3.Ecological Thresholds in Aquatic Ecosystems: The Role of Climate Change, Anthropogenic Disturbance, and Invasive Species Progress Review Workshop


4. A Balancing Act
A leading UMaine marine scientist says better management is needed to save the world’s oceans that are drastically out of sync http://umainetoday.umaine.edu/issues/v6i4/act.html

Pointing to a growing list of health threats to the world’s oceans, Steneck describes a common pattern of slow, incremental overload and sudden collapse, suggesting that the Blue Planet’s ability to absorb the insults of human misuse have clear limits. The notion of ecological thresholds is at the core of Steneck’s assessment of the seas. As pressure on the marine environment continues to grow, these thresholds are being met — and surpassed.
A classic example of the threshold phenomenon can be found in the sad tale of the green sea urchin. Prolific and plentiful across the Gulf of Maine, urchins spent decades quietly munching at the Atlantic’s undersea salad bar, unaware of the socioeconomic tsunami on the horizon.
As urchin populations in other parts of the world were rapidly depleted by overfishing through the 1970s and ’80s, a seemingly insatiable Asian market turned its hungry eyes toward Maine, creating a boom-and-bust fishery that crashed a multimillion urchin population in less than two decades.

6.2 Global Climate change means Ocean change

Return to Index

6.0 A Choice of Futures:

One can consider from clearly presented alternatives a choice of marine futures on many issues regarding marine policy decisions.

Integrated management of marine systems—that is, coordinated management of all alternative uses of the ocean is probably the only way we are going to have any chance of securing a sustainable fishery. Here the decisions are political. Bring the issues up at all levels of government and if necessary get involved to help make changes. See 3.2 Integration
From Marine Fisheries Systems
Although the emphasis in recent years has been on unsustainable fishing practices, fisheries represent only one of many human
influences on marine ecosystems. In coastal marine systems in par- ticular, coastal development—with concomitant problems of local pollution and habitat destruction—is very important. (See Chapter 19.) Non-fisheries human influences such as marine debris and oil slicks are also important on the high seas. As a result, as de- scribed earlier, several nations are attempting to develop legislation and policies to facilitate integrated management of marine systems—that is, coordinated management of all alternative uses of the ocean. Such uses include harvesting marine species for food and other purposes, aquaculture, research, oil and gas exploration, ocean mining, dredging, ocean dumping, energy generation, eco-tourism, marine transportation, and defense. To date, it has proved difficult to integrate the management of all these activities because the authorities regulating these activities are usually inde- pendent of one another (Sissenwine and Mace 2003).
We need to be involved in the choice of options for human sewage and industrial effluent disposal in coastal waters.
We must deal with agricultural runoff head on. People have to make a choice.
The implications for uncontrolled population growth of our communities, making the marine systems unsustainable is an issue of importance needing political decisions.
The pros and cons of sustainable and non-sustainable aquaculture practises should be another area where the public is asked to make a commitment.
The regulation of harvesting and the decision to create reserves and marine protected areas are other aspects that when people are presented with the facts, they should be asked to commit to one alternative or the other.
Our goal should be to make an educated and aware public who can participate in solving the problems of humans living sustainably in the marine area.
The Climate change choice of futures. Implications are mentioned in this reference and the urgency to act now is encouraged

6.1 Threshholds in Systems.

Return to Index