Planning for Change: Assessing the Potential Role of Marine Protected Areas and Fisheries Management Approaches for Resilience Management in a Changing Ocean


Despite progressive policies and continued advances in ocean management, numerous shifts associated with global changes have been observed in marine ecosystems in recent years, including warming, ocean acidification, and deoxygenation. As global change accelerates, science is needed to inform evidence-based management strategies for continued ecosystem services. Resilience management, in which actions are undertaken to promote the resistance and recovery responses of populations and ecosystems to disturbance, has been suggested as a possible strategy. However, empirical evidence for effective resilience management is still limited. To inform effective management strategies, mechanisms that underlie resilience to global change that can be influenced by management-ready actions must be identified and tested through observations, experiments, and modeling. Here, we discuss the potential links between three common management strategies (i.e., spatial restrictions such as marine protected areas, coordinated spatial protections, and fisheries management approaches) and potential mechanisms of resilience for marine populations and ecosystems, and provide guidance for future research on resilience management for a changing ocean drawing on insight gained by the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans’ work at the science-policy interface in the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem.

Mark Novak
Mark Novak
Associate Professor