Improving Land-sea Planning in a time of Global Change
Increases in coastal human populations, and associated anthropogenic activities (e.g. agriculture, fishing), has led to increased pressure on coastal and marine natural resources. These increasing pressures can be seen in many regions, for example in Melanesia, where there is an increasing demand for income and material goods, as well as a growing population and access to markets. As a consequence, the frequency and intensity of fish and marine invertebrate harvesting is increasing, and more land is being used for commercial agriculture. In addition, as economic activity increases through increased development, more leases for logging and mining are being granted, in turn negatively affecting fisheries through sediment runoff. This problem is being exacerbated by climate change with increased rainfall, and thus more sediment run-off, already experienced in many areas. This project will focus on how land-use changes and management interventions impact fisheries in regions with high dependence on coastal resources. The project will model the impact of land-uses on marine ecosystems under various climate scenarios at multiple scales. Information from this model will then be analysed to assess and prioritise what conservation interventions will best maximise conservation and fisheries objectives, and when those interventions should be implemented.