Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 7427
Title: The legacy of a crowded ocean: indicators, status, and trends of anthropogenic pressures in the California Current ecosystem
Author: K. S. Andrews, G. D. Williams, J. F. Samhouri, Kristin N. Marshall, V. V. Gertseva, P. S. Levin
Publication Year: 2015
Journal: Environmental Conservation
Volume: 42
Issue: 2
Pages: 139-151
DOI: 10.1017/S0376892914000277
Keywords: stressors, marine ecosystems, multiple pressures, cumulative effects, ocean management, pollution, toxics, transportation, energy development, human activities,

 As human population size and demand for seafood and other marine resources increase, understanding the influence of human activities in the ocean and on land becomes increasingly critical to the management and conservation of marine resources. In order to account for human influence on marine ecosystems while making management decisions, linkages between various anthropogenic pressures and ecosystem components need to be determined. Those linkages cannot be drawn until we know how different pressures have been changing over time. Here, we identified indicators and developed time series for 22 anthropogenic pressures acting on the U.S. portion of the California Current ecosystem. Time series suggest that seven pressures have decreased and two have increased over the short term, while five pressures were above and two pressures were below long-term means. Cumulative indices of anthropogenic pressures suggest a slight decrease in pressures in the 2000’s compared to the preceding few decades. Dynamic factor analysis revealed four common trends that sufficiently explained the temporal variation found among all anthropogenic pressures. Using this reduced set of time series will be useful when trying to determine whether links exist between individual or multiple pressures and various ecosystem components.

Theme: Ecosystem approach to improve management of marine resources
Foci: Assess ecosystem status and trends.
Provide scientific support for the implementation of ecosystem-based management