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MPA network planning in
the Scotian Shelf Bioregion
Where does Marxan fit in?
Introduction to Marxan Training
June 23, 2011
Marty King
Oceans and Coastal Management Division
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
• Background
– Canada’s commitments to networks
– Past MPA network planning work
– Scotian Shelf Bioregion
• Why Marxan?
• Selecting an Area of Interest
• Moving forward with MPA network
• Challenges
• Canada’s commitments to MPA networks
– International:
• Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
– Networks that protect at least 10% by 2020
– National:
• Oceans Act
– DFO lead network planning
– Major partners:
» Parks Canada and Canadian Wildlife Service
» Provinces
• Health of the Oceans (HOTO) Initiative (2007-2012)
– 6 new Oceans Act MPAs by 2012
» 1 on Eastern Scotian Shelf
– National Framework
• Past network planning work in the Bioregion
– Initial focus on marine habitat classification (20002005)
– Identification of EBSAs (2006)
– WWF-CLF “Marxan Report” (2006)
– ESSIM Plan (2007)
– Initial Marxan analysis for HOTO AOI selection (2008)
– Coastal conservation planning (2008-2010)
• Current focus: Developing “Bioregional
Scotian Shelf Bioregion
Why Marxan?
• Capable of analyzing many data layers
• Helps find spatially efficient solutions
• Flexible
– Identifies multiple network scenarios for the
same set of targets
– Can use a variety of data types
– Able to lock areas in & out
• Repeatable
• Internationally recognized
Selecting an Area of Interest
Results of Initial Marxan analysis
Selecting an Area of Interest
3 candidate AOIs
14 priority areas
St Anns Bank Area of Interest
St Anns Bank Area of Interest
• Contributions to the network targets:
– Representation:
4 of 4 natural disturbance regions
2 of 4 scope for growth regions
3 of 29 seabed feature types
1 of 1 high topographic roughness layer
– EBSAs (special features):
2 of 8 depleted species layers
4 of 32 significant species layers
9 of 12 dominant invert species layers
1 of 3 biodiversity hot spot layers
0 of 2 coldwater corals layers
0 of 3 endangered whale species layers
What we heard (about network planning)
• Stakeholders want to be involved earlier
• Marxan analysis needs to be put through formal
Science Review process
• Socioeconomics should be built into the analysis
from the outset
… so, now what…?
Moving forward with MPA network planning
1. Identify and involve governments, Aboriginal
groups, and stakeholders
2. Set objectives for the network
3. Compile available ecological and
socioeconomic data
Science Review - Phase 1
4. Identify priority areas
Set targets and run Marxan
Science Review - Phase 2
5. Implement
6. Monitor and evaluate
Planning areas for the Scotian Shelf Bioregion
Set objectives for the network
• Objectives:
– The species, habitats, and ecosystem features the
network will attempt to protect
• Will be based on CBD design criteria
– Representation and EBSAs
• Primary site selection criteria
– Connectivity, Replication, and Adequacy
• Secondary site selection criteria
• Design considerations/modifying criteria
Set objectives for the network
Examples of ecological objectives
• Protect examples of each seabed feature type (banks, basins,
canyons, etc.)
• Protect examples of each coastal habitat type
Protect preferred habitat Atlantic wolffish
Protect cold-water coral reefs
Protect critical habitat for endangered northern bottlenose whales
Protect biodiversity hotspots
Compile available data
Examples of ecological data
Representation data layers
• Seabed feature types
• Natural disturbance regions
• Coastal ecosystem types
EBSA data layers
Preferred habitat for depleted fish species
Preferred habitat for significant fish species
Coral and sponge concentrations
Eel grass
Important bird habitats
Compile available data
Examples of socioeconomic data
Identify priority areas
• Set targets (ecological data layers only)
• Marxan analysis
– Start with ecological layers only
– Then build in socioeconomic information
• Assign relative costs or ‘lock out’ certain areas
• Marxan output is simply a map of priority areas and not
the final network design
– Just a starting point for dialogue
Results of initial Marxan analysis
• Incorporating socioeconomics in Marxan
– Assign relative cost to each Planning Unit?
– Lock areas of high economic value out?
• Involving stakeholders
– Want to be involved early… but how?
– Communicating Marxan results to stakeholders
• Data gaps
– Coastal – should we use Marxan?
– Cetaceans, inverts
– Future human uses (e.g., marine renewables)
Resource Slides
Fisheries and
Oceans Canada
Pêches et Océans
Science Review
Phase 1
• Focus on objectives, data, and methods for
identifying EBSAs and classifying coastal and
marine ecosystems
Phase 2
• Focus on targets and Marxan analysis