MSP glossary

This glossary is a compilation of terms commonly used in marine/maritime planning, ecosystem-based management, marine resources management, marine resources economics, coastal zone management, marine protected area management, fisheries management, maritime transport, and other marine sectors.


Abiotic: any factor in the environment that is non-living (soil, weather, water)

Abyssal plain: the deep area of the sea floor beyond the continental rise

Access restriction: a management action to conserve biodiversity through restricting access to geographical areas or to the biological resources themselves. Particularly common in situations where there is an endangered species or ecosystem requiring protection for which no level of use is sustainable

Accountability: the responsibility to provide evidence to stakeholders and sponsors that a program is effective and in conformance with its scope, policy, legal, and fiscal requirements

Accretion: the increase of land by the action of natural forces activities in its coastal zone to ensure that federal actions are consistent with approved coastal management program policies and meet state standards

Accuracy of an estimate: an indicator of the closeness of an estimated value (e.g., population parameter) to the actual value. It should not be confused with precision, which relates to the confidence limits (variability) of the estimate and can always be computed from the samples

Adaptive management: a systematic approach for improving management through learning by monitoring and evaluating management outcomes. Simply put, it is ‘learning by doing’ and adapting what one does based on what is learned

Aid to Navigation (ATON): any device external to a vessel or aircraft specifically intended to assist navigators in determining their position or safe course, or to warn them of dangers or obstructions to navigation

Algae: simple rootless plants that grow in sunlit waters in proportion to the amount of available nutrients. They can affect water quality adversely by lowering the dissolved oxygen in the water. They are food for fish and small marine animals

Allocation: 1) distribution of the opportunity to fish among user groups or individuals. The share a user group gets is sometimes based on historic harvest amounts; 2) a quantity of catch, effort, or biomass attributed to a person, a vessel, and a fishing company. The allocation can be absolute (e.g., a number of tons) or relative (e.g., a percentage of the annual allowable catch)

Altruistic value: the importance which individuals attach to a resource that can be used by others in the current generation, reflecting selfless concern for the welfare of others (intragenerational equity concerns)

Anadromous: referring to the annual migratory behavior of adult fish, such as salmon, shad, stripped bass, and lamprey, from the ocean into freshwater rivers and lakes to spawn

Anchorage: a suitable place for a ship to anchor; usually an area of a port or harbor

Anoxic: the condition of oxygen deficiency or absence of oxygen. Anoxic sediments and anoxic bottom waters are commonly produced where there is a deficiency of oxygen due to very high organic productivity and a lack of oxygen replenishment to the water or sediment, as in the case of stagnation or stratification of the water body

Anthropogenic: human-induced (impacts)

Aphotic zone: the zone where there is no sunlight penetration

Aquaculture: the growing or farming of plants and animals in a water environment under controlled conditions

(The) Area: the seabed and ocean floor and subsoil beyond the limits of national jurisdiction

Area closure: the closure to fishing by particular gear(s) of an entire fishing ground, or a part of it, for the protection of a section of the population (e.g., spawners, juveniles), the whole population, or several populations. The closure is usually seasonal but it could be permanent

Area to be avoided (ATBA): an area within defined limits that should be avoided by all ships or certain classes of ships, in which navigation is particularly hazardous or in which it is exceptionally important to avoid casualties

Areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) (beyond the 200 nm from the territorial baseline): commonly called the “high seas”, are those areas of ocean for which no one nation has sole responsibility for management; in all, these make up 40 percent of the surface of our planet, comprising 64 percent of the surface of the oceans, and nearly 95 percent of its volume

Artisanal fishery: a fishery based on traditional or small-scale gear and boats

Automatic Identification System (AIS): a short-range coastal tracking system used on ships and by Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) for identifying and locating vessels by electronically exchanging data with other nearby ships and VTS stations; information such as unique identification, position, course, and speed can be displayed on a screen or an electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS); AIS is intended to assist the vessel’s watch standing officers and allow maritime authorities to track and monitor vessel movements; the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) requires AIS to be fitted aboard international voyaging ships with gross tonnage (GT) of 300 or more tons, and all passenger ships regardless of size; it is estimated that more than 40,000 ships currently carry AIS class A equipment

Avoided costs: the costs that would have been incurred in the absence of ecosystem services

Barrier reef: a reef growing offshore from a land mass and separated from the shoreline, often by a lagoon or estuary

Baseline data: basic information gathered before a program or activity begins, to be used later to provide a comparison for assessing impacts

Baseline: as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the line along the coast from which the seaward limits of a country’s territorial sea and certain other maritime zones of jurisdiction are measured, such as a country’s exclusive economic zone; Normally, a maritime baseline follows the low-water line of a coastal country

Bathymetry: the measurement of ocean depth

Bayesian: a formal statistical approach in which expert knowledge or beliefs are analyzed together with data. Bayesian methods make explicit use of probability for quantifying uncertainty. Bayesian methods are particularly useful for making decision analyses

Benefit sharing: distribution of benefits among stakeholders

Benefits: positive program outcomes, usually translated into monetary terms in cost-benefit analysis or compared to costs in cost-effectiveness analysis. Benefits may include both direct and indirect outcomes

Benthic: 1) defining a habitat or organism found on the sea bottom; 2) of or pertaining to the seafloor (or bottom) of a water body

Benthic zone: the zone of the ocean bottom

Benthos: organisms that live on or in the sea bottom

Bequest value: the importance individuals attach to a resource that can be passed on to future generations, reflecting intergenerational equity concerns

Bioaccumulation: the accumulation of a substance within the tissues of an organism, including “bioconcentration” and uptake through the food chain

Bioassay: appraisal of the biological activity of a substance by testing its effect on an organism and comparing the result with some agreed standard

Biodiversity: the variety of living organisms considered at all levels, from genetics through species, to higher taxonomic levels, and including the variety of habitats and ecosystems

Biogeochemical cycle: a circuit where a nutrient moves back and forth between both biotic and abiotic components of ecosystems

Biogeography: the study of the distribution of species and ecosystems in geographic space and through geological time

Biological diversity: the variability among living resources from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexities of which they are a part; this includes diversity within species and of ecosystems

Biomass: the total mass of a defined organism or group of organisms in a particular community or an ecosystem as a whole

Biome: a grouping of similar plant and animal communities into broad landscape/seascape units that occur under similar environmental conditions

Biophysical valuation: a method that derives values from measurements of the physical costs (e.g., in terms of labor, surface requirements, energy or material inputs) of producing a given good or service

Bioregion: an area constituting a natural ecological community with characteristic flora, fauna, and environmental conditions and bounded by natural rather than artificial borders

Biota: all of the organisms, including animals, plants, fungi, and microorganisms, found in a given area

Biotope: an ecological area that supports a particular range of biological communities

Bird mortality: mortality from bird collisions with the wind turbine blades, towers, power lines, or with other related structures, and electrocution on power lines

Bloom: a sudden increase in the abundance of alga or phytoplankton resulting in a contiguous mass of highly concentrated phytoplankton in the water column

Blue Economy: no specific definition of the term, the “Blue Economy” exists. For some, it means the “use of the sea and its resources for sustainable economic development”; for others, it includes “any economic activity in the maritime sector, whether sustainable or not”. In the context of MSP, the goals and objectives of the plan should identify the desired outcomes—and the relative balance of economic development and marine conservation

Blue Growth: according to the European Commission, “blue growth” is a long-term strategy to support “sustainable growth” in the marine and maritime sectors as a whole.  It is the maritime contribution to achieving the goals of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The strategy consists of three components: (1) develop sectors that have a high potential for sustainable jobs and growth; (2) essential components to provide knowledge, legal certainty and security in the blue economy; and (3) sea basin strategies to ensure tailor-made measures and to foster cooperation among countries

Buffer zone: the region near the border of a protected area; a transition zone between areas managed for different objectives

Bycatch: the harvest of organisms other than the species for which the fishing gear was set; also called incidental catch

Carbon sequestration: The process of increasing the carbon content of a reservoir other than the atmosphere

Carrying capacity: 1) the maximum population of a species that an area or specific ecosystem can support indefinitely without deterioration of the character and quality of the resource; 2) the level of use, at a given level of management, at which a natural or man-made resource can sustain itself over a long period of time. For example, the maximum level of recreational use, in terms of numbers of people and types of activity, that can be accommodated before the ecological value of the area declines

Catch per unit effort (CPUE): the number of fish caught by an amount of effort; typically a combination of gear type, gear size, length of time gear is used

Catch share: a fishery management system that allocates a secure privilege to harvest a specific area or percentage of a fishery’s total catch to individuals, communities, or associations. Examples of catch shares are individual transferable quota (ITQs), individual fishing quota (IFQs), territorial use rights for fishing (TURFs), limited access privileges (LAPs), sectors (also known as cooperatives), and dedicated access privileges (DAPs). Catch shares provide long-term secure privileges to participants and, in theory, an incentive for efficient, sustainable use of fish stocks. Actual outcomes in terms of efficiency and ecological sustainability are varied, based on design and implementation of the program. Catch share programs generally fall into two categories: (1) quota-based programs, like ITQs, establish a fishery-wide catch limit, assign portions (or shares) of the catch to participants and hold participants directly accountable to stay within the catch limit; and (2) area-based programs, like TURFs, allocate a secure, exclusive area to participants and include appropriate controls on fishing mortality that ensure long-term sustainability of the stock; a combination of both quota- and area-based approaches has also been used

Catch: the total number or weight of fish captured from an area over a defined period of time; includes fish that are caught but released or discarded instead of being landed

Cetaceans:  marine mammals of the order Cetacea; includes whales, dolphins, and porpoises

Civil society: collectively refers to groups of society, who, not motivated by profit, are organized nationally or locally for the advancement of particular purposes that related, directly or indirectly to a given area. This includes NGOs, conservation and advocacy organizations, civic organizations, people’s organizations, mass media, religious groups and often less organized groups such as subsistence resource users, landowners, and indigenous communities

Climate: the long-term average of weather in an area

Climate change: a change in the state of the climate that can be identified, using statistical tests, by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer

Closed area: an area within which fishing by one or more methods of fishing, or fishing for one or more species of fish, is prohibited. Such areas may be permanently closed or be subject to closed seasons

Closed season: a period during which fishing for a particular species, often within a specified area, is prohibited

Coastal or state waters (3-nautical mile limit): the belt of water 3 nm seaward of the territorial sea baseline; jurisdiction over the water column and the subjacent seabed is vested in the adjacent state or territory as if the area formed part of that state or territory

Coastal zone management: a term initially used in the USA in its 1972 Coastal Zone Management Act. It was meant to encompass management of all human uses in the coastal zone, but it did not necessarily emphasize integration among uses and policies. As implemented in the USA, CZM programs have usually emphasized management of human activities on the land, not marine, areas in the “coastal zone”

Coastal zone: the area at the interface between land and sea, where the sea influences the land and the land influences the sea

Cohort: a group of organisms spawned during a given period, usually within a year

Co-management: a type of management in which responsibility for resource management is shared between government and resource user groups

Commercial fishery: a term related to the whole process of catching and marketing fish and shellfish for sale. It refers to and includes fisheries resources, fishers, and related businesses

Common property resource: a term that indicates a resource owned by the public, e.g., fish in public waters; the government regulates the use of a common property resource to ensure its future benefits

Compliance monitoring: collection and evaluation of monitoring data, including self-monitoring reports, and verification to show whether the performance of an activity is in compliance with the limits and conditions specified in its permit or license

Composite indices: Indicators comprised of a number of measures combined in a particular way to increase their sensitivity, reliability or ease of communication

Comprehensive plan: a strategic document that identifies the principles, goals, objectives, guidelines, policies, standards and management actions for the future growth and development of an area, either on land or sea

Connectivity: the movement of organisms from place to place, e.g., among marine reserves, through dispersal or migration

Consumer surplus: the benefits enjoyed by consumers as a result of being able to purchase a product for a price that is less than the most that they would be willing to pay

Contiguous zone (24-nautical mile limit): the belt of water contiguous to the territorial sea, the outer limit of which does not exceed 24nm from the territorial sea baseline; in this zone, nations may exercise control necessary to prevent and punish infringement of its customs, fiscal, immigration or sanitary laws and regulations within its territory or territorial sea

Continental margin: the submerged outer edge of a continent, made of granitic crust; included the continental shelf and continental slope

Continental rise: the area sloping gently seaward beyond the continental slope to the abyssal plain

Continental shelf: underwater portion (shelf) of the continent, with moderate inclination, extending seaward from the shore to the edge of the continental slope where the inclination increases rapidly; sometimes conventionally considered as the continent margin between 0 and 200 meters depths

Continental slope: the sloping transition between the granite of a continent and the basalt of the seabed; the true edge of a continent

Contingent valuation: a method that derives economic valuations for environmental goods and services through surveying people directly to find what they are willing to pay for a biodiversity benefit and/or what they are willing to accept in compensation for the removal of such a benefit

Controlled access: general term for management schemes that reduce or restrict the number of participants in a fishery

Core area: the central, most highly protected part of a protected area

Cost-benefit analysis: a technique designed to determine the feasibility of a project or plan by quantifying its costs and benefits

Cost-effectiveness approach: analysis to identify the least cost option that meets a particular goal

Critical areas: areas within a marine protected area (MPA) that are crucial to achieving the objectives of the MPA; for example, spawning areas in an MPA established for fisheries purposes

Crustacean: class of animals that typically live in water and are characterized by jointed legs, segmented bodies, and hard external skeletons, e.g., crabs, lobster, shrimp

Cultural ecosystem services: the non-material benefits people obtain from ecosystems through spiritual enrichment, cognitive development, reflection, recreation, and aesthetic experience, including, e.g., knowledge systems, social relations and aesthetic values

Cumulative (Catch) limit: the total allowable amount of a species or species group, by weight, that a vessel may take and retain, possess, or land during a period of time. Fishers may take as many landings of a species or species complex as they like as long as they do not exceed the cumulative limit that applies to the vessel or permit during the designated period

Cumulative impact: the combined outcome of numerous actions and stresses, where a group of relatively minor impacts may add up to severe habitat degradation or loss

Damage: injury to natural resources, to real or personal property, loss of subsistence use of natural resources, loss of governmental revenues, loss of profits or earning capacity, and increased cost of additional public services; damages also includes the cost of assessing these injuries

Danger zone: a defined water area (or areas) used for target practice, bombing, rocket firing or other especially hazardous operations, normally for the military. The danger zones may be closed to the public on a full-time or intermittent basis

Decision rule: specification of how pre-agreed management actions will respond to perceived or estimated states of nature

Decision support tool (DST): a wide range of computer-based tools, e.g., simulation models, and/or techniques and methods, developed to support decision analysis and participatory processes

Dedicated access privileges (DAP): assigns an individual or other entity access to a predetermined portion of the annual catch in a particular fishery; in some cases, the privilege is transferable and may be bought and sold, creating a market. The term encompasses a range of tools, including access privileges assigned to individuals (i.e., individual transferable quotas [ITQs]), and to groups or communities (e.g., community development quotas [CDQs], cooperatives, and area-based quotas)

Deep-water route: a route within defined limits which has been accurately surveyed for clearance of sea bottom and submerged obstacles as indicated on the chart

Deep-sea trench: narrow and abnormally deep parts of he ocean floor marking zone of subduction

Delphi method: a structured, qualitative forecasting method that relies on a panel of experts; the experts answer structured questionnaires in two or more rounds; after each round, a facilitator provides a summary of the forecasts from the previous round as well as the reasons the experts provided for their judgments; experts are then encouraged to revise their earlier answers in light of the replies of other members of their panel, assuming that during this process the range of the answers will decrease and the group will converge toward a consensus; the Delphi method is based on the principle that forecasts from a structured group of individuals are more accurate than those from unstructured groups; the Delphi method is widely used for business forecasting

Demersal: organisms that live on or near the bottom

Direct use value: the value to human societies of those elements of biodiversity that can be directly consumed, traded, or used as an input to commercial activities

Discounting: the treatment of time in valuing costs and benefits of a program in efficiency analyses, i.e., the adjustment of costs and benefits to their present values, requiring a choice of discount rate and time frame

Disphotic zone: the zone where there is light penetration but not enough for photosynthesis

Dissolved oxygen (DO): oxygen that is dissolved in water

Driver: any natural or human-induced factor that directly or indirectly causes a change in an ecosystem

Dynamic equilibrium: an ecosystem state in which the dynamic processes of plant and animal populations leads to a stable system

Dynamic ocean management (DOM): because the human-ocean system is dynamic, DOM is a management system that changes in space and time that responds to the shifting nature of the ocean and its users based on the integration of current biological, oceanographic, social, and/ or economic data. DOM can be particularly useful for managing species or oceanographic areas (feeding or breeding areas) that migrate or move in time; DOM can reduce conflicts by limiting restrictions to a sequence of small spatial areas rather than a large fixed-scale area

Ecological threshold: a level of biodiversity deterioration beyond which the ecosystem will experience a sudden increase in adverse and possibly irreversible effects on the system’s functioning and overall resilience to change

Ecological value: non-monetary assessment of ecosystem integrity, health, or resilience, all of which are important indicators to determine critical thresholds and minimum requirements for ecosystem service provision

Economic valuation: the assignment of monetary values for environmental goods and services for which market values do not exist, so that these values can be explicitly reflected in any decision making process based on monetary benefits and costs

Ecosystem approach to management: management that is adaptive, is specified geographically (place based), takes into account ecosystem knowledge and uncertainties, considers multiple external influences, and strives to balance diverse social objectives; similar to marine spatial planning

Ecosystem degradation: a persistent reduction in the capacity to provide ecosystem services

Ecosystem health: a state or condition of an ecosystem that expresses attributes of biodiversity within “normal” ranges, relative to its ecological stage of development. Ecosystem health depends inter alia on ecosystem resilience and resistance.

Ecosystem integrity: implies completeness or wholeness and infers capability in an ecosystem to maintain all its components as well as functional relationships when disturbed

Ecosystem services/indirect use values: all those functions of the environment that provide direct value to the well-being of humans through the maintenance of a healthy environment, e.g., flood control, water purification

Ecosystem structure: the biophysical architecture of an ecosystem. The composition of species making up the architecture may vary

Ecosystem: the organisms of a particular habitat, together with the physical environment in which they live; a dynamic complex of plant, animal, fungal, and microorganism communities and their associated non-living environment interacting as an ecological unit. Ecosystems have no fixed boundaries; instead, their parameters are set according to the scientific, management, or policy question being examined. Depending upon the purpose of analysis, an estuary or an entire marine region could be an ecosystem. In practice, ecosystems are mapped using biophysical data

Ecosystem-based management: an integrated approach to management that considers the entire ecosystem, including humans. The goal of ecosystem-based management is to maintain an ecosystem in a healthy, productive and resilient condition so that it can provide the goods and services humans want and need. Ecosystem-based management differs from current approaches that usually focus on a single species, sector, activity or concern; it considers the cumulative impacts of different sectors. Specifically, ecosystem-based management: (1) emphasizes the protection of ecosystem structure, functioning, and key processes; (2) explicitly accounts for the interconnectedness within systems, recognizing the importance of interactions between many target species or key services and other non-target species; (3) acknowledges interconnectedness among systems, such as among air, land and sea; (4) integrates ecological, social, economic, and institutional perspectives, recognizing their strong interdependences; and (5) Is place-based in focusing on a specific ecosystem and the range of human activities affecting it

Ecotourism: travel undertaken to access sites or regions of unique natural or ecologic quality, or the provision of services to facilitate such travel

Effectiveness: an evaluation criterion that asks the extent to which management actions actually achieve the desired goals, objectives, and outcomes of a management plan

Efficiency: an evaluation criterion that asks the economic question “Have goals, objectives, and outcomes been achieved at least cost?”

Effort: the amount of time and fishing power used to harvest fish; fishing power can include gear size, boat size and horsepower

Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS): a geographic information system used for nautical navigation that complies with International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations as an alternative to paper nautical charts

Embayment: a bay; an indentation of a shoreline larger than a cove but smaller than a gulf

Emission control areas (ECA): areas where the adoption of special mandatory measures for emissions from ships is required to prevent, reduce, and control air pollution from nitrogen oxides (NOx), or sulphur oxides (SOx) and particulate matter—or all three types of emissions; ECAs are designed to prevent, reduce, and control air pollution from ship emissions as well as adverse impacts on land and sea areas caused by such emissions

Endemic: restricted to a specific region or area

Enforcement: the set of management actions that governments take to achieve compliance with regulations involving human activities to correct or halt situations that endanger the environment or the public

Environmental fees/user charges: compulsory, required fees for the use of an environmental good or service. These generate revenue that can be recycled to biodiversity conservation and increase the private cost of resource use

Epibiota: organisms living on the seafloor surface; organisms that attach to other organisms, e.g., barnacles or kelp attached to mussel shells

Equity: while effectiveness and efficiency are technical and economic criteria, equity is a social and political issue. It asks about the social allocation or distribution of the costs and benefits of management actions, i.e., “who pays” and “who benefits” from a particular management action

Essential fish habitat (EFH): a designation by NOAA Fisheries (USA) of the waters and substrate necessary for spawning, breeding, feeding, or growth to maturity for all federally-managed fishery species

Estuary: a semi-enclosed body of water with an open connection to the sea that is measurably diluted by freshwater drainage

Euphotic zone: the zone where there is enough sunlight penetration for photosynthesis to take place; vertical thickness of this zone depends on the turbidity of the water column; it can extend down to 200 meters in clear water areas

Eutrophication: nutrient enrichment, typically in the form of nitrates and phosphates, and often from human sources such as agriculture, sewage, and urban runoff. Marine waters, however, can have too many nutrients. When this happens, usually because of pollution from the land, plant life—phytoplankton or algae—proliferates. Long-term increases in phytoplankton, and their decay near the seabed, can deplete oxygen over large areas, either periodically or permanently—and dramatically alter ecosystems. Coastal areas with relatively little circulation of their waters are particularly vulnerable. A “dead zone” with far too little oxygen, for example, appears off Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico each summer; excessive nitrogen from agricultural fertilizer used upstream, and flushed down the Mississippi River, is the principal cause

Evaluation: a management activity that assesses achievement against some predetermined criteria, usually a set of standards or management objectives

Exclusive economic zone (200-nautical mile limit): the area beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea; the outer limit of the exclusive economic zone cannot exceed 200 nautical miles from the baseline from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured; in the EEZ, nations have sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing all natural resources of the waters superjacent to the seabed and of the seabed and its subsoil together with other activities such as the production of energy from water, currents and wind; jurisdiction also extends to the establishment and use of artificial islands, installations and structures, marine scientific research, the protection and preservation of the marine environment, and other rights and duties

Existence value: The value humans place on ecosystems or biological resources for their pure existence

Externalities: costs or benefits that result from a human activity but accrue to others than those undertaking the activity without any mechanism to impute them to the original actors; the existence of externalities is closely linked to the absence of markets for the goods in question

Extinction: the complete disappearance of a species

Federal consistency: authority of a coastal state in the USA to review and approve federal activities in its coastal zone to ensure that federal actions are consistent with approved coastal management program policies and meet state standards

Fisheries management: the integrated process of information gathering, analysis, planning, decision making, allocation of resources, and formulation and enforcement of fishery regulations by which a fisheries management authority controls the present and future behaviors of the interested parties in the fishery to ensure the continued productivity of the living resources

Fisheries-dependent data: data collected on a fish or fishery from sport fishermen, commercial fishermen, and seafood dealers

Fisheries-independent data: data collected on a fish by scientists that catch the fish themselves, rather than depending on fishermen and seafood dealers

Fishery: all of the activities involved in catching a species of fish or group of species; one or more stocks of fish which can be treated as a unit for purposes of conservation and management and which are identified on the basis of geographical, scientific, technical, recreational and economic characteristics

Fishing community: a community that is substantially dependent on or engaged in the harvest or processing of fishery resources to meet social and economic needs; includes fishing vessel owners, fishing families, operators, crew, recreational fishers, fish processors, gear supplies, and others in the community who depend on fishing

Fishing mortality: a measurement of the rate of removal of fish from a population by fishing; “annual” – percentage dying in one year, “instantaneous” – percentage dying at any one time

Forecast: a probable future (often used interchangeably with a “prediction”); a description of a relatively unsurprising projection of the present; forecasts can be either quantitative or qualitative

Fragmentation: breaking an area, landscape/seascape, or habitat into discrete and separate pieces often as a result of land use/sea use change

Gear conflict: conflict between fishing gear on fishing grounds where one type of gear interferes with another type of gear, e.g., where mobile trawling gear damages passive gear, such as lobster traps

Gear restriction: A management action that prohibits or otherwise restricts the use of particular fishing equipment in a specified area or season

Geographic Information System (GIS): A computer system for capturing, storing, checking, integrating, manipulating, analyzing and displaying data related to positions on the Earth’s surface. Typically, a GIS is used for handling maps of one kind or another. These might be represented as several different layers where each layer holds data about a particular kind of feature (e.g., bathymetry). Each feature is linked to a position on the graphical image of a map. Layers of data are organized to be studied and to perform statistical analysis

Global Positioning System (GPS): a low-cost electronic receiving system for finding three-dimensional coordinates on the earth using satellites

Goal: in MSP, a statement of general direction or intent. Goals are high-level statements of desired outcomes that you hope to achieve within the marine planning area

Good management practice: a technique, method, process, activity, incentive or reward that is more effective at delivering a particular outcome than most other techniques, methods, processes, etc.

Governance: governance comprises the traditions, institutions, and processes that determine how power is exercised, how citizens are given a voice, and how decisions are made on issues of public concern. Governance is a broader concept than government, whose principal elements include a constitution, legislature, executive, and judiciary. Governance refers to the process whereby elements in society wield power and authority, and influence and enact policies and decisions concerning public life, and economic and social development. Governance involves interaction between these formal institutions and those of civil society

Greenhouse effect: the increase in the earth’s temperatures that results from the presence of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere

Habitat service: the importance of ecosystems to provide living space for resident and migratory species (thus maintaining the gene pool and nursery service)

Habitat: (1) the environment in which an organism lives, including everything that surrounds and affects its life, e.g., water quality, bottom, vegetation, associated species (including food supplies); (2) the locality, site and particular type of local environment occupied by an organism

Habitat: the type of environment in which an organism or group of species normally lives or occurs

Hedonic pricing: an economic valuation approach that utilizes information about the implicit demand for an environmental attribute of marketed commodities

Heritage value: site or area possessing historical, archaeological, architectural, technological, aesthetic, scientific, spiritual, social, traditional, or other special cultural significance associated with human activity

High seas: all parts of the sea that are not included in an exclusive economic zone, territorial sea, or the internal waters of individual nations. On the high seas, countries have freedoms such as freedom of navigation, over flight, laying of submarine cables and pipelines, construction of artificial islands and other installations, fishing and scientific research

Highly migratory species:  marine species whose life cycle includes lengthy migrations, usually through the exclusive economic zones of two or more countries as well as into international waters; the term usually is used to denote tuna and tuna-like species, sharks, swordfish and billfish

Human well-being: a context- and situation-dependent state, comprising basic material for a good life, freedom and choice, health and bodily well-being, good social relations, security, peace of mind and spiritual experience

Hypoxic: low concentrations of oxygen in water and sediments

Impact fee: a fee, also called a development fee, levied on the developer of a project by a public agency as compensation for otherwise unmitigated impacts the project will produce

Implementation: the process of converting MSP plans into actual operating programs

Incidental catch: see “bycatch”

Indicator species: A species whose status provides information on the overall condition of the ecosystem and of other species in that ecosystem

Indicator: information based on measured data used to represent a particular attribute, characteristic, or property of a system; an indicator is a measure, quantitative or qualitative, of how close we are to achieving what we set out to achieve, i.e., our objectives or outcomes

Inshore traffic zone: a routing measure comprising a designated area between the landward boundary of a traffic separation scheme and the adjacent coast

Integrated coastal zone management: an approach that brings together all decision-making agencies to resolve issues so as to ensure integration among their existing policies and plans to ultimately maintain, restore, and improve the quality of coastal ecosystems and communities they support

Integrated management: an approach by which the many competing environmental and socioeconomic issues are considered together, with the aim of achieving an optimal solution from the viewpoint of the whole community and the whole ecosystem, e.g., marine spatial planning

Internal waters: waters on the landward side of the territorial sea baseline

Intrinsic value: the value of someone or something in and for itself, irrespective of its utility for someone else

Invasive or exotic species: alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. Invasive species represent the second leading cause of species extinction and loss of biodiversity in aquatic environments worldwide. Common sources of marine invasive species introduction include ballast water, aquaculture escapes, and accidental and/or intentional introductions, among others

Invasive species: an introduced species that out-competes native species for space and resources

Inventory: a means of gathering information on the current status of the coastal and marine environment. Its purpose is to bring together a wide range of baseline information. An inventory should also take account any obvious trends and developments to be able to assess spatial pressures at a later stage of the planning process

Isobath: a line on a map or chart connecting points of equal bathymetry, i.e., equal depth, in the ocean or another water body

Landings: the number or weight of fish unloaded at a dock by commercial fishermen

Large marine ecosystem: large marine ecosystems are expansive ocean areas, generally greater than 200,000 km2. They encircle nearly every continent and some large islands and island chains. Each LME has distinct bathymetry, hydrography (tides, currents, and physical conditions of ocean waters), and biological productivity whose plant and animal populations are inextricably linked to one another in the food chain. Oceanographers and biologists have defined 64 LME’s worldwide

Law of the Sea: the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty, is the international agreement that resulted from the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, that took place between 1973 and 1982

License: also known as permit or consent; a document giving the producer the right to operate according to the terms established by a regulating authority

Littoral: the zone between the highest and lowest spring-tide shorelines; the inter-tidal zone

Management action or measure: a specific action taken to achieve a management objective; management actions should also identify the incentives (regulatory, economic, educational) that will be used to implement the management action and the institution or institutional arrangement that has the authority to implement the management action

Management objective: a formally established, more or less quantitative target that is actively sought and provides a direction for management action (see “objective”)

Management: directing and controlling resources for the purpose of accomplishing specified goals and objectives. Management encompasses the allocation of human resources, financial resources, technological resources, and natural resources. It is a process made up of a set of functions or activities, including research, planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and others, all of which must be carried out to achieve the specified goal(s) and objectives

Marine invasive species: or aquatic nuisance species, are non-native plants and animals that are transported into and throughout a marine area by commercial shipping, as fouling organisms on recreational boats, through the release of unwanted aquarium contents, or a variety of other human related transport vectors; have great potential for rapid colonization and are already having significant impacts on the biodiversity and integrity of marine habitats

Marine mammals: whales and dolphins, seals, sea lions, and walrus, dugongs and manatees, sea otters, and polar bears

Marine protected area: the protective management of natural marine areas to keep them in their natural state; MPAs can be conserved for a number of reasons including economic resources, biodiversity conservation, and species protection; they are created by delineating zones with permitted and non-permitted uses within that zone

Marine reptiles: crocodiles, sea turtles, sea snakes, and marine iguanas

Marine (or maritime) spatial planning: a public process of analyzing and allocating the spatial and temporal distribution of human activities in marine areas to achieve ecological, economic and social objectives that have been specified through a political process

Market failure: the inability of a market to capture the correct values of ecosystem

Maximum sustainable yield (MSY): the maximum level at which a fishery can be routinely exploited without long-term depletion

Metadata: summary data providing content, quality, types and spatial information about a data set; used in GIS mapping and other applications

Migration: (1) systematic (as opposed to random) movement of individuals of a stock from one place to another, often related to season; (2) the movements of fish from feeding ground to spawning ground and back again, from nursery ground to feeding ground, and from spawning ground to nursery ground

Military operating area: the area in which national defense training exercises and tests are routinely conducted. Their boundaries are usually formally established by national designation and by international treaty for national defense training purposes, and allow for specific exercises and training events to be coordinated with other federal, state, and local agencies, and also the general public

Mitigation (or restoration) cost: the cost of mitigating the effects of the loss of ecosystem services or the cost of getting those services restored

Modeling: the construction of physical, conceptual, or mathematical simulations of the real world

Monitoring: (1) to observe and record changes; (2) the collection of information for the purpose of assessment of the progress and success of a plan;  monitoring is used for the purpose of assessing performance of a management plan or compliance scheme and revising them, or to gather experience for future plans

Multiple-use marine protected area: an approach, often employed over much larger areas, that allows for integrated management of complete marine ecosystems, usually through a zoning process

Natural capital: the stocks of living and non-living resources that provide benefits and services needed by people and all life on Earth

Natural resource damage assessment (NRDA): the process of collecting and analyzing information to evaluate the nature and extent of injuries resulting from an incident and determine the restoration actions needed to bring injured natural resources and services back to baseline and make the environment and public whole for interim losses

Nautical mile (nm): a nautical mile is 1,852 meters, or 1.852 kilometers; in the English measurement system, a nautical mile is 1.1508 miles, or 6,076 feet

Nearshore: referring to shallow waters close to the coast

Neritic zone: the relatively shallow part of the ocean above the drop-off of the continental shelf, approximately 200 meters in depth

No-anchoring area: an area within defined limits where anchoring is hazardous or could result in unacceptable damage to the marine environment. Anchoring in a no-anchoring area should be avoided by all ships or certain classes of ships, except in cases of immediate danger to the ship or the persons onboard

Non-consumptive use: individuals that use (i.e., observe), yet not consume, certain living ocean resources, like whale watching, sight-seeing, or scuba diving; additionally, individuals might value the mere existence of living ocean resources without actually observing them

Non-market benefits: benefits that accrue to individuals for goods, services, experiences, or states of nature that are not normally traded in commerce

Non-use or passive use: the value of knowing that something exists in a particular state even though there is no sensory contact with the resource. Non-use values are often referred to as existence value, intrinsic value, or preservation or bequest value

Non-users: individuals that obtain value from a resource, but do not use the resource

Normative: analysis leading to a recommendation or prescription that is based on value judgments or that reflects society’s preferences

Objective: in MSP, an objective is a statement of a desired outcome or desirable behavioral change that represents the achievement of a goal; characteristics of good objectives include: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound, i.e., SMART objectives

Ocean thermal technology: technology that generates electricity from the potential energy of heat differences in the surface of the ocean compared to the water column beneath; warm surface water is channeled to vaporize a fluid with a low boiling point and spin turbines that produce energy

Ocean wave technology: a marine hydrokinetic (the energy that results from the motion of a body of water) technology that generates electricity from the movement of ocean waves. This is a developing technology starting to take hold in the United States and more developed in other parts of the world. Some consider this the most commercially viable marine alternative energy available after offshore wind technology

Ocean zoning: an important enforceable management action to implement comprehensive marine spatial management plans usually through a zoning map or maps and regulations for some or all areas of a marine region. Ocean zoning is an effective tool of MSP

Offshore: referring to deeper waters far from the coast

Offshore wind technology: technology that generates electricity from wind over large bodies of water, through a turbine that is drilled into the sea floor or floats on the water’s surface

Open access resource: a good or service over which no property rights are recognized

Open access: accessible to all

Opportunity costs: (1) the benefits foregone by using a resource for one purpose instead of its next best alternative; (2) the benefits forgone by undertaking one activity instead of another

Option price: The largest sure payment that an individual will pay for a policy before uncertainty is resolved

Outcome: An outcome is an anticipated result of the implementation of a marine spatial management action

Output: a product or service delivered from a process or set of activities, e.g., a report, a plan, surveys completed, permits issued, or workshops held; outputs are easy to measure; outcomes

Particularly sensitive sea area (PSSA): an area that needs special protection through action by IMO because of its significance for recognized ecological or socio-economic or scientific reasons and which may be vulnerable to damage by international maritime activities; the designation guidelines include criteria to allow areas to be designated a PSSA if they fulfill a number of criteria, including: ecological criteria, such as unique or rare ecosystem, diversity of the ecosystem or vulnerability to degradation by natural events or human activities; social, cultural and economic criteria, such as significance of the area for recreation or tourism; and scientific and educational criteria, such as biological research or historical value; when an area is approved as a PSSA, specific measures can be used to control the maritime activities in that area, such as routing measures, strict application of MARPOL discharge and equipment requirements for ships, such as oil tankers; and installation of Vessel Traffic Services (VTS); to date, the IMO has designated 13 PSSAs worldwide

Pelagic: organisms that inhabit the water column/open sea, and spend relatively little time on

Performance monitoring: the ongoing monitoring and reporting of program accomplishments, particularly progress toward pre-established goals and objectives. Program measures or indicators may address the type or level of program activities conducted (process), the direct products and services delivered by a program (outputs), and/or the results of those products and services (outcomes)

Perturbation: the disturbance of the quality of natural resources caused by human activity/use or natural processes

Phytoplankton: the photosynthetic, plantlike plankton

Plankton: the plants and animals that are found drifting in the water

Planning: a management activity that through analysis generates information for decision-making. It is the process of deciding who gets what, when, and where, how, at what costs, and who pays the costs? Planning should be organized to generate information at various points in time. A continuous activity of planning should exist to generate information for management that responds to changing conditions, i.e., adaptive management

Precautionary area: a routing measure comprising an area within defined limits where ships must navigate with particular caution and within which the direction of traffic flow may be recommended

Precautionary principle: the management principle stating that in cases “where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation” (defined in the Rio Declaration)

Primary productivity: a measurement of plant production that is the start of the food chain. Much primary productivity in marine or aquatic systems is made up of phytoplankton, which are one-celled algae that float freely in the water

Principle: in MSP, an essential quality determining the fundamental nature of the marine spatial planning process, e.g., sustainability, precaution, transparency

Provisioning services: the products obtained from ecosystems, including, for example, genetic resources, food and fiber, and fresh water

Public good: a good or service in which the benefit received by any one party does not diminish the availability of the benefits to others and where access to the good cannot be restricted

Pure public good: a good that can be used by anyone and for which one person’s use does not diminish the good’s value for others

Qualitative data: data in non-numerical form; qualitative data deal with descriptions. They are data that can be observed, or self-reported, but not necessarily precisely measured. Examples of qualitative data are data on relationships and behavior

Quantitative data: data in numerical form; quantitative data are data that can be measured. Examples include data on cost, length, area, volume, weight, speed, time, temperature, employment and income

Recommended route: a route of undefined width, for the convenience of ships to transit, which is often marked by centerline buoys

Recommended track: a route that has been specially examined to ensure so far as possible that it is free of dangers and along which ships are advised to navigate

Recreational fishery: harvesting fish for personal use, sport, and challenge, e.g., as opposed to profit or research; recreational fishing does not include sale, barter, or trade of all or part of the catch

Recruitment: the measure of the number of organisms that enter a class during some time period, such as the spawning class or fishing-size class

Reference level: a particular level of an indicator used as a benchmark for assessment and management performance

Regulating services: the benefits obtained from the regulation of ecosystem processes, including, for example, the regulation of climate, water, and some human diseases

Relative abundance: an index of fish population abundance used to compare fish populations from year to year; doesn’t measure actual numbers of fish, but shows population changes over time

Remote sensing: any technique for analyzing seascape patterns and trends using low-altitude aerial photography or satellite imagery; any environmental measurement that is done at a distance

Replacement cost: the costs incurred by replacing ecosystem services with artificial technologies

Resilience: the capacity of a system to resist and recover from disturbance, and undergo change while still retaining essentially the same function, structure and integrity. Resilience is not about a single, static state, but rather the capacity of an ever-changing, dynamic system to return to a healthy state after a disturbance or impact. It is a concept that is applied to both natural and social systems—from habitats and species, to communities, businesses and social assets

Resilience-based management: uses principles and knowledge of current and future drivers of human and ecological systems to identify, prioritize and implement actions to sustain ecosystem resilience and human well-being. Due to the inescapable uncertainty and changing conditions in marine and coastal areas, resilience-based management also must be adaptive

Resource valuation: calculation or estimation of the economic value of a natural resource

Resource: any physical or virtual entity of limited availability that provides a benefit

Responsible party (RP): the person, business, or entity that has been identified as owning the vessel or facility that caused the spill; the term does not imply criminal negligence. Not all incidents have a designated responsible party; these spills are called mystery spills

Restricted area: a defined water area for the purpose of prohibiting or limiting public access to the area. Restricted areas generally provide security for government property and/or protection to the public from the risks of damage or injury arising from the government’s use of that area. Caution should be used if navigating near these areas

Risk assessment: a process of evaluation including the identification of the attendant uncertainties, of the likelihood and severity of an adverse effect(s)/event(s) occurring to humans or the environment following exposure under defined conditions to a risk source(s). A risk assessment comprises hazard identification, hazard characterization, exposure assessment and risk characterization

Risk management: the process of weighing management actions in the light of the result of a risk assessment and other relevant evaluation and, if required, selecting and implementing appropriate actions (which should, where appropriate, include monitoring or surveillance)

Roundabout: a routing measure comprising a separation point or circular separation zone and a circular traffic lane within defined limits; traffic within the roundabout is separated by moving in a counterclockwise direction around the separation point or zone

Safety zone: two types of safety zone can be created: safety zones for surface installations and safety zones for subsea or submerged structures; For example, a surface safety zone is an area extending 500m from any part of an offshore oil and gas installation and is established automatically around all installations which project above the sea at any state of the tide; subsea installations may also have safety zones, created to protect them; these safety zones are usually a 500m radius from a central point; vessels of all nations are required by law to respect safety zones

Scale: the measurable dimensions of phenomena or observations. Expressed in physical units, such as meters, years, population size, or quantities moved or exchanged. In observation, scale determines the relative fineness and coarseness of different detail and the selectivity among patterns these data may form

Scenario: a plausible and often simplified description of how the future may develop based on a coherent and internally consistent set of assumptions about key driving forces, e.g., rate of technology change, prices, and relationships; scenarios are neither predictions, projections, nor plans, and sometimes may be based on a “narrative storyline”; scenarios may be derived from projections but are often based on additional information from other sources

Sea-use planning: the development of integrated management plans for a sea area, aimed at harmonizing ocean regional policies, including management of protected areas and development; introduced by Hance Smith in 1975

Sea use regulation: Rules enacted for the regulation of any aspect of sea use, including zoning, use permits or area regulation, or any other regulation that prescribes the appropriate use or the scale, location, or intensity of human activity

Seascape: a marine area where the interaction of people and nature over time has produced an area of distinct character with significant ecological, biological, cultural and scenic value and where safeguarding the integrity of this interaction is vital to protecting and sustaining the area and its associated nature conservation and other values

Seasonal closure: the banning of fishing activity (in an area or of an entire fishery) for a few weeks or months, e.g., to protect juveniles or spawners

Sectoral: pertaining to an economic sector

Ships’ routing systems: systems of predetermined routes and corollary measures that are “recommended for use by, and may be made mandatory for, all ships, certain categories of ships or ships carrying certain cargoes when adopted and implemented in accordance with the guidelines and criteria developed by the [IMO]” and are designed to “contribute to the safety of life at sea, safety and efficiency of navigation, and/or protection of the marine environment”

Social costs and benefits: costs and benefits as seen from the perspective of society as a whole. These costs differ from private costs and benefits in being more inclusive (all costs and benefits borne by some member of society are taken into account) and in being valued at social opportunity cost rather than market prices, where these differ

Spatial heterogeneity: the non-homogeneous nature of habitats or spatial distributions of organisms, often ignored in simple models

Spatial planning: a wider concept and activity than land-use planning that links the former with economic, social, and environmental development policies, operating at all spatial scales to provide a roadmap and framework for future regional development and resource allocation and investment

Spatial scenarios: scenarios that are presented in graphic form (maps) to illustrate the different distributions of human activities in space and time implied from the emphasis of different social values, principles, and goals during the MSP process; spatial scenarios are routinely used in terrestrial spatial analysis and planning

Special area: the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) provides for the designation of particular areas of the ocean as Special Areas; designation of special areas is to be made on the basis of three criteria: (1) oceanographic conditions; (2) ecological conditions; and (3) vessel traffic characteristics. The first criterion determines whether the conditions of the area may cause harmful substances to be concentrated or retained in the waters and/or sediments of the area—including circulation patterns or stratifications (salinity or temperature), low flushing rates leading to long residence time, extreme ice state, or adverse wind conditions. The second criterion considers whether ecological conditions indicate the need to protect the area from harmful substances to preserve certain area resources—including endangered marine species, areas of high natural productivity, migratory routes for sea birds, and critical habitats for fish stocks. The last criterion asks whether the vessel traffic of the area is such that MARPOL requirements for areas other than special areas would be insufficient to control the discharge of harmful substances by ships given the oceanographic and ecological conditions of the area; information on the availability of adequate reception facilities in the proposed Special Area is also taken into consideration in the review of a Special Area proposal as adequate port waste reception facilities are one of the necessary preconditions for bringing into effect Special Areas adopted by the IMO

Species diversity: the variety of species in a community, which can be expressed quantitatively in ways which reflect both the total number of species present and the extent to which the system is dominated by a small number of species

Species richness: the number of species in a region, site or sample

Spill-over effects: sometimes referred to as “externalities”; an unintended effect (positive or negative, benefit or cost) imposed on others and not borne by the party responsible for the effect

Stakeholders: individuals, groups, or organizations that are (or will be) affected, involved or interested (positively or negatively) by marine spatial planning management actions in various ways

Stated preference: consumer preferences are understood through questions regarding willingness to pay or willingness to accept

State-of-the-system monitoring: state-of-the-system monitoring focuses on assessing long-term trends, for example, the status of biodiversity in a marine area, the quality of water, or the overall health of a particular ecosystem

Stock assessment: an estimate of the amount or abundance of the resource, an estimate of the rate at which it is being removed due to harvesting and other causes, and one or more reference levels of harvesting rate and/or abundance at which the stock can maintain itself in the long-term

Strategic planning: planning by organizations or sectors aimed at improving the long-term effectiveness of operations. Commonly based on some form of macro-environmental analysis of social, technological, and political trends, or scenarios that narrate internal and external drivers for future development; may or may not have a spatial component, dependent on the function of the organization

Stressor: any human activity that uses coastal/marine resources and affects marine ecosystems

Submarine transit lanes: areas where military submarines may navigate underwater, including transit corridors designated for submarine travel

Submerged lands: tidelands lying seaward of the low water mark

Substitutability: the extent to which human-made capital can be substituted for natural capital (or vice versa)

Substrate: the type of bottom or material on or in which an organism lives

Supply function: the relationship between the quantity of good or service supplied and price

Supporting ecosystem services: those services, e.g., primary production, oxygen production, soil formation, that are necessary for the production of all other ecosystem services, e.g., food, employment, recreation, erosion control, etc.

Supporting services: ecosystem services that are necessary for the maintenance of all other ecosystem services. Some examples include biomass production, production of atmospheric oxygen, nutrient cycling, water cycling and provisioning of habitat

Sustainability: a characteristic or state whereby the needs of the present and local population can be met without compromising the ability of future generations or populations in other locations to meet their needs

Sustainable development: (1) management and conservation of the natural resource base, and the orientation of technological and institutional change in such a manner as to ensure the attainment of continued satisfaction of human needs for present and future generations; sustainable development conserves land and water, plant and animal genetic resources, is environmentally non-degrading, technologically appropriate, economically viable, and socially acceptable; (2) development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs

Sustainable flow (of ecosystem services): the availability of ecosystem services to yield a continuous benefit to present generations while maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of future generations

Sustainable use (of ecosystems): using ecosystems in a way that benefits present generations while maintaining the potential to meet the needs and aspirations of future generations

Sustainable use: the use of components of biological diversity in a way and at a rate that does not lead to the long-term decline of biological diversity, thereby maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of present and future generations

Synergistic interaction: an interaction that has more than additive effects, such as the joint toxicity of two compounds being greater than their combined, independent toxicities

Systematic conservation planning: an approach to developing spatial plans, primarily focused on conservation of biodiversity, habitats and ecological processes, while facilitating multiple uses of the marine environment and promoting, where possible, goals related to climate change, fisheries, and livelihoods

Taxon/taxa: a group of organisms that share a common ancestry

Temporal: of or relating to time as distinguished from space

Territorial sea (12-nautical mile limit): the belt of water not exceeding 12nm in width measured from the territorial sea baseline; the sovereignty of nations extends to the territorial sea, its seabed and subsoil, and to the air space above it; this sovereignty is exercised in accordance with international law as reflected in the Law of the Sea Convention; the major limitation on exercise of sovereignty in the territorial sea is the right of innocent passage for foreign ships

Threshold: a point or level at which new properties emerge in an ecological, economic, or other system, invalidating predictions based on mathematical relationships that apply at lower levels. For example, species diversity of a seascape may decline steadily with increasing habitat degradation to a certain point, then fall sharply after a critical threshold of degradation is reached. Human behavior, especially at group levels, sometimes exhibits threshold effects. Thresholds at which irreversible changes occur are especially of concern to decision-makers

Tipping point: occurs when small shifts in human pressures or environmental conditions bring about large, sometimes abrupt changes in a system—whether in a human society, a physical system, a marine ecosystem, or the Planet’s climate. Ocean tipping points are cause for particular concern because they are hard to anticipate and can be very difficult, if not impossible, to reverse

Top-down management: a process of management in which management information and decisions are centralized and resource users are kept outside the decision-making process

Topography: the configuration of a surface area including its relative elevations and the position of its natural features

Total economic value: the value obtained from the various constituents of utilitarian value, including direct use value, indirect use value, option value, quasi-option value, and existence value

Trade-offs of ecosystem services: the way in which one ecosystem service relates to or responds to a change in another ecosystem service

Trade-offs: management choices that intentionally or otherwise change the type, magnitude, and relative mix of services provided by ecosystems

Traditional Rights : rights of indigenous or traditional people that (to present) have not been considered in a national and international context or have not (yet) been recorded, and which are based on the legal system of the individual cultures

Traffic lane: an area within defined limits in which one-way traffic is established; natural obstacles, including those forming separation zones, may constitute a boundary

Traffic separation scheme (TSS): also known as sea lanes, are shipping corridors, marked by buoys, which separate incoming from outgoing vessels; they separate opposing streams of vessel traffic, and segregate inshore traffic, by appropriate means—e.g., separation lines or zones—and by the establishment of traffic lanes; additional lanes may be provided within a traffic separation scheme for ships carrying hazardous liquid substances in bulk, as specified by the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL)

Tragedy of the commons: The overuse of a resource resulting from a lack of assigned and enforceable property rights

Transnational fisheries: fisheries in which the same resource stock(s) crosses the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of two or more countries

Trophic level: a nourishment level in a food web; plants and other primary producers constitute the lowest level, followed by herbivores and a series of carnivores at higher levels

Turbidity: the amount of particulate matter suspended in water

Two-Way Route: a route within defined limits inside which two-way traffic is established, aimed at providing safe passage of ships through waters where navigation is difficult or dangerous

Unexploded ordnances (UXOs/UXBs, sometimes identified as UO): explosive weapons (bombs, bullets, shells, grenades, land mines, naval mines, etc.) that did not explode when they were employed and still pose a risk of detonation, potentially many decades after they were used or discarded

Value: what one is willing to give up in order to obtain a good, service, experience, or state of nature. Economists try to measure this in dollars

Vessel Tracking Services (VTS): a collection of equipment that enables marine and naval vessels to track, identify and monitor a ship’s position, location and any other detail that might be important in maneuvering and stabilising a ship’s route and course

Vision: a desired or preferred future

Wetland: wetlands occur where water meets land. They include mangroves, peatlands and marshes, rivers and lakes, deltas, floodplains and flooded forests, and even coral reefs. Wetlands exist in every country and in every climatic zone, from the polar regions to the tropics, and from high altitudes to dry regions. Marshes and ponds, the edge of a lake or ocean, the delta at the mouth of a river, low-lying areas that frequently flood—all are wetlands

Willingness to accept: The minimum amount that a person is willing to receive to give up a good in their possession

Willingness to pay: The maximum amount that a person is willing to pay for a good they do not have

Wind turbine: a machine that captures the force of the wind; also called a wind generator when used to produce electricity

Zoning: The primary purpose of zoning is to separate uses that are thought to be incompatible. In practice, zoning also is used to prevent development of new uses from interfering with existing uses: zoning usually involves two outputs: a zoning map and zoning regulations. Zoning regulation is not restricted to controlling existing uses; in large part, it is designed to guide future development

Zooplankton: the animal component of plankton

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