|dc.description.abstract||One of the most prevalent threats to the persistence of coastal and marine ecosystems is the cumulative effects of human and natural stressors. Marine conservation areas can help mitigate and manage for cumulative effects; however, several challenges remain, including, inconsistent definitions and management approaches as well as a limited understanding of socio-ecological interactions. To examine how ocean managers in Canada assess and manage the impacts of cumulative effects on marine conservation areas, a study of the federal departments that administer these areas was conducted. Specifically, this research focused on the extent to which social-ecological factors are considered in assessing cumulative effects on marine conservation areas. It was found that managers appear to favor ecological indicators and considerations over socio-economic ones. Managers also indicated a need for additional data to improve their assessment and management approaches. Finally, the lack of a cumulative effects assessment framework limits managers in their ability to adequately address and manage these effects in marine conservation areas. Research suggests that understanding how stressors interact and accumulate in the environment as well as their impact on oceanic ecosystems will require the coordination and collaboration of multiple disciplines to elicit effective management responses. Maintaining the health and integrity of the world’s oceans also requires long-term management plans guided by well-informed decision-making. Therefore, it is recommended that Canadian cumulative effects assessment and management standards for marine conservation areas be developed and a broad ecosystem-based approach is taken to increase the effectiveness of Canada’s marine conservation area management.
Keywords: Cumulative effects, ocean management, marine conservation, socio-ecological systems, Canada||en_US