Julia McDowell

Student Speaker | Étudiant.e
Cooperation between countries in marine management to protect shared resources is beneficial both ecologically and economically. Marine reserves are not designed with connectivity to other reserves as a top priority, and most are designated by a single country. A group of marine reserves that exhibit hydrodynamic connectivity form a network; being a part of a network increases resilience across all connected reserves. A subset of the larger networks span multiple countries, while others are composed of reserves all located in the waters governed by a single country. The countries involved in the heterogeneous networks have varying economic, political, and cultural views, and the differences are important to understand in order to facilitate ongoing management. Most networks currently are homogenous and have similar levels of development, shared languages, and other cultural values. This social homogeneity leads to more consistent and efficient ecological management. However, despite the difficulties inherent in transnational management, in the long term heterogenous networks may prove to be more resilient in the case of climate change impacting the connectivity that is vital for oceanic health.