Volume 70

Advancing Area-Based Planning and Network Approaches in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction: A Global Review of Data on Connectivity for Migratory Marine Animals

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Date: November, 2017

Pages: 157-159

Event: Proceedings of the Seventy Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Merida, Yucatan

Country: México


Due to their wide-ranging behaviors, migratory fish, marine mammal, seabird, and sea turtle species experience a variety, and increasing amount, of anthropogenic pressures over the course of their life histories. Combined with conservation strategies that largely fail to consider spatial connectivity over the life cycle, these threats are resulting in declining populations worldwide. It has become clear that there is a major knowledge gap on marine migratory connectivity on the high seas that can be provided the many marine spatial planning initiatives involving areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ). The Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab (MGEL) of Duke University is leading a consortium to develop The Migratory Connectivity in the Ocean (MiCO) system to fill this knowledge gap. MiCO seeks to compile and, where necessary, synthesize scaled-up knowledge on migratory connectivity for species utilizing ABNJ. MiCO will convey information on connectivity among “nodes” (aggregations of areas used for a particular life cycle activities) and via “corridors” (aggregations of paths animals travel between nodes). Data from a wide array of sources including telemetry, mark/recapture, stable isotope, genetic, and acoustic sampling are being gathered from direct contributions by collaborating partners and a systematic literature review. The literature review encompasses over 200 species listed in the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) or managed by a Regional Fisheries Management Organization and the complete system will address nearly 1,000 migratory species across the four taxa. Over 50% of the species in the literature review are listed as Near Threatened, Vulnerable, Endangered, or Critically Endangered by the IUCN, including 20 listed as EN or 13 as CR. Here we present initial results detailing the information available on ecological connectivity in or across ABNJ.

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