Global spatial risk assessment of sharks under the footprint of fisheries

Last modified: 
December 13, 2019 - 12:39pm
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2019
Date published: 07/2019
Authors: Nuno Queiroz, Nicolas Humphries, Ana Couto, Marisa Vedor, Ivo da Costa, Ana Sequeira, Gonzalo Mucientes, António Santos, Francisco Abascal, Debra Abercrombie, Katya Abrantes, David Acuña-Marrero, André Afonso, Pedro Afonso, Darrell Anders, Gonzalo Araujo, Randall Arauz, Pascal Bach, Adam Barnett, Diego Bernal, Michael Berumen, Sandra Lion, Natalia Bezerra, Antonin Blaison, Barbara Block, Mark Bond, Ramón Bonfil, Russell Bradford, Camrin Braun, Edward Brooks, Annabelle Brooks, Judith Brown, Barry Bruce, Michael Byrne, Steven Campana, Aaron Carlisle, Demian Chapman, Taylor Chapple, John Chisholm, Christopher Clarke, Eric Clua, Jesse Cochran, Estelle Crochelet, Laurent Dagorn, Ryan Daly, Daniel Cortés, Thomas Doyle, Michael Drew, Clinton Duffy, Thor Erikson, Eduardo Espinoza, Luciana Ferreira, Francesco Ferretti, John Filmalter, Chris Fischer, Richard Fitzpatrick, Jorge Fontes, Fabien Forget, Mark Fowler, Malcolm Francis, Austin Gallagher, Enrico Gennari, Simon Goldsworthy, Matthew Gollock, Jonathan Green, Johan Gustafson, Tristan Guttridge, Héctor Guzman, Neil Hammerschlag, Luke Harman, Fábio Hazin, Matthew Heard, Alex Hearn, John Holdsworth, Bonnie Holmes, Lucy Howey, Mauricio Hoyos, Robert Hueter, Nigel Hussey, Charlie Huveneers, Dylan Irion, David Jacoby, Oliver Jewell, Ryan Johnson, Lance Jordan, Salvador Jorgensen, Warren Joyce, Clare Daly, James Ketchum, Peter Klimley, Alison Kock, Pieter Koen, Felipe Ladino, Fernanda Lana, James Lea, Fiona Llewellyn, Warrick Lyon, Anna MacDonnell, Bruno Macena, Heather Marshall, Jaime McAllister, Rory McAuley, Michael Meÿer, John Morris, Emily Nelson, Yannis Papastamatiou, Toby Patterson, César Peñaherrera-Palma, Julian Pepperell, Simon Pierce, Francois Poisson, Lina Quintero, Andrew Richardson, Paul Rogers, Christoph Rohner, David Rowat, Melita Samoilys, Jayson Semmens, Marcus Sheaves, George Shillinger, Mahmood Shivji, Sarika Singh, Gregory Skomal, Malcolm Smale, Laurenne Snyders, German Soler, Marc Soria, Kilian Stehfest, John Stevens, Simon Thorrold, Mariana Tolotti, Alison Towner, Paulo Travassos, John Tyminski, Frederic Vandeperre, Jeremy Vaudo, Yuuki Watanabe, Sam Weber, Bradley Wetherbee, Timothy White, Sean Williams, Patricia Zárate, Robert Harcourt, Graeme Hays, Mark Meekan, Michele Thums, Xabier Irigoien, Victor Eguíluz, Carlos Duarte, Lara Sousa, Samantha Simpson, Emily Southall, David Sims
Journal title: Nature
ISSN: 0028-0836

Effective ocean management and the conservation of highly migratory species depend on resolving the overlap between animal movements and distributions, and fishing effort. However, this information is lacking at a global scale. Here we show, using a big-data approach that combines satellite-tracked movements of pelagic sharks and global fishing fleets, that 24% of the mean monthly space used by sharks falls under the footprint of pelagic longline fisheries. Space-use hotspots of commercially valuable sharks and of internationally protected species had the highest overlap with longlines (up to 76% and 64%, respectively), and were also associated with significant increases in fishing effort. We conclude that pelagic sharks have limited spatial refuge from current levels of fishing effort in marine areas beyond national jurisdictions (the high seas). Our results demonstrate an urgent need for conservation and management measures at high-seas hotspots of shark space use, and highlight the potential of simultaneous satellite surveillance of megafauna and fishers as a tool for near-real-time, dynamic management.

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