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In the News
Posted on October 22, 2019 - 3:41pm, by abrown

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Date/time: Thursday, October 31 at 10am PT/ 1pm ET

Presenter: Helen E. Fox, Ph.D. Senior Director, National Geographic Society

Project Co-Authors: C.M. Roelfsema, B. Bambic, R. Borrego-Acevedo, B. Free, P. Gerstner, E. Kennedy, E. Kovacs, K. Markey, K. Rice, G. Asner, S.R. Phinn, C. Whiton, A. Zolli

In the News
Posted on October 22, 2019 - 12:49pm, by raye us on Wednesday, November 13 at 9:00 am EST/2:00 pm GMT for a webinar featuring Dr. Mark Bravington of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), where he will discuss his work to improve the information used to assess and manage shortfin mako sharks in the Atlantic Ocean.

For the past several months, Dr. Bravington has been examining the feasibility of a genetic method known as close-kin mark-recapture for estimating shortfin mako shark abundance in a way that avoids the limitations and biases associated with estimates collected through fishing activities. Such a tool could help fisheries scientists develop more accurate stock assessments to inform effective management strategies for this species, which is overfished in the North Atlantic.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Editor’s note: We’ve all read about how ocean noise can harm marine mammals. New research reveals that it can have profound impacts on lower trophic levels as well, with likely consequences for marine ecosystems. Catch up on the latest research with this month’s Skimmer.

A little background on sound in the ocean

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Editor’s note: Heather Welch is a research associate with the University of California at Santa Cruz and the (US) NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center’s Environmental Research Division. The Skimmer spoke with her about her research, which focuses on understanding and planning for the spatial and temporal dynamics of large-scale marine processes.

The Skimmer: We last covered dynamic ocean management and dynamic ocean management tools in 2014. Can you tell us a bit about how the field has progressed since then?

One area of progress is that dynamic ocean management is now better located within the larger field of dynamic management, allowing us to borrow concepts and methodologies from more established disciplines. Weather science has been developing dynamic management tools such as weather forecasts and hurricane forecast tracks for over a century. While on land, established dynamic management tools track floods, wildfires, and disease outbreaks. Understanding the parallels between dynamic ocean management and dynamic management in other realms allows us to leverage lessons learned and avoid reinventing the wheel.

Another area of advancement is that dynamic ocean management tools are moving towards producing forecasts. Initially, tools were producing hindcasts and nowcasts, i.e., predicting where species were last month and where species are today, respectively. Now, dynamic ocean management tools are forecasting species distributions days to seasons in advance. For example, the Atlantic Sturgeon Risk Model predicts Atlantic sturgeon habitat one to three days in advance to help fishers avoid the bycatch of these endangered fish. A seasonal forecasting system in the Great Australia Bight predicts the distribution of Southern bluefin tuna several months into the future to help fishers efficiently locate and harvest their target species. These types of forecasts give end-users time to plan ahead for future conditions.

Lastly, dynamic ocean management is moving from single-species tools to multi-species tools that can address greater proportions of biodiversity. Single-species management was a natural starting point for the field, but established methodologies and technological advances now allow for more complex tools. For example, TurtleWatch helps fishers avoid the bycatch of loggerhead and leatherback turtles. On the US west coast, EcoCast helps fishers maintain their target catch of swordfish while avoiding the bycatch of loggerhead turtles, California sea lions, and blue sharks.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

In case you missed it, last month’s issue of The Skimmer featured original articles: