Title

Tracking of marine predators to protect Southern Ocean ecosystems

Publication Date

4-2-2020

Document Type

Article

Department

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories

Publication Title

Nature

Volume

580

Issue

7801

DOI

10.1038/s41586-020-2126-y

First Page

87

Last Page

92

Abstract

Southern Ocean ecosystems are under pressure from resource exploitation and climate change1,2. Mitigation requires the identification and protection of Areas of Ecological Significance (AESs), which have so far not been determined at the ocean-basin scale. Here, using assemblage-level tracking of marine predators, we identify AESs for this globally important region and assess current threats and protection levels. Integration of more than 4,000 tracks from 17 bird and mammal species reveals AESs around sub-Antarctic islands in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and over the Antarctic continental shelf. Fishing pressure is disproportionately concentrated inside AESs, and climate change over the next century is predicted to impose pressure on these areas, particularly around the Antarctic continent. At present, 7.1% of the ocean south of 40°S is under formal protection, including 29% of the total AESs. The establishment and regular revision of networks of protection that encompass AESs are needed to provide long-term mitigation of growing pressures on Southern Ocean ecosystems.

Funding Number

20310016

Funding Sponsor

Office of Polar Programs

Comments

Full author list:

Mark A. Hindell, Ryan R. Reisinger, Yan Ropert-Coudert, Luis A. Hückstädt, Philip N. Trathan, Horst Bornemann, Jean-Benoît Charrassin, Steven L. Chown, Daniel P. Costa, Bruno Danis, Mary-Anne Lea, David Thompson, Leigh G. Torres, Anton P. Van de Putte, Rachael Alderman, Virginia Andrews-Goff, Ben Arthur, Grant Ballard, John Bengtson, Marthán N. Bester, Arnoldus Schytte Blix, Lars Boehme, Charles-André Bost, Peter Boveng, Jaimie Cleeland, Rochelle Constantine, Stuart Corney, Robert J. M. Crawford, Luciano Dalla Rosa, P. J. Nico de Bruyn, Karine Delord, Sébastien Descamps, Mike Double, Louise Emmerson, Mike Fedak, Ari Friedlaender, Nick Gales, Michael E. Goebel, Kimberly T. Goetz, Christophe Guinet, Simon D. Goldsworthy, Rob Harcourt, Jefferson T. Hinke, Kerstin Jerosch, Akiko Kato, Knowles R. Kerry, Roger Kirkwood, Gerald L. Kooyman, Kit M. Kovacs, Kieran Lawton, Andrew D. Lowther, Christian Lydersen, Phil O’B. Lyver, Azwianewi B. Makhado, Maria E. I. Márquez, Birgitte I. McDonald, Clive R. McMahon, Monica Muelbert, Dominik Nachtsheim, Keith W. Nicholls, Erling S. Nordøy, Silvia Olmastroni, Richard A. Phillips, Pierre Pistorius, Joachim Plötz, Klemens Pütz, Norman Ratcliffe, Peter G. Ryan, Mercedes Santos, Colin Southwell, Iain Staniland, Akinori Takahashi, Arnaud Tarroux, Wayne Trivelpiece, Ewan Wakefield, Henri Weimerskirch, Barbara Wienecke, José C. Xavier, Simon Wotherspoon, Ian D. Jonsen & Ben Raymond

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