[MARMAM] New paper on decision support system for management of MPAs with marine mammals

Cristiane Albuquerque Martins albuquerquecris at gmail.com
Tue Mar 27 11:21:52 PDT 2012

Dear colleagues,

On behalf of my co-authors, I am pleased to announce the publication  
of the following paper in the Environmental Modelling & Software  

DOI: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2011.08.009

A decision support system to assist the sustainable management of  
navigation activities in the St. Lawrence River Estuary, Canada

L. Parrott, C. Chion, C.C.A. Martins, P. Lamontagne, S. Turgeon, J.A.  
Landry, B. Zhens, D.J. Marceau, R. Michaud, G. Cantin, N. Ménard, S.  

We describe a decision support system that has been developed to  
inform management and planning in a portion of the St. Lawrence  
Estuary in Canada (covering the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park and  
the proposed St. Lawrence Estuary Marine Protected Area). The system  
is composed of a spatiotemporal, georeferenced database, a simulator  
(3MTSim) that reproduces the spatiotemporal movement of marine mammals  
and maritime traffic in the estuary, and data post-processing tools  
that can be used to analyse the output of 3MTSim. 3MTSim allows users  
to test different management scenarios for maritime traffic (e.g.,  
area closures, speed limits, regulations concerning the observation of  
marine mammals) in order to assess their effects on navigational  
patterns which may influence marine mammal exposure to vessels. 3MTSim  
includes an individual-based model of marine mammal movement patterns  
that has been elaborated based on existing telemetry data on fin,  
blue, and beluga whales as well as on land-based theodolite tracking  
of humpback and minke whales. Observations recorded aboard research  
and whale-watching vessels have provided the spatial data necessary to  
estimate species’ abundances and distribution maps that are used to  
initialise the whale model. Different types of vessels, including  
cargo ships and commercial whale-watching boats are also modelled  
individually, using an agent-based approach. The boat model represents  
the decision-making process of boat captains as a function of  
environmental conditions, the contextual setting, and their respective  
goals. An extensive database of real-time tracking data available for  
the different types of vessels, coupled with observations and  
interviews, has served in the elaboration of the boat model. In this  
paper, an overview of the entire system is presented and its  
effectiveness as a decision support tool is demonstrated via the  
results from a sample of scenario-based simulations.


Cristiane C. de Albuquerque Martins

Candidat au doctorat/Ph.D. candidate
Laboratoire sur les systèmes complexes/
Complex systems laboratory
Université de Montréal
Département de Géographie
520 chemin côte Ste-Catherine
Montréal (QC), Canada
H2V 2B8
Tél.: (514) 343-8064 / (514) 713-9486



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