[MARMAM] New Paper: Assessing the Risk of Ships Striking Large Whales in Marine Spatial Planning
jessica.redfern at noaa.gov
Mon Mar 25 11:28:15 PDT 2013
We are pleased to announce publication of the following paper:
Redfern, J. V., M. F. McKenna, T. J. Moore, J. Calambokidis, M. L.
DeAngelis, E. A. Becker, J. Barlow, K. A. Forney, P. C. Fiedler, and S.
J. Chivers. 2013. Assessing the risk of ships striking large whales in
marine spatial planning. Conservation Biology 27:292-302.
The abstract appears below. Please contact me
(Jessica.Redfern at noaa.gov), if you would like a copy of the PDF.
Marine spatial planning provides a comprehensive framework for managing
multiple uses of the marine environment and has the potential to
minimize environmental impacts and reduce conflicts among
users.Spatially explicit assessments of the risks to key marine species
from human activities are a requirement of marine spatial planning.We
assessed the risk of ships striking humpback (/Megaptera novaeangliae/),
blue (/Balaenoptera musculus/), and fin (/B. physalus/) whales in
alternative shipping routes derived from patterns of shipping traffic
off Southern California (U.S.A.).Specifically, we developed
whale-habitat models and assumed ship-strike risk for the alternative
shipping routes was proportional to the number of whales predicted by
the models to occur within each route.This definition of risk assumes
all ships travel within a single route.We also calculated risk assuming
ships travel via multiple routes.We estimated the potential for conflict
between shipping and other uses (military training and fishing) due to
overlap with the routes.We also estimated the overlap between shipping
routes and protected areas.The route with the lowest risk for humpback
whales had the highest risk for fin whales and vice versa.Risk to both
species may be ameliorated by creating a new route south of the northern
Channel Islands and spreading traffic between this new route and the
existing route in the Santa Barbara Channel.Creating a longer route may
reduce the overlap between shipping and other uses by concentrating
shipping traffic.Blue whales are distributed more evenly across our
study area than humpback and fin whales; thus, risk could not be
ameliorated by concentrating shipping traffic in any of the routes we
considered.Reducing ship-strike risk for blue whales may be necessary
because our assessment of the potential number of strikes suggests that
they are likely to exceed allowable levels of anthropogenic impacts
established under U.S. laws.
Jessica V. Redfern, Ph.D.
Ecosystem Studies Program Leader
Marine Mammal and Turtle Division
Southwest Fisheries Science Center
National Marine Fisheries Service
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
8901 La Jolla Shores Dr.
La Jolla, California 92037
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