[MARMAM] New publication: Exploring ship traffic variability off California

T.J. Moore thomas.j.moore at noaa.gov
Thu Sep 6 17:21:58 PDT 2018

My co-authors and I are happy to note that the following paper has been

Moore, T.J., Redfern, J.V., Carver, M., Hastings, S., Adams, J.D., and
Silber, G.K., 2018.  Exploring ship traffic variability off California. *Ocean
& Coastal Management* 163: 515-527 (DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2018.03.010).

Seaborne trade continues to grow and is an important component of the
global economy. Threats from shipping to marine ecosystems include oil
spills and other water pollution, air pollution, anchor scouring,
biological invasions, container loss, chronic noise, and collisions between
ships and large whales. Shipping and its associated threats can be
influenced by a suite of regulations and economic events. The dynamic
nature of ship traffic can be characterized using ship tracking data from
automatic identification system (AIS) technology. These data enhance our
ability to analyze the ecological threats from commercial shipping as a
component of spatially explicit risk assessments. We explore ship traffic
variability using a case study in waters off California. AIS data from 2008
to 2015 were used to evaluate the role of vessel emission regulations and
economic events on vessel routes and speeds. We document vessels navigating
around emission control areas (ECAs) or reducing speed when traveling
through them. Large freight vessels decreased speeds from 2008 to 2015 by
about 3–6 knots in many areas, with lowered speeds observed in areas of
both heavy and sparse vessel use. The timing and location of the speed
reductions appear to be most influenced by state and international clean
fuel standards, which required the use of more costly fuels. Therefore, the
speed reductions may have provided a more cost-effective means of travel.
We also found temporary speed increases off southern California when
vessels used longer routes to avoid traveling through an ECA. We conclude
that the establishment of ECAs had a profound influence on vessel routes
and speeds, likely due to the higher costs of clean fuels. Proposals have
come before the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to establish
clean fuel requirements in various locations around the world to reduce
air-borne emissions from vessels. Our research suggests such proposals, or
other events that may affect marine fuel prices, can have key impacts on
vessel behavior. Consequently, it is important to consider this variability
when designing strategies to minimize threats from shipping to vulnerable
biophysical systems.

Maritime shipping, Automatic identification system, Air pollution
regulations, Cetaceans, Slow steaming, Fuel prices

A share link is available and provides access to read and download the
article in the next 50 days (before October 26, 2018).  No sign up,
registration or fees are required.  The link is:


Kind regards,

T.J. Moore
La Jolla, CA
thomas.j.moore at noaa.gov
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