Featured Stories

Protecting Changing Oceans

Ecological Forecasts to Improve Fisheries Sustainability

In 1872, Yellowstone National Park was established to "provide against the wanton destruction of the fish and game found within said park", and so the world’s first protected area was created. The problem, which has been featured in the news cycle many times over the past decade, is that fish and game may roam beyond park borders, and thereby out of park protection. This problem can be exacerbated when protected areas, which were originally designed for land, are applied in the ever-changing oceanic environment. Unlike their land-dwelling counterparts, the movements of marine animals such as whales and turtles are not restricted by mountain ranges, canyons, or roads. The ocean is more dynamic than land. And, in response, marine species vary their movements to a much greater extent as entire communities shift to remain within suitable habitats, and individuals (or groups) swim through sociopolitical borders superimposed onto the marinescape in search of food or a mate. So how can we manage the movements of marine species? To address this question, our team is developing dynamic ocean management strategies that are able to follow the species they are designed to protect in real-time.

Continue reading article in the November/December issue for ECO magazine by following this link.

By Heather Welch, Elliott Hazen, and Stephanie Brodie (NOAA / University of California Santa Cruz)

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