DPLUS168 Updates

It has been a busy quarter for the DPLUS168 seal by-catch project. But three highlights stand-out!

Firstly, our work on understanding spatial overlap between seals and fisheries was published in a highly regarded and open-access international scientific journal, Global Ecology and Conservation. This publication made use of fur seal tracking data collected during fieldwork in 2018 and 2019, to examine the at-sea movement behaviour (spatial location and dive) of female fur seals at the Falklands Islands and spatial overlap with commercial trawl fisheries. The research demonstrated a distinct spatial overlap between female fur seal foraging effort and commercial trawling activity within the Falkland Islands EEZ, particularly in areas associated with Patagonian longfin squid (Doryteuthis gahi) and common hake (Merluccius hubbsi). Importantly, the publication discussed the implications of the research (and the project) within the broader context of local prey-field dynamics and fisheries management in the Falkland Islands. Full publication available here: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2023.e02615.

We have also made good use of the more recent fur seal tracking data collected during fieldwork in 2023. Using these data, we investigated the spatial connectivity of marine predators over the Patagonian Shelf to assess the risk of highly pathogenic avian reaching the Falkland Islands. This research has been accepted for publication in Ecography, ranked as a very high-impact factor journal in field. The pre-print for this publication is available open access here:   https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2023.12.12.570574v1.

Finally, research from the project was also recently presented to an international scientific audience at the 8th International Biologging Science Symposium held in Tokyo in March 2023!

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Ross Road, Falkland Islands
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