‘Oceanographer Turtles: Observation platforms for the conservation and dynamic management of the ocean (Oceanographer Turtles)’

Grants for research teams

Ecology and Conservation Biology

2016

The project ‘Oceanographer Turtles’ sets out to explore the role of operational ecology in the dynamic management of the ocean. Our case study is that of a pelagic predator and threatened species, the loggerhead sea turtle (‘Caretta caretta’), in western Mediterranean waters.

 

DIRECTOR

David March Morlá, Postdoctoral fellow, CTS SOCIB

 

RESEARCH TEAM

Joaquín Tintoré Subirana, Diego Álvarez Berastegui y Baptiste Mourre, SOCIB; Ananda Pascual Ascaso, IMEDEA; y Ricardo Sagarminaga van Buiten, ALNITAK Cultural Association.

COLLABORATING INSTITUTIONS

Sistema de Observación Costero de las Illes Balears (ICTS SOCIB)

 

DESCRIPTION

The project “Oceanographer Turtles” sets out to explore the role of operational ecology in the dynamic management of the ocean. Our case study is that of a pelagic predator and threatened species, the loggerhead sea turtle (‘Caretta caretta’), in western Mediterranean waters.

The project sets out to demonstrate that a change of paradigm in oceanic observation, anchored on new multiplatform systems, can contribute to the conservation of threatened species. Over its 18 months’ duration, diverse electronic monitoring systems will be integrated with oceanic observation and forecasting platforms.

The project is organized into three stages.

The first will comprise the analysis of historical turtle monitoring data by reference to mesoscale environmental factors and human impacts.

The second will consist of an innovative multiplatform experiment to integrate data in real time and analyze turtles’ movement patterns relative to sub mesoscale oceanographic structures.

In the third and final stage, the team will work with public authorities and conservationist bodies to design risk mitigation techniques for two concrete cases: i) the accidental capture of turtles by the longline fishing fleet, and ii) the release of individuals from recovery centers.

The project’s findings will provide a scientific foundation for the development of risk mitigation techniques based on new oceanic observation and forecasting platforms.