Nico de Bruyn, Principal Investigator of the MIMMP, has been involved in an exciting paper that has just been published online in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution. The review lead by Graeme Hays, Deakin University (Australia), and with contributions from a group of international colleagues evaluates how well marine animal tracking data has been translated into policy and conservation.
There have been efforts around the globe to track individuals of many marine species and assess their movements and distribution, with the putative goal of supporting their conservation and management. Determining whether, and how, tracking data have been successfully applied to address real-world conservation issues is, however, difficult. Here, the authors compile a broad range of case studies from diverse marine taxa to show how tracking data have helped inform conservation policy and management, including reductions in fisheries bycatch and vessel strikes, and the design and administration of marine protected areas and important habitats. Using these examples, we highlight pathways through which the past and future investment in collecting animal tracking data might be better used to achieve tangible conservation benefits.