Consequences of global shipping traffic for marine giants

Vanessa Pirotta*, Alana Grech, Ian D. Jonsen, William F. Laurance , Robert G. Harcourt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Shipping routes in the ocean are analogous to terrestrial roads, in that they are regularly used thoroughfares that concentrate the movement of vessels between multiple locations. We applied a terrestrial road ecology framework to examine the ecological impacts of increased global shipping on “marine giants” (ie great whales, basking sharks [Cetorhinus maximus], and whale sharks [Rhincodon typus]). This framework aided in identifying where such “marine roads” and marine giants are likely to interact and the consequences of those interactions. We also reviewed known impacts of shipping routes on these species, and then applied the road ecology framework to detect unknown and potentially threatening processes. In the marine environment, such a framework can be used to incorporate knowledge of existing shipping impacts into management practices, thereby reducing the detrimental effects of future expansion of shipping routes on marine giants.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1987
Pages (from-to)39-47
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

Copyright by the Ecological Society of America. Article published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp. 39-47 by Vanessa Pirotta, Alana Grech, Ian D. Jonsen, William F. Laurance, Robert G. Harcourt. https://doi.org/10.1002/fee.1987. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

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