Nereus Fellow Guillermo Ortuño Crespo (Duke University) received the ‘2019 Dean’s Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Manuscript‘ as the lead author for the paper ‘The Environmental Niche of the Global High Seas Pelagic Longline Fleet‘, which appeared in Science Advances on August 8th, 2018. The paper is also co-authored by Nereus’s Daniel Dunn (Duke University), Gabriel Reygondeau (University of British Columbia – UBC), William Cheung (UBC), Derek Tittensor (Dalhousie University) and Patrick Halpin (Duke University). The award recognizes excellence in graduate student research, and has been awarded since 2008.

In the paper, Guillermo and co-authors create environmental predictive models that explore the spatial ecology and drivers of global fishing distribution of the pelagic long-line fishing fleet in the high seas (or Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction – ABNJ), which they do by using newly available satellite-based automatic identification system (AIS) data from Global Fishing Watch (GFW). They then discuss how these models can be used to explain and predict global long-line fishing effort in the high seas. Based on their results, the authors recommend three different ways their model can be used for management efforts: to identify areas where fisheries and bycatch species are likely to interact, and mitigate those interactions; to use existing model outputs to anticipate fishing effort distribution changes over the course of 12 months, or run the model for different species under various climate scenarios; and to improve monitoring and surveillance efforts by directing the attention of authorities to areas within their exclusive economic zone (EEZ) where long-line fishing efforts are likely to happen.

The above summary was adapted from the reference below:

Crespo, G.O., Dunn, D.C., Reygondeau, G., Boerder, K., Worm, B., Cheung, W., Tittensor, D.P., and Halpin, P.N. (2018). The environmental niche of the global high seas pelagic longline fleet. Science Advances, 4(8), Eaat3681. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aat3681 link

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