Cécile Trocado - France

 

Identification of candidate pelagic Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) off west Africa: evaluating their effectiveness in protecting marine predators and risk of fishery bycatch.

Marine Protected Areas are being implemented to shield ecosystems against anthropogenic threats. To do that, the use of seabirds is very interesting because they are umbrella species, so their conservation can impact the conservation of other species. In Cape Verde, there is a combination of important bird areas, intense fisheries and only a small MPA network. This study will provide new data on important areas for marine predators to allow the implementation of more MPAs.

We will use tracking data collected from 2013 to 2021 of two seabird species from Cape Verde, the Cape Verde shearwater and the Bulwer’s petrel, to assess their foraging distribution and then create a map of Key Biodiversity Areas using a R package, track2KBA. To understand the interannual use of these KBAs by both species, we will use the SEAPODYM remote-sensing project which provides simulations of the biomass and production of multiple parameters. Then, to estimate the threat of fisheries on marine predators, these sites will be compared to the fishery activities around Cape Verde, using the Global Fishing Watch data, and particularly industrial longliners because the seabirds get caught by the hook whilst trying to grab the bait. Finally, we will use data of the distribution of other taxa from previous studies to evaluate their potential protection given by the estimated Key Biodiversity Areas.