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A network approach to migratory whale conservation: Are MPAs the way forward or do all roads lead to the IMO?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. University College London, United Kingdom.
2015 (English)In: Marine Policy, ISSN 0308-597X, Vol. 51, 1-12 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The objective of this paper was to analyse the challenges and prospects of regional MPA networks as an effective tool for the protection of wide-ranging cetaceans, focusing on the potential of the Specially Protected Areas of Mediterranean Importance (SPAMI) network initiative to contribute to the conservation of the Mediterranean fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus). One of the main threats to this vulnerable population is mortalities through ship strikes. It is argued that a SPAMI network does not have the potential to effectively reduce the threat of ship strikes on a firm legal, scientific and political basis, particularly given uncertainty over fin whale seasonal movements. Instead, an alternative sectoral approach to landscape-scale protection is discussed. Building on examples from North America, it is proposed that a wider spatial scale threat-based approach should be adopted, and that a regional network of restrictions of shipping activities through the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) will more effectively reduce the risk of ship-whale strikes. This is also more consistent with the ecosystem approach, since the emphasis is on ecological scales that cross administrative boundaries, even though it is within a single sector. It is concluded that mechanisms exist to address the challenges of implementing such an approach, and that sectoral measures through the IMO represent an important way forward for improving the conservation prospects for Mediterranean fin whales. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 51, 1-12 p.
Keyword [en]
Fin whales, Wide-ranging, SPAMI network, IMO, Sectoral regulations
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-114262DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2014.06.002ISI: 000348003700001OAI: diva2:798924


Available from: 2015-03-27 Created: 2015-02-25 Last updated: 2015-03-27Bibliographically approved

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