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A Spatially explicit risk assessment approach: Cetaceans and marine traffic in the Pelagos Sanctuary (Mediterranean Sea)

Pennino, Maria Grazia and Arcangeli, Antonella and Prado Fonseca, Vinícius and Campana, Ilaria and Pierce , Graham J. and Rotta, Andrea (2017) A Spatially explicit risk assessment approach: Cetaceans and marine traffic in the Pelagos Sanctuary (Mediterranean Sea). PLoS One, Vol. 12 (6), e0179686. ISSN 1932-6203. Article.

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DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0179686


Spatially explicit risk assessment is an essential component of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP), which provides a comprehensive framework for managing multiple uses of the marine environment, minimizing environmental impacts and conflicts among users. In this study, we assessed the risk of the exposure to high intensity vessel traffic areas for the three most abundant cetacean species (Stenella coeruleoalba, Tursiops truncatus and Balaenoptera physalus) in the southern area of the Pelagos Sanctuary, which is the only pelagic Marine Protected Area (MPA) for marine mammals in the Mediterranean Sea. In particular, we modeled the occurrence of the three cetacean species as a function of habitat variables in June by using hierarchical Bayesian spatial-temporal models. Similarly, we modelled the marine traffic intensity in order to find high risk areas and estimated the potential conflict due to the overlap with the cetacean home ranges. Results identified two main hot-spots of high intensity marine traffic in the area, which partially overlap with the area of presence of the studied species. Our findings emphasize the need for nationally relevant and transboundary planning and management measures for these marine species.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:11795
Uncontrolled Keywords:Exposure, fin whale, habitat, home range, marine species, Mediterranean Sea, non human, risk assessment, statistical model, Stenella coeruleoalba, Tursiops truncatus
Subjects:Area 07 - Scienze agrarie e veterinarie > VET/02 Fisiologia veterinaria
Divisions:001 Università di Sassari > 01-a Nuovi Dipartimenti dal 2012 > Medicina Veterinaria
Publisher:Public Library of Science
Copyright Holders:© 2017 Pennino et al.
Deposited On:22 Sep 2017 13:18

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