We rely on the ocean for a multitude of services, and managing the sustainable use of natural resources is a fundamental challenge. Post-doc Robin Elahi is using trawl fisheries in the Adriatic Sea as a case study to optimize the placement of a large marine protected area in the context of economic and conservation goals. The Adriatic is a prime example of a marine ecosystem with a long history of human activity, and is particularly interesting due to its semi-enclosed geography and international coastline.
Sharks and rays are among the most threatened large marine animals. Francesco uses synthesis and analysis of large datasets, historical ecology approaches, and citizen science to increase our understanding of the ecology and status of sharks worldwide, and inform and motivate their conservation (see http://baseline.stanford.edu ).
I am applying geoinformatics approaches to marine conservation problems. In particular, I develop spatial modeling methods to make better maps of human impacts on coastal and marine ecosystems, and to analyze uncertainty in such maps. This work will provide a better broad-scale picture of the spatial patterns of human impacts on the ocean, and thereby support marine spatial planning and management.
I’m studying the effectiveness of large marine protected areas and other fishery management strategies for the conservation of mobile species. As a primary case study, I am assessing the benefits and limitations of Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge for shark conservation in the central Pacific Ocean. I am also identifying hotspots of overlap between shark habitat and fishing activities in order to guide the allocation of conservation resources.