Using species connectivity to achieve coordinated large-scale marine conservation efforts in the Red Sea

Abstract
In the face of increasing anthropogenic threats, coastal nations need to reach common ground for effective marine conservation. Understanding species' connectivity can reveal how nations share resources, demonstrating the need for cooperative protection efforts. Unfortunately, connectivity information is rarely integrated into the design of marine protected areas (MPAs). This is exemplified in the Red Sea where biodiversity is only nominally protected by a non-cohesive network of small-sized MPAs, most of which are barely implemented. Here, we showcase the potential of using connectivity patterns of flagship species to consolidate conservation efforts in the Red Sea. We argue that a large-scale MPA (LSMPA) would more effectively preserve Red Sea species' multinational migration routes. A connectivity-informed LSMPA approach provides thus one avenue to unite coastal nations toward acting for the common good of conservation and reverse the global decline in marine biodiversity.

Citation
Gajdzik, L., Green, A. L., Cochran, J. E. M., Hardenstine, R. S., Tanabe, L. K., & Berumen, M. L. (2021). Using species connectivity to achieve coordinated large-scale marine conservation efforts in the Red Sea. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 166, 112244. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112244

Acknowledgements
We are grateful to Dr. Thomas M. DeCarlo for helping construct the Red Sea map. All authors were supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).

Publisher
Elsevier BV

Journal
Marine Pollution Bulletin

DOI
10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112244

PubMed ID
33740655

Additional Links
https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0025326X21002782

Permanent link to this record