The importance of migratory connectivity for global ocean policy

Daniel C. Dunn, Autumn Lynn Harrison, Corrie Curtice, Sarah DeLand, Ben Donnelly, Ei Fujioka, Eleanor Heywood, Connie Y. Kot, Sarah Poulin, Meredith Whitten, Susanne Åkesson, Amalia Alberini, Ward Appeltans, José Manuel Arcos, Helen Bailey, Lisa T. Ballance, Barbara Block, Hannah Blondin, Andre M. Boustany, Jorge BrennerPaulo Catry, Daniel Cejudo, Jesse Cleary, Peter Corkeron, Daniel P. Costa, Michael Coyne, Guillermo Ortuño Crespo, Tammy E. Davies, Maria P. Dias, Fanny Douvere, Francesco Ferretti, Angela Formia, David Freestone, Ari S. Friedlaender, Heidrun Frisch-Nwakanma, Christopher Barrio Froján, Kristina M. Gjerde, Lyle Glowka, Brendan J. Godley, Jacob Gonzalez-Solis, José Pedro Granadeiro, Vikki Gunn, Yuriko Hashimoto, Lucy M. Hawkes, Graeme C. Hays, Carolina Hazin, Jorge Jimenez, David E. Johnson, Paolo Luschi, Sara M. Maxwell, Catherine McClellan, Michelle Modest, Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara, Alejandro Herrero Palacio, Daniel M. Palacios, Andrea Pauly, Matt Rayner, Alan F. Rees, Erick Ross Salazar, David Secor, Ana M.M. Sequeira, Mark Spalding, Fernando Spina, Sofie Van Parijs, Bryan Wallace, Nuria Varo-Cruz, Melanie Virtue, Henri Weimerskirch, Laurie Wilson, Bill Woodward, Patrick N. Halpin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


The distributions of migratory species in the ocean span local, national and international jurisdictions. Across these ecologically interconnected regions, migratory marine species interact with anthropogenic stressors throughout their lives. Migratory connectivity, the geographical linking of individuals and populations throughout their migratory cycles, influences how spatial and temporal dynamics of stressors affect migratory animals and scale up to influence population abundance, distribution and species persistence. Population declines of many migratory marine species have led to calls for connectivity knowledge, especially insights from animal tracking studies, to be more systematically and synthetically incorporated into decision-making. Inclusion of migratory connectivity in the design of conservation and management measures is critical to ensure they are appropriate for the level of risk associated with various degrees of connectivity. Three mechanisms exist to incorporate migratory connectivity into international marine policy which guides conservation implementation: site-selection criteria, network design criteria and policy recommendations. Here, we review the concept of migratory connectivity and its use in international policy, and describe the Migratory Connectivity in the Ocean system, a migratory connectivity evidence-base for the ocean. We propose that without such collaboration focused on migratory connectivity, efforts to effectively conserve these critical species across jurisdictions will have limited effect.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20191472
Number of pages1
JournalProceedings. Biological sciences
Issue number1911
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sep 2019


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