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Shipping and environmental pressure: Ship-whale interactions off the Guadeloupe archipelago

Abstract : The Guadeloupe archipelago is home to a rich and precious marine biodiversity that concerns all levels of food webs, including marine mammals. More than 20 species of cetaceans have been listed in the archipelago, which is part of the Agoa sanctuary, a marine protected area in the French Caribbean waters dedicated to marine mammals. Some species are well known, abundant throughout the year (bottlenose dolphins, sperm whales) or only during certain periods determined by their migratory routes, such as humpback whales. Other species are rarer, difficult to observe and data are lacking to estimate their status in the archipelago. Maritime traffic is an activity growing locally in the context of the expansion of the Grand Port Maritime de Guadeloupe. Its potential and real impacts on marine ecosystems are particularly difficult to decipher. Concerning cetaceans, considered here both as emblematic species and as sentinel species of the quality of the natural environment, the impacts can be direct (collisions, disturbances) or indirect (noise or chemical pollution for example). We studied the interactions between cetaceans and maritime traffic in the Guadeloupe archipelago, using complementary approaches: (i) maritime traffic was spatially characterized in detail by AIS data analysis, (ii) the presence of cetaceans was studied over the long term through citizen science monitoring, and (iii) the preferential habitats of cetaceans in the archipelago were estimated by comparative analysis of the known behaviors of each species and the underwater topography. We were thus able to model the potential pressures exerted by maritime traffic on cetaceans in Guadeloupe, by distinguishing both areas at risk and species likely to be particularly affected. The contributions of this work represent a valuable aid to the definition of public policies for the conservation of the natural marine environment.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03704048
Contributor : Iwan Le Berre Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, June 24, 2022 - 3:10:57 PM
Last modification on : Monday, July 18, 2022 - 8:24:10 AM

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  • HAL Id : hal-03704048, version 1

Citation

Jean-Luc Jung, Iwan I. Le Berre, Bénédicte Madon, Laurent Bouveret, Benjamin de Montgolfier, et al.. Shipping and environmental pressure: Ship-whale interactions off the Guadeloupe archipelago. Séminaire 2022 du LabEx DRIIHM, Jun 2022, Nantes, France. 9, 2022. ⟨hal-03704048⟩

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