185 Offshore habitats of endangered large mobile species in the western Yellow Sea: Quality status under shipping pressure

Fan X., Zhang Q., Wu Q. (2024) Marine Pollution Bulletin, 204, art. no. 116565,  DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2024.116565

ABSTRACT: Increasing shipping pressure (SP) deteriorates offshore habitats of large mobile species (LMS) and invalidates marine conservation systems, while the threat of SP to the survival of LMS is not well understood. Here, for the 16 endangered LMS in the western Yellow Sea, we quantified their habitat quality in specific sea areas and conservation capacity of marine protected areas (MPAs) under SP, based on AIS (Automatic Identification System) data and an overlay analysis method for SP surfaces and LMS habitats. Results indicate that three specific sea areas have partially lost habitat function, and their MPA networks have also lost 66.7 %, 59.1 %, and 9.2 % of conservation capacity, respectively. To prevent the continued degradation and extinction of endangered LMS, urgent rescue efforts are needed. This study highlights the importance of monitoring offshore shipping pressure and LMS habitat quality, and the findings contribute to the adjustment of marine spatial planning and LMS protection strategies

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