In the end, all work that is being done at Marine Animal Ecology is towards a better conservation of marine ecosystems. Well-preserved ecosystems will hopefully have increased resistance and resilience for climate change. Some specific examples where Marine Animal Ecology is working towards ecosystem conservation include the following projects.
Cetacean conservation in Indonesia
Cetaceans are top predators in the marine foodweb, and as such are important indicators of a healthy marine environment. is working on mapping out cetacean migration patterns from historical and current data to fill knowledge gaps in cetacean occurrence in the Indo-Pacific. Knowing where cetaceans occur and uncovering their habitat preference will improve Marine Spatial Planning and allow us to better design Marine Protected Areas.
Reintroducing European sturgeon
The European sturgeon, a living fossil growing up to 5 meters is on the brink of extinction in the wild. Reintroduction efforts are on the way in introducing this species in Europe's rivers, including the Rhine. will tag sturgeons and track their outmigration routes. Furthermore, the cooperation potential of commercial fishermen will be assessed.
Connectivity and resilience of Marine Protected Areas
Marine Protected Areas are designed to give relief to marine ecosystems and allow them to recover from for instance fishing activities. In the Bird's Head Seascape in Indonesia, a network of MPAs is established. However, there is a lack of fundamental insights into ecology, hydrology and connectivity of these protected areas. aims to fill these knowledge gaps in order to ensure effectiveness of protected areas.
Conservation of jellyfish lakes in Indonesia
Jellyfish lakes are landlocked bodies of seawater filled with immense populations of the golden jellyfish Mastigias papua. Worldwide, only a handful of these jellyfish lakes are known, and as such they are becoming more and more popular tourist destinations. However, since the lakes are small, tourists can have big effects on the populations, for instance through the introduction of sunscreen pollution. focusses on monitoring the effects of tourism on jellyfish populations.
Sea turtle conservation
aims to fill gaps in baseline knowledge on green and hawksbill turtles in the Dutch Caribbean. They use an integrated combination of molecular tools, satellite tracking, isotope analysis and habitat mapping to better conserve fragile turtle populations.
Techniques used & Implications
To conserve ecosystems, Marine Animal Ecology performs and . We use , study and examine . Conserving ecosystems will help them attain .