Important foraging areas of seabirds from Anguilla,Caribbean: Implications for marine spatial planning

Marine spatial planning(MSP) has become an important tool to balance the needs of commercial,economical and recreational users of the marine environment with the protection of marine biodiversity. BirdLife International advocate the designation of marine Important BirdAreas (IBAs) as a key tool to improve the protection and sustainable management of the oceans, including the designation of Marine Protected Areas, which can feed into MSP processes.This study presents the results of three years of seabird tracking from the UK Overseas Territory of Anguilla,where marine resources are currently relatively unexploited and MSP is in its infancy.The core foraging areas of 1326 foraging trips from 238 individuals, representing five species (brown booby Sula leucogaster, masked booby Sula dactylatra, sooty tern Onychoprionfuscatus, magnificent frigate bird Fregata magnificens and red-billed tropic bird Phaethon aethereus) breeding on three of Anguilla's off shore cays were used to calculate the hotspot foraging areas for each study species.These high activity areas were then compared with fishing activity within Anguilla's Exclusive Economic zone and to proposed coastal developments.Two marine IBAs were identified within Anguilla's waters: the first to be defined, using seabird tracking data,in the Caribbea nregion. Whilst the level of fishing activity and associated seabird by-catch is hard to quantify, the core foraging areas  f seabirds breeding in Anguilla were observed to overlap with areas known for high fishing activity. These findings highlight the need to work both nationally and across territorial boundaries to
implement appropriate marine spatial planning.

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