John H Prescott Marine Laboratory

Boston, MA, United States

John H Prescott Marine Laboratory

Boston, MA, United States
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Rhyne A.L.,John H Prescott Marine Laboratory | Rhyne A.L.,Roger Williams University | Tlusty M.F.,John H Prescott Marine Laboratory | Tlusty M.F.,University of Massachusetts Boston | And 3 more authors.
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability | Year: 2014

Coral reefs are at the brink of a global, system-wide collapse. Human populations living at the water's edge are a vital key to the long-term survival and maintenance of these global biodiversity hotpots. Global trade combined with high levels of poverty threatens to siphon out biodiversity riches from developing nations to the developed world for short-term gains. The difficult challenge for local governance, conservationists, and resource managers alike is to create and maintain as diverse and well-functioning a Coral Reef Socio-Ecological System (CRSES) as possible. A fundamental shift in the structure of business practices, incentives and values are needed to move the marine aquarium trade to a more sustainable state. Rapid growth in the cultured coral trade and better fishery management in small fisheries are bright spots in the marine aquarium trade, and demonstrate that this trade can be part of a broader solution to reef conservation. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Jordan L.K.,University of California at Los Angeles | Mandelman J.W.,John H Prescott Marine Laboratory | McComb D.M.,Marine Science | Fordham S.V.,a project of The Ocean Foundation | And 2 more authors.
Conservation Physiology | Year: 2013

Incidental capture, or bycatch, in fisheries represents a substantial threat to the sustainability of elasmobranch populations worldwide. Consequently, researchers are increasingly investigating elasmobranch bycatch reduction methods, including some focused on these species' sensory capabilities, particularly their electrosensory systems. To guide this research, we review current knowledge of elasmobranch sensory biology and feeding ecology with respect to fishing gear interactions and include examples of bycatch reduction methods used for elasmobranchs as well as other taxonomic groups. We discuss potential elasmobranch bycatch reduction strategies for various fishing gear types based on the morphological, physiological, and behavioural characteristics of species within this diverse group. In select examples, we indicate how an understanding of the physiology and sensory biology of vulnerable, bycatch-prone, non-target elasmobranch species can help in the identification of promising options for bycatch reduction. We encourage collaboration among researchers studying bycatch reduction across taxa to provide better understanding of the broad effects of bycatch reduction methods. © The Author 2013.

Merigo C.,New England Aquarium | Hunt K.,John H Prescott Marine Laboratory | Dodge K.L.,University of New Hampshire | Lutcavage M.,University of Massachusetts Amherst
Conservation Physiology | Year: 2014

The physiological status of seven leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) was assessed at two time points during ecological research capture events in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean. Data were collected as soon as possible after securing each turtle onboard the capture vessel and again immediately prior to release. Measured parameters included sea surface temperature, body temperature, morphometric data, sex, heart rate, respiratory rate and various haematological and blood biochemical variables. Results indicated generally stable physiological status in comparison to previously published studies of this species. However, blood pH and blood potassium concentrations increased significantly between the two time points (P = 0.0018 and P = 0.0452, respectively). Turtles were affected by a mild initial acidosis (mean [SD] temperature-corrected pH = 7.29 [0.07]), and blood pH increased prior to release (mean [SD] = 7.39 [0.07]). Initial blood potassium concentrations were considered normal (mean [SD] = 4.2 [0.9] mmol/l), but turtles experienced a mild to moderate increase in blood potassium concentrations during the event (mean [SD] pre-release potassium = 5.9 [1.7] mmol/l, maximum = 8.5 mmol/l). While these data support the general safety of direct capture for study of this species, the observed changes in blood potassium concentrations are of potential concern due to possible adverse effects of hyperkalaemia on cardiac function. The results of this study highlight the importance of physiological monitoring during scientific capture events. The results are also likely to be relevant to unintentional leatherback capture events (e.g. fisheries interactions), when interactions may be more prolonged or extreme. © The Author 2014.

Jin D.,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | Hoagland P.,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | Wikgren B.,John H Prescott Marine Laboratory
Marine Policy | Year: 2013

Understanding the economic value of ocean space is critical for implementing marine spatial planning (MSP). Empirical data from 1999 to 2008 are compiled on the economic values arising from commercial fishing in the Gulf of Maine and adjacent areas. The data are analyzed to characterize factors affecting the spatial and temporal distribution of measures of economic productivity and fishing effort. The analysis consisted of four components: (1) estimation of net revenue at the 10-min square level by season and gear; (2) assessment of variability for catch revenue and catch per unit effort; (3) mapping net revenue and variability in the study area; and (4) estimation of interactions among catch, effort, season, and gear type. The results indicated that, at each location, average fishing efforts exhibited a positive response to increases in expected revenues and a negative response to variability in revenues. Most of the variability in catch revenue can be explained by changes in fishing effort, implying that the spatial patterns of fishery resources are relatively stable at the 10-min square level. An important conclusion is that a spatial scale of at least the 10-min square is appropriate for undertaking MSP involving allocations of commercial fisheries. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Stoot L.J.,Carleton University | Cairns N.A.,Carleton University | Cull F.,Carleton University | Taylor J.J.,Carleton University | And 5 more authors.
Conservation Physiology | Year: 2014

Non-human vertebrate blood is commonly collected and assayed for a variety of applications, including veterinary diagnostics and physiological research. Small, often non-lethal samples enable the assessment and monitoring of the physiological state and health of the individual. Traditionally, studies that rely on blood physiology have focused on captive animals or, in studies conducted in remote settings, have required the preservation and transport of samples for later analysis. In either situation, large, laboratory-bound equipment and traditional assays and analytical protocols are required. The use of point-of- care (POC) devices to measure various secondary blood physiological parameters, such as metabolites, blood gases and ions, has become increasingly popular recently, due to immediate results and their portability, which allows the freedom to study organisms in the wild. Here, we review the current uses of POC devices and their applicability to basic and applied studies on a variety of non-domesticated species. We located 79 individual studies that focused on non-domesticated vertebrates, including validation and application of POC tools. Studies focused on a wide spectrum of taxa, including mammals, birds and herptiles, although the majority of studies focused on fish, and typical variables measured included blood glucose, lactate and pH. We found that calibrations for species-specific blood physiology values are necessary, because ranges can vary within and among taxa and are sometimes outside the measurable range of the devices. In addition, although POC devices are portable and robust, most require durable cases, they are seldom waterproof/water-resistant, and factors such as humidity and temperature can affect the performance of the device. Overall, most studies concluded that POC devices are suitable alternatives to traditional laboratory devices and eliminate the need for transport of samples; however, there is a need for greater emphasis on rigorous calibration and validation of these units and appreciation of their limitations. © The Author 2014.

Danylchuk A.J.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Suski C.D.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Mandelman J.W.,John H Prescott Marine Laboratory | Murchie K.J.,The College of The Bahamas | And 3 more authors.
Conservation Physiology | Year: 2014

Sport fishing for sharks, including fishing with the intent to release, is becoming more prevalent within the recreational angling community. Common targets of recreational anglers are juvenile lemon sharks (Negaprion brevirostris) that frequent shallow tropical nearshore habitats. In this study, we captured 32 juvenile lemon sharks (530-875 mm total length) with conventional angling gear (i.e. spinning rods, dead fish bait and 5/0 barbed circle hooks) from the coastal waters of Eleuthera, The Bahamas, to determine the consequences of capture for individual sharks. Each shark was examined for hooking injuries, blood sampled to quantify physiological disturbance, assessed for reflex impairment and then monitored to assess postrelease behaviour and mortality. Four sharks (12.5%) died following release during the 15 min tracking period. Principal components (PC) analysis revealed four axes describing 66.5% of the variance for blood physiology parameters, total length and water temperature. The PC1 and PC3 scores, characterized by positive factor loadings for indicators of exercise-induced stress and blood ion concentrations, respectively, were significantly related to fight time but were not associated with short-term mortality. Short-term mortality was significantly related to factor scores for PC4 that loaded heavily for water temperature and total length. Ten sharks (31%) exhibited impaired reflexes, with loss of bite reflex being most prevalent. Sharks that died had the following characteristics: (i) they had two or more impaired reflexes; (ii) they were hooked in the basihyal; (iii) they exhibited no movement after the initial bout of directional swimming; and (iv) they experienced high water temperatures (i.e. > 31°C). Collectively, these results indicate that for juvenile lemon sharks inhabiting tropical flats, fight time can influence the degree of physiological disturbance, while water temperature contributes to the likelihood of survival following release. © The Author 2014.

Rhyne A.L.,John H Prescott Marine Laboratory | Rhyne A.L.,Roger Williams University | Tlusty M.F.,John H Prescott Marine Laboratory | Kaufman L.,John H Prescott Marine Laboratory | And 2 more authors.
Conservation Letters | Year: 2012

The international trade in corals used to be primarily a curio trade of dried skeletons, but now focuses on live corals for the marine reef aquarium trade. The trade is still rapidly evolving, creating challenges including the addition of new species that outpace effective management strategies. New species in the live coral trade initially command high prices, but as they become common the price radically decreases with feedback effects to the trade. To understand these trends, 21 years of live coral import data for the United States were assessed. Trade increased over 8% per year between 1990 until the mid-2000s, and has since decreased by 9% annually. The timing of the peak and decline varies among species, and is a result of the rising popularity of mini-reef ecosystem aquariums, the global financial crisis, and an increase in aquaculture production. The live coral trade offers opportunities for coral reef ecosystem conservation and sustainable economic benefits to coastal communities, but realization of these externalities will require effective data tracking. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Reeves R.R.,Okapi W ildlife Associates | McClellan K.,John H Prescott Marine Laboratory | McClellan K.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Werner T.B.,John H Prescott Marine Laboratory | Werner T.B.,Boston University
Endangered Species Research | Year: 2013

Since the 1970s the role of fishery bycatch as a factor reducing, or limiting the recovery of, marine mammal populations has been increasingly recognized. The proceedings of a 1990 International Whaling Commission symposium and workshop summarized fishery and bycatch data by region, fishery, and species, and estimated the significance of the 'impacts' of bycatch in passive gear on all cetacean species and subspecies or geographically defined populations. A global review of pinniped bycatch in 1991 concluded that incidental mortality in passive gear had contributed to declines of several species and populations. Here we update the information on cetacean gillnet bycatch, assess bycatch data on marine mammals other than cetaceans (i.e. pinnipeds, sirenians, and 2 otter species), determine where important data gaps exist, and identify species and populations known or likely to be at high risk from bycatch in gillnets. We found that at least 75% of odontocete species, 64% of mysticetes, 66% of pinnipeds, and all sirenians and marine mustelids have been recorded as gillnet bycatch over the past 20-plus years. Cetacean bycatch information in some areas has improved, facilitating our ability to identify species and populations at high risk, although major gaps remain. Understanding of the scale of pinniped and sirenian bycatch has also improved, but this bycatch remains poorly documented, especially at the population level. This study reveals how little is known about marine mammal bycatch in gillnets in much of the world. Even as other significant threats to marine mammals have become better documented and understood, bycatch remains a critical issue demanding urgent attention if there is to be any hope of preventing further losses of marine mammal diversity and abundance, and of protecting, or restoring, ecological health. © Inter-Research 2013.

Knowlton A.R.,John H Prescott Marine Laboratory | Hamilton P.K.,John H Prescott Marine Laboratory | Marx M.K.,John H Prescott Marine Laboratory | Pettis H.M.,John H Prescott Marine Laboratory | Kraus S.D.,John H Prescott Marine Laboratory
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2012

Entanglement in non-mobile fishing gear has been identified as one of the leading causes of mortality in North Atlantic right whales Eubalaena glacialis. To investigate this issue further, all available photographs of right whales taken from 1980 to 2009 were examined for evidence of entanglement with gear used in fisheries based on presence of rope or netting on the whale or scars inferred to have been caused by an encounter with rope. Photographs of 626 individual whales were assessed and 1032 unique entanglement events were documented. Of the 626 animals, 519 (82.9%) had been entangled at least once and 306 of the 519 (59.0%) had been entangled more than once. Males and females were entangled at similar rates. Juveniles were entangled at a higher rate than adults. On average, 25.9% of adequately photographed animals acquired new wounds or scars from fishing gear annually with no significant trend over time detected. However, the annual percentage of animals observed with rope on the body increased significantly during the study period, suggesting that it is becoming more difficult for whales to free themselves completely from fishing gear. Such high annual rates of entanglement remain a serious conservation concern for right whales because entanglements can have both lethal and sub-lethal effects. Federally required changes to fixed-gear fisheries in US waters have not reduced serious injuries and mortality to legally required levels. Here we show how documenting various annual rates of entanglement can monitor progress and impacts that fishing gear regulations may have on right whale recovery. © Inter-Research 2012.

Edquist S.K.,John H Prescott Marine Laboratory | Rotjan R.D.,John H Prescott Marine Laboratory
Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology | Year: 2012

Both ecological and social contexts are recognized as key variables in hermit crab shell switching behavior, but the impact of site variability on social shell choice has not yet been explored. Pagurus longicarpus marine hermit crabs are common inhabitants of highly variable intertidal habitats where they compete for gastropod shell resources. The goal of this study is two-fold: (1) to assess natural resource (shell) quality and use in the field; (2) to determine how differences in resource quality and ecological context affect social behavioral decisions in the lab. We used vacancy chain theory to analyze the impacts, benefits and consequences of shell choice on the population. Specifically, we quantified movement of shells through a group and described hermit crab shell decision patterns from two different intertidal populations: Beverly (rocky shore) and Nahant, MA (mudflat). Shell damage and shell fit are both known to negatively impact hermit crab fitness and survival; we found that Nahant crabs inhabited poorer quality shells compared to Beverly crabs. Similarly, Nahant crabs were more crowded and spent more time investigating shells. Despite the clear motivational and behavioral differences in populations, vacancy chain lengths were extremely similar between Nahant and Beverly populations, and chains always terminated when the vacant shell was highly damaged, suggesting that chain length is mediated most by shell quality. These results suggest that relative (rather than absolute) differences in resource quality may dictate the dynamics of social vacancy chain outcomes in this species. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

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