[Coral-List] New PhD: Untangling the origin and movement of ghost nets in the Indian Ocean to aid management and mitigation

Michael Sweet M.Sweet at derby.ac.uk
Thu Dec 21 13:21:22 EST 2017

Dear Coral List

I'd like to draw peoples attention to the first of two NERC funded PhDs on offer with a joint partnership between the University of Bristol and the University of Derby.

PROJECT TITLE: Untangling the origin and movement of ghost nets in the Indian Ocean to aid management and mitigation

Project Aims and Methods

The student will employ state-of-the-art biophysical modelling using Bristol University’s supercomputing facilities (BlueCrystal) to simulate the dispersal of discarded fishing gear across the Indian Ocean, in order to identify likely sources and accumulation zones. This will involve adapting the approach used by Bristol co-supervisors, Wood and Hendy, to identify the pathways that microscopic coral larvae take from one reef to another across thousands of miles. The model output will be combined with observational datasets including; a decade of tracked FAD (Fish Aggregating Devices) paths, records of recovered ghost nets from citizen science projects run by the Olive Ridley Project and the University of Derby (with co-supervisors Sweet and Stelfox) and satellite monitoring of fishing activity (with co-supervisor Kurekin) to backtrack the likely source of this marine debris within the Indian Ocean.

The project aims to:

(1) simulate the journeys of fishing gear that is discarded and lost from a diversity of Indian Ocean fishing grounds.

(2) identify the international fishing grounds likely responsible for ghost nets arriving at citizen science monitored sites in the Maldives Pakistan, Oman, Thailand, India and Sri Lanka. NERC GW4+ DTP Projects 2018-19

(3) identify where oceanographic conditions within the Indian Ocean act to accumulate ghost nets.

And (4) identify the high risk areas for net entanglement of marine species of conservation-concern status, i.e. where do accumulations of ghost nets coincide with migratory pathways of turtles or biodiversity hotspots within the Indian Ocean?

for more information and to apply go to https://nercgw4plus.ac.uk/project/untangling-the-origin-and-movement-of-ghost-nets-in-the-indian-ocean-to-aid-management-and-mitigation/

Kind regards

Dr Michael Sweet

Associate Professor in Aquatic Biology

University of Derby, UK

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