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Mapping marine debris encountered by albatrosses tracked over oceanic waters

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Title: Mapping marine debris encountered by albatrosses tracked over oceanic waters
Authors: Nishizawa, Bungo Browse this author
Thiebot, Jean-Baptiste Browse this author
Sato, Fumio Browse this author
Tomita, Naoki Browse this author
Yoda, Ken Browse this author
Yamashita, Rei Browse this author
Takada, Hideshige Browse this author
Watanuki, Yutaka Browse this author
Issue Date: 25-May-2021
Publisher: Nature Research
Journal Title: Scientific reports
Volume: 11
Issue: 1
Start Page: 10944
Publisher DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-90417-x
Abstract: Anthropogenic marine debris is a threat to marine organisms. Understanding how this debris spatially distributes at sea and may become associated with marine wildlife are key steps to tackle this current issue. Using bird-borne GPS- and video-loggers on 13 black-footed albatrosses Phoebastria nigripes breeding in Torishima, Japan, we examined the distribution of large floating debris in the Kuroshio Current area, western North Pacific. A total of 16 floating debris, including styrofoam (n=4), plastic pieces (n=3), plastic sheet (n=1), fishery-related items (rope or netting, n=4), and unidentified debris (n=4), were recorded across the 9003 km covered by nine birds. The debris was concentrated in the southern area of the Kuroshio Current, where the surface current was weak, and the albatrosses were foraging. The albatrosses displayed changes in flight direction towards the debris when at a mean distance of 4.9 km, similarly to when approaching prey, and one bird was observed pecking at a plastic sheet; indicating that albatrosses actively interacted with the debris. This paper shows the usefulness of studying wide-ranging marine predators through the use of combined biologging tools, and highlights areas with increased risk of debris exposure and behavioral responses to debris items.
Type: article
Appears in Collections:水産科学院・水産科学研究院 (Graduate School of Fisheries Sciences / Faculty of Fisheries Sciences) > 雑誌発表論文等 (Peer-reviewed Journal Articles, etc)

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