Hands across the Pacific!

Because our experimental deployments occur in international waters, the stakeholders most relevant to this project include the citizens of Japan, where these loggerheads nest and will be reared, as well as the citizens of Baja California, Mexico and Southern California, USA, where tens of thousands of these turtles aggregate to feed. Under the US Endangered Species Act, NOAA has taken actions to reduce bycatch in the US longline fleet (Howell et al. 2008) and in Mexico, local communities have modified fishing gears to reduce bycatch (Peckham et al. 2007). Better understanding the oceanographic mechanisms that promote sea turtle recruitment into these areas through this research will help these management stakeholders make informed decisions. In addition, given that sea turtles are charismatic animals that have been noted to capture public attention, citizens from nations around the world will take an interest in this project. Because sea turtles must surface to breathe, our satellite tagged turtles will have their locations reported frequently, allowing us to immediately observe where the turtles move under different oceanographic conditions. This will provide a unique outreach opportunity given that the results of our experimental deployments can be offered to the public in near real-time. Utilizing a public facing website, complete with interactive mapping and sea turtle-related content for all ages, this project would create a great educational opportunity to engage interested individuals around the world to learn about how loggerhead sea turtles respond to climate variation, and ultimately, to directional climate change. Messaging will provide engaging insights into climate change and its likely impacts on an endangered species that crosses whole oceans.

Our research partnership also reaches across the North Pacific Ocean. All collaborators have been involved in the development of this research and will be actively involved in the implementation of project activities.

Stretch Contributor’s Pictures

Our PIs include:

Larry B. Crowder, Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University, Pacific Grove, PI and team coordinator. Larry brings decades of experience leading large interdisciplinary and global projects.

George H. Balazs, Golden Honu Services of Oceania and NOAA (retired), Honolulu. Co-PI. George has tagged 1000s of sea turtles around the globe and leads as liaison with Japanese partners.

Dana K. Briscoe, Cawthron Institute, Nelson, NZ, Co-PI. Dana led the analysis team and developed the “thermal corridor” hypothesis. She will lead the analysis team for this project as well.

Jeffrey A. Seminoff, NOAA, La Jolla. Co-PI. Jeff led the stable isotope research key our previous research. Jeff is also liaison with Mexican partners.

Jeffrey J. Polovina, NOAA, Honolulu, (retired).  Co-PI.  Jeff brings analytical skills and oceanographic experience to the project.

Local partners on this and previous research:

Alberto Abreu, Professor, Institute of Marine Science and Limnology, UNAM, Mexico City, Mexico. Eminent sea turtle researcher.

Masanori Kurita, Director, Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium, Nagoya, Japan. Supervisor of animal care staff rearing loggerhead juveniles.

Tomomi Saito, Professor, Usa Marine Biology Institute, Kochi University, Kochi, Japan.  Eminent sea turtle researcher.

Denise M. Parker, Golden Honu Services of Oceania, Newport, OR. Denise has experience in satellite track mapping and data archiving.

Marc R. Rice, Hawaii Preparatory Academy, Kamuela, Hawaii. Director, HPA Sea Turtle Research Program, specializing in satellite tagging of post-nesting hawksbill turtles and juvenile loggerhead turtles.  Collaborator with George Balazs on tagging 1000s of sea turtles.

Bianca S. Santos, EIPER, Stanford University. Bianca is a PhD student interested in the science/policy interface.

Calandra N. Turner Tomaszewicz, NOAA, La Jolla. Cali led the team on skeletochronology and stable isotopes and is second author on the Briscoe et al. 2021 paper. (3956 characters)