03 January 2013
Scientists working for the Department of the Environment have broken new ground in a study of the habits of local marine life.
Research by Marine Resources together with the University of Hawaii and others has been published in a UK peer-reviewed scientific journal, the Journal of the Marine Biological Association.
The research project used acoustic tags to track ballan wrasse and ray species over a period of up to two years. The work gave insight into patterns of daily, seasonal and annual behaviour and the ranges they travel during their daily lives.
The lead author of the paper, Greg Morel, is marine and coastal manager for the Marine Resources section of the Department of the Environment. He said: “Although the technology has been used around the globe, particularly America, for a number of years, it is the first time these species have been tracked using this technology here. It provides a huge amount of data to support the management of local waters.”
Assistant Director, Marine Resources, Mike Smith, said: “Jersey is a responsible jurisdiction and, along with countries around the world, has signed up to a number of international agreements, this, plus our comprehensive plan for our coastal resources mean we have to abide by certain commitments – one of which is monitoring local species. This research will give us much needed information to base future plans on.”
The Marine Resources section of the Department of the Environment manages Jersey's marine environment; areas of work include regulation and research, marine spatial planning, policy advice and education.