Patrick Lehodey and his team were awarded the Star of Europe Award for the MESOPP project

The 2019 Star of Europe Award was presented to Patrick Lehodey for the Mesopelagic Southern Ocean Prey and Predators (MESOPP) project in Paris in December. Patrick Lehodey is the leader of this collaborative Australian-European marine ecosystem project. He is also a co-founder and former chair of CLIOTOP . MESOPP involved a consortium of eight partners, including Collecte Localisation Satellite (CLS), the French Research Institute for Exploration of the Sea (IFREMER) and Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC) from France, the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Australian Anatartic Division (AAD) and the University of Tasmania from Australia, the British Antarctic Survey and the University of St. Andrews from the United Kingdom and the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) from Norway. The project has been developing standardised methods and datasets for assimilating acoustic biomass estimates of micronekton organisms in ocean ecosystem models. Star of Europe Award, created in 2013 by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, recognises teams of researchers for their European commitment and their work in co-ordinating projects. Congratulations to Patrick and the project team on receiving this prestigious award!

Published 16.12.2019 - Updated 16.12.2019

Tuna carbon isotopes suggest global shift in phytoplankton communities

Research by the CLIOTOP Marine Predator Isotopes Task Team was recently published in Global Change Biology. The study compiled more than 5000 stable isotope values from 2000 to 2015 of three tuna species sampled globally. Their analyses, unprecedented in scope and spatial range, found a decline in tuna δ13C values of up to 2.5‰ which was up to five-fold larger than expected from the Suess effect alone, i.e. fossil fuel-derived and isotopically-light carbon incorporated into marine food webs. The team used time-series analysis and Bayesian modelling to relate the observed temporal trend to various processes known to influence ocean carbon cycling in the global oceans. The study concluded that tuna isotope signatures are not only indicating changes in fossil-fuel derived carbon emissions but also a substantial shift in phytoplankton communities (from a likely dominance of larger diatoms to smaller coccolithophorids, flagellates or cyanobacteria).

More than 90% of the heat associated with global warming, and more than 30% of the fossil-fuel carbon emissions have been absorbed by the oceans. While such processes are predicted to impact marine biota through changes in ocean stratification and ocean acidification, current estimates of trends are based on localized ocean time series or satellite observations with significant uncertainties.

The findings from this CLIOTOP study could have broad ramifications for marine food webs. Such shifts in phytoplankton could decrease the availability of energy and some essential macro and micro nutrients to fish and human consumers. The study represents a heretofore unrecognized application of stable isotope analyses to reveal decadal changes in the ocean carbon cycle. Such empirical data will be invaluable in calibrating and validating global earth system models used by the IPCC to project the effects of climate change on oceanic productivity.

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Published 10.12.2019 - Updated 10.12.2019

I live by the sea - 2020 International youth photo and film contest

CLIOTOP co-Chair, Karen Evans is part of the international panel of judges for the 2020 I live by the sea photo and film competition. The competition is organised each year by Today we have in Poland, to encourage young people (from 5-21) to appreciate and learn more about the marine environment. 

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Published 23.10.2017 - Updated 23.10.2017

New CLIOTOP special issue - Tunas and their fisheries: safeguarding sustainability in the twenty-first century

Tuna are one of the pelagic species central to IMBeR´s CLIOTOP regional programme. The relationship of tunas to their environment has been studied for decades and is increasingly important as the effects of climate change become more apparent in the pelagic environment. Recent studies relating climate change to changes in movements and distributions of tunas are based on physiological studies on tunas and awareness of species-specific suitable habitats. This special issue focuses on these commercially and ecologically important species, with contributions on species, life history stages, fisheries, and bycatch, with the following contributions.

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