MiCO: Migratory Connectivity in the Ocean

New report from MiCO team

Innovations in animal tracking technology are changing the way we think about how the world’s oceans are connected, providing knowledge on the migratory connectivity of populations and species to inform worldwide conservation and sustainable use.

MiCO bridges a knowledge communications gap between researchers and policy fora. The typical flow of knowledge from data collection to scientific publication limits access to that knowledge and is dependent on participation by each individual researcher in all relevant policy processes. Bridging consortia like MiCO provide mechanisms to increase access to knowledge, ensure that it is provided in a usable format, and allow contributors to track the impact of their work.

An new study is available in Proceedings B on “The importance of migratory connectivity to global ocean policy,” led by Daniel Dunn (University of Queensland & the Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab at Duke University) and Autumn-Lynn Harrison (Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center) with 69 co-authors. The paper discusses the current need and suggests recommendations to address the major gap between the large amounts of data being collected on marine animal movements, and the accessibility and application of those data for policy makers and managers. The paper also introduces the MiCO system, a prototype knowledge repository: https://mico.eco/system. Distinct from a repository aggregating data, MiCO seeks to create usable knowledge through model results that can be easily ingested or understood by managers and policymakers, while also garnering benefits for contributors. Specifically, the system never distributes contributed datasets, but freely disseminates synthesized area-use and (forthcoming) network models, and ensures attribution of all derived products back to the original contributors. This allows contributors to track the impact of their research by tracking the use of the derived products.

The MiCO concept and prototype system have already informed and received positive feedback from regional and global policy processes, as well as industry. If you are interested in contributing to MiCO or learning more, please reach out.