Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 27 Issue 04

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Volume 27, No. 4
Pages 134 - 145

Derived Ocean Features for Dynamic Ocean Management

Alistair J. Hobday Jason R. Hartog
Article Abstract

Primary environmental variables, such as sea surface temperature, wind speed, and chlorophyll, have been used widely in a variety of studies by biological oceanographers to explore the relationship between “physics” and, say, distribution and abundance of marine organisms. Fisheries scientists in particular have explored a range of relationships between physics and catch data to understand fish distribution and fishing impacts. The explanatory power of models based on such primary variables is typically limited and may not lead to insight into mechanisms behind the environmental associations. Variables that are more direct measures of habitat, such as thermal fronts, upwelling zones, eddies, and water column descriptors (e.g., mixed layer depth), may yield additional explanatory power. We have developed a suite of these derived variables and demonstrate their utility using examples from Australian fisheries and marine spatial planning. Refinement and access to derived variables may be useful in a range of applications, including catch standardization, habitat prediction, ecosystem models, spatial management, and harvest strategies, and will play an important role in the emerging area of dynamic ocean management.


Hobday, A.J., and J.R. Hartog. 2014. Derived ocean features for dynamic ocean management. Oceanography 27(4):134–145, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2014.92.


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