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Oceanographic influences on the dive behavior of juvenile loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) in the North Pacific Ocean
Howell, E.A.; Dutton, P.H.; Polovina, J.J.; Bailey, H.; Parker, D.M.; Balazs, G.H. (2010). Oceanographic influences on the dive behavior of juvenile loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) in the North Pacific Ocean. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 157(5): 1011-1026. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-009-1381-0
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Howell, E.A.
  • Dutton, P.H.
  • Polovina, J.J.
  • Bailey, H.
  • Parker, D.M.
  • Balazs, G.H.

Abstract
    Satellite telemetry data from 17 juvenile loggerhead turtles (43.5–66.5 cm straight carapace length) were used in conjunction with oceanographic data to analyze the influence of regional and seasonal oceanography on dive behavior in the North Pacific Ocean. Combined dive behavior for all individuals showed that turtles spent more than 80% of their time at depths <5 m, and more than 90% of their time at depths <15 m. Multivariate classifications of dive data revealed four major dive types, three representing deeper, longer dives, and one representing shallower dives shorter in duration. Turtles exhibited variability in these dive types across oceanographic regions, with deeper, longer dives in the Hawaii longline swordfish fishing grounds during the first quarter of the year, as well as in the Kuroshio Extension Bifurcation Region and the region near the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico. Turtles in the Kuroshio Extension Bifurcation Region also exhibited dive variability associated with mesoscale eddy features, with turtles making deeper, longer dives while associated with the strongest total kinetic energy. Turtles in the central North Pacific exhibited seasonality in dive behavior that appeared to reflect synchronous latitudinal movements with the North Pacific Subtropical Front and the associated seasonal, large-scale oceanography. Turtles made deeper, longer dives during the first quarter of the year within this region, the reported time and area where the highest loggerhead bycatch occurs by the longline fishery. These results represent the first comprehensive study of dive data for this species in this region. The increased understanding of juvenile loggerhead dive behavior and the influences of oceanography on dive variability should provide further insight into why interactions with longline fisheries occur and suggest methods for reducing the bycatch of this threatened species.

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