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Evaluation of the full set of habitat suitability models for vulnerable marine ecosystem indicator taxa in the South Pacific high seas

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Fabrice StephensonORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


© 2024 The Authors. Fisheries Management and Ecology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. In the high seas, regional fishery management organisations are required to implement measures to prevent significant adverse impacts on vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs). Our objectives were to develop habitat suitability models for use in the spatial management of bottom fisheries in the South Pacific and to evaluate these and existing models using independent data from high-quality seafloor imagery. Presence-only models for seven VME indictor taxa were developed to complement previous modelling. Evaluation of habitat suitability models using withheld data indicated high mean True Skill Statistic scores of 0.44–0.64. Most habitat suitability models performed adequately when assessed with independent data on taxon presence and absence but were poor surrogates for abundance. We therefore advocate caution when using presence-only models for spatial management and call for more systematically collected data to develop abundance models.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bennion M, Anderson OF, Rowden AA, Bowden DA, Geange SW, Stephenson F

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Fisheries Management and Ecology

Year: 2024

Pages: ePub ahead of Print

Online publication date: 16/03/2024

Acceptance date: 04/03/2024

Date deposited: 02/04/2024

ISSN (print): 0969-997X

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2400

Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Inc.


DOI: 10.1111/fme.12700


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Funder referenceFunder name
Fisheries New Zealand (Ministry for Primary Industries)