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Sensor Ribuan Hewan Laut Bantu Pantau Perubahan Iklim

Selama ini, hewan laut semakin banyak dilengkapi dengan sensor lingkungan yang berisi banyak data oseanografi. Misalnya, ikan hiu, penguin, penyu, dan spesies laut lainnya dapat membantu manusia memantau lautan dengan mengirimkan informasi oseanografi melalui label-label elektronik. (David March, et al., 2019).

Data informasi dari sensor-sensor hewan laut dapat dijadikan sarana melacak perubahan iklim dan perubahan lainnya di laut. Begitu hasil riset dan kajian kolaborasi ahli oseanografi dan ekologi, Dr. David March asal University of Exeter (Inggris) dan koleganya asal Inggris dan Spanyol yang dirilis oleh jurnal Global Change Biology edisi akhir November 2019.

“We want to highlight the massive potential of animal-borne sensors to teach us about the oceans. This is already happening on a limited scale, but there's scope for much more. We looked at 183 species -- including tuna, sharks, rays, whales and flying seabirds -- and the areas they are known to inhabit. We have processed more than 1.5 million measurements from floating sensors to identify poorly sampled areas (18.6% of the global ocean surface),” papar lead-author studi ilmiah itu, Dr. David March asal Centre for Ecology and Conservation, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Cornwall, Inggris. (University of Exeter, 27/11/2019).

Tim ahli itu meneliti dan mengkaji potensi kontribusi instrumen dari hewan laut (animal-borne instruments / ABI) terhadap sistem pengamatan laut (ocean observing systems / OOS) sebagai dasar pembangunan program pemantauan laut yang terintegrasi kini dan ke depan. (Science Daily, 27/11/2019).

Dr. David March dan koleganya (2019) menganalisis kesenjangan riset dan kajian ilmiah saat ini tentang sistem pengamatan Argo jangka panjang (> 1,5 juta profil) dan mengkaji tumpang-tindih spasial dengan distribusi hewan laut dari delapan kelompok spesies utama (tuna dan billfish, hiu dan pari, penyu laut, pinniped, cetacean, sirene, burung laut terbang dan penguin).

Dr. David March dan koleganya (2019) menggabungkan distribusi 183 spesies dan pengamatan pelacakan satelit dari> 3.000 hewan. Tim ahli itu mengidentifikasi area-area potensial ABI dapat melengkapi OOS. Secara khusus, ABI memiliki potensi mengisi celah di laut marjinal, daerah upwelling, 10 m atas kolom air, daerah rak dan garis bujur 60° lintang. Pendekatan tim ahli itu dapat menjadi dasar perencanaan integrasi ABI ke dalam OOS global dan kawasan serta mengintegrasikan prioritas konservasi dan pemantauan laut.

"By comparing this with gaps in current observations by drifting profiling sensors (known as Argo floats) we identified poorly sampled areas where data from animal sensors would help fill gaps. These include seas near the poles (above 60º latitude) and shallow and coastal areas where Argo profilers are at risk of hitting the land. The Caribbean and seas around Indonesia, as well as other semi-enclosed seas, are good examples of places where Argo profilers struggle because of these problems,” ungkap Profesor Brendan J. Godley, ketua studi kelautan pada University of Exeter di Inggris. (University of Exeter, 27/11/2019).

Kolaborasi riset itu melibatkan sejumlah ahli ekologi dan oceanografi yaitu (1) Dr. David March asal Ecology and Conservation, University of Exeter, Penryn di Inggris dan CTS SOCIB – Balearic Islands Coastal Observing and Forecasting System, Parc Bit, Palma de Mallorca di Spanyol; (2) Lars Boehme asal Sea Mammal Research Unit, Scottish Oceans Institute, University of St Andrews, St Andrews di Inggris;

(3) Joaquín Tintoré asal ICTS SOCIB – Balearic Islands Coastal Observing and Forecasting System, Parc Bit, Palma de Mallorca di Spanyol; dan 4IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB), Mediterranean Institute of Advanced Studies, Esporles di Spanyol; (4) Pedro Joaquín Vélez-Belchi asal 5Instituto Español de Oceanografía, Santa Cruz de Tenerife di Spanyol; dan (5) Profesor Brendan J. Godley asal Marine Turtle Research Group, Centre for Ecology and Conservation, University of Exeter, Penryn di Inggris.

Hasil kolaborasi riset itu dirilis oleh jurnal (David March, Lars Boehme, Joaquín Tintoré, Pedro Joaquín Vélez-Belchi, Brendan J. Godley, “Towards the integration of animal-borne instruments into global ocean observing systems”, Global Change Biology, 2019). Proyek riset itu didanai oleh Fundación BBVA; European Union, Grant/Award Number: 794938; Spanish Government, Grant/Award Number: FJCI-2014-20 064 and CAS17/0 0193.

“It is important to note that animal welfare is paramount and we are only suggesting that animals that are already being tracked for ethically defensible and conservation-relevant ecological research be recruited as oceanographers. We do not advocate for animals being tracked solely for oceanography,” ungkap Profesor Brendan J. Godley (University of Exeter, 27/11/2019). 

Oleh: Servas Pandur