The distributions of migratory species in the ocean span local, national and international jurisdictions. Across these ecologically interconnected regions, migratory marine species interact with anthropogenic stressors throughout their lives. Population declines of many migratory marine species have led to calls for connectivity knowledge to be more systematically and synthetically incorporated into decision-making.

This study reviewed the concepts of migratory connectivity and their use in international policy with a special focus on areas beyond national jurisdiction. The study also presents the Migratory Connectivity in the Ocean system (MCOS), a migratory connectivity evidence-base for the ocean that combines efforts to move from data to usable knowledge.

This paper provides the current status of efforts to include connectivity in management and governance approaches, and reviews the information currently available to policy-makers and managers. It describes as well the MCOS that is supporting governance and management of transboundary species by aggregating, synthesizing and disseminating new knowledge on migratory connectivity in the ocean.

The authors of the study stress that without such a collaboration focused on migratory connectivity, efforts to effectively conserve these critical species across jurisdictions will have limited effect.

Dunn et al. (2019 The importance of migratory connectivity for global ocean policy. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 286:20191472