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Reply to: Caution over the use of ecological big data for conservation

The Original Article was published on 07 July 2021

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Fig. 1: Comparing AIS longline fishing datasets.
Fig. 2: Example effects of random deletions of fishing effort data on exposure risk patterns.

Data availability

Data used to prepare the maps (shark relative spatial density, longline-fishing effort and shark–longline-fishing overlap and FEI) are available on GitHub (

Code availability

Code used to prepare the maps (shark relative spatial density, longline-fishing effort and shark–longline-fishing overlap and FEI) is available on GitHub (


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Funding support was provided by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) (NE/R00997/X/1), European Research Council (ERC-AdG-2019 883583 OCEAN DEOXYFISH) (D.W.S.), Australian Research Council (ARC DP210103091) (A.M.M.S. and D.W.S.), Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia CEECIND/02857/2018 (N.Q.), PTDC/BIA-COM/28855/2017 (M.V.) and a 2020 Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation (A.M.M.S.). This research is part of the Global Shark Movement Project (

Author information




N.Q. and D.W.S. planned the data analysis. N.Q. led the data analysis with contributions from M.V. and D.W.S. N.E.H. contributed analysis tools. D.W.S. led the manuscript writing with contributions from N.Q., N.E.H. and all authors. Seven of the original authors were not included in the Reply authorship; two authors retired from science and the remaining five, although supportive of our Reply, declined to join the authorship due to potential conflicts of interest with the authors of the Comment and/or their institutions.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to David W. Sims.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Extended data figures and tables

Extended Data Fig. 1 Comparing shark exposure risk between AIS longline fishing effort datasets.

ad, Estimated exposure risk of sharks to capture by GFW AIS longline fishing effort across ocean regions for Queiroz et al.1 (a) compared with three improved data releases since the paper was published (bd). The plots show minor effects of any changes on estimates of shark exposure risk from AIS longline fishing effort and confirm the global results and conclusions of our paper. a, Data from Queiroz et al.1. b, Data from GWF 2012–2016. c, Data from GWF 2012–2018. d, Data from GWF 2018.

Extended Data Table 1 Mean monthly spatial overlap estimates (%) of pelagic shark space use and AIS longline fishing effort for different AIS datasets
Extended Data Table 2 Effect of 1% random deletion of fishing effort grid cells within each region on risk exposure estimates
Extended Data Table 3 Effect of 5% random deletion of fishing effort grid cells within each region on risk exposure estimates

Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

This file contains Supplementary Methods, Supplementary Figures 1 and 2, and Supplementary Tables 1-7.

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Queiroz, N., Humphries, N.E., Couto, A. et al. Reply to: Caution over the use of ecological big data for conservation. Nature 595, E20–E28 (2021).

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