A recent study conducted by researchers at Ball State University in partnership with FishBrain, the world’s most popular fishing app, provides new insights into the “invasion superhighway” where aquatic invasive species are spreading across the United States. To do.
Using data from the Fishbrain app, which has more than 14 million registered users worldwide, researchers from the College of Humanities at Ball State University have uncovered the human movement networks that shape these intrusive superhighways. did. Ultimately, this study highlights not only the potential of extensive data sources such as Fishbrain, but also the important role anglers can play in preventing the further spread of aquatic invasive species.
Dr. Paul Venturelli, associate professor of fisheries and director of the Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences at Ball State University, said: program. “Technology has given us the tools to protect water bodies across the United States, and we must use technology effectively to protect aquatic life.”
Ball State University researchers involved in this study linked here include Dr. Venturelli. Jessica Weir, PhD Candidate in the Environmental Sciences Program at Ball State University. He’s Dr. Jay Bagga, a computer science professor. Associate Professor of Geography, he is Dr. Adam Berland.
The future of data and conservation
One of the key tools in the fight to protect aquatic life across the United States is data. Historically, it has been difficult to collect data on the migration of invasive species. Especially if this spans a large area and different jurisdictions. However, technology and data now offer a solution to this problem.
Ball State researchers, in partnership with Fishbrain, will use data recorded by millions of anglers over the past decade to understand the movements of aquatic invasive species and how they relate to angler movements. You can track how they are correlated. This provides an unprecedented understanding of the ‘superhighway’ of angler movement through which invasive species migrate.
The technology platform will serve as an educational tool to advocate responsible fishing practices, lead to action and help prevent accelerated transmission of invasive aquatic species. Continued collaboration of technology platforms to protect aquatic life will be an important tool in tackling invasive species.
“Collaboration with technology platforms like Fishbrain can provide data that help us understand the spread of invasive species, but this data can also be used to determine the need for cross-jurisdictional collaboration. ,” said Dr. Venturelli. “Our research shows that invasive species are moving across counties and states, so efforts to combat the spread of these species need to be equally far-reaching. The new knowledge gained will also help anglers protect the waters they fish by adopting sustainable fishing practices.”
An Angler’s Important Role
Ball State research shows that anglers can be part of the solution to the spread of invasive species by taking simple steps to adapt their habits. This includes avoiding fishing in different waters during the same 7 days. This helps prevent the spread of alien species in different bodies of water. Cleaning your fishing gear between uses is another useful step.
In the future, researchers hope to see more data on which sea areas are the largest hubs for invasive species. This will help anglers know where to pay the most attention and ensure that their fishing practice reflects this need.
Researchers at Ball State University have found that smartphone apps can effectively collect data critical to research, and that these tools can also help drive public engagement. By being part of the solution, anglers, along with other groups that visit waterways for recreation, can play an important role in contributing to data collection and preventing potential intrusions. increase.
Fishbrain CEO Johan Attby said: “Anglers can play an important role in protecting the environment, so it is great that sharing data on angler movements will help researchers better understand potential risks. We hope that by sharing our results, users will be encouraged to educate themselves about aquatic invasive species and how to prevent their spread.”