David Curnick’s research seeks to understand the spatial and temporal behaviour patterns of sharks and tuna, and how they interact with both marine protected areas (MPA) and fisheries. These apex pelagic predators are under increasing global threat from both legal and illegal exploitation. Therefore, understanding the role that large MPAs can play in the conservation of these species is crucial to improve their management. A focus of his current work is based around the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT). Through a multi-disciplinary approach of telemetry tagging, remote sensing and historic fisheries analyses, he is assessing the extent to which the BIOT MPA affords protection to these commercially important pelagic predators in the Indian Ocean. He is also investigating the impact of the on-going illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and the potential impact of fish aggregation devices (FADs) on the MPA.
He also continues to work on a number of other projects broadly based around conservation and marine ecology. Most notable is his research on mangroves, coral reefs and the European eel. In his spare time, David is a keen wildlife photographer and is currently investigating how we can maximize the use of photography to understand the natural world and apply this technology to new areas of science.