Fear of fishers: human predation explains behavioral changes in coral reef fishes

Januchowski-Hartley, Fraser A., Graham, Nicholas A.J., Feary, David A., Morove, Tau, and Cinner, Joshua E. (2011) Fear of fishers: human predation explains behavioral changes in coral reef fishes. PLoS ONE, 6 (8). pp. 1-9.

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Abstract

Prey flight decisions in response to predation risk are increasingly being considered in conservation and management decisions in the terrestrial realm, but are rarely considered in marine systems. This field-based study investigated how the behavioral response of coral reef fish families varied along a gradient of subsistence fishing pressure in Papua New Guinea. Specifically, we examined how fishing pressure was related to pre-flight behavior and flight initiation distance (FID), and whether FID was influenced by body size (centimeters total length), group size (including both con- and hetero-specific individuals), or life-history phase. Fishing pressure was positively associated with higher FID, but only in families that were primarily targeted by spear guns. Among these families, there were variable responses in FID; some families showed increased FID monotonically with fishing pressure, while others showed increased FID only at the highest levels of fishing pressure. Body size was more significant in varying FID at higher levels of fishing pressure. Although family level differences in pre-flight behavior were reported, such behavior showed low concordance with fishing pressure. FID shows promise as a tool by which compliance and effectiveness of management of reef fisheries can be assessed.

Item ID: 18002
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Additional Information:

© 2011 Januchowski-Hartley et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

ISSN: 1932-6203
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2011 23:00
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060801 Animal Behaviour @ 60%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070403 Fisheries Management @ 40%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830299 Fisheries- Wild Caught not elsewhere classified @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
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