Gear-based ﬁsheries management as a potential adaptive response to climate change and coral mortality
Cinner, Joshua E., McClanahan, Tim R., Graham, Nicholas A.J., Pratchett, Morgan S., Wilson, Shaun K., and Raina, Jean-Baptiste (2009) Gear-based ﬁsheries management as a potential adaptive response to climate change and coral mortality. Journal of Applied Ecology, 46 (3). pp. 724-732.
1. Climate change is emerging as one of the greatest threats to coral reef ecosystems. Climate-induced warming events trigger coral bleaching and mortality, which can indirectly affect coral reef ﬁshes. Managing ﬁsheries across coral mortality events is expected to inﬂuence the persistence of species and reef recovery potential. The most common management recommendation has been to prohibit ﬁshing using ﬁsheries closures, but this response often has limited support from resource users. 2. Here, we explore an alternative of managing ﬁshing gear commonly used in artisanal coral reef ﬁsheries. We examined ﬁsheries landing data from 15 sites in Papua New Guinea and Kenya to explore whether or how speciﬁc gears select for: (i) species that depend on coral reefs for feeding or habitat and are likely to be susceptible to the loss of coral, and (ii) different functional groups of ﬁshes. 3. Only 6% of the ﬁshes targeted by ﬁshers were susceptible to the immediate effects of coral mortality; however, loss of habitat structure following coral mortality is expected to affect 56% of targeted species. 4. Importantly, 25% of target species had feeding characteristics (i.e. reef scrapers/excavators and grazers) that contribute to the recovery of coral reef ecosystems, and gears differed considerably in catches of these species. 5. Spear guns and traps target a high proportion of species likely to be affected by bleaching and key for the recovery of corals. These gears are strong candidates for management restrictions in reefs with high coral mortality. In contrast, line ﬁshing catches the lowest proportion of susceptible and recovery-enabling species and is preferential for increasing recovery rates on coral reefs. 6. Synthesis and applications . Fisheries managers will require a range of tools to meet the novel challenges posed by climate change. This study presents a way to help reduce the negative impacts of climate change and potentially increase resilience of marine ecosystems by managing ﬁshing gear. Speciﬁc gears used by artisanal ﬁshers differentially target ﬁsh functional groups. In the coral reefs that we studied, traps and spear guns targeted a high proportion of species highly susceptible to coral mortality and critical to coral reef resilience through their top-down control. Given that full ﬁsheries closures are not always practical, selectively banning or restricting ﬁshing gears is a potentially powerful tool for reducing the detrimental ecosystem effects of climate change disturbances.
|Item Type:||Article (Refereed Research - C1)|
|Keywords:||adaptive management; coral bleaching; climate change; herbivory; coral reef; artisanal fishery|
|Date Deposited:||03 Aug 2009 01:19|
|FoR Codes:||06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 40%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070403 Fisheries Management @ 40%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 20%
|SEO Codes:||96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960506 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960301 Climate Change Adaptation Measures @ 50%
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