Managing fishing gear to encourage ecosystem-based management of coral reefs fisheries

McClanahan, T.R., Sebastian, C. Ruiz, Cinner, J., Maina, J., Wilson, S., and Graham, N.A.J. (2010) Managing fishing gear to encourage ecosystem-based management of coral reefs fisheries. In: Proceedings of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, pp. 1012-1016. From: 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, 07 - 11 July 2008, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA.

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Abstract

We present fisheries landing data from two poor tropical countries, Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Kenya, and show that each gear type has a unique and consistent partitioning of the species and functional groups it targets. Partitioning by gear can be used to influence ecological processes and biodiversity on coral reefs and to respond to disturbances such as coral bleaching. Hook and line capture a higher proportion of top carnivores and piscivores and target species with low susceptibility to coral bleaching. Traps, drag nets, and spear guns capture mostly herbivores and omnivores and target the highest proportion and number of fish species that are moderately susceptible to the impacts of coral bleaching. The use of specific gears can be actively managed to encourage the recovery of select functional groups and adaptively managed under conditions such as high erect algae cover, sea urchin dominance, low coral cover, and coral bleaching. We present a simulation and conceptual model that examine projected effects of the gear and effort on the yields in the coral reef ecosystem and suggest a mechanism for how this model might be practically implemented. Spear guns are predicted to have the highest diversity and yields of catch, but can also result in decline in herbivorous fishes, which has serious consequences for recovery and resilience of the system. Further understanding of fishing gear effects on specific fish functional groups at a broader selection of reef locations will be valuable in developing adaptive gear-based management in a changing climate.

Item ID: 5098
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
Keywords: climate change; coral reef model; ecological effects; fisheries yields; herbivory; trophic; cascades
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Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2009 04:56
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070403 Fisheries Management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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