Sea cucumbers in the Seychelles: effects of marine protected areas on high-value species

Cariglia, Nicoletta, Wilson, Shaun K., Graham, Nicholas A.J., Fisher, Rebecca, Robinson, Jan, Aumeeruddy, Riaz, Quatre, Rodney, and Polunin, Nicholas V.C. (2013) Sea cucumbers in the Seychelles: effects of marine protected areas on high-value species. Aquatic Conservation, 23 (3). pp. 418-428.

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Abstract

1. In tropical regions all over the world, holothurian (sea cucumber) fisheries are an important source of income for local communities.

2. Almost all fisheries targeting holothurians are considered fully exploited or in decline, and several fisheries have collapsed.

3. This study examined the differences in abundance of commercially exploited and ecologically important coral reef holothurian species between long established marine protected areas (MPAs) and unprotected areas in the inner islands of the Seychelles.

4. Over a period of 1 month, 21 sites across the inner islands of the Seychelles were surveyed, nine of which were within MPAs.

5. The probability of observing holothurians in areas protected from fishing (similar to 80%) was twice that in areas subjected to fishing.

6. The probability of observing holothurians of high or medium commercial value in counts was 10-fold greater inside rather than outside MPAs.

7. Habitat was an important determinant of holothurian presence: occurrence of high and medium value holothurians was associated with rock and coral habitats.

8. MPAs may help conserve high densities of holothurians of economic importance.

Item ID: 28732
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1099-0755
Keywords: holothurians, Seychelles, coral reefs, marine protected areas, overfishing, fisheries management tools
Funders: Leverhulme Trust, Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: F/00 125/ M
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2013 05:29
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830299 Fisheries- Wild Caught not elsewhere classified @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 40%
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