Movement and spawning migration patterns suggest small marine reserves can offer adequate protection for exploited emperorfishes

Taylor, B.M., and Mills, J.S. (2013) Movement and spawning migration patterns suggest small marine reserves can offer adequate protection for exploited emperorfishes. Coral Reefs, 32 (4). pp. 1077-1087.

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Abstract

A critical feature of effective marine reserves is to be large enough to encompass home ranges of target species, thereby allowing a significant portion of the population to persist without the threat of exploitation. In this study, patterns of movement and home range for Lethrinus harak and Lethrinus obsoletus were quantified using an array of 33 acoustic receivers that covered approximately three quarters of Piti Marine Reserve in the Pacific island of Guam. This array was designed to ensure extensive overlap of receiver ranges throughout the study area. Eighteen individuals (12 L. harak and 6 L. obsoletus) were surgically implanted with ultrasonic transmitters and passively tracked for 4 months. Both species displayed high site fidelity and had relatively small home ranges. The home ranges of L. harak expanded with increasing body size. Feeding of fish by humans, which was common but restricted to a small area within the study site, had little effect on the distribution of the resident populations. L. harak made nightly spawning migrations within the reserve between full moon and last quarter moon of each lunar cycle, coinciding with a strong ebbing tide. Results indicate that even small reserves can include many individual home ranges of these emperorfishes and can protect spawning sites for L. harak. These species are heavily targeted in Guam, and there are major demographic differences between fished and protected sites. This study shows the potential for protected areas to sustain reproductive viability in exploited populations.

Item ID: 29802
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-0975
Keywords: ultrasonic telemetry; fish movement; home range; marine reserve; Lethrinidae; spawning migration
Funders: United States Fish and Wildlife Service Sport Fish Restoration Program
Projects and Grants: Grant Number F14-R-10
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2013 01:47
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060207 Population Ecology @ 34%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060201 Behavioural Ecology @ 33%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 33%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830201 Fisheries Recreational @ 50%
83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830204 Wild Caught Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) @ 50%
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