Evaluation of the effectiveness of marine reserves for transient spawning aggregations in data-limited situations

Grüss, Arnaud, Kaplan, David M., and Robinson, Jan (2014) Evaluation of the effectiveness of marine reserves for transient spawning aggregations in data-limited situations. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 71 (3). pp. 435-449.

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Many coral reef fish species form predictable, transient spawning aggregations. Many aggregations are overfished, making them a target for spatial management. Here, we develop a per-recruit model to evaluate the performance of no-take marine reserves protecting transient spawning aggregations. The model consists of only 14 demographic and exploitation-related parameters. We applied the model to a protogynous grouper and a gonochoristic rabbitfish from Seychelles and tested six scenarios regarding the extent of protected areas, the level of fish spawning-site fidelity, and fishing effort redistribution post reserve implementation. Spawning aggregation reserves improve spawning-stock biomass-per-recruit and reduce the sex ratio bias in protogynous populations for all scenarios examined. However, these benefits are often small and vary among the different scenarios and as a function of sexual ontogeny. In all scenarios, increases in yield-per-recruit do not occur or are negligible. The long-term yield increases due to spawning aggregation reserves may still occur, but only if spawning-stock biomass recovery results in a recruitment subsidy. Given these limited benefits, the value of no-take reserves must be weighed against those of other management options, such as fishing effort reduction and seasonal fishery closures. The latter is particularly appropriate when spawning and non-spawning areas overlap in space.

Item ID: 33725
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-9289
Keywords: coral reef fish, fisheries closures, marine conservation, marine protected areas, protogynous hermaphrodites, resource management
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© 2013 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Published by Oxford University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/), which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@oup.com.

Funders: French National Research Agency (ANR), Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Associations Marine Science for Management Program (MASMA)
Projects and Grants: ANR Systerra Program, grant no. ANR-08-STRA-03
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2014 09:37
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070403 Fisheries Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830204 Wild Caught Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) @ 100%
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