Examining the functional role of current area closures used for the conservation of an overexploited and highly mobile fishery species

McAllister, Jaime D., Barnett, Adam, Lyle, Jeremy M., and Semmens, Jayson M. (2015) Examining the functional role of current area closures used for the conservation of an overexploited and highly mobile fishery species. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 72 (8). pp. 2234-2244.

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Abstract

Protecting essential habitats through the implementation of area closures has been recognized as a useful management tool for rebuilding overfished populations and minimizing habitat degradation. School shark (Galeorhinus galeus) have suffered significant stock declines in Australia; however, recent stock assessments suggest the population may have stabilized and the protection of closed nursery areas has been identified as a key management strategy to rebuilding their numbers. Young-of-the-year (YOY) and juvenile G. galeus were acoustically tagged and monitored to determine ontogenetic differences in residency and seasonal use of an important protected nursery area (Shark Refuge Area or SRA) in southeastern Tasmania. Both YOY and juvenile G. galeus showed a distinct seasonal pattern of occurrence in the SRA with most departing the area during winter and only a small proportion of YOY (33%) and no juveniles returning the following spring, suggesting areas outside the SRA may also be important during these early life-history stages. While these behaviors confirm SRAs continue to function as essential habitat during G. galeus early life history, evidence of YOY and juveniles emigrating from these areas within their first 1-2 years and the fact that few YOY return suggest that these areas may only afford protection for a more limited amount of time than previously thought. Determining the importance of neighbouring coastal waters and maintaining the use of traditional fisheries management tools are therefore required to ensure effective conservation of G. galeus during early life history.

Item ID: 42519
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: acoustic telemetry, functional role, Galeorhinus galeus, nursery area
ISSN: 1095-9289
Funders: Winifred Violet Scott Foundation (WVSF), Save Our Seas Foundation (SOSF), Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2016 07:43
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070499 Fisheries Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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