Restricted grouper reproductive migrations support community-based management

Waldie, Peter A., Almany, Glenn R., Sinclair-Taylor, Tane H., Hamilton, Richard J., Potuku, Tapas, Priest, Mark A., Rhodes, Kevin, Robinson, Jan, Cinner, Joshua E., and Berumen, Michael L. (2016) Restricted grouper reproductive migrations support community-based management. Royal Society Open Science, 3. pp. 1-13.

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Abstract

Conservation commonly requires trade-offs between social and ecological goals. For tropical small-scale fisheries, spatial scales of socially appropriate management are generally small—the median no-take locally managed marine area (LMMA) area throughout the Pacific is less than 1 km2. This is of particular concern for large coral reef fishes, such as many species of grouper, which migrate to aggregations to spawn. Current data suggest that the catchment areas (i.e. total area from which individuals are drawn) of such aggregations are at spatial scales that preclude effective community-based management with no-take LMMAs. We used acoustic telemetry and tag-returns to examine reproductive migrations and catchment areas of the grouper Epinephelus fuscoguttatus at a spawning aggregation in Papua New Guinea. Protection of the resultant catchment area of approximately 16 km2 using a no-take LMMA is socially untenable here and throughout much of the Pacific region. However, we found that spawning migrations were skewed towards shorter distances. Consequently, expanding the current 0.2 km2 no-take LMMA to 1–2 km2 would protect approximately 30–50% of the spawning population throughout the non-spawning season. Contrasting with current knowledge, our results demonstrate that species with moderate reproductive migrations can be managed at scales congruous with spatially restricted management tools.

Item ID: 48474
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Additional Information:

© 2016 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.

ISSN: 2054-5703
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Nature Conservancy, Sea World Research and Rescue Foundation
Research Data: https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.26j85, http://dx.doi.org/10.4225/28/589265f48183c
Date Deposited: 23 May 2017 03:51
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 50%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160507 Environment Policy @ 50%
SEO Codes: 91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9199 Other Economic Framework > 919902 Ecological Economics @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960701 Coastal and Marine Management Policy @ 50%
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