Thresholds and multiple scale interaction of environment, resource use, and market proximity on reef fishery resources in the Solomon Islands

Brewer, Tom D., Cinner, Joshua E., Green, Alison, and Pandolfi, John M. (2009) Thresholds and multiple scale interaction of environment, resource use, and market proximity on reef fishery resources in the Solomon Islands. Biological Conservation, 142 (8). pp. 1797-1807.

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Reef fish are critical in maintaining the ecological function of coral reefs and providing food security for coastal communities in developing countries. Reef fishery stocks are under increasing threat from factors such as climate-related habitat degradation, land use practices, and resource extraction related to human population growth, direct consumption and increasing connectivity between the in situ fishery and fish markets. This study investigates how reef fish stocks are related to environmental, localised resource use and market proximity indicators across 51 sites in the Solomon Islands. Hard coral cover is the best indicator of total target fishery biomass, with cover of less than around 31% associated with significantly less biomass than sites with higher coral cover. Direct resource use indicators such as fish consumption and fish sale pressure were poor predictors of target fish biomass. Distance of the fishery resource from community, provincial substation, provincial capital and national capital are all significantly and positively correlated with biomass for four key fishery families: Acanthuridae (surgeonfish), Scaridae (parrotfish), Lethrinidae (emperor), Lutjanidae (snapper). Multiple spatial scale relationships are evident between market proximity indicators and Lutjanidae and Scaridae families. Thus, while pooled target fishery biomass is constrained by environment, analysis at fishery family resolution reveals the effects of anthropogenic impact through market proximity on constraining fishery biomass distribution in the Solomon Islands. This study highlights the need for reef fishery managers and conservation practitioners to focus attention on proximity of resources to markets to sustain the ecological health of reef dominated ecosystems.

Item ID: 8744
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-2917
Keywords: biomass midpoint; coral reef; regression tree; human population; spatial threat
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2010 00:01
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1604 Human Geography > 160499 Human Geography not elsewhere classified @ 35%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050299 Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified @ 65%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960699 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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