SEMINAR: Monitoring of pelagic species in large marine reserves: the missing piece in open ocean management
|Monitoring of pelagic species in large marine reserves: the missing piece in open ocean management : SESE Seminar
Pelagic fishes and sharks have been the target of an expanding industrial fishing fleet for the last 60 years, leading to depletions and in some cases, trophic cascades. Following widespread collapse of coastal fish populations, no-take marine protected areas (MPAs) are increasingly recognised as an integral part of ecosystem based management strategies, in combination with fisheries management. Empirical evidence of biomass recovery in coastal MPAs is now ample. With the relatively recent establishment of large open-ocean MPAs, there is a need to establish effective monitoring approaches to establish how pelagic species respond to this new protection. Here we demonstrate a novel approach to the sampling of pelagic species in two recently implemented MPAs, following mid-water baited camera trials in Shark Bay, Western Australia. These include:
1) A mid-water baited camera survey conducted in Australia’s newly established MPA in the Timor Sea, the Oceanic Shoal Commonwealth Marine Reserve (>70,000 km2), to assess spatial heterogeneity in pelagic species and their distribution relative to seabed features. A hundred and seventeen moored mid-water baited cameras were successfully deployed in seabed depths to 165 m.
2) A multidisciplinary sampling regime undertaken in a large (>500,000 km2) MPA, the British Indian Ocean Territory Marine Reserve, to establish techniques for monitoring pelagic species with respect to their distribution, abundance and biomass. Our approach combined mid-water baited cameras, hydro-acoustics and seabird surveys. A hundred and forty-four mid-water camera deployments were made, both moored to the seabed (n=30) and drifting in a long-line formation (n=105).
Our approach establishes that information on spatial heterogeneity and long term monitoring of pelagic species can be attained using non-extractive means only. The implementation of large-scale open-ocean MPAs closed to extractive activities means that monitoring methods and metrics pertaining to the efficiency of closures are needed. Ideally, such methods would also become standardized between regions and oceans. We recommend similar multifaceted, and non-extractive approaches in other large open-ocean MPAs.
Tom Bech Letessier, Centre for Marine Futures, Ocean Institute, UWA
Weatherburn Lecture Theatre, G40 Mathematics Building
Thu, 09 May 2013 16:00
Thu, 09 May 2013 17:00
Lorraine Dorn <[email protected]>
Fri, 10 May 2013 09:47
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