Please select your home edition
Edition
Pantaenius - Fixed Value

ARC- Sanctuary-grown fishes more vulnerable to haunting

by ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies on 22 Nov 2012
Sanctuary-grown fishes like this school of Parrotfish tend to be more ’catchable’ than ordinary ones according to a latest study by Australian marine scientists © J.P. Krajewski / ARC Centre of Excellence htp://www.coralcoe.org.au/
Fishes grown up in a sanctuary tend to be ‘pretty naïve’ and more 'catchable' than ordinary fishes based on a study conducted by Australian scientists from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.

Big fish that have grown up in marine reserves don’t seem to know enough to avoid fishers armed with spear guns waiting outside the reserve.

The latest research by an Australian team working in the Philippines into the effects of marine reserves has found there is an unexpected windfall awaiting fishers who obey the rules and respect reserve boundaries – in the form of big, innocent fish wandering out of the reserve.

'There are plenty of reports of fish, both adults and juveniles, moving out of reserves and into the surrounding sea. Having grown up in an area where they were protected from hunting, we wondered how naïve they would be with regard to avoiding danger from humans,' says Fraser Januchowski-Hartley of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.

The answer is: pretty naïve. 'Educated fish normally turn tail and flee when a diver armed with a spear gun approaches within firing range of them. The typical flight distance is usually just over four metres,' he explains.

'However in our studies of marine reserves in the Philippines, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea, where spearfishing remains a major way of harvesting table fish, we discovered that reserve-reared fish were much less wary and allowed people to get much closer.

'The fish are literally more catchable.'

The team studied fish across the boundaries of marine reserves from 200m inside the protected areas to 200m into the fished areas. They used underwater markers and measuring tapes to measure the ‘flight initiation distance’ of fish targeted locally by spearfishers. This indicates how close a skin diver can approach to a large fish before it decides to turn and flee.

They found that target fish living in fished areas were typically much warier of divers, and took flight at distances a metre or two further away, than ones living within the reserve.

They also established that the ‘naivete radius’, whereby more catchable fishes spill out of the marine reserves extended for at least 150 metres from the boundary.

The team’s findings suggest that fishers are more likely to catch fish that stray out of the reserve, and so improve the local fish harvest. This may help fishers become more supportive of marine reserves.

'In these parts of the oceans, spear fishing is still very much about survival for humans and putting food on the family table – so it is important that local fishers feel they are deriving some benefit from having a local area that is closed to fishing, or they may not respect it,' says Dr Nick Graham, a co-author on the study.

'This information is also useful in traditional reserves where fishing is taboo most of the time, but then they are opened for fishing by village elders just a few days a year.

'On the face of it, this work suggests that marine reserves can play an important role in putting more fish on the table of local communities in these tropical locations – as well as conserving overall fish stocks and replenishing those outside the reserve,' Januchowski-Hartley says.

The team’s paper ‘Spillover of fish naïveté from marine reserves’ by Fraser A. Januchowski-Hartley, Nicholas A. J. Graham, Joshua E. Cinner and Garry R. Russ appears in the latest issue of the scientific journal Ecology ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies website

Pantaenius - Fixed ValueHarken and Fosters -  Harken WinchesGuy Nowell - Blue 660

Related Articles

Reef sharks take small bites
Coral reef sharks eat prey that are smaller than a cheeseburger Sharks have a reputation for having voracious appetites, but a new study shows that most coral reef sharks eat prey that are smaller than a cheeseburger
Posted on 20 Mar
Suburbs to Sea - Stopping litter at the source
Over sixty people gathered at Point Cook Community Centre for a special ‘Movies and Muffins’ night to learn about litter Over sixty people gathered at Point Cook Community Centre recently for a special ‘Movies and Muffins’ night to learn about litter and its impact on the environment as part of Wyndham City’s Green Living Series.
Posted on 18 Mar
Good radio communication tips - Video
Good communications could make all the difference in an emergency at sea. Here's some great basic communication tips Good communications could make all the difference in an emergency at sea. Here's some great basic communication tips from Scott Walker and Mal Williams from Outdoors Group.
Posted on 10 Mar
We can fix the Great Barrier Reef
Leading coral reef scientists say Australia could restore Great Barrier Reef to its former glory through better policies Leading coral reef scientists say Australia could restore the Great Barrier Reef to its former glory through better policies that focus on science, protection and conservation.
Posted on 20 Feb
Great Barrier Reef marine reserves combat coral disease
A new and significant role for marine reserves on the Great Barrier Reef has been revealed A new and significant role for marine reserves on the Great Barrier Reef has been revealed, with researchers finding the reserves reduce the prevalence of coral diseases.
Posted on 20 Feb
Powerboat noise gives marine predators a deadly advantage
A pioneering new study shows the rate fish are captured by predators can double when boats are motoring nearby. A pioneering new study shows the rate fish are captured by predators can double when boats are motoring nearby.
Posted on 8 Feb
More recreational boaties wearing lifejackets
In good news for boating safety, more recreational boaties are wearing lifejackets the entire time they are on the water In good news for boating safety, more recreational boaties are wearing lifejackets the entire time they are on the water. Maritime New Zealand has released new research into recreational boating behaviour that shows in 2015 78 per cent of recreational boaties reported wearing a lifejacket the entire time they were on the water. This is up from 67 per cent in 2014, and 62 per cent in 2013.
Posted on 13 Jan
Eco-warriors Sea-Bin crowd sharing critical stage with nine days to go
The automated marina cleaning SeaBin project has raised 86% of their target with 9 days left. The automated marina cleaning SeaBin project has raised $198,020 of $230,000.00 with nine days left on their Indiegogo crowdfunding platform, but they need more help now.
Posted on 29 Dec 2015
Wellington boatie placed under 'house-arrest'
A boatie who had bought a “tired” yacht for just $500 online has had the vessel restricted to use on Wellington harbour A boatie who had bought a “tired” yacht for just $500 online has had the vessel restricted to use on Wellington harbour after threatening to sail to Westport without an engine, radio or safety equipment. Another online shopper did the right thing in buying an emergency beacon (EPIRB - emergency position-indicating radio beacon) before heading out in his boat.
Posted on 22 Dec 2015
New guidelines published for the servicing of inflatable lifejackets
Some inflatable lifejackets failed because they had not been serviced, and boaties were getting unclear information Concerns that some inflatable lifejackets failed because they had not been serviced, and boaties were getting unclear information, have led to new, national guidelines for safer use of inflatable lifejackets. The guidelines were developed by a nation-wide industry group representing manufacturers, importers, retailers, boating organisations and others
Posted on 14 Dec 2015