Coral reef fisheries often include multispecies catches that are rarely well monitored, making traditional fisheries management impractical in many places. Even with some form of fisheries restriction present, it is difficult to set management objectives and evaluate their effectiveness without clear ecosystem targets. I will outline our regional and global approach to solving these problems through multiple large-scale analyses of reef fish biomass. I start by highlighting ecosystem tipping points across gradients of fishable biomass and link these to a function-based approach to fisheries management. I go on to show that while more than 80% of fished reefs have lost more than half their expected reef fish biomass, few coral reef fisheries have collapsed completely, with the majority of fished reefs maintaining important ecosystem functions above biomass levels associated with a predictable series of rapid declines. Encouragingly, the majority of reef fisheries can maintain functionality by adopting one of several management alternatives that support both livelihoods and ecosystems. This large-scale analyses provides an empirical basis for relatively simple fisheries guidelines at the local scale, conditional on factors relating to environmental setting, catch composition, and social context. Where people want to sustain their fisheries and are willing to restrict them in some way, effective multispecies reef fishery management is possible in most jurisdictions.


MacNeil, M. A., Australian Institute of Marine Science, Australia, a.macneil@aims.gov.au

Graham, N. A., Lancaster University, United Kingdom, nick.graham@lancaster.ac.uk

Cinner, J. E., Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Australia, joshua.cinner@jcu.edu.au

Wilson, S. K., WA Department of Parks and Wildlife, Australia, Shaun.Wilson@dpaw.wa.gov.au

McClanahan, T. R., Wildlife Conservation Society, Kenya, tmcclanahan@wcs.org


Oral presentation

Session #:21
Date: 06/23/2016
Time: 13:45
Location: 310 THEATER

Presentation is given by student: No