Periodically harvested closures (PHCs) are small fisheries closures that range from being mostly closed to mostly open to fishing. We provide the first comprehensive assessment of PHCs to provide short-term fisheries benefits across Fiji and the broader Western Pacific. PHCs in Fiji consistently decreased the wariness of larger targeted fish species, but were less likely to increase abundance or biomass. PHCs in the Western Pacific had a 48% greater abundance and 92% greater biomass of targeted species when compared with areas open to fishing, suggesting they are capable of providing short-term protection benefits. Harvesting PHCs results in a rapid increase in wariness and decrease in the abundance and biomass of targeted fishes. Factors affecting the ability of PHCs to provide short-term protection and harvest benefits included size, duration of closure and compliance. Strict controls are needed during openings to optimize future benefits. One year of PHC closure was insufficient for the recovery of pre-harvest protection benefits, which were principally observed for species with low and moderate vulnerabilities to fishing. Despite the ability of PHCs to provide some short-term fisheries benefits, a broader range of fisheries management and conservation strategies are needed for the long term sustainability of small-scale fisheries in the Western Pacific.


Goetze, J. S., The University of Western Australia, Australia, gertza@gmail.com

Jupiter, S., Wildlife Conservation Society, Fiji, sjupiter@wcs.org

Claudet, J., National Center for Scientific Research , France, joachim.claudet@gmail.com

Januchowski-Hartley, F., University of Exeter, United Kingdom, f.a.hartley@gmail.com

Langlois, T., The University of Western Australia, Australia, timothy.langlois@uwa.edu.au

Weeks, R., James Cook University, Australia, rebecca.weeks@jcu.edu.au

White, C., California Polytechnic State University, USA, cwhite31@calpoly.edu


Oral presentation

Session #:71
Date: 06/23/2016
Time: 14:00
Location: 302 A/B

Presentation is given by student: Yes