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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Cascading effects of fishing on Galapagos rocky reef communities: reanalysis using corrected data

Published source details

Sonnenholzner J., Ladah L. & Lafferty K. (2009) Cascading effects of fishing on Galapagos rocky reef communities: reanalysis using corrected data. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 375, 209-218


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Designate a Marine Protected Area with a zonation system of activity restrictions Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation

A replicated, site comparison study in 2000–2002 of 20 rocky seabed sites inside the Galapagos Marine Reserve, eastern Pacific Ocean, Ecuador (Sonnenholzner et al. 2009) found that protected sites that had been closed to all fishing for eight to ten years had higher abundances of spiny lobsters Panulirus penicillatus and slipper lobsters Scyllarides astori, compared to fished sites inside the reserve. Encounter rates (indicative of abundance) of spiny lobster and slipper lobster were higher in the closed areas (spiny: 0.4; slipper: 0.2 lobsters/hr) than the fished areas (spiny: 0.1; slipper: 0.1 lobsters/hr). Pencil urchin Eucidaris galapagensis abundance was lower in closed areas (2.2 urchins/m2) than fished areas (4.5 urchins/m2). Fishing exclusion zones within the reserve were created in 1992 and formally established in 2000, but uneven compliance with the fishing regulations is reported. In April 2000–August 2002, divers surveyed lobsters and sea urchins at ten sites within exclusion zones and ten sites outside (but inside the reserve). Lobsters were counted along four 20-min dive transects/site.

(Summarised by Anaëlle Lemasson & Laura Pettit)