Study

Changes in the spear fishery of herbivores associated with closed grouper season in Palau, Micronesia

  • Published source details Bejarano Chavarro S., Mumby P.J. & Golbuu Y. (2014) Changes in the spear fishery of herbivores associated with closed grouper season in Palau, Micronesia. Animal Conservation, 17, 133-143.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Protect spawning fish from capture

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation

Establish temporary fishery closures

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Protect spawning fish from capture

    A replicated, controlled study in 2009 of reef fisheries in the Philippine Sea, Palau, Micronesia (Bejarano Chavarro et al. 2014) found that the implementation of a closed season to protect spawning aggregations of five grouper species Serranidae spp. resulted in higher spear fisher catch rates of other fish species (herbivores) by number but not by weight, compared to the open season, and indicated an increase in the commercial targeting of these species. Average catch numbers of herbivorous fish actively targeted by spear fishers throughout the year were higher during the closed grouper season (7 fish/person/h) than the open season (4 fish/fisher/h), but there was no difference in catch rates by weight (closed: 4, open: 3 kg/fisher/h). For other groups of herbivorous fish (harvested opportunistically or normally avoided), catch rates were higher during the closed season by both number (closed: 2.2, open: 0.6 fish/fisher/h) and weight (closed: 1.6, open: 0.5 kg/fisher/h). Since 1994, a closed season (April–July) for five grouper species was implemented to protect spawning fish. In 2009, daily surveys of reef fish landings were done at Koror fish market for two weeks during the open (18–31st March) and closed (13–26th July) grouper fishing seasons. Nineteen spear fisher catches during the closed season and 23 during the open season were sampled and ranked by category of herbivorous fish based on information given by the fishers: actively targeted (10 species), opportunistically harvested (24 species) and avoided (17 species). Species, weight and length was recorded for parrotfishes Scaridae, surgeonfishes and unicornfishes Acanthuridae and rabbitfishes Siganidae.

    (Summarised by: Khatija Alliji)

  2. Establish temporary fishery closures

    A replicated, controlled study in 2009 of reef fisheries in the Philippine Sea, Palau, Micronesia (Bejarano Chavarro et al. 2014) found that the implementation of a temporary closed season for groupers Serranidae resulted in higher spear fisher catch rates of herbivorous fish by number but not by weight, compared to the open season, and indicated an increase in the targeting of these species by spear fishers. Average catch numbers of herbivorous fish actively targeted by spear fishers throughout the year were higher during the closed grouper season (7 fish/person/h) than the open season (4 fish/fisher/h), but there was no difference in catch rates by weight (closed: 4, open: 3 kg/fisher/h). For other groups of herbivorous fish (harvested opportunistically or normally avoided), catch rates were higher during the closed season by both number (closed: 2.2, open: 0.6 fish/fisher/h) and weight (closed: 1.6, open: 0.5 kg/fisher/h). Since 1994, a closed season (April–July) for five grouper species was implemented to protect spawning fish. In 2009, daily surveys of reef fish landings were done at Koror fish market for two weeks during the open (18–31st March) and closed (13–26th July) grouper fishing seasons. Nineteen spear fisher catches during the closed season and 23 during the open season were sampled and ranked by category of herbivorous fish based on information given by the fishers: actively targeted (10 species), opportunistically harvested (24 species) and avoided (17 species). Species, weight and length was recorded for parrotfishes Scaridae, surgeonfishes and unicornfishes Acanthuridae and rabbitfishes Siganidae.

    (Summarised by: Khatija Alliji)

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