Study

Comparing fish communities in sanctuaries, partly protected areas and open-access reefs in south-east Africa

  • Published source details Currie J., Sink K., Le Noury P. & Branch G. (2012) Comparing fish communities in sanctuaries, partly protected areas and open-access reefs in south-east Africa. African Journal of Marine Science, 34, 269-281.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Cease or prohibit all commercial fishing

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation

Cease or prohibit all types of fishing in a marine protected area

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Cease or prohibit all commercial fishing

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2005 of five coral reef sites in the Indian Ocean, off the coasts of South Africa and Mozambique (Currie et al. 2012) found that five years after prohibiting commercial fishing in partially protected areas of two marine reserves, there was an increased abundance of three of 12 commercially targeted and non-targeted fish species/groups, compared to unprotected fished areas, and overall, fish were larger. Average abundance was higher in the partially fished areas than openly fished areas for groupers Epinephelinae spp. (0.7 vs 0.3 fish/count), yellow-edged lyretail Variola louti (0.3 vs 0.1 fish/count) and butterflyfish Chaetodontidae (3.2 vs 2.6 fish/count). Similar abundances between areas were recorded for snappers Lutjanus spp. (0.3 vs 0.5 fish/count), two-spot red snapper Lutjanus bohar (0.1 vs 0.0 fish/count), emperorfish Lethrinidae (0.1 vs 0.0 fish/count), surgeonfish Acanthuridae (6.2 vs 10.0), goldbar wrasse Thalassoma hebraicum (2.3 vs 1.9 ), grunts Plectorhinchus spp. (0.1 vs 0.2) and parrotfish Scaridae (1.1 vs 1.3). In partially fished areas abundances were lower than in openly fished areas for green jobfish Aprion viriscens (0.0 vs 0.3 fish/count) and jacks Caranx/Carangoides spp. (0.3 vs 2.1 fish/count). Average fish size (reported a standardised measure) was higher in partly fished (58) than openly fished areas (48). In April 2005, fish were sampled at four partly protected areas (limited non-commercial/non-trawl fishing types and diving permitted, next to no-take reserve areas) of two adjacent marine reserves (designated 1999), and at five openly fished sites outside the reserves (two adjacent and three >200 km away). At each site, divers counted selected fish species >7 cm in length, along two replicates of bisecting transect pairs 25 m long and 5m wide. Point counts (22–32) were also conducted at each site in a 5 m radius, separated by 20 m. Data were analysed for seven coral-dominated sites (three part protected and two open).

    (Summarised by: Leo Clarke)

  2. Cease or prohibit all types of fishing in a marine protected area

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2005 of seven coral reef areas in the Indian Ocean off the coasts of South Africa and Mozambique (Currie et al. 2012) found that six years after prohibiting all fishing in no-take areas of marine reserves there was increased abundance of six of 12 fish species/groups compared to partly fished and openly fished areas, and overall fish size was larger than in openly fished areas. Average abundances were higher inside no-take areas than partly fished and openly fished areas for six of 12 fish species/groups (no-take: 0.5–9.0 fish/count, part fished: 0.1–3.0 fish/count, open: 0.0–3.0 fish/count). The abundances of the other six were higher in no-take areas compared to partly fished but were similar to openly fished areas (no-take: 0.3–10.0 fish/count, part fished: 0.0–6.0 fish/count, open: 0.3–10.0 fish/count). See original paper for list of species and individual abundances. Average fish size (reported as a standardised measure) across the whole assemblage was higher inside no-take areas (57) than openly fished areas (48) and similar to partly fished areas (58). In April 2005, fish were sampled at two no-take areas (no extractive activity) and four partly protected areas (limited non-commercial/non-trawl fishing types and diving permitted) in adjacent marine reserves (designated 1999), and at five openly fished sites outside the reserves (two adjacent and three >200 km away). At each site, divers counted selected fish species >7 cm in length, along two replicates of bisecting transect pairs 25 m long and 5m wide. Point counts (22–32) were also conducted at each site in a 5 m radius, separated by 20 m. Data were analysed for seven coral-dominated sites (two no-take and open, three part protected).

    (Summarised by: Leo Clarke)

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