Assessing the incidental value of a marine reserve to a lemon shark Negaprion brevirostris nursery

  • Published source details Henderson A.C., Jourdan A. & Bell K. (2016) Assessing the incidental value of a marine reserve to a lemon shark Negaprion brevirostris nursery. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 26, 482-491.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

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

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Cease or prohibit all types of fishing in a marine protected area

    A site comparison study in 2012–2014 in shallow, sandy inshore areas in the western Atlantic Ocean off South Caicos in the Turks and Caicos Islands, UK (Henderson et al. 2016) found that banning all fishing in a marine reserve resulted in a higher abundance of immature lemon sharks Negaprion brevirostris, particularly of smaller sizes, and similar shark growth rates but lower condition, compared to fished areas outside, after 20 years. Average abundance of immature lemon sharks was higher inside (0.56 sharks/h) than outside (0.36 sharks/h) the reserve and there were more smaller individuals (data presented graphically). Average condition factor was lower inside the reserve than outside, but growth rates were similar (data reported as statistical tests). The Bell Sound Nature Reserve was established in 1992 to protect bonefish Albula Vulpes and no fishing activity is permitted. Between February 2012 and August 2014, sharks were sampled year-round at 12 sites on a rotating basis (seven inside and five outside) using square-mesh gillnets (100 m long by 1.83 m deep, 6.35 cm mesh size). Nets were set perpendicular to shore for 1–6 h. Sharks (new and recaptured tagged individuals) were removed from nets immediately after capture, weighed and the total length measured. New individuals were marked with both a plastic tag and a data recording tag.

    (Summarised by: Leo Clarke)

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