Study

Response of the coral reef benthos and herbivory to fishery closure management and the 1998 ENSO disturbance

  • Published source details McClanahan T.R. (2008) Response of the coral reef benthos and herbivory to fishery closure management and the 1998 ENSO disturbance. Oecologia, 155, 169-177.

Actions

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 replicated, site comparison study in 1992–2004 of 12 coral reefs in the Indian Ocean, off Kenya (McClanahan 2008) found that grazing rates of fish on seagrass Thalassia hemprichii over a 12-year period were higher in no-take marine protected areas established for one and 24 years and where all fishing is prohibited, compared to fished reefs. For two different measures of fish grazing, both the rate of fish bites on seagrass (unfished: 53%, fished: 1%) and the average amount of algae eaten by fish at the unfished reefs (unfished: 65 kg/ha/d, fished: 2 kg/ha/d) were higher than fished reefs. In addition, coral cover in the unfished reefs (29%) was higher compared to the fished areas (16%). Fish grazing was monitored annually by two methods, at five sites in three marine protected areas: Malindi and Watamu (all fishing prohibited since 1968) and Mombasa (no-take since 1991); and seven sites in heavily fished areas. Firstly, thirty, 10-cm long blades of seagrass were soaked for 24 hours at each site and the numbers bitten by finfish recorded. Secondly, the biomass of selected fish herbivores along three to five, 500 m2 belt transects at each site was used to estimate the amount of algal biomass eaten per day (based on 16% of body weight) per wet weight of fish.

    (Summarised by: Khatija Alliji)

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