Study

Detecting fisheries trends in a co-managed area in the Kingdom of Tonga

  • Published source details Webster F.J., Cohen P.J., Malimali S., Tauati M., Vidler K., Mailau S., Vaipuna L. & Fatongiatau V. (2017) Detecting fisheries trends in a co-managed area in the Kingdom of Tonga. Fisheries Research, 186, 168-176

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Establish territorial fishing use rights

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation

Involve fishers and stakeholders in co-management

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation

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

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Establish territorial fishing use rights

    A study in 2007–2011 of reef and lagoon areas of an inhabited coral reef island in the Pacific Ocean, Tonga (Webster et al. 2017) found that after establishing new territorial fishing rights (exclusion of fishers from outside areas) under a new co-management system in an area, total fish catch rates did not increase in the five years after, catch rates of half of the six individual species groups decreased and there was no decrease in overall fishing effort. No differences in total fish catch rates and catch rates of three of six fish groups (Acanthuridae - Naso spp., Holocentridae, Lethrinidae) were found since implementation, but catch rates of the remaining three (Acanthuridae - Acanthurus spp., Scaridae, Serranidae) decreased (data reported as statistical results). In addition, no difference in overall fishing effort was found (data reported as statistical results), but the authors reported that this was likely to be due to reduced travel to fishing grounds further away by resident fishers with the new exclusive rights. Co-management formally commenced on the island of ‘O’ua (one of 170 Tongan Islands) in 2007, covering a marine area of 4,606 ha, of which 203 ha is a no-take zone. Only residents on ‘Ou’a can fish the co-managed area, whereas before, there was access also to fishers from neighbouring islands and small commercial vessels from the main island group. Fish catch landings (species and weight/trip) were sampled each year between 2007–2011 (total 184 records), collected opportunistically from individual fishers (see original paper for fishing types). Catch data from spearfishing only was used for statistical analysis.

    (Summarised by: Rosslyn McIntyre)

  2. Involve fishers and stakeholders in co-management

    A before-and-after study in 2007–2011 of reef and lagoon areas of an inhabited coral reef island in the Pacific Ocean, Tonga (Webster et al. 2017) found that under a new co-management system with territorial fishing rights (exclusion of fishers from outside areas), total fish catch rates did not increase in the five years following implementation, catch rates of half of the six individual species groups decreased and there was no decrease in overall fishing effort. No differences in total fish catch rates and catch rates of three of six fish groups (Acanthuridae - Naso spp., Holocentridae, Lethrinidae) were found since implementation, but catch rates of the remaining three (Acanthuridae - Acanthurus spp., Scaridae, Serranidae) decreased (data reported as statistical results). In addition, no difference in overall fishing effort was found (data reported as statistical results), but the authors reported that this was likely to be due to reduced travel to fishing grounds further away by resident fishers with the new exclusive rights. Co-management formally commenced on the island of ‘O’ua (one of 170 Tongan Islands) in 2007, covering a marine area of 4,606 ha, of which 203 ha was a no-take zone. Only residents on ‘O’ua could fish the co-managed area, whereas before, there was access also to fishers from neighbouring islands and small commercial vessels from the main island group. Fish catch landings (species and weight/trip) were sampled each year between 2007–2011 (total 184 records), collected opportunistically from individual fishers (see original paper for fishing types). Catch data from spearfishing only was used for statistical analysis.

    (Summarised by: Rosslyn McIntyre)

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

    A before-and-after study in 2007–2011 of reef and lagoon areas of an inhabited coral reef island in the Pacific Ocean, Tonga (Wenster et al. 2017) found that in the five years following the creation of a no-take fishing zone in a newly co-managed area that also excluded fishers from outside areas, the total fish catch rates in landed catches from the co-managed area did not increase, catch rates of half of the six individual species groups decreased and there was no decrease in overall fishing effort. No differences in total fish catch rates and catch rates of three of six fish groups (Acanthuridae - Naso spp., Holocentridae, Lethrinidae) were found since implementation, but catch rates of the remaining three (Acanthuridae - Acanthurus spp., Scaridae, Serranidae) decreased (data reported as statistical results). In addition, no difference in overall fishing effort was found (data reported as statistical results), but the authors reported that this was likely to be due to reduced travel to fishing grounds further away by resident fishers with the new exclusive rights. Co-management formally commenced on the island of ‘O’ua (one of 170 Tongan Islands) in 2007, covering a marine area of 4,606 ha, of which 203 ha is a no-take zone. Only residents on ‘Ou’a can fish the co-managed area. Fish catches were sampled (species and weight per trip) each year between 2007–2011 (total 184 records), collected opportunistically from landings by individual fishers (see original paper for fishing types). Catch data from spearfishing only was used for statistical analysis.

    (Summarised by: Rosslyn McIntyre)

Output references

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