Study

Long-term monitoring of habitats and reef fish found inside and outside the U.S. Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument: a comparative assessment

  • Published source details Monaco M.E., Friedlander A.M., Caldow C., Hile S.D., Menza C. & Boulon R.H. (2009) Long-term monitoring of habitats and reef fish found inside and outside the U.S. Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument: a comparative assessment. Caribbean Journal of Science, 45, 338-347.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Cease or prohibit all fishing activity in a marine protected area with limited exceptions

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Cease or prohibit all fishing activity in a marine protected area with limited exceptions

    A site comparison study in 2003–2008 of two reef areas in the Caribbean Sea, US Virgin Islands (Monaco et al. 2009) found that prohibiting almost all fishing except for bait within a marine protected area resulted in lower fish species richness and density and similar fish biomass compared to adjacent unprotected areas in the seven years after protection. Species richness and fish density was lower inside the protected area than outside (species richness: 24 vs 27 species/100 m2; density 229 vs 294 fish/100 m2) and biomass was similar (inside: 7,900, outside: 8,800 g/100 m2). The Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument was established in 2001 to extend the existing Virgin Islands National Park. In the study area, all extractive uses and boat anchoring were prohibited, except for a small area where bait fishing was permitted (no species or gears specified). Annually, in July 2003–2008, protected areas (18–20 sites/year) and fished areas (15–18 sites/year) were surveyed. Divers recorded fish number, length and species along 25 × 4 m belt transects. Biomass was estimated using average length for each size class.

    (Summarised by: Khatija Alliji)

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