Volume 72

Long-Term Trends in Caribbean Parrotfish Abundance at Local, Regional, and Basin-wide Scales: Implications for Fisheries and Ecosystem Management

Semmens, B; C.V. Pattengill-Semmens; M. Kramarz
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Date: November, 2019

Pages: 229

Event: Proceedings of the Seventy-Two Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Punta Cana

Country: Dominican Republic


Parrotfish species in the Caribbean are widely considered an important component of coral reef resilience. However, in many locations throughout the Caribbean, fisheries routinely target parrotfish. Virtually nothing is known about stock status, either for individual species, or collectively. The Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) Fish Survey Project, a citizen-science monitoring program, provides a 25-year time series of reef fish relative abundance based on diver observations throughout the tropical western Atlantic. Using these data, we explored temporal trends in abundance for the most common Caribbean parrotfish species across multiple spatial scales, from local dive sites, to regions (e.g. Cozumel, Bonaire, Florida, Cayman Islands), to the Caribbean basin. We found that, in general, parrotfish species exhibited similar abundance trends within dive sites and regions. On the other hand, we found little evidence for synchronous intra-specific trends across regions. Thus, regardless of species, parrotfish population dynamics appear driven by regional processes (e.g. recruitment dynamics, non-specific fishing methods). These findings suggest that fisheries management generically targeted at the parrotfish family will likely have common effects across species

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