Volume 63

Mating Aggregations in Need of ‘Makeover’.

Sadovy de Mitcheson, Y.
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Date: November, 2010

Pages: 185-187

Event: Proceedings of the Sixty-Third Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: San Juan

Country: Puerto Rico


The effective protection of reef fish aggregations is proving to be more of a challenge than it should be given their critical importance for maintaining many commercial and subsistence reef fish fisheries. Major reasons are a lack of knowledge on local aggregations in many places, relatively little understanding of their role in supporting local fisheries and, as a result, they are assigned a low priority relative to other fisheries issues. Moreover, healthy aggregations still contain many fish and hence can give a misleading „illusion of plenty? even as the overall population declines. More education is needed on the importance of spawning aggregations in general, and an evaluation should be done of their potential value as „indicators? of reef fishery health. Success stories of effective aggregation protection and monitoring, and the economic and social benefits these represent, need to be widely disseminated at many levels of society. The key with spawning aggregations is to assign them a much higher profile for conserva-tion and management action proactively rather than wait until they are in such poor condition that recovery is uncertain if not impossible.

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