Spatial and temporal characteristics of grouper spawning aggregations in marine protected areas in Palau, western Micronesia

Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
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Abstract

In Palau, Ngerumekaol and Ebiil Channels are spawning aggregation sites that have been protected from fishing since 1976 and 2000, respectively. Groupers and other targeted fisheries species were monitored monthly over a 1.5 year period at these two spawning aggregations and two nearby exploited reference sites where grouper formerly aggregated to spawn. At the protected aggregation sites, three grouper species (Plectropomus areolatus, Epinephelus polyphekadion, and Epinephelus fuscoguttatus) accounted for 78% of the abundance and 85% of the biomass of all resource species surveyed but comprised <1% of the total abundance and biomass at reference sites not protected from fishing that formally harbored spawning aggregations. Abundance and biomass of grouper species pooled were 54% and 72% higher, respectively, at Ngerumekaol compared to Ebiil. Comparisons with data from the same locations in 1995-1996 showed order of magnitude declines in abundance of E. polyphekadion at both locations. The lower numbers of E. fuscoguttatus and the near absence of E. polyphekadion at Ebiil may reflect the effects of previous and current overexploitation. ?? 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Spatial and temporal characteristics of grouper spawning aggregations in marine protected areas in Palau, western Micronesia
Series title Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
DOI 10.1016/j.ecss.2010.12.034
Volume 92
Issue 2
Year Published 2011
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
First page 223
Last page 231