Navigation Links
Damage to threatened Gulf of California habitats can be reversed
Date:2/21/2010

Once described by Jacques Cousteau as the "world's aquarium," the marine ecosystems of the Gulf of California are under threat. Destructive new fishing methods are depleting the sea's habitats, creating areas that are ghosts of their former existences (see Scripps explorations story "Threatened Gulf".

But, as Octavio Aburto-Oropeza of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego will describe during a presentation at the 2010 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in San Diego, habitat conservation can revitalize once-depleted marine ecosystems (session: 8:30-10 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 21, Room 6D, San Diego Convention Center).

One recently emerging threat is a highly destructive fishing method called "hookah" diving in which fishermen use crude oxygen piping to walk along the seafloor for long periods. The technique is typically conducted at night when fish are resting, allowing the hookah fishermen to spear or grab large numbers of vulnerable fish and invertebrates.

Aburto-Oropeza's findings on reversing the effects of such threats are part of a series of research studies headed by the newly launched Gulf of California Program based at Scripps Oceanography.

"In these studies, whether reefs or mangroves, we are trying to show that the destruction on the coast and overexploitation in other areas are diminishing the biomass (the amount of organisms in an ecosystem) in several areas," said Aburto-Oropeza. "With lower biomass, the large predators, the keys to a robust marine ecosystem, are missing and that causes disruption down the marine food web."

But there is hope to counteract such damage, says Aburto-Oropeza.

One successful example is Cabo Pulmo, a little-known protected area near the southern tip of the Baja peninsula that is thriving and a living example of the benefits of protected marine areas. Restricted of fishing since 1995, Cabo Pulmo features a robust mix of sea life and flourishing fish populations. Other successes include Coronado Island inside the Loreto marine park and Los Islotes inside Espiritu Santo marine park.

"Different sites recover in different ways, but they all have increased in biomass, especially top predators," said Aburto-Oropeza.

"The common thing is that they have reduced or eliminated fishing activity."

Beyond simply shielding certain locations, Aburto-Oropeza's presentation will cover new research that reveals the strategic importance of protecting areas that are key for fish species populations. In particular, these include important sites such as fish "spawning aggregation" areas, where fish converge in large numbers to reproduce at select times of the year, and sensitive nursery habitats that are vital to ensuring healthy ecosystems.

"For some species these spawning aggregation events occur two to four times per year, and can represent 100 percent of the replenishment of their populations," said Aburto-Oropeza.

Aburto-Oropeza and others recently calculated the economic value of mangroves at roughly $37,500 per hectare per year. An ongoing study has shown that a fish species called gulf corvina provided 3,500 tons of landings in 2009 in one community, a volume worth $3 million.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mario Aguilera
scrippsnews@ucsd.edu
858-534-3624
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Human derived stem cells can repair rat hearts damaged by heart attack
2. Enzyme alerts cells powerful army to repair DNA damage
3. Simulation reveals how body repairs balance after damage
4. Mixing large doses of both acetaminophen painkiller and caffeine may increase risk of liver damage
5. MIT: Human-generated ozone will damage crops
6. Coral reefs will be permanently damaged without urgent action
7. Even minute levels of lead cause brain damage in children
8. Cigarette smoke, alcohol damage hearts worse as combo
9. Club drugs inflict damage similar to traumatic brain injury
10. An ambulance man for muscle damage
11. Why diving marine mammals resist brain damage from low oxygen
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Damage to threatened Gulf of California habitats can be reversed
(Date:5/20/2016)... May 20, 2016  VoiceIt is excited to ... VoicePass. By working together, VoiceIt and ... VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly different approaches to ... both security and usability. ... this new partnership. "This marketing and ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... May 12, 2016 WearablesResearch.com , a ... the overview results from the Q1 wave of its ... wave was consumers, receptivity to a program where they ... a health insurance company. "We were surprised ... says Michael LaColla , CEO of Troubadour Research, ...
(Date:5/3/2016)...  Neurotechnology, a provider of high-precision biometric identification ... Identification System (ABIS) , a complete system for ... can process multiple complex biometric transactions with high ... face or iris biometrics. It leverages the core ... MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have been used in ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/19/2016)... MAPLE RIDGE, British Columbia , May 19, ... of AdvanTec Global Innovations Inc. (AGI), based out ... recently added Greenlane Biogas Ltd. to its ... a 2-year contract manufacturing agreement. AFS along with ... Bending Technologies (ABT) is a vertically integrated industrial ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... , May 19, 2016 ... and (OTC PINK: RGBPP) announced today initiation of ... first cord blood based cancer immunotherapeutic product leveraging ... application, Regen described a generation of cord blood ... by gene silencing.  The product in development will ...
(Date:5/18/2016)... ... May 18, 2016 , ... Shimadzu Scientific Instruments ... University of Toledo. This two-day camp will take place annually starting June 2016. ... of pharmaceutical sciences in preparation for a university academic program. , The ...
(Date:5/18/2016)... ... May 18, 2016 , ... Every day, more ... of asthma complications.* Costing more than $56 billion in direct costs annually, asthma ... “For too many, the suffering associated with uncontrolled asthma can be overwhelmingly disproportionate ...
Breaking Biology Technology: