Navigation Links
Naïve fish: Easy targets for spear fishers

Big fish that have grown up in marine reserves don't seem to know enough to avoid fishers armed with spear guns waiting outside the reserve.

The latest research by an Australian team working in the Philippines into the effects of marine reserves has found there is an unexpected windfall awaiting fishers who obey the rules and respect reserve boundaries in the form of big, innocent fish wandering out of the reserve.

"There are plenty of reports of fish, both adults and juveniles, moving out of reserves and into the surrounding sea. Having grown up in an area where they were protected from hunting, we wondered how nave they would be with regard to avoiding danger from humans," says Fraser Januchowski-Hartley of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.

The answer is: pretty nave. "Educated fish normally turn tail and flee when a diver armed with a spear gun approaches within firing range of them. The typical flight distance is usually just over four metres," he explains.

"However in our studies of marine reserves in the Philippines, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea, where spearfishing remains a major way of harvesting table fish, we discovered that reserve-reared fish were much less wary and allowed people to get much closer.

"The fish are literally more catchable."

The team studied fish across the boundaries of marine reserves from 200m inside the protected areas to 200m into the fished areas. They used underwater markers and measuring tapes to measure the 'flight initiation distance' of fish targeted locally by spearfishers. This indicates how close a skin diver can approach to a large fish before it decides to turn and flee.

They found that target fish living in fished areas were typically much warier of divers, and took flight at distances a metre or two further away, than ones living within the reserve.

They also established that the 'naivete radius', whereby more catchable fishes spill out of the marine reserves extended for at least 150 metres from the boundary.

The team's findings suggest that fishers are more likely to catch fish that stray out of the reserve, and so improve the local fish harvest. This may help fishers become more supportive of marine reserves.

"In these parts of the oceans, spear fishing is still very much about survival for humans and putting food on the family table so it is important that local fishers feel they are deriving some benefit from having a local area that is closed to fishing, or they may not respect it," says Dr Nick Graham, a co-author on the study.

"This information is also useful in traditional reserves where fishing is taboo most of the time, but then they are opened for fishing by village elders just a few days a year.

"On the face of it, this work suggests that marine reserves can play an important role in putting more fish on the table of local communities in these tropical locations as well as conserving overall fish stocks and replenishing those outside the reserve," Januchowski-Hartley says.


Contact: Nick Graham
ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies

Related biology news :

1. The EU underpays Madagascar for access to fish: UBC research
2. Cichlid fish: How does the swim bladder affect hearing?
3. Crestor Delivers Latest LDL-C Targets in High-Risk Patients at Lower Doses than Other Statins
4. Scripps Research Institute scientists find promising vaccine targets on hepatitis C virus
5. Unique adaptations to a symbiotic lifestyle reveal novel targets for aphid insecticides
6. Its a trap! New laboratory technique captures microRNA targets
7. Blocking DNA: HDAC inhibitor targets triple negative breast cancer
8. Wayne State University researchers program targets safer river fishing, anglers health
9. Scientists use worms to unearth cancer drug targets
10. New potential targets discovered for treating squamous cell lung cancers
11. Why letting salmon escape could benefit bears and fishers
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/17/2015)... Mass. , Nov. 17, 2015 Pressure ... leader in the development and sale of broadly enabling, ... worldwide life sciences industry, today announced it has received ... its $5 million Private Placement (the "Offering"), increasing the ... $4,025,000.  One or more additional closings are expected in ...
(Date:11/11/2015)... , Nov. 11, 2015   MedNet Solutions , ... spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to announce that it ... Clinical Trials (PCT) event, to be held November 17-19 ... able to view live demonstrations of iMedNet ... learn how iMedNet has been able to deliver ...
(Date:11/4/2015)... ALBANY, New York , November 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... According to a new market report published by Transparency ... Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2022", ... value of US$ 30.3 bn by 2022. The market ... during the forecast period from 2015 to 2022. Rising ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... PHILADELPIA, PA (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... young entrepreneurs at competitive events in five states to develop and pitch their BIG ... student projects from each state are competing for votes to win the title of ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , November 24, 2015 ... recent market research report released by Transparency Market Research, ... expand at a CAGR of 17.5% during the period ... Testing Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Volume, Share, ... global non-invasive prenatal testing market to reach a valuation ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Twist Bioscience, ... that Emily Leproust, Ph.D., Twist Bioscience chief executive ... Healthcare Conference on December 1, 2015 at 3:10 ... in New York City. --> ... . Twist Bioscience is on Twitter. Sign ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... Technologies, Inc., on being named to Deloitte's 2015 Technology Fast 500 list of ... OrthoAccel manufactures AcceleDent®, a FDA-cleared, Class II medical device that speeds up orthodontic ...
Breaking Biology Technology: