"This is the first global assessment done on fish aggregations to report on their status. Currently over a quarter of the records show a declining trend in numbers of fish aggregating, and an alarming 4% are documented as having disappeared entirely", says Martin Russell, Chair of SCRFA.
At the recent International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) meeting in Okinawa Japan, SCRFA and the ICRI Ad Hoc Committee for Reef Associated Fisheries launched the most up to date information on how the world's fish aggregations on coral reefs are faring. An analysis of 888 records of fish spawning aggregations for over 200 species from 44 families in 52 countries has revealed important information for science and management of fish aggregations and the fisheries they support. The records are maintained in a global web-based database managed by Science and Conservation of Fish Aggregations (SCRFA).
Currently over a quarter of the records show a declining trend in numbers of fish aggregating, and alarmingly 4% are documented as having disappeared entirely. We have limited information on the level of management and monitoring of these aggregations, and current information suggests that about 35% have some form of management in place such as marine protected areas, seasonal protection from fishing and/or sale, or traditional fisheries harvest controls, and about 25% have some form of monitoring.
Four case studies on the effectiveness of management of aggregations are provided for red hind in the tropical western Atlantic, square-tailed coral grouper in Melanesia, three species of grouper in Palau and Pohnpei, and white seabass in eastern Pacific.