SCRFA update Dec 2005
We have been quite busy since our last Newsletter in May 2005. Work has focused on Fiji, where we carried out a preliminary validation of reef fish spawning aggregation sites identified in previous fisher interviews in the country. We are also working with SeaWeb in Fiji on an information/outreach campaign.
Fisher interviews continued in southeast Fiji (Lakeba) and in Mindanao, Philippines, in collaboration with the Fiji government fisheries research office and the Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecosystem project of Philippines WWF, respectively.
Production of educational and outreach materials has continued. In August 2005, Dr Andy Cornish updated the summary of the SCRFA database which identifies patterns from 557 reported aggregations. Note, however, that while we carefully check the data we enter, we cannot guarantee its accuracy, so care should be taken when using data, and original sources should be checked as necessary. We are also having our foldout pamphlet translated into pidgin for use in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands; several other language projects are in the pipeline and we will upload pamphlets as they become available. Copies can be obtained by contacting us (
). A simple educational poster is now available to help to illustrate what spawning aggregations are and we are developing an educational module, mainly for teachers and fishery managers.
SCRFA has linked up with a Caribbean-based, bilingual (Spanish/English), weblog to further spread the message of good science in spawning aggregation work and we continue to update our website and reference materials. Board members have been active at international meetings and conferences over the last six months with presentations, displays and SCRFA member meetings,
variously at the Indo-Pacific Fish Conference in Taiwan, International Marine Protected Area Congress (IMPAC1) in Australia, the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute in Colombia, and at the Coral Reef Task Force meeting in Palau. We also participated in a small community workshop in Lakeba, Fiji.
Finally, at the end of this Newsletter, please note that I have started, on behalf of our Board, an occasional column, which we have called ‘Perspectives'. The purpose of this column is to highlight topical issues raised by communications or comments that we receive. To start the ball rolling, I have compiled a list of questions that any thoughtful manager or fishery biologist might ask his or herself if faced with the challenge of managing fish species that aggregate to spawn. Note that, in this issue, I am merely identifying key questions. What I hope, in subsequent issues, is that we discuss and compile answers to each question from your opinions and experiences. I would be delighted to receive feedback for a lively debate. Are there any other questions to add to the list? I look forward to hearing from you.
Yvonne Sadovy (University of Hong Kong)