International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) meeting in Mexico: ICRI statement on Coral Reef Fish Spawning Aggregations
The recommendation urges governments to establish sustainable management programmes for sustaining and protecting reef fish and their spawning aggregations, including a range of spatial and seasonal measures that can be adapted to local needs and circumstances. Further the recommendation requests international and regional fisheries management organizations as well as non-governmental organizations to take action to promote and facilitate the conservation and management of fish spawning aggregations, including by raising awareness of the long term ecological, economical and societal values of spawning aggregations and in respect of their high vulnerability to uncontrolled fishing.
ICRI encourages ICRI Operational Networks and Members, as well as other inter-governmental, governmental and non-governmental organizations and the private sector, to contribute, as appropriate, to the implementation of the recommendation through appropriate projects, initiatives and campaigns that promote the conservation and sustainable management of reef fish spawning aggregations.
The IUCN World Conservation Congress at its 3rd Session in Bangkok, Thailand, 17–25 November 2004: (Rec 3.100, p.115 Reef Fish Spawning Aggregations
1. URGES governments to establish sustainable management programmes for sustaining and protecting reef fish and their spawning aggregations, including a range of spatial and seasonal measures that can be adapted to local needs and circumstances; and
2. REQUESTS international and regional fisheries management organizations as well as non-governmental organizations to take action to promote and facilitate the conservation and management of fish spawning aggregations, including by raising awareness of the longterm ecological, economical and societal values of spawning aggregations.
FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries Article 6.8 of the General Principles
calls for: 6.8 All critical fisheries habitats in marine and fresh water ecosystems, such as wetlands, mangroves, reefs, lagoons, nursery and spawning areas, should be protected and rehabilitated as far as possible and where necessary. Particular effort should be made to protect such habitats from destruction, degradation, pollution and other significant impacts resulting from human activities that threaten the health and viability of the fishery resources.
International Tropical Marine Ecosystems Management Symposium
At its second meeting the following statement was made: recognizing that spawning aggregations need protection, a key recommendation was that fish spawning aggregations should be conserved, through robust management strategies. Whenever possible this should include complete or managed protection to ensure persistence of the populations that form aggregations, the integrity of reef ecosystems and the livelihoods and food supply of communities that depend on aggregating species. Specifically, fishing of aggregations should be avoided unless part of important local traditional or subsistence fisheries; if spawning aggregations are fished for subsistence, they should be closely monitored and carefully managed; fishing of spawning aggregations should not be permitted for export/commercial markets; spawning aggregations should be included routinely in fishery management plans and marine protected area design; the potential impacts on and benefits of tourism on fish aggregations should be evaluated, especially to determine the possible disturbance caused by tourism activities; education is needed to increase understanding of the biological and fishery importance of spawning aggregations and their vulnerability to fishing, and extreme caution should be exercised not to make public information on the specific locations of aggregation sites that cannot be adequately protected from exploitation.