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Nouméa, New Caledonia

The red octopus (Octopus maya) is an endemic species of the Yucatán Peninsula and its fishery is one of the most important along the Atlantic coast of Mexico. Commercial exploitation started in 1949. Since 2002 an index of abundance has been estimated, and this index was used to perform a stock assessment and decision analysis using the Schaefer model. A Bayesian approach was applied to estimate the model parameters and to project the species population under two management scenarios with a constant harvest rate and a positive implementation error. Results suggest that in 1995 the biomass corresponded to 23% of the population carrying capacity (K) and that the current stock is only 14% of K. The population may be depleted and a rebuilding plan might be necessary. In the decision analysis, when the implementation error was included, the Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulations suggested that the current level of exploitation (50% harvest rate) could produce a decreasing trend with the most probable biomass of 9679 t and an expected catch of 7920 t in 2018, and an expected probability of 0.82 of the population being less than 40% of K. On the contrary, a 30% harvest rate would raise the expected catch in 2018 (12,058 t), also reducing the probability of the population being smaller than 40% of K. The inclusion of the implementation error provides a more realistic scenario and represents a more conservative option; therefore, using this type of auxiliary data within a Bayesian framework is recommended for the decision making process. If adopted by Mexican fisheries managers, the approach used in this study could help improve the management of this resource and keep exploitation at sustainable levels. Source

Clua E.,Secretariat of the Pacific Community | Buray N.,CNRS Insular Research Center and Environment Observatory | Legendre P.,University of Montreal | Mourier J.,CNRS Insular Research Center and Environment Observatory | Planes S.,CNRS Insular Research Center and Environment Observatory
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2010

The feeding of marine predators is a popular means by which tourists and tour operators can facilitate close observation and interaction with wildlife. Shark-feeding has become the most developed provisioning activity around the world, despite its controversial nature. Amongst other detrimental effects, the long-term aggregation of sharks can modify the natural behaviour of the animals, potentially increase their aggression toward humans, and favour inbreeding. During 949 diving surveys conducted over 44 mo, we investigated the ecology and residence patterns of 36 photoidentified adult sicklefin lemon sharks Negaprion acutidens. The group contained 20 females and 16 males. From this long-term survey, we identified 5 different behavioural groups that we described as 'new sharks' (7), 'missing sharks' (4), 'resident sharks' (13), 'unpredictable sharks' (5) and 'ghost sharks' (7). In spite of movements in and out of the area by some males and females, which were probably related to mating, the general trend was that residency significantly increased during the study, particularly in males, showing a risk of inbreeding due to the reduction of shark mobility. Intraand interspecific aggression was also witnessed, leading to an increased risk of potentially severe bites to humans. Our findings suggest the need for a revision of the legal framework of the provisioning activity in French Polynesia, which could include a yearly closure period to decrease shark behavioural modifications due to long-term shark-feeding activities. © Inter-Research 2010. Source

Werry J.M.,Griffith University | Werry J.M.,Ocean and Coast Research | Berumen M.L.,King Abdullah University of Science and Technology | Berumen M.L.,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Knowledge of the habitat use and migration patterns of large sharks is important for assessing the effectiveness of large predator Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), vulnerability to fisheries and environmental influences, and management of shark-human interactions. Here we compare movement, reef-fidelity, and ocean migration for tiger sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier, across the Coral Sea, with an emphasis on New Caledonia. Thirty-three tiger sharks (1.54 to 3.9 m total length) were tagged with passive acoustic transmitters and their localised movements monitored on receiver arrays in New Caledonia, the Chesterfield and Lord Howe Islands in the Coral Sea, and the east coast of Queensland, Australia. Satellite tags were also used to determine habitat use and movements among habitats across the Coral Sea. Sub-adults and one male adult tiger shark displayed year-round residency in the Chesterfields with two females tagged in the Chesterfields and detected on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, after 591 and 842 days respectively. In coastal barrier reefs, tiger sharks were transient at acoustic arrays and each individual demonstrated a unique pattern of occurrence. From 2009 to 2013, fourteen sharks with satellite and acoustic tags undertook wide-ranging movements up to 1114 km across the Coral Sea with eight detected back on acoustic arrays up to 405 days after being tagged. Tiger sharks dove 1136 m and utilised three-dimensional activity spaces averaged at 2360 km3. The Chesterfield Islands appear to be important habitat for sub-adults and adult male tiger sharks. Management strategies need to consider the wide-ranging movements of large (sub-adult and adult) male and female tiger sharks at the individual level, whereas fidelity to specific coastal reefs may be consistent across groups of individuals. Coastal barrier reef MPAs, however, only afford brief protection for large tiger sharks, therefore determining the importance of other oceanic Coral Sea reefs should be a priority for future research. © 2014 Werry et al. Source

Weng K.C.,University of Hawaii at Manoa | Weng K.C.,Virginia Institute of Marine Science | Glazier E.,20 W. Henderson | Nicol S.J.,Secretariat of the Pacific Community | Hobday A.J.,CSIRO
Deep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography | Year: 2015

In the coming decades, fishery resource managers and policy-makers in Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) will be increasingly challenged by the need to ensure food security in the context of a changing climate, increasing human pressure on the marine environment, and limited understanding of marine ecosystems and associated resources. These decision-makers must address a pressing and overarching question - how will pelagic resources and pressures on such resources change over time and space? Answering this question requires ongoing inquiry into critical dimensions of pelagic species and systems, for both the commercial tuna species that are managed by Regional Fishery Management Organizations (RFMOs), as well as nearshore pelagic fishes that support many small-scale fisheries and are managed at national and local levels. Research priorities include generating further insight into life history and physiology, oceanographic context, movement and migration, food webs, ecosystem dynamics and stock status. Concurrently, socioeconomic research is needed to tailor fisheries management strategies to local, national and regional conditions; and improve understanding of incentive structures among players in RFMOs such as the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. PICT-based scientists and managers are ideally situated to generate new fisheries-relevant data; however, investments are needed to expand the capacity for research, management, and sustainable fisheries development within PICTs. Such capacity building can be accelerated through collaboration between PICTs, RFMOs, and scientific centers of excellence in Distant Water Fishing Nations. Without increased capacity development, this region will be adversely affected by the impacts of climate change and less able to take advantage of opportunities for economic development. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: INCO-2009-1.4 | Award Amount: 1.80M | Year: 2010

The Pacific-EU network for Science and Technology will establish a bi-regional dialogue platform on S&T between EU and the 15 countries member of the Africa Caribbean Pacific (ACP) Group of the Pacific region, namely Cook Islands, Federate States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Solomon Islands, East Timor, Tonga, Tuvalu and Samoa. The PACE-NET project will also closely involve the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) in the Pacific region (French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna, Pitcairn) while Australia and New Zealand will bring to PACE-Net project their long-standing expertise in the Pacific. PACE-Net pursue the following objectives: - To reinforce existing S&T dialogues and networks and promote regional integration for those networks. PACE-NET will seek to increase the cooperation between the research organizations and universities in the region; - To identify S&T international cooperation activities and programmes towards the Pacific region. The PACE-NET will set up dialogue fora bringing together the relevant S&T experts and stakeholders to establish the priorities areas for FP7, including SICAs; - To strengthen the coordination of S&T cooperation and the complementarities with activities and programs carried out by other European instruments. PACE-NET will examine possible synergies or complementarities with EU activities, especially with respect to challenges faces by developing countries. In particular, synergies with the European Development Fund shall be found. PACE-Net dialogue activities led will be fed by a preliminary critical and analytical work on the current S&T cooperation landscape in the region. The outcomes of the project will be transmitted to main Pacific fora gathering key stakeholders of the Pacific Islands Countries and Territories (PICTs).

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