Victoria, Seychelles
Victoria, Seychelles

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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE-2007-1-2-13 | Award Amount: 4.70M | Year: 2008

A particular attention has been paid worldwide on longline fisheries as they catch considerable amount of by-catch (seabirds, turtles, sharks, etc.). Seabird and turtles by-catch mitigation methods have now been established in many fisheries worldwide, but similar efforts must be put to reduce by-catch of sharks. In the same ecosystems, another issue attracts the attention of international tuna commissions: the use of drifting fish aggregating devices (FADs). These FADs are responsible for major catches of juvenile tuna and non target pelagic species (sharks). Finally, the effects of thousands of FADs released regularly in the tropical oceans are unknown, and must be studied to estimate if they impact the biology of pelagic species. The European open ocean tropical and Mediterranean pelagic fishery (Spain, France, Portugal, Italy, Greece) is one of the main sources of catch, income and employment for the European fishery, with interactions with many developing countries. The main objective of the project is to develop measures to mitigate adverse impacts of fisheries targeting large pelagic fish in the open ocean: purse seiners using FADs and longliners. Two main categories of mitigation measures will be studied: spatial management issues (e.g. closure areas) and technical solutions to reduce by-catch in these fisheries. The main concept of MADE is to follow a multi-disciplinary and comparative approach, combining biological and technological studies with economical analyses in different sites (Indian and Atlantic oceans, Mediterranean Sea), with a particular effort to closely associate fishers from the beginning of this research. High-tech technology and novel approaches will be employed (electronic tagging, in situ and in vitro experiments, etc.), and a particular effort will be devoted to disseminate results to fishers, tuna commissions, EU DG Fisheries, and scientists.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: KBBE-2007-1-2-11 | Award Amount: 1.07M | Year: 2008

It is widely recognised that scientific efforts need to be coordinated to strengthen the knowledge base in support of policy-making in a global context. This is a complicated task that requires effective coordination and cooperation among States, RFOs and other agencies. States with an obligation to ensure sustainability of the resources they exploit should seek (i) to promote responsible fisheries and (ii) to promote good, coordinated scientific research. In the case of the EU, actions should be consistent with major international agreements (UNCLOS, CCRF, UNIA, WSSD) and contribute to improving coherence between different EU Policies. The purpose of this Coordination Action is to facilitate a coherent approach towards research directed at the assessment and management of fish resources. The targets are particularly those areas where the European fleet is fishing in international or third country waters, or where the EU has important development goals. Thus, the principal objectives of TXOTX are: To collate information from all RFMO/RFOs and Fisheries Partnership Agreements as well as selected additional regions of special interest (with emphasis on CPA areas) on the extent of scientific research programmes being undertaken by the various actors. To analyse the data available and methodologies applied in assessment and management procedures regionally, in order to identify data and research gaps and opportunities for greater research coordination that may be promoted by the EU in support to scientific advice to fisheries management. To develop recommendations on how to improve cooperation with third parties in order to enhance research and resource status The TXOTX consortium proposes to build a network of scientists in countries with a strategic geographical distribution to produce a synthesis of data collection standards, assessment methods, management procedures that will be disseminated among participants, stakeholders and public in general


Wilson S.K.,Marine Science Program | Wilson S.K.,University of Western Australia | Graham N.A.J.,James Cook University | Fisher R.,Australian Institute of Marine Science | And 6 more authors.
Conservation Biology | Year: 2012

Disturbance plays an important role in structuring marine ecosystems, and there is a need to understand how conservation practices, such as the designation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), facilitate postdisturbance recovery. We evaluated the association of MPAs, herbivorous fish biomass, substrate type, postdisturbance coral cover, and change in macroalgal cover with coral recovery on the fringing reefs of the inner Seychelle islands, where coral mortality after a 1998 bleaching event was extensive. We visually estimated benthic cover and fish biomass at 9 sites in MPAs where fishing is banned and at 12 sites where fishing is permitted in 1994, 2005, 2008, and 2011. We used analysis of variance to examine spatial and temporal variations in coral cover and generalized additive models to identify relations between coral recovery and the aforementioned factors that may promote recovery. Coral recovery occurred on all substrate types, but it was highly variable among sites and times. Between 2005 and 2011 the increase in coral cover averaged 1%/year across 21 sites, and the maximum increase was 4%/year. However, mean coral cover across the study area (14%) remained at half of 1994 levels (28%). Sites within MPAs had faster rates of coral recovery than sites in fished areas only where cover of macroalgae was low and had not increased over time. In MPAs where macroalgae cover expanded since 1998 there was no recovery. Where coral was recovering on granite reefs there was a shift in relative prevalence of colony life-form from branching to encrusting species. This simplification of reef structure may affect associated reef fauna even if predisturbance levels of coral cover are attained. ©2012 Society for Conservation Biology.


Gruss A.,IRD Montpellier | Gruss A.,University of Miami | Gruss A.,Southeast Fisheries Science Center | Robinson J.,Seychelles Fishing Authority | And 4 more authors.
ICES Journal of Marine Science | Year: 2014

There is a global trend in the depletion of transient reef fish spawning aggregations ("FSAs"), making them a primary target for management with marine protected areas (MPAs). Here, we review the observed and likely effectiveness of FSAMPAs, discuss how future studies could fill knowledge gaps, and provide recommendations for MPA design based on species' life history and behaviour, enforcement potential, and management goals. Modelling studies indicate that FSA MPAs can increase spawning-stock biomass and normalize sex ratio in protogynous fish populations, unless fishing mortality remains high outside protected FSA sites and spawning times. In the field, observations of no change or continued decline in spawning biomass are more common than population recovery. When empirical studies suggest that FSA MPAs may not benefit fish productivity or recovery, extenuating factors such as insufficient time since MPA creation, poor or lack of enforcement, inadequate design, and poorly defined management objectives are generally blamed rather than failure of the MPA concept. Results from both the empirical and modelling literature indicate that FSA MPAs may not improve exploitable biomass and fisheries yields; however, investigations are currently too limited to draw conclusions on this point. To implement effective FSA MPAs, additional modelling work, long-term monitoring programmes at FSA sites, and collections of fisheries-dependent data are required, with greater attention paid to the design and enforcement of area closures. We recommend a harmonized, adaptive approach that combines FSA MPA design with additional management measures to achieve explicitly stated objectives. Conservation objectives and, therefore, an overall reduction in mortality rates should be targeted first. Fisheries objectives build on conservation objectives, in that they require an overall reduction in mortality rates while maintaining sufficient access to exploitable biomass. Communication among researchers, regulatory agencies, park authorities, and fishers will be paramount for effective action, along with significant funds for implementation and enforcement. © International Council for the Exploration of the Sea 2014. All rights reserved.


Hicks C.C.,Stanford University | Hicks C.C.,James Cook University | Stoeckl N.,James Cook University | Cinner J.E.,James Cook University | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Science and Policy | Year: 2014

Fishers often behave in ways that were neither intended, nor anticipated, by managers or policy makers. This is in part because the factors that motivate and constrain behavior - people's preferences and their social characteristics - are overlooked. We used a case study of coral reef artisanal fishers in Seychelles to assess likely responses to different management approaches by identifying the benefits fishers associate with their coral reef environment, the extent to which they prioritize these benefits, and examining how these priorities relate to their social characteristics. We found that fishers identified a diversity of benefits associated with the fishery but overall fishery, option, bequest, and existence benefits were assigned the highest priorities. Fishers who prioritized fishery benefits, identified as "income", were different to the fishers who prioritized option and bequest benefits, identified as "a right of access for all" and "for our children" - differences that were also reflected in their social characteristics. Fishers who prioritized option and bequest benefits identified avenues to resolve conflicts and were more likely to take action when a norm was broken - characteristics thought to enable cooperation. There was a clear relationship between fishers' earnings and the extent to which they prioritized both fishery benefits and option benefits. Specifically, fishers with higher earnings tended to prioritize option whereas fishers with lower earnings tended to prioritize fishery benefits. These findings have important implications for fisheries management decision-making. For example, decentralized approaches, such as fisheries co-management, are only likely to succeed for the group of fishers who demonstrated a high likelihood of cooperation. Due to the relationship between earnings and fishers' priorities, management that influences fishers' earnings (e.g. through a tax), must consider the likely influence on fishers' priorities if it is to avoid unexpected or perverse outcomes. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Daw T.M.,University of East Anglia | Daw T.M.,Northumbria University | Robinson J.,Seychelles Fishing Authority | Graham N.A.J.,Northumbria University | Graham N.A.J.,James Cook University
Environmental Conservation | Year: 2011

Fisheries scientists and managers are increasingly engaging with fishers' knowledge (FK) to provide novel information and improve the legitimacy of fisheries governance. Disputes between the perceptions of fishers and scientists can generate conflicts for governance, but can also be a source of new perspectives or understandings. This paper compares artisanal trap fishers' reported current catch rates with landings data and underwater visual census (UVC). Fishers' reports of contemporary 'normal' catch per day tended to be higher than recent median landings records. However, fishers' reports of 'normal' catch per trap were not significantly different from the median CPUE calculated from landings data, and reports of 'good' and 'poor' catch rates were indicative of variability observed in landings data. FK, landings and UVC data all gave different perspectives of trends over a ten-year period. Fishers' perceptions indicated greater declines than statistical models fitted to landings data, while UVC evidence for trends varied between sites and according to the fish assemblage considered. Divergence in trend perceptions may have resulted from differences in the spatial, temporal or taxonomic focus of each dataset. Fishers may have experienced and understood behavioural changes and increased fishing power, which may have obscured declines from landings data. Various psychological factors affect memory and recall, and may have affected these memory-based estimates of trends, while different assumptions underlying the analysis of both interview data and conventional scientific data could also have led to qualitatively different trend perceptions. Differing perspectives from these three data sources illustrate both the potential for 'cognitive conflicts' between stakeholders who do not rely on the same data sources, as well as the importance of multiple information sources to understand dynamics of fisheries. Collaborative investigation of such divergence may facilitate learning and improve fisheries governance. Copyright © 2011 Foundation for Environmental Conservation.


Bijoux J.P.,IRD Montpellier | Dagorn L.,IRD Montpellier | Berke G.,Seychelles Fishing Authority | Cowley P.D.,South African Institute For Aquatic Biodiversity | And 4 more authors.
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2013

The shoemaker spinefoot Siganus sutor is a fast-growing, short-lived, gonochorist and herbivorous reef fish that forms transient fish spawning aggregations (FSAs). In the Seychelles, FSAs of this species occur monthly between September and June around the full moon. To study the spawning aggregation dynamics of S. sutor, 39 reproductively active individuals were acoustically tagged and monitored at 3 known FSA sites (Paté Polite, Paté Désiré and Paté Dividi) off the west coast of Praslin island (Seychelles) between October 2010 and April 2011. The presence and absence of tagged fish at the 3 sites were monitored using moored arrays of passive acoustic receivers, while the density of fish at the FSAs was quantified using underwater visual census (UVC). Most tagged fish (87.0%) detected in more than 1 spawning period showed fidelity to single spawning sites. Predominantly, tagged individuals arrived at FSA sites at dawn and departed at dusk. Spawning residency times at FSA sites ranged from 0.02 to 16.1 d. At Paté Polite, residency times were higher in the first half of the spawning season. Residency times were often several-fold shorter than aggregation duration which, when combined with patterns in arrival and departure times, indicates high turnover of fish within aggregations. The findings of this study provide information needed for emerging co-management schemes that aim to sustain this socio-economically important fishery. © Inter-Research 2013.


Guillotreau P.,University of Nantes | Campling L.,Queen Mary, University of London | Robinson J.,Seychelles Fishing Authority
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability | Year: 2012

Small island developing states (SIDS) are vulnerable to climate variability and change due to high levels of exposure of local fisheries to physical climate effects, economic dependence on the fishing industry (sensitivity), and poor adaptive capacity (the extent to which effects of change can be offset). This article briefly reviews the major mechanisms by which fisheries for pelagic resources in SIDS are exposed to climate variability and change, including changes to catchability, stock productivity and redistribution of stocks. It then examines recent institutional changes in fisheries industrial and trade policy at various scales as concurrent critical elements in the adaptive capacity and exposure/sensitivity of SIDS. We argue for a better understanding of the connections between environmental and socioeconomic change (and proximate indicators of these dynamics) to improve the adaptive capacity of SIDS. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Gruss A.,Montpellier University | Kaplan D.M.,Montpellier University | Robinson J.,James Cook University | Robinson J.,Seychelles Fishing Authority
ICES Journal of Marine Science | Year: 2014

Many coral reef fish species form predictable, transient spawning aggregations. Many aggregations are overfished, making them a target for spatial management. Here, we develop a per-recruit model to evaluate the performance of no-take marine reserves protecting transient spawning aggregations. The model consists of only 14 demographic and exploitation-related parameters. We applied the model to a protogynous grouper and a gonochoristic rabbitfish from Seychelles and tested six scenarios regarding the extent of protected areas, the level of fish spawning-site fidelity, and fishing effort redistribution post reserve implementation. Spawning aggregation reserves improve spawning-stock biomass-per-recruit and reduce the sex ratio bias in protogynous populations for all scenarios examined. However, these benefits are often small and vary among the different scenarios and as a function of sexual ontogeny. In all scenarios, increases in yield-per-recruit do not occur or are negligible. The long-term yield increases due to spawning aggregation reserves may still occur, but only if spawning-stock biomass recovery results in a recruitment subsidy. Given these limited benefits, the value of no-take reserves must be weighed against those of other management options, such as fishing effort reduction and seasonal fishery closures. The latter is particularly appropriate when spawning and non-spawning areas overlap in space. © 2013 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.


Fonteneau A.,IRD Montpellier | Chassot E.,Seychelles Fishing Authority | Bodin N.,Seychelles Fishing Authority
Aquatic Living Resources | Year: 2013

This study provides a historical overview of the use of drifting fish aggregating devices (DFADs) in purse seine fisheries since the early 1990s, using global tuna fisheries datasets from the four tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs). Tropical tuna purse seine fisheries typically target large yellowfin (Thunnus albacares) and bigeye (Thunnus obesus) tunas on free-swimming schools and skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis) and juveniles of yellowfin and bigeye associated with drifting objects. DFADs have enabled global skipjack catches to markedly increase, and have also introduced major scientific issues for all tuna-RFMOs. In particular, they have strongly modified the fishing strategies of purse seiners that fish on a combination of free-swimming and DFAD-associated schools. Consequently, the cumulated search time traditionally used to quantify nominal fishing effort to assess the status of tuna stocks is inconsistent and cannot be used to derive time series of abundance indices from catch-per-unit of-effort (CPUE). In addition, the lack of information available on the construction, deployment, and use of DFADs has prevented effective monitoring of the fishing pressure over the last two decades exerted by purse seine fleets using this fishing mode. Juveniles of tropical tunas represent a substantial proportion of purse seine catch on DFADs in the three oceans, which has raised particular concern for some bigeye stocks that have been subject to overfishing in the past. Catches of juvenile tunas by DFAD fishing may also result in a decrease in recruitment for fisheries that target adult tunas such as longliners. In addition, some demographic parameters of tunas and other species associated with DFADs may be affected by the resultant habitat modification arising from the widespread deployment of DFADs. Evidence in the literature and provided by the ratio-estimator method suggest that fishing DFAD-associated schools may result in about 100 000 t of bycatch and discards annually. In addition, there is further potential for ghost fishing related mortality of sensitive species such as marine turtles and pelagic sharks. In this context and following a precautionary approach, we finally discuss the increasing need for all tuna-RFMOs to reduce, or at least monitor and control, the use of DFADs to mitigate their adverse effects not only on yellowfin and bigeye stocks but also on open-ocean ecosystems. © EDP Sciences, IFREMER, IRD 2013.

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