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Victoria, Seychelles

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.

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.

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.,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.

Agency: Cordis | 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

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