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Keeping Food on the Table: Human Responses and Changing Coastal Fisheries in Solomon Islands.

Albert S, Aswani S, Fisher PL, Albert J - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: In the Pacific Islands coastal fisheries provide basic subsistence needs for millions of people.In particular we found changes in preferred fishing locations, fishing methodology and catch composition between these data sets.Such insight into local-scale responses to changing resources and/or fisheries development will help scientists and policy makers throughout the Pacific region in managing the region's fisheries in the future.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Civil Engineering, the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

ABSTRACT
Globally the majority of commercial fisheries have experienced dramatic declines in stock and catch. Likewise, projections for many subsistence fisheries in the tropics indicate a dramatic decline is looming in the coming decades. In the Pacific Islands coastal fisheries provide basic subsistence needs for millions of people. A decline in fish catch would therefore have profound impacts on the health and livelihoods of these coastal communities. Given the decrease in local catch rates reported for many coastal communities in the Pacific, it is important to understand if fishers have responded to ecological change (either by expanding their fishing range and/or increasing their fishing effort), and if so, to evaluate the costs or benefits of these responses. We compare data from fish catches in 1995 and 2011 from a rural coastal community in Solomon Islands to examine the potentially changing coastal reef fishery at these time points. In particular we found changes in preferred fishing locations, fishing methodology and catch composition between these data sets. The results indicate that despite changes in catch rates (catch per unit effort) between data collected in 2011 and 16 years previously, the study community was able to increase gross catches through visiting fishing sites further away, diversifying fishing methods and targeting pelagic species through trolling. Such insight into local-scale responses to changing resources and/or fisheries development will help scientists and policy makers throughout the Pacific region in managing the region's fisheries in the future.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Catch per unit effort within the Roviana lagoon study area in 1995 and 2011.Graph indicates catch per unit effort (CPUE) within the study site for 1995 and 2011 by fishing method. Data significantly different between 1995 and 2011 using a Kruskal-Wallis test are shown (*).
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pone.0130800.g002: Catch per unit effort within the Roviana lagoon study area in 1995 and 2011.Graph indicates catch per unit effort (CPUE) within the study site for 1995 and 2011 by fishing method. Data significantly different between 1995 and 2011 using a Kruskal-Wallis test are shown (*).

Mentions: The mean time spent fishing (excluding travel time) on each fishing trip was 71.7 (±3.76) minutes in 1995, while significantly higher at 197 (±0.04) minutes in 2011 (KWH(1,988) = 358.67, p<0.001) (Fig 1A). Fishers travelled further to fish in 2011 (2.94 ±0.13 km) compared to 1995 (1.75 ±0.06 km) (KWH(1,988) = 75.03, p<0.001) (Fig 1B). The average total weight of fish caught per trip was twice as high in 2011 compared to 1995 (5.6 ±0.52 kg and 2.7 ±0.10 kg, respectively (KWH(1,988) = 358.67, p<0.001)) (Fig 1C), as was the mean weight of individual fish (0.99 ±0.14 kg and 0.45 ±0.03 kg, respectively). The difference in weights between the two years sampled was synergistic with an increased proportion of larger fish from trolling (0.19 ±0.01 vs. 2.86 ±0.65 kg) in 2011 (KWH(1,145) = 6.98, p = 0.008) (Fig 1C). Whereas, the weight of fish caught by hand line showed the opposite trend (0.43 ±0.03 vs. 0.35 ±0.08 kg for 1995 and 2011). Overall fish catch rates, as measured using catch per unit effort (CPUE) was significantly higher in 1995 at 2.77 ±0.21 kg fisher-1 hr-1 compared to 1.90 ±0.16 kg fisher-1 hr-1 in 2011 (KWH(1,988) = 24.86, p<0.001) (Fig 2). Similarly, catch rate for handline fishing alone were higher at 2.08 ±0.09 kg fisher-1 hr-1 in 1995 versus 1.23 ±0.13 kg fisher-1 hr-1 in 2011 (KWH(1,662) = 30.89, p<0.001).


Keeping Food on the Table: Human Responses and Changing Coastal Fisheries in Solomon Islands.

Albert S, Aswani S, Fisher PL, Albert J - PLoS ONE (2015)

Catch per unit effort within the Roviana lagoon study area in 1995 and 2011.Graph indicates catch per unit effort (CPUE) within the study site for 1995 and 2011 by fishing method. Data significantly different between 1995 and 2011 using a Kruskal-Wallis test are shown (*).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4497618&req=5

pone.0130800.g002: Catch per unit effort within the Roviana lagoon study area in 1995 and 2011.Graph indicates catch per unit effort (CPUE) within the study site for 1995 and 2011 by fishing method. Data significantly different between 1995 and 2011 using a Kruskal-Wallis test are shown (*).
Mentions: The mean time spent fishing (excluding travel time) on each fishing trip was 71.7 (±3.76) minutes in 1995, while significantly higher at 197 (±0.04) minutes in 2011 (KWH(1,988) = 358.67, p<0.001) (Fig 1A). Fishers travelled further to fish in 2011 (2.94 ±0.13 km) compared to 1995 (1.75 ±0.06 km) (KWH(1,988) = 75.03, p<0.001) (Fig 1B). The average total weight of fish caught per trip was twice as high in 2011 compared to 1995 (5.6 ±0.52 kg and 2.7 ±0.10 kg, respectively (KWH(1,988) = 358.67, p<0.001)) (Fig 1C), as was the mean weight of individual fish (0.99 ±0.14 kg and 0.45 ±0.03 kg, respectively). The difference in weights between the two years sampled was synergistic with an increased proportion of larger fish from trolling (0.19 ±0.01 vs. 2.86 ±0.65 kg) in 2011 (KWH(1,145) = 6.98, p = 0.008) (Fig 1C). Whereas, the weight of fish caught by hand line showed the opposite trend (0.43 ±0.03 vs. 0.35 ±0.08 kg for 1995 and 2011). Overall fish catch rates, as measured using catch per unit effort (CPUE) was significantly higher in 1995 at 2.77 ±0.21 kg fisher-1 hr-1 compared to 1.90 ±0.16 kg fisher-1 hr-1 in 2011 (KWH(1,988) = 24.86, p<0.001) (Fig 2). Similarly, catch rate for handline fishing alone were higher at 2.08 ±0.09 kg fisher-1 hr-1 in 1995 versus 1.23 ±0.13 kg fisher-1 hr-1 in 2011 (KWH(1,662) = 30.89, p<0.001).

Bottom Line: In the Pacific Islands coastal fisheries provide basic subsistence needs for millions of people.In particular we found changes in preferred fishing locations, fishing methodology and catch composition between these data sets.Such insight into local-scale responses to changing resources and/or fisheries development will help scientists and policy makers throughout the Pacific region in managing the region's fisheries in the future.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Civil Engineering, the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

ABSTRACT
Globally the majority of commercial fisheries have experienced dramatic declines in stock and catch. Likewise, projections for many subsistence fisheries in the tropics indicate a dramatic decline is looming in the coming decades. In the Pacific Islands coastal fisheries provide basic subsistence needs for millions of people. A decline in fish catch would therefore have profound impacts on the health and livelihoods of these coastal communities. Given the decrease in local catch rates reported for many coastal communities in the Pacific, it is important to understand if fishers have responded to ecological change (either by expanding their fishing range and/or increasing their fishing effort), and if so, to evaluate the costs or benefits of these responses. We compare data from fish catches in 1995 and 2011 from a rural coastal community in Solomon Islands to examine the potentially changing coastal reef fishery at these time points. In particular we found changes in preferred fishing locations, fishing methodology and catch composition between these data sets. The results indicate that despite changes in catch rates (catch per unit effort) between data collected in 2011 and 16 years previously, the study community was able to increase gross catches through visiting fishing sites further away, diversifying fishing methods and targeting pelagic species through trolling. Such insight into local-scale responses to changing resources and/or fisheries development will help scientists and policy makers throughout the Pacific region in managing the region's fisheries in the future.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus