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    • magazineArticle

      Sustaining environmental integrity in the midst of intensified aquaculture development 

      FG Ayson, T Azuma, T Shibuno, BO Acosta & VT Sulit - Fish for the People, 2015 - SEAFDEC Secretariat
      The escalating aquaculture production from Southeast Asia during the past decades seems inevitable notwithstanding its significant contribution to economic growth and guaranteed food security of the countries in the region. Despite its good prospects, the region’s aquaculture sector is being confronted with various issues that should be addressed to enable it to develop sustainably and contribute unceasingly to poverty alleviation in the region. Responsible aquaculture has been practiced in the region as means of easing the crisis in capture fisheries; however, this has to be matched with effective approaches that address concerns on the fishery resources that are deteriorating. Resource enhancement of economically important aquatic species has been considered as one of the effective approaches that would help protect and restore the aquatic resource habitats and stocks, the latter connotes stock enhancement. As could be gleaned from the current scenario of fisheries in the Southeast Asian region, the recurring over-exploitation of common natural resources has affected the livelihoods of fishers and coastal communities. The imbalanced extraction of natural aquatic resources and natural recruitment has worsened through the years and if left unabated could result in the extinction of many of the region’s endemic aquatic species. It is for such consequences that the Aquaculture Department of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, while intensifying its efforts in developing sustainable aquaculture, is also promoting resource enhancement as these two approaches are expected to enhance the region’s fishery resources and food security in view of their perfect roles in improving the productivity of aquatic stocks and status of the natural habitats. Nonetheless, aquaculture techniques have always been used to facilitate the stock enhancement of commercially important, threatened and endangered aquatic species. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the USA defines stock enhancement as “restoration aquaculture” or the release of hatchery-bred juveniles of fish and shellfish to the wild, and considers this approach as a management tool to recover depleted stocks due to overfishing and habitat loss. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has demonstrated that stock enhancement is a type of culture based fisheries since part of the life cycle of certain aquatic species is being controlled in hatcheries before the seeds or juveniles are transplanted or released into open waters — freshwater or brackishwater or marine environments — and allowed to propagate or grow on natural foods until reaching harvestable size.
    • Article

      Total volume of 3D small patch reefs reflected in aerial photographs can predict total species richness of coral reef damselfish assemblages on a shallow back reef 

      A Hattori & T Shibuno - Ecological Research, 2015 - Springer Verlag
      Because fish have a high dispersal ability, an understanding coral reef fish metacommunity structure is vital for effective conservation. Coral reefs provide patchy habitat of various sizes and scales. We examined the species–area relationship (SAR) of damselfish (Pomacentridae) assemblages over 81 environmentally homogenous patch reefs ranging 0.07–45.4 m2 with low coral cover. Patch reefs were located in the shallow back reef (<2.5 m deep) off Ishigaki Island, Japan. Reef area was measured by performing image analysis of enlarged sections of a high-resolution (>1/2500) color aerial photograph used as a fine-scale seascape map. To assess the effects of three-dimensional meso-scale rugosity on species richness, we assumed that all reefs had a cylindrical shape and examined species by volume (area × height) relationships (SVR). Patch reef volume was a better determinant of species richness than area, and the regression functions of SVR provided better estimates of patch reef species richness. Neither the observed SVRs nor SARs, however, could be explained by a random placement model alone. Our results suggest that several small reefs are likely to have higher species richness than a single large reef of equivalent area in the shallow back reef where large patch reefs are flat. Thus, total patch reef volume (area × height) better reflects meso-scale rugosity and is a useful indicator of total species richness relative to the total amount of essential habitat in shallow back reefs.