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Agregaciones reproductivas de peces un punto focal para el manejo pesquero y la conservación marina en México

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Many species of groupers form spawning aggregations, dramatic events where 100s to 1000s of individuals gather annually at specific locations for reproduction. Spawning aggregations are often targeted by local fishermen, making them extremely vulnerable to over fishing. The Red Hind Bank Marine Conservation District located in St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands, was closed seasonally in 1990 and closed permanently in 1999 to protect an important red hind Epinephelus guttatus spawning site. This study provides some of the first information on the population response of a spawning aggregation located within a marine protected area. Tag-and-release fishing and fish transects were used to evaluate population characteristics and habitat utilization patterns of a red hind spawning aggregation between 1999 and 2004. Compared with studies conducted before the permanent closure, the average size of red hind increased mostly during the seasonal closure period (10 cm over 12 yr), but the maximum total length of male red hind increased by nearly 7 cm following permanent closure. Average density and biomass of spawning red hind increased by over 60 % following permanent closure whereas maximum spawning density more than doubled. Information from tag returns indicated that red hind departed the protected area following spawning and migrated 6 to 33 km to a ca. 500 km2 area. Protection of the spawning aggregation site may have also contributed to an overall increase in the size of red hind caught in the commercial fishery, thus increasing the value of the grouper fishery for local fishermen.
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Dive tourism, with proper diver training, is often suggested as an environmentally benign and economically viable alternative to commercial fishing of coral reef fishes, affording, for example, unique opportunities to see large schools of spawning fish or encounter whale sharks Rhincodon typus. Yet, the ancillary effects of groups of divers disrupting fish spawning aggregations (FSAs) must be assessed. We examined over 9 h of video footage (extracted from over 100 h of underwater video) filmed at FSA sites in Belize. The footage captured divers interacting with schools of snappers and groupers as they aggregated to spawn, as well as showing the arrival of whale sharks. Diver behaviors included both video recording and flash still photography of fish schools and tagging of whale sharks. We filmed 746 unique diver–school interactions that included total observations of approximately 200 000 snappers, 4700 Nassau groupers Epinephelus striatus and 200 whale sharks. We recorded 180 spawning events, only 105 of which showed divers disturbing aggregating schools, which affected an estimated 2100 snappers and 90 groupers. We conclude that small groups of experienced divers, following a code of responsible diving centered upon the precautionary principle and sensitivity to fish schooling behaviors, do not negatively affect schooling or spawning behaviors. Though further research is needed to assess the effects of boat traffic and larger groups of less experienced divers, dive ecotourism at fish spawning areas represents an economically attractive and less exploitative alternative to commercial fishing.
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Animal migrations span the globe, involving immense numbers of individuals from a wide range of taxa. Migrants transport nutrients, energy, and other organisms as they forage and are preyed upon throughout their journeys. These highly predictable, pulsed movements across large spatial scales render migration a potentially powerful yet underappreciated dimension of biodiversity that is intimately embedded within resident communities. We review examples from across the animal kingdom to distill fundamental processes by which migratory animals influence communities and ecosystems, demonstrating that they can uniquely alter energy flow, food-web topology and stability, trophic cascades, and the structure of metacommunities. Given the potential for migration to alter ecological networks worldwide, we suggest an integrative framework through which community dynamics and ecosystem functioning may explicitly consider animal migrations.
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Annual spawning aggregations of red hind Epinephelus guttatus form at predictable times and locations and have historically succumbed to overfishing. Monitoring the status and restoration of aggregations is essential for evaluating the effectiveness of fishery management measures. Passive acoustic and diver-based underwater visual census (UVC) techniques were used to develop an efficient method for estimating red hind density from sound production at spawning aggregations. Red hind sound production was recorded from November 2010 to April 2011 at Abrir la Sierra, Puerto Rico. UVC surveys were conducted during the spawning season to assess changes in red hind density over a fixed time and area. Sound recorded from 18: 00 to 19: 00 h Atlantic Standard Time (UTC - 4) was representative of total daily changes in red hind sound production and was selected for the development of an efficient density estimation model. Pronounced daily changes in sound production and density were observed after the December 2010 and January 2011 full moons. Two hourly sound level measurements were compared to densities estimated by UVC surveys, yielding significant linear regressions, which were used to predict changes in fish density as measured at the aggregation site. Passive acoustic methods allowed to predict changes in red hind density and habitat use at a higher temporal resolution than previously possible with traditional methods. Red hind sound production and inferred densities can be monitored and analyzed efficiently for multiple aggregation sites simultaneously, documenting short-term and long-term changes in red hind densities at spawning aggregation sites and providing important information for the support or development of management strategies.
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Transient fish spawning aggregations (tFSas) are critical life-history phenomena where fish migrate to specific locations at predictable times of year to reproduce en masse. In the wider Caribbean region, 37 species of fish from 10 families are now known to form tFSas. although tFSas likely occur at times and in places that maximize reproductive success, little is known about the complex suite of interacting environmental patterns and ecological processes that dictate the timing and locations of tFSas. This review synthesizes the latest advances in the study of tFSas in the wider Caribbean to (1) illustrate the current state of knowledge; (2) highlight gaps in our understand-ing of the geography and ecology of aggregation sites; and (3) suggest future research needs and conservation strategies. we have compiled multidisciplinary data on 108 tFSas across 14 states and territories in the wider Caribbean and reviewed the full range of approaches and technologies applied to study tFSas. Existing research and associated hypotheses are grouped and examined by data type. we propose a multitier research framework that provides an incremental approach to information gathering at individual sites and suites of sites. we advocate applying the framework to facilitate consistent and coordinated data collection and monitoring across a wider Caribbean network of tFSas.
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Atlantic cod Gadus morhua exhibit multiyear homing to discrete spawning grounds, where they aggregate in dense schools. Within an aggregation, a series of complex mating behaviors takes place before mate selection and successful spawning. Disruption of these behaviors has been suggested as a cause of diminished reproductive success and poor recruitment in some stocks. An area known to support a spawning aggregation in Massachusetts Bay was closed to both commercial and recreational fishing for the months of May and June 2009. During the closure period, 10 Atlantic cod were captured, tagged with acoustic transmitters, and released back to the aggregation. Four stationary acoustic receivers were deployed in the area to record transmissions from the tagged fish. Overlapping detection ranges of the receivers allowed for the reconstruction of fine-scale movements of the tagged fish over several days. The tagged cod showed a consistent pattern of aggregation prior to the fishery, characterized by limited movement and similar space use. With the opening of the fishery, the aggregation behavior was disrupted, resulting in increased horizontal and vertical movements and dissimilar space use among individuals. Half of the tagged fish appeared to have been caught in gill nets within 9 h of the opening, while the remainder left the area within 18 h. Even though the receivers were maintained for 9 d after the opening, none of the tagged fish that left the area returned. These results indicate that the spawning aggregation was completely dispersed by the onset of the fishery. Managers hoping to protect spawning aggregations should be aware that the effects of fishing on a spawning aggregation go beyond the removals from the spawning stock.Received May 3, 2011; accepted October 13, 2011
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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 FSA MPAs, 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.