Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association

Investigation of the Importance of Reef Fish Spawning Aggregations for the Sustainable Management of Artisanal Fisheries Resources in the Seychelles. WIOMSA Book Series No 6

Investigation of the Importance of Reef Fish Spawning Aggregations for the Sustainable Management of Artisanal Fisheries Resources in the Seychelles. WIOMSA Book Series No 6

Many reef fishes aggregate at specific times and locations for the purpose of spawning. Spawning aggregations are vulnerable to overfishing, notably transient-type aggregations common to many groupers (Serranidae) and rabbitfishes (Siganidae). A 3-year multidisciplinary programme was implemented in Seychelles and aimed to determine the importance of spawning aggregations for artisanal fisheries management. Semi-structured interviews revealed that spawning aggregations were well-known to artisanal fishers, particularly siganid aggregations forming near the main granitic islands and serranid aggregations forming in the outer islands. In-situ field studies at reported and suspected sites verified spawning and aggregating behaviour at 12 aggregations, comprising Epinephelus polyphekadion, E. fuscoguttatus, Plectropomus punctatus and Siganus sutor. Reef passes and channels were found to be important features for serranid aggregations.

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