Restocking herbivorous fish populations as a social-ecological restoration tool in coral reefs

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Abstract

The degradation of the world's coral reefs has aroused growing interest in ecological restoration as a countermeasure, which is widely criticized, mainly due to cost-effectiveness concerns. Here, we propose the restocking of herbivorous fish as a restoration tool, based on supply of young fish to degraded reefs, with the aims of: (1) Buildup of a critical fish biomass for basic ecosystem functions (e.g., grazing); (2) Increased fishing yields, which can sustain coastal communities, and consequently; (3) Reduced reef destruction and better local compliance with fishery policies. We present the rationale of the restocking approach as both a reef restoration and a fishery management tool, and examine its pros and cons. This approach requires, however, further social-ecological and aquaculture research in order to support the critical stages of its implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number138
JournalFrontiers in Marine Science
Volume3
Issue numberAUG
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Biomanipulation
  • Coral reefs
  • Ecosystem management
  • Fish restocking
  • Social-ecological restoration

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