Making a model meaningful to coral reef managers in a developing nation: A case study of overfishing and rock anchoring in Indonesia

Maynard, Jeffrey A., Anthony, Kenneth R. N., Afatta, Siham, Dahl-Tacconi, Nancy and Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove (2010) Making a model meaningful to coral reef managers in a developing nation: A case study of overfishing and rock anchoring in Indonesia. Conservation Biology, 24 5: 1316-1326. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2010.01487.x

Author Maynard, Jeffrey A.
Anthony, Kenneth R. N.
Afatta, Siham
Dahl-Tacconi, Nancy
Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove
Title Making a model meaningful to coral reef managers in a developing nation: A case study of overfishing and rock anchoring in Indonesia
Journal name Conservation Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0888-8892
Publication date 2010-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2010.01487.x
Volume 24
Issue 5
Start page 1316
End page 1326
Total pages 11
Editor Gary K. Meffe
Ellen Main
Place of publication Malden, Mass. U.S.A.
Publisher Blackwell
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Most of the world's coral reefs line the coasts of developing nations, where impacts from intense and destructive fishing practices form critical conservation issues for managers. Overfishing of herbivorous fishes can cause phase shifts to macroalgal dominance, and fishers' use of rocks as anchors lowers coral cover, giving further competitive advantage to macroalgae. Overfishing and anchoring have been studied extensively, but the role of their interaction in lowering coral reef resilience has not been quantified formally. We analyzed the combined effects of overfishing and rock anchoring on a range of reef habitat types-varying from high coral and low macroalgae cover to low coral and high macroalgae cover-in a marine park in Indonesia. We parameterized a model of coral and algal dynamics with three intensities of anchoring and fishing pressure. Results of the model indicated that damage caused by rock anchoring was equal to or possibly more devastating to coral reefs in the area than the impact of overfishing. This is an important outcome for local managers, who usually have the funds to distribute less-damaging anchors, but normally are unable to patrol regularly and effectively enough to reduce the impact of overfishing. We translated model results into an interactive visual tool that allows managers to explore the benefits of reducing anchoring frequency and fishing pressure. The potential consequences of inaction were made clear: the likelihood that any of the reef habitats will be dominated in the future by macroalgae rather than corals depends on reducing anchoring frequency, fishing pressure, or both. The tool provides a platform for strengthened relationships between managers and conservationists and can facilitate the uptake of recommendations regarding resource allocation and management actions. Conservation efforts for coral reefs in developing nations are likely to benefit from transforming model projections of habitat condition into tools local managers can understand and interact with.
© 2010 Society for Conservation Biology.
Keyword Coral reefs
Environmental management
Rock anchoring
Phase shifts
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Global Change Institute Publications
Official 2011 Collection
Centre for Marine Studies Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 5 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 4 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 30 Nov 2010, 14:19:21 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of Global Change Institute