Parrotfish sex ratios recover rapidly in Bermuda following a fishing ban

O'Farrell, Shay, Luckhurst, Brian E., Box, Stephen J. and Mumby, Peter J. (2015) Parrotfish sex ratios recover rapidly in Bermuda following a fishing ban. Coral Reefs, 35 2: 1-5. doi:10.1007/s00338-015-1389-5

Author O'Farrell, Shay
Luckhurst, Brian E.
Box, Stephen J.
Mumby, Peter J.
Title Parrotfish sex ratios recover rapidly in Bermuda following a fishing ban
Journal name Coral Reefs   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0722-4028
Publication date 2015-12-17
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s00338-015-1389-5
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 35
Issue 2
Start page 1
End page 5
Total pages 5
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Subject 1104 Aquatic Science
Abstract Parrotfishes are an ecologically and commercially important teleost group whose grazing contributes to maintaining coral-dominated states on hermatypic reefs. However, overfishing has skewed sex ratios of Atlantic parrotfishes because fishing has disproportionate impacts on larger individuals, and males are generally larger than females. Whether protection from fishing may allow sex ratios to return to equilibrium is unknown, as fishing can induce irreversible ecological and/or evolutionary shifts. Bermuda banned trap fishing in 1990, creating a unique opportunity to analyse long-term responses of Atlantic parrotfishes to release from fishing. We found that sex ratios of four common parrotfishes were initially skewed, with male proportions ranging from 0.04 to 0.18. However, male proportions rebounded within 3–4 yr, equilibrating at values ranging from 0.36 to 0.54, similar to those reported at unfished sites in the region. Our results are encouraging for regional efforts to recover lost grazing function by restoring overfished herbivore populations.
Keyword Coral reefs
Fish traps
Ecosystem-based management
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Biological Sciences Publications
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