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Evidence for rapid recovery of shark populations within a coral reef marine protected area

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dc.contributor Uwa Mo96
dc.contributor Aims
dc.contributor Indian Ocean Marine Res Ctr
dc.contributor University Of Western Australia
dc.contributor Global Finprint Project
dc.contributor Australian Inst Marine Sci
dc.contributor Univ Western Australia Mo96
dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science MEEKAN, MARK G. SPEED, CONRAD W. CAPPO, MIKE 2018-05-20T18:39:11Z 2018-05-20T18:39:11Z 2019-05-09T01:03:54Z 2018-05-20T18:39:11Z 2018-05-20T18:39:11Z 2019-05-09T01:03:54Z 2018-04-01
dc.identifier.citation Speed CW, Cappo M, Meekan MG (2018) Evidence for rapid recovery of shark populations within a coral reef marine protected area. Biological Conservation 220: 308-319
dc.identifier.issn 0006-3207
dc.description.abstract There is limited evidence on the rate at which the shark populations of coral reefs can rebound from over exploitation, the baselines that might signify when recovery has occurred and the role of no-take Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in aiding this process. We surveyed shark assemblages at Ashmore Reef in Western Australia using baited remote underwater video stations in 2004 prior to enforcement of MPA status and then again in 2016 after eight years of strict enforcement. We found an increase in the relative mean abundance of Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos from 0.16 +/- 0.06 individuals h(-1). in 2004 to 0.74 +/- 0.11 individuals h(-1) in 2016, a change that was also accompanied by a shift in the assemblage of sharks to greater proportions of apex species (from 7.1% to 11.9%) and reef sharks (from 28.6% to 57.6%), and a decrease in the proportional abundance of lower trophic level species (from 64.3% to 30.5%). Abundances and trophic assemblage of sharks at Ashmore Reef in 2004 resembled those of the Scott Reefs, where targeted fishing for sharks still occurs, whereas in 2016, abundances and trophic structures had recovered to resemble those of the Rowley Shoals, a reef system that has been a strictly enforced MPA for over 25 years. The shift in abundance and community structure coincident with strict enforcement of the MPA at Ashmore Reef has occurred at a rate greater than predicted by demographic models, implying the action of compensatory processes in recovery. Our study shows that shark communities can recover rapidly after exploitation in a well-managed no-take MPA.
dc.description.sponsorship This work is contribution #1 of the Global FinPrint Project, funded by Paul G. Allen Philanthropies - grant number 11861. Additional support was provided by the Australian Institute of Marine Science. Data were collected under permits from the Department of Parks and Wildlife (Reg. 17 - 01-000023-1) and the Department of Environment (CMR-15-000360). We thank the following people for help with field work: A. Parr, M. Tropiano, J. Williams, W. Kelly, K. Osborne, H. Davies, M. Cundy, P. Thomson, T. Shalders, I. Lindgren, K. Cure, E. Lester, M. Ashbolt, S. Chapman, B. Walker, and J. van den Broek. We also thank J. Seager for his advice and assistance with EventMeasure and R. Marriott and A. Mason for their contribution to video analyses.
dc.language English
dc.subject Bruvs
dc.subject Ashmore Reef
dc.subject Base-lines
dc.subject Conservation
dc.subject Biodiversity Conservation
dc.subject Northern Australia
dc.subject Environmental Sciences
dc.subject Galeocerdo-cuvier
dc.subject Ecology
dc.subject Ecological Role
dc.subject Environmental Sciences & Ecology
dc.subject Economic Value
dc.subject Illegal Fishing
dc.subject Tiger Shark
dc.subject Carcharhinus-amblyrhynchos
dc.subject Global Finprint Project
dc.subject Diving Tourism
dc.subject Carcharhinus Amblyrhynchos
dc.subject Artisanal Fishing
dc.subject Biodiversity & Conservation
dc.subject Predator Declines
dc.title Evidence for rapid recovery of shark populations within a coral reef marine protected area
dc.type journal article
dc.identifier.doi 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.01.010
dc.identifier.wos WOS:000429765000034

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