Please select your home edition
Edition
Mackay Boats

Proof that Marine Parks work

by ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies on 31 Mar 2009
Kimbe Island. The research was carried out in Kimbe Bay, New Britain in Papua New Guinea, a region of relatively pristine coral reefs where it is proposed to set up a network of marine reserves. IKONOS-2 image ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies http://www.coralcoe.org.au/

New evidence that networks of marine protected areas (MPAs) can play a big role in protecting threatened coral reef fish and other marine species from local extinction has been found by an international research team.

In a world-first experiment, the researchers used DNA fingerprinting to show that baby orange clownfish have remarkable homing abilities, with many finding their way back to home reefs after being swept out to sea as hatchlings.

In the process they discovered some baby clownfish had travelled to reefs as much as 35 kilometres distant from the reef where they were spawned – a spectacular feat considering they were only a few millimetres in length.

The research was carried out in Kimbe Bay, New Britain in Papua New Guinea, a region of relatively pristine coral reefs where it is proposed to set up a network of marine reserves.

'Basically, we found that MPA networks can help sustain resident fish populations both by local replenishment and by fish larvae coming in from other neighbouring reserves,' says Professor Geoff Jones of ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CoECRS) and James Cook University.

'Using their parent’s DNA to identify where they had come from, we have been able to show that about 40 per cent of baby clownfish that settle in a marine reserve are those that have returned home. In addition, the parents within one marine reserve can explain up to 10 per cent of the baby fish settling in reserves 20-30km away.

'This shows not only how effective a marine protected area can be for conserving the breeding stock on a particular reef – but also how important it is to have a network of protected reefs at the right distance which can help to re-stock one another.'

In another first, the team has demonstrated the power of parental DNA analysis for measuring the health and viability of fish populations in marine protected areas.

Because orange clownfish live in sea anemones and because the locations of all the anemone clumps around Kimbe island were known, the team was able to collect DNA from 506 adult clownfish living around the island – which they believe to be its entire population.

They then tested juvenile fish which had recently returned from the open sea and settled on the reef in order to establish their parentage, finding that about 40 per cent were locally-bred while the remainder had come from other reefs.

'This level of recruitment to the home reef was remarkably stable over time. It shows both the value of having a protected area to maintain the local fish population – and also the importance of having a network of protected areas within a range that allows them to replenish one another’s fish populations,' Professor Jones says.

After they are hatched from the egg, the baby clownfish are swept out to sea on the local currents and then spend an average of 11 days trying to make their way back to their home reef or find a new one to settle on. In this time they may travel 20 or 30 kilometres from their home reef as the crow flies – and in one remarkable case, 35 kilometres. This indicates a tiny fish only 5mm long can travel 3km or more a day.

Other species, such as butterflyfish, spend up to 35 days at sea as babies and can potentially cover even greater distances. However, many butterflyfish babies also return to home reefs.

The project’s findings support the growing view that a network of marine reserves is more effective for maintaining a diversity of fish and other marine species than a single, isolated park or no-fishing area.

'The current theory holds that even quite low rates of migration between reefs are enough to prevent certain fish species from becoming locally extinct – and this research bears that out,' Professor Jones says.

'Given the mounting evidence worldwide that populations of many small reef fish are under threat, we think parental DNA analysis offers a new tool to help protect them.'



The report Larval dispersal connects fish populations in a network of marine protected areas by Serge Planes (Perpignan University), Geoff Jones and Simon Thorrold (Woods Hole) is published in the latest edition of the Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

http://www.coralcoe.org.au

Naiad/Oracle SupplierWildwind 2016 660x82Ancasta Botin Fast40 660x82

Related Articles

America's Cup - Adventures of a Sailor Girl in Bermuda!
Wow! Who would have thought that we would have to wait even longer for the start of the America's Cup events Wow! Who would have thought that we would have to wait even longer for the start of the America's Cup events when arriving here this week! I wonder who bet on a late start for all of the teams, when racing was officially postponed on the evening of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifier Series here last night!
Posted today at 8:42 am
America's Cup - Emirates Team New Zealand is ready to race - Video
It's nearly time to race... The first race of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup qualifiers is scheduled for May 27. It's nearly time to race... The first race of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup qualifiers is scheduled for May 27. Emirates Team New Zealand Skipper Glenn Ashby: 'I am 100% confident we have the right men for the job'
Posted today at 4:44 am
Bermuda Soundings - We'll know tomorrow
The 35th America's Cup is expected to get underway tomorrow, May 27 at 1408hrs local time. The 35th America's Cup is expected to get underway tomorrow, May 27 at 1408hrs local time. The start of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers was delayed by a day due to strong winds - which did eventuate but not at the level expected.
Posted today at 3:18 am
America's Cup - All teams to race twice in extended Day 1 & 2 schedule
After losing the first day of racing at the 35th America's Cup, the rescheduled series will get underway on Saturday After losing the first day of racing at the 35th America's Cup, the rescheduled series will get underway on Saturday May 27 at 2.00pm (1400hrs) local time and will continue until 5.00pm/1700hrs local time. An 8-12kts westerly breeze is expected for the start of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers. Each team will now race twice a day
Posted today at 12:19 am
America's Cup - A look at 30 years of Kiwi Cup history - Video
3News prime time news magazine reviews 30 years of America's Cup involvement by three Kiwi entities 3News prime time news magazine reviews 30 years of America's Cup involvement by three Kiwi entities - New Zealand Challenge, Team New Zealand and Emirates Team New Zealand. Beginning with the 1986/87 Cup in Fremantle through the wins and losses and rebuilds.
Posted on 26 May
America's Cup - Emirates Team New Zealand on the pedal power gamble
Other teams at the 35th America's Cup still have the view that Emirates Team NZ took a design risk by using cyclors All the other teams still have the view that Emirates Team NZ took a design risk by using bicycles, rather than more conventional pedestal grinders, to power their AC50. Although the human legs do have more power than the arms, there were a wide array of factors to consider, and it was not a decision taken lightly as Emirates Team NZ's Mechanical Engineer Tim Meldrum explains.
Posted on 26 May
America's Cup - Brits put on Game Face as racing stalled for a day
Strong winds in Bermuda has meant that day one of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers is postponed. Sir Ben Ainslie, Team Principal and Skipper remarked: “We are feeling good about starting the competition. It’s been documented that we’ve struggled with straight line speed in some of the practice races and that is something we are working really hard to rectify.
Posted on 26 May
America's Cup - 12 days of British coverage to be free to air + Video
Georgie Ainslie presents Inside Track which went live a few hours ago from the Land Rover BAR team in Bermuda. BT Sport are making the America's Cup more accessible to watch by broadcasting the first 12 days of live racing from the Qualifiers and the Challenger Play-off semi-finals plus highlights from the Challenger Final and the Match on BT's Freeview channel, BT Sport Showcase HD. In this report Catch Georgie Ainslie presenting Inside Track from Bermuda earlier today.
Posted on 26 May
America's Cup - Extended racing hours to catch up first day's schedule
The strong winds forecast for the first day of racing in the 35th America's Cup have hit the Great Sound in Bermuda, but The strong winds forecast for the first day of racing in the 35th America's Cup have hit the Great Sound in Bermuda, but are less than predicted. But on all three locations monitored by Predictwind.com the wind strength is clearly outside the limits allowed for racing with out the need for the Regatta Director to exercise his discretion to take safety consideration into account.
Posted on 26 May
America's Cup - Late rule change plugs 'Love-tap' redress gap
A late rule change has been implemented in the 35th America's Cup to addressing situations involving damage and redress A late rule change has been implemented in the 35th America's Cup to addressing situations similar to the serious collision on the second day of last Practice Session between Emirates Team New Zealand and Land Rover BAR, which saw the Kiwi boat taken out of racing for a four day period.
Posted on 26 May