[Coral-List] Fishing in Bonaire National Marine Park

Duncan MacRae solutions at cozm.co.uk
Sat Jan 19 08:21:45 EST 2008

Dear Alina, Emily, List

After extensive lobbying and with Bob Steneck's report, legislation was 
passed in September 2007 (EBHAM #17/2007 associated with the Marine 
Environment Ordinance) to stop all fishing in two areas on the Island 
encompassing approximately a 3km stretch of coastline on the leeward shore. 
A monitoring programme was established then by park management (borrowing 
from AGGRA) to record fish data. Patrols and enforcement are effective and 
carried out 7 days a week so it will be interesting to see the results and 
an interesting study if anyone has the time.


Duncan R. MacRae

Coastal Zone Management (UK)
Integrated Conservation Solutions

Blythe Cottage
22 Rosemundy
St. Agnes
Cornwall, UK.

Tel: ++ (0)1872 552 219
Mobile: ++(0)7958 230 076
E-mail: solutions at cozm.co.uk
Skype name: drmacrae
Website: www.cozm.co.uk

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----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Szmant, Alina" <szmanta at uncw.edu>
To: "Emily McGrath" <emilycmcgrath at gmail.com>; 
<Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2008 2:59 PM
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Tunicate-killing coral spreading (Emily McGrath)

> With all due respect to the beautiful Bonaire Marine Park, fishing is not 
> strictly regulated (first thing I ran into when I visited was a young man 
> on the beach in front of the house we were renting (next to the Habitat 
> dive resort) with a whole bunch of 6 to 8 inch small groupers, cleaning 
> them on the shore.  We never saw many big fishes day or night during our 
> dives.  I am used to the Florida Keys where herbivores are not fished, and 
> these animals are numerous (large schools) and large in size.  The 
> parrotfish population on Bonaire reefs was low in my experience.  While I 
> was there, Bob Steneck was talking earnestly to Bonaire officials making 
> strong recommendations that fishing not be allowed in the park.  If all 
> fishing has been stopped since my visit (last 3-4 years) then that would 
> be great but it will take time for the fishes to come back.  Same can be 
> said for Curacao where I have spent more time and visited more reefs.
> Alina Szmant
> *******************************************************************
> Dr. Alina M. Szmant
> Coral Reef Research Group
> UNCW-Center for Marine Science
> 5600 Marvin K. Moss Ln
> Wilmington NC 28409
> Tel: (910)962-2362 & Fax:  (910)962-2410
> Cell:  (910)200-3913
> email:  szmanta at uncw.edu
> Web Page:  http://people.uncw.edu/szmanta
> ******************************************************************
> ________________________________
> From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov on behalf of Emily McGrath
> Sent: Thu 1/17/2008 7:55 PM
> To: Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Tunicate-killing coral spreading (Emily McGrath)
> Dear Coral Listers,
>    Like Mark, I have been following the tunicate vein with great interest,
> particularly in regards to the subject of fish population/predation and 
> the
> connection to increased populations of *T. solidum *throughout the
> Caribbean. As an intern for the CIEE Research Station in Bonaire, I had 
> the
> opportunity to volunteer for the Bonaire National Marine Park studying the
> abundance and distribution of the colonial tunicate throughout the park. 
> As
> Dr. Goreau mentioned, the entirety of the island is a marine park, has
> strict fishing regulations, and is heavily protected. As a result it 
> boasts
> some of the highest fish diversity in the Caribbean (and with a healthy
> population of the aforementioned fish; i.e. parrotfish, surgeonfish, and
> wrass).
>   Throughout all of my diving on the island, I never witnessed the
> predation of the tunicate by any organism; I attributed this to literature
> found regarding the ability of *T. solidum* to store several toxic 
> compounds
> throughout the test, gonads, larvae, etc. Even while observing spawning, I
> never witnessed consumption of their large, swimming larvae (my buddy said
> she even saw a mysid shrimp take one and immediately release it). If 
> others
> have witnessed predation activity on the tunicates in the southern
> Caribbean, or aware of any such literature, I would greatly welcome
> references.
>      As a side note: one might exercise caution while removing the 
> tunicate
> from mid-morning until mid-afternoon (the daily spawning period of Tri-D;
> times vary by location but have been defined by Bak et al. in Curacao and
> Bonaire). As it may be difficult to remove the entirety of the mat in one
> fell swoop, tears often result and the large larvae will often escape and
> begin to swim immediately -- a good way to help spread this
> already worrysome organism.
>    Emily McGrath
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