[Coral-List] The battle for biodiversity

Curtis Kruer kruer at 3rivers.net
Wed Dec 1 16:17:35 EST 2010

Folks,  the debacle that is the Florida Keys spiny lobster fishery - rampant 
overfishing for decades and the cascading ecological impacts within the 
coral reef ecosystem due to effects of overharvest - have been known for 
years.   But the fact that the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary has 
been in existence for 20 years now is the real story here, and one that 
should be of concern to many.  Climate change or no climate change.

Curtis Kruer

From: "Martin Moe" <martin_moe at yahoo.com>
Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 7:25 AM
To: "Bruno, John F" <jbruno at unc.edu>; <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] The battle for biodiversity

> John, Thanks for the clarification on the variability of genetic 
> structure, I'm
> sure the actual situation is far more complex in time and distance than we
> realize, but given the longevity of the larval phase of P. argus, and the
> patterns of water currents in the broad area, I think it is reasonable to
> assume, with your caveat well considered, that the likelihood of 
> reproductively
> separate populations of P. argus is not great. But whatever the actual 
> case may
> be, when it comes to exploitation, perception, even engineered perception,
> becomes reality, and often such perception becomes the basis for 
> regulation. Too
> often regulation that would offer functional reproductive protection for a
> species (to say nothing of the need for ecological protection) is not 
> enacted
> because the burden of proof that such regulation is needed can not be met 
> to the
> satisfaction of the fishing industries. And the response after the profits 
> have
> been made and the resource is in trouble, is "Gee, I guess we were wrong.
> Shucks, now we have to go after a less profitable species." Of course we 
> can't
> paint all fishing efforts with the same brush, but it seems to happen all 
> too
> often.
> On another marine species larval distribution note, I have Diadema larvae 
> now at
> day 69 that are finally showing signs of readiness for settlement.
> Martin
> ________________________________
> From: "Bruno, John F" <jbruno at unc.edu>
> To: "<coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>" <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
> Sent: Mon, November 29, 2010 9:22:50 PM
> Subject: [Coral-List] The battle for biodiversity
> A case in point is the spiny lobster fishery of Florida. It has been shown
> through analysis of mitochondrial DNA (Silberman, et. al., 1994) that, as
> expected, genetic analysis shows no evidence of genetic structure in the 
> spiny
> lobster (P. argus) population, which is consistent with a high gene flow
> throughout the population. This also indicates that the population of 
> spiny
> lobsters in Florida is dependent on larval influx from Caribbean sources.
> Martin, thank you for that really interesting post, especially your 
> insights on
> the response of lobster fishers to NOAAs catch shares plan.  Not to 
> suggest that
> I know anything about lobster population genetics, but the lack of genetic
> structure within a population (or among populations) doesn't necessarily 
> mean
> strong demographic connectivity and that result certainly doesn't indicate 
> that
> "the population of spiny lobsters in Florida is dependent on larval influx 
> from
> Caribbean sources".  For one, a relatively small degree of migration 
> between
> subpopulations can be enough to genetically homogenize them without 
> creating
> much if any demographic connectivity.  Even if there were effective 
> demographic
> connectivity between Florida and Caribbean populations, that would not
> necessarily mean the Florida populations were a sink and wholly dependent 
> on
> larval subsidies.
> JB
> John Bruno
> Associate Professor
> UNC Chapel Hill
> www.brunolab.net<http://www.brunolab.net>
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