Restoring depleted coral-reef fish populations through recruitment enhancement: A proof of concept

A. Heenan, S. D. Simpson, M. G. Meekan, S. D. Healy, V. A. Braithwaite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To determine whether enhancing the survival of new recruits is a sensible target for the restorative management of depleted coral-reef fish populations, settlement-stage ambon damsel fish Pomacentrus amboinensis were captured, tagged and then either released immediately onto small artificial reefs or held in aquaria for 1 week prior to release. Holding conditions were varied to determine whether they affected survival of fish: half the fish were held in bare tanks (non-enriched) and the other half in tanks containing coral and sand (enriched). Holding fish for this short period had a significantly positive effect on survivorship relative to the settlement-stage treatment group that were released immediately. The enrichment of holding conditions made no appreciable difference on the survival of fish once released onto the reef. It did, however, have a positive effect on the survival of fish while in captivity, thus supporting the case for the provision of simple environmental enrichment in fish husbandry. Collecting and holding settlement-stage fish for at least a week before release appear to increase the short-term survival of released fish; whether it is an effective method for longer-term enhancement of locally depleted coral-reef fish populations will require further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1857-1867
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Volume75
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2009

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coral reefs
coral reef
fish
artificial reefs
environmental enrichment
artificial reef
fish culture
captivity
aquariums
aquarium
survivorship
corals
reefs
coral
survival rate
reef
sand

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science

Cite this

Heenan, A. ; Simpson, S. D. ; Meekan, M. G. ; Healy, S. D. ; Braithwaite, V. A. / Restoring depleted coral-reef fish populations through recruitment enhancement : A proof of concept. In: Journal of Fish Biology. 2009 ; Vol. 75, No. 7. pp. 1857-1867.
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Restoring depleted coral-reef fish populations through recruitment enhancement : A proof of concept. / Heenan, A.; Simpson, S. D.; Meekan, M. G.; Healy, S. D.; Braithwaite, V. A.

In: Journal of Fish Biology, Vol. 75, No. 7, 01.11.2009, p. 1857-1867.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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