Presenter

Ellie Patterson

Abstract

This study compares the abundance of parrotfish (Scaridae) inside and outside of National Cockburn Land and Sea Park (NCLSP) in South Caicos, as well as addresses the compliance of the finfishing industry with the recent prohibition of parrotfish capture. Parrotfish are ecologically important species to coral reef habitats because of services that they provide, such as grazing on macroalgae. Their ecological services support the health and survival of coral reefs. This study is important because it assesses the ability of marine protected areas (MPA) to protect parrotfish abundance. This study found that there was a highly significant difference in overall parrotfish abundance inside and outside of NCLSP, and abundance index values were consistently higher inside of the MPA. These results suggest that the MPA enhances parrotfish abundance and coral reef health correspondingly. The study also found incidences of parrotfish capture, suggesting a lack of compliance with regulation banning parrotfish capture.

Faculty Sponsor

Leena Knight

Sponsor Department/Programs

Biology

Tracks

Poster Session

Location

Cordiner Hall

Presentation Type

Poster

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Apr 19th, 1:00 PM Apr 19th, 2:00 PM

Abundance and Current Fishing of Parrotfish (Scaridae) on South Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands

Cordiner Hall

This study compares the abundance of parrotfish (Scaridae) inside and outside of National Cockburn Land and Sea Park (NCLSP) in South Caicos, as well as addresses the compliance of the finfishing industry with the recent prohibition of parrotfish capture. Parrotfish are ecologically important species to coral reef habitats because of services that they provide, such as grazing on macroalgae. Their ecological services support the health and survival of coral reefs. This study is important because it assesses the ability of marine protected areas (MPA) to protect parrotfish abundance. This study found that there was a highly significant difference in overall parrotfish abundance inside and outside of NCLSP, and abundance index values were consistently higher inside of the MPA. These results suggest that the MPA enhances parrotfish abundance and coral reef health correspondingly. The study also found incidences of parrotfish capture, suggesting a lack of compliance with regulation banning parrotfish capture.