Abundance and Current Fishing of Parrotfish (𝑆𝑐𝑎𝑟𝑖𝑑𝑎𝑒) on South Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands
April 12, 2016
Department or Program
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.