Linking Social and Ecological Systems to Sustain Coral Reef Fisheries

Joshua E. Cinner, Timothy R. McClanahan, Tim M. Daw, Nicholas A J Graham, Joseph Maina, Shaun K. Wilson, Terence P. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The ecosystem goods and services provided by coral reefs are critical to the social and economic welfare of hundreds of millions of people, overwhelmingly in developing countries [1]. Widespread reef degradation is severely eroding these goods and services, but the socioeconomic factors shaping the ways that societies use coral reefs are poorly understood [2]. We examine relationships between human population density, a multidimensional index of socioeconomic development, reef complexity, and the condition of coral reef fish populations in five countries across the Indian Ocean. In fished sites, fish biomass was negatively related to human population density, but it was best explained by reef complexity and a U-shaped relationship with socioeconomic development. The biomass of reef fishes was four times lower at locations with intermediate levels of economic development than at locations with both low and high development. In contrast, average biomass inside fishery closures was three times higher than in fished sites and was not associated with socioeconomic development. Sustaining coral reef fisheries requires an integrated approach that uses tools such as protected areas to quickly build reef resources while also building capacities and capital in societies over longer time frames to address the complex underlying causes of reef degradation.

LanguageEnglish
Pages206-212
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Coral Reefs
Fisheries
Reefs
coral reefs
Ecosystem
reefs
fisheries
Biomass
socioeconomic development
Fishes
Population Density
Economics
Capacity Building
Indian Ocean
human population
Economic Development
biomass
Fish
population density
fish

Keywords

  • EVO_ECOL

Cite this

Cinner, J. E., McClanahan, T. R., Daw, T. M., Graham, N. A. J., Maina, J., Wilson, S. K., & Hughes, T. P. (2009). Linking Social and Ecological Systems to Sustain Coral Reef Fisheries. Current Biology, 19(3), 206-212. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2008.11.055
Cinner, Joshua E. ; McClanahan, Timothy R. ; Daw, Tim M. ; Graham, Nicholas A J ; Maina, Joseph ; Wilson, Shaun K. ; Hughes, Terence P. / Linking Social and Ecological Systems to Sustain Coral Reef Fisheries. In: Current Biology. 2009 ; Vol. 19, No. 3. pp. 206-212.
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Cinner, JE, McClanahan, TR, Daw, TM, Graham, NAJ, Maina, J, Wilson, SK & Hughes, TP 2009, 'Linking Social and Ecological Systems to Sustain Coral Reef Fisheries', Current Biology, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 206-212. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2008.11.055

Linking Social and Ecological Systems to Sustain Coral Reef Fisheries. / Cinner, Joshua E.; McClanahan, Timothy R.; Daw, Tim M.; Graham, Nicholas A J; Maina, Joseph; Wilson, Shaun K.; Hughes, Terence P.

In: Current Biology, Vol. 19, No. 3, 10.02.2009, p. 206-212.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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Cinner JE, McClanahan TR, Daw TM, Graham NAJ, Maina J, Wilson SK et al. Linking Social and Ecological Systems to Sustain Coral Reef Fisheries. Current Biology. 2009 Feb 10;19(3):206-212. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2008.11.055