Damage to Cauliflower Coral by Monofilament Fishing Lines in Hawaii

Authors

  • KAZUE ASOH,

    Corresponding author
    1. Aquatic Ecology Laboratory, Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, The Ohio State University, 1314 Kinnear Road, Columbus, OH 43212–1156, U.S.A.
    • Current address: Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Ochanomizu University, 2-1-1 Otsuka, Bunkyo, Tokyo 112-8610, Japan, email asoh@hawaii.edu

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  • TOMOKO YOSHIKAWA,

    1. Department of Zoology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Edmondson 152, 2538 McCarthy Mall, Honolulu, HI 96822, U.S.A.
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  • RANDALL KOSAKI,

    1. Division of Aquatic Resources, State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Honolulu, HI 96813, U.S.A.
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  • ELIZABETH A. MARSCHALL

    1. Aquatic Ecology Laboratory, Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, The Ohio State University, 1314 Kinnear Road, Columbus, OH 43212–1156, U.S.A.
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Abstract

Abstract:  Many fishing methods and gear types used in coral reefs cause physical damage to the reef substratum. Only recently have monofilament fishing lines been recognized as a cause of coral damage and death. We assessed the extent of damage caused by monofilament fishing lines to the cauliflower coral ( Pocillopora meandrina) colonies in fished and adjacent unfished zones at seven sites in the main Hawaiian islands. We examined coral colonies for the presence or absence of fishing line and for the degree of damage (dead, no live coral surface; damaged, some dead coral surface; or intact, no dead coral surface) in nine 25-m2 grids. The mean proportion of colonies entangled with fishing lines in fished zones ranged from 0.18 to 0.44. The mean proportion of dead or damaged colonies was higher in fished than adjacent unfished zones, and there was a positive linear relationship between the proportion of colonies entangled with fishing lines and the proportion of dead or damaged colonies. These results indicate that monofilament fishing lines have a negative impact on the health and survival of P. meandrina colonies. Because tourism and related recreational fishing activities are expanding rapidly in many tropical states and nations, we recommend that the degrading effects of fishing lines on corals be considered in the design and management of tourism development.

Abstract

Resumen:  Muchos métodos y tipos de equipo de pesca utilizados en arrecifes de coral causan daño físico al sustrato del arrecife. El reconocimiento de las líneas de pesca de monofilamento como una causa de daño y muerte de corales es reciente. Evaluamos la extensión del daño por líneas de monofilamento en el colonias de coral coliflor (Pocillopora meandrina) en zonas de pesca adyacentes a zonas sin pesca en siete sitios en las islas de Hawaii. Examinamos la presencia o ausencia de líneas de pesca y el grado de daño (muerto, sin superficie de coral vivo; dañado, algo de coral muerto en la superficie; o intacto, sin coral muerto en la superficie) en colonias de coral en nueve parcelas de 25 m2. La proporción media de colonias enredadas con líneas de pesca en zonas de pesca varió de 0.18 a 0.44. La proporción media de colonias muertas o dañadas fue mayor en zonas de pesca que en zonas sin pesca adyacentes, y hubo una relación lineal positiva entre la proporción de colonias enredadas con líneas de pesca y la proporción de colonias muertas o dañadas. Estos resultados indicaron que las líneas de pesca de monofilamento tienen un impacto negativo sobre la salud y supervivencia de colonias de P. meandrina. Debido a la rápida expansión del turismo y de actividades de pesca recreativa en muchos estados y naciones tropicales, recomendamos que se consideren los efectos degradantes de líneas de pesca en corales cuando se diseñe y administre el desarrollo del turismo.

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