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The Movements of Predatory Reef Fishes in the Molokini Marine Life Conservation District

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Item Summary

Title: The Movements of Predatory Reef Fishes in the Molokini Marine Life Conservation District
Authors: Filous, Alexander
Keywords: Acoustic Telemetry
Triaenodon obesus
Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos
Caranx ignobilis
Caranx melampygus
show 2 moreAprion virescens
Molokini MLCD

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Issue Date: May 2016
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2016]
Abstract: Predators play a critical role in maintaining the balance of marine ecosystems and are an important component of Hawaii’s recreational and commercial fisheries. In light of the increasing pressures on these populations in recent decades across the main Hawaiian Islands from both consumptive and non-consumptive resources use, the study of apex predator movements in marine protected areas has become a research priority. To this aim, we used passive acoustic telemetry to investigate the spatial and temporal movement patterns of five apex predators: bluefin trevally (Caranx melampygus), giant trevally (Caranx ignobilis), green jobfish (Aprion virscens), whitetip reef sharks (Triaenodon obesus) and grey reef sharks (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos) at the 31 ha Molokini Marine Life Conservation District (MLCD) off Maui, Hawaii. The Molokini MLCD is the second most visited MLCD in the State of Hawaii with over 300,000 visitors per year. Our results indicate that residency was variable across species, with bluefin trevally exhibiting the highest residency in the MLCD and green jobfish the lowest. Bluefin trevally showed displacement from critical habitats in the MLCD during peak visitation hours. Long distance movements between the Molokini MLCD and the other islands of the Maui Nui Complex were common for grey reef sharks, giant trevally, and green jobfish. These results indicate that despite its small size, the Molokini MLCD provides a high level of protection to resident species such as bluefin trevally. However, this MLCD is less effective at protecting more mobile apex predators such as green jobfish, grey reef sharks, and giant trevally.
Description: M.S. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2016.
Includes bibliographical references.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/51325
Appears in Collections:M.S. - Zoology (Marine Biology)


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