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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 410:283-287 (2010)  -  DOI:

Climatic influence on reef fish recruitment and fisheries

Octavio Aburto-Oropeza1,*, Gustavo Paredes1, Ismael Mascareñas-Osorio2, Enric Sala2,3

1Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, California 92093-0202, USA
2Centre d’Estudis Avançats de Blanes (CSIC), Blanes, Spain
3National Geographic Society, Washington, DC, USA

ABSTRACT: Interannual and interdecadal variability of the recruitment and spawning stock biomass of fish has been observed for many pelagic commercial species. For reef fish, climate variability has been considered only as a pre-recruitment factor that has stochastic impacts on the survival of eggs and larvae during their pelagic stage. Here we show that fisheries landings of reef fish are related to climatic conditions that occurred at the time of settlement. Using detailed studies on the life history of 2 important commercial species (yellow snapper and leopard grouper) and a compilation of landing statistics over 11 yr in the Gulf of California, we established that increasing recruitment translated into greater fisheries landings and increased revenue once individuals recruited into fishery stocks. Recruitment appeared to be modulated by El Niño/La Niña events. Monitoring of reef fish recruitment could be used to adapt artisanal fisheries management ahead of time, allowing regulation of effort or setting of quotas based on the variability of climate indices.

KEY WORDS: Yellow snapper · Lutjanus · Leopard grouper · Mycteroperca · Fisheries revenue · Multivariate ENSO index

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Cite this article as: Aburto-Oropeza O, Paredes G, Mascareñas-Osorio I, Sala E (2010) Climatic influence on reef fish recruitment and fisheries. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 410:283-287.

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