Title Published Date
1. Status Report - World's Fish Aggregations 2014

Status Report Worlds Fish Aggregations 2014

Status Report Front Cover"This is the first global assessment done on fish aggregations to report on their status. Currently over a quarter of the records show a declining trend in numbers of fish aggregating, and an alarming 4% are documented as having disappeared entirely", says Martin Russell, Chair of SCRFA.

At the recent International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) meeting in Okinawa Japan, SCRFA and the ICRI Ad Hoc Committee for Reef Associated Fisheries launched the most up to date information on how the world's fish aggregations on coral reefs are faring. An analysis of 888 records of fish spawning aggregations for over 200 species from 44 families in 52 countries has revealed important information for science and management of fish aggregations and the fisheries they support. The records are maintained in a global web-based database managed by Science and Conservation of Fish Aggregations (SCRFA).

 

Currently over a quarter of the records show a declining trend in numbers of fish aggregating, and alarmingly 4% are documented as having disappeared entirely. We have limited information on the level of management and monitoring of these aggregations, and current information suggests that about 35% have some form of management in place such as marine protected areas, seasonal protection from fishing and/or sale, or traditional fisheries harvest controls, and about 25% have some form of monitoring.

 

Four case studies on the effectiveness of management of aggregations are provided for red hind in the tropical western Atlantic, square-tailed coral grouper in Melanesia, three species of grouper in Palau and Pohnpei, and white seabass in eastern Pacific.

Read more about the Status Report launch at ICRI

24 Nov 14
2. SCRFA Student Award 2014

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Tomothy Rowell, PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography was awarded with
the 2014 Student Travel Award from SCRFA.

The SCRFA Board of Directors congratulate Tim on a job well done!

Martin Russell, SCRFA Chair, awarded Tim with $800 to help with travel costs to attend the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) meeting in Barbados, 3-7 November 2014. This is an important event for students working in the region. GCFI is the largest gathering of fisheries and marine science and management practitioners in the region, and SCRFA is pleased to be able to help students attend and further their work on fish aggregations.

Tim gave an excellent presentation at the Fish Spawning Aggregation symposium.

SCRFA will be offering another Student Travel Award for a student to attend and present at next years GCFI meeting in Panama.

 

07 Nov 14
3. Film Release - Snapper Spawn

 

SCRFA Wins Award at Reef Renaissance Film Festival

"Snapper Spawn", a short film by SCRFA won the “Dotcomentary” Short for Internet Category Award at the Reef Renaissance Film Festival on 8 July 2014.
The film was screened at the gala event in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands, in celebration and promotion of World Oceans Day.

"This is a great honour and recognition of hard work with passion to show a broad audience the true wonders of fish aggregations, and the need to protect them", says Dr Brad Erisman, film director and SCRFA Board member.

 Awards

 

Filmed in the turquoise waters of Palau, this spectacular short film directed by Dr Brad Erisman from Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Alfredo Barroso a world class videographer from Mexico brings to the world stage the mysterious and fragile phenomenon of Two-Spot Red Snapper aggregating to spawn in their thousands - it's a brief insight into their fascinating world.

 

Watch Snapper Spawn...
 

...during a recent SCRFA expedition, Brad and Alfredo witnessed and filmed using high definition cameras this spectacular fish spawning aggregation. Not only an incredible experience for Brad and Alfredo, but one of only a few opportunities each year for these fish to gather and create the next generation of fish.


"This species is a good example for understanding how evolutionary history, environmental conditions, human impacts, and habitat combine to shape the behavioral dynamics of fish spawning aggregations. They choose the locations and phase of the moon to give the young the best chance of survival, something that has likely taken thousands of years to fine tune.” - Dr Brad Erisman

Throughout the wold's coral reefs, fish aggregate to spawn at specific times and locaions. This makes them vulnerable to exploitation.

"As we learn more about aggregations such as these throughout the world's reefs, we understand the importance of protecting them. We must preserve spawning aggregations - without them the fish will disappear." - Martin Russell, CEO, SCRFA

 

08 Jul 14
4. Nassau Grouper spawning aggregations to be protected

Nassau Grouper protection in Caribbean

SCRFA is pleased to announce that the Western Central
Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC) takes management measures to conserve
Nassau Grouper

31 March 2014, Bridgetown
The Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC), a body
of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), convened in
Port- of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, 26-28 March 2014 for its 15th
biennial session. 

The Commission expressed concern about the serious decline or disappearance in
the last two decades of many of the spawning aggregations of grouper and
snapper in the Caribbean. It recognized that immediate action is required to
stop further reduction in spawning areas and depletion of these important
stocks.  The Commission therefore recommended a regional seasonal closure
for all commercial and recreational fishing activities of Nassau Grouper (Epinephelus striatus)
in identified spawning areas for the period 1 December – 31 March, starting in
December 2014.

WECAFC is a regional fishery advisory body with thirty-three countries and the
European Union as members. The Commission members have an interest to cooperate
in responsible fisheries management and development in the Wider Caribbean
Region. More information about WECAFC can be found at: http://www.fao.org/fishery/rfb/wecafc/en

"Science and
Conservation of Fish Aggregations (SCRFA) has been involved in discussions and
review of the worsening status of the Nassau grouper, so it is great to see
this process moving ahead for such an iconic species
" say
SCRFA Executive Director, Dr Yvonne Sadovy de Mitcheson.

03 Apr 14
5. SCRFA Student Award


Ashley Ruffo, Masters student at University of US Virgin Islands was awarded with
the 2013 Student Travel Award from SCRFA. Congratulations Ashley!

Martin Russell, SCRFA Chair, awarded Ashley with $800 to help with travel costs to attend the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) meeting in Corpus Christi, Texas 4-8 November 2013. GCFI is the largest gathering of fisheries and marine science and management practitioners in the region.
Ashley gave an excellent presentation to the Fish Spawning Aggregation symposium.

SCRFA will be offering another Student Travel Award for a Caribbean based student to attend and present at next years GCFI meeting in Barbados.

mail

18 Nov 13
6. SCRFA has a new publication

Back to Basics front photo

A very simple methods manual on understanding the biology and ecology of food fish species
of special interest, or that may be particularly vulnerable to overfishing.
Produced as a joint Christensen Fund/SCRFA publication: Back to basics training module.pdf

17 Sep 13
7. Sexy Groupers United

It's Goliath grouper spawning season again in Florida. 

If you are diving in Florida this month of September and early next month, please consider using you dive time for science, and count Goliath groupers during their spawning aggregation season. Here's how you can do it, click the link: Grouper Luna World Press 

 

09 Sep 13
8. Meeting with the David and Lucile Packard Foundation

SCRFA recently visited the David and Lucile Packard Foundation in California, USA.

04 Sep 13
9. Totoaba Swim Bladder

Smugglers caught!

Seven people have been charged with smuggling bladders from an endangered fish in what authorities said may be a growing international practice in which the bladders are sold for up to $20,000 each to be used in a highly desired soup. The fish are targeted in their April/May spawning aggregation season

02 May 13
10. Birth announcement

'Birth announcement' - Nassau grouper closure

05 Feb 13