Effects of changes in Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Zoning plans on reef base shoals of the Pompey, Swain and Capricorn-Bunker reefs (MTSRF Project 4.8.2)

Surveys were undertaken in January/February 2009 (summer) at the Capricorn-Bunker, Pompey and Swains Groups on deepwater reef bases (shoals) in the Great Barrier Reef. In each survey, reefs were paired with one zoned 'green' (closed to fishing) and the other 'blue' (open to all fishing) - 16 pairs of reefs. The demersal habitats and vertebrate communities were sampled using non-extractive baited remote underwater video stations (BRUVS), which revealed a diverse (c360 species) fauna of fish, sharks, rays and sea snakes. Variables recorded: Habitat composition of underlying substratum (sand, rubble, consolidated outcrop or reef), and epibenthic community (hard coral, soft coral, sponge, macroalgae, whips and gorgonians, encrusting organisms, bare substratum) - estimated from BRUVS field of view as percentage cover of each component, to nearest 10 percent. Zone (Green, G; or Blue, B); Reef name; Habitat class (coral dominated reef; gorgonian and seawhip garden; low relief rubble field; algal meadow; open sandy seabed); Depth (m); Latitude and longitude (ship's GPS position at deployment). Fish species were placed in categories depending on the likelihood of being caught and retained by line fishers: Target species - (1,703 sightings, 21 species) the most desirable demersal fishes based on their market price and size, as well as their reef dwelling habits. Bycatch species - (5,510 sightings, 85 species) undersized juveniles of target species; undesirable fishes caught by line fishers; pelagic and semi-pelagic species retained for consumption, use as bait, or released alive; all sharks and rays likely to take a baited hook. Unfished species - (16,635 individuals, 251 species) those unlikely to be hooked because of dietary preferences or small size.

To describe the fish fauna in relation to habitat and spatial and temporal variables on selected reef base shoals of the GBRMP. To present baseline fish community data from BRUVS surveys of 16 pairs of 'blue' (open to fishing) and 'green' (closed to fishing) zoned shoals in the GBRMP (32 reefs in total).

Shoal survey locations: 20-348; 20-353; 21-060; 21-062; 21-064; 21-139; 21-187; 21-245; 21-278; 21-296; 21-302; 21-550; 21-558; 21-591; 22-084; Boult Reef; Broomfield Reef; Chinaman Reef; East Cay Reef; Erskine Reef; Fairfax Islands Reef; Hoskyn Islands Reef; Jenkins Reef; Lady Musgrave Reef; Mast Head Reef; North Reef (North); Penrith Reef; Pompey Reef No.1; Pompey Reef No.2; Small Lagoon Reef; Tern Reef; Wade Reef. This is one component in a series of surveys conducted as part of this MTSRF project, see also separate metadata records on: Southern mid-shelf shoals (East and West Warregos; Karamea and Barcoo Banks) Shoals off Cardwell Shoals off Cairns Magnetic Shoals (Townsville) Note that the 'Northern Shoals' of Cardwell, Cairns, and Magnetic Shoals have individual records as each region was analysed separately. Fish recorded (note that not all species/families were recorded at all locations): Carcharhiniformes: Carcharhinidae (whaler sharks) Carcharhinus albimarginatus, C. amblyrhynchos; Galeocerdo cuvier; Triaenodon obesus - Sphyrnidae (hammerhead sharks) Rajiformes: Rhinidae (shark rays); Stegostomatidae (leopard sharks) Orectolobiformes: Ginglymostomatidae (nurse sharks) Nebrius ferrugineus - Hemiscylliidae (catsharks) Chiloscyllium punctatum - Myliobatidae (manta and eagle rays) Perciformes: Acanthuridae (surgeon-fishes) Acanthurus dussumieri - Caesionidae (fusiliers) Caesio cuning; Pterocaesio marri - Carangidae (trevallies) Carangoides chrysophrys, C. fulvoguttatus, C. gymnostethus; Caranx ignobilis; Gnathanodon speciosus; Pseudocaranx dentex - Chaetodontidae (butterflyfishes) Chaetodon rainfordi; Chelmon rostratus; Coradion altivelis - Echeneidae (suckerfishes) Echeneis naucrates - Grammistidae (soapfishes) Diploprion bifasciatum - Haemulidae (sweetlips) Diagramma pictum - Labridae (wrasses and tuskfish) Bodianus perditio; Cheilinus fasciatus; Choerodon cyanodus, C. fasciatus, C. gomoni, C. jordani, C. schoenleinii, C. venustus, C. vitta; Cirrhilabrus punctatus; Coris pictoides; Halichoeres zeylonicus; Labroides dimidiatus; Leptojulis cyanopleura; Oxycheilinus bimaculatus; O. digrammus; Suezichthys devisi - Lethrinidae (sweetlip emperors) Gymnocranius audleyi; G. grandoculis; Lethrinus genivittatus; Lethrinus laticaudis, L. miniatus, L. nebulosus, L. olivaceus, L. ravus, L. rubrioperculatus, L. semicinctus - Lutjanidae (snappers and sea perches) Aprion virescens, Lutjanus adetii, L. carponotatus, L. malabaricus, L. sebae, L. vitta; Symphorus nematophorus - Mullidae (goatfishes) Parupeneus barberinoides, P. barberinus, P. heptacanthus - Nemipteridae (threadfin bream) Pentapodus aureofasciatus; P. nagasakiensis; P. paradiseus; Scolopsis monogramma - Pinguipedidae (grubfishes) Parapercis xanthozona - Pomacanthidae (angelfishes) Chaetodontoplus meredithi; Pomacanthus semicirculatus; P. sexstriatus - Pomacentridae (damselfishes) Chromis nitida; Pomacentrus australis, P. nagasakiensis; Pristotis jerdoni - Rachycentridae (cobias) Rachycentron canadum - Scaridae (parrotfishes) Scarus flavipectoralis, S. schlegeli - Scombridae (mackerels and tunas) Gymnosarda unicolor; Scomberomorus commerson - Serranidae (groupers and coral cods) Cephalopholis boenak; C.sonnerati; Epinephelus coioides, E. fasciatus, E. malabaricus, E. quoyanus, E. undulatostriatus; Plectropomus laevis, P. leopardus, P. maculatus; Variola albimarginata; V. louti - Siganidae (rabbitfishes) Siganus argenteus, S. punctatus Rhinobatiformes: Rhynchobatidae (sharkfin guitarfishes) Rhynchobatus djiddensis Tetraodontiformes: Balistidae (triggerfishes) Abalistes stellatus; Sufflamen fraenatum - Tetraodontidae (pufferfish) Lagocephalus sceleratus Related AIMS Publications Cappo MC, MacNeil MA, Stowar MJ and Doherty PJ (2009) The influence of zoning (closure to fishing) on fish communities of the deep shoals and reef bases of the southern Great Barrier Reef. Part 1 - Baited video surveys of the Pompey, Swain and Capricorn-Bunker groups of reefs off Mackay and Gladstone. MTSRF Research Report No. 37 ISBN 9781921359361. Reef and Rainforest Research Centre and Australian Institute of Marine Science. 53 p. http://data.aims.gov.au/extp...leId=8245

Principal Investigator
Doherty, Peter J, Dr Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)
Point Of Contact
Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) adc@aims.gov.au

Data collected from 08 Jan 2009 until 15 Jan 2009


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Tags: Oceans - Coastal Processes - Shoals | Biosphere - Aquatic Ecosystems - Benthic Habitat | Biosphere - Ecological Dynamics - Community Dynamics , Community Structure | Biological Classification - Animals/Vertebrates - Fish , Sharks/Rays/Chimaeras | Human Dimensions - Environmental Impacts - Environmental Assessments | Biological Classification - Animals/Vertebrates - Fish , Ray-finned Fishes | Marine Protected Areas | Representative Areas Program | Marine Park zoning