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Movement of reef fishes across boundaries of marine protected areas in Danjugan Island, Negros Occidental, Philippines

Aurellado, Maria Eleanor B., Hilomen, Vincent V., Aliño, Porfiri M., Lumbab, Vincent
Philippine agricultural scientist 2009 v.92 no.1 pp. 66-76
adults, conservation areas, fish, fisheries, gillnets, mark-recapture studies, topography, Philippines
The potential benefits of marine protected areas (MPAs) to fisheries was investigated by examining the movement of adult fish across boundaries between MPAs and adjacent fished areas in Danjugan Island, Negros Occidental, Philippines using mark-recapture methods and visual tracking. Tagging and recapture of targeted species were conducted inside and outside three MPAs of the island almost every month from 2001 to 2003. Of the 530 fishes tagged (422 and 108 tagged inside and outside MPAs, respectively), only 44 fishes were recaptured. Most of the recaptures occurred near the site of tagging (26 inside and 10 outside MPAs), showing the relatively sedentary nature of reef fishes. However, eight fishes tagged inside the east MPA were caught outside by fishers at distances ranging from about 300 to more than 1000 m from sites of tagging mostly during the night with the use of hook-and-line and gillnet. Movements of the recaptured fishes outside the east MPA appeared to be driven by daily feeding migrations and influenced by reef topography. This is the first tagging study in the Philippines to demonstrate directly the potential of MPAs as sources of adult fishes to nearby fished areas.