The ICRI Ad Hoc Committee on Coral Reef Associated Fisheries was created in 2010 at ICRI’s 24 General Meeting in Monaco. Revised Terms of Reference with a focus on fish spawning aggregations were established in the 2013 ICRI 28 General Meeting in Belize. At the 2013 meeting, the Ad Hoc Committee identified the need for a status report on information currently available on fish spawning aggregations globally.
This Status Report provides the current status based on the best available information for fish spawning aggregations globally. 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 an alarming 4% are documented as having disappeared entirely. Despite the limited information available on the level of management and monitoring of these aggregations, 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 the eastern Pacific.