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Harvesting effects on tropical invertebrate assemblages in New Caledonia

Abstract : Despite the importance of invertebrate resources for Pacific coral reef islands, few studies have specifically addressed the effects of harvesting on invertebrate assemblages including targeted and non-targeted species. The impacts of recreational harvesting on reef and seagrass invertebrate assemblages in New Caledonia (South Pacific) are investigated by comparing communities in non-MPA and MPA areas. Sampling was done using a standard core method on seagrasses and by visual survey along belt transects on reefs. A total of 371 species were recorded, 174 on seagrasses and 254 on reefs, with 57 common species. Reef and seagrass invertebrate communities were very different in MPA and non-MPA areas. On both habitats, MPAs were identified as undisturbed areas while non-MPAs were defined as moderately disturbed with a predominance of small-sized and opportunistic species. Fishing not only affects target species but also non-target species through secondary effects. These results highlight the necessity of a community based approach for the conservation of resources in tropical poorly known environments.
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H Jimenez, Patrice Dumas, Lionel Bigot, J Ferraris. Harvesting effects on tropical invertebrate assemblages in New Caledonia. Fisheries Research, Elsevier, 2015, ⟨10.1016/j.fishres.2015.02.001⟩. ⟨hal-01311486⟩

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