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WFC 2008

5th World Fisheries Congress
October 20, 2008 - October 24, 2008
Yokohama, Japan
Presentation at this event.

MORE INFORMATION
Read about the Glover's Reef Shark Survey Project PI: Dr. Ellen K. Pikitch
Home Page - 5th World Fisheries Congress

Fisheries for Global Welfare and Conservation

[An official meeting of the World Council of Fisheries Societies and hosted by the Japanese Society of Fisheries Sciences, Science Council of Japan and Fisheries Research Agency.]

The 5th World Fisheries Congress in Yokohama, Japan, in 2008, will be a five-day conference focused on current global aquatic issues and sustainable fisheries, including among other topics, fish habitats and ecosystems (marine and freshwater), and the effective utilization of fish, shellfish and algae resources.

ABSTRACT
The role of sharks in maintaining biodiversity of tropical coral reef ecosystems

Dr. Ellen. K. Pikitch
Subsession 7d held on October 21st (16:15)

Sharks are apex predators in many of the ecosystems they inhabit and it is often said that declining shark abundance will have cascading effects on marine ecosystems. Increased interest in this topic has followed recent reports of dwindling shark populations in many parts of the globe yet few rigorous studies have been conducted. I will present results of a decade-long field project conducted in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef – the second largest barrier reef ecosystem in the world. Field surveys and acoustic tracking studies conducted in the region demonstrate that the dominant sharks in this system exhibit strong site fidelity throughout their life cycle. These results contrast sharply with those for sharks in temperate waters, and suggest that tropical sharks may have a much stronger impact on local ecosystem biodiversity than temperate sharks. Finally, the magnitude and nature of cascading effects of shark losses on coral reef ecosystems will be elucidated based on differences in shark abundance and biodiversity across different segments of the barrier reef.

Authors highlighted in blue are staff of the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science.


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