Sustainable reference points for multispecies coral reef fisheries

Nat Commun. 2023 Sep 4;14(1):5368. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-41040-z.


Sustainably managing fisheries requires regular and reliable evaluation of stock status. However, most multispecies reef fisheries around the globe tend to lack research and monitoring capacity, preventing the estimation of sustainable reference points against which stocks can be assessed. Here, combining fish biomass data for >2000 coral reefs, we estimate site-specific sustainable reference points for coral reef fisheries and use these and available catch estimates to assess the status of global coral reef fish stocks. We reveal that >50% of sites and jurisdictions with available information have stocks of conservation concern, having failed at least one fisheries sustainability benchmark. We quantify the trade-offs between biodiversity, fish length, and ecosystem functions relative to key benchmarks and highlight the ecological benefits of increasing sustainability. Our approach yields multispecies sustainable reference points for coral reef fisheries using environmental conditions, a promising means for enhancing the sustainability of the world’s coral reef fisheries.

PMID:37666831 | PMC:PMC10477311 | DOI:10.1038/s41467-023-41040-z


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