Richard Llewellyn

MSc candidate
Richard Llewellyn


 

The effectiveness of the De Hoop Marine Protected Area in the conservation of reef fish and as a tool for fisheries management.

Fisheries are considered a primary driver of the degradation of fish populations. As a result, Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have been widely implemented as management and conservation tools. This project aimed to assess the effectiveness of the De Hoop MPA in protecting exploited reef fish stocks and reef biodiversity, as well as to detect any potential benefits from the MPA to the surrounding fisheries. To determine the effectiveness of the MPA, firstly, catch data from surrounding commercial fisheries were analysed for trends in catch per unit effort (CPUE) and secondly, baseline fish assemblage data from inside and outside of the MPA were collected using baited remote underwater stereo-video systems (stereo-BRUVs). Fisheries data analysed spanned from 1985 to 2012 with focus on reef fish. Stereo-BRUV sampling resulted in 102 samples collected from areas inside the MPA as well as the areas surrounding it. Trends in CPUE data showed decline over the years with some subsequent recovering in more recent years, with CPUE being higher around the MPA in comparison to prominent fishing areas in the nearby town of Struisbaai. Stereo-BRUV analysis showed both management status (protected or exploited) and habitat type significantly affected abundance and biomass of reef fish species in the study.

Registered at: Rhodes University  (Dept. Ichthyology and Fisheries Science)

Supervisor: Dr Anthony Bernard, (SAIAB)