Population dynamics of <i>Turbo militaris</i> (Gastropoda: Turbinidae) on rocky shores in a subtropical marine park: implications for management

2015-07-25T08:15:44Z (GMT) by Kris Cooling Stephen D.A. Smith
<div><p>Understanding the relative impacts of harvesting across an area such as a marine park is vital if the goals of fisheries management are to be met. Given their accessibility, densities of targeted intertidal turbinids should be relatively simple to quantify; however, natural spatial and temporal variability in these populations has hampered this effort. This study aimed to quantify short-term population dynamics of <i>Turbo militaris</i> in relation to current zoning regulations and accessibility. While our results reflected the variability found by other studies, we also detected significantly lower densities at a headland where harvesting is known to occur, and found a trend towards denser aggregations at more remote locations. Importantly, we found that densities at some locations were so low that current fisheries bag limits may be ineffective for protecting populations at local scales. Comparisons between study sites suggest a combination of no-take zoning and inaccessibility may provide the most effective protection for this species. However, a greater understanding of the wider impacts of harvesting, and processes affecting recovery, are essential to ensure sustainable management of this fishery.</p></div>