Parrotfish are among the most important herbivores on Caribbean coral reefs. This is particularly true in areas, like The Bahamas, where the long-spines sea urchin Diadema antillarum has not recovered from a regional die-off over 35 years ago. They consume seaweed and give corals a chance to grow and reefs a chance to recover from coral die off. Of particular importance are the larger species like Stoplight parrotfish and Queen parrotfish. While parrotfish has not been a traditional fishery species in The Bahamas, there is increasing fishing for them.
The goals of this project are to better understand the fishery, its impacts, and identify management recommendations to ensure Parrotfish serve their important role on coral reefs. At present, we have teams around The Bahamas conducting interviews with fishermen to try to better understand where the fishery has developed and some of the factors driving the fishery. These data will be linked with ecological data on parrotfish to determine the impact of the fishery. Following these surveys we will assess management options. Furthermore, we are also working on effective means to communicate to various stakeholders the importance of parrotfish to reefs, and species that depend on reefs, as well as the threat that this fishery may pose to reefs.
- ISER Caribe
- Cape Eleuthera Institute
- Young Marine explorers
- Bahamas National Trust