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Author(s)
Quinn, Norman J.
Title
Have good land management practices protected essential coastal nurseries
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Abstract
The sea grass meadows, mangroves and protected waters of sheltered bays and lagoons are considered to be the nursery grounds for Caribbean fish and lobsters. Recruitment of juveniles is recognized as a major determinant of community structure in marine ecosystems. Settlement of Panulirus argus pueruli and recruitment of other organisms was higher on the exposed fore ref than within the bay. In other Caribbean and Florida locations pueruli settlement rates were much higher at near shore habitats than in off shore waters. The lack of pueruli and the low recruitment of other organisms within Discovery Bay is very possibly the result of severe nursery habitat degradation. Author hypothesize that the present low numbers of adults of many fin and shell fish species are in part the result of low recruitment brought about initially by the degradation of nursery habitat and more recently by destruction of the adult habitat and over fishing. It is not hard to imagine how diminished nursery capacity, yield fewer desirable large fish, which caused the fishermen to seek lesser desirable, smaller fish and thus lead to the consideration that fishermen were main problem rather than a part of a breakdown in complex land / marine resource management web. Feels that there is need to implement better land management practices, to reduce turbidity, sedimentation levels, and other nonpoint source pollutants and set aside more coastal wetlands and estuaries as protected zones as necessary steps to reduce the destruction of Jamaican coastal nursery habitats. These efforts, together with efforts to reduce over fishing, are necessary precursors for the revitalization of spiny lobster and fish populations.....
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