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Academic warns on fish aggregation danger

Torika Chandra
Friday, August 15, 2014

FISH aggregation sites for grouper species kawakawa and batesai in Fiji can disappear if it is not properly managed, says Professor Yvonne Sadovy de Mitcheson of the University of Hong Kong.

Prof Mitcheson conducted a public lecture last Friday on the recovery of a grouper spawning site in a project she was involved in at Palau and what that meant for efforts to improve fisheries in Fiji.

She said grouper species were among fish types that reproduced in certain months by spawning aggregation — kawakawa being one of the most predictable and vulnerable to fishing.

"When aggregations have become depleted, the local fishery is usually also in poor shape," Prof Mitcheson said.

"Aggregation conditions can reflect local fishery status." She said some of the major challenges were illegal fishing, night diving, compressor diving, poaching, exports and overfishing.

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