Marine reserves spawn distant fish

April 5th, 2011  |  by  |  Published in Research News

yellow tang fish

Larva from fish in marine reserves can replenish fish stocks outside the reserve, reports a University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo researcher who conducted genetic studies of yellow tang in and around nine protected areas along the Big Island’s Kona coast.

fish reserves map Big Island of Hawaii

The reserves were created because populations of the popular aquarium fish have been in decline.

UH Hilo Professor of Marine Science James Beets, International Pacific Research Center Postdoc Yanli Jia and mainland colleagues found healthy juveniles spawned by parents in protected areas 114 miles away.

The study provided the first direct observation that marine reserves can potentially sustain fisheries far beyond their borders, they write in the online journal PLoS One.

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