Congrats on the New Paper about Stable isotopes on Australia’s coastal ecosystems

Our Lab Head Daniel Ierodiaconou just published a new paper in Fish and Fisheries. The paper is entitled: "Stable isotopes infer the value of Australia’s coastal vegetated ecosystems from fisheries".

Janes et al., 2020


Wild capture fisheries provide substantial input to the global economy through employment and revenue. The coastal zone is especially productive, accounting for just 7% of the total area of the ocean, but supporting an estimated 50% of the world's fisheries. Vegetated coastal ecosystems—seagrass meadows, tidal marshes and mangrove forests—are widely cited as providing nutritional input that underpin coastal fisheries production; however, quantitative evidence of this relationship is scarce. Using Australia as a case study, we synthesized fisheries stable isotope data to estimate nutritional input derived from coastal vegetated ecosystems and combined these “proportional contribution” estimates with total annual catch data from commercial fisheries to determine species‐specific dollar values for coastal vegetated ecosystems.


Based on the data from 96 commercially important fish species across Australian states (total landings 14 × 106 tonnes pa), we provide a conservative estimate that Australia's coastal vegetated ecosystems contribute at least 78 million AUD per year to the fisheries economy. Two thirds of this contribution came from tidal marshes and seagrasses that were both equally valued at 31.5 million AUD per year (39.4%) followed by mangroves at 14.9 million AUD per year (18.6%). The highest dollar values of coastal ecosystems originated from eastern king prawn (Melicertus plebejus) and giant mud crab (Scylla serrata). This study demonstrates the substantial economic value supported by Australia's coastal vegetated ecosystems through commercial fisheries harvest. These estimates create further impetus to conserve and restore coastal wetlands and maintain their support of coastal fisheries into the future.


The publication is leaded by Holger Jänes, and our Lab Head Daniel Ierodiaconou and Paul E. Carnell contributed to the publication. Congrats to the DU Marine Mapping Group!

To read the full article, click here.

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