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Seagrass Valuation from Fish Abundance, Biomass and Recreational Catch

A new paper is JUST published in Ecological Indicators, to value the seagrass nursery properties to fish production using a long-term dataset from eight locations within Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia. The paper is entitled :"Seagrass valuation from fish abundance, biomass and recreational catch".

Jänes et al. (2021)

The value of critical habitats, such as seagrass, to act as a nursery varies spatially and temporally; however, such information is essential for the public and stakeholders to appropriately value and manage these habitats. They use an existing systematic long-term fisheries dataset in Port Phillip Bay to examine variability in nursery habitat value for an important commercial and recreational species, King George Whiting (Sillaginodes punctatus). Port Phillip Bay represents one of the most important marine assets in the southern hemisphere and is surrounded by the second-largest city in Australia, Melbourne, home to 4.5 million people. They modelled the abundance of King George whiting as a function of environmental variables, using Boosted Regression Trees (BRT). Fish densities ranged from 1,000 to 30,000 individuals ha−1y−1, equalling an adult biomass of 110–3,300 kg ha−1y−1. This production supports between 69 and 2,062 recreational fishing trips a year, with an estimated value of seagrass of AUD 687–20,625 ha−1y−1. Based on biomass production of King George Whiting and recreational fisheries data, the 6662 ha of seagrass in Port Phillip Bay are valued at around AUD 36 million annually.

These works are part of The Nature Conservancy's Great Southern Seascapes and Mapping Ocean Wealth programme and supported by The Thomas Foundation, HSBC Australia, the Ian Potter Foundation, and Victorian and New South Wales governments, including Parks Victoria, Department of Environment Land Water and Planning, Victorian Fisheries Authority, New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage, and New South Wales Department of Primary Industries. Funding was also provided by an Australian Research Council Linkage Project (LP160100242).

This publication was led by HolgerJänes (Deakin University, Victoria, Australia), and the DU Marine Mapping Group Member Mary Young and Daniel Ierodiaconou also contributed to the publication.

Congrats to Mary, Dan and the DU Marine Mapping Group!

To read the full article, click here.

Last edited on the October 4th, 2021.


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