|Date||23 Jun 2016|
Bumphead parrotfish plays a critical role in coral reef resilience and is considered one of the most important bioeroders of coral reefs. However, their population is declining throughout much of its range, likely due to over-fishing. The species is presently classified as Vulnerable by IUCN and considered as Species of Concern by U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service. Several studies on its ecological roles, reproductive behaviour, and population demographics have been carried out in the Great Barrier Reef regions of Australia, regions of the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Papa New Guinea.
In India, it has been a lesser known species, lacking scientific documentation and only reported by local SCUBA divers from Andaman waters. There is no active research being conducted to learn more about it in India. So far, no information is available on the ecology, distribution, and population status of bumphead parrotfish. In fact, the exact distributional range, population status, and habitat use of this fish species in Andaman Islands is virtually unknown. Considerable additional research is therefore required to provide basic baseline data to support conservation management actions needed to safeguard this fish species. This explains the reasons to undertake this study, to provide baseline information to help various stakeholders in taking appropriate actions needed to conserve this fish species.
This project strives to provide information on the population status and ecology of the species from Andaman Islands to support appropriate conservation actions needed to conserve the species. SCUBA divers and fishermen will be involved in identifying and mapping of critical nursery and foraging habitat, and identification of threats. Additionally, local fishermen’s perception regarding bumphead parrotfish will be assessed using questionnaires. Expected project outcomes will be increased knowledge of bumphead parrotfish ecology, its status, and conservation plans needed to protect this vulnerable fish species. Additionally, an understanding of the ecological values of bumphead parrotfish will be built among fishermen and divers. In general, this study will open new pathways for conserving bumphead parrotfish in India as they continue to be heavily exploited in other regions of the world.
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