30 Sep 2022 Caleta Huiro, Chile, Central and Latin America Fishes | Habitats | Invertebrates | Marine
Effects of Habitat Complexity and Small-Scale Fisheries on Size Structure and Function of Marine Communities in Lessonia trabeculata Kelp Forests of South-Central Chile
Undertake ecosystem-wide monitoring and continue building the first baseline dataset for kelp forest communities within the Valdivian coastal reserve, which is managed by The Nature Conservancy (TNC).
Data on fish, large macroinvertebrates, sessile communities, kelp forest habitat (Lessonia trabeculata), and environmental variables (e.g., temperature, turbidity, and depth) will be collected. This information does not currently exist and will be important for sustainable management and conservation of the kelp forest ecosystem by local stakeholders: TNC, fishing communities, and environmental organisations.
• One of the key objectives of the first Rufford grant was to initiate a monitoring program to collect baseline data on biodiversity and kelp forest ecosystem health. This year, in collaboration with TNC, our dive team will monitor fixed sites (and search for new sites) in the Valdivian coastal reserve. The data collected will be important for the fisherman to include in their day-to-day fishing activities, and management of marine resources.
• Determine how fish, invertebrates, and habitat characteristics are affected by fishing intensity and resource use in managed areas or Territorial User Rights for Fishing (TURF) zones.
• Produce updated biodiversity posters and present our findings to the scientific/academic community, and also to local communities at planned event/s.
• Photographs of biodiversity (with camera equipment purchased from first Rufford grant) will be shared with stakeholders and our social media pages.
Header: Starfish Stichaster striatus.