Tropical marine habitats around the world including Australian estuaries are facing increasing threats from development and climate change among the many impacts recorded the most frequent and relevant are pollution habitat destruction and overfishing many commercially important fish stocks such as barramundi mangrove jack and golden snapper and invertebrates such as prawns and crabs depend on the services provided by estarán.
And coastal habitats and it’s not only the commercial industry that benefits from coastal ecosystems recreational fishing in Australia is part.
Of our culture and modern-day connection to nature and it relies on the presence and.
Health of these natural habitats my name is Jacob fries I’m studying a masters here at James Cook University looking at s trees and tropical the ecosystems to assist the management of natural resources and efficiently contribute to decision making we first need to understand the value of these coastal ecosystems to accurately determine the value of tropical coastal and estarán systems we need to assess how many fish or invertebrates there are and observe how this changes over time we also need to know how.
Fast these populations are growing or dying how many are entering the system from other areas and how many are leaving we proposed using a standardised netting method.
In various regions of each system which we can use to accurately measure the biomass.
Density of fish and prawns and make sure these measures are representative of the habitats that make up each ecosystem we use cast nets throughout the ecosystem encompassing habitats such as sea grass mangroves muddy.
Banks and shallow edges from the data collected we are able to estimate the proportion of animals leaving and entering the system we are also able to estimate the growth rates for schooling species such as hearings and sardines preliminary results have shown our sampling method allows us to accurately track cohorts over time this is the first time this information has been collected for many of these species our data allows us to beak to how the population of.
Major groups of fish and prawns grow over time and we predict.
It will give us an accurate and reliable measure of the system productivity this information is fundamental to determine the value of individuals and groups of systems in terms of Fisheries productivity and will provide essential information for management and decision making at the end of the day in order to protect ecosystems and.
The services they provide us we must first be able to measure the services and determine what the value of these services our.
Evaluation of tropical ecosystems is a critical step in ensuring the sustainable development of our natural areas and proper management of our natural resources.