, Volume 65, Issue 2, pp 209-214

Coral Reef Fish Assessment in the ‘Coral Triangle’ of Southeastern Asia

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Abstract

Icthyological results of four rapid assessment surveys are presented. The surveys were completed between 1997–1999 and were conducted at the following localities: Milne Bay (Papua New Guinea), Calamianes Islands (Palawan, Philippines), Togean–Banggai Islands (Sulawesi, Indonesia), and Weh Island (Sumatra, Indonesia). Surveys were conducted over periods ranging from 9 to 22 days and consisted mainly of underwater observations while scuba diving, supplemented with small rotenone and spear gun collections. Milne Bay was characterized by a high percentage of pristine reef environments and supported the largest number of species (1040). Diversity was generally lower at the Philippine and Indonesian sites due to more habitat homogeneity and higher fishing pressure, including the widespread use of illegal fishing methods, including cyanide and explosives.