Coral Reefs

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 251–263 | Cite as

Seasonality and historic trends in the reef fisheries of Pulau Banggi, Sabah, Malaysia

  • L. S. L. TehEmail author
  • D. Zeller
  • A. Cabanban
  • L. C. L. Teh
  • U. Rashid Sumaila


The reef fisheries of Pulau (meaning “island” in Malay) Banggi, Sabah are not managed, and lack baseline fisheries data despite forming part of a proposed marine park. Thus, a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches was applied to obtain a baseline picture about the past and present state of the fisheries. Fish landings were monitored, and fisher interviews conducted to investigate seasonal effects and historical changes in Banggi’s reef fisheries. Monsoon winds were a major driver of seasonal differences in catch quantities for the hook and line, but not the gillnet fishery. Spatial distribution of fishing effort and target species also differed by season. Fishers consistently indicated that Banggi’s fisheries were declining, with a suggested three to four times decrease in catch rates over the last 20 years. Interestingly, it appeared that substantial decreases began in the year 2000. The responses of fishers to seasonal changes, and the resultant implications for management are discussed. Importantly, the need for immediate management policies to prevent further declines and to maintain sustainable reef fisheries is stressed.


Reef fisheries Pulau Banggi Sabah Small-scale fisheries Seasonality Malaysia 



We thank the fishers of southern Banggi for their generosity in sharing their knowledge, and the Borneo Marine Research Institute Seaweed Project for logistic support to Louise and Lydia Teh. A. Adnan Amna from the Kudat Fisheries Department provided data on traditional gear landings, and R. Jumin supplemented demographic data. D. Zeller and R. Sumaila acknowledge funding from the Sea Around Us Project, an initiative funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Supplementary material

338_2006_182_MOESM1_ESM.doc (86 kb)
Electronic supplementary material


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. S. L. Teh
    • 1
    Email author
  • D. Zeller
    • 1
  • A. Cabanban
    • 2
  • L. C. L. Teh
    • 3
  • U. Rashid Sumaila
    • 1
  1. 1.Fisheries CentreUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.WWF MalaysiaSabahMalaysia
  3. 3.Institute for Resources, Environment and SustainabilityUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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