Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 74, Issue 2, pp 209–218 | Cite as

Aggregations of Plectropomus areolatus and Epinephelus fuscoguttatus (groupers, Serranidae) in the Komodo National Park, Indonesia: Monitoring and Implications for Management

  • Jos S. Pet
  • Peter J. Mous
  • Andreas H. Muljadi
  • Yvonne J. Sadovy
  • Lyle Squire


We identify fishery management implications from a long-term monitoring program focusing on spawning aggregations of high valued reef fish in Komodo National Park (KNP), Eastern Indonesia. Management objectives of KNP are not only to protect biodiversity, but also to conserve spawning stocks of high-valued commercial species for the replenishment of surrounding fishing grounds. We monitored two sites twice monthly over five years for two species of grouper, Epinephelus fuscoguttatus and Plectropomus areolatus. One site had an aggregation of both E. fuscoguttatus and P. areolatus, whereas the other site contained an aggregation of P. areolatus only. Over the five years monitoring period, aggregations typically formed during each full moon between September and February. Additionally, P. areolatus occasionally aggregated during new moons between April and July. We observed spawning only once, but because formation of aggregations were correlated to a higher incidence of behavior and signs indicative of reproduction and because most fish present were adults, it is likely that the formation of aggregations was associated with spawning. Over the five years monitoring period there was a reduction in mean fish size of up to 8 cm for P. areolatus, and a reduction in numbers of aggregating E. fuscoguttatus. Despite limited protection initiated in 2001, both sites are still heavily fished by local artisanal fishers. Because the observed reductions in size and in numbers could be caused by fishing pressure, managers should follow the precautionary principle by putting additional protective management in place. Since both species are relatively long-lived, at least five years of continued monitoring may be necessary to determine the outcome of management intervention. The variability in timing of aggregation in respect to season and moon phase in P. areolatus indicates that long-term monitoring must cover the entire year and both moon phases.


coral reef reef fish reproduction aggregation spawning marine protected area 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jos S. Pet
    • 1
  • Peter J. Mous
    • 1
  • Andreas H. Muljadi
    • 1
  • Yvonne J. Sadovy
    • 2
  • Lyle Squire
    • 3
  1. 1.Southeast Asia Center for Marine Protected AreasThe Nature ConservancyBaliIndonesia
  2. 2.Department of Ecology & BiodiversityThe University of Hong KongHong Kong
  3. 3.Cairns Marine Aquarium FishNorth CairnsAustralia

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