SS1.10 Marine Protected Areas: Critical tools for Marine Biodiversity Conservation
Date: Thursday, June 13, 2002
Location: Poster Session - VCC
 
HolmesHL, Parks Canada, Ucluelet, Canada, heather_holmes@pch.gc.ca
Tomascik, T, , Parks Canada, Vancouver, Canada, tomas_tomascik@pch.gc.ca
 
USING NON-DESTRUCTIVE SURVEY METHODS FOR ESTIMATION OF INSHORE GROUNDFISH ABUNDANCE WITH SPECIAL FOCUS ON ROCKFISH ASSEMBLAGES
image
Monitoring for ecological integrity is paramount in Canada’s national parks. This study describes species diversity, abundance, distribution, and ecological relationships of fish from inshore habitats in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve (PRNPR). Underwater fish surveys were conducted by SCUBA divers along 25m x 2m transects. Three distinct macroalgal communities (Nereocystis sp., Macrocystis sp., and Eisenia sp./Agarum sp.), reflecting different biological habitats for fish assemblages, have been identified. Of particular interest are rockfish (genus Sebastes), which are long-lived, slow growing, and slow to mature. Preliminary results suggest that low population abundance will not sustain high levels of fishing for those species. Linking habitat features to fish abundance, using the in-situ survey methods developed in PRNPR, will aid Parks Canada in making science-based management decisions to sustain ecosystem health and ecological integrity within Canada’s national system of marine parks.