Abstract: No-take marine reserves are a cornerstone of marine ecosystem management in Australia, though they are rarely considered as an effective fisheries management strategy. Yet, by accumulating more and larger exploited species within their boundaries, they generate important larval subsidies to support nearby fisheries. However, given the stochanistic nature of larval dispersal, any larval subsidies from reserves may be highly variable in time and space, and reliable. Thus the value of no-take marine reserves to fish and fisheries depends on the strength and stability of their contribution. In this presentation I discuss how stability can arise from volatity and show that a network of reserves in the Keppel Islands complement each other to provide a reliable source of juvenile coral trout (Plectropomus maculatus). By protecting healthy spawning stocks, no-take marine reserves are no longer just a conservation tool. They mitigate the uncertainty in larval supply to support the productivity of local fisheries.
Biography: Hugo is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, co-appointed with the Australian Institute of Marine Science in Townsville, Australia. His research intersects disciplines by combining large-scale field studies with novel genetic approaches to address critical questions regarding the effective management and conservation of coral reef ecosystems.