Title

Trying to find Nemo: low abundance of sea anemones and anemonefishes on central and southern mid-shelf reefs in the Great Barrier Reef

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Scott, A & Baird, AH 2015, 'Trying to find Nemo: low abundance of sea anemones and anemonefishes on central and southern mid-shelf reefs in the Great Barrier Reef', Marine Biodiversity, vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 327-331.

Published version available from:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12526-014-0245-0

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

Information on the abundance of species targeted for the marine aquarium trade is needed to help elucidate what levels of exploitation may be sustainable. Accordingly, this study documents the abundance and diversity of anemonefishes and their host sea anemones, which are highly sought after in the trade, using timed swims at seven mid-shelf reefs on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Three species of anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor, n = 49; Heteractis magnifica, n = 7;Stichodactyla mertensii, n = 3), and five species of anemonefishes were found (Amphiprion akindynos, n = 12; A. perideraion, n = 29; A. melanopus, n = 11; Premnas biaculeatus, n = 2). Many of the surveys sites (58 %) did not have anemones or anemonefishes, and at sites where they were present, numbers were generally low. Given these findings, it is essential that collection is carefully regulated to prevent localised extinctions and ensure that reproductive success is not adversely impacted.