60th Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute / Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
vFish, Coral Reef, Veracruz, Mexico
Effective resource management requires robust baseline datasets and efficient monitoring programs to identify and quantify temporal change. The Parque Nacional Sistema Arrecifal Veracruzano (Veracruz Coral Reef System National Park) encompasses a total of 52000ha including 23 coral reefs in two island groups separated by the mouth of the Jamapa River; one near the port of Veracruz, Mexico and one approximately 20km south near Punta Antón Lizardo. Both groups receive substantial fisheries pressure and other anthropogenic impacts. Using non-destructive, visual methods we surveyed fish and benthic assemblages at 18 sites, which included 10 individual coral reefs within the Park. For fishes, 221 point-count and 97 rover-diver surveys were conducted. In total, 92975 fish of 155 species were recorded. Using point-count data, fish abundance differed between Veracruz and Antón Lizardo sites (mean ± SEM: Veracruz = 535.52 ± 78.13; Antón Lizardo = 300.08 ± 30.68; p<0.01, ANOVA). In contrast, there was no difference in fish species richness between these sites (Veracruz = 18.22 ± 0.36; Antón Lizardo = 18.75 ± 0.45); nor were there apparent differences in the MDS plot of Bray-Curtis similarity indices. A total of 27 stony coral species was identified on 170, 30-m point-intercept transects. Species richness ranged from 8 to 14 per site. Stony coral cover ranged from 4% to 38% with a mean of 22%. Other important functional groups included turf algae, macroalgae, and coralline algae. These groups generally contributed more to benthic cover than sponges or octocorals. Evidence of disease within the stony coral community was seen at all sites.
Rangel Avalos, Marcos Alberto; Jordan, Lance K. B.; Walker, Brian K.; Gilliam, David S.; Carvajal Hinojosa, Elvira; and Spieler, Richard E., "Fish and Coral Reef Communities of the Parque Nacional Sistema Arrecifal Veracruzano (Veracruz Coral Reef System National Park) Veracruz, Mexico: Preliminary Results" (2007). Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures. 54.