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Impact of shark-feeding tourism on surrounding fish populations off Moorea Island (French Polynesia)

Abstract : Shark feeding is widespread throughout tropical, subtropical and temperate marine ecosystems and gives rise to controversy because there is little consensus regarding its management. There are few comprehensive reports that consider how shark feeding with bait might impact local fishes, despite the development of this practice during the last few decades. Although shark feeding might theoretically have parasitological effects on local non-target fish species in the vicinity of feeding areas, this aspect has never been investigated. During an extensive parasitological survey conducted between 2005 and 2007, a total of 1117 fish belonging to six common grouper and snapper species were sampled throughout the entire north coast of Moorea Island (French Polynesia), encompassing three localities where feeding has occurred frequently since the 1990s. Parasites exhibited no spatial patterns except for the infections on the blacktip grouper (Epinephelus fasciatus). On this species, the prevalence of larval cestodes that parasitise sharks as adults and the intensity of their infestation were significantly higher around shark-feeding localities compared with non-shark-feeding localities. Our results suggest for the first time that although long-term shark feeding has parasitological implications, the impacts appear limited, only involve cestode larvae from one host species and do not seem to affect the health of the fish we studied.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00609372
Contributor : Laetitia Hédouin <>
Submitted on : Monday, July 18, 2011 - 8:37:33 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 5, 2021 - 1:46:03 PM

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  • HAL Id : hal-00609372, version 1

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Matthias Vignon, Pierre Sasal, Ryan L Johnson, René Galzin. Impact of shark-feeding tourism on surrounding fish populations off Moorea Island (French Polynesia). Marine and Freshwater Research / Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 2010, 61 (2), pp.163-169. ⟨hal-00609372⟩

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