Pacific Coral Reef Institute

Replenishing Tetiaroa’s lagoon through PCC (2015-2018), the Video!

Replenishing Tetiaroa’s lagoon through capture, culture and restocking of fish and crustacean post-larvae (2015 – 2018)


The present project plans to replenish the Tetiaroa lagoon by rearing and releasing fish and crustaceans caught at post-larval stage over 3 years. The marine post-larvae will be caught using nets set up on the reef crest of the atoll. The post-larvae will be kept in aquarium at Tetiaroa research center in cages or in the lagoon between 1 to 3 months according to species, and then released in the lagoon of Tetiaroa. Released fish and crustacean will be marked by external tags or implantations of magnetic bars in the flesh. This tagging will allow to estimate, several months after being released, the proportion of marine raised post-larvae involved in the adult stock of fish and crustaceans at Tetiaroa. The replenishment of fish and crustacean will be conducted in the different parts of the Marine Protected Area at Tetiaroa. Overall, the implementation of this project is part of a responsible approach of management of the resource in the context of sustainable development at Tetiaroa and is part of The Tetiaroa Sustainable and Conservation Plan.


Fish larvae collected with the crest net at Tetiaroa

The innovative character of the present project is due to the use of fish and crustaceans caught at post-larval stage to replenish Polynesian lagoons. Many studies have been done on the PCC to demonstrate that the capture and culture of post-larval fish and crustaceans is an economically viable technology for the international aquaculture and aquarium markets (Bell et al. 2009). Unfortunately, very few studies have been conducted to demonstrate that the PCC is an environmentally sustainable technique to replenish a coral lagoon (Grignon 2010). The present project therefore aims to fill this gap. Thus, our project will provide new understanding of the connectivity and recruitment of fish and crustacean populations among habitats in coral reefs, which will assist conservationists and reef managers concerned with maintaining biodiversity on coral reefs. If the recruitment potential of some coral islands has decreased due to natural or human stressors, the populations of reef organisms will continue their rapid decline, as compromised habitat selection at recruitment will mean that larvae fail to replace and to sustain the adult populations on the reefs. The present project aims to replenish Tetiaroa lagoon by rearing and releasing fish and crustaceans caught at post-larval stage with crest nets. Another innovative is the use of external/internal tags to identify reared fish and crustaceans in aquaria or cages and thus estimate the impact of replenishment on the adult stock at Tetiaroa. Lastly, there is no decentralized management model suitable for public areas such as the Tetiaroa lagoon. The integration of economic actors of Tetiaroa allows a direct participatory approach of the first users of the island that are present on the atoll on a regular basis and have a vested interest in the preserved resource. The identified models could be adapted to other islands. The fishermen community is supportive of the project which could provide a long term solution for overfishing area.

=>Watch the Movie to have a look at the project

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