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Thursday, July 24, 2014

24/07/2014: Sea grass losses offset by regreneration investments

Seagrass provides many ecosystem services that are of considerable value to humans, including the provision of nursery habitat for commercial fish stock. 

Yet few studies have sought to quantify these benefits. 
 
Seagrass is suffering a high rate of loss globally


As seagrass habitat continues to suffer a high rate of loss globally and with the growing emphasis on compensatory restoration, valuation of the ecosystem services associated with seagrass habitat is increasingly important.

This study undertakes a meta-analysis of juvenile fish abundance at seagrass and control sites to derive a quantitative estimate of the enhancement of juvenile fish by seagrass habitats in southern Australia. 


Thirteen fish of commercial importance were identified as being recruitment enhanced in seagrass habitat, twelve of which were associated with sufficient life history data to allow for estimation of total biomass enhancement. 
 
Seagrass restoration has a five year payback period


The values represent the stock enhancement where all fish species are present, as opposed to realised catches. 

Having accounted for the time lag between fish recruiting to a seagrass site and entering the fishery and for a three percent annual discount rate, we find that seagrass restoration efforts costing Aus$10,000ha−1 have a potential payback time of less than five years, and that restoration costing Aus$629,000ha−1 can be justified on the basis of enhanced commercial fish recruitment where these twelve fish species are present.


Read more HERE.

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