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Marine protected areas (MPAs) are increasingly being considered and used for the management of fisheries targeting mobile fish populations. Here, the recent modelling literature on MPA effects for mobile fish populations and their fisheries is reviewed. Modelling studies conducted since 2011 have filled a considerable number of knowledge gaps on the impacts of MPAs for species exhibiting home-range behaviour, nomadic movements or behavioural polymorphism, and on the effects of “targeted MPAs”, which aim to protect relatively small areas where migratory fishes spend an inordinate fraction of time or are highly vulnerable to fishing (e.g., nursery or spawning zones). Also, in recent years, two studies investigated the consequences of MPAs targeting highly migratory (tuna-like) fish populations for the first time in the history of MPA modelling. Recent modelling studies found that MPAs aimed at protecting mobile species may have positive conservation effects under a relatively wide range of situations, but may generate long-term fisheries benefits only under a very limited set of conditions. In particular, MPAs were not found to be beneficial for the fisheries targeting highly migratory populations. Strategies producing both conservation and fisheries benefits were identified, which depend on fish movement patterns and numerous aspects of fish life history and fisheries dynamics. However, in view of the diversity of fish movement patterns in MPA systems and current dynamics in resource management, it is clear that additional modelling work is needed to fully understand how protected areas affect mobile fish populations and their fisheries and to be able to implement pertinent MPAs. In particular, future modelling studies should systematically assess the effects of MPAs in relation to other management tools to find strategies that are most effective in meeting management objectives, and explore the impacts of “dynamic” MPAs that follow highly migratory fish populations in space and time.
A real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was developed for the identification and quantification of two oyster species: Ostrea edulis and Crassostrea gigas. Two sets of primers and TaqMan-MGB probes were designed, based on partial sequences of the 16S rRNA gene. An amplification positive control system was also located in the 18S rRNA gene sequences. Closely related species of oysters and other bivalves, known to co-occur with the target species in European waters, were used to test the assay for cross-reactivity. The assay designed was specific for the target species and no signal or no significant signal was detected for all non-target species tested. The high sensitivity of this method was demonstrated since it is possible to detect just one larva (150–200 μm size) of each species even when it is present with others. Furthermore, this assay provided an acceptable quantification of the number of spiked larvae (1, 10 and 100 larvae) in plankton samples employing a standard curve for larvae.
Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) is probably the most used method for gene expression quantification because of its high sensitivity and specificity. Nevertheless, this technology can undergo experimental errors and variations. Normalization of the results using a reference gene is therefore necessary to minimize these variations. As the study of immune genes in bivalve mollusks has increased in the last years, the establishment of adequate and stable reference genes for bivalves is strongly required. We analyzed the behavior of four putative reference genes: ribosomal RNA 18S, actin, elongation factor 1 − α and α-tubulin. The suitability of these four genes as internal control for qPCR was evaluated in mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) and clam (Ruditapes philippinarum) hemocytes after bacterial challenge. Four independent approaches (BestKeeper, GeNorm, NormFinder and DeltaCt ) were used to assess the suitable genes for stable expression. For these particular circumstances, the most stable gene in hemocytes was elongation factor 1 − α for mussels and α-tubulin for clams.
The Sydney rock oyster (Saccostrea glomerata) (SRO) is an oyster species that only occurs in estuaries along Australia’s east coast. The SRO industry evolved from commercial gathering of oyster in the 1790s to a high production volume aquaculture industry in the 1970s. However, since the late 1970s the SRO industry has experienced a significant and continuous decline in production quantities and the industry’s future commercial viably appears to be uncertain. The aim of this study was to review the history and the status of the SRO industry and to discuss the potential future prospects of this industry. This study summarised findings of the existing literature about the industry and defined development stages of the industry. Particular focus was put on the more recent development within the industry (1980s-present) which has not been covered adequately in the existing literature. The finding from this study revealed that major issues of the industry are linked to the management of prevailing diseases, the handling of water quality impairments from increasing coastal development, increasing competition from Australia’s Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) industry and the current socio-economic profile of the industry. The study also found that policy makers are currently confronted by the dilemma of saving a “dying art”. Findings from this industry review may be vital for current and future fisheries managers and stakeholders as a basis for reviewing industry management and development strategies. This review may also be of interest for other aquaculture industries and fisheries who are dealing with similar challenges as the SRO industry.
Socio-economic characteristics such as age, gender, educational attainment, employment status, and income contain vital information about how an industry may respond to changing circumstances, and hence are of importance to decision makers. While some socio-economic studies exist, relatively little attention has been given to fishery and aquaculture industries in regards to their socio-economic profiles and their role in the development prospects of these industries. In this study, by way of example, we focus on Australia’s Sydney rock oyster (Saccostrea glomerata) (SRO) industry. The aim of this study was identify the socio-economic profile of the SRO industry and to illustrate the value of such information for an industry management assessment. The SRO industry has experienced a major decrease in production volume since the late 1970 and continues to be affected by prevailing diseases and increasing market competition from Australia’s Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) industry. It is likely that socio-economic aspects have influenced this development within the SRO industry. The socio-economic profile was developed using data from a SRO industry farm survey which was undertaken in 2012. Findings suggested that this industry is characterised by a mature aged oyster farmer population and a part-time oyster farming approach. These characteristics may affect the farmers’ ability to drive innovation and growth. The results also suggested that there may be potential industry entry barriers present in the SRO industry which may prevent younger people taking up oyster farming. Given the results, the study concluded that the current socio-economic profile of the industry has likely contributed to the present economic status quo of the industry.