Pacific Conservation Biology Pacific Conservation Biology Society
A journal dedicated to conservation and wildlife management in the Pacific region.
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Traditional ecological knowledge, shifting baselines, and conservation of Fijian molluscs

Karen Bao A and Joshua Drew A B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology (EEEB), Columbia University, 1200 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10027, USA.

B Corresponding author. Email: j.drew@columbia.edu

Pacific Conservation Biology 23(1) 81-87 https://doi.org/10.1071/PC16016
Submitted: 16 April 2016  Accepted: 27 August 2016   Published: 14 October 2016

Abstract

Understanding a region’s ecological history is crucial in formulating conservation plans. In the absence of conventional datasets, historical data and traditional ecological knowledge of local communities can elucidate trends over time and help set goals for preservation and restoration. These methods can contribute to the conservation of biologically and culturally significant species, including coral reef molluscs, in the South Pacific, which have experienced intensified threats such as overfishing and habitat degradation in recent decades. Through fisher interviews in a small coastal community in Fiji, we investigate changes in distribution, biomass, and human perception of common mollusc populations in a Fijian reef. We found evidence of a decline in mollusc populations, but only older fishers with more fishing experience perceived this decline, suggesting a shift in baseline perceptions of biodiversity.

Additional keywords: artisanal fisheries, benthic invertebrates, historical ecology


References

Albert, S., Love, M., and Brewer, T. D. (2013). Contrasts in social and ecological assessments of coral reef health in Melanesia. Pacific Science 67, 409–424.
Contrasts in social and ecological assessments of coral reef health in Melanesia.CrossRef |

Alleway, H. K., and Connell, S. D. (2015). Loss of an ecological baseline through the eradication of oyster reefs from coastal ecosystems and human memory. Conservation Biology 29, 795–804.
Loss of an ecological baseline through the eradication of oyster reefs from coastal ecosystems and human memory.CrossRef | 25588455PubMed |

Baum, J. K., and Myers, R. A. (2004). Shifting baselines and the decline of pelagic sharks in the Gulf of Mexico. Ecology Letters 7, 135–145.
Shifting baselines and the decline of pelagic sharks in the Gulf of Mexico.CrossRef |

Beaudreau, A. H., and Levin, P. S. (2014). Advancing the use of local ecological knowledge for assessing data-poor species in coastal ecosystems. Ecological Applications 24, 244–256.
Advancing the use of local ecological knowledge for assessing data-poor species in coastal ecosystems.CrossRef | 24689138PubMed |

Beckvar, N. (1981). Cultivation, spawning, and growth of the giant clams Tridacna gigas, T. derasa, and T. squamosa in Palau, Caroline Islands. Aquaculture 24, 21–30.
Cultivation, spawning, and growth of the giant clams Tridacna gigas, T. derasa, and T. squamosa in Palau, Caroline Islands.CrossRef |

Bellwood, D. R., Hughes, T. P., Folke, C., and Nyström, M. (2004). Confronting the coral reef crisis. Nature 429, 827–833.
Confronting the coral reef crisis.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD2cXltVKltb8%3D&md5=365c3e67a48afee264b6511125360acbCAS | 15215854PubMed |

Berkes, F., Colding, J., and Folke, C. (2000). Rediscovery of traditional ecological knowledge as adaptive management. Ecological Applications 10, 1251–1262.
Rediscovery of traditional ecological knowledge as adaptive management.CrossRef |

Bruckner, A. W. (2001). Tracking the trade in ornamental coral reef organisms: the importance of CITES and its limitations. Aquarium Sciences and Conservation 3, 79–94.
Tracking the trade in ornamental coral reef organisms: the importance of CITES and its limitations.CrossRef |

Bunce, M., Rodwell, L. D., Gibb, R., and Mee, L. (2008). Shifting baselines in fishers’ perceptions of island reef fishery degradation. Ocean and Coastal Management 51, 285–302.
Shifting baselines in fishers’ perceptions of island reef fishery degradation.CrossRef |

Cabaitan, P. C., Gomez, E. D., and Aliño, P. M. (2008). Effects of coral transplantation and giant clam restocking on the structure of fish communities on degraded patch reefs. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 357, 85–98.
Effects of coral transplantation and giant clam restocking on the structure of fish communities on degraded patch reefs.CrossRef |

Chapman, M. D. (1987). Women’s fishing in Oceania. Human Ecology 15, 267–288.
Women’s fishing in Oceania.CrossRef |

Clarke, P., and Jupiter, S. D. (2010). Law, custom and community-based natural resource management in Kubulau District (Fiji). Environmental Conservation 37, 98–106.
Law, custom and community-based natural resource management in Kubulau District (Fiji).CrossRef |

Day, J. C. (2002). Zoning – lessons from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Ocean and Coastal Management 45, 139–156.
Zoning – lessons from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.CrossRef |

Dayton, P. K., Tegner, M. J., Edwards, P. B., and Riser, K. L. (1998). Sliding baselines, ghosts, and reduced expectations in kelp forest communities. Ecological Applications 8, 309–322.
Sliding baselines, ghosts, and reduced expectations in kelp forest communities.CrossRef |

Drew, J. A. (2005). Use of traditional ecological knowledge in marine conservation. Conservation Biology 19, 1286–1293.
Use of traditional ecological knowledge in marine conservation.CrossRef |

Drew, J., and Kaufman, L. (2013). Functional endemism: population connectivity, shifting baselines, and the scale of human experience. Ecology and Evolution 3, 450–456.
Functional endemism: population connectivity, shifting baselines, and the scale of human experience.CrossRef | 23467269PubMed |

Dumas, P., Jimenez, H., Peignon, C., Wantiez, L., and Adjeroud, M. (2013). Small-scale habitat structure modulates the effects of no-take marine reserves for coral reef macroinvertebrates. PLoS One 8, e58998.
Small-scale habitat structure modulates the effects of no-take marine reserves for coral reef macroinvertebrates.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC3sXltVKhtrs%3D&md5=1e0be83a741d009366b898ea5cd706e9CAS | 23554965PubMed |

Eastwood, E. K., López, E. H., and Drew, J. A. (2016). Population connectivity measures of fishery-targeted coral reef species to inform marine reserve network design in Fiji. Scientific Reports 6, 19318.
Population connectivity measures of fishery-targeted coral reef species to inform marine reserve network design in Fiji.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC28Xhtl2ltr4%3D&md5=4c5bdd12f620bb5d408a720eb59883a7CAS | 26805954PubMed |

Foale, S. (1998). Assessment and management of the trochus fishery at West Nggela, Solomon Islands: an interdisciplinary approach. Ocean and Coastal Management 40, 187–205.
Assessment and management of the trochus fishery at West Nggela, Solomon Islands: an interdisciplinary approach.CrossRef |

Golden, A. S., Naisilsisili, W., Ligairi, I., and Drew, J. A. (2014). Combining natural history collections with fisher knowledge for community-based conservation in Fiji. PLoS One 9, e98036.
Combining natural history collections with fisher knowledge for community-based conservation in Fiji.CrossRef | 24849330PubMed |

Gómez-Baggethun, E., De Groot, R., Lomas, P. L., and Montes, C. (2010). The history of ecosystem services in economic theory and practice: from early notions to markets and payment schemes. Ecological Economics 69, 1209–1218.
The history of ecosystem services in economic theory and practice: from early notions to markets and payment schemes.CrossRef |

Grech, A., Bos, M., Brodie, J., Coles, R., Dale, A., Gilbert, R., Hamann, M., Marsh, H., Neil, K., Pressey, R. L., and Rasheed, M. A. (2013). Guiding principles for the improved governance of port and shipping impacts in the Great Barrier Reef. Marine Pollution Bulletin 75, 8–20.
Guiding principles for the improved governance of port and shipping impacts in the Great Barrier Reef.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC3sXht1aqtL%2FE&md5=71e7b761612ea57ed32163394284ddf2CAS | 23932477PubMed |

Hornell, J. (1940). Report on the fisheries of Fiji. Government Printer, South Africa.

Jansen, A. A. J., Parkinson, S. and Robertson, A. F. S. (1990). ‘Food and Nutrition in Fiji: a Historical Review. Volume 1: Food Production, Composition, and Intake.’ (Institute of Pacific Studies.)

Joaquim, S., Matias, D., Lopes, B., Arnold, W. S., and Gaspar, M. B. (2008). The reproductive cycle of white clam Spisula solida (L.) (Mollusca: Bivalvia): implications for aquaculture and wild stock management. Aquaculture 281, 43–48.
The reproductive cycle of white clam Spisula solida (L.) (Mollusca: Bivalvia): implications for aquaculture and wild stock management.CrossRef |

Jones, S. (2009a). ‘Food and Gender in Fiji: Ethnoarchaeological Explorations.’ (Lexington Books.)

Jones, S. (2009b). A long-term perspective on biodiversity and marine resource exploitation in Fiji’s Lau Group. Pacific Science 63, 617–648.
A long-term perspective on biodiversity and marine resource exploitation in Fiji’s Lau Group.CrossRef |

Jupiter, S. D., Cohen, P. J., Weeks, R., Tawake, A., and Govan, H. (2014). Locally-managed marine areas: multiple objectives and diverse strategies. Pacific Conservation Biology 20, 165–179.
Locally-managed marine areas: multiple objectives and diverse strategies.CrossRef |

Kinch, J., Mesia, P., Kere, N., Manioli, J. and Bulehite, K. (2006). Socio-economic baseline assessment for the eastern Marovo Lagoon, Western Province, the Solomon Islands. IWP-Pacific Technical Report No. 35.

Knowlton, N., and Jackson, J. B. (2008). Shifting baselines, local impacts, and global change on coral reefs. PLoS Biology 6, e54.
Shifting baselines, local impacts, and global change on coral reefs.CrossRef | 18303956PubMed |

Kuster, C., Vuki, V. C., and Zann, L. P. (2006). Validation of the accuracy of household reporting of subsistence fishing catch and effort: a Fijian case study. Fisheries Management and Ecology 13, 177–184.
Validation of the accuracy of household reporting of subsistence fishing catch and effort: a Fijian case study.CrossRef |

Léopold, M., Beckensteiner, J., Kaltavara, J., Raubani, J., and Caillon, S. (2013). Community-based management of near-shore fisheries in Vanuatu: what works? Marine Policy 42, 167–176.
Community-based management of near-shore fisheries in Vanuatu: what works?CrossRef |

Lewis, A. D., Adams, T. J. H., and Ledua, E. (1988) Fiji’s giant clam stocks - A review of their distribution, abundance, exploitation and management. In ‘Giant clams in Asia and the Pacific, ACIRA Monograph Series No. 9’. (Eds J. W. Copland and J. S. Lucas). pp. 66–72. (Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research: Canberra.)

Lucas, J. S. (1994). The biology, exploitation, and mariculture of giant clams (Tridacnidae). Reviews in Fisheries Science 2, 181–223.
The biology, exploitation, and mariculture of giant clams (Tridacnidae).CrossRef |

Martin, S. L., Van Houtan, K. S., Jones, T. T., Aguon, C. F., Gutierrez, J. T., Tibbatts, R. B., Wusstig, S. B., and Bass, J. D. (2016). Five decades of marine megafauna surveys from Micronesia. Frontiers in Marine Science 2, 116.
Five decades of marine megafauna surveys from Micronesia.CrossRef |

Neo, M. L., Erftemeijer, P. L., van Beek, J. K., van Maren, D. S., Teo, S. L., and Todd, P. A. (2013). Recruitment constraints in Singapore’s fluted giant clam (Tridacna squamosa) population – a dispersal model approach. PLoS One 8, e58819.
Recruitment constraints in Singapore’s fluted giant clam (Tridacna squamosa) population – a dispersal model approach.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC3sXks1Wnt78%3D&md5=f74451aff324b53e328937f44c4524faCAS | 23555597PubMed |

Neo, M. L., Eckman, W., Vicentuan, K., Teo, S. L. M., and Todd, P. A. (2015). The ecological significance of giant clams in coral reef ecosystems. Biological Conservation 181, 111–123.
The ecological significance of giant clams in coral reef ecosystems.CrossRef |

Ohmagari, K., and Berkes, F. (1997). Transmission of indigenous knowledge and bush skills among the Western James Bay Cree women of subarctic Canada. Human Ecology 25, 197–222.
Transmission of indigenous knowledge and bush skills among the Western James Bay Cree women of subarctic Canada.CrossRef |

Pauly, D. (1995). Anecdotes and the shifting baseline syndrome of fisheries. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 10, 430.
Anecdotes and the shifting baseline syndrome of fisheries.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BC3M7itFeiug%3D%3D&md5=5d6114389d649f68cc8a6b5dfd557847CAS |

Purcell, S. W., Ngaluafe, P., Aram, K. T., and Lalavanua, W. (2016). Trends in small-scale artisanal fishing of sea cucumbers in Oceania. Fisheries Research 183, 99–110.
Trends in small-scale artisanal fishing of sea cucumbers in Oceania.CrossRef |

Roman, S., Jacobson, N., and Cadrin, S. X. (2011). Assessing the reliability of fisher self-sampling programs. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 31, 165–175.
Assessing the reliability of fisher self-sampling programs.CrossRef |

Roy, K., Collins, A. G., Becker, B. J., Begovic, E., and Engle, J. M. (2003). Anthropogenic impacts and historical decline in body size of rocky intertidal gastropods in southern California. Ecology Letters 6, 205–211.
Anthropogenic impacts and historical decline in body size of rocky intertidal gastropods in southern California.CrossRef |

Sáenz–Arroyo, A., Roberts, C. M., Torre, J., and Cariño-Olvera, M. (2005). Using fishers’ anecdotes, naturalists’ observations and grey literature to reassess marine species at risk: the case of the Gulf grouper in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Fish and Fisheries 6, 121–133.
Using fishers’ anecdotes, naturalists’ observations and grey literature to reassess marine species at risk: the case of the Gulf grouper in the Gulf of California, Mexico.CrossRef |

Seeto, J., Nunn, P. D., and Sanjana, S. (2012). Human-mediated prehistoric marine extinction in the tropical Pacific? Understanding the presence of Hippopus hippopus (Linn. 1758) in ancient shell middens on the Rove Peninsula, southwest Viti Levu Island, Fiji. Geoarchaeology 27, 2–17.
Human-mediated prehistoric marine extinction in the tropical Pacific? Understanding the presence of Hippopus hippopus (Linn. 1758) in ancient shell middens on the Rove Peninsula, southwest Viti Levu Island, Fiji.CrossRef |

Swetnam, T. W., Allen, C. D., and Betancourt, J. L. (1999). Applied historical ecology: using the past to manage for the future. Ecological Applications 9, 1189–1206.
Applied historical ecology: using the past to manage for the future.CrossRef |

Tawake, A., Parks, J., Radikedike, P., Aalbersberg, B., Vuki, V., and Salafsky, N. (2001). Harvesting clams and data involving local communities in monitoring can lead to conservation success in all sorts of unanticipated ways: a case in Fiji. Conservation in Practice 2, 32–35.
Harvesting clams and data involving local communities in monitoring can lead to conservation success in all sorts of unanticipated ways: a case in Fiji.CrossRef |

Thurstan, R. H., McClenachan, L., Crowder, L. B., Drew, J. A., Kittinger, J. N., Levin, P. S., Roberts, C. M., and Pandolfi, J. M. (2015). Filling historical data gaps to foster solutions in marine conservation. Ocean and Coastal Management 115, 31–40.
Filling historical data gaps to foster solutions in marine conservation.CrossRef |

Watson, S. A. (2015). Giant clams and rising CO2: light may ameliorate effects of ocean acidification on a solar-powered animal. PLoS One 10, e0128405.
Giant clams and rising CO2: light may ameliorate effects of ocean acidification on a solar-powered animal.CrossRef | 26083404PubMed |

Wendt, H. K., Weeks, R., Comley, J., and Aalbersberg, W. (2016). Systematic conservation planning within a Fijian customary governance context. Pacific Conservation Biology 22, 173–181.
Systematic conservation planning within a Fijian customary governance context.CrossRef |

Yasué, M., Kaufman, L., and Vincent, A. C. J. (2010). Assessing ecological changes in and around marine reserves using community perceptions and biological surveys. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 20, 407–418.
Assessing ecological changes in and around marine reserves using community perceptions and biological surveys.CrossRef |



Supplementary MaterialSupplementary Material (55 KB) Export Citation

View Altmetrics