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Yellow Tang Protection in Hawaii

Protected areas in West Hawaii have raised yellow tang (Zebrasoma flavescens) numbers.

Posted: December 18, 2009, 12 p.m. EST

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Yellow tang
Yellow tang

Each year, collectors remove more than 280,000 juvenile yellow tangs (Zebrasoma flavescens) from West Hawaii. Since nine large fish replenishment areas were established around the coastline in 1998, the juvenile population has grown to be seven times larger in protected areas than in open waters. Fishermen also now report that their catch of the fish has doubled.

The protected areas allow juveniles to mature near the coast and then swim out to open waters, which in turn, increases the number of adults that can breed for many years. But some worry that closing coastal areas could cause open areas to be overfished and that too many yellow tangs in closed areas may negatively affect other species. If large areas are closed, fishermen collect in smaller areas, which could increase the environmental impact of fishing. Some argue for many more small preserves to prevent this.

(Wilson, C. “Protecting Yellow Tang.”

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Reader Comments

Allen    Calgary, AB

4/29/2010 11:51:55 AM

Good article.

dj    call, KS

2/16/2010 8:56:38 AM

good info

kyler    raton, NM

1/19/2010 4:48:05 PM

i think that we should keep reproducing them

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