Seagrass importance in food provisioning services: fish stomach content as a link between seagrass meadows and local fisheries
2008 (English)In: Western Indian Ocean journal of marine science, ISSN 0856-860X, Vol. 7, no 1, 95-110 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The links between ecosystem processes and functions and ecosystem services (i.e. the humanbenefits from those) are elusive. In this paper, the food provisioning service of seagrass meadows isoperationalized through the study of the stomach contents of 13 important commercial fish species inChwaka Bay, Zanzibar. Using local fishers’ knowledge on bait, scientific knowledge about the structureof the meadows (associated flora and fauna), stomach content analysis and multivariate statistics, the foodprovisioning service associated with seagrasses and its importance for fish (as important diet component)and for humans (in small-scale artisanal fisheries) are described. The study presents the food items for 13commercial fish species identified at the lowest possible taxonomical level and compares with previousliterature findings. In addition, differences in stomach contents of Siganus sutor and Leptoscarus vaigiensiscaught with both drag-nets and dema basket traps are investigated in order to explore bait presence andindirectly evaluate fishers’ knowledge on bait preference. The results show that most of the items consumedby commercial fishes are associated with seagrass beds and that there are clear indicators that the baittraditionally used seems to be effective. The paper elaborates on the consideration of seagrass ecosystemsin a holistic perspective, the difficulties in valuation of ecosystem services and finally the crucial importanceof these aspects for human well-being and sustainability in coastal communities of the Western IndianOcean.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 7, no 1, 95-110 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-15602OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-15602DiVA: diva2:182122