Tracking fish spawning events in Palauan reefs
Funding Year: 2023
Research Areas: Oceans, Conservation
Every lunar cycle, an array of coral reef fish descend on a reef in the western tropical Pacific known as Shark City. Here, and at other sites along the island nation of Palau, massive spawning events take place and offer a feast for sharks and other top predators. In recent years, the frequency of these events has declined, threatening fish populations and associated reef ecosystems along with the many health and livelihood benefits they provide to coastal communities. Fiorenza Micheli, professor of oceans and senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, and team seek to better understand the life history and population dynamics of Palauan fish species. In partnership with the Palau International Coral Reef Center, they will deploy acoustic tags on fish and sharks to track their movements around Shark City and other fish aggregation sites, generate foundational knowledge about coral reef ecology, and inform local conservation efforts.