Marine Atlas: Maximizing Benefits for Fiji
or priority species in an area. Further, areas with similar species richness may have very different species present, which would affect the conser- vation and management measures required. Globally, pelagic fish are generally more abundant in tropical waters and decrease as latitude increas- es. As the map shows, within Fiji’s waters, there is generally lower species richness in the northern part of Fiji’s waters, with higher pelagic richness to the south and south-west of the main islands, es- pecially over the Denham and Moore Ridges and northern parts of the Lau Ridge (see also chapter “Voyage to the bottom of the sea”). Large geo- graphic features that rise off the sea floor interact with currents (see also chapter “Go with the flow”). Pelagic fish abundance and biomass can, there- fore, peak deep in the water column in association with abrupt bathymetric features such as sea- mounts and mid-ocean ridges (Sutton et al., 2010). Furthermore, migrating species, including whales, frequently pause over seamounts and other shal- low geographical features (Garrigue et al., 2015). Similarly, tropical waters tend to have a higher benthic species richness than waters at higher latitudes. Again, in Fiji’s waters, there is gener- ally higher species richness in the south than in the north. Benthic species richness is higher in shallow water compared with deep water, both in Fiji and globally. The highest benthic species richness is found around the main islands and extending south along the Lau Ridge. There is also elevated species richness along the Colwyn and Herald Ridges to the south-west of Fiji, and on the banks and seamounts west of Rotuma.
The Zebra shark is found throughout the tropical Pacific, but listed as an endangered species.
BENTHIC MARINE SPECIES RICHNESS (number of species)
1 - 85 86 - 160 161 - 230 231 - 300 301 - 350 351 - 450 451 - 600 601 - 750 751 - 962
Fiji Provisional EEZ Boundary Archipelagic Baseline
Sources : Becker et al, 2009; Claus et al, 2016; Kaschner et al, 2016; Smith and Sandwell, 1997. Copyright © MACBIO Map produced by GRID-Arendal
MAXIMIZING BENEFITS FOR FIJI
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