Marine Atlas: Maximizing Benefits for Vanuatu
including corals, seagrass, mangroves and algae (see also chapter “Home, sweet home”).
Globally, pelagic fish are generally more abun- dant in tropical waters and decrease as latitude increases. As the map shows, within Vanuatu’s waters, there is a trend for lower species richness in the northern part of Vanuatu’s waters, with higher pelagic richness to the south and west of the main islands; especially between New Cale- donia and Vanuatu. Similarly, tropical waters tend to have a higher benthic species richness than waters at higher latitudes. Again, in Vanuatu’s waters, there is a trend for higher benthic species richness in the south than in the north. Benthic species richness is higher in shallow water compared to deep water, both in Vanuatu and globally. The highest benthic species richness is found around Vanuatu’s main islands. Elevated benthic species richness is also associated with other shallow areas such as the Torres Rise. In general, species richness can be used as an indicator of conservation significance. It does not, however, provide information on species compo- sition, nor does it identify whether there are rare or priority species in an area. Further, areas with similar species richness may have very different species present, which would affect the conserva- tion and management measures required.
The Zebra shark is found throughout the tropical Pacific, but listed as an endangered species.
BENTHIC MARINE SPECIES RICHNESS (number of species)
70 - 223 223 - 329 329 - 370 370 - 398 398 - 437 437 - 607 607 - 948
Vanuatu Provisional EEZ Boundary Boundary as deposited at UN Archipelagic Baseline
Copyright © MACBIO Map produced by GRID-Arendal Sources : Becker et al, 2009; Claus et al, 2016; Kaschner et al, 2016; Smith and Sandwell, 1997.
MAXIMIZING BENEFITS FOR VANUATU
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