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Mangroves as Fish Habitat 3

Six decades after it originated, and one after the concept of “mangroves as fish habitat” was formalized with the first scientific meeting of its kind, research linking mangroves and fish continues to grow and expand into new and exciting disciplines. The First International Symposium on Mangroves as Fish Habitat in Miami (2006) revealed the thematic diversity that researchers around the world were exploring when studying fish and their relationships with mangrove ecosystems. Nursery and trophic functions, community ecology and connectivity, mangrove-fisheries linkages, and conservation and management were being studied with an array of techniques that included stable isotopes, biotelemetry, and otolith chemistry. The first meeting also revealed a growing interest in disturbance and habitat restoration to enhance nearshore fish biomass.

The Second International Symposium on Mangroves as Fish Habitat in Mazatlán (2014) took the core scientific concepts of the first symposium and expanded them into a global exploration of mangrove-fishery values emphasizing the need to quantify and monetize mangrove-associated fisheries, and, for the first time, the analyses of large geographical data sets to establish the dependence on mangroves of several fish species at regional scales. Moreover, the second symposium also documented the potential impact of global climate change and other disturbances on mangroves and fishes.

The goal of the Third International Symposium on Mangroves as Fish Habitat, to be held in November 2018, is to bring together scientists, researchers, industry professionals, economists, educators, and government officials to encourage the exchange of new knowledge, data, and ideas on the “classic” themes revealed by the two previous meetings, as well as explore topics that have developed since previous gatherings.

Proceedings of the symposium will be published in a special issue of the Bulletin of Marine Science.