Using PCC as an integrated fisheries management tool and for monitoring of marine biodiversity.
The bony fish life cycle involves an oceanic dispersal phase, suggesting significant marine biodiversity at the larval stage. This oceanic phase allows a species to colonize new habitats and promote connectivity between populations, and therefore contributes to the preservation of the species. Depending on the species, the larvae spend from about twenty days (Pomacentridae) to more than one hundred days (Aulostomidae) in the open ocean, moving with the water mass for most of this phase. Upon reaching the final stage of the oceanic phase, that of post-larvae, individuals become active (phase of competence), and move to their coastal habitats to settle permanently during the nights around the new moon (colonization phase). During this colonization, very high mortality occurs. It is estimated that over 95% of post-larvae disappear at the time of arrival at the coastal habitat, due to high predation, pollution, physiological changes and habitat degradation, thus reducing biodiversity.
Some crustaceans (some shrimp, lobsters and crabs) and some cephalopods (octopus and cuttlefish) have a similar life cycle and are regularly caught in our fishing gear. Finally, multitudes of diverse and varied zooplankton (copepods, mysids, worms, isopods, etc.) are also captured alive.
PCC is an excellent tool to study and understand this little-known part of the life cycle of coastal marine species. Thanks to Ecocean's automation of the post larvae capture processes, complete with timing devices if needed, PCC can be used in any marine environment for research & monitoring of planktonic biodiversity.