From 2-6 October, members of the REPICORE team had the opportunity to present their work at the 10th Indo-Pacific Fish Conference, which was organized this year in Papeete/Tahiti, the capital of French Polynesia, by the French CRIOBE. The conference, the largest of its kind, brought together nearly 500 participants from over 30 countries. Work from and on the South Pacific featured prominently. Topics included a broad range of fish-related subjects, ranging from biogeography and molecular methods to behavioural science, the role of fishes in reefs, and the management of social-ecological systems.
Four members of the REPICORE team gave presentations of their work. The students Natalie Prinz and Ryan McAndrews talked about their studies on the effects of fish feeding on fish communities in the Aitutaki Lagoon/Cook Islands and on spearfishing effects on herbivorous fishes and their functions in Fiji, respectively. Sonia Bejarano presented her work on the positive effects of banning a destructive fishing gear had on herbivorous fishes in an Indonesian national park, and Sebastian Ferse talked about the physiological effects of damselfish sheltering on their coral hosts and the influence of predation risk on this sheltering behaviour.
In addition to presenting our science, the conference was a great opportunity to link with other scientists and stakeholders from the region and thus to spread and link the results of REPICORE, and to learn about other interesting initiatives in the region, relevant results from other researchers, and prospective collaborators and students. Overall, this was a very successful week!