Paleonet: Nautilus capture-release results and deep sea inverts for interested parties

Jere H. Lipps jlipps at
Thu Aug 11 15:50:32 GMT 2011

Peter:  Ask Terry Gosliner, Brian Simison and 
Healy Hamilton (cc'ed here) at the Cal Academy 
about the specimens and even your work.   The 
Academy had a very large expedition there this 
summer doing both terrestrial and marine 
ecosystem studies and specimen acquisition.    Jere

At 09:54 PM 8/10/2011 Wednesday, argo at wrote:
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>I am amidst a US-Philippines project to 
>determine the population numbers of Nautilus 
>pompilius in the Philippine Islands.  We are 
>using traditional fisheries techniques and local 
>fishermen in the traditional fisheries 
>locales.  All specimens being caught are 
>measured and immediately returned to the 
>sea.  Already we know that our current catch 
>using multiple boats and 40 traps per day is 
>between one and two orders of magnitude less than a decade ago.
>The traps are resting at 250-400m and we are 
>bringing up associated fauna.  I am keeping one 
>example of each crustacean 
>encountered.  However, this morning we found a 
>one meter long stalked crinoid of great beauty 
>entangled in our trap, with holdfast gone.  We 
>have preserved this believing that return to the 
>sea would be useless for it.  Does anyone out 
>there want this, crustaceans, glass sponges, 
>microgastropods, very peculiar tiny echinoids 
>with enormous spines, and three species of sea 
>star that I have never seen before?  All will be 
>preserved at University of San Carlos, Cebu 
>City, and can be sent to interested 
>taxonomists.  Tentacle snips from 5 nautilus 
>also available to interested DNA workers.  This 
>number can be increased if necessary , as it is  non-lethal.
>As far as Nautilus goes, please see the abstract 
>below, to be delivered to the American Fisheries 
>Society annual meeting, to be held next month in 
>Seattle. The number of shells coming into the US 
>alone may be only half the annual take: please 
>look at these incredible numbers obtained over a 
>year by scientists at US Fish and Wildlife and US National Marine Fisheries.
>  Nautilus takes 15 years to reach sexual 
> maturity, then lays 10-15 eggs, and like other 
> cephalopods may then die after breeding (or may 
> not) - but in any event, very low fecundity and 
> virtually no dispersal ability across deep 
> water, so habitats rendered extinct cannot be 
> repopulated in anything other than geological 
> time.  There also appear to be at least 10 and 
> probably 10 different species of what we no 
> call Nautilus pompilius, and I believe one of 
> these is already extinct in the Philippines or is in extinction debt countdown.
>“The species in these genera are slow-growing 
>and late-maturing, with a low reproduction rate 
>and low recovery potential, making them 
>susceptible to overharvest. These species are 
>native to western Pacific and Indo-Pacific 
>coastal reefs, including the U.S. territory, 
>American Samoa. Population declines have been 
>reported in areas where intensive fisheries 
>exist or have existed. The species appear to be 
>unable to  re-colonize localities from which 
>they have been extirpated and captive breeding 
>has not produced viable offspring beyond the 
>hatchling stage. The primary threats to the 
>Nautilidae (Nautilus and Allonautilus, now 
>accepted based on multiple DNA studies this 
>decade) are commercial harvest and habitat loss 
>or degradation throughout its range. The species 
>are internationally traded as shell products, 
>jewelry, unworked shell, trim, and live 
>specimens, for the curio and tourist markets, 
>and possibly for the aquarium and pet trade. 
>More than 579,000 specimens were imported into 
>the United States between 2005 and 2008, 
>reported mainly from the Philippines, Indonesia, 
>and China. Approximately 99 percent of these 
>specimens are reported as wild-harvested.”
>Professor Peter D Ward
>Dept of Biology
>The University of Washington
>Seattle, 98195
>206-543-2962  ( Office )
>Paleonet mailing list
>Paleonet at

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