Oceanic Islands: The Chilean Juan Fernández Archipelago. From Natural Observations to Management Challenges.
Early explorers to visit the Juan Fernández Archipelago in the 1700’s found that lobsters were “in such abundance near the water’s edge (of Isla Robinson Crusoe) that the boathooks often struck into them, in putting the boats to and from the shore” (Walter 1776) and were “found in such quantities that the fishermen have no other trouble to take them, than to strew a little meat upon the shore, and when they come to devour this bait, as they do in immense numbers, to turn them on their backs with a stick” (Molina 1808). We did not find such a plethora of the Islands’ principal economic resource, the lobster.
We traveled to the Juan Fernández Archipelago in September 2007 to conduct research in subtidal habitats as part of our study for the Ph.D programme at the Victoria University of Wellington, funded by Education New Zealand Study abroad grant, and to undertake species collection for a global taxonomic review of ichthyofauna genres in collaboration with the fish research department at Te-Papa Museum New Zealand.