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Evaluating the relative conservation value of fully and partially protected marine areas

Evaluating the relative conservation value of fully and partially protected marine areas
Evaluating the relative conservation value of fully and partially protected marine areas
The establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs), particularly of no-take areas, is often viewed as a conflict between conservation and fishing. Partially protected areas (PPAs) that restrict some extractive uses are often regarded as a balance between biodiversity conservation and socio-economic viability. Few attempts have been made to generalize the ecological effects of PPAs. We synthesized the results of empirical studies that compared PPAs to (i) no-take reserves (NTRs) and (ii) to open access (Open) areas, to assess the potential benefits of different levels of protection for fish populations. Response to protection was examined in relation to MPA parameters and the exploitation status of fish. Our syntheses suggest that while PPAs significantly enhance density and biomass of fish relative to Open areas, NTRs yielded significantly higher biomass of fish within their boundaries relative to PPAs. The positive response to protection was primarily driven by target species. There was a large degree of variability in the magnitude of response to protection, although the size of the PPA explained some of this variability. The protection regime within the PPA provided useful insights into the effectiveness of partial MPAs. We conclude that MPAs with partial protection confer advantages, such as enhanced density and biomass of fish, compared to areas with no restrictions, although the strongest responses occurred for areas with total exclusion. Thus, MPAs with a combination of protection levels are a valuable spatial management tool particularly in areas where exclusion of all activities is not a socio-economically and politically viable option.
1467-2960
58-77
Sciberras, Marija
a7101168-0646-444f-955f-4ca7beaad451
Jenkins, Stuart R.
63f5521f-fe3a-4dae-b582-4a6a8d3aa936
Mant, Rebecca
fa4254a2-35e6-4579-8136-d9683df42df1
Kaiser, Michel J.
8bbb5d05-ef4a-4793-9a08-3b7ba152efa4
Hawkins, Stephen J.
758fe1c1-30cd-4ed1-bb65-2471dc7c11fa
Pullin, Andrew S.
d5156091-72dd-40ea-823d-c68508f14f1d
Sciberras, Marija
a7101168-0646-444f-955f-4ca7beaad451
Jenkins, Stuart R.
63f5521f-fe3a-4dae-b582-4a6a8d3aa936
Mant, Rebecca
fa4254a2-35e6-4579-8136-d9683df42df1
Kaiser, Michel J.
8bbb5d05-ef4a-4793-9a08-3b7ba152efa4
Hawkins, Stephen J.
758fe1c1-30cd-4ed1-bb65-2471dc7c11fa
Pullin, Andrew S.
d5156091-72dd-40ea-823d-c68508f14f1d

Sciberras, Marija, Jenkins, Stuart R., Mant, Rebecca, Kaiser, Michel J., Hawkins, Stephen J. and Pullin, Andrew S. (2015) Evaluating the relative conservation value of fully and partially protected marine areas. Fish and Fisheries, 16 (1), 58-77. (doi:10.1111/faf.12044).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs), particularly of no-take areas, is often viewed as a conflict between conservation and fishing. Partially protected areas (PPAs) that restrict some extractive uses are often regarded as a balance between biodiversity conservation and socio-economic viability. Few attempts have been made to generalize the ecological effects of PPAs. We synthesized the results of empirical studies that compared PPAs to (i) no-take reserves (NTRs) and (ii) to open access (Open) areas, to assess the potential benefits of different levels of protection for fish populations. Response to protection was examined in relation to MPA parameters and the exploitation status of fish. Our syntheses suggest that while PPAs significantly enhance density and biomass of fish relative to Open areas, NTRs yielded significantly higher biomass of fish within their boundaries relative to PPAs. The positive response to protection was primarily driven by target species. There was a large degree of variability in the magnitude of response to protection, although the size of the PPA explained some of this variability. The protection regime within the PPA provided useful insights into the effectiveness of partial MPAs. We conclude that MPAs with partial protection confer advantages, such as enhanced density and biomass of fish, compared to areas with no restrictions, although the strongest responses occurred for areas with total exclusion. Thus, MPAs with a combination of protection levels are a valuable spatial management tool particularly in areas where exclusion of all activities is not a socio-economically and politically viable option.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: May 2013
Published date: March 2015
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 375375
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/375375
ISSN: 1467-2960
PURE UUID: ceb4161d-c3e1-4da8-987b-431721c0b7fd

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Date deposited: 20 Mar 2015 14:05
Last modified: 26 Apr 2022 17:23

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Contributors

Author: Marija Sciberras
Author: Stuart R. Jenkins
Author: Rebecca Mant
Author: Michel J. Kaiser
Author: Andrew S. Pullin

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