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Priorities for fisheries in marine protected area design and management: Implications for artisanal-type fisheries as found in southern Europe
Higgins, R.M.; Vandeperre, F.; Pérez-Ruzafa, A.; Santos, R.S. (2008). Priorities for fisheries in marine protected area design and management: Implications for artisanal-type fisheries as found in southern Europe. J. Nat. Conserv. 16(4): 222-233. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jnc.2008.09.001
In: Journal for Nature Conservation. Elsevier: Jena. ISSN 1617-1381, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 227737 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Marine fisheries; Marine
Author keywords
    MPA; fishery; conservation

Authors  Top 
  • Higgins, R.M.
  • Vandeperre, F., more
  • Pérez-Ruzafa, A.
  • Santos, R.S., more

Abstract
    Much has been written in recent years regarding the advantages of marine protected areas (MPAs) as conservation tools. The benefits to fisheries have commonly been cited as primary motives in favour of the establishment of MPAs. To date, a good deal has been theorised with regard to the benefit of MPAs to fisheries in their adjacent areas, but there has been little empirical evidence to support or refute hypothetical claims. Considerations for fisheries’ benefits are different to those of ecological benefits in several respects. Economically, fishers’ livelihoods often depend on the marine reserve being successful. It is not enough to establish that populations of fish are growing due to protection; stocks, as well as individual fish have to be sufficiently large to be catchable by the industry. Furthermore, restrictions in fishable area ought to be compensated for by increases in catches over time. In terms of the biology of the fish themselves, evidence has shown that heavily exploited commercial fish stocks can take much longer to recover from over-exploitation than previously expected. Although there have been several studies that consider the effects of export and spill-over, there have been few that focus on the patterns that these phenomena might have on the surrounding fisheries; many assume that ecological patterns will manifest in the fishery with time. Recently, assessment methods and predictive models have been suggested for fisheries (e.g. Rapfish, Ecopath/Ecosim), some of which have been adapted specifically for MPAs. In this paper we review recent progress in the field of MPA research with particular focus on fisheries assessment. We also identify priorities, and knowledge gaps, for determining and accurately predicting the benefits of MPAs to fishers.

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