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Economic implications of fully-protected marine reserves for coral reef fisheries
Rodwell, L. D.; Roberts, C. M. (2000). Economic implications of fully-protected marine reserves for coral reef fisheries. [S.n.]: [s.l.]. 18 pp.

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    ISW, Kenya, Coast, Watamu; Marine
Author keywords
    marine reserves, coral reefs

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  • Rodwell, L. D., more
  • Roberts, C. M.

    Overexploitation of coral reefs causes species loss, stock collapses and habitat degradation and remains a major challenge for fisheries scientists and managers alike. To counter these, fully-protected marine reserves, areas closed to fishing and other harmful human activities represent an essential component of coral reef fisheries management. They overcome many of the management complexities of coral reefs, such as lack of data and enforcement, and provide vital opportunities for unhindered growth of fish stocks and protection of coral communities. Their role in conserving biodiversity and protecting habitat is undisputed. The degree to which fully protected marine reserves can benefit fisheries, however, remains uncertain. A number of bio-economic studies have attempted to assess the contribution of these marine reserves to fish biomass, catch levels and the present value of the fishery. They suggest that fishery enhancement by reserves will be significant. Habitat protection by reserves makes a vital, but as yet poorly appreciated contribution to fishery enhancement. We argue that this protection has many positive effects on habitat that will lead to increased standing stocks and productivity of reef fishes. Such effects are rarely considered in economic models but could have overriding importance for long-term fishery production. Fully-protected reserves have many benefits beyond fisheries that can also help compensate for the costs of establishment. We conclude that fishery sustainability for coral reef fisheries cannot be attained without the contribution of fully-protected marine reserves.

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