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Marine reserve targets to sustain and rebuild unregulated fisheries

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Krueck, NC ORCID: 0000-0003-2090-1423, Ahmadia, GN, Possingham, HP, Riginos, C, Treml, EA and Mumby, PJ 2017 , 'Marine reserve targets to sustain and rebuild unregulated fisheries' , PLoS Biology, vol. 15, no. 1 , pp. 1-20 , doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2000537.

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Abstract

Overfishing threatens the sustainability of coastal marine biodiversity, especially in tropicaldeveloping countries. To counter this problem, about 200 governments worldwide havecommitted to protecting 10%±20% of national coastal marine areas. However, associatedimpacts on fisheries productivity are unclear and could weaken the food security of hundredsof millions of people who depend on diverse and largely unregulated fishing activities.Here, we present a systematic theoretic analysis of the ability of reserves to rebuild fisheriesunder such complex conditions, and we identify maximum reserve coverages for biodiversityconservation that do not impair long-term fisheries productivity. Our analysis assumesthat fishers have no viable alternative to fishing, such that total fishing effort remains constant(at best). We find that realistic reserve networks, which protect 10%±30% of fishedhabitats in 1±20 km wide reserves, should benefit the long-term productivity of almost anycomplex fishery. We discover a 'rule of thumb' to safeguard against the long-term catchdepletion of particular species: individual reserves should export 30% or more of locally producedlarvae to adjacent fishing grounds. Specifically on coral reefs, where fishers tend tooverexploit species whose dispersal distances as larvae exceed the home ranges of adults,decisions on the size of reserves needed to meet the 30% larval export rule are unlikely tocompromise the protection of resident adults. Even achieving the modest Aichi Target 11 of10% ªeffective protectionº can then help rebuild depleted catch. However, strictly protecting20%±30% of fished habitats is unlikely to diminish catch even if overfishing is not yet a problemwhile providing greater potential for biodiversity conservation and fishery rebuilding ifoverfishing is substantial. These findings are important because they suggest that doublingor tripling the only globally enforced marine reserve target will benefit biodiversity conservationand higher fisheries productivity where both are most urgently needed.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Krueck, NC and Ahmadia, GN and Possingham, HP and Riginos, C and Treml, EA and Mumby, PJ
Keywords: marine reserves, small-scale fisheries, data-poor fisheries, coral reef fish, Aichi Target 11, UN Sustainable Development Goals, marine reserves, marine protected areas, MPAs, biodiversity conservation, fisheries management
Journal or Publication Title: PLoS Biology
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1544-9173
DOI / ID Number: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2000537
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 Krueck et al. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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