Yet another review of marine reserves as reef fishery management tools

Russ, Garry R. (2002) Yet another review of marine reserves as reef fishery management tools. In: Sale, Peter S., (ed.) Coral Reef Fishes: dynamic and diversity in a complex ecosystem. Elsevier, San Diego, CA, USA, pp. 421-443.

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Abstract

[Extract] The term "marine reserves" is defined in this chapter to simply mean "no-fishing" areas in the marine environment, that is, areas permanently closed to fishing. The goal in this chapter is to review some of the major issues of marine reserves as reef fisheries management tools. Other benefits of marine reserves, including maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystem structure and enhanced tourism, have been reviewed many times elsewhere (Table 1). Marine reserves are not being advocated here as the only, or even the optimum, method of reef fisheries management. In fact, it is vital to stress from the outset that other forms of fisheries and habitat management should be encouraged and attempted in areas open to fishing. In addition, in many developing nations, managing fisheries on coral reefs requires that the number of fishers be reduced considerably (Munro and Williams, 1985; Russ, 1991; Munro, 1996). Without such measures as finding alternative livelihoods for fishers and reducing rates of human population growth, most attempts at managing reef fisheries will probably be futile in many developing nations.

In the past decade the topic of marine reserves as potential fisheries management tools has produced a burgeoning literature (Tables 1 and 2). There are at least two major reasons for this. First, scientists working in developing nations and/or on the management of coral reef fisheries (e.g., A. C. Alcala, J. A. Bohnsack, G. E. Davis, T. R. McClanahan, N. V. C. Polunin, and C. M. Roberts) have realized that there are probably few other viable management alternatives. In such situations it is almost socially immoral to try to impose fishing effort or catch restrictions on subsistence and artisanal fishers. You cannot tell a fisher in a developing nation ttlat they must throw a fish back into the ocean because it is too small, or that they must catch only four fish per day when they have eight family members to feed. Second, traditional fisheries management (effort, catch controls) has generally failed to prevent massive overfishing globally. The dismal state of most of 20 stocks of cod in the North Atlantic, exploited by the highly developed nations of Canada, the United States, and Europe, are good examples of this (Myers et al., 1996). Marine reserves are now seen as an insurance policy against such management failures, something Jim Bohnsack was advocating for reef fisheries a decade ago [Plan Development Team (PDT), 1990].

Item ID: 14365
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-0-12-615185-5
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Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2010 05:42
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070403 Fisheries Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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