The last call for marine wilderness?

Graham, Nicholas J., and McClanahan, Tim R. (2013) The last call for marine wilderness? BioScience, 63 (5). pp. 397-402.

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Abstract

Wilderness areas have been widely discussed in the terrestrial conservation literature, whereas the concept of marine wilderness has received scant attention. The recent move to protect very large areas of the ocean and thus preserve some of the final marine wilderness areas is a bold policy initiative. However, some important questions have remained unanswered, such as whether marine wilderness areas support a different composition and abundance of species than do the smaller marine no-take areas (NTAs) that are steadily dotting our coastlines. We present a case study from the world’s largest wilderness coral reef NTA, the Chagos Archipelago, and demonstrate that fish biomass is six times greater than and composition substantially different from even the oldest NTAs in eight other Indian Ocean countries' waters. Clearly, marine wilderness does promote a unique ecological community, which smaller NTAs fail to attain, and formal legislation is therefore crucial to protect these last marine wilderness areas.

Item ID: 28918
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1525-3244
Keywords: coral reef ecology, fishery closures, governance, marine policy, marine protected areas
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Funders: Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association, Leverhulme Trust
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2013 05:08
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 60%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 40%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 100%
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