Rapid increase in fish numbers follows creation of world's largest marine reserve network

Russ, Garry R., Cheal, Alistair J., Dolman, Andrew M., Emslie, Michael J., Evans, Richard D., Miller, Ian, Sweatman, Hugh, and Williamson, David H. (2008) Rapid increase in fish numbers follows creation of world's largest marine reserve network. Current Biology, 18 (12). pp. 514-515.

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Abstract

No-take marine reserves (NTMRs) are much advocated as a solution to managing marine ecosystems, protecting exploited species and restoring natural states of biodiversity [1,2]. Increasingly, it is becoming clear that effective marine conservation and management at ecosystem and regional scales requires extensive networks of NTMRs [1,2]. The world's largest network of such reserves was established on Australia's Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in 2004. Closing such a large area to all fishing has been socially and politically controversial, making it imperative that the effectiveness of this new reserve network be assessed. Here we report evidence, first, that the densities of the major target species of the GBR reef line fisheries were significantly higher in the new NTMRs, compared with fished sites, in just two years; and second, that the positive differences were consistent for multiple marine reserves over an unprecedented spatial scale (>1,000 km).

Item ID: 6176
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-0445
Keywords: marine sciences; marine reserve; Great Barrier Reef; reef fish; survey
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2010 03:00
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070403 Fisheries Management @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9613 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas > 961303 Protected Conservation Areas in Marine Environments @ 70%
83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830204 Wild Caught Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) @ 30%
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