Reply to: A path forward for analysing the impacts of marine protected areas

Sala, Enric, Mayorga, Juan, Bradley, Darcy, Cabral, Reniel B., Atwood, Trisha B., Auber, Arnaud, Cheung, William, Costello, Christopher, Ferretti, Francesco, Friedlander, Alan M., Gaines, Steven D., Garilao, Cristina, Goodell, Whitney, Halpern, Benjamin S., Hinson, Audra, Kaschner, Kristin, Kesner-Reyes, Kathleen, Leprieur, Fabien, Lubchenco, Jane, McGowan, Jennifer, Morgan, Lance E., Mouillot, David, Palacios-Abrantes, Juliano, Possingham, Hugh P., Rechberger, Kristin D., and Worm, Boris (2022) Reply to: A path forward for analysing the impacts of marine protected areas. Nature, 607 (7917). E3-E4.

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[Extract] We appreciate the recommendations from Hilborn and Kaiser to further our analysis1, and although we agree with some of the suggestions in their Comment2 as a basis for future work, they do oversimplify and mischaracterize several of our conclusions. First, Hilborn and Kaiser2 comment on our assumptions about effort redistribution once marine protected areas (MPAs) are created. They suggest that we were inconsistent in our treatment of effort redistribution and that the benefits to biodiversity and carbon would be nullified under a full-effort transfer scenario; however, we disagree with this suggestion.

The objective of our analysis was to identify the most beneficial areas to place MPAs, which are a commonly used tool to conserve biodiversity, help to recover fish stocks and can mitigate climate change3,4,5,6,7. We tested how the location of the most beneficial places would change under two different assumptions of how fishing effort relocates outside the MPA after implementation: (1) no effort is relocated and (2) all effort is relocated. The first assumption implies an overall reduction in total fishing effort as areas of the ocean get protected and we applied it consistently across the three objectives. We find that under this assumption, protecting 24% of the ocean would maximize benefits across all objectives if biodiversity and food provision are set to be equally important (figure 3 and supplementary figures 10 and 13 of ref. 1).

Item ID: 76475
Item Type: Article (Commentary)
ISSN: 1476-4687
Copyright Information: © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited 2022.
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2023 00:46
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180504 Marine biodiversity @ 100%
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