Conceptual frameworks and key questions for assessing the contribution of marine protected areas to shark and ray conservation

Chin, Andrew, Molloy, Fergus John, Cameron, Darren, Day, Jon C., Cramp, Jessica, Gerhardt, Karin Leeann, Heupel, Michelle R., Read, Mark, and Simpfendorfer, Colin A. (2022) Conceptual frameworks and key questions for assessing the contribution of marine protected areas to shark and ray conservation. Conservation Biology, 37 (1). e13917.

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Abstract

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are key tools in addressing the global decline of sharks and rays, and marine parks and shark sanctuaries of various configurations have been established to conserve shark populations. However, assessments of their efficacy are compromised by inconsistent terminology, lack of standardized approaches to assess how MPAs contribute to shark and ray conservation, and ambiguity about how to integrate movement data in assessment processes. We devised a conceptual framework to standardize key terms (e.g., protection, contribution, potential impact, risk, threat) and used the concept of portfolio risk to identify key attributes of sharks and rays (assets), the threats they face (portfolio risk), and the specific role of MPAs in risk mitigation (insurance). Movement data can be integrated into the process by informing risk exposure and mitigation through MPAs. The framework is operationalized by posing 8 key questions that prompt practitioners to consider the assessment scope, MPA type and purpose, range of existing and potential threats, species biology and ecology, and management and operational contexts. Ultimately, MPA contributions to shark and ray conservation differ according to a complex set of human and natural factors and interactions that should be carefully considered in MPA design, implementation, and evaluation.

Item ID: 77375
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1523-1739
Keywords: ecosystem management, fisheries, marine, MPA, protected areas, risk assessment
Copyright Information: © 2022 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2023 07:49
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 50%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 50%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180504 Marine biodiversity @ 100%
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