Beyond marine reserves: exploring the approach of selecting areas where fishing is permitted, rather than prohibited

Ban, Natalie C., and Vincent, Amanda C.J. (2009) Beyond marine reserves: exploring the approach of selecting areas where fishing is permitted, rather than prohibited. PLoS ONE, 4 (7). - .

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Background: Marine populations have been declining at a worrying rate, due in large part to fishing pressures. The challenge is to secure a future for marine life while minimizing impacts on fishers and fishing communities.

Methods and Principal Findings: Rather than selecting areas where fishing is banned – as is usually the case with spatial management – we assess the concept of designating areas where fishing is permitted. We use spatial catch statistics for thirteen commercial fisheries on Canada’s west coast to determine the minimum area that would be needed to maintain a pre-ascribed target percentage of current catches. We found that small reductions in fisheries yields, if strategically allocated, could result in large unfished areas that are representative of biophysical regions and habitat types, and have the potential to achieve remarkable conservation gains.

Conclusions: Our approach of selecting fishing areas instead of reserves could help redirect debate about the relative values that society places on conservation and extraction, in a framework that could gain much by losing little. Our ideas are intended to promote discussions about the current status quo in fisheries management, rather than providing a definitive solution.

Item ID: 9266
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Additional Information:

Copyright: © 2009 Ban, Vincent. "This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited."

Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2010 04:04
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960506 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments @ 100%
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