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The role of marine reserves in achieving sustainable fisheries (One contribution of 15 to a Theme Issue 'Fisheries: a Future?')

Roberts, C.M., Hawkins, J.P. and Gell, F.R. (2005) The role of marine reserves in achieving sustainable fisheries (One contribution of 15 to a Theme Issue 'Fisheries: a Future?'). Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society Of London Series B - Biological Sciences. pp. 123-132. ISSN 1471-2970

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Abstract

Many fishery management tools currently in use have conservation value. They are designed to maintain stocks of commercially important species above target levels. However, their limitations are evident from continuing declines in fish stocks throughout the world. We make the case that to reverse fishery declines, safeguard marine life and sustain ecosystem processes, extensive marine reserves that are off limits to fishing must become part of the management strategy. Marine reserves should be incorporated into modern fishery management because they can achieve many things that conventional tools cannot. Only complete and permanent protection from fishing can protect the most sensitive habitats and vulnerable species. Only reserves will allow the development of natural, extended age structures of target species, maintain their genetic variability and prevent deleterious evolutionary change from the effects of fishing. Species with natural age structures will sustain higher rates of reproduction and will be more resilient to environmental variability. Higher stock levels maintained by reserves will provide insurance against management failure, including risk-prone quota setting, provided the broader conservation role of reserves is firmly established and legislatively protected. Fishery management measures outside protected areas are necessary to complement the protection offered by marine reserves, but cannot substitute for it.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Copyright © 2003 The Royal Society
Keywords: marine protected area, fishery management, no-take zones, marine conservation
Academic Units: The University of York > Environment (York)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2005
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2013 14:23
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2004.1578
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/359

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