Study Shows Marine Reserves Can Benefit Fisheries

jacks fusiliers Enric Sala

A new study outlines where the benefits of fishing restrictions could enable a fishery to become more productive, even with the closures. The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, lays the groundwork for expanding marine conservation alongside fishery catches.

The benefits of a well-considered marine protected area (MPA) can bolster the productivity of surrounding fisheries, especially when those fisheries are overexploited. The refuge enables populations to rebuild and then spill over into surrounding waters. Protecting an area from fishing also enables resident fish to grow older and larger, and scientists have found that these fish are proportionately more fertile than their smaller counterparts.

In regions where fishing is not well regulated, designating an MPA is relatively simple, compared to other management strategies.

Source: UC Santa Barbara

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