SS1.10 Marine Protected Areas: Critical tools for Marine Biodiversity Conservation
Date: Monday, June 10, 2002
Time: 10:45:00 AM
Location: Esquimalt
HeinemannD, National Marine Fisheries Service, Miami, USA,
The profile of MPAs has burgeoned throughout the last decade. Advocates extol the myriad of environmental and socio-economic benefits that may accrue from ‘no-take’ reserves. Governments are working to establish MPAs for the management of fisheries and the conservation of marine habitats and biodiversity. Environmentalists argue that we must fully protect much of the oceans to slow the degradation of marine habitats, loss of biodiversity and worldwide over-fishing. Fishers, with a few exceptions, oppose the loss of access to marine resources, asking for proof of the claimed economic benefits before MPAs are established. Scientists express skepticism, noting the lack of theoretical foundations, and the dearth of evidence for their efficacy. Further, they council the necessity of careful and informed design, and alert us to the need for a much greater understanding of the processes affecting MPA performance. I will provide a brief overview of what we know about how MPAs should and do work to manage fisheries and conserve biodiversity, how we can use our knowledge to design effective MPAs, and what else we need to do better.