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The importance of habitat quality for marine reserve – fishery linkages

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We model marine reserve – fishery linkages to evaluate the potential contribution of habitat-quality improvements inside a marine reserve to fish productivity and fishery catches. Data from Mombasa Marine National Park, Kenya, and the adjacent fishery are used. Marine reserves increase total fish biomass directly by providing refuge from exploitation and indirectly by improving fish habitat in the reserve. As natural mortality of the fish stock decreases in response to habitat enhancement in the reserve, catches increase by up to 2.6 tonnes (t)·km–2·year–1 and total fish biomass by up to 36 t·km–2. However, if habitat-quality improvement reduces the propensity of fish to move out of the reserve, catches may fall by up to 0.9 t·km–2·year–1. Our results indicate that habitat protection in reserves can underpin fish productivity and, depending on its effects on fish movements, augment catches.

La modélisation des liens entre une réserve marine et une pêche commerciale nous a permis d'évaluer la contribution potentielle de l'amélioration de la qualité de l'habitat dans la réserve à la productivité des poissons et à la récolte. Des données provenant du parc national marin de Mombasa, au Kenya, et des pêches commerciales de la région ont servi a démontrer que les réserves marines accroissent la biomasse totale des poissons directement, en procurant des refuges contre l'exploitation, et indirectement, en améliorant la qualité de l'habitat dans la réserve. À mesure que la mortalité naturelle du stock de poissons diminue à la suite de l'amélioration de l'habitat dans la réserve, l'augmentation des prises peut atteindre 2,6 tonnes (t)·km–2·an–1 et celle de la biomasse totale des poissons 36 t·km–2·an–1. Cependant, si l'amélioration de la qualité de l'habitat réduit la tendance des poissons à quitter la réserve, la réduction des prises peut atteindre 0,9 t·km–2·an–1. Nos résultats indiquent que la protection de l'habitat dans les réserves peut soutenir la productivité des poissons et, selon son effet sur les déplacements, augmenter les prises.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-02-01

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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