Short- and long-term effects of three fishery-management tools on depleted fisheries
Abstract:Marine reserves have come under criticism because of the short-term fishery losses likely to be associated with them. At the same time, marine reserves have been touted as a tool to rehabilitate depleted populations, at least for species with relatively limited adult movement. I used models to compare the short- and long-term fisheries consequences of three fishery-management tools for depleted populations. These management tools included temporary closure of the entire fishery, minimum size limits, and marine reserves. I compared them using three short-term indices: magnitude of initial drop in catches relative to those prior to new management, years until catches reached prior levels, and cumulative loss during those years. I examined a single long-term index: long-term sustainable yields. Results highlighted the potential of reserves as an efficient and effective fishery-management tool for species that will remain within reserve boundaries. Reserves created few short-term losses beyond those associated with other management measures, yet produced the highest stable catch levels. Moreover, peak catches with reserves occurred with less restriction than peak catches with other management measures. These results were consistent across two species that matured before entering the fishery but did not apply to one species that was fished while immature. In that latter case, minimum size limits produced more substantial benefits than reserves could. Nevertheless, these analyses suggest that a wide range of circumstances exist where reserves, if properly designed to minimize adult spillover while allowing abundant larval transport, can maximize fisheries harvests with a minimum of total restrictions.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2000-05-01
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