The use of marine protected areas for conservation of lingcod (Ophiodon elongatus)
Recreational and commercial overharvesting has led to a 90% reduction in the Strait of Georgia lingcod (Ophiodon elongatus) population. Two small marine protected areas (MPAs), accounting for less than 1% of the area, in Howe Sound attract spawning lingcod. Densities of large spawning animals are higher in both of the MPAs than on surrounding reefs that are open to fishing and are significantly higher in the MPA with artificial habitat. An in-situ tagging study indicates animals leave the shallow study sites, at least seasonally. Such small-scale movements must be taken into consideration when the size and location of marine reserves are selected. Fishes with high exchange rates, large home ranges, or seasonal migrations for spawning (such as lingcod) require large marine reserves. We have developed a general spatial model for estimating effects of age-dependent seasonal migration and dispersal on harvest mortality rates, including the effects of fishing effort movement in response to local abundance changes. Simulations suggest the MPAs are too small to provide year-round protection of lingcod from anglers.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2000-05-01
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