Free Content Information needs for marine protected areas: scientific and societal

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Marine protected areas are increasingly being used to protect biologically rich habitats, resolve user conflicts, and help restore overexploited stocks and degraded areas. The upsurge in the use of the tool has arisen in part because fisheries managers are now looking to reserves to complement conventional fisheries management techniques. In the United States, the legislative requirement to identify and protect essential fish habitat for managed fisheries species has contributed to the debate over and use of marine protected areas in all their various forms. Information needed to design and implement effective marine protected areas is usually drawn from the fields of fish population dynamics, oceanography, community ecology, and organismal biology, but because the placement, design, and management of marine protected areas are all related to the intended goals, the most crucial information is that about the specific objectives the protected area is designed to achieve. This information is ultimately societal, not scientific. After the specific objectives are elaborated, conservation biology and other sciences can be harnessed to help identify what needs to be protected and in what manner, leading to optimally effective marine protected areas.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2000

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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