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Free Content Pastures, fences, tragedies and marine reserves

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The literature on marine reserves has focused on biological effects and given little attention to the ways in which economic and governance dimensions determine the social viability of marine reserves. Here, I evaluate, in light of recent simulation model results, the bioeconomic rational for spatial access restrictions to correct a tragedy-of-the-commons problem in open-access fisheries. The analysis suggests that the most likely role for marine reserves is in management of complex, spatially differentiated, multispecies fisheries. Yet, this setting provides some of the most difficult challenges to effective governance of marine reserves. The success of marine reserves in fisheries management will depend on a careful matching of the attributes of a marine ecosystem and governance structures to create incentives for cooperation and efficiency. Recent experience in the designation of reserves for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary illustrates the importance of stakeholder involvement and governance.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-05-01

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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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