Ocean-zoning arguments often center on the biology of ocean species, the geography of fishing-use patterns, and the need for preventing use conflicts. Here we expand this discussion to the social and legal aspects of ocean zoning, focusing on comprehensive planning, segregation of activities
into use-priority areas, and the allocation of user rights within each zone. The inclusion of all of these features within an ocean-zoning regime can be a catalyst for a variety of ancillary benefits, including opportunities for user groups to form informal or formal long-lived institutions
and a reassessment of the focus and scope of the regulatory institutions involved in ocean management. Along with the ability of users to negotiate and trade within and between zones, both features will lead to improved conflict resolution, efficiency of use, and ecosystem stability—critical
components for the production of ecosystem services and maintenance of biological and human economic benefits.
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.