Benefits Beyond Boundaries: Fishery Effects of Marine Reserves
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Marine reserves are areas of the sea where fishing is not allowed. They provide refuges where populations of exploited species can recover and habitats modified by fishing can regenerate. In some places, closed areas have been used for fisheries management for centuries, and until recently natural refugia also existed, inaccessible through depth, distance or adverse conditions. Developments in technology have left few areas beyond the reach of fishing. Recently, the idea of marine reserves as fisheries management tools has re-emerged, developing from ecosystem management approaches, and observations of incidental fisheries benefits from reserves established for conservation. Marine reserves are predicted to benefit adjacent fisheries through two mechanisms: spillover of adults and juveniles across borders, and export of pelagic eggs and larvae. Inside reserves, unexploited populations increase in size and individuals live longer, grow larger and develop increased reproductive potential.
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