Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists find community involvement, not only enforcement, drives success of marine reserves

02.03.2010
Largest study of marine protected areas links social, ecological systems

In one of the most comprehensive global studies of marine reserves, a team of natural and social scientists from the University of Rhode Island and other institutions has found that community involvement is among the most important factors driving the success of marine reserves.

"We make a big mistake thinking that a marine reserve is just about coral, fish and other aquatic organisms," said Richard Pollnac, URI professor of anthropology and marine affairs, who led the study. "They are also composed of the people who can make them succeed or fail and who are either helped or hurt by them."

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on February 22.

The researchers studied 127 marine protected areas in the Caribbean, Western Indian Ocean and the Philippines to identify the key factors that determine the success of marine reserves, which protect the marine environment by prohibiting fishing. Biological assessments were conducted at 56 of the reserves to determine their ecological health, while surveys of residents and community leaders in local communities discerned perceptions and opinions in all 127 reserves.

Among their results, the researchers found that the reserves where residents said they complied with the rules were more effective at protecting fish stocks than those where the rules were often ignored. They noted, however, that compliance with reserve rules occurred not only due to surveillance and enforcement but also due to complex social interactions among community members and opinion leaders.

"The most successful reserves were those where the people said that most of the community follows the rules," explained Graham Forrester, URI associate professor of natural resources science and a co-author of the study. "Compliance with the rules is a measure of how a community feels about the reserve. It's their choice to follow the rules."

The researchers noted that their surveys indicated that it is vital to the success of any marine reserve that community members are participants in the process of setting up and monitoring the reserve.

Other research results were somewhat surprising.

The effect of human population density near marine reserves, for instance, differed significantly from location to location. As the researchers expected, greater population density negatively impacted reserves in the Caribbean, but it had no detectable affect at marine reserves in the Philippines. At reserves in the Western Indian Ocean, on the other hand, greater population density was correlated with healthier reserves and greater fish biomass inside the reserve compared with outside.

Study co-author Tracey Dalton, URI associate professor of marine affairs, said that it is not easy to explain these disparities. The positive effects in the Indian Ocean may be driven by increased fishing pressure outside the reserve or the result of people migrating to areas where the marine reserves are most successful.

"It's important to recognize that people are part of the ecology of marine reserves," Pollnac said. "If you can demonstrate to them that the reserve will have more fish while also providing benefits to the community, and if you pay attention to the needs of the people, then there's a much greater chance that the reserve will be a success."

Todd McLeish | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uri.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>