Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fishers near marine protected areas go farther for catch but fare well

05.03.2013
Research reveals importance of location, location, location
Fishers near marine protected areas end up traveling farther to catch fish but maintain their social and economic well-being, according to a study by fisheries scientists at Washington State University and in Hawaii.

The study, reported in the journal Biological Conservation, is one of the first to look closely at how protected areas in small nearshore fisheries can affect where fishers operate on the ocean and, as a consequence, their livelihood.
"Where MPAs are located in relation to how fishers operate on the seascape is critical to understand for fisheries management and this is an important lesson to draw from this study," said Todd Stevenson, the paper's lead author, who did the research as part of his WSU doctorate.

Marine protected areas have become a cornerstone of ocean conservation, setting aside specific waters to preserve and manage vulnerable resources like declining fish stocks. In theory, the MPAs will provide a refuge in which fish can breed and help replenish nearby, open areas with their offspring. Nearly 6,000 MPAs have been set up around the world, according to a 2010 report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

Stevenson focused on a network of MPAs on the west coast of the island of Hawaii, home to an aquarium fish trade and one of the state's most lucrative nearshore fisheries. While the fishery is relatively small, with only about 40 active fishers, small-scale fisheries actually employ more people than large-scale operations and catch fish more efficiently. Their small size also makes fishers more vulnerable to changes, as a poorly placed MPA can have a large effect on their options.

Starting in 1999, the west Hawaii MPAs closed more than one-third of the coast to aquarium fishing. Many areas were closed to avoid conflicts with dive charters and the tourism industry, particularly in the more populated central part of the west coast. This is where most ports and launches are, too. As a result, fishers had to go farther in search of fish.

Analyzing social surveys and state catch reports, Stevenson and his colleagues found just that.
"Fishing cost and distances traveled were perceived to have significantly worsened," he and his colleagues wrote, "while economic status was perceived to have significantly improved."

"It's not uncommon to establish MPAs in areas where fishers operate, as these are usually biologically and economically productive spots that receive heavy fishing pressure and thus need the most protection," said Stevenson. "When MPAs are placed in these locations, they displace fishers into new, slightly less optimal fishing spots.

"This happened in Hawaii," he said, "and it appears to have had little impact on the socioeconomic well-being of fishers who remained involved in the fishery since before the MPAs were in place, which is somewhat counterintuitive and makes our study interesting."

Without a separate economic analysis, said Stevenson, it's hard to say how the changing fish stocks might have affected fishing incomes. He and his co-authors—WSU Professor Brian Tissot and Bill Walsh of Hawaii's Division of Aquatic Resources—conjecture the fishers had higher yields, in part because they were steered toward underexploited or more biologically productive areas.

Fishers also benefited from rising prices for yellow tang, the most abundant and popular fish in Hawaii's aquarium trade, and price wars among island buyers working to satisfy the growing demand from coral aquarium tank owners.

Eric Sorensen | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wsu.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Minimized water consumption in CSP plants - EU project MinWaterCSP is making good progress
05.12.2017 | Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum

nachricht Jena Experiment: Loss of species destroys ecosystems
28.11.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

Im Focus: A transistor of graphene nanoribbons

Transistors based on carbon nanostructures: what sounds like a futuristic dream could be reality in just a few years' time. An international research team working with Empa has now succeeded in producing nanotransistors from graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, as reported in the current issue of the trade journal "Nature Communications."

Graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, so-called graphene nanoribbons, have special electrical properties that make them promising candidates for the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

Blockchain is becoming more important in the energy market

05.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Making fuel out of thick air

08.12.2017 | Life Sciences

Rules for superconductivity mirrored in 'excitonic insulator'

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

Smartphone case offers blood glucose monitoring on the go

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>