Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Environmentalists’ ’marine reserve’ proposals misguided, report suggests

29.03.2006


Proposals by environmentalists to declare small areas of the North Sea as ’no-fishing’ zones would not save our flagging fish stocks, suggests a new report by Newcastle University for the British Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. (DEFRA).



Marine protected areas (MPAs) would need to be tens of thousands of square miles in size – at least as big as the size of Wales – and would need to be established for decades to restore levels of cod and haddock, says the report.

Moreover, creating large MPAs would be likely to intensify fishing in the waters left open for business, so further measures to reduce activity would have to be brought in.


However, the report’s authors, a team of marine ecologists from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, suggest that these ’drastic’ measures are unlikely to be feasible and would require a significant policy shift for them to be implemented.

They also acknowledge that there is an ’information deficit’ regarding the costs and benefits of MPAs, particularly in the case of the North Sea, and call for more research.

Environmentalists and public bodies such as the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution are lobbying the British Government to introduce MPAs in parts of the North Sea to conserve marine life and restore fish stocks. The Newcastle University researchers were asked by DEFRA to assess likely effects of MPAs in UK waters.

The report highlights that many MPA advocates are basing their opinions on scientific evidence garnered from small, conservation-oriented MPAs largely in tropical waters. Although the Newcastle team acknowledges that MPAs have brought many benefits to the tropics and elsewhere, it stresses this experience can not be applied to the North Sea, which possesses very different habitats and species.

The Newcastle University report suggests that small MPAs have conservation and localised fishery benefits in the UK, which is good news for shellfish and finfish (e.g. scallops and lobsters) but the MPAs will have to be very large to achieve recovery of North Sea cod stocks.

For the report, Professor Nicholas Polunin and Dr Chris Sweeting, of Newcastle University’s School of Marine Science and Technology, reviewed a range of scientific evidence. This included information from existing MPAs in the North Atlantic Ocean, such as those at Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel, the Isle of Man, Georges Bank in the USA and Bonavista Bay in Newfoundland, Canada.

Prof. Polunin said: "Evidence suggests closing off small areas of the ocean won’t deliver results with regard to highly mobile species like cod and haddock. These fish, which are among the most economically sought-after species, may travel hundreds of miles to move between spawning and feeding areas.

"You therefore need to create bigger protected areas and enforce them for several decades if you are to see a significant, lasting effect on stocks, which are massively depleted to historically low levels. However, this would raise the problem of intensive fishing activity in areas that are left open, and further fishing restrictions would have to be brought in to address this."

But Prof Polunin added that a lack of information made it difficult to provide accurate predictions: "Although MPAs are valuable tools for the preservation and enhancement of the marine environment, many of the costs and benefits remain speculative due to a lack of research in what is a comparatively new tool for fisheries management. There is a critical need to remedy this information deficit."

Prof Nicholas Polunin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ncl.ac.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Upcycling of PET Bottles: New Ideas for Resource Cycles in Germany
25.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF

nachricht Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

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: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Research finds new molecular structures in boron-based nanoclusters

13.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Algae Have Land Genes

13.07.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>