What is an Marine Protected Area?

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1 Policies, Issues, and Implications of Marine Protected Areas Kara Anlauf University of Idaho Before the House Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans April 29, 2003 What is an Marine Protected Area? Marine sites protected from further or future human related disturbance Ecological, cultural, aesthetic value Ecosystem-based approach Complement traditional fisheries methods MPAs Established for: Biodiversity conservation Fisheries management to enhance yields or rebuild stocks Restoration of functioning ecosystems Conservation vital life stages Protection of rare/endangered species Education and recreation Preserving cultural tradition Sustaining a resource for human use Establish sites for scientific research

2 Examples National Marine Sanctuaries Fishery Management Zones National Seashores National Parks National Monuments Critical Habitats National Wildlife Refuges National Estuarine Research Reserves State Conservation Areas State Reserves Marine or Ecological Reserves Why do we need MPAs? Few coastal regions undisturbed Exploited fish stocks approaching or at sustainable limits 47% fully exploited 18% overexploited 10% depleted or recovering from depletion Loss in biodiversity Loss to economies reliant on fisheries industry Seafloor habitat destruction from fishing gears Pollution Damaging extraction of natural resource Contemporary methods for marine conservation proved inadequate FAO 2002 Before After

3 Background 1972 Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act established National Marine Sanctuary Program Ocean dumping regulations Designation and management of marine areas: - conservation, recreational, ecological, historical, scientific, cultural, archeological, educational, or aesthetic values Marine Mammal Protection Act and Coastal Zone Management Act Background cont First marine sanctuary designated USS Monitor National Marine Sanctuary North Carolina - Historical value 1996 Sustainable Fisheries Act - Amended Magnuson-Stevens - Outlined essential fish habitat - Legal structure for marine reserve establishment within the EEZ Executive Order 2000 U.S. Executive Order Marine Protected Areas Strengthen the management, protections, and conservation of existing marine protected areas and establish new or expanded MPAs; develop a scientifically based, comprehensive national system of MPAs representing diverse U.S. marine ecosystems, and the Nation s natural and cultural resources; and avoid causing harm to MPAs through federally conducted, approved, or funded activities.

4 Terrestrial vs. Marine Protected Areas Wide disparity between total area protected Total National marine sanctuaries: 46,548 km 2 Total terrestrial (including national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges): 1,657,084 km 2 Sanctuary preservation areas and ecological reserves: 47 km 2 National wilderness areas: 423,186 km 2 Extend terrestrial conservation to oceans Lindholm and Barr 2001 Designing an MPA Evaluate conservation needs at a local and regional level Define objectives and goals for establishing an MPA Describe the key biological and oceanic features of a region Identify and choose sites that have the highest potential for implementation NRC 2001 Objectives and Goals Fisheries management Biodiversity conservation

5 Fisheries Management Single-species approach Traditional methods: gear restrictions seasonal closures quota, size limits tow times MPAs emerging ecosystem approach When used with other management options Biodiversity conservation Coral reefs among most biologically diverse 1/6 th world s coastline 58% world s reefs threatened 25% destroyed, degraded by global warming Russ 1991 Marine Zoning Marine zoning Based on composition and distribution patterns of resource Geographic area Differential protective measures based on resource Consideration of social implications Groups involved and their objectives Goal is to maintain ecosystem dynamics

6 Florida Keys NMS Sanctuary Advisory Council Zones to satisfy every user group while protecting resource Wildlife management areas, sanctuary preservation areas, and special use areas 24 fully protected ecological or marine reserves 6% of sanctuary Marine Reserve Networks Most prohibitive No-take zones Harvest refugium Efficiency dependent on: Degree of fish movement Spatial distribution and extent of fishing effort Relative catchability outside closed areas Level of protection to victims of bycatch Networks linked ecologically Multiple species, life stages, requirements Provide replication for scientific research Marine Reserve Design Dependent on the resource designed to protect Different for temperate vs. tropical system Different fish life histories, variation in habitats Biogeography of region/area Habitat heterogeneity Biological and oceanic characteristics

7 Life histories of species Highly variable! Dynamics of larvae dispersal Population connectivity Recruitment patterns Biological Features Design should: Maximize larvae recruitment and export Support adults and heavily stressed fishes Sites of aggregation Networks! Ocean conditions Current patterns Juvenile Rockfish Black Rockfish Biological Features Spillover Reserves support 3 25 times the density inside Spillover can improve fishery Trophic dynamics Georges Bank Groundfish(cod, haddock, flounder) populations declining Scallop populations at lowest levels Traditional techniques alone insufficient Seasonal closures since 1970: post-spawning aggregations Annual haddock catch landed highest after lift of seasonal closures Combination with marine reserve designation and implementation Increase minimum mesh size Time at sea reductions Restrictive allowable catches Importance of effective management outside reserves Airame et al. 2000

8 Georges Bank cont Total of 17,000 km 2 closed to fishing Largest in temperate marine system 3 areas: Area I and Area II Georges Bank, Nantucket Lighthouse Marine reserve network Yellowtail Result: Exploitation rates declined Spawning-stock biomass increased for all groundfish species of interest Harvestable scallop biomasses 9-14 times denser between Closed areas provide benefits beyond target Airame et al Channel Islands Designated in 1980 Total of 2668 km 2 protected 1999 Marine Reserves Working Group(MRWG) Goals: Ecosystem biodiversity Sustainable fisheries Economic variability Natural and cultural heritage Education NOAA 2003 Channel Islands cont. Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) % as reserves Habitat, substrate, bathymetry maps Representation of area and heterogeneity Largest marine reserve on West coast- 282 km 2 NOAA 2003

9 Resistance Definition of terms- thought to be synonymous marine protected areas, marine reserves, no-take areas, harvest refugium, marine parks, sanctuaries Proposed Freedom to Fish Act 2001 Amends Magnuson-Stevens Act Prohibit fishery management plans from establishing closed fishing areas Clear indication recreational fishing causing degradation Amends the NMS Act Allow secretary of commerce to revise all regulations applicable to fishing within NMS Recommendations Interagency, local and interest group management and support Complement/Supplement traditional fisheries management Cascading effects- trophic levels, non-targeted species Marine zoning and reserve networks Scientific uncertainty- no excuse! Questions?

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