22 Feb 2010:
Marine Reserves Lead to
Robust Recovery of Fisheries, Studies Show
The creation of marine protected areas can lead to the rapid recovery of depleted fish populations
, according to several new studies presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. One study, conducted in a network of 12 marine reserves covering 188 square miles near Los Angeles, showed that since the area was closed to fishing in 2003, heavily-fished species such as blue rockfish have increased by 50 percent. A study of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia showed that when the Australian government increased the portion of the park closed to commercial
fishing from 5 percent to 32 percent in 2003, the biomass of numerous fish species, including coral trout, doubled within two years. In Mexico’s heavily-fished Gulf of California, the creation of the Cabo Pulmo protected area at the southern tip of the Baja peninsula has created a flourishing area of marine life
, according to one study. Another study said that well-designed marine reserves can benefit fisheries outside of protected areas
, since halting fishing in key spawning areas means that fertilized fish eggs can drift with sea currents and replenish populations far from reserves. The studies are being presented today in a special issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.
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An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
Ugandan scientists monitor the impact of climate change on one of Africa’s most diverse forests and its extraordinary wildlife. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
video goes onto the front lines with Colorado firefighters confronting deadly blazes fueled by a hotter, drier climate. Watch the video.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.