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Centre researcher Stuart Kininmonth presents a new study on features that can help improve marine protected areas.
Marine protected parks
In a new study published in Nature, centre researcher Stuart Kininmonth, together with an international team of marine experts and conservationists, show how the current structure of many marine parks designed for conservation, or Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), are largely inefficient with little or no difference in protection between fish living within these areas and those living in fished areas.
Those areas that were considered effective were typically:
1. no-take areas
3. more than 10 years old
4. large in area
5. isolated by deep water or sand from fished areas
MPAs with these characteristics had on average eight times more large fishes, nine times more groupers, and 20 times more sharks than fished areas, the study shows.
Edgar, G.J., Stuart-Smith, R. D., Willis, T.J., Kininmonth, S., Baker, S.C., Banks, S., Barrett, N.S., Becerro, M.A., Bernard, A.T.F., Berkhout, J., Buxton, C.D., Campbell, S. J., Cooper, A.T., Davey, M., Edgar, S.C., Forsterra, G., Galvan, D.E., Irigoyen, A. J., David, Kushner, J., Moura, R., Parnell, P. E., Shears, N. T., Soler, G., Strain, E.M.A., Thomson, R.J. 2014. Global conservation outcomes depend on marine protected areas with five key features, Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature13022