Marine reserves: the need for systems

Marine reserves: the need for systems Highly protected marine reserves are areas of the sea in which human disturbances are minimised so that the full natural biological diversity is maintained or, more often, allowed to recover to a more natural state. Europe has very few marine reserves; they are very small and almost all are in the Mediterranean. There are at present no official plans to create effective systems of marine reserves. Europe has many so-called Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). These are marine areas with some extra regulations or planning procedures. MPAs aim to make human activities more efficient and more sustainable. MPAs are user-orientated, knowledge-based, locality-dependent, problem-solving extensions of standard marine planning and management. Marine reserves are quite different. All extractive and potentially disturbing human activities are prohibited. The burden of proof is reversed; no evidence of damage or danger to particular species or habitats is required; all marine life is protected on principle. The concept of marine reserves is simple and practical, but because it is new, different and additional to existing marine management, the idea is seen by many as revolutionary. Basic biological principles and practical experience in many countries make it clear that marine reserves are important to science and education, essential for conservation and useful in resource management. These features apply in all regions and ecosystems. They are independent of climate, biogeography, current human activities and the present management. Representative and viable systems of marine reserves are needed in all regions. Fishing and other human disturbances have been widespread and intensive for so long that it is very difficult to predict the stages of recovery that occur in marine reserves. Furthermore, while some features change rapidly (e.g. numbers of previously targeted species), recovery continues for a long time (e.g. fourth- and fifth-order trophic and structural changes after >25 years). None of this alters the fact that, in scientific terms, marine reserves are controls not manipulations. Such controls are required if scientists are to understand the intrinsic processes and obtain data that are not confounded by human activities (e.g. separating natural variation from fishing effects). No significant progress will be made to establish marine reserves in Europe until scientists speak out strongly and clearly on the issue. We consider it is part of our professional duty as marine biologists to state publicly and frequently the need for a representative, replicated, networked and sustainable system of highly protected marine reserves. We doubt if our grandchildren will accept any excuses if we fail. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Hydrobiologia Springer Journals

Marine reserves: the need for systems

Hydrobiologia, Volume 606 (1) – Apr 12, 2008

Loading next page...
 
/lp/springer-journals/marine-reserves-the-need-for-systems-dtDVSLruCg
Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject
Life Sciences; Zoology ; Ecology; Freshwater & Marine Ecology
ISSN
0018-8158
eISSN
1573-5117
DOI
10.1007/s10750-008-9347-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Highly protected marine reserves are areas of the sea in which human disturbances are minimised so that the full natural biological diversity is maintained or, more often, allowed to recover to a more natural state. Europe has very few marine reserves; they are very small and almost all are in the Mediterranean. There are at present no official plans to create effective systems of marine reserves. Europe has many so-called Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). These are marine areas with some extra regulations or planning procedures. MPAs aim to make human activities more efficient and more sustainable. MPAs are user-orientated, knowledge-based, locality-dependent, problem-solving extensions of standard marine planning and management. Marine reserves are quite different. All extractive and potentially disturbing human activities are prohibited. The burden of proof is reversed; no evidence of damage or danger to particular species or habitats is required; all marine life is protected on principle. The concept of marine reserves is simple and practical, but because it is new, different and additional to existing marine management, the idea is seen by many as revolutionary. Basic biological principles and practical experience in many countries make it clear that marine reserves are important to science and education, essential for conservation and useful in resource management. These features apply in all regions and ecosystems. They are independent of climate, biogeography, current human activities and the present management. Representative and viable systems of marine reserves are needed in all regions. Fishing and other human disturbances have been widespread and intensive for so long that it is very difficult to predict the stages of recovery that occur in marine reserves. Furthermore, while some features change rapidly (e.g. numbers of previously targeted species), recovery continues for a long time (e.g. fourth- and fifth-order trophic and structural changes after >25 years). None of this alters the fact that, in scientific terms, marine reserves are controls not manipulations. Such controls are required if scientists are to understand the intrinsic processes and obtain data that are not confounded by human activities (e.g. separating natural variation from fishing effects). No significant progress will be made to establish marine reserves in Europe until scientists speak out strongly and clearly on the issue. We consider it is part of our professional duty as marine biologists to state publicly and frequently the need for a representative, replicated, networked and sustainable system of highly protected marine reserves. We doubt if our grandchildren will accept any excuses if we fail.

Journal

HydrobiologiaSpringer Journals

Published: Apr 12, 2008

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off