Recent arguments for conventional fisheries management approaches (CFMAs) and against no-take marine protected areas (NTMPAs) are reviewed, i.e. CFMAs are more effective, density-dependent factors will lead to reduced fish stock production in and around NTMPAs, rights-based approaches in combination with CFMAs will be more effective, and natural refuges from fishing already exist. It is concluded that these are largely valid but only from a fisheries management perspective. The arguments of proponents of NTMPAs and those of proponents of CFMAs are considered as contrasting storylines, the divergences between which are based on two key factors: different objectives and different science. In relation to different objectives, it is concluded that the arguments against NTMPAs based on their lack of fisheries management benefits must be considered as only applying to the secondary resource conservation objectives of such designations and not to the primary marine biodiversity conservation objectives. On this basis it is argued that it is counter-productive for NTMPAs to be ‘sold’ on a win–win basis, including their potential to deliver fisheries management benefits, as this detracts from their marine biodiversity conservation objectives and leaves such calls open to arguments that CFMAs are better able to deliver fisheries management objectives. In relation to different science, it is concluded that criticisms of NTMPAs and support for CFMAs implicitly resist the shift from Mode 1 (reductive, intra-disciplinary) to Mode 2 (holistic, trans-disciplinary) science that is inherent in calls for NTMPAs as part of an ecosystem approach. Mode 2 science attempts to accommodate both uncertainty and wider societal values and preferences, and it is argued that arguments for NTMPAs should be more explicitly focussed on this potential. It is difficult, if not impossible and inappropriate, to extend the reductive approach inherent in CFMA analyses to encompass the broader ethical and scientific concerns for the health of marine ecosystems and their component populations and habitats that arguments for NTMPAs reflect. NTMPA proponents might focus on stressing that arguments against such designations and in favour of CFMAs do not encompass such valid concerns, therefore they tell only half of the story.
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 8, 2006
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