Marine protected areas (MPAs) have become popular tools worldwide for ecosystem conservation and fishery management. Fish assemblages can benefit from protection provided by MPAs, especially those that include fully no-take reserves. Fish response to protection can thus be used to evaluate the effectiveness of marine reserves. Most target fish are highlevel predators and their overfishing may affect entire communities through trophic cascades. In the Mediterranean rocky sublittoral, marine reserves may allow fish predators of sea urchins to recover and thus whole communities to be restored from coralline barrens to macroalgae. Such direct and indirect reserve effects, however, are likely to be related to the enforcement implemented. In Italy, many MPAs that include no-take reserves have been declared, but little effort has been spent to enforce them. This is a worldwide phenomenon (although more common in some regions than others) that may cause MPAs and reserves to fail to meet their targets. We found that 3 of 15 Italian marine reserves investigated had adequate enforcement, and that patterns of recovery of target fish were related to enforcement. No responses were detected when all reserves were analyzed as a whole, suggesting enforcement as an important factor to be considered in future studies

Italian marine reserve effectiveness: Does enforcement matter?

SPANO', Nunziacarla;MANGANARO, Antonio;
2008

Abstract

Marine protected areas (MPAs) have become popular tools worldwide for ecosystem conservation and fishery management. Fish assemblages can benefit from protection provided by MPAs, especially those that include fully no-take reserves. Fish response to protection can thus be used to evaluate the effectiveness of marine reserves. Most target fish are highlevel predators and their overfishing may affect entire communities through trophic cascades. In the Mediterranean rocky sublittoral, marine reserves may allow fish predators of sea urchins to recover and thus whole communities to be restored from coralline barrens to macroalgae. Such direct and indirect reserve effects, however, are likely to be related to the enforcement implemented. In Italy, many MPAs that include no-take reserves have been declared, but little effort has been spent to enforce them. This is a worldwide phenomenon (although more common in some regions than others) that may cause MPAs and reserves to fail to meet their targets. We found that 3 of 15 Italian marine reserves investigated had adequate enforcement, and that patterns of recovery of target fish were related to enforcement. No responses were detected when all reserves were analyzed as a whole, suggesting enforcement as an important factor to be considered in future studies
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11570/1901653
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