[Coral-List] Re: environmental/ecological disadvantages of marine reserves
mtupper at guam.uog.edu
Wed Aug 13 20:40:52 EDT 2003
Dear Subhasni and list,
I think your question needs to put into context, i.e. disadvantages of
marine reserves compared to what? I can't really see that creating a
marine reserve could be disadvantageous to the environment. Of course,
I am assuming you mean a "fully protected marine reserve" rather than a
marine park which allows for heavy tourist use. There are examples of
marine "protected" areas or marine parks that have been heavily damaged
by overuse - in some cases to the point that they are in worse shape
than surrounding unprotected reefs.
One potential disadvantage we see in Guam is concentration of fishing
effort into specific areas outside the marine reserves. The fish
biomass in these areas is being severely depleted. Of course, the
question is whether or not this depletion is compensated by higher
production within the reserves. So far the increase in biomass within
the reserves is greater than the decrease in fished areas. A related
problem that can be caused by effort concentraion is an increase in
marine debris in heavily fished areas, particularly lost fishing gear
and general garbage.
Another possibility that comes to mind is if a marine reserve were
created in lieu of some other mitigation effort that might be more
appropriate to the situation. For example, if a reef is primarily
impacted by sedimentation from upland sources, then improving land use
practises and/or mangrove replanting might be a better use of limited
funds than creating a marine reserve. Even in that case, the creation
of the reserve per se is not a disadvantage, but the failure to choose
the most appropriate management tool is.
"Subhashni Appana" wrote:
I have heaps of publications which talks about the advantages of marine
reserves; however I feel there would be environmental/ecological
disadvantages to it as well.
Could you please help me find a few.
Dr. Mark H Tupper, Assistant Professor
University of Guam Marine Laboratory
UOG Station, Mangilao, Guam 96923
tel. 671-735-2185; fax 671-734-6767
Coordinator, Marine Protected Areas Research Group
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