[Coral-List] environmental /ecological disadvantages of marinereserves

CORALations corals at prtc.net
Thu Aug 14 07:27:00 EDT 2003

Subhashni D. Appana:

I understand where you are coming from with the
advantages/disadvantages of actions....anyone who decides to "take action,"
should be concerned.

When you say "marine reserve" you open a huge can of worms, since
many countries have differing definitions and levels of protection. Also it
that how the reserve was proposed (top down vs. bottom up) may play a role
in how effective it is at replenishing fish or protecting or restoring coral

However, it is my understanding that MPAs are typically designated in
response to over fishing, and to protect
declining coral reefs.  I believe that many people designate reserves on the
basis that
the continued decimation of reef fish and coral through human impacts that
could be better
managed within a functional protected area, may warrant any potential
especially if one has to "electronically fish" like this to come up with

Paper parks do not seem to be ecologically helpful since they may attract
users that further
impact the natural area designated.

If you are referring specifically to "no take" reserves, it seems from
personal communications with
scientists in this area that the manner in which the reserve area is
designated may play a role in its ecological success or failure.
For example, if a "no take" area is designated strictly from the top down,
there may be
social ramifications that could result in more ecological harm than good
coming from the designation.
This also depends on a lot of different variables, like country's resources
for enforcement etc....

As a conservationist, outcome seems to be more important than the isolation
of specific
causal relationships within this dynamic and complex ecosystem.

I operate under the assumption that as humans we have had such
drastic impact on coral reefs that it warrants taking some risk of action

1)changing behaviors or policies to minimize impacts,
2)conserving and protecting areas through successful management,
3) and the restoration of damaged coral reefs.

Another example:

It seems the same for waste water treatment concerns. For me, again as a
conservationist with only a B.S. in zoology
I think it is more responsible to move society into alternative technologies
for waste water discharge.
I think this is true even if every iota of scientific evidence may not
reflect that this waste is impacting the reef.
First, I question the validity of causal conclusions, given the multiple
anthropogenic and other impacts currently plaguing this
dynamic system. Second, how do we move societies to recognize and respect
this as such a critical planetary resource when we continue to treat coral
reefs as a toilet.

I think recent evidence on coral decline should move everyone toward
embracing some ecological risk of action in these areas, given the overall
"footprint" we are leaving on the corals.

Mary Ann Lucking
P.O. Box 750
Culebra, PR  00775

----- Original Message -----
From: Subhashni Appana <appana_sd at usp.ac.fj>
To: Coral List <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2003 6:14 PM
Subject: [Coral-List] environmental /ecological disadvantages of

> Hello everyone,
> My philosophy is that to every act there is a gaining and a losing end.
> 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.
> Thank you,
> Subhashni D. Appana
> Assistant Lecturer (BSc, MSc-USP)
> The University of the South Pacific,
> Biology Department,
> P.O.Box 1168,
> Suva,
> Fiji.
> **************************************
> Telephone:(W)(679)3212236 (Mb)9934270
> Facsimile:(W)(679) 3315601
> E-mail: appana_sd at usp.ac.fj
> www.usp.ac.fj/biology
> **************************************
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