Lots of Questions . . .

Meghan Fellows MFellows at cmrc.org
Thu Mar 9 14:34:10 EST 2000

Dear Coral List,

	I've recently been doing some research into the goals and
projected functions of marine protected areas (MPA) (I'm using this term
to cover the wide range of types of "protected").  I've noticed that
several areas are set up with the projected function of
increasing/maintaining fishery stocks (be it fish, inverts or seaweeds).  
I recognize that this function is probably the easiest sale to local
peoples as well as national governments, but . . . have any MPA's been set
up solely for the purpose of protecting the corals/ coral reef structure?

	I've noticed that sometimes the goal of increasing tourism is
associated with MPAs, but again that is referred to as "people like to see
big fish."  Corals themselves are often subject to extraction, either
through live rock collection, building materials or as a by-product of
destructive fishing practices.  Then there are the rare/endangered corals
which appear to be poor recruiters -- therefore shouldn't the areas that
they do exist in be protected?

	Is this merely a matter of semantics, should I be looking into the
types of protection (i.e., "no blasting") as a substitute/source for when
what was really being protected was the coral structure not the fish?  Or
is the degradation of the fish so severe that corals for themselves have
been overlooked with the assumption that they will come back on their own?

Thank you for your time and comments. Please reply directly to my email
(mfellows at cmrc.org).

Meghan Fellows
Research Associate
Caribbean Marine Research Center
Perry Institute for Marine Science

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