RV: article, "Study makes case for marine reserves" 11-30-01

Marion Howard marionh at coralina.org
Fri Mar 8 08:02:08 EST 2002

For Don Baker,

Here is a useful Caribbean study.

Marion Howard

>Subject: article, "Study makes case for marine reserves" 11-30-01
>> http://www.msnbc.com/news/665222.asp#BODY
>> Study makes case for marine reserves
>> Fishermen benefit by giving young fish a place to grow
>> Nov. 30 - Fishermen haul in more and bigger catches when there is a
>> reserve nearby that provides a safe haven for young fish, a new study
>> suggests. In a study appearing in the journal Science, researchers report
>> that the catch of fishermen in the Caribbean island of St. Lucia
>> by 46 to 90 percent within five years after officials closed more than a
>> third of the fishing grounds to fishing.
>>   A FLORIDA refuge, created to provide security for the nation's major
>> space launch facility, has led to the development of fishing grounds
>> have produced a series of world records for trophy-sized fish, the study
>> found.
>>        "Having a protected area near fishing grounds allows the fish to
>> increase in both size and quantity," said James Bohnsack, a researcher
>> the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and a co-author of
>> study.
>>        Bohnsack said that the government created an estuarine sanctuary,
>> called the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, in 1962 to provide
>> security for the nearby Kennedy Space Center, the launch port for the
>> nation's manned space program.
>>  Advertisement
>>         Within a decade, he said, sport fishermen started noticing they
>> catching more and bigger black drum, red drum and sea trout. Bohnsack
>> that more world record-sized fish of the three species have now been
>> within 62 miles of the reserve than in all the other Florida waters
>> combined.
>>        He said that having a reserve nearby allowed the black drum, which
>> can live for more than 70 years, to grow to their full size of more than
>> pounds. When there was no such protected area, the fish were more apt to
>> caught at a younger age, said Bohnsack.
>>        Bigger fish also means more fish, he said. Large fish tend to lay
>> more eggs than smaller ones. This increases the numbers in the next
>> generation.
>>        In St. Lucia, the study says that local subsistence fishermen
>> resisted plans to close 35 percent of the coral reef fishing grounds, but
>> the government did so anyway.
>>        For two years, the total catch was severely reduced, the study
>> But within five years, the catch had soared. Now fishermen are proposing
>> that the fishing reserve be expanded.
>>        "Marine reserves are like money in the bank for fishers," a
>> of the study, Fiona Gell of the University of York, said in a statement.
>> "They protect breeding stocks and supply adjacent fisheries with young
>> fish."
>>        She said the study shows that fish increase in number and size
>> they have a refuge nearby where no fishing is allowed.
>>        "If you want to keep a population going, you have to provide safe
>> havens where fish and their habitats can flourish," said Gell.
>>  Background on the study is online at
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