Comparing Tool and Stakeholder-Based Approaches to Marine Reserve Network Design

Presentation on Comparing Tool and Stakeholder-Based Approaches to Marine Reserve Network Design by Carissa Klein of the University of Queensland and Charles Steinback of Ecotrust (February 3, 2010).  In this presentation, two of the study’s authors showed the results of a comparison of the effectiveness of different marine reserve network proposals at representing biodiversity and minimizing estimated negative impacts to fishermen.  Some marine reserve network proposals were designed by the study authors using a numerical optimization tool, and others were networks designed by stakeholders during the course of California’s Marine Life Protection Act Initiative.  The study authors used the same spatial data representing biodiversity and recreational fishing effort that were used by the stakeholders to design marine reserves. In addition, they used commercial fishing data not explicitly available to the stakeholders.  The study found that networks of marine reserves designed with numerical optimization tools represented the same amount or more of each habitat and had less of an estimated impact on commercial and recreational fisheries. The networks designed by the stakeholders could have represented more of each habitat with no additional impact on the fisheries. Of four different marine reserve proposals considered in the initiative, the proposal designed by fishermen was more efficient than the proposals designed by other stakeholder groups at representing biodiversity and minimizing impact to the fishing industry. These results highlight the necessity of using comprehensive information on fishing effort to design a reserve network that efficiently minimizes negative socioeconomic impacts. 

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