Monday, August 15, 2011


New Study Proves MPAs can Produce Miracle Results.

A new study from Scripps Institution of Oceanography has proven marine reserves—stretches of protected ocean habitat—to be even more powerful than previously thought.  These undersea parks can transform depleted areas into powerhouses of productivity, boosting fishermen’s catches and profits, as well as tourism and recreation activity.

The report showed the number of fish in a marine reserve near the southern tip of Baja California soared 463 percent between 1999 and 2009. That’s a world record, said authors of the peer-reviewed paper, which was published today in the journal Public Library of Science ONE.

Octavio Aburto-Oropeza from Scripps, who led the decade-long research project at Cabo Pulmo told KGTV in San Diego that he hopes the success from Baja will inspire smart resource management elsewhere in the world:

"Few policymakers around the world are aware that fish size and abundance can increase inside marine reserves to extraordinary levels within a decade after protection is established -- fewer still know that these increases often translate into economic benefits for coastal communities…Therefore, showing what's happened in Cabo Pulmo will contribute to ongoing conservation efforts in the marine environment and recovery of local coastal economies."

Marine ecologist Enric Sala said in National Geographic:

" A scientific study published today by the Public Library of Science shows that protecting an area brings the fish back, and creates jobs and increases economic revenue for the local communities. I have seen it with my own eyes and, believe me, it is like a miracle, only that it is not–it's just common business sense."


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