The role of closed areas in marine ecosystem management

Kincaid, Kate Gemma (Barley) (2017) The role of closed areas in marine ecosystem management. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This thesis aims to advance knowledge on the role marine closed areas play in achieving marine conservation and fisheries benefits under an ecosystem based management (EBM) approach. The approach follows broad EBM principles that include a combination of conservation and fisheries objectives, a wider view of multiple species and ecosystems and people as a part of, not apart from, the ecosystem. First, a review provides insights into all types of closed areas that had fisher involvement with biodiversity conservation and fisheries management objectives. An indicator based scorecard approach is proposed as a means to evaluate management success of such closures. Research then focused on specific closed areas in tropical (Mafia Island marine park, Tanzania) and boreal regions (Hawke Box, Labrador, Canada); both areas featured restrictions on fisheries instigated largely by the local fishers and management. In these diverse fisheries and regions, several parallels were evident: fishermen (>90%) believed that fisheries sustainability was the major objective, and that their fishery and communities would be much poorer, or gone, without the implemented restrictions, despite self-imposed limitations on their own actions. In Tanzania, multiple-use zoning provided a means to identify and resolve conflicts and achieve what are likely universal objectives for fisheries sustainability and conservation. In the Hawke Box, Canada, respondents believed that protecting the area from trawling was the primary reason for a viable snow crab pot fishery, despite research indicating little improvement since the closure. Long term (20 years) multi-species abundance and biomass analysis from pre/post this closed area revealed increases inside the Hawke Box for many benthic fish species, in addition to increased crab productivity inside relative to outside the closure. The evidence suggests that the Hawke Box has benefited fisheries, communities, and biodiversity conservation, and provides a unique boreal area for the study of restrictions on trawling in an area with historically strong fisheries, strongly supported by local fishers and their communities. This thesis, through different angles, contributed to knowledge to better understand the role different types of closures play from fisheries aspects, conservation aspects, and within a wider EBM approach. I conclude that closed areas of many types are important for fisheries, conservation and local communities and, with local support, can meet multiple management goals.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 12581
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Keywords: Fisheries, conservation, ecosystem approach, hawke, labrador, mafia island, closed area, marine protected area, indicators, scorecard
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Biology
Date: May 2017
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Marine ecosystem management -- Newfoundland and Labrador; Marine parks and reserves -- Newfoundland and Labrador; Marine ecosystem management -- Tanzania; Marine parks and reserves -- Tanzania

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