A 25-year marine reserve as proxy for the unfished condition of an exploited species

  • Published source details Díaz D., Mallol S., Parma A.M. & Goñi R. (2016) A 25-year marine reserve as proxy for the unfished condition of an exploited species. Biological Conservation, 203, 97-107.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Designate a Marine Protected Area and prohibit all types of fishing

Action Link
Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation
  1. Designate a Marine Protected Area and prohibit all types of fishing

    A replicated, randomized, site comparison study in 2000–2014 in two areas of mixed seabed in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea, Spain (Díaz et al. 2016) found that inside a marine protected are prohibiting all fishing (no-take reserve for lobsters) biomass, abundance, and egg production of Caribbean spiny lobsters Palinurus elephas were higher, and population size structures were different, compared to a fished area outside the reserve. After prohibiting fishing for 21 to 25 years, lobster biomass and abundance had increased inside the reserve, and were higher compared to outside (data reported as indices). Maximum sizes of lobsters were higher inside the reserve (female: 172; male: 190 mm) compared to outside (female: 130; male: 140). Egg production was higher inside the reserve (3.5 million eggs/unit area) compared to outside (84,000–137,000 eggs/unit area). In 1990, a 55 km2 marine reserve was established prohibiting all lobster fishing. Lobster catch data between 2000 and 2014 were obtained from fishing nets deployed inside (total number of nets: 252) and at locations outside the reserve (1–150 km away; total number of nets: 2,671).

    (Summarised by: Anaëlle Lemasson)

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