MPA Science Corner: Coral reef tourism - Public preferences for MPA size and restrictions - Reserve effects - Testing MPA boundaries

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These recent articles on MPA-related science and policy are all open access.

Article:Mapping the global value and distribution of coral reef tourism”, Marine Policy 82, 104-113 (2017)

Finding: This study calculates that the annual value of coral reef tourism worldwide is US $36 billion, equal to 9% of all coastal tourism value in the world's coral reef countries. This figure may provide an incentive for sustainable reef management. Over 70 countries and territories have “million dollar reefs”, or reefs that generate approximately $1 million in tourism value per square kilometer.

Article:Using choice models to inform large marine protected area design”, Marine Policy 83, 111-117 (2017)

Finding: This study of households on the US West Coast analyzes public preference for the size of MPAs and restrictions on use within their boundaries.

Article:Consistent multi-level trophic effects of marine reserve protection across northern New Zealand”, PLOS ONE 12, e0177216 (2017)

Finding: This study of eight marine reserves across northern New Zealand and the Kermadec Islands found that reserve sites were characterized by higher abundance and biomass of large fishes compared to fished sites. Overall, reef food webs in these well-enforced temperate marine reserves showed complex but consistent responses to protection from fishing.

Article:Determining conservation potential of an opportunistically defined MPA boundary using fish telemetry”. Biological Conservation 211, 37-46 (2017)

Finding: This study examined whether the opportunistically defined boundary of an MPA (drawn on the basis of adjacency to public versus privately owned lands rather than any ecological criteria) was consistent with the MPA’s conservation goals. Transmitters attached to reef fish in the MPA determined that in fact the boundary was coincidentally aligned with a deep sandy area that acted as a natural barrier to movement of several species, effectively keeping them inside the MPA.

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