Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Conservation benefits of a network of marine reserves and partially protected areas

Published source details

Coleman M.A., Palmer-Brodie A. & Kelaher B.P. (2013) Conservation benefits of a network of marine reserves and partially protected areas. Biological Conservation, 167, 257-264


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Designate a Marine Protected Area with a zonation system of activity restrictions Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation

A site comparison study in 2010 of six sites in two zones inside a marine protected area in the Bristol Channel, UK (Coleman et al. 2013 – similar set-up as Davies et al. 2014) found that sites in the no-take zone (where all fishing had been prohibited for six years) had more and bigger European lobsters Homarus gammarus than sites outside in the refuge zone where potting was allowed. Lobsters were caught in higher abundance inside the no-take zone (514) than outside (152) and grew bigger inside (99 mm) than outside (86 mm). In addition, more lobsters were above the minimum landing size (90 mm) inside the no-take zone (75% of lobsters) than in the refuge zone (36% of lobsters). A higher proportion of egg-bearing females were found in the no-take zone (31%) compared to the refuge zone (7%). Overall, similar proportions of injured lobsters were found inside the no-take zone (33%) and inside the refuge zone (26%). The percentage of diseased lobsters was higher inside the no-take zone (27%) compared to the refuge zone (18%). Lundy Island marine protected area was designated as a voluntary reserve in 1971 (statutory since 1986). In 2003, it included a 4 km2 no-take zone (no fishing or harvesting allowed), the rest being a refuge zone only allowing crab and lobster potting (all other fishing is prohibited). In 2010, six sites inside the protected area were surveyed: two within the no-take zone and four in the refuge zone. At each site, one line of 35 baited pots was deployed for 24–48 h, and all lobsters caught were measured (carapace length), sexed, assessed for injuries and diseases, and released back into the water. This process was repeated continuously over four days in May and again in June.

(Summarised by Anaëlle Lemasson)