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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effects of marine reserve protection on spiny lobster (Jasus edwardsii) abundance and size at Tonga Island Marine Reserve, New Zealand

Published source details

Davidson R.J., Villouta E., Cole R.G. & Barrier R.G.F. (2002) Effects of marine reserve protection on spiny lobster (Jasus edwardsii) abundance and size at Tonga Island Marine Reserve, New Zealand. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 12, 213-227


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 and prohibit all types of fishing Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation

A site comparison study in 1994–2000 of twelve rocky seabed and soft sediment sites in Tonga Island Marine Reserve, Tasman Sea, New Zealand (Davidson et al. 2002) found that five to seven years after designating a marine protected area prohibiting all fishing (no-take reserve), abundance of spiny lobsters Jasus edwardsii was similar inside the protected area, compared to outside where fishing occurred, but lobster size was higher. Average abundance was not statistically higher inside the reserve (1.3 lobsters/100 m2) compared to outside (0.4 lobsters/100 m2). Lobster were larger inside the reserve 113–132 mm), compared to outside (94–104 mm; results not statistically tested). In addition, when compared with data from 1994 (12 months after establishing the reserve) average lobster abundance increased inside the reserve (1994: 1; 1998–2000: 1.4 lobster/100 m2) but decreased outside (1994: 0.7; 1998–2000: 0.6 lobster/100 m2; results not statistically tested). Tonga Island Marine Reserve was established in 1993 and is closed to all fishing and harvesting. Seven sites inside and five sites outside the reserve (6–11 m depth) were surveyed on six occasions in 1998–2000. During each survey, divers counted and estimated the size of lobsters in twelve 24 x 4 m transects/site. Abundance data from 1998 and 2000 (obtained in December) were compared with a prior survey in December 1994 of five sites inside and five sites outside the reserve (10–12 transects/site; 30 × 4 m).

(Summarised by Anaëlle Lemasson & Laura Pettit)