Study

Fish assemblages inside and outside marine protected areas off northern Iceland: protection effects or environmental confounds?

  • Published source details Jaworski A., Solmundsson J. & Ragnarsson S.A. (2010) Fish assemblages inside and outside marine protected areas off northern Iceland: protection effects or environmental confounds?. Fisheries Research, 102, 50-59.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Cease or prohibit all (mobile and static) fishing gears that catch bottom (demersal) species

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Cease or prohibit all (mobile and static) fishing gears that catch bottom (demersal) species

    A replicated, paired, site comparison study in 2004–2005 of three seabed areas in the Greenland Sea, off the coast of Iceland (Jaworski et al. 2010) found that three marine protected areas closed to bottom gears (trawls and longlines) for at least 11 years had different fish densities and sizes of the most abundant bottom dwelling species, compared to adjacent areas outside, but the effect of depth or temperature was stronger than level of protection. Differences in fish density (mean log number) by size group were found inside areas closed to bottom gears compared to outside for two of nine species/groups in the closed area on the northwest coast, and for four of six in the other two closure areas on the northeast coast (see paper for species individual data). In the northwest, average fish size was similar between areas for eight of nine fish species/groups and smaller for one in the closed area; and for the two northeast areas, three of six fish species/groups were smaller inside one of the closure areas compared to the other and outside, and there were no differences for the other three (see paper for species individual data). However, the influence of temperature or depth on fish density and average size between closed and open areas was found in many cases to be higher than the level of protection (see original paper). Fish sampling was done by a research trawler: in August 2004 inside and outside one protected area off the northwest coast (41 trawl deployments); and in July 2005 inside two adjacent protected areas and one unprotected area off the northeast coast (47 deployments). The protected areas were established primarily to protect small cod and were closed to trawling and fishing with longlines in 1993 (two had been closed to trawling since the early 1970s and 1992).

    (Summarised by: Chris Barrett/Natasha Taylor)

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