Study

Are marine protected areas useful for the recovery of the Mediterranean mussel populations?

  • Published source details Rius M. & Zabala M. (2008) Are marine protected areas useful for the recovery of the Mediterranean mussel populations?. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 18, 527-540.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Cease or prohibit all commercial fishing

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation

Cease or prohibit all types of fishing in a marine protected area

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Cease or prohibit all commercial fishing

    A site comparison study in 1992–2005 of three rocky areas in the northwest Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Spain (Rius & Zabala 2008) found that two to 13 years after commercial fishing was prohibited in a partially fished zone of a marine reserve, there was no increase in the biomass of white seabream Diplodus sargus and gilthead bream Sparus aurata compared to an unprotected fished area. Across all years, the average biomasses of white and gilthead bream were similar between partially fished (white: 5.9 g/m2, gilthead: 0.1 g/m2) and fished areas (white: 6.1 g/m2, gilthead: 0.2 g/m2). However, both were lower compared to a no-take zone of the reserve, unfished for over nine years (white: 19.1 g/m2, gilthead: 0.8 g/m2). Fish were sampled annually from 1992–2005 at three nearby sites, up to 2 km apart: a partial reserve (angling permitted only, no collection of subtidal animals since 1990); a fished stretch of coastline; and a no-take reserve in the Medes Islands Marine Protected area (no extractive activities, since 1983). Numbers of fish at each site were recorded by underwater visual transects (no further sampling details were provided).

    (Summarised by: Leo Clarke)

  2. Cease or prohibit all types of fishing in a marine protected area

    A site comparison study in 1992–2005 of three rocky areas in the northwest Mediterranean off the coast of Spain (Rius & Zabala 2008) found that banning all types of fishing for at least nine years in a marine protected area resulted in higher biomass of white seabream Diplodus sargus and gilthead bream Sparus aurata, compared to nearby recreationally fished only and unprotected fished areas. Across all years, the average biomasses of white and gilthead bream were higher in the unfished area (white: 19.1 g/m2, gilthead: 0.8 g/m2) than the other areas, and were similar between partially fished (white: 5.9 g/m2, gilthead: 0.1 g/m2) and fished areas (white: 6.1 g/m2, gilthead: 0.2 g/m2). Fish were sampled annually from 1992–2005 at three nearby sites, up to 2 km apart: a no-take reserve in the Medes Islands Marine Protected area (no extractive activities, since 1983); a partial reserve (angling permitted but no collection of subtidal animals since 1990); and a fished stretch of coastline. Numbers of fish at each site were recorded by underwater visual transects (no further sampling details were reported).

    (Summarised by: Leo Clarke)

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