No-take marine reserves are the most effective protected areas in the ocean

  • Published source details Sala E. & Giakoumi S. (2018) No-take marine reserves are the most effective protected areas in the ocean. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 75, 1166-1168.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

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

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Cease or prohibit all types of fishing in a marine protected area

    A review of 10 studies of the effectiveness of different types of marine protected areas (study areas were not reported) (Sala & Giakoumi 2018) found that the total biomass of fish populations was highest in no-take marine protected areas relative to adjacent partially protected (some fishing permitted) marine protected areas and openly fished unprotected areas. The biomass of the whole fish assemblage was on average 670% greater within no-take protected areas than unprotected areas, and 343% greater than in partially protected areas. Fish biomass in partially protected areas was 183% greater than unprotected areas and was often similar. In addition, recovery of fish biomass over time was found in no-take areas after protection (nine–19 years), but not in partially protected or unprotected areas (data presented as log-ratios). The review surveyed peer-reviewed studies (total number not reported) documenting the biomass of whole fish assemblages of no-take marine reserves, partially protected marine protected areas, and open access areas all within the same vicinity. A meta-analysis of seven published and three unpublished studies (author and year reported only) comparing biomass data between all three areas was done.

    (Summarised by: Chris Barrett)

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