Effectiveness of European Atlanto-Mediterranean MPAs: Do they accomplish the expected effects on populations, communities and ecosystems?
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AuthorsGarcía-Charton, J.A. (José Antonio); Pérez-Ruzafa, A. (Ángel); Marcos, C. (Concepción); Claudet, J. (Joachim); Badalamenti, F. (Fabio); Benedetti-Cecchi, L. (Lisandro); Falcón, J.M. (Jesús); Milazzo, M. (Marco); Schembri, P.J. (Patrick Joseph); Stobart, B. (Ben); Vandeperre, F. (Frédéric); Brito, A. (Alberto); Chemello, R. (Renato); Dimech, M. (Mark); Domenici, P. (Paolo); Guala, I. (Iván); Le-Diréach, L. (Laurence); Maggi, E. (Elena); Planes, S. (Serge)
Marine protected areas
Coastal populations and communities
The success of MPAs in conserving fishing resources and protecting marine biodiversity relies strongly on how well they meet their planned (or implicit) management goals. From a review of empirical studies aiming at assessing the ecological effects of Mediterranean and Macaronesian MPAs, we conclude that establishing an MPA is successful for (i) increasing the abundance/biomass, (ii) increasing the proportion of larger/older individuals, and (iii) enhancing the fecundity of commercially harvested populations; also, MPAs demonstrated to be effective for (iv) augmenting local fishery yields through biomass exportation from the protected area, and (v) inducing shifts in fish assemblage structure by increasing the dominance of large predator species. However, the attraction for tourism and diving due to ecological benefits of protection can cause damages likely to reverse some of the MPA effects. Other expected effects are more subject to uncertainty, and hence need more research, such as ...