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Scientists call for larger ocean reserves April 15,2013   |  Source: ScienceAlert

Leading international marine scientists have called for the protection of more, large marine wilderness areas in a bid to shield the world’s dwindling stocks of fish from destruction.

Working in the world’s largest unfished marine reserve, the remote Chagos Archipelago in the central Indian Ocean, scientists from Australia and the US have shown there is a dramatic difference in the numbers, size and variety of fish compared with smaller marine parks.

Their findings in two new reports provide the world’s first clear evidence that large-scale marine wilderness reserves are better for conserving fish than the far more common, small marine protected areas (MPAs) that many governments and fishing communities are presently implementing.

“The bottom line is that we found six times more fish in the Chagos ‘no take’ area than we did in even the best-managed Marine Reserves elsewhere in the Indian Ocean,” said lead author of the reports, Dr Nick Graham of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University.

“There was also a dramatic difference in types of species that dominate with a far richer variety of predatory and large-bodied fish species with big home ranges in the Chagos,” said his colleague, Dr Tim McClanahan, of the

 

© 2013 ScienceAlert Pty Ltd.

Theme(s): Fisheries Development and Aquaculture.

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