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Fishing the Line Near Reserves - Many Issues

FISHING THE LINE NEAR MARINE RESERVES IN SINGLE AND MULTISPECIES FISHERIES
JULIE B. KELLNER,1,5 IRENE TETREAULT,2 STEVEN D. GAINES,3,4
AND ROGER M. NISBET

1Department of Environmental Science and Policy, University of California, Davis, California 95616 USA
2Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095 USA
3Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106 USA
4Marine Science Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106 USA
Ecological Applications, 17(4), 2007, pp. 1039–1054

Abstract. Throughout the world ‘‘fishing the line’’ is a frequent harvesting tactic in communities where no-take marine reserves are designated. This practice of concentrating fishing effort at the boundary of a marine reserve is predicated upon the principle of spillover, the net export of stock from the marine reserve to the surrounding unprotected waters. We explore the consequences and optimality of fishing the line using a spatially explicit theoretical model. We show that fishing the line: (1) is part of the optimal effort distribution near no-take marine reserves with mobile species regardless of the cooperation level among harvesters; (2) has a significant impact on the spatial patterns of catch per unit effort (CPUE) and fish density both within and outside of the reserve; and (3) can enhance total population size and catch simultaneously under a limited set of conditions for overexploited populations. Additionally, we explore the consequences of basing the spatial distribution of fishing effort for a multispecies fishery upon the optimality of the most mobile species that exhibits the greatest spillover. Our results show that the intensity of effort allocated to fishing the line should instead be based upon more intermediate rates of mobility within the targeted community. We conclude with a comparison between model predictions and empirical findings from a density gradient study of two important game fish in the vicinity of a no-take marine-life refuge on Santa Catalina Island, California (USA). These results reveal the need for empirical studies to account for harvester behavior and suggest that the implications of spatial discontinuities such as fishing the line should be incorporated into marine-reserve design.

Key words: boundary fishing; California, USA; competitive fishery; cooperative fishing; displacement; effort allocation; fishing impacts; no-take marine protected areas; Paralabrax; Semicossyphus; spatial patterns; spillover

 

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