Whole-Site Management of Marine Protected Areas Can Lead to a 95% Increase in Reef Species


The findings have been revealed through the University's ongoing monitoring of marine conservation measures in Lyme Bay

The whole-site management of a Marine Protected Area (MPA) can increase the total abundance of reef species within its borders by up to 95%, according to new research. This is in contrast to regions where only known features are conserved, with species abundance increasing by just 15% in those areas compared to others where human activity is allowed to continue unchecked.

The findings are highlighted in a study by the University of Plymouth, and are the latest to emerge from its long-running monitoring of marine conservation measures in Lyme Bay, off the south coast of England. The area is home to two co-located MPAs that have adopted different management styles in their exclusion of bottom-towed fishing.

There is a 270km**2 Special Area of Conservation (SAC), where measures are in place to protect the known extent of sensitive reef habitats. Within that is a 206km2 area – including a mosaic of reef and sedimentary habitats – where the whole site is protected under a Statutory Instrument.

Continue reading at University of Plymouth

Image via University of Plymouth