Effectiveness of marine reserves for large-scale fisheries management
As more no-take marine reserves are established, the importance of evaluating effectiveness retrospectively is growing. This paper adapts methods from program evaluation to quantify the effects of establishing a marine reserve on fisheries using fishery-dependent data. The approach analyzes the effects of a policy at the individual vessel level and accommodates the coarse spatial resolution of fishing logbooks. It illuminates implicit assumptions in previous retrospective analyses of marine reserves that are unlikely to hold for large-scale fisheries. We illustrate the empirical model with an application to the Gulf of Mexico reef-fish fishery. Isolating the effects of reserves requires a full accounting of multiple gear production technologies, heterogeneity in vessel captain skill, spatial heterogeneity of fish stocks, seasonal patterns in abundance, the effects of coexisting management policies, and the possibility that the harvest sector anticipates reserve establishment. We find that the effect of two recently established marine reserves on catch is negative and trending downward, though the reserves have only been in place for 4.5 years. © 2005 NRC.
Smith, MD; Zhang, J; Coleman, FC
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