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An MPA design approach to benefit fisheries: maximising larval export and minimising redundancy

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 06:30 authored by Tong, C, Hock, K, Nils KrueckNils Krueck, Tyazhelnikov, V, Mumby, PJ
In the design of marine protected areas (MPAs), tailoring reserve placement to facilitate larval export beyond reserve boundaries may support fished populations and fisheries through recruitment subsidies. Intuitively, capturing such connectivity could be purely based on optimising larval dispersal metrics such as export strength. However, this can lead to inefficient or redundant larval connectivity, as the subset of sites with the best connectivity metrics might share many of the same connections, making them, collectively, poor MPA candidates to provide recruitment subsidies to unprotected sites. We propose a simple, dynamic algorithm for reserve placement optimisation designed to select MPAs sequentially, maximising larval export to the overall network, whilst accounting for redundancy in supply from multiple sources. When applied to four regions in the Caribbean, the algorithm consistently outperformed approaches that did not consider supply redundancy, leading to, on average, 20% greater fished biomass in a simulated model. Improvements were most apparent in dense, strongly connected systems such as the Bahamas. Here, MPA placement without redundancy considerations produced fishery benefits worse than random MPA design. Our findings highlight the importance of considering redundancy in MPA design, and offer a novel, simple approach to improving MPA design for achieving fishery objectives.

History

Publication title

Diversity

Volume

13

Issue

11

Article number

586

Number

586

Pagination

1-14

ISSN

1424-2818

Department/School

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies

Publisher

MDPIAG

Place of publication

Switzerland

Rights statement

Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Wild caught fin fish (excl. tuna); Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems