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Not a fish story: Protected corals increase fishing profits
Date:5/13/2010

ns from fishers and the fishing industry is based largely on the perception that these options are a threat to profits. These findings challenge those perceptions." said McClanahan. By showing that prized species and larger fish are entering fisheries indirectly through the closures, we see that closures are a direct benefit to the fishers."

The findings come as the Earth's oceans are being fished beyond their limits and one third of all reef-building corals are threatened with extinction. Fishery closures are among the most effective solutions studied to protect reef areas and vital habitat for countless species to feed, grow and replenish their numbersbut are also perceived by fishers as a threat to profits.

McClanahan's in-depth empirical study indicated no long-term loss to fishers and instead led to more support for the concept of closing fisheries. Fishers eventually realized compensation in the form of a larger and more valuable catchand in some caseshigher net incomes.

"Evidence indicating that these management options provide a long-term income and profit boost for individual fishers provides great hope for the world's oceans and coastal economies," said Dr. Caleb McClennen, Director of Marine Conservation for WCS. "A disproportionately high percentage of the world's marine biodiversity is situated adjacent to developing coastal nations, where sustainable economic development and poverty alleviation are top priorities."

The findings demonstrated that when evaluating and informing fishery management options, an analysis on how fish pricing is affected by closures and gear restrictions is essential. In addition, the findings show that management options serving multiple bottom-line interests may be within closer reach than previously believedin Kenya and elsewhere.

The Wildlife Conservation Society works to ensure protection of 90 percent of tropical coral reef biodiversity by improving conservation of priority seascapes in the Car
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Contact: Stephen Sautner
ssautner@wcs.org
718-220-3682
Wildlife Conservation Society
Source:Eurekalert  

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