Navigation Links
World-class protection boosts Australia's Great Barrier Reef
Date:2/22/2010

Australia's Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is showing an extraordinary range of benefits from the network of protected marine reserves introduced there five years ago, according to a comprehensive new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The scientific team, a 'who's-who' of Australian coral reef scientists, describe the findings as "a globally significant demonstration of the effectiveness of large-scale networks of marine reserves".

"Our data show rapid increases of fish inside no-take reserves, in both reef and non-reef habitats ," says Professor Terry Hughes, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, speaking today at the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences meeting in San Diego, California.

"Critically, the reserves also benefit overall ecosystem health and resilience", says lead author Dr Laurence McCook of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

"Outbreaks of coral-eating, crown-of-thorns starfish are less frequent on no-take reefs, which consequently have a higher abundance of healthy corals after outbreaks."

"In concert with other measures, the reserve network is also helping the plight of threatened species like dugongs and marine turtles", says Dr McCook.

"There is now very strong evidence that no-take zones benefit fish populations within those zones. The numbers of coral trout doubled on some reefs within two years of closure to fishing," reports Dr Hugh Sweatman, from the Australian Institute of Marine Science.

Overall, the team concluded "With 32% of GBR reef area in no-take reefs, and fish densities about two times greater on those reefs, fish populations across the ecosystem have increased considerably." The researchers predict that as protected fish inside no-take areas grow larger and larger, they will contribute many more larvae to the whole ecosystem. Therefore, the benefits of no-take areas are expected to extend far beyond the no-take boundaries, replenishing surrounding areas that are open to fishing.

Larger, more mobile species, such as sharks, have benefited less than residential fishes, but nevertheless show clear effects of protection: grey reef sharks are much more abundant on highly protected reefs than on fished reefs.

However the team cautioned that there was evidence of some poaching in no-take zones, reinforcing the need for education and enforcement.

The researchers say that preliminary economic analysis points to considerable net benefits, both to the environment and to tourism, fishing and related enterprises.

"The Great Barrier Reef generates far more economic benefit to Australia than the cost of protecting it" they added.

"Given the major threat posed by climate change, the expanded network of marine reserves provides a critical and cost-effective contribution to enhancing the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef," the scientists comment.

"In summary, the network of marine reserves on the GBR has brought major, sustained ecological benefits, including for target fish and sharks.

"Overall, the results demonstrate that the large-scale network of marine reserves on the GBR is proving to be an excellent investment - in social, economic and environmental terms," they conclude.


'/>"/>

Contact: Laurence McCook
l.mccook@gbrmpa.gov.au
61-074-750-0787
ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Qatar home to world-class biomedical research program
2. World-class innovation through international cooperation
3. World-class environment vision to bring back the species
4. Picis ED PulseCheck Increases Security and Privacy Protection in Nearly 150 Hospitals Through the Use of DigitalPersona Biometrics
5. Nanotech protection
6. Uniloc Unveils Industry-First Authentication Technology for Comprehensive Protection of Critical Infrastructure
7. Uniloc Unveils Industry-First Authentication Technology for Comprehensive Protection of Critical Infrastructure
8. Combating Terrorism with Commercial Technology: 2009 Force Protection Equipment Demonstration
9. UT Southwestern researchers probe kidney damage, protection in lupus
10. Case Western Reserve University receives $1.66m grant from NIH for otoprotection research
11. A missing enzyme conveys major heart protection in pre-clinical work
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/14/2016)... Israel , April 14, 2016 ... Authentication and Malware Detection, today announced the appointment of ... assumed the new role. Goldwerger,s leadership appointment ... on the heels of the deployment of its platform ... BioCatch,s behavioral biometric technology, which discerns unique cognitive and ...
(Date:3/31/2016)...  Genomics firm Nabsys has completed a financial  restructuring ... , M.D., who returned to the company in October ... team, including Chief Technology Officer, John Oliver , ... and Vice President of Software and Informatics, Michael ... Dr. Bready served as CEO of Nabsys from 2005-2014 ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... 2016 According to ... for Consumer Industry by Type (Image, Motion, Pressure, ... & IT, Entertainment, Home Appliances, & Wearable ... 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market for ... USD 26.76 Billion by 2022, at a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/27/2016)... and READING, England , ... Indegene ( http://www.indegene.com ), ein führender Anbieter ... die Life-Science-Branche, Pharmaunternehmen und Gesundheitsorganisationen, und TranScrip ... von innovativen wissenschaftlichen Support-Services für den gesamten ... IntraScience heute den Ausbau ihrer bestehenden Allianz ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... New Jersey and READING, ... Indegene ( http://www.indegene.com ), a leading ... to life science, pharmaceutical and healthcare organisations and ... of innovative scientific support throughout the product lifecycle, ... with the launch of IntraScience.      ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... After several promising ... at the City of Knowledge in Panama, a 6 year-old Duchenne’s muscular ... US earlier this year following FDA approval of a second application for a ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... ... Lajollacooks4u has become a rising hotspot for specialized team building events in ... Fortune 500 companies, such as Illumina, Hewlett-Packard, Qualcomm and Elsevier, have traveled from ... Each event kicks off with an olive oil and salt-tasting competition. From there, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: