About the Science of Marine Reserves Project

 

What can we learn from marine reserves?

 

Oceans are integral to life on Earth, yet all around the world they are becoming degraded. Many people are inquiring about ways to reduce negative impacts of human activities in the oceans and foster ocean health and resilience. Marine protected areas (MPAs) are one management tool that can help to achieve this. Marine reserves are a special type of MPA that are fully protected from all activities that remove animals and plants or alter habitats, except as needed for scientific monitoring. As a consequence of this higher level of protection, marine reserves can help to produce different outcomes from other management tools. However, reserves alone cannot address problems such as pollution, climate change, or overfishing. It is important to understand the effects of marine reserves and how to implement them more effectively.
 

 

The Science of Marine Reserves is an educational booklet developed by the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO), designed to communicate the effects of marine reserves within and beyond their boundaries. The Science of Marine Reserves provides the latest scientific information about reserves in an understandable and accessible format. The booklet is now available in three versions: a U.S. version in English and Spanish (2007), an international version in English (2007), and a Latin American and Caribbean version in English and Spanish (2008). The booklets are accompanied by a 15-minute video (2002).
 
 
 
These Science of Marine Reserves webpages present dynamic and interactive scientific information about marine reserves:
 
        * Learn what science tells us about the effects of marine reserves within and beyond their boundaries;
        * See detailed case studies for in-depth examples of what happens when sites are fully protected;
        * See lessons learned about effective design of marine reserves and reserve networks.
        * Take a tour of marine reserves in Google Earth and see what changes have occured at these sites.

 

Global Reserves Facts

 

- Marine reserves cover less than 0.1% of the ocean worldwide.
- Most reserves are quite small. Half of the 124 reserves studied by scientists covered less than 3.75 square kilometers (1.5 square miles).
- A survey of 255 marine reserves conducted in 2005 showed that only 12 were patrolled routinely to prevent poaching.

Visit the PISCO Website

 

Visit the website of the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans to learn more about the Science of Marine Reserves.  

There you can download our booklets, video series, and high-resolution figures.

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