A global assessment of the effectiveness of different protection levels in marine protected areas in temperate waters, following a new categorization

The implementation of partially protected areas (PPAs; multiple-use areas where some extraction is allowed) as a conservation tool in densely populated coastal ecosystems is favored over fully protected areas (FPAs; no extraction allowed). However the biological effectiveness of different PPAs remains unclear. Using the data of 37 PPAs, a weighted meta-analysis has been conducted in order to assess benefits of PPAs over open access areas (OAs) and FPAs, by synthesizing published results investigating biological responses of commercially valuable fish species in temperate seas. Response to protection was examined in relation to the PPA category, size and age of the PPA. The present synthesis indicates that although PPAs generate greater biological responses compared to OAs, these were lower than those of FPAs. Grouping PPAs based on their category of protection indicated that areas with highly limited extraction exhibit greater biological responses compared to areas where extractive activities are weakly regulated. There was a large degree of variability in the magnitude of response to protection, yet size and age of PPAs explained some of this variability. PPAs with limited and well regulated extractive activities may represent valuable conservation management options, particularly in areas where FPAs are not a viable option.

Promotor(s) & Supervisor: Barbara Horta e Costa, Emanuel Gonçalves, Karim Erzini, Joachim Claudet

ISCED Categories

The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0522 - Conservation and environmental management