Marine reserves are an effective tool for protecting biodiversity locally, with potential economic benefits including enhancement of local fisheries, increased tourism, and maintenance of ecosystem services. However, fishing communities often fear short-term income losses associated with closures, and thus may oppose marine reserves. Here we review empirical data and develop bioeconomic models to show that the value of marine reserves (enhanced adjacent fishing + tourism) may often exceed the pre-reserve value, and that economic benefits can offset the costs in as little as five years.
Harvest control rules and no-take marine reserves are two management approaches increasingly advocated as effective means of rebuilding depleted fish stocks and averting the collapse of fisheries. We incorporate the two approaches into a bioeconomic model and evaluate how they act as substitutes and/or complements when used together in fisheries stock recovery plans.