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Spatial patterns of density at multiple life stages in protected and fished conditions: an example from a Mediterranean coastal fish

Settlement and recruitment are well known to have critical influences on the demography of most marine fishes. Few studies have compared processes like larval supply, settlement and recruitment of fishes between protected (i.e. in marine protected areas, MPAs) and unprotected conditions and little information is available about the potential influence of early life history traits (e.g. pelagic larval duration, PLD) on these processes.

Dispersal patterns of coastal fish: implications for designing networks of marine protected areas

Information about dispersal scales of fish at various life history stages is critical for successful design of networks of marine protected areas, but is lacking for most species and regions. Otolith chemistry provides an opportunity to investigate dispersal patterns at a number of life history stages. Our aim was to assess patterns of larval and post-settlement (i.e. between settlement and recruitment) dispersal at two different spatial scales in a Mediterranean coastal fish (i.e. white sea bream, Diplodus sargus sargus) using otolith chemistry.

Understanding the effectiveness of marine protected areas using genetic connectivity patterns and Lagrangian simulations

Findings of this study highlight the potential benefits of effectively enforced MPAs for neighbouring or relatively distant non-protected fishing areas and the potential connection with other MPAs at regional scale. Combining genetics and modelling can provide a general framework to investigate the role of connectivity in MPA design that can be easily extended to other species and geographical areas. 

Assessing dispersal patterns of fish propagules from an effective Mediterranean Marine Protected Area

Successfully enforced marine protected areas (MPAs) have been widely demonstrated to allow, within their boundaries, the recovery of exploited species and beyond their boundaries, the spillover of juvenile and adult fish. Little evidence is available about the so-called ‘recruitment subsidy’, the augmented production of propagules (i.e. eggs and larvae) due to the increased abundance of large-sized spawners hosted within effective MPAs. Once emitted, propagules can be locally retained and/or exported elsewhere.

Spillover from six western Mediterranean marine protected areas: evidence from artisanal fisheries

This study investigated spillover around six MPAs in the western Mediterranean based on catch and effort data from artisanal fisheries. Results suggest that coastal MPAs can be an effective management tool for artisanal fisheries in the region and can be extended to the rest of the western Mediterranean, as the fishing tactics studied are typical of the region. 

An ex ante ecological economic assessment of the benefits arising from marine protected areas designation in the UK

This paper presents an estimate of the benefits of the proposed designation of a network of marine conservation zones (MCZs) in English territorial and UK offshore waters. This ex ante analysis was undertaken as part of a cost–benefit evidence base to inform implementation of the proposed UK Marine and Coastal Access Bill. This Bill is part of an ambitious plan to designate and manage UK marine areas using an Ecosystems Approach. Benefits are measured in terms of anticipated increases in the value of ecosystem goods and services provisioned by MCZs relative to the counterfactual, i.e.