Wow, who's surprised? If you stop fishing in an area, then you get more fish and bigger fish. And that makes ocean ecosystems more healthy.
Quoting the report:
Many species of fish and invertebrates targeted by fishing outside reserves are bigger and more abundant inside no-take reserves, while non-targeted species’ abundances are essentially equal. Marine reserves have greater biodiversity and greater fish biomass than fished areas nearby. Studies of fish movement suggest that even wide-ranging species can benefit from the Channel Islands reserves and that some individuals move from reserves to fished areas. These results show that the Channel Islands reserves and other protected areas may contribute to the goals of protecting and promoting healthy ecosystems.
How about the warnings of doom from fishermen, about their expectations of devastating socioeconomic effects? Especially from recreational fishermen?
The number of boats seen at the Channel Islands has stayed approximately the same, but the boats go to different places. Fishing boats no longer go to the now-protected areas, while more sailboats are observed in those areas. Since MPAs were established, some commercial fisheries (rock crab, spiny lobster, market squid, and red urchin) have grown in value at the Channel Islands, while others (sea cucumber, California sheephead, and rockfish) have declined. Many of these changes also occurred throughout southern California, suggesting that the causes are due to factors other than MPAs. Detailed studies of the lobster fishery suggest some changes in number of fishermen and catch may be linked to the MPAs. The number of party boat trips for recreational fishing has remained fairly constant since MPAs were established.
Note that final line...The number of party boat trips for recreational fishing has remained fairly constant since MPAs were established. All that fuss for nothing. What a shame. Tweet