of small protected areas and hence can be lost to harvesting, because they are of significantinterest to fishermen.The researchers recommend that every MPA should be at least 10 to 20 kilometres indiameters to provide a larger habitat for some species. Additionally they should be spaced in away that allows for genetic exchange between the MPAs. To achieve this it would be enoughto protect about 25.000 km² of the existing coral reefs, or roughly 5% respectively.Costello remarked
We were expecting a poor result, but not numbers of this magnitude. This study of protected areas worldwide suggests we are not reaping their potential positive benefits and stemming the current decline of coral reefs worldwide
."His co-author and fellow researcher Ransom Myers of Dalhousie University submits an even bleaker view:"
What we found, in essence, is that we are creating paper parks. The establishment of Marine Protected Areas is rarely followed by good management and enforcement. And whilemanagement of MPAs varies worldwide, it was particularly low in areas of high coral diversity such as the Indo-Pacific and the Caribbean
."In other words: much remains to be done, and it is everything but clear if it will be done.
Marine Protected Areas for Fisheries Management:
Especially traditional island people in regions with limited resources have a long history of resource protection and management, also in the field of fisheries and coastal zonemanagement. One example is the traditional Hawaiian land- and coastal management conceptcalled “Ahupua’a”. The Ahupua’a regulates land- and water usage from the mountains intothe sea, and the “land” division stretches all the way to the outer fringing reef. Source regionsof rivers and streams were protected areas, pollution of rivers was prohibited and marineharvesting also was closely monitored. Rules existed for the size- and varieties of fishes andother marine creatures that could be taken. Coastal fish-ponds were established that had a dualeffect: they kept runoffs from streams away from the pristine lagoon waters and at the sametime took advantage of these nutrient enriched waters that had passed through fertilized fields.These nutrients allowed for an amazingly sophisticated aquaculture. The Ahupua’a integrated protection and economic use by applying an integral view of man, society, culture and naturethat goes beyond most modern integrated management approaches
. As the Maori elder Huhana Mihinui explained about pre-Western Maori resource management
Managing our resources was a way of life when I was growing up. Our resources were our livelihood and, therefore, carefully looked after. Sustainability was not only about protecting resources, but also about routine. We had a routine and we had disciplines. There was nomanagement without discipline. Resource sustainability meant our own survival. (…) the food resources were protected or utilised depending on need. Conservation is a very important part of resource management, but exploitation is also.
”This view makes no distinction between “conservation” and “usage”. Conservation is a prerequisite of usage, a part of resource management. Economy and ecology are no separateentities. And as a physicist I must say they indeed are not, and as long as humans will be a part of the game, economy will always remain a subset of ecology – or at least of nature.