Please select your home edition
Edition
RS Sailing 728x90 AUS

Scientists call for large ocean wilderness parks

by ARC Center of Excellence on 19 Apr 2013
Coral reefs protection is currently being pushed by leading scientist ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies http://www.coralcoe.org.au/
Leading international marine scientists have called for the protection of more, large marine wilderness areas in a bid to shield the world’s dwindling stocks of fish from destruction.

Working in the world’s largest unfished marine reserve, the remote Chagos Archipelago in the central Indian Ocean, scientists from Australia and the US have shown there is a dramatic difference in the numbers, size and variety of fish compared with smaller marine parks.

Their findings in two new reports provide the world’s first clear evidence that large-scale marine wilderness reserves are better for conserving fish than the far more common, small marine protected areas (MPAs) that many governments and fishing communities are presently implementing.

'The bottom line is that we found six times more fish in the Chagos ‘no take’ area than we did in even the best-managed Marine Reserves elsewhere in the Indian Ocean,' says lead author of the reports, Dr Nick Graham of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University.

'There was also a dramatic difference in types of species that dominate with a far richer variety of predatory and large-bodied fish species with big home ranges in the Chagos,' adds his colleague, Dr. Tim McClanahan, of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Reef shot

Coral cover in the Chagos area was almost complete, having recovered rapidly from a major bleaching episode, in 1998.



The Chagos Archipelago, also known as the British Indian Ocean Territory, and its entire 640,000 square kilometre area was designated a no-take zone in April 2010, making it the largest such marine reserve in the world. It is in the central Indian Ocean due south of the Maldives.

'In recent times there have been bold moves by nations such as Britain, Australia and the United States to set aside much larger areas of open ocean in an effort to try to conserve fish stocks that appear to be dwindling all around the planet,' Dr Graham explains.

'What wasn’t clearly known before now was whether there is a significant difference in conservation impact of large remote unfished reserves of 1000s of square kilometers, as opposed to the much smaller ones of tens of square kilometers that are typical of populated coastlines. Well, now we know the answer.'

Reef shark

The researchers say it is important to have large areas of oceans protected from human impacts, not only to preserve fish stocks and protect vulnerable marine species – but also as an undisturbed baseline for understanding the changes that human population pressures and climate change are bringing to the oceans as a whole.



'There seems little doubt that formal legislative protection of some of the world’s last remaining marine ‘wilderness’ locations, such as the Chagos protected area, is a critical step to maintaining some near-pristine legacy areas in the oceans,' they say.

The researchers acknowledge that marine reserves closer to centres of human population require different kinds of management and need to be smaller, to ensure that people can still draw their livelihoods and food from the sea – and these smaller marine reserves also provide important conservation gains.

As world fish stocks decline, large remote wilderness reserves require careful protection against plundering by illegal and ‘pirate’ fishing concerns.

'Clearly marine wilderness does promote a unique ecological community, which smaller no-take areas fail to attain, and formal legislation is therefore critical to protect these last marine wilderness areas,' the scientists conclude.

Their findings and comments are in a new scientific article 'The last call for marine wilderness?' by Nick Graham and Tim McClanahan in the journal Bioscience, and a chapter by Nick Graham, Morgan Pratchett, Tim McClanahan and Shaun Wilson in a forthcoming book, Coral Reefs of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories (Springer ARC Center of Excellence

Giacomo Yacht SaleJeanneau Sunfast 660x82Pittwater to Paradise 2018 660x82

Related Articles

Clipper World Yacht Race – Day 3, Race 1 – Tackling the Bay of Biscay
As the fleet makes steady progress south past the UK and towards Northern France, Skippers focus on the next challenge Ahead of the fleet, the weather is changing somewhat. A new low moving southeast across the race track should reach the Portuguese coast by the weekend. Whilst it does not look particularly strong, it will provide several tactical options for the twelve teams.
Posted today at 2:38 pm
AHIRW 2017 - Day 3 Reichel Pugh Girls II - Video
Day 3 of the regatta saw the third round of racing between the four Reichel Pugh girls. Day 3 of the regatta saw the third round of racing between the four Reichel Pugh girls. Wild Oats XI won the first day with the Black Jack 100 taking out the second under lighter conditions. We now bring you the start of Day 3 – lighter conditions after an extended AP on shore with the entire fleet moved to the eastern course. M3 (the only non-Reichel Pugh boat in the class)
Posted today at 10:39 am
J-Class Worlds – Day 1 shots by Carlo Borlenghi
Carlo Borlenghi provided this gallery of images from J-Class World Championship 2017 – Day 1 Carlo Borlenghi provided this gallery of images from J-Class World Championship 2017 – Day 1
Posted today at 6:42 am
Nice points jump for Facundo Olezza after U23 Finn Worlds opener
Facundo Olezza, from Argentina, made some sense of the chaotic wind conditions on the first day The only young sailor at the U23 Finn World Championship in Balatonfured with Olympic experience, Facundo Olezza, from Argentina, made some sense of the chaotic wind conditions on the first day to build a 13 point margin after three very tricky races were sailed.
Posted today at 6:14 am
J-Class Worlds - Day 1 action-shots by Ingrid Abery
Ingrid Abery was on water at 2017 J-Class World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day 1's action. Top international photographer Ingrid Abery was on water at 2017 J-Class World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day 1's action.
Posted today at 5:17 am
AHIRW 2017 - D3 Cruising Video
In picture postcard conditions (for those of old enough to remember what postcards were) the Cruising fleet set out In picture postcard conditions (for those of old enough to remember what postcards were) the Cruising fleet set out under a light breeze after a delayed start from what was meant to be the long island race. We caught up with the fleet at the start and then again when they were sailing downwind with the spinnakers up. A very colourful sight!
Posted today at 4:41 am
Pulling G’s with Beneteau – Pt I
In a car, just the one G will have you straining at your seatbelt. In a car, just the one G will have you straining at your seatbelt. Over nine (+ve) in an aircraft, and without a G-suit, you will be unconscious. So at three G’s, and pulling no punches with them either, we not only enjoyed our opportunity to sit with Gianguido Girotti (G3), we got to learn a lot as well!
Posted today at 3:43 am
AHIRW 2017 Day 2 - Grace on the Water Video
Despite a quieter day on the water today, grace and elegance broke out on the start of the Cruising Class. Sit back and Despite a quieter day on the water today, grace and elegance broke out on the start of the Cruising Class. Sit back and enjoy as the old and the new showed that style is never out of fashion, even on the race course.
Posted today at 2:00 am
Clipper Yacht Race – Day 2, Race 1 – Strong tides divide fleet
Strong tides running North have divided the fleet tactically overnight, with the front of the pack heading close inshore The gap between first and last place has widened over the last 24 hours, with 68 nautical miles separating the teams and a group of four teams pulling away from the pack. At the top of the leader board is Unicef which has crept four nautical miles ahead of Visit Seattle this morning despite sitting in second place overnight.
Posted on 22 Aug
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup – Building on success
Pulses look set to race once again at the Mediterranean’s greatest festival of big boat competition. As usual, this year’s fleet will be grouped into classes depending upon several factors, including size, rating and racing capabilities. Within the smaller participating yachts, between 18.29 metres and 24.08 metres, the sub-division promotes close and fair racing under the prevailing handicap systems.
Posted on 22 Aug