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Title: Evidence that spillover from Marine Protected Areas benefits the spiny lobster (Panulirus interruptus) fishery in southern California
Abstract Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are designed to enhance biodiversity and ecosystem services. Some MPAs are also established to benefit fisheries through increased egg and larval production, or the spillover of mobile juveniles and adults. Whether spillover influences fishery landings depend on the population status and movement patterns of target species both inside and outside of MPAs, as well as the status of the fishery and behavior of the fleet. We tested whether an increase in the lobster population inside two newly established MPAs influenced local catch, fishing effort, and catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) within the sustainable California spiny lobster fishery. We found greater build-up of lobsters within MPAs relative to unprotected areas, and greater increases in fishing effort and total lobster catch, but not CPUE, in fishing zones containing MPAs vs. those without MPAs. Our results show that a 35% reduction in fishing area resulting from MPA designation was compensated for by a 225% increase in total catch after 6-years, thus indicating at a local scale that the trade-off of fishing ground for no-fishing zones benefitted the fishery.
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Scientific Reports
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National Science Foundation
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