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Title: Regional differences in fishing behavior determine whether a marine reserve network enhances fishery yield

A network of marine reserves can enhance yield in depleted fisheries by protecting populations, particularly large, old spawners that supply larvae for interspersed fishing grounds. The ability of marine reserves to enhance sustainable fisheries is much less evident. We report empirical evidence of a marine reserve network improving yield regionally for a sustainable spiny lobster fishery, apparently through the spillover of adult lobsters and behavioral adaptation by the fishing fleet. Results of a Before-After, Control-Impact analysis found catch, effort, and Catch-Per-Unit Effort increased after the establishment of marine reserves in the northern region of the fishery where fishers responded by fishing intensively at reserve borders, but declined in the southern region where they vacated once productive fishing grounds. The adaptation of the northern region of the fishery may have been aided by a history of collaboration between fishers, scientists, and managers, highlighting the value of collaborative research and education programs for preparing fisheries to operate productively within a seascape that includes a large marine reserve network.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Nature Publishing Group
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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