February 1st to 5th 2016
Olhão, Portugal
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Design optimization of a small coastal MPA considering different conservation targets and costs

Scientific Exhibition
Habitat Loss and Ocean Noise
Thursday, February 4, 2016 -
17:30 to 19:30

Abecasis, D. 1 Afonso, P. 2 Erzini, K. 3

1Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
2MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, University of the Azores, Dept. of Oceanography and Fisheries
3Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal

Currently, there is still much discussion on how to establish marine protected areas (MPAs) regarding their location, size and shape. These three factors were analyzed for a small coastal MPA, the Luiz Saldanha Marine Park (LSMP), for which a very limited amount of local ecological information was available at the start of its implementation in 1998. Marxan was used to provide a number of solutions considering different protection levels for the various conservation features and different costs. These solutions were compared with the existing no-take area of the LSMP. Information on 11 habitat types and distribution models for 3 of the most important species for the local artisanal fisheries were considered. The human activities with highest economic and ecological impact in the study area (commercial and recreational fishing and scuba diving) were used as costs. The results show that the existing no-take area is actually located in the best area. Yet, the no-take area offers limited protection to vagile fish and covers a very small proportion of some of the available habitats. The comparative framework used in this study can be applied anywhere, providing relevant information to local stakeholders and managers in order to proceed with adaptive management.
Marxan, marine spatial planning, marine reserves

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