Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2020

DOI

10.1111/cobi.13535

Publication Title

Conservation Biology

Pages

30 pp.

Abstract

The key to the conservation of harvested species is the maintenance of reproductive success. Yet for many marine species large, old individuals are targeted despite their disproportionate contribution to reproduction. We hypothesized that a combination of no-take marine protected areas (MPAs) and harvest slot limits (maximum and minimum size limits) would result in the conservation of large spawning individuals under heavy harvest. We tested this approach under different harvest intensities with a 2-sex, stage-structured metapopulation model for the Caribbean spiny lobster (Panulirus argus). P. argus is intensively harvested in the Caribbean, and in many localities large, mature individuals no longer exist. No-take MPAs and harvest slot limits combined rebuilt and maintained large mature individuals even under high harvest pressure. The most conservative model (a 30% MPA and harvest slot limit of 75-105 mm) increased spawner abundance by 5.53E12 compared with the fishing status quo at the end of 30 years. Spawning stock abundance also increased by 2.76-9.56E12 individuals at a high harvest intensity over 30 years with MPAs alone. Our results demonstrate the potential of MPAs and harvest slot limits for the conservation of large breeding individuals in some marine and freshwater environments. Decisions on which management strategy best suits a fishery, however, requires balancing what is ecologically desirable with what is economically and socially feasible. Article impact statement: Marine protected areas and harvest slot limits together can conserve large breeding individuals and support population sustainability.

Comments

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article:

Gnanalingam, G., Gaff, H., & Butler, M. J. (2020). Conserving spawning stocks through harvest slot limits and no-take protected areas. Conservation Biology, 30 pp. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13535,

which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13535. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

Original Publication Citation

Gnanalingam, G., Gaff, H., & Butler, M. J. (2020). Conserving spawning stocks through harvest slot limits and no-take protected areas. Conservation Biology, 30 pp. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13535

ORCID

0000-0002-6052-6659 (Butler)

Available for download on Tuesday, May 11, 2021

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