Use of areas closed to fishing as a diversification strategy to reduce the risk of over-fishing

Along with more traditional regulation of catch and fishing effort, areas closed to harvesting (hereafter closures) have long been used by fisheries managers as tools for the conservation and management of marine habitats. Closures may, broadly, impact on fisheries through two related but different means. Firstly, they may serve as a refuge for animals that grow within the closure and are harvested outside the closure (export of adults). Secondly, and more indirectly, larvae may be exported from the closure to fished populations.

The overall objective of this project was to assess the use of areas closed to fishing as a means of mitigating against the results of unsustainable catch limits of other management measures.

Spatial modelling was the tool used to achieve this objective.

This project was funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries project ENV1999/04.

Bentley, N.; Davies, C.R.; McNeill,S.E.; Davies, N.M. (2004). A framework for evaluating spatial closures as a fisheries management tool. New Zealand Stock Assessment Report 2004/25 25 p.