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Using Vessel Monitoring System Data to Improve Systematic Conservation Planning of a Multiple-Use Marine Protected Area, the Kosterhavet National Park (Sweden)

Journal article
Authors Genoveva Gonzalez-Mirelis
Mats Lindegarth
Mattias Sköld
Published in Ambio
Volume 43
Issue 2
Pages 162-174
ISSN 0044-7447
Publication year 2014
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Tjärnö Marine Biological Laboratory
Pages 162-174
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13280-013-0413-...
Keywords VMS data, Systematic conservation planning, Marxan, Marine protected area
Subject categories Marine ecology, Biological Sciences

Abstract

When spatial fishing data is fed into systematic conservation planning processes the cost to a fishery could be ensured to be minimal in the zoning of marine protected areas. We used vessel monitoring system (VMS) data to map the distribution of prawn trawling and calculate fish- ing intensity for 1-ha grid cells, in the Kosterhavet National Park (Sweden). We then used the software Marxan to generate cost-efficient reserve networks that represented every biotope in the Park. We asked what were the potential gains and losses in terms of fishing effort and species conservation of different planning scenarios. Given a conservation target of 10 % representation of each bio- tope, the fishery need not lose more than 20 % of its fishing grounds to give way to cost-efficient conservation of ben- thic diversity. No additional reserved area was needed to achieve conservation targets while minimizing fishing costs. We discuss the benefits of using VMS data for conservation planning.

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