( Image by Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas www.stuartcove.com )
MARINE PROTECTED AREAS
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are important management tools. Of particular value are notake areas where removal of resources is prohibited. Within these areas, populations of fish and invertebrates are allowed to recover to the point where they replenish fished areas through the movement of adults and the export of larvae. Furthermore, increases in populations of key species allow natural processes responsible for maintaining ecosystem health to function and promote recovery of coral reefs and other ecosystems. As such, these areas are an important tool for managing and improving fisheries, as well as building reef resilience to various threats, including climate change.