Marine protected areas (MPAs) are becoming a favoured management strategy for the conservation of marine biodiversity. We present an analysis of how fishery data from a trawl fishery in northern Australia can contribute to the process of developing a system of candidate MPAs. We investigate ways of using fishing grounds, bioregion and depth information as a means of classifying ecosystems, and then show how fishery data could be used in the process of selecting between candidate areas. The way that the fishing grounds are defined as surrogate ecosystems will determine the extent of the impact on fishery. Our analyses highlight some of the benefits of using fishery data in the process of developing MPAs. Early and continued involvement of the fisheries community will ensure that MPAs have a real chance of achieving their main objective of biodiversity conservation whilst possibly reducing the overexploitation of marine fishery resources.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law