Assessing trade-offs in large marine protected areas

Last modified: 
December 13, 2019 - 7:20pm
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2018
Date published: 04/2018
Authors: Tammy Davies, Graham Epstein, Stacy Aguilera, Cassandra Brooks, Michael Cox, Louisa Evans, Sara Maxwell, Mateja Nenadovic, Natalie Ban
Journal title: PLOS ONE
Volume: 13
Issue: 4
Pages: e0195760

Large marine protected areas (LMPAs) are increasingly being established and have a high profile in marine conservation. LMPAs are expected to achieve multiple objectives, and because of their size are postulated to avoid trade-offs that are common in smaller MPAs. However, evaluations across multiple outcomes are lacking. We used a systematic approach to code several social and ecological outcomes of 12 LMPAs. We found evidence of three types of trade-offs: trade-offs between different ecological resources (supply trade-offs); trade-offs between ecological resource conditions and the well-being of resource users (supply-demand trade-offs); and trade-offs between the well-being outcomes of different resource users (demand trade-offs). We also found several divergent outcomes that were attributed to influences beyond the scope of the LMPA. We suggest that despite their size, trade-offs can develop in LMPAs and should be considered in planning and design. LMPAs may improve their performance across multiple social and ecological objectives if integrated with larger-scale conservation efforts.

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