Temperate Marine Protected Areas and highly mobile fish: A review
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have been widely used to protect benthic habitats and sedentary species. They have also been used as fisheries management tools. Historically, MPAs alone have been considered ineffective for the protection of highly mobile species, because MPAs are unlikely to cover the range of a highly mobile species for a sufficient proportion of time. Recent studies, however, have shown MPAs to be successful in the protection of certain mobile species. The majority and most successful of these examples tend to focus on tropical reef species because there is currently a lack of understanding about mobile species from temperate climates. Questions therefore remain regarding their success for the wide ranging and migratory species found in temperate regions. We reviewed the relevant literature and discuss the critical factors that should be considered during MPA designation, but focus on how these relate to highly mobile fish species in particular. We use examples from both tropical and temperate regions to illustrate how current knowledge can be a useful starting point in MPA design where information is lacking. We conclude that using studies from tropical waters can fill some gaps in scientific data for some temperate species, but that scientific evidence is crucial to MPA success in temperate areas.