Last month, MPA News presented findings from a November 2001 workshop to discuss the role of socioeconomic concerns in successful MPAs, convened at the 54th annual meeting of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (MPA News 3:8). This month, we present findings from a parallel workshop that discussed how to improve the application of science in MPA design and management. This latter workshop - involving more than 30 individuals from 10 countries - identified several priority areas for filling gaps in the use of MPA science.
The science workshop Improving Applications of Science in MPA Design and Management identified the absence of clear goal-setting and subsequent hypothesis-testing as obstacles to determining long-term MPA effectiveness. The report, available online at the website of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (http://www.gcfi.org), suggests tips for better integrating science in MPA practice. In light of the report's usefulness to practitioners both inside and outside the Caribbean region, MPA News has summarized its highlights below.