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Fully-protected marine reserves: a guide

Life in the sea is diverse, exciting, good to eat and provides a myriad of services to humanity, many of which we barely even comprehend. However, human activities now pose serious threats to the oceans’ biodiversity and their capacity to support productive fisheries, recreation, water purification and other services we take for granted. These threats come at a time when we still know little about the life that exists in the sea. Even species we have been catching and eating for hundreds of years such as cod, tuna or halibut, have unknown secrets.

Roadmap to recovery: a global network of marine reserves

The high seas lie beyond the 200 nautical mile limits that define the extent of national sovereignty by countries of the world. They cover 64% of the area of the oceans, and nearly half the surface of the planet. They are a global commons, under the stewardship of the United Nations Law of the Sea for the benefit of all nations. But human pressures on the high seas are increasing fast, and urgent action is needed to protect them from harm. Recent research shows that industrial fishing has
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Setting ecological expectations for adaptive management of marine protected areas

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are being implemented worldwide, yet there are few cases where managers make specific predictions of the response of previously harvested populations to MPA implementation. Such predictions are needed to evaluate whether MPAs are working as expected, and if not, why. This evaluation is necessary to perform adaptive management, identifying whether and when adjustments to management might be necessary to achieve MPA goals.

Large-scale, multidirectional larval connectivity among coral reef fish populations in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

Larval dispersal is the key process by which populations of most marine fishes and invertebrates are connected and replenished. Advances in larval tagging and genetics have enhanced our capacity to track larval dispersal, assess scales of population connectivity, and quantify larval exchange among no-take marine reserves and fished areas. Recent studies have found that reserves can be a significant source of recruits for populations up to 40 km away, but the scale and direction of larval connectivity across larger seascapes remain unknown.