Marine reserves increase the abundance and size of blue cod and rock lobster

  • Published source details Pande A., MacDiarmid A., Smith P., Davidson R., Cole R., Freeman D., Kelly S. & Gardner J. (2008) Marine reserves increase the abundance and size of blue cod and rock lobster. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 366, 147-158.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Designate a Marine Protected Area and prohibit all types of fishing

Action Link
Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation

Cease or prohibit all types of fishing in a marine protected area

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Designate a Marine Protected Area and prohibit all types of fishing

    A review of 14 studies undertaken between 1985 and 2002 in 20 areas of seabed in New Zealand (Pande et al. 2008) found that marine reserves prohibiting all fishing (no-take) typically had bigger and more abundant spiny rock lobsters Jasus edwardsii compared to fished areas outside the reserves. In 12 of 13 studies, rock lobsters were bigger inside the reserves (98 mm) than outside (79 mm), and in 11 of 14 studies lobster were more abundant inside the reserves (0.03 lobsters/m2) than outside (0.01 lobsters/m2). Older and larger reserves had greater effects than younger and smaller ones on lobster size (data presented as effect sizes). Size and abundance data were extracted from 14 studies of 10 marine reserves and 10 corresponding fished areas and used in a meta-analysis. At the time of surveys, the reserves were on average 8.5 years old.

    (Summarised by: Anaëlle Lemasson)

  2. Cease or prohibit all types of fishing in a marine protected area

    A systematic review of unpublished data from 11 studies of five marine reserves surveyed between 1992–2002 in the southwestern Pacific Ocean around New Zealand (Pande et al. 2008) found that overall, blue cod Parapercis colias were found to be larger and more abundant in reserves where all fishing had been prohibited between 1 to 27 years, compared to fished areas outside. In nine of 10 cases, blue cod total length was greater inside unfished reserves (25–31 cm) than outside (20–27 cm) and for eight of 11 cases, cod were more abundant inside (0.003–0.099 fish/m2) than outside (0.003–0.051 fish/m2) unfished reserves. In addition, although the magnitude of the differences varied between reserves, blue cod length and abundance was not affected by the size or age of the reserves. A meta-analysis of 11 unpublished blue cod datasets from surveys of five no-take marine reserves was done. The reserves ranged in size from 93–2,400 ha and in age since protection from 1–27 years and prohibited all types of fishing. Blue cod length and abundance inside each reserve was compared to adjacent areas outside (distances apart were not reported).

    (Summarised by: Leo Clarke)

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