Monday, August 11, 2008

The Power Of Creating Marine Reserves

In an interview with Elizabeth Kolbert published in OnEarth, Kolbert talked about the power of setting aside marine reserves to restore habitats and fisheries. In marine reserves, all the fish and other sea life get bigger since no fishing is allowed.

What this means is that these larger individuals live longer and have more young. As an example, a 14-inch vermilion rockfish will generate about 150,000 young. Let it grow to 24 inches and it will generate 1.7 million babies! If this was a financial investment, that would be quite a return! Come to think of it, it is an investment – an investment in our collective future!

The Australians have even turned a third of the Great Barrier Reef into a reserve network. South Africa has decided to set aside a quarter of its coastline in reserves. In the US we have only set aside 1 percent of our coastal waters in reserves.

One way to save our fish species is to support the establishment of more coastline reserves.

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