PISCO scientists have been heavily involved in both editing and contributing to a recently released special issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) focused on the latest science surrounding marine reserves. The issue was unveiled at a press release in San Diego on Sunday February 11, 2010, which was attended by many of the contributing authors including guest editor and lead PISCO PI, Dr. Steve Gaines.
Each paper in the special feature describes a facet of marine reserve science, ultimately providing a multidisciplinary synopsis of cutting-edge marine reserve science. One of the principle PISCO projects highlighted in the feature is the monitoring of the marine reserves in the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, established by California Department of Fish and Game in 2003. PISCO scientists found that after only five years fished species were significantly larger and more abundant inside no-take reserves than they were outside.
Much of PISCO research is focused on the effects of networks of Marine Protected Areas and based on the extensive research and baseline monitoring conducted as part of California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA). The MLPA network is the first of its kind in the United States, designed from the ground up as a network rather than a patchwork of independent reserves. As part of a stakeholder-led public process, PISCO scientists have contributed scientific information about marine reserve networks to help ensure that these networks benefit both fish and fishermen by protecting key habitat, like larval sources, and spawning grounds of ecologically and commercially important fish.
"If the public and stakeholder process and networks are well designed and implemented, these networks can benefit both fish and fishermen. It's not a choice” says Gaines.
PISCO contributions to the PNAS Marine Reserves Special Feature (* denotes PISCO author):