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Volume 26
Number 1
Spring 2009
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Information Crossfile
Published: 4 Sep 2015 (online)  •  14 Sep 2015 (in print)
The importance of research archives in national parks
  Can marine reserves enhance fishery yield?
How far should a marine protected area extend to provide refuge for fish near coral reefs?
Effects of increased nitrogen deposition in wilderness areas
Ecological traps: Implications for the conservation of animal populations
Alternative approaches to reserve design
The role of genetics in understanding landscape-level ecological processes
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Can marine reserves enhance fishery yield?

Editor's Note: Following is a journal article summary of Canon Scholar Crow White's research by his Canon Scholar colleague Andrew Bunn.

By Andrew Bunn
Andrew Bunn was a 2001 Canon Scholar from Montana State University, Bozeman. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Western Washington University.

WITH MANY FISHERIES UNDER MOUNTING PRESSURE, the use of marine reserves as a strategy for enhancing fishery yields is becoming more popular. However, empirical data on the effectiveness of this strategy are rare, as is often the case with fishery data. This lack of data leads scientists and managers to rely on modeling to determine the efficacy of marine reserves in enhancing commercially harvested fish populations. A recent paper by Crow White and Bruce Kendall in Oikos describes two influential fishery science papers that come to different conclusions regarding the use of marine reserves—whether the reserves provide “equivalence at best” or “potentially improved” yield—and provide a third model analysis suggesting that reserves can substantially benefit yield in fisheries with post-dispersal density dependence, where crowding tends to increase deaths and decrease births after dispersal.

“Simply put, all models are not created equal; understanding a model’s assumptions and what questions a particular model is good at asking is very difficult for the uninitiated.”

For managers, this journal article emphasizes a classic dilemma in understanding and applying modeling studies. Simply put, all models are not created equal; understanding a model’s assumptions and what questions a particular model is good at asking is very difficult for the uninitiated. Furthermore, inventorying and monitoring underwater resources are hard for marine reserves managers. One of the few tools available to them is the judicious use of models. The progress made by White and Kendall in better understanding the links between management of protected areas and resource extraction helps push the field forward.


White, C., and B. E. Kendall. 2007. A reassessment of equivalence in yield from marine reserves and traditional fisheries management. Oikos 116:2039–2043.

Crow White was a 2005 Canon Scholar from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a postdoctoral research fellow with the Marine Science Institute in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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From the Guest Editor(s)
In This Issue
  Information Crossfile
Book Reviews
Masthead Information
The Canon National Parks Science Scholars Program: A legacy of science for national parks
Science for parks / parks for science: Conservation-based research in national parks
The rock and ice problem in national parks: An opportunity for monitoring climate change impacts
1,000 feet above a coral reef: A seascape approach to designing marine protected areas
Management strategies for keystone bird species: The Magellanic woodpecker in Nahuel Huapi National Park, Argentina
Climate change and water supply in western national parks
Mercury in snow at Acadia National Park reveals watershed dynamics
Organic pollutant distribution in Canadian mountain parks
Building an NPS training program in interpretation through distance learning
Musical instruments in the pre-Hispanic Southwest
Societal dynamics in grizzly bear conservation: Vulnerabilities of the ecosystem-based management approach
Linking wildlife populations with ecosystem change: State-of-the-art satellite ecology for national-park science
Whale sound recording technology as a tool for assessing the effects of boat noise in a Brazilian marine park
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