Marine protected areas benefit fishermen

An international study identifies areas of the ocean whose conservation would best preserve biodiversity.

Fishermen and defenders of ocean life are not irreconcilable. Quite the contrary: according to an international study published on March 17 in the journal Nature, their concerns, apparently antagonistic, can in reality perfectly match. The result of the collaboration of twenty-six scientists, it shows that the development of marine protected areas in well-targeted regions would promote the rebuilding of fish populations, and therefore indirectly serve the fishing professionals who exploit the surrounding areas.

“By placing 30% of the ocean in reserve, we see in our models that global catches do not decrease, and even that they increase”, underlines David Mouillot, researcher at the University of Montpellier and co-author of the study “Protecting the ocean for biodiversity, food and the climate”. According to scientists’ modeling, the sanctuary of strategic areas would increase catches by 8 million

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