Evidence of economic benefits from marine protected areas





marine, conservation, fisheries, reserve, biodiversity, tourism, sustainability, economic


Marine protected areas (MPAs) have been used for biodiversity conservation for decades. However, critics argue that evidence of their economic benefits is weak, particularly with regard to fisheries. This continued opposition to MPAs for fisheries slows progress towards conservation targets and undermines the economic and ecological sustainability of the oceans. This paper provides 48 examples of fishery-related and 31 of tourism-related economic benefits in 25 and 24 countries, respectively. There was no evidence of net costs of MPAs to fisheries anywhere. Fishery benefits included increased fish stocks, catch volumes, catch per unit effort, fecundity and larval export, and larger fish and lobsters. Well-designed and enforced MPAs provide sustainable benefits for fishing communities and even sub-optimally designed MPAs can provide economic advantages. MPAs represent one of the best strategies for maintaining the sustainable exploitation of marine resources.


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How to Cite

Costello MJ. Evidence of economic benefits from marine protected areas. Sci. mar. [Internet]. 2024Mar.27 [cited 2024Apr.16];88(1):e080. Available from: https://scientiamarina.revistas.csic.es/index.php/scientiamarina/article/view/5526



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Funding data

HORIZON EUROPE Framework Programme
Grant numbers 101059988