Using Vessel Monitoring System Data to Improve Systematic Conservation Planning of a Multiple-Use Marine Protected Area, the Kosterhavet National Park (Sweden)
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When spatial fishing data is fed into systematic conservation planning processes the cost to a fishery could be ensured to be minimal in the zoning of marine protected areas. We used vessel monitoring system (VMS) data to map the distribution of prawn trawling and calculate fishing intensity for 1-ha grid cells, in the Kosterhavet National Park (Sweden). We then used the software Marxan to generate cost-efficient reserve networks that represented every biotope in the Park. We asked what were the potential gains and losses in terms of fishing effort and species conservation of different planning scenarios. Given a conservation target of 10 % representation of each biotope, the fishery need not lose more than 20 % of its fishing grounds to give way to cost-efficient conservation of benthic diversity. No additional reserved area was needed to achieve conservation targets while minimizing fishing costs. We discuss the benefits of using VMS data for conservation planning.
KeywordsVMS data Systematic conservation planning Marxan Marine protected area
This research received funding from the Seventh Framework Programme of the EU (FP/2007-2013) under grant agreement no. 217246 made with the joint Baltic Sea research and development programme BONUS, from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency from contract 08/391 PREHAB and FORMAS from contract 217-2006-357.
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