How Big Do Marine Reserves Need To Be?


The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary encompasses about 2,800 square miles off the south coast of Florida. The sanctuary was established to minimize human impacts to particularly high risk habitats, promote scientific research, and maintain natural assemblages of living resources. In a letter to Science magazine, Craig Dahlgren pointed out that the reserves in the sanctuary were being evaluated for a hoped for benefit, replenishing fish stocks, a purpose for which they were not designed. We spoke with him about conservation in the Keys and about how large reserves would need to be to replenish fish stocks.

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