Alternate Title

Improving Applications of Science in MPA Design and Management: Workshop Report

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This workshop was convened as part of the Symposium on Caribbean Marine Protected Areas: Practical Approaches to Achieve Economic and Conservation Goals, held at the 54th Annual Meeting of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, 12–17 November 2001. The workshop used the scientific theme of the MPA Symposium, “Connectivity at Multiple Spatial Scales”, as a starting point to identify existing and underutilized tools that can improve the application of science to MPA management. The spatial themes of the earlier session, crossshelf habitat connectivity among demersal life stages and oceanic connectivity among larval stages, were applied to corresponding administrative themes within several sub-discussions. Efforts to unify often distinct technical or administrative challenges were encouraged, with an eye on practical recommendations.

Over thirty attendees from ten countries and a wide range of institutions examined issues at the interface of scientific research and practical MPA management. Participants were asked to identify positive and negative trends in our scientific knowledge and its application to the design, implementation, and assessment of MPAs. Priority areas for filling gaps were also identified. Ultimately, we combined the Negatives section with the Gaps to be Filled section, since the topics arising within each were often directly connected. The group agreed upfront to focus primarily on no-take areas (= marine fishery reserves), although, discussions of reserves within the context of larger, multi-use zoned MPAs often arose.

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