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Conserving pattern and process in the Southern Ocean: designing a Marine Protected Area for the Prince Edward Islands

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 February 2007

A.T. Lombard
Affiliation:
Marine Biology Research Centre, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
B. Reyers
Affiliation:
Natural Resources and the Environment, CSIR, PO Box 320, Stellenbosch 7599, South Africa
L.Y. Schonegevel
Affiliation:
Natural Resources and the Environment, CSIR, PO Box 320, Stellenbosch 7599, South Africa
J. Cooper
Affiliation:
Avian Demography Unit, Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
L.B. Smith-Adao
Affiliation:
Natural Resources and the Environment, CSIR, PO Box 320, Stellenbosch 7599, South Africa
D.C. Nel
Affiliation:
WWF-SA, Millennia Park, 16 Stellentia Avenue, Die Boord 7613, South Africa
P.W. Froneman
Affiliation:
Southern Ocean Group, Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, PO Box 94, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
I.J. Ansorge
Affiliation:
Department of Oceanography, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
M.N. Bester
Affiliation:
Mammal Research Institute, Department of Zoology & Entomology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
C.A. Tosh
Affiliation:
Mammal Research Institute, Department of Zoology & Entomology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
T. Strauss
Affiliation:
Department of Nature Conservation, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Private Bag X6531, George 6530, South Africa
T. Akkers
Affiliation:
Marine and Coastal Management Branch, Department of Environmental affairs & Tourism, Private Bag X2, Roggebaai 8012, South Africa
O. Gon
Affiliation:
South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, Private Bag 1015, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
R.W. Leslie
Affiliation:
Marine and Coastal Management Branch, Department of Environmental affairs & Tourism, Private Bag X2, Roggebaai 8012, South Africa
S.L. Chown
Affiliation:
Centre for Invasion Biology, Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa

Abstract

South Africa is currently proclaiming a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of its sub-Antarctic Prince Edward Islands. The objectives of the MPA are to: 1) contribute to a national and global representative system of MPAs, 2) serve as a scientific reference point to inform future management, 3) contribute to the recovery of the Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides), and 4) reduce the bird bycatch of the toothfish fishery, particularly of albatrosses and petrels. This study employs systematic conservation planning methods to delineate a MPA within the EEZ that will conserve biodiversity patterns and processes within sensible management boundaries, while minimizing conflict with the legal toothfish fishery. After collating all available distributional data on species, benthic habitats and ecosystem processes, we used C-Plan software to delineate a MPA with three management zones: four IUCN Category Ia reserves (13% of EEZ); two Conservation Zones (21% of EEZ); and three Category IV reserves (remainder of EEZ). Compromises between conservation target achievement and the area required by the MPA are apparent in the final reserve design. The proposed MPA boundaries are expected to change over time as new data become available and as impacts of climate change become more evident.

Type
Life Sciences
Copyright
Antarctic Science Ltd 2007

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