The war for marine reserves

exposing the fallacies and mistakes in ocean management

by Dr J Floor Anthoni (2003)

World-wide, under pressure of the United Nations, governments are being coerced to place up to 30% of their seas under various forms of protection as MPAs (partial protection) or as marine reserves (full protection). It is a top-down process instigated by green scientists, while lacking informed public debate. Worse still, it is based on false assumptions and exaggerated benefits, while ignoring the reality of the predicament of the sea, that of severe and rapidly worsening eutrophication from land based pollution. In these circumstances, marine reserves cannot work as they are losing both quantity and quality of life. They cannot protect biodiversity. Study this page carefully for the many mistakes made by society.
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Marine reserves were meant to be simple to understand and put in place. Protect an area from all human threats and it will return to a near-pristine state because nature can repair. The problem is that this is entirely true in an ideal situation. What people don't realise is that fishing is not the only manmade threat and in recent times not the largest either. Even marine scientists are unaware of the changed circumstances in the sea. When you don't know that other very large threats remain, you are bound to make mistakes. Marine reserves today, here in New Zealand and only along our coasts, are such a mistake. One of Seafriend's interests in the debate is to expose all lies and fallacies to enable us to do the right things for the right reasons at the right time. Our future and that of our children is just too important to do otherwise.

If your only tool is a hammer, then the discussion centres on where to put the nails.
(comment on the present state of the no-take marine reserves debate)

DOCZILLA strikes again!

This chapter takes you on a whirlwind tour, like an executive summary, through the reasons behind the various mistakes, lies and fallacies. Follow the links to detailed chapters on this website.

None are so blind as those who will not see

The question is not where to put marine reserves but what to do to save the sea

Just go over the above list again and ask yourself how it is possible that so much went wrong in the marine reserves debate. The obvious thing to do is to halt the whole process so that all fallacies can be ironed out and the right things done for the right reasons. We owe it to our children.

References used above and available for loan from the Seafriends library:
[1] Social impacts of marine reserves in New Zealand. Nick Taylor and Brigid Buckenham. Science for Conservation 217. Dept of Cons. 2003.
[2] A bloom of the planktonic diatom, Cerataulina pelagica off the coast of northeastern New Zealand in 1983, and its contribution to an associated mortality of fish and benthic fauna. Taylor F J, Taylor N J, Walsby J R (1985). Int Revue ges Hydrobiol 70:6:773-795