14 Aug '11, 9pm

Marine reserve's dramatic recovery shocks scientists | Nature | The Earth Times via @earthtimes

Marine reserve's dramatic recovery shocks scientists | Nature | The Earth Times via @earthtimes

Ten years ago, the marine reserve Cabo Pulmo in the Gulf of California struggled for survival. Of course, it wasn't a marine reserve back then. It was simply an overfished area that held little promise of recovery. Community members decided to bring it back to life, winning over expert advisors with their determination. They lobbied the government to protect the area, and in 1995 the government deemed it a national marine park. Today, visitors who go diving or sea kayaking in the community's thriving ecotourism programs might think they're in one of the most pristine sites known to humankind. Unsustainable fishing practices had made fish scarce - ironically, because of the high levels of biodiversity that drew both sport and commercial fishers. However, fish populations rose by 463 percent between 1999 and 2009, researchers found . Large fish like snappers, parrotfish, and...

Full article: http://www.earthtimes.org/nature/marine-reserves-dramatic...

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