According to an ABC news report new research suggests that a network of exclusion zones in marine parks, rather than one big one, could prove a better way of protecting fish. The research undertaken by the Australian Research Council reportedly highlighted the way baby clownfish managed to relocate to reefs almost 40 kilometres apart after being swept out to sea by storms.
Researcher, Professor Geoff Jones, says it proves that marine parks work for some species if no-fishing zones are clustered.
“It looks like there’s enough juveniles coming back to any one reserve that it can actually sustain itself,” he said.
“But if something were to go wrong, if it were solely relying on that, it would be very difficult. But what’s happening is that lots of juveniles are coming long distances of 20-30 kilometres away.
“It’s better to have a network because, for example, if fish go extinct in one reserve for some reason, maybe there’s been an oil spill in some area, this result means that it looks like these places can recover, they will be supplied with juveniles from other protected populations.”
In South Australia a proposal for 19 new marine parks has angered recreational anglers and raised fears of lost livelihoods for the commercial fishing industry.
An open forum on the ever-growing marine parks issue will be aired today (Friday March 27) and Monday March 30 on ABC national radio between the hours of 12-1pm. To have your say on the issue contact David Claughton on 8333 2996.