CONSEQUENCES OF THE PRECAUTIONARY APPROACH IN THE MADISON SWANSON MARINE PROTECTED AREA
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The Madison Swanson Marine Protected Area was established to protect gag grouper, Mycteroperca microlepis, spawning aggregations on high relief, deepwater habitat in the Gulf of Mexico. Fishery biologists observed a decline in the proportion of male individuals in the population. The decline led fishery managers to question the reproductive health of the gag grouper population. However, competing theories on gag grouper ecology led to divergent views on the best management policy for gag grouper protection. In the end, fishery managers chose to use the precautionary approach to implement an MPA to protect gag grouper spawning aggregations. In this case, the precautionary approach had consequences that should be considered when managing fisheries in the future. I investigated the pertinent literature and participated in NOAA research within the MPA in the summer of 2006.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
SubjectGag grouper (Mycteroperca microlepis)
Madison Swanson Marine Protected Area
Gulf of Mexico
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)
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