Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India

Volume 56 Issue 1

Marine spatial planning for fisheries management and biodiversity conservation: More to be done

Guo Zhenren
doi: 10.6024/jmbai.2014.56.1.01750s-07

Depletion of fishery resources and degradation of marine biodiversity are attributed to two main reasons, i.e., overfishing and threats from intensified land-based human activities. Marine spatial planning (MSP) can be an important tool to mitigate the above-referred threats thereby conserving the fishery resources and biodiversity. Marine spatial planning is a typical ecosystem approach that can properly demarcate marine resources spatially and temporally to a variety of human activities, and meet multiple economic, social and ecological objectives. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are basic components in MSP for biodiversity conservation and fishery sustainability. Two case studies show how MSP can harmonize multiple uses of marine areas concerned and avoid conflicts; however for protection of some migratory species small or isolated natural reserves are not enough. In order to form a complete ecological system for marine biodiversity conservation and fisheries management, MSP needs to be combined with other planning instruments such as spatial planning of coastal zones and pollution control planning of river basins. Furthermore, spatial and temporal landscape ecology should be addressed in MSP to accommodate the “fisheries refugia” requirements. To this end regional and international cooperation are indispensable, and more researches should be conducted to better understand background status of ecosystem and fishery resources, and relevant management capability in the region concerned. 


marine spatial planning; marine protected area; fisheries management; spatial planning of coastal zone; biodiversity conservation.

Date : 15-10-2014