Fishers, Divers, Scientists, Lawyers, and Marine Protected Areas: The U.S. Experience in Protecting Coral Reefs
Tourism in Marine Environments, Vol. 5, Nos. 2-3, pp. 89-99, 2009
11 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2009 Last revised: 3 Feb 2013
Date Written: March 30, 2009
Coral reef tourism in the US provides significant economic benefits that exceed those of reef-based commercial and recreational fisheries. While US coral reefs are subject to a number of stressors, fishing has created the most opposition to coral reef protection. One solution is increased use of coral reef marine protected areas (MPAs), which could simultaneously improve reef-based fisheries. US law provides a number of mechanisms for creating MPAs but contains no clear policy in favor of coral reef preservation. Nevertheless, a tension between fishing and coral reef ecosystem protection has been emerging in US law, indicating that federal law should be modified to promote coral reef ecosystem preservation.
Keywords: coral reef, ecosystem, marine protected area, MPA, National Marine Sanctuary, National Marine Monument, Antiquities Act, Endangered Species Act, executive order, fishing
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