Marine protected areas (MPAs), when designated correctly and managed well, provide a plethora of conservation benefits for current and future generations (i.e. increased habitat heterogeneity at the seascape level, increased abundance of threatened species and habitats, and maintenance of a full range of genotypes). The distribution pattern of an important target species from the Mediterranean Sea, the parrotfish Sparisoma cretense, was determined in the Plemmirio MPA (Siracuse, Italy) during summer of 2014. Sampling was carried out by means of underwater visual census techniques at two different depth (0/10 m and 10/20 m respectively) at four sampling sites within the reserve boundaries and two sites outside the reserve. Densities and biomasses of S. cretense were significantly higher inside than outside the MPA, however no differences in depth were detected. Our findings confirm that the enforcement of the Plemmirio MPA has a strong positive effect in retaining high numbers of commercially important species, such as S. cretense.
|Number of pages||225|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|