Rete Regionale per la conservazione della Fauna Marina SardegnaAMP Tavolara - Punta Coda Cavallo is a node of Sardinia Regional Network for Marine Fauna Conservation

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The “Reserve Effect”

The “reserve effect” inside the Tavolara – Capo Coda Cavallo Protected Marine Area continues: fish fauna is increasing and continues to diversify, compared to the areas outside the Protected Marine Area.

This information has been confirmed by the studies done by CONISMA (Interuniversity Consortium for Marine Sciences). CONISMA was asked by area management to perform in-depth research on the fish fauna, through funding from the Ministry of Environment.
The purpose of the research was to evaluate whether if, after three years of the Marine Area, the “reserve effect” was already happening. Mr. Paolo Guidetti from CONISMA analyzed three species, both in the Protected Marine Area and in surrounding waters not under protection, from 2005 through the first half of 2007.
The three examined species were the grouper, the annular seabream and the brown meagre. The first tests showed very positive results: the largest specimens were found in the “A” Zones of the Marine Area (where fishing is forbidden), compared to the B and C Zones and the two external sites (Capo Ceraso and Capo Figari) included in the CONISMA research: 90 cm for the grouper, 65 cm for the brown meagre and 40 cm for the annular seabream.
Interestingly, fish inside the zone with most protection were on average 30 percent larger than the same fish in other zones.
This was the most significant element of the “reserve effect in the three-year period. This trend was confirmed in the latest measurements, with the positive trend owing to conservation and respect for the fish fauna. Moreover, the existence of larger fish in zone “A” also influences areas outside the zone. When the reserve is full of larger fish, the supply of food essential for their survival begins to run short; consequently, some fish will move into surrounding areas.
This is called “spillover” effect, a process which gives advantage to the little fishing.



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