Restoration of Hong Kong fisheries through deployment of artificial reefs in marine protected areas

  • Wilson K
  • Leung A
  • Kennish R
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We provide details of a restoration programme to restore Hong Kong's marine ecosystems and fisheries through the deployment of artificial reefs (AR) within marine parks and fishery-protected areas (FPA). The programme is being implemented in two phases. The first phase has involved AR deployment in recently established marine parks. The second phase will involve the establishment of FPA selected specifically for their suitability for AR deployment and fisheries restoration. Prior to site selection, a comprehensive two-stage consultation exercise was conducted, which targeted fishers, marine users and green groups. Ecosystem simulations were employed to assess the potential benefits to fisheries arising from the implementation of the second phase. Modelling results indicate that AR deployment, utilizing 10-20% of local waters managed predominantly as no-take zones, could arrest the current decline in fisheries yield and produce significant improvements within ten years. Limited selective fishing may be authorized at a small number of AR to encourage support from local fishers and facilitate enforcement. Successful implementation must involve a high level of fishing compliance within the 'no-take' zones. Management should be facilitated by establishing community-based advisory groups for each FPA that will comprise representatives from fishers, government and academics. They will be responsible, in addition to providing advice, for assisting with management issues including fishing permit allocation. The benefits and problems associated with different restoration initiatives are discussed. © 2002 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Artificial reefs
  • Fisheries restoration
  • Hong Kong
  • Marine protected areas
  • Planning
  • South China Sea

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  • Keith D.P. Wilson

  • Albert W.Y. Leung

  • Robin Kennish

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