NEW YORK, May 19 (UPI) -- The U.S. Wildlife Conservation Society says it has documented how closures and gear restrictions in fishing areas can increase fishery revenue and profits.
WCS officials said the findings of its 12-year study will "help usher in a new era of acceptance for fishery management solutions that provide for local communities, while protecting the world's priority seascapes."
The study recorded information on 27,000 fish caught within three fishery locations on Kenya's coast: one abutting an area closed to fishing; a second located far from the closure area and with restrictions on seine nets in place; and a third open to fishing without restrictions and located far from closure areas.
In the first area, results showed fish migrating from the closure area included more preferred species and larger fish, officials said, noting the study also found seine net restrictions in the second area also increased fishery revenue.
WCS said its study is the first long-term research on the effects of fishery closures on fisher profits.
"Resistance to closures and gear restrictions from fishers and the fishing industry is based largely on the perception that these options are a threat to profits. These findings challenge those perceptions," said WCS Senior Conservationist Tim McClanahan, who led the research.
The study appears in the early online edition of the journal Conservation Biology.