management of marine resources with proposals to augment these management strategies with a system of protected areas. Although it may seem less disruptive to rely on the familiar, conventional management tools, there are costs associated with maintaining a status quo that does not meet conservation goals. Hence, our relative inexperience in using marine reserves to manage living resources should not serve as an argument against their use. Rather, it argues that implementation of reserves should be incremental and adaptive, through the design of areas that will not only conserve marine resources, but also will help us learn how to manage marine species more effectively. The dual realities that the earth's resources are limited and that demands made on marine resources are increasing, will require some compromise among users to secure greater benefits for the community as a whole. Properly designed and managed marine reserves and protected areas offer the potential for minimizing short-term sacrifice by current users of the sea and maximizing the long-term health and productivity of the marine environment.