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Allee effect: A reduction in fitness at low population densities, often measured as the numbers of offspring that are produced or survive. For example, many marine species reproduce by releasing eggs and sperm into the water where they are fertilized externally. The rate of fertilization is greatly reduced as the distance between reproductive partners increases. For animals that have low mobility, such as clams that are attached to the seabed, reductions in population density can prevent effective reproduction long before all the individuals have been removed. Strong Allee effects render populations vulnerable to extinction when their densities have been reduced to low levels, for example, by fishing. They also hinder the recovery of populations from low densities.
biodiversity: The variation in living systems at all organizational levels, from the large-scale diversity of ecosystems to the minutiae of genetic diversity within a particular population. It is often evaluated through measurement of species diversity in a given area or over a specified period of time.
biota: The plant and animal life characteristic of a specific region, or biosphere, or given time period.
buffer zone: The area that separates the core from areas in which human activities that threaten it occur.
co-management: Management carried out by government and local communities in partnership.
connectivity: The movement of organisms from place to place (e.g., among reserves) through dispersal or migration.
core area: The central, most highly protected part of a protected area.
critical areas: Areas within an MPA that are crucial to achieving the objectives of the MPA; for example, spawning areas in an MPA established for fisheries purposes.
cultural landscape: A cluster of beliefs, values, and norms about how are places and things on the earth are related to human behavior.
culturally affiliated: To be connected to a place, region, or resource because it has significant meaning in the culture of the individual and his or her group. In most cases, cultural affiliation requires more than one generation to establish, and for some groups the connections have been developed over centuries. The federal government uses the term in various environmental laws and regulations.
ecological reserve: Zoning that protects all living marine resources through prohibitions on fishing and on the removal or disturbance of any living or nonliving marine resource. Access and recreational activities may be restricted to prevent damage to the resources. These reserves may also be referred to as fully protected areas.
ecosystem: An integrated system of living species, their habitat, and the processes that affect them.
ecosystem approach: Fishery management actions aimed at conserving the structure and function of marine ecosystems, in addition to conserving the fishery resource.
endemism: Of or relating to a native species or population occurring under highly restricted conditions due to the presence of a unique environmental factor that limits its distribution.
environmental ethics: A cluster of beliefs, values, and norms regarding how humans should interact with the environment.
exclusive economic zone (EEZ): All waters from the seaward boundary of coastal nations to 200 nautical miles.
existence value: see heritage value.
fishery reserve: Zoning that precludes fishing activity on some or all species to protect critical habitat, rebuild stocks (long term, but not necessarily permanent closure), provide insurance against overfishing, or enhance fishery yield.
growth overfishing: Fishing mortality at which the losses in weight from total mortality exceed the gain in weight due to growth. Growth overfishing results from catching too many small fish before they have reached an optimum marketable size.
heritage (or existence) value: Site possessing historical, archaeological, architec-
tural, technological, aesthetic, scientific, spiritual, social, traditional, or other special cultural significance associated with human activity.
individual fishing quota (IFQ): Fishery management tool used in the Alaska halibut and sablefish, wreckfish, and surf clam and ocean quahog fisheries in the United States, and other fisheries throughout the world, that allocates a certain portion of the total allowable catch to individual vessels, fishermen, or other eligible recipients based on initial qualifying criteria.
individual transferable quota (ITQ): Individual fishing quota that can be transferred. ITQs typically entail allocations of a certain amount of an estabfished annual catch to individual fishermen or vessel owners. Once distributed, fishermen can buy or sell their share, or individual quota, to other fishermen or vessel owners.
integrated management: An approach by which the many competing environmental and socioeconomic issues are considered together, with the aim of achieving the optimal solution from the viewpoint of the whole community and the whole ecosystem.
marine protected area (MPA): Geographic area with discrete boundaries that has been designated to enhance the conservation of marine resources. This includes MPA-wide restrictions on some activities such as oil and gas mining and the use of zones such as fishery and ecological reserves to provide higher levels of protection.
marine reserve: A zone in which some or all of the biological resources are protected from removal or disturbance; encompasses both fishery and ecological reserves.
maximum sustainable yield (MSY): Largest average catch that can be harvested on a sustainable basis from a stock under existing environmental conditions. MSY is a deterministic single-species construct that may have difficulty reflecting the stochastic nature of stock dynamics.
metapopulation: A population that consists of a series of physically separate subpopulations linked by dispersal. Metapopulations persist as a result of a balance between extinctions of subpopulations and recolonization of habitat patches (and hence reestablishment of subpopulations).
monitoring system: A system designed to reveal the extent to which the ecological and socioeconomic objectives of an MPA are being met, as a basis for management actions.
multiple-use MPA: An approach, often employed over much larger areas, that allows for integrated management of complete marine ecosystems, usually through a zoning process.
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS): Federal agency within NOAA responsible for overseeing fisheries science and regulation.
network: A group of reserves designed to meet objectives that single reserves cannot achieve on their own. Networks of reserves are linked by dispersal of marine organisms and by ocean currents.
open access: A type of fishery in which anyone wanting to fish who has the appropriate gear can do so. A fishery is considered open access even when licenses are required, if the number of licenses is not limited and the holder does not have to abide by individual quotas or other restrictions to access.
precautionary approach: a management philosophy that favors constraining an activity when there is high scientific uncertainty regarding its effects on the natural environment, as opposed to allowing an activity to continue until proof, of either no effect or a negative impact, is obtained.
protected area: An area of land and/or sea especially dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity and of natural and associated cultural resources, and managed through legal or other effective means.
recruitment: A measure of the number of fish that enter a class during some time period, such as the spawning class or fishing-size class.
recruitment overfishing: This condition results from fishing at a high enough level to reduce the biomass of reproductively mature fish (spawning biomass) to a level at which future recruitment is reduced. Recruitment overfishing is characterized by a decreasing proportion of older fish in the fishery and consistently low average recruitment over time.
regional fishery management councils: Eight regional councils mandated in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to develop management plans for fisheries in federal waters.
sectoral management: A management approach in which specific agencies are given responsibility for managing particular sectors. Examples are fishery management agencies and tourism management agencies. The result of sectoral management of an area in which different sectors compete for resources is often conflict between users, and between different sector management agencies with responsibilities over a common area, even under the same government. There is an inherent incentive for each sector to maximize its profits and benefits at the expense of other sectors, the general public or the natural environment.
sink: Habitats in which birth rates are lower than death rates and emigration is lower than immigration, as applied to equilibrium populations. A more general definition is that a sink is a compartment that is a net importer of individuals.
source: Patches in which birth rates are higher than death rates and emigration rates are higher than immigration rates, as applied to equilibrium popula-
tions. A more general defintion is a compartment that, over a large period of time (e.g., several generations), shows no net change in population size but nonetheless is a net exporter of individuals.
spawning stock biomass: The total weight of mature fish in a stock, often expressed in relative terms, i.e., as a percentage of the mature biomass when fishing mortality is zero.
stakeholders: Refers to anyone who has an interest in or who is affected by the establishment of a protected area.
sustainability: The use of ecosystems and their resources in a manner that satisfies current needs without compromising the needs or options of future generations.
total allowable catch (TAC): The annual recommended catch for a species or species group. The regional council sets the TAC from the range of allowable biological catch.
zoning: A process in which a protected area is divided into discrete zones and particular human uses of each zone are permitted, often with conditions such as gear limitations in fishing and waste discharge prohibitions in tourism.