Wilson, Jono R.; Valencia, Sarah R.; Kay, Matthew C.; Lenihan, Hunter S. 2013. Integration of no-take marine reserves in the assessment of data-limited fisheries. Conservation Letters. Vol: 7(5). Pages 451-458. (Abstract)
No-take marine reserves show great promise as conservation tools, yet the integration of reserves into assessment models for data-limited fisheries management is just emerging. We develop a framework for integrating marine reserves into two data-limited assessment models: spawning potential ratio (SPR) and yield per recruit (YPR). We use Monte Carlo simulation to test the applicability of the framework to a sedentary species with a dispersive larval stage under process and observation uncertainties. The reserve-based approach increased estimates of spawning potential while reducing YPR and had a consistent estimation bias of less than 15%. Using the framework, we assessed a commercial fishery targeting grass rockfish (Sebastes rastrelliger) in southern California, USA and found that inclusion of reserves reduced the probability of overfishing. The reserve-based assessment approach may create win–win policy solutions for conservation and fisheries objectives in many nearshore fisheries with well-enforced marine reserves that target sedentary species with a dispersive larval stage.