, 2011) and pelagic species of conservation value such as basking sharks (Cetorhinus maximus, Musick et al., 2004). CH5424802 ic50 Globally, fishing fleets harvest benthic target species using towed demersal gear, often digging into sediments and so removing slow growing, long lived, structure forming fauna (Thrush and Dayton, 2002). Recovery of some impacted species from just one passage of fishing gear can take decades (Babcock et al., 1999, Foden et al., 2010 and Watling and Norse, 1998). Marine managers’ best tool to protect discrete patches of
the seabed from fishing, therefore allowing benthic species to contribute to ecosystem function, is the application of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) (Agardy, 1994, Auster and Shackell, 2000, Babcock et al., 1999, Gell and Roberts, 2003, Halpern, 2003, Murawski et al., 2000 and Roberts et al., 2005). MPAs come in a variety of sizes, shapes and forms (Agardy et al., 2003, Agardy, 1994 and Rabaut et al., 2009) depending on the ‘features’
that they are designated to protect, a feature being a species or specific habitat that has received formal protection from a type of human activity. The size and level of protection from human activity in MPAs ranges from 1 to 1000s km2; and from ‘No-take’ to seasonal fishing closures (Lester and Halpern, 2008). Protection of the features can be limited to the features’ periphery such as Special Areas of Conservation in Europe (European Commission, 2000) or protection Enzalutamide can surround features and therefore protect the whole ‘site’ such as Tortugas Ecological Reserve, Buck Island National Reef Monument and Chagos (Jeffrey et al., 2012, Kendall et al., 2004 and Koldewey et al., 2010). The former relies on human ability to adequately draw
lines around the features’ functional extent, which is generally considered to be the visible, physical extent Idelalisib datasheet of the feature (e.g. reef) used as an analogue of the associated species that require protection. Some European and international MPAs, such as La Restinga Marine Reserve (Spain) and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (Australia) (Claudet et al., 2008 and Day, 2002), have surrounding areas called Buffer Zones to prevent direct and indirect physical interaction and disturbance of fishing gear on the feature(s) of interest. In 2008, a statutory MPA in south west UK was designated to protect rocky reef habitat (Fig. 1). The management regime involved protecting all of the seabed at the ‘site’ level. This equated to a 206 km2 exclusion zone from towed demersal fishing gear across a MPA that contained a mosaic of rocky reef (bedrock, boulders and cobbles), pebbly sand and soft muddy sediments. To assess the success of the MPA, an annual monitoring program commenced soon after this MPA was instigated. The aim was to determine if and when recovery occurred for epibenthic assemblages on rocky reefs. A flying array with mounted High Definition video (Fig.