The Long Run’s Top Three No-Take Zones
Over the last 10 years, The Long Run members have secured over 300,000-acres of marine no-take zones, protecting thousands of species in fragile ocean ecosystems around the world.
When fish stocks are depleted, it’s not only wildlife and ecosystems that suffer, communities that depend on those fish to survive are denied a source of income and food. Several Long Run members have been instrumental in persuading governments to establish no-take zones — creating marine areas where any form of extraction is forbidden. This legal protection gives fish stocks the chance to replenish, some of which age and grow to a healthy size, and some of which move beyond the protective boundaries to increase stocks available to local fishers elsewhere.
Where no-take zones have been put in place the rapid recovery of wildlife is staggering. Despite this, no-take marine protected areas are rare; the lure of fishing, archaeological finds, mining and oil is often too great for governments to approve no-take zones. Often, the private sector leads the charge, and tourism is an industry that can garner economic value from doing so. These three Long Run members demonstrate how it’s done:
- Brazil Protects a Quarter of its Marine Environment
In March 2018, Roberto Klabin, owner of one of The Long Run’s founding members Caiman Ecological Refuge, together with non-profits and tourism stakeholders, successfully established two new marine protected areas in Brazil. The area expands around Sao Pedro and Sao Paulo archipelagos and the submarine volcanic chain that connects the Trindade Island to the Martin Vaz archipelago. This momentous achievement means that 25 per cent of Brazil’s total marine environment is now protected, compared to just 1.5 per cent of it previously — surpassing the target set by the Convention on Biological Diversity. No-take zones make up 28,891,062-acres of the protected areas, which means that 17 species of sharks, 12 species of whales and dolphins, green and loggerhead turtles and hundreds of other species have the space they need to thrive.
- Misool Restores Raja Ampat’s Eden
Indonesia’s Raja Ampat hosts more varieties of hard and soft coral than any other place on earth; the diversity of marine species is unrivalled. Despite its natural wealth, this underwater Eden hasn’t been without its problems. Shark finning and destructive fishing habits destroyed reefs and decimated the shark population in the early 2000s. Desperate to turn back this destruction, Cornish diver Andrew Miners leased an ex-shark finning camp from the local community to create a dive resort, Misool, to fund conservation efforts. After lengthy negotiations with local adat (traditional chief) leaders, the team of conservationists established a 300,000-acre Marine Reserve (nearly twice the size of Singapore) including two no-take zones linked by a restricted-gear blue water corridor. In the six year period between 2007 and 2013, biomass increased by 250 per cent and a 2012 study revealed there to be 25 times more sharks inside the reserve than outside of it.
- Chumbe Improves Livelihoods of Local Fishers
If one place in the world is proof that no-take zones have positive economic as well as environmental impact, it’s Chumbe Island Coral Reef Sanctuary. On a small, paradise island off the coast of Tanzania, Chumbe Island Coral Park was set up by Sibylle Riedmiller in 1991. Her main aim was to preserve the island’s unique marine ecosystem , and to use it for environmental education. Today, Chumbe Island is home to 90 per cent of East Africa’s hard coral species and 503 reef fish species. The result is the world’s first privately protected marine park. In 2012, Chumbe’s success in protecting the reef while improving fish stocks for local fishers outside of the no-take zone was acknowledged by the UN General Secretary in the Rio +20 Report. After Conservation, Education has always been the second pillar at Chumbe, and outreach efforts to schools, fishers, local communities and government officials have helped to reduce poaching significantly. After extensive investment in education, in 2016, zero incidents of fish harvesting were reported.
In addition to the above, Long Run member Guludo Beach Lodge in Mozambique’s picturesque Quirimbas, has been working with the World Wildlife Fund to establish and monitor two marine sanctuaries, that are both no-take zones. Nikoi and Cempedak Islands (Indonesia) are working with Conservation International to establish a management plan for a Marine Protected Area with No Take Zones around both islands.