Ecological Benefits of Marine Reserves and Marine Protected Areas


A total of 161 scientists, who signed, "The Scientific Consensus of Marine Reserves" at the 2001 American Association for the Advancement of Science (NCEAS 2001) stated the ecological benefits of marine reserves include:

  • Long-lasting and often rapid increases in the abundance, diversity, and productivity of marine organisms;
  • Decreased mortality and decreased habitat destruction;
  • Reduced probability of extinction for resident marine species;
  • Increased size and abundance of exploited species in areas adjacent to reserves;
  • Replenishment of populations regionally via larval export; and 
  • Networks of reserves buffer against unpredictable or erratic environmental changes, providing significantlly more protection than a single reserve.
In addition, these scientists noted that an effective system of reserves need to span large geographic distances and encompass a substantial area to protect against catastrophes and provide a stable platform for the long-term persistence of marine communities; and reserves conserve both fisheries and biodiversity.

The Oregon Marine Reserves Partnership is a fiscally sponsored project of The Ocean Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization.