Operating an extensive global network of marine parks in which fishing and habitat-stressing activities are restricted would probably be more affordable for governments than continuing to subsidize struggling fisheries at current levels, a team of scientists calculates. Creating such a network would produce about 1 million jobs, the researchers assert. Furthermore, protecting areas in which fish populations recover could increase nearby fisheries' long-term viability.
The several hundred existing marine parks cover less than 0.3 percent of the world's oceans. Last year, the World Parks Congress, a periodic gathering of government delegates, recommended protecting 20 to 30 percent of marine areas to combat declining fish stocks and destruction of habitats.
Extrapolating from data on 83 marine parks throughout the world, Andrew Balmford of the University of Cambridge and his U.K. colleagues estimated operating expenses for the proposed larger network. Annual costs could b