However, there is good news! A report by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association) has found that in the Tortugas Ecological Reserve, located in the Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary, everyone has benefited from conservation efforts and "no-take" zones.
The sanctuary zone, implemented in 2001, is 151 nautical square miles. A NOAA report “An Integrated Biogeographic Assessment of Reef Fish Populations and Fisheries in Dry Tortugas: Effects of No-take Reserves” (found here: http://ccma.nos.noaa.gov/
The report had several findings, but with the key findings being:
1) Overfished species such as black and red grouper, yellowtail and mutton snapper increased in presence, abundance and size inside the reserve and throughout the region;
2) Annual gatherings of spawning mutton snapper, once thought to be wiped out from overfishing, began to reform inside the Reserve;
3) Commercial catches of reef fish in the region increased, and continue to do so.
Regional commercial or recreational fishers experienced no financial losses.
The results are fantastic news, as they prove that by implementing measures to protect our natural environment, we can benefit economically; perhaps those in charge of special marine environments elsewhere in the world should take note, and act before it is to late to protect anything.