A new study revealed that undersea life at the Cabo Pulmo National Park of Mexico rebounded by more than 460 percent over 10 years after imposing a 15-year ban on fishing and other extractive activities.
Researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, conducted a study from 1999 to 2009. They recently published their findings in the journal Public Library of Science (PLoS) ONE.
They found that biomass, or the total amount of fish in the reserve ecosystem, boomed over 460 percent in the decade, according to International Business Time.
Researchers published the findings of the study in the Public Library of Science journal.
It was in 1995 that the Cabo Pulmo National Park was protected to preserve the largest coral community in the Gulf of California. After four years, when researchers checked the marine park, they didn't find so many fishes, except of a few medium-sized ones.
In 2009, researchers again dove into the water of Cabo Pulmo again to monitor the fish population, and were surprised to see that fish biomass at the park increased to 463 percent and the biomass of top predators and carnivores increased by 11 and 4 times, respectively.
Researchers found thousands of large fishes, such as snappers, groupers, trevally, manta rays, and even sharks. However, fish biomass in other marine protected areas or open access areas did not change significantly over the same time period, informs International Business Times.
Most importantly for the people of Cabo Pulmo, since their reef is now the only healthy reef left in the Gulf of California, it has attracted divers, which bring economic revenue. And fishermen around the marine reserve are catching more fish than before thanks to the spillover of fish from the no-take marine reserve. It seems like a win-win to me, reports National Geographic.