Dear MPA News:

The worldwide clarion call for “no-take zones” has me worried. Have we so failed in management that we must now totally close MPAs to fishing and other uses? Controlled and balanced use of resources through management programs used to be our objective. Now we seem to be giving up on management and turning to closed areas as the solution for all our failures.

Closed areas may seem easier in execution but could be seen as a simple-minded approach compared to intelligent management of activities in MPAs, which includes exclusion in certain replenishment areas.

John R. Clark
281 West Indies Drive, Ramrod Key, FL 33042, USA. Tel: +1 305 872 4114; E-mail:

Editor’s note: Clark is co-author, with Rodney Salm and Erkki Siirila, of Marine and Coastal Protected Areas: A Guide for Planners and Managers, now in its third edition (IUCN 2000).