Definition of Fisheries Refugia

Fisheries Refugia are Spatially and geographically defined, marine or coastal areas in which specific management measures are applied to sustain important species [fisheries resources] during critical phases of their life-cycle, for their sustainable use.

Fisheries Refugia should:

  1. Not be simply “No Take Zones”
  2. Have the objective of sustainable use for the benefit of present and future generations
  3. Provide for some areas within refugia to be closed due to their critical importance [essential contribution] to the life cycle of a species or group of species
  4. Focus on areas of critical importance in the life cycle of fished species, including spawning and nursery grounds, or areas of habitat required for the maintenance of brood stock;
  5. Have different characteristics according to their purposes and the species or species groups for which they are established and within which different management measures will apply
  6. Have management plans.

Experiences in the Uptake of the Fisheries Refugia Concept

  • Use of a concept relevant to stakeholders
  • Emphasis on sustainable use rather than prohibition of fishing
  • Focus on fish life-cycle critical habitat linkages