Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2014

Using Vessel Monitoring System Data to Improve Systematic Conservation Planning of a Multiple-Use Marine Protected Area, the Kosterhavet National Park (Sweden)

Gonzalez-Mirelis, Genoveva; Lindegarth, Mats; Sköld, Mattias


When spatial fishing data is fed into systematic conservation planning processes the cost to a fishery could be ensured to be minimal in the zoning of marine protected areas. We used vessel monitoring system (VMS) data to map the distribution of prawn trawling and calculate fishing intensity for 1-ha grid cells, in the Kosterhavet National Park (Sweden). We then used the software Marxan to generate cost-efficient reserve networks that represented every biotope in the Park. We asked what were the potential gains and losses in terms of fishing effort and species conservation of different planning scenarios. Given a conservation target of 10 % representation of each biotope, the fishery need not lose more than 20 % of its fishing grounds to give way to cost-efficient conservation of benthic diversity. No additional reserved area was needed to achieve conservation targets while minimizing fishing costs. We discuss the benefits of using VMS data for conservation planning.


VMS data; Systematic conservation planning; Marxan; Marine protected area

Published in

AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
2014, volume: 43, number: 2, pages: 162-174
Publisher: SPRINGER

Authors' information

Gonzalez-Mirelis, Genoveva
Lindegarth, Mats
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Resources

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG14 Life below water

UKÄ Subject classification

Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)