Africa’s largest marine reserve will protect fish, but also make them into wusses
Last week, Mozambique (that’s in East Africa, kids) declared more than 4,000 square miles of coastal waters a marine protected area. According to Mongabay, it’s the biggest on the continent. Previously, the area — the Primeiras and Segundas Archipelago — was dealing with fishing from boats both big and small; now it’ll be a nesting area for fish, marine turtles, and seabirds.
Which is great! Although a study released this week did find that fish that live bucolic childhoods in marine reserves don’t have the street smarts of fish that grow up in the mean currents of the unprotected ocean. Reserve-raised fish “are literally more catchable,” the scientist who led the study said in a statement. Normal fish flee when they see a fisherman about to throw a spear at them. Reserve-raised fish just wait and see what’s going to happen. So … Mozambique is raising a generation of milquetoast sissy-fish. But they’ll be happy! And that’s what counts.
Get Grist in your inbox