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    Designing Marine Protected Area networks: insights from the CHARM3 project

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    R.J. Smith and K. Metcalfe (UK)
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    This paper presents results from two analyses that have been undertaken as part of Action 12 of the CHARM3 project, which focuses on spatial conservation planning in the English Channel. The first analysis investigates the use of species area curves for setting marine habitat targets and shows this approach is sensitive to sample size and the type of species richness estimator. Thus, there is a need for developing approaches that account for differences in sampling effort to ensure that targets are objective and scientifically defensible. The second analysis combines the Marxan and MinPatch conservation planning software packages to identify networks of MPAs that meet targets, minimise impacts on fishing and meet spatial constraints on the minimum MPA size and spacing. This work is ongoing so we present initial results that show how including additional constraints on MPA size produces a much less fragmented MPA network.