Study shows marine reserves send fish far and wide

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) -- Scientists now have hard evidence for something they have long believed -- that establishing no-fishing zones in the ocean will help replentish fish populations far away that have been over-harvested.

Authors of the study published online Wednesday in the journal PLoS ONE bolsters state and federal policies establishing marine reserves in coastal waters that have been opposed by fishermen.

Lead author Mark Christie of Oregon State University says they used DNA sampling to match yellow tang, a popular aquaarium fish, caught in marine reserves off the coast of Hawaii with offspring in unprotected areas more than 100 miles away.

Previously, the idea that larvae spawned inside marine reserves would be widely dispersed by ocean currents was based on computer models.

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