Report on the concept of marine wilderness: Ad hoc committee on marine wilderness

James A. Bohnsack, Herb Kumpf, Edmund Hobson, Gene Huntsman, Kenneth W. Able, Stephen V. Ralston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


The Marine Wilderness Committee of the AFS Marine Fisheries Section recommends that the American Fisheries Society endorse the concept and work toward the establishment of marine wilderness areas. A suggested definition of a marine wilderness is: A unique or representative ecosystem or subset with geographically defined boundaries that is set aside, or “protected„ for non-consumptive usage. The major distinction between marine wilderness areas and other managed areas is that significant consumptive usage would not be permitted. The primary use for marine wilderness will be for research, education, and fisheries management. Marine wilderness areas offer several practical benefits for marine resource management which are not being realized under present conditions. Marine wilderness areas could (1) complement traditional fisheries management by allowing undisturbed population reservoirs to act as sources of recruitment and repopulation for exploited areas; (2) help maintain natural age structure of populations, ecosystem balance, and the genetic diversity of exploited populations; (3) act as environmental insurance in case of resource management failures by providing unexploited populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-23
Number of pages2
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1989


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aquatic Science
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

Bohnsack, J. A., Kumpf, H., Hobson, E., Huntsman, G., Able, K. W., & Ralston, S. V. (1989). Report on the concept of marine wilderness: Ad hoc committee on marine wilderness. Fisheries, 14(5), 22-23.