This project looked at the effect of closing an area for fisheries on the development of the benthic community. An existing data set of benthic species densities sampled at different distances and angles from a platform was used for this purpose. The particular area was closed due to the installation of a gas production platform, but is likely to function as a marine protected area (MPA), with the expectation that the benthic community develops differently from the benthic community in the surrounding areas as it no longer has to cope with the impact of fisheries. Differences in development might be linked to the impact of fisheries and the effects of closure might provide an expectation for the effect of planned MPAs in similar areas.
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