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MPA News

Correction: Bill Ballantine

In our October-November 2015 issue, MPA News misidentified the nationality of marine scientist and MPA advocate Bill Ballantine, who died on 1 November. Although Ballantine spent most of his adulthood and career in New Zealand and was considered by many as the "father of marine conservation" in his adopted country, he was born in Leicester, England.

MPA News

The responsibilities of MPA managers are diverse and growing. While managing staff and communicating with stakeholders will always be key parts of the job, managers must also keep up with advances in MPA science, including on the impacts of climate change. In addition, managers are increasingly expected to support people as well as nature, such as by fostering sustainable development in local communities. And the technologies required to manage sites effectively — software programs, surveillance tools, even drones in some cases — add new layers of job complexity.

MPA News

The MPA Agency Partnership (MPAAP) — a forum of senior government officials responsible for designating and managing MPAs in their respective nations — is nearing its fourth year of operation. Launched in February 2012 (MPA News 13:5), MPAAP seeks to combine the knowledge and expertise of the world’s leading MPA agencies and provide global leadership on MPA issues. The Partnership comprises 16 countries so far, and is looking to add more.

MPA News

The UNESCO World Heritage Marine Programme was created in 2005 to protect unique marine areas under the World Heritage Convention. Today, the 47 coastal and marine World Heritage sites are recognized for their outstanding beauty, exceptional biodiversity, or unique ecological, biological, or geological processes. In cooperation with a variety of partners, the Programme is developing ways to support site managers with their conservation challenges, while advancing the application of the World Heritage Convention to protecting the planet’s most valuable and unique marine places.

MPA News

By Steve Rocliffe and Alasdair Harris

For many years, the Vezo - traditional fishers in southwest Madagascar - saw marine conservation as a threat, a way of preventing them from accessing their fishing grounds.  This is perhaps unsurprising in these semi-nomadic communities, where seafood is the sole source of protein in 99% of meals and income is much less than US $2 per day.  The prospect of waiting years for the uncertain benefit of fish spillover from a protected area represented too high a risk - and too severe an economic sacrifice - to be a workable solution.

MPA News

In the US state of California, where designation of a state-wide system of MPAs was completed in 2012, a new state law promoting enforcement of the state's 100+ MPAs has given field officers an additional tool against poachers.

MPA News

By Ming-Shiou Jeng, Colin KC Wen, Jeng-Ping Chen

No-take marine reserves are increasingly designated in tropical coral reefs with the goals of maintaining biodiversity and subsidizing fisheries.  However, due to lack of enforcement and replenishment, many cases of reserves - including most of Taiwan's - have exhibited little difference in diversity or abundance inside their boundaries compared to outside.  These reserves have become "paper parks" where illegal fishing continues.  Failed marine reserves lead to disappointment in local communities and discourage the advocacy and designation of more reserves in future.

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