By Jon Day
Broad pronouncements are sometimes made (wrongly) that “fishing is not allowed in an MPA.” The reality is, as shown in the accompanying figure, there are various types of MPAs and some do allow fishing.
These recent articles on MPA-related science and policy are all open access.
Article: “An appeal for a code of conduct for marine conservation”, Marine Policy 81, 411-418 (2017)
Finding: Poor governance and social issues can jeopardize the legitimacy and long-term effectiveness of marine conservation practices, including MPAs. This paper reviews key principles and identifies next steps in developing fair social standards and a related code of conduct for marine conservation.
The IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) is requesting nominations for this year's Kenton Miller Award, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated innovative approaches for effective protected areas. For this year's award, WCPA is limiting nominees to those working in the MPA field specifically. It is the first time WCPA has focused the award on marine innovation.
A new study by a global team of researchers has determined that MPA effectiveness — as measured by higher fish biomass compared to non-MPA sites — is generally greatest in MPAs that have adequate staff and budget to carry out their management duties.
By Jean-Luc Solandt, Bryce Stewart, and Alice Puritz
Brexit may be the single biggest constitutional change that will happen to the UK in its history. The UK government and civil service are still coming to terms with the process of change, the complexity of developing new laws, and the new political horizon of working with our European partners once the UK exits the EU.
The Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar officially emerged from military rule and geopolitical isolation in 2011. A civilian government now holds power, and the nation — home to more than 100 ethnic groups — is reopening itself to the world. Part of this reopening is in the realm of marine conservation: the government is partnering with international NGOs and experts to plan a system of MPAs in the nation’s Myeik Archipelago.
For a marine protected area to be effective means it is successfully addressing threats to the features the MPA was designed to protect. So if an MPA is designed specifically to protect a certain benthic community — like a deep-sea coral reef — then it is effective if it minimizes or eliminates the threats to that community.
Last November, MPA News speculated on whether the election of Donald Trump as US President would bring a rollback of MPAs — specifically the large marine national monuments that former President Barack Obama designated or expanded under the US Antiquities Act.
Article: “Marine protected areas need accountability not wasted dollars”, Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 27, 4 - 9 (2017)
Finding: MPAs are largely assessed on a single numerical target (total area), and inconsistent self-identification adds an extra level of opaqueness and bias. The consequence is an unaccountable and under-performing system of MPAs worldwide. Ineffective MPAs should be screened out; MPAs’ effectiveness should be improved where possible; and investment should be redirected toward the largest gaps in the network.