An opinion piece published in the New York Times in March 2018 – “Bigger Is Not Better for Ocean Conservation” – raised anew the issue of whether MPA designations should focus on large offshore sites or smaller inshore ones. The author, Luiz Rocha of the California Academy of Sciences, called the trend of designating large offshore MPAs disturbing, and recommended such protection should not come before coastal waters are secured.
By Jeff Ardron
One unseasonably warm April afternoon this year in London, I sat in a packed media center watching five foreign ministers from Commonwealth countries explain why their governments were going to become ‘Commonwealth Blue Charter Champions.’ It was a pinch-me moment. One full day before fifty-three Commonwealth Heads of Government were due to adopt the Commonwealth Blue Charter, and already ministers were stepping forward to lead on it!
By Carlos A. Espinosa
The colors and warmth of the tropics make Central America unforgettable. These rich, vibrant coastal landscapes have inspired marine scientists, foreign visitors, and local inhabitants alike in their efforts to protect and conserve the most pristine marine zones throughout the region, on both the Pacific and Caribbean sides.
These recent articles or preprints on MPA-related science and policy are all free to access.
Article: Davies, T. E. et al. “Assessing trade-offs in large marine protected areas.” PLOS ONE 13, e0195760 (2018)
Study: Due to global warming, today’s MPAs could be uninhabitable to most of their current species by year 2100
This is a double issue of MPA News, covering the months of March and April 2018. I was waylaid by a big project in March that took up most of my time. The current issue is twice the length of our normal ones - lots of content on regional MPA manager networks! We’ll return to our regular monthly coverage in May.
Best wishes for your work.
John Davis, Editor, MPA News, mpanews [at] openchannels.org
When each of us faces a challenge in life, our first reaction is often to ask a trusted friend or colleague, “Have you also faced this? If so, how did you handle it?”
It’s the same in MPA planning and management. Practitioners face a common set of challenges – enforcement, engaging stakeholders, monitoring, fundraising, and more – and an array of solutions have been developed at sites worldwide. It benefits all practitioners for these solutions and other MPA knowledge to be shared widely.
By Jon Day
The Representative Areas Program (RAP), which rezoned the entire Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in a single planning initiative, was at the time the most comprehensive process of community involvement and participatory planning for any environmental issue in Australia. The outcome was that one-third of the Marine Park was declared as highly protected no-take zones in 2004, with the remainder of the park also zoned to provide various levels of protection.
Many of the lessons learned from RAP remain relevant today. The following 25 lessons are excerpted from a paper published in Coastal Management journal in December 2017, “Effective public participation is fundamental for marine conservation – lessons from a large scale MPA”. The paper is available for free here. More detail on each of the lessons is in the paper.
February and March were busy months for announcing large new MPAs. Seychelles, Brazil, and Chile all reported significant new sites.
In a move that has been in the making for the past five years, the Australian government formally announced its plans in March 2018 to scale back protections for the nation’s system of marine parks. Overall, 80% of Australia’s marine park waters will now be open to commercial fishing, up from 63% under the system’s original design. And 97% of Commonwealth waters within 100 km of the coast will be open to recreational fishing.