More information on women and MPAs
Readers who want to learn more about the subject of women and MPAs - featured in last month's MPA News - may refer to the Women in Fisheries bulletin, published by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. The November 2002 edition features several articles on women's roles in community-based management and conservation in Pacific island nations. The issue is available online at http://www.spc.int/coastfish/News/WIF/WIF11/WIF11.htm.
Insurer ruled liable for damages from Galapagos spill
A court in Ecuador has ruled that Terra Nova, a British insurance underwriter, must pay a total of US$10 million to the Galapagos National Park as compensation for a fuel spill that occurred in the park's waters in January 2001. The spill occurred when the tanker Jessica - insured by Terra Nova and carrying a cargo of 240,000 gallons (605,000 liters) of fuel - ran aground off San Cristobal Island. Two-thirds of the vessel's cargo was released directly into park waters (MPA News 3:11). Terra Nova has appealed the court's decision, arguing that the case falls under British jurisdiction rather than Ecuadorian. If upheld, the compensation would help reimburse the park for its spill-response and monitoring efforts. In addition, US$600,000 would go to biologist Martin Wikelski of Princeton University (US), whose long-term study of marine iguanas in the park ended when 62% of them died at a study site affected by the spill. For more information: Eliecer Cruz, Director, Galapagos National Park, Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, Galapagos, Ecuador. E-mail: ecruz [at] spng.org.ec.
Designation expected soon: Antarctica's first wholly marine protected area
A marine area encompassing 30km2 in Terra Nova Bay, Ross Sea region, is expected in mid-2003 to become the first entirely marine protected area in Antarctica to be developed under the Madrid Protocol, which regulates environmental protection on the continent. A proposal by Italy to designate the site as an Antarctic Specially Protected Area (ASPA) was approved in October 2002 by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR); the proposal now heads to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in June 2003 in Madrid for final approval. The Terra Nova Bay site is an important littoral area for well-established and long-term scientific investigations, and its proposed regulations would strictly limit any activities that could jeopardize the area's ecology. No marine resource harvesting has been conducted historically in the immediate vicinity. In addition to considering the Terra Nova Bay designation, the June 2003 meeting will consider revised management plans for three existing protected areas with partial marine components. The proposed management plan for the Terra Nova Bay ASPA is available online in PDF format at http://cep.npolar.no/docArchive/documents/CEPV/English/wp036e.pdf. For more information on the Madrid Protocol and its system for designating protected areas, go to http://cep.npolar.no/Content/about_cep/env_prot.htm.
Designation expected soon: UK's first no-take zone for biodiversity
The waters of Lundy Island, 12 nautical miles off the southwest coast of the United Kingdom, are set to feature the UK's first statutory no-take zone for nature conservation purposes, pending approval by EU fisheries officials in early 2003. The 3.3-km2 zone, banning all consumptive activities, would protect subtidal reefs on the island's eastern side. The reefs support fragile benthic species, including seafans and cup corals, and are regularly fished for crab and lobster. Although several closures already exist in UK waters for fisheries management and other purposes, the Lundy Island no-take zone would be the first enacted specifically to protect marine biodiversity. According to English Nature, the UK government agency responsible for wildlife conservation, the protection should enhance populations of fish and shellfish inside and outside the reserve, which could provide benefits to the local diving industry and fishermen. For more information: Chris Davis, English Nature (Devon), Level 2, Renslade House, Bonhay Road, Exeter, Devon EX4 3AW, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 01392 889; E-mail: chris.davis [at] english-nature.org.uk.
Best-practice guidelines released for diving, other coral reef activities
The Coral Reef Alliance, a US-based NGO, has released a series of best-practice guidelines to provide a template for educating visitors and regulating activities at coral-based MPAs around the world. Designed to be adapted to specific local situations, the guidelines cover diving, snorkeling, turtle watching, underwater cleanups, and whale and dolphin watching. "The guidelines embrace the most commonly held management tenets for each activity covered," said Kalli De Meyer, former manager of Bonaire Marine Park and director of the guideline project. An international peer review body of experts in the field, including industry and MPA interests, approved each guideline. The guidelines are available online at http://www.coralreefalliance.org/parks/guidelines.html.
CD-ROM provides data for MPA planning on Pacific coast of North America
As part of an intergovernmental effort to encourage creation of an MPA network along the Pacific coast of North America, a new CD-ROM is available to provide baseline physical, biological, and social data on the region. Produced by the Marine Conservation Biology Institute (MCBI), a US-based NGO, the CD-ROM covers the Pacific exclusive economic zones of Mexico, the US, and Canada, and includes such data as bathymetry, chlorophyll_a (a measure of primary productivity), and location of federal MPAs and ports. The tool is intended to inspire analyses and cooperation among conservation planners using ESRI ArcView 3.x and ArcGIS 8.x products. Development of the CD-ROM arose from an expressed need by the Baja California to Bering Sea Marine Conservation Initiative (B2B), coordinated by the trinational Commission for Environmental Cooperation of North America. To order the B2B 1.0 CD-ROM, available for US$25, contact Sara Maxwell, MCBI, 15805 NE 47th Court, Redmond WA 98052, USA. Tel: +1 425 883 8914; Fax: +1 425 883 3017; E-mail: sara [at] mcbi.org.