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MPA design

Integrating climate adaptation and biodiversity conservation in the global ocean

The consequences of climate change, including socio-ecological challenges, are ubiquitous and increasingly severe. To effectively preserve marine biodiversity and the ecosystem services the oceans provide, practical efforts for climate-sensitive design and management in marine protected areas (MPA) networks are essential.

Pre‐closure fishing pressure predicts effects of marine protected areas

Well-managed marine protected areas (MPAs) can be an effective marine resource management tool. The benefits MPAs can have for fish populations have been confirmed, but the biological outcomes of studies are often heterogeneous. This research determined if the levels of fishing exploitation before the establishment of an MPA could predict the effects the MPA would have on fish populations after establishment. The sizes of fish species targeted by anglers in seven MPAs in the Southern California Bight were compared to the same species in nearby, non-MPA areas.

Large Scale Marine Protected Areas Current status and consideration of socio-economic dimensions

This discussion paper deals with the topic of Large Scale Marine Protected Areas (LSMPAs) through a global analysis. The paper discusses research needs and provides insights in the benefits of LSMPAs for the marine ecosystem and the people depending on it. Recommendations on socio-economic, ecological, governance and other research topics are included in the paper. 

IUCN Global Standard for Marine Protected Areas

In this video, IUCN urges for the effective design and management  of MPAs at a global level. To support governments, NGOs, MPA managers and other people striving for this, IUCN developed the IUCN Global Standard for Marine Protected Areas; a synthesis of the IUCN Green List Standard for Protected and Conserved Areas, together with current relevant policies taken from approved IUCN Resolutions and guidance documents.

A Practical Guide to the Effective Design and Management of MPAs for Sharks and Rays

This guide provides science-based advice on developing and maintaining MPAs for sharks and rays, which are increasingly threatened with extinction. Supported by examples of MPAs around the world, the clear guidelines help to maximize the impact of spatial protection by outlining how to ensure the areas are well designed, implemented, managed and enforced for the long term. The guide builds on the most comprehensive global analysis to date of the effectiveness of shark-focused MPAs, as well as a review of known information on the movement of sharks. 

The Three new R's for Protected Areas: Repurpose, Reposition and Reinvest

There appears to be a close convergence in the international policy arena on the goals of sustainable development and biodiversity conservation, including maintaining food and water security, strengthening climate resilience, and contributing to local and national economies, among other goals. Protected area networks can help deliver on these mutual goals, but if they are to do so, we must fundamentally change how we think about protected areas, while at the same time maintaining their fundamental value in safeguarding biodiversity.

Dispersal patterns of coastal fish: implications for designing networks of marine protected areas

Information about dispersal scales of fish at various life history stages is critical for successful design of networks of marine protected areas, but is lacking for most species and regions. Otolith chemistry provides an opportunity to investigate dispersal patterns at a number of life history stages. Our aim was to assess patterns of larval and post-settlement (i.e. between settlement and recruitment) dispersal at two different spatial scales in a Mediterranean coastal fish (i.e. white sea bream, Diplodus sargus sargus) using otolith chemistry.

Assessing dispersal patterns of fish propagules from an effective Mediterranean Marine Protected Area

Successfully enforced marine protected areas (MPAs) have been widely demonstrated to allow, within their boundaries, the recovery of exploited species and beyond their boundaries, the spillover of juvenile and adult fish. Little evidence is available about the so-called ‘recruitment subsidy’, the augmented production of propagules (i.e. eggs and larvae) due to the increased abundance of large-sized spawners hosted within effective MPAs. Once emitted, propagules can be locally retained and/or exported elsewhere.