Skip to main content

MPA networks

Marine Protected Areas Network Report 2012 - 2018

This report provides an update on the current state of the MPA network in English waters, established under the United Kingdom's Marine and Coastal Access Act. Since 2012, the United Kingdom has made substantial progress on its MPA network - also called the 'Blue Belt' - and fifty new Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) have been designated. In broad terms, the targets of this large-scale project focus on the conservation of marine species and habitats in the MPA network.

The importance of regional networks of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and how to achieve them

This article shares strategic lessons from 40 years of experience from Graeme Kelleher on the establishment and management of MPAs. According to the author, the guidelines in the paper are at strategic and can be globally adapted, since successful methods are often similar at strategic level in different places in the world. The guidelines are summarized in a clear and brief way so they are easily to adapt by MPA professionals.

Spillover from marine reserves and the replenishment of fished stocks

No-take marine reserves are widely recognized as an effective conservation tool for protecting marine resources. Despite considerable empirical evidence that abundance and biomass of fished species increase within marine reserve boundaries, the potential for reserves to provide fisheries and conservation benefits to adjacent waters remains heavily debated.

Integrating Marine Protected Areas in fisheries management systems: some criteria for ecological efficiency

Through a review of the scientific literature and a more in-depth qualitative meta-analysis of 16 case studies distributed worldwide, this article aims to study impacts of MPAs on marine living resources, ecosystems and related fisheries and to highlight their criteria of efficiency as management tools for a sustainable exploitation. MPAs are efficient for conservation purposes and resource restoration, especially inside their borders.

Larval Connectivity in an Effective Network of Marine Protected Areas

Acceptance of marine protected areas (MPAs) as fishery and conservation tools has been hampered by lack of direct evidence that MPAs successfully seed unprotected areas with larvae of targeted species. For the first time, we present direct evidence of large-scale population connectivity within an existing and effective network of MPAs. A new parentage analysis identified four parent-offspring pairs from a large, exploited population of the coral-reef fish Zebrasoma flavescens in Hawai'i, revealing larval dispersal distances ranging from 15 to 184 km.

Effects of marine reserves on adjacent fisheries

This paper shows that marine reserves in Florida (United States) and St. Lucia have enhanced adjacent fisheries. Within 5 years of creation, a network of five small reserves in St. Lucia increased adjacent catches of artisanal fishers by between 46 and 90%, depending on the type of gear the fishers used. In Florida, reserve zones in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge have supplied increasing numbers of world record-sized fish to adjacent recreational fisheries since the 1970s.

Protected Planet Report 2016: Tracking progress towards global targets for protected areas

The Protected Planet Report series, launched in 2012, helps track international progress towards achieving Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 - a target for the global protected area network and for other related targets. One of the key messages of the 2012 Protected Planet Report was that a better understanding and more complete overview of each element of Target 11 would be helpful. The 2016 Protected Planet Report provides just such an overview by summarizing current knowledge and progress towards each element of the overall target.

SeaStates G20 2014

Marine Conservation Institute created SeaStates G20 2014 using, an interactive resource to learn more about marine protected areas around the world that includes specifics about their protection status, general history, human-use information and contact details. Previous to SeaStates G20 2014, Marine Conservation Institute published SeaStates US 2013, the first ever quantitative, scientifically rigorous national ranking of US states’ protection of their ocean waters.