the ocean's parks and refuges


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We are excited to announce an opportunity to secure significant funding for MPAtlas.org thanks to a generous challenge grant from the Waitt Foundation. If we raise $150,000 by December 15th, the Waitt Foundation will match this amount. Please help us reach this goal and support this vital ocean conservation tool by making a donation today.

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New Zealand Announces One of the World's Largest Marine Reserves

New Zealand will create one of the largest marine protected areas in the world, spanning an area of 620,000 sq km.

The Kermadec ocean sanctuary will be one of the world’s most significant fully protected ecosystems, the prime minister of New Zealand, John Key, told the UN general assembly in New York.

The sanctuary is in the South Pacific Ocean, about 1000km north-east of New Zealand, and expands a marine reserve that surrounds a clutch of small islands.

Read more about this reserve

How Much Has Been Promised?

Today, only 2.1% of the world’s oceans are protected in marine protected areas, and globally only 0.9% are protected strongly in no-take marine reserves.

With the implementation of 22 currently proposed MPAs or MPA networks, the global percentage of marine protected areas would rise from its current 2.1% to 6.0%. The bulk of this increase would be based on proposed MPAs in Australia, Cook Islands, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, and Antarctica. Encouragingly, many of these expansions are expected to include no-take marine areas.  No-take marine reserves would be increased from 0.9% to 2.4% of our seas.

New England Marine Monuments Proposed

National groups are calling for sprawling areas in off Cape Ann, Cape Cod and Rhode Island to be declared the first “marine national monument” on the Eastern Seaboard.

Now the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and partners such as the National Geographic Society, Pew Charitable Trusts and the Natural Resources Defense Council are seeking protections for the Cashes Ledge Closed Area, about 80 miles due east of Gloucester in the Gulf of Maine, and the New England Canyons and Seamounts off Cape Cod — areas CLF describes as “deep sea treasures.”

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More Marine Protection for the Bahamas!

In its commitment to the goal of tripling protection of its marine and coastal areas by 2020 under the Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI), The Bahamas has significantly expanded its network of marine protected areas. On Monday, Kenred Dorsett, minister of the environment and housing, announced the creation of 15 new parks and three park expansions, comprising 4.5 million hectares in total.

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Why Marine Protected Areas?

Why MPAs?

Marine protected areas are essential to safeguard biodiversity and to sustain vibrant seas.

Marine protected areas can increase biomass and biodiversity in tropical and temperate ecosystems, as well as serve as insurance policies against the impacts of fishing and other destructive activities. If managed properly, they are an effective way of protecting marine ecosystems along with their cultural and historical heritage for us and future generations.

Learn Why Marine Protected Areas Work

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  • What is protected where?
  • Find out more about your favorite marine parks and refuges.
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Marine Protected Area statistics by political or ecological dimensions.

By Nation By Biogeography (coming)

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