The reef in Toliara, Madagascar is the third largest coral reef system in the world. The reef is made up of barrier and fringing reefs and shallow lagoons. There are more than 6,000 species of wildlife living in this reef system, including sea turtles from all over the Western Ocean and the Coelacanth, a 400 million year old species of fish. Recently there has been a lot of pressure put on the region as local human populations has greatly increased, driving up the demand for harvesting of seafood. This is one of many threats to the area. According to WCS, "global demand for shark fins and sea cucumbers has created a major export market for these species in Madagascar. Poor law enforcement and ineffective resource management have contributed to overexploitation of these and other marine species. The barrier reef is also significantly affected by climate change; past bleaching events have had devastating impacts on the reef system. Improved fishery management and conservation measures are critical for the survival of this ecosystem.”
In order to combat these significant threats, organizations like WCS and WWF have established campaigns to help protect the Grand Recif of Toliara in addition to maintain the heath and stability of their shark and ray fisheries. The reef has also been designated as a Hope Spot by Mission Blue.
Marine Conservation Institute and the Waitt Foundation provide this
interactive tool to help users visualize the locations and coverage of global
marine protected areas (MPA). This atlas provides information on over 8000 MPAs
globally, drawing on datasets from the
World Database on Protected Areas1,
US MPA Center2,
and other country- and regional-level data authorities, as well as research
conducted by the Marine Conservation Institute.
In addition to MPA boundaries and site management information, this dataset
contains information on conservation measures with a particular focus on those
restricting the exploitation of marine life.
Features on this site are designed to allow users to understand (1) where current
protection exists and at what level, and (2), where important areas for future protection
are and any processes underway to establish MPAs. This provides vital information to
countries and their citizens interested in ocean conservation, management and stewardship.
The dataset is constantly being updated and we welcome visitors to the site to provide
feedback and update content by creating a member account on MPAtlas today.