Weh Island is a small volcanic island located offshore of Aceh, a state in northwest Sumatra, Indonesia. It sits at the convergence of the Indian and Pacific oceans, and thus the coral reefs around the island contain a high diversity of fish species, and support healthy populations of whale sharks, dolphins, reef sharks, and manta rays. The beaches of Weh Island also provide important habitat for nesting sea turtles. Unfortunately, the island’s coral reefs are subjected to destructive fishing practices, such as the use of dynamite and cyanide, as well as outbreaks of the voracious crown-of-thorns starfish. In addition, the December 2004 tsunami that hit Indonesia destroyed mangroves in the region and washed debris and sediment onto the reefs. The Wildlife Conservation Society is currently working with local communities and district governments to create a network of marine protected areas that protect Aceh’s coral reefs, sea turtle nesting beaches, and populations of sharks, rays, and dolphins.
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.