This is one of the most biologically diverse regions of the world's oceans, including an important migration route for critically endangered Pacific leatherback turtles. The western and central Pacific contains the world's largest tuna fishery, with fleets from Asia, Europe and elsewhere exploiting these seas. Over half of the tuna consumed worldwide is taken from this area, especially from the waters of the Pacific Island nations. The impact of these tuna fisheries is the greatest current threat to this region, with concerns over the survival of some tuna species like bigeye and yellowfin. The associated bycatch from tuna fishing also endangers threatened species of sea birds, sharks and turtles.
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.