By Dr Peter JS Jones, Dept of Geography, University College London (P.J.Jones [at] ucl.ac.uk)
Interesting tension between Edgar et al's paper (2014, http://openchannels.org/literature-library/1391627691) arguing for large, isolated MPAs, isolation often meaning remote offshore, relatively unimpacted sea areas, even though they argue it does not necessarily mean this. So does remote often equate to residual, which Devillers et al (2014, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/aqc.2445/abstract) criticise as biasing marine conservation away from impacted sea areas that are under pressure?
Of course, we need BOTH types of MPA, i.e. NEOLI MPAs, which will tend to be in more remote, lightly-used, unimpacted sea areas and smaller MPAs in more metropolitan, intensely-used and impacted sea areas that will need to be pursued in more participative and opportunistic ways. It is not a question of whether NEOLI MPAs are the only 'real' MPAs or of whether focusing on NEOLI MPAs biases conservation towards residual seas and away from metropolitan, intensely-used and impacted sea areas where MPAs are 'really' needed. The fact that we need a DIVERSITY of types of MPA is the message the MPA comminity needs to get out there and work with, otherwise we may polarise arguments leading to a business-as-usual approach amongst decision-makers, as MPA scientists continue to engage in polarised arguments?
Peter JS Jones, author of Governing MPAs - reslilience through diversity (http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9781844076635/)