Message in a Bottle's blog

Blogger picture

By anonymous

There is a spirited debate in the global marine conservation community: Should we focus protection efforts on inshore and threatened ecosystems, many of which are approaching a point of no return, or offshore and intact ecosystems under little or no immediate threat?

Some individuals argue that protecting a large, faraway area will allow a government to tick and flick the Aichi targets for a global system of protected areas by 2020 and claim that much has been achieved while turning a blind eye to continuing deterioration close to shore. They fear that governments facing hard economic times will find excuses not to invest financially and politically in the tough decisions that are required for progress close to home. They fear, understandably, that inshore protection proposals will be overlooked because they’re too hard.

Blogger picture

By anonymous

The great race to establish the world’s biggest MPA is on. You would be forgiven for thinking that this management tool – establishing vast areas where fishing of any type is prohibited – is the carefully considered best solution to a carefully described problem. You would, however, be wrong. 

Most of the largest MPAs are established by opportunity – a flagrant example of “a solution desperately seeking a problem”. When that problem has not much to do with over-fishing or destructive fishing, that inconvenient truth is shrugged away. Big MPAs grab attention and attract donors. What donor would not want to be associated with the world’s biggest MPA, especially if the designation is done so quickly and so deliciously cost-effectively?

Subscribe to RSS - Message in a Bottle's blog