Marine protected areas: Just for show?

Last modified: 
January 16, 2019 - 10:00am
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2018
Date published: 05/2019
Authors: Rafael Magris, Robert Pressey
Journal title: Science
Volume: 360
Issue: 6390
Pages: 723.2 - 724
ISSN: 0036-8075

In March 2018, Brazil’s government announced two sets of large marine protected areas (MPAs) in the open ocean (about 400,000 km2 each). According to the government’s ambitious plan (1), the total coverage of MPAs under Brazilian national jurisdiction will rise sharply from 1.5 to 25%, in line with an emerging global trend in designation of large MPAs (2). Although these new MPAs presented an opportunity to make progress toward biological priorities, the decision-making process instead reflected uninformed opportunism (3). Rather than meeting conservation goals, the proposed MPAs exemplify poor adherence to best practices in MPA planning in three ways.

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