Conservation Opportunities Arise From the Co-Occurrence of Surfing and Key Biodiversity Areas

Last modified: 
April 20, 2021 - 9:42pm
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2021
Date published: 03/2021
Authors: Dan Reineman, Kellee Koenig, Nik Strong-Cvetich, John Kittinger
Journal title: Frontiers in Marine Science
Volume: 8

Conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services requires diverse models that empower communities to steward and benefit from resources. Here we investigate the potential of surfing resources, a new conservation asset class, and the surfing community, an underutilized conservation constituency, to conserve marine biodiversity. We conducted a spatial analysis of the overlap among Key Biodiversity Areas, Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), and 3,755 surf breaks globally. We find that 62.77% of surf breaks are not within MPAs and that 25.81% of all surf breaks are within 5 km of a Key Biodiversity Area, but are not within a MPA, suggesting that strategic conservation opportunities arise from the co-occurrence of surfing resources and biodiversity priorities. Establishing or extending protections to surfing ecosystems could increase protection for biodiversity at one-quarter of surf breaks. Sustainable management of these resources ensures their ability to provide for the character, economy, and development of coastal communities worldwide.

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