"Voyagers in Samoa tap into their cultures’ traditions to connect with the ocean. The preferred means of travel? The Va’a (pronounce “vaka”), a canoe traditionally used by the Polynesians to travel across the Pacific Ocean. The Va’a is not just a means of transportation — it’s a way to connect with other cultures while learning to live in harmony with nature."
News and Updates
"SkyTruth and its collaborators tracked most of the world's fishing vessels through an entire year by monitoring radio transmissions that most vessels now emit automatically in order to avoid collisions with each other."
Via Hakai Magazine
"How the coral, algae, and microbes work together is uncertain. The discovery adds yet another layer of complexity to the already difficult task of figuring out how to protect coral from climate change."
Go to virtually any MPA-related conference around the world and you’ll hear the same topics discussed. Fundraising, monitoring, enforcement, engaging stakeholders, etc. It is a truism that MPA managers face many of the same challenges, no matter their location. And there are a number of tools available to help them share solutions and lessons, from publications like this one, to reports, online discussion lists, and more.
In early January 2018, the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management released a draft five-year program to guide leasing of the nation’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) areas for oil and gas drilling, from 2019-2024. The draft, which reflects the views of the administration of President Donald Trump, is aggressive. It would make over 90% of the nation’s total OCS area available to exploration and development. By comparison, the current five-year program puts 94% of the OCS off-limits to oil and gas exploration.
Amid the ever-expanding guidance on how to plan and manage MPAs effectively, it is becoming more challenging for practitioners to gather all the existing global standards they need to consider in one place. To help address this, IUCN has drafted a document that integrates its existing Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas Standard with its other relevant MPA policies and positions (distilled from multiple IUCN Resolutions and recommendations over the years).
In 2009, the UNESCO World Heritage city of Hoi An on Vietnam’s central coast announced its intent to become a model eco-city for Vietnam by 2030. This meant the city would re-plan itself to operate in balance with nature. That same year (2009), UNESCO named Hoi An and the nearby Cham Islands Marine Protected Area (30 minutes by boat from Hoi An) as the combined Cu Lao Cham World Biosphere Reserve, with goals to improve the income of locals and to protect several depleted species, including the commercially valuable land crab Gecarcoidea lalandii.
These recent articles on MPA-related science and policy are all free to access.
Article: “Hydroacoustics as a tool to examine the effects of Marine Protected Areas and habitat type on marine fish communities”, Scientific Reports 8 (2018)