Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, located in the Sulu Sea of the Philippines, is considered to have among the biologically richest ecosystems on Earth. Equal in biodiversity to any coral reef of its size worldwide, the park is a 968-km2 no-take area, and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site (www.tubbatahareef.org).
Reserve network completed for Channel Islands (U.S.) with closure of jurisdictional gaps
"MPA Tip" is a recurring feature that presents advice on MPA planning and management gathered from various publications. The advice below, from Heidi Schuttenberg, appeared in the December 2006 edition of MPA News, which featured insights from practitioners on managing MPAs in an era of climate change.
On 15 October 2007, the New Zealand government designated an enormous network of protected areas spanning 1.2 million km2 of the nation's deep sea. The 17 "benthic protection areas" (BPAs) that comprise the network will be off-limits to bottom trawling and dredging. The network covers 30% of New Zealand's entire Exclusive Economic Zone, and is considered to be the largest single marine protection measure ever designated within a nation's EEZ.
The European Symposium on Marine Protected Areas, held in September 2007 in Murcia, Spain, provided a wide range of findings and perspectives on the use of MPAs for ecosystem conservation and fisheries management (www.mpasymposium2007.eu).
Report offers priorities for coastal and marine conservation in South America
"MPA Tip" is a recurring feature in MPA News that presents advice on planning and management gathered from various publications on protected areas. The purpose is two-fold: to provide useful guidance to practitioners, and to serve as a reminder of valuable literature in the MPA field.
MPA News adapted the following tip from Guidelines for Management Planning of Protected Areas (IUCN, 2003) by Lee Thomas and Julie Middleton, available online at http://app.iucn.org/dbtw-wpd/edocs/PAG-010.pdf.
The 2007 edition of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, an annual assessment of the threat of extinction to Earth's plants and animals, contains corals for the first time. Ten coral species are now on the list, including two categorized as Critically Endangered and one described as Vulnerable. The 2007 Red List has also added 74 species of seaweed - up from just one species in the previous edition - with 10 of these seaweeds described as Critically Endangered.
Notably, all of these species are endemic to one place: the Galápagos Marine Reserve.
More than 400 people from 46 countries gathered in September in Murcia, Spain, to discuss the use of MPAs for ecosystem conservation and fisheries management, mainly in temperate waters. The European Symposium on Marine Protected Areas (www.mpasymposium2007.eu) provided a wide range of findings and perspectives, drawn from a mix of researchers, managers, government officials, and representatives of fishing industries, environmental NGOs, and international organizations.
Editor's note: Richard Kenchington is co-director of RAC Marine, a consulting firm on sustainable management of marine ecosystems and resources. From 1996-1999, he served as executive director of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in Australia.
By Richard Kenchington