Letters to the Editor

MPA News

Dear MPA News:
Bill Ballantine's attempt to clarify terms for marine area conservation falls short of the mark (MPA News 4:1). Terminology has already been pretty much worked out in the past decade. To use the term "reserve" to mean only a fully protected area is not helpful. An area designated a marine reserve in many countries may include a mix of uses within its scope.

The confusion over terms and practices can be minimized by designated "zoning", which has been practiced for many years to address multiple use. With use zoning, certain areas within an MPA are selected for full protection. This is rational and simple, plus it provides space for general conservation surrounding the fully protected part - which Ballantine terms "reserve" and others call "no-take zone". IUCN terms such areas (zones) "strictly protected".

A discussion of zoning and terminology for multiple use areas and fully protected areas appears in "Zoning - lessons from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park" (Ocean and Coastal Management, Vol. 45, Nos. 2&3, 2002, by J.C. Day).

John R. Clark
P.O. Box 420-313, Ramrod Key, FL 33042, USA. Tel: +1 305 872 4114; E-mail: JohnRClarkX [at] cs.com.

[Editor's note: John R. Clark is co-author of Marine and Coastal Protected Areas: A Guide for Planners and Managers (2000, IUCN).]


Dear MPA News:
I read and strongly agreed with Tundi Agardy's contribution (MPA News 3:11) and I agree with the substance of Bill Ballantine's article in the July 2002 issue (4:1). However, there are two points I'd like your readers to know - in relation to nomenclature and scale - so that they understand Tundi's points.

1. The definition of MPAs used by IUCN, the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC), etc. has seven categories. One of these, Category Ia, totally excludes "take" [i.e. is a no-take MPA]. The other, Cat Ib, allows only limited take by indigenous, traditional communities. The term "reserve" is often used to mean "no-take" but, like MPA, can mean a less protected area. Tundi was using the term MPA in its intended way, to include but not be limited to no-take MPAs or reserves.

2. Readers should be aware that, while Bill Ballantine's figure of 4.5% of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is no-take, this amounts to more than 16,000 km2. It would therefore be wrong to conclude that this amount is insignificant, since it exceeds by a great margin the total area of no-take MPAs in nearly any other country. As well, readers should be aware that trawling - perhaps the most damaging of fishing techniques - is prohibited in 50% (172,000 km2) of the MPA.

Graeme Kelleher
12 Marulda Street, Arenda, Canberra ACT 2614, Australia. Tel: +61 2625 11402; E-mail: g.kelleher [at] gbrmpa.gov.au.

[Editor's note: Graeme Kelleher is a former chairman and chief executive of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, and has edited and authored several MPA-related publications, including IUCN's Guidelines for Establishing Marine Protected Areas (1999).]