Belize designates multi-use MPA for Turneffe Atoll; Bertarelli Foundation again involved
In November 2012, the Belizean government designated the 1316-km2 Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve, a multi-use MPA that covers the largest previously unprotected section of Belize's Barrier Reef. In a statement to mark the designation, Fisheries Minister Lisel Alamilla said the MPA's management plan will ensure that conservation priorities are balanced with those of local fishing communities and the coral reef ecotourism sector.
The designation was facilitated by the involvement of the Bertarelli Foundation, a Swiss foundation that is providing US $5 million in support of the new MPA. That support will fund an endowment to protect the new MPA into the future. (The Bertarelli Foundation also provided funds to facilitate the UK's designation of the Chagos MPA in the Indian Ocean in 2010.) The Turneffe deal was brokered by BLUE, a UK charity, and is expected to receive additional financial support from the Oak Foundation, a US-based charity already active in Belize. Fauna and Flora International and several local organizations, including fishing groups, also partnered in the dealmaking.
A press release by Fauna and Flora International is at www.fauna-flora.org/news/belize-declares-new-marine-reserve-around-turneffe-atoll. A press release by BLUE is at www.bluemarinefoundation.com/en-GB/projects.aspx.
Report: cases, lessons on Mediterranean MPAs
A new publication from WWF offers first-hand advice and experiences from MPA planners and managers in the Mediterranean region. Featuring an array of brief case studies to illustrate various aspects of MPA management, the report Making Marine Protected Areas Work: Lessons Learned in the Mediterranean is designed to serve as a practical tool for practitioners and NGOs.
It draws in particular on the experience of managers of MPAs in five countries - Algeria, Croatia, Libya, Tunisia, and Turkey. MPAs from these countries are the focus of the MedPAN South Project, a WWF-led initiative to strengthen regional MPA management. The 56-page report, as well as more information on the MedPAN South Project, are available at www.panda.org/msp.
Shipping company fined for diesel spill in MPA
A tanker ship spilled 75 liters of diesel fuel into a Canadian MPA in 2009, and the ship's owner has now pled guilty in court to improperly cleaning up the spill and failing to notify authorities. The company, Coastal Shipping, must pay a fine of Cdn $100,000 (US $101,000). The ship's captain at the time has separately been ordered to pay a fine of Cdn $15,000. A portion of each fine will go to the Gilbert Bay Marine Protected Area, where the spill occurred. The MPA is in the Atlantic coast province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and is home to a genetically distinct, resident population of Atlantic cod.
Norway's first no-take zone designated
In June 2012, Norway's Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs designated the nation's first no-take zone: a 1.5-km2 area in the Tvedestrand municipality on the Skagerrak coast in southeastern Norway. The ministry also designated four partially protected zones (allowing only hook-and-line fishing) in the same region. Collectively, the new zoning designations cover roughly 10% of Tvedestrand's fjord and ocean areas, and were initiated by municipal officials to improve management of local marine resources. The no-take zone includes an important spawning ground for cod.
Habitat mapping of the area began in 2002, and the process to zone the area involved stakeholder consultations to map uses and areas of conflict. Sigurd Heiberg Espeland of the Institute of Marine Research, who is conducting long-term monitoring and tagging of lobsters, cod and labrids in the region, says scientists will study individual fish and lobsters as they move among the zones.
For more information:
Sigurd Heiberg Espeland, Institute of Marine Research, His, Norway. Email: sigurd.heiberg.espeland [at] imr.no
Asbjorn Aanonsen, Tvedestrand City Council, Norway. Email: asbjorn.aanonsen [at] tvedestrand.kommune.no