A new book aims to summarize the "state of the art" on no-take marine reserves, providing an overview of current expertise on reserve science, planning, and management. Targeting a broad audience - including non-expert scientists, students, managers, decision-makers, conservationists, and other stakeholders - the book provides analysis on all aspects of reserves, as well as detailed case studies from around the world.
Funding available for coral reef conservation
For many people, the term "marine protected area" evokes the idea of a pristine ecosystem, remote from human activities. The image of a city waterfront might not come to mind. However, MPAs can perform important functions near urban centers - serving as recreational sites, for example, or as protective zones for remaining patches of undisturbed habitat, among other purposes.
A new international agreement to protect the wreck of the Titanic from destructive activities has now been signed by two parties: the US, which signed it in June 2004, and the UK, which signed in 2003. Under the accord, parties will regulate activities such as research and salvage that may disturb or harm the wreck site. The agreement will take effect once both parties enact implementing legislation - that is, once their national legislative bodies agree to be obligated by the accord.
A seven-member panel of US scientists and policy experts has released a consensus statement on the effects of no-take marine reserves, their usefulness in fisheries management in the US, and how they may be designed, monitored, and evaluated. The statement also addresses sources of uncertainty associated with marine reserves, and recommends areas for further study. It is available online at http://www.nfcc-fisheries.org/consensus.
Correction: Komandorsky Zapovednik, Russia's largest MPA, was designated in 1993, not 1992 as described in the August 2004 issue of MPA News. Its new director, who was mentioned in the issue but not named, is Nikolay Pavlov.
Dear MPA News:
The benefits of tourism to MPAs can be significant, including the potential for generating revenue to support management (MPA News 2:8). Like other human activity in marine protected areas, though, tourism has environmental impacts. Damage to coral reefs from careless divers, as well as pollution and other ecosystem impacts from recreational vessels, are among the range of tourism effects documented in MPAs worldwide. Controlling these impacts can be as important an element of MPA management as any other.
Within the extensive Russian system of protected areas is a network of strictly protected nature reserves, called zapovedniks (zap-o-VED-niks). Dating back to 1916 when the first zapovednik was designated, this network now has 100 terrestrial and marine sites, stretching from the Black Sea to the Bering Sea. Of these, the most easterly is off the coast of Kamchatka: the Komandorsky Zapovednik, two mountainous islands surrounded by a 30-mile no-take zone. With 34,633 km2 of marine area, it is Russia's largest MPA.
Scorecard available for management effectiveness
Measuring the success of an MPA in meeting its goals can involve a significant amount of fieldwork and data collection - a challenge for resource-strapped MPAs. A new scorecard, produced by the World Bank, provides a simple, site-level tool to help managers and stakeholders assess their MPAs without additional field level research. It is available online in PDF format at http://www.mpascorecard.net.