How much of our global ocean is protected? The United Nations target for 2020 is ten percent. Currently just three percent of New Zealands ocean waters are in marine protected areas. Another one percent is proposed. More than ninety percent of the world's oceans have no form of protection. Of even more concern is that much of what is described as MPA's are various management arrangements, which do not necessarily deliver biodiversity protection. Only one percent of the ocean is strongly protected in no-take marine reserves.
The current network of marine protected areas globally
Take a video tour of Marine Protected Areas Networks Around the World with National Geographic
Australia’s Marine Protected Area Network
Australia has created the world’s largest network of Marine Protected Areas. In 2012, Australia established a National Representative Network of Marine Protected Areas, to provide a safe-haven for marine life in the seas surrounding the continent. The video clip below tells an impressive story of Australia's achievements in marine conservation.
More Information from around the world on MPA Networks
Listen to a Hawaiian elder talking about marine protection progress in Hawaii.
The California Marine Protected Areas Network (California)
California's coast and ocean are among our most treasured resources. The productivity, wildness, and beauty found here is central to California's identity, heritage, and economy. The need to safeguard the long-term health of California's marine life was recognized by the California Legislature in 1999 with the passage of the Marine Life Protection Act. This Act aims to protect California’s marine natural heritage through establishing a statewide network of marine protected areas (MPAs) designed, created, and managed using sound science and stakeholder input.
Marine Protected Areas in the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland are making gains in nature conservation in the sea. With dozens of different types of conservation designations, the UK works hard to preserve and enhance species and habitats of local, national, and international importance. The Government committed to the establishing a sound network of MPAs. The network include six different types of designation, although other designations currently exist which affect this new network. Current designations include:
European Marine Sites: Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs)*;
Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs)
Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs)/Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSIs);
Marine Components of Ramsar sites;
Marine Nature Reserves (MNRs)
Total marine estate:
(Exclusive Economic Zone including territories)
MARINE PROTECTED AREA COVERAGE:
25.76% in 330 MPAs
9.73% in No-Take Reserves
WWF information page on global MPA networks and case studies. See the video clip below explore how local fisherman are beginning to appreciate marine reserves.
International MPA Resources
Also please see our Library archives on publications on Marine Reserve Design which also cover topics of design of networks of marine reserves.