Why create MPAs?
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are an essential insurance policy for the future of both marine life and local people.
They safeguard the ocean’s rich diversity of life and provide safe havens for endangered species, as well as commercial fish populations. They can offer alternative sources of income for local people, for example through tourism and park management. Well-designed networks of ecologically representative MPAs can also allow better security against environmental change, such as global warming.
The term Marine Protected Area applies to many different types of marine parks and reserves with different levels of protection and a wide range of activities allowed or prohibited within their boundaries. An MPA network should provide a balance between no-take zones (and other restricted use areas) and areas of multiple use.