US Launches Institute for MPA Training
The Institute for Marine Protected Area Training and Technical Assistance will
develop and provide a variety of training and assistance to MPA managers, scientists,
fishermen, and other interested parties, primarily from the US. It is created by the US
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and will be located at NOAA's
Coastal Services Center in Charleston, South Carolina.
NOAA invites inquiries from students and professionals interested in
collaborating with the institute's staff and its partners. More information on the
institute and the national MPA Center in general is available on a new website,
"Marine Protected Areas of the United States", co-managed by the US Department
of Commerce and Department of the Interior. The website's address is http://mpa.gov.
For further information, please contact:
14th and Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20230
Tel: +1 (202) 482 5034
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May Be Killing Loggerhead Turtles
Loggerhead sea turtles seem to be affected by a
mysterious toxin that works on the central nervous system. This may be the reason for the
findings of ill or dead individuals. "It appears they have some neurotransmitter
problems related to some type of toxin", said biologist Glenn Harman. Awaiting the
results of a necropsy. Only speculations can be made as to the identity, source and
precise effect of the toxin. A theory is that the turtles, which eat local jellyfish and
build up a tolerance to the toxins, may have consumed an alien jellyfish brought by a
ships ballast water. There is also the possibility of a bacteria or virus being the
cause of the loggerhead turtles disease.
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Financing Mechanisms for MPAs
(Adapted from MPA NEWS Vol. 2, No. 8 February 2001
MPA Managers often face the problem of meeting their conservation goals with a
budget that is less than needed. Short on funding, conservation programs and visitor
services must be limited. Since this situation is far from ideal many working with MPAs
are trying hard to find additional sources of funding. By harnessing the economic
potential of an MPA they can use that revenue to support the costs of resource protection.
Around the world, MPA practitioners have instituted self-financing programs, and
in many cases these programs have played an important role in supporting protected areas.
Tourism is of course one major source of revenue. "Thanks to tourism, the
environmental resources available in and around protected areas become, potentially, an
extremely valuable economic asset," says Nick Marchesi of Pescares Italia Srl, an
Italian consulting firm, that envisions a future in which protected areas will benefit
from tourism-based revenue. "Nevertheless, we keep managing them as inexhaustible
common goods to which everybody has to be granted free and unconditioned access. Although
ethically sound, this management approach is in fact undermining the enormous value of
these resources, preventing us from managing them effectively."
But, besides tourism there are other methods that can be used. In Fijii, one
project is using bioprospecting as a way to generate cash for area communities while
raising awareness of the value of local biodiversity. Bioprospecting involves the
collection and testing of biological resources for the purpose of developing new products,
often medicines. It is a controversial activity and its potential downsides include the
fact that short-term financial benefits from sampling fees are not sustained for very
long, and that there is typically little investment in the community in terms of
infrastructure. In addition, calculating the magnitude and distribution of eventual
profits can be difficult.
The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has published a guidebook to assist
protected area managers in identifying and securing appropriate and sustainable finance. Financing
Protected Areas: Guidelines for Protected Area Managers provides a step-by-step
process for creating business and financial plans, and discusses mechanisms for generating
revenue flows. The book is intended to serve as a living document through the associated
IUCN website of http://biodiversityeconomics.org/finance/topics-38-00.htm,
The full text of the book is downloadable for free from that site; IUCN will
update the book on the site as new material becomes available. In addition, the website
offers material not found in the book, including a list of donor organizations by global
region, along with links to those donors' websites. The book can also be downloaded from http://wcpa.iucn.org/pubs/publications.html.
Gives Valuable Lessons on MPA Inventories
New marine protected
areas are designated worldwide every year, and to make an analysis of the coverage offered
by MPAs is becoming more and more difficult. For managers to assess gaps in habitat
protection there is a need to first evaluate the existing MPAs. This can be painstaking in
regions where there are dozens, or hundreds of areas designated under different regulatory
regimes. Inventories are nevertheless necessary for effective planning, and regional MPA
databases are becoming more common.
"Marine Protected Areas and Fishery Closures in British Columbia" is a new
book that may offer a useful model for MPA managers interested in executing an inventory
of their own. The authors of the book, Glen Jamieson and Joanne Lessard recommends others
in the MPA inventory process around the world to contact them who have gone before them,
including themselves. "They dont need to go through the learning pains we
There is an accompanying web site (http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/oceans/closure/default.htm)
which allows visitors to search more detailed maps of each MPA that was analyzed for the
project. This site is to be a living document and will be updated with newer data as they
are added to the database.
For more information:
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Glen Jamieson or Joanne Lessard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Pacific Biological Station
Nanaimo, BC V9R 5K6
Tel: +1 (250) 756 7223
E-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Network to Help Park Managers Cope with Global Changes
The Protected Areas Learning Network (PALN) is a project launched by the World
Resources Institute (WRI), the World Conservation Union (IUCN), Conservation International
and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This is
an international network to help the worlds protected area managers to anticipate
and cope with global changes brought about by climate change, poverty and population
growth. It will be web-based, and a place where current information on management issues
can be accessed by park managers and scientists.
Marine Reserves the Best Hope for Ocean Species
There is now compelling scientific evidence that marine reserves conserve both
biodiversity and fisheries, and could help to replenish the seas and depleted fish stocks,
says a scientific consensus statement signed by 150 of the world's leading marine
scientists. The statement was released February 17 at the annual American Association for
the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting. The statement is the culmination of a
three-year, international effort to advance scientific understanding of marine reserves.
"All around the world there are different experiences, but the basic
message is the same: marine reserves work, and they work fast," said Jane Lubchenco
(Oregon State University, USA), a past president of AAAS and a leader of the three-year
effort. "It is no longer a question of whether to set aside fully protected areas in
the ocean, but where to establish them."
The declining state of the oceans and the collapse of many fisheries creates a
critical need for more effective management of marine biodiversity, populations of
exploited species and the overall health of the oceans, marine scientists believe. While
MPA's and Marine Sanctuaries have been designated to enhance conservation, they often
allow activities such as fishing and mining, whereas marine reserves do not.
The consensus statement recommends that marine resource managers use reserves as
a "central management tool" for achieving long-term fishery and conservation
benefits. It concludes that networks of reserves, rather than isolated single reserves,
will be necessary to buffer against environmental variability and catastrophes.
A research team, based at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and
Synthesis (University of California, Santa Barbara), examined the effects of reserves on
fish populations. The team's study of more than 100 reserves from around the world
indicated that after one to two years of protection, within marine reserves:
- population densities were on average 91 percent higher than those outside
- biomass was 192 percent higher
- average organism size was 31 percent higher
- species diversity was 23 percent higher
"The results are startling and consistent," said Dr. Robert Warner of
the University of California, Santa Barbara. "We now have strong evidence that
reserves work. Within and around marine parks, fish population doubles, fish size grows by
30 percent and reproduction triples."
"Furthermore, it all happens within two to four years and it lasts for
decades," Warner said.
The size and abundance of exploited species also increases in areas adjacent to
reserves, the study found. Reserves serve as natural hatcheries, replenishing populations
throughout the region as young fish and other species spill over beyond reserve
The consensus statement on marine reserves is available online at the following
For more information:
Jane Lubchenco, Department of Zoology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
97331, USA. Tel: +1 541 737 5337; E-mail: email@example.com.
Robert Warner, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, University
of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA. Tel: +1 805 893 2941; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adapted from Cat Lazaroff, ENS http://ens-news.com/ens/feb2001/2001L-02-22-06.html
and MPA News Vol. 2. No. 8 March 2001 http://depts.washington.edu/mpanews/MPA17.htm#Consensus
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Mother Jones Action Atlas for Coral Reefs
That the coral reefs of this planet are in bad shape is no secret.
On the web site of Mother Jones there is an Action Atlas, where the regions with coral
reefs can be explored on the net. The Atlas makes a list of the particular threats to
regions and selected countries, and also provides links to NGOs and activist groups
addressing the problems. This Atlas can be found on http://www.motherjones.com/coral_reef/
|Coral Bleaching Video
A short film on coral bleaching and the marine environment was
made by biologist and journalist André Maslennikov during an expedition made within The
Southern Seychelles Atoll Research Programme 1998. There is a VHS copy of the video for
sale, as well as another video made for the Swedish television featuring a report from the
expedition, the work performed, coral bleaching and some interviews with the researchers.
Both films are 95 US$ including shipping.
If interested in buying copies of these films, please specify
the system being used - PAL, NTSC or SECAM and contact:
AM Reportage AB
752 63 Uppsala
Tel: +46 18 46 34 00
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MPA Perspective: MPA Revenue Generation and the User Fee Option
"MPA Perspective: MPA Revenue Generation and the User Fee
Option" By Kreg Lindberg, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia
As illustrated in the recent MPA News article on self-financing
(March 2001), user fees like the US$10 dive fee at Bonaire can make important
contributions to the funding of MPAs. Nonetheless, there are several conceptual and
practical issues facing MPA managers when deciding whether to charge fees. This article
briefly discusses some of these issues in the context of user fees at Belizean MPAs.
The article in full can be read online at http://depts.washington.edu/mpanews/MPA18.htm
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MPAs and Tourism: Stakeholders Work to Build a Productive
For the managers of MPAs its quite a task to manage the relationship
between tourism and marine protected areas. MPAs are often unique ecosystems which makes
them attractive to tourists, for scuba diving, sight seeing and other activities. But, the
tourists, can quickly degrade the very resources theyve come to see if not managed
Divers taught to be conservationists? This is the plan of Angelo Mojetta, who
believes that if scuba divers are adequately trained how to minimize the negative impacts
they can have on the underwater environment there is no need to restrict them from MPAs.
Mojetta, a marine biologist and committee member of the Italian diving equipment marketing
association, believes several restrictions to divers in federal Italian reserves are too
severe. Many divers are open to the idea of daily or annual limits on the number of
divers, and fees. But, if divers were to be educated to be better conservationists, which
should be under the reserve authorities attention and not left to diving schools and
aquaria, the divers could be transformed from being mere consumers of the sea to be real
living resources of the aquatic environment.
Murray Rudd also sees an economic value that can come from linking MPAs and dive
tourism. Rudd has researched the potential value of increased grouper size and abundance
to the dive tourism industry in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Several respondents to a
survey made by Rudd and his co-investigators would be willing to pay an extra US$ 10 or
more for a trip featuring an abundance of groupers per dive instead of just one (47 % of
the answers). Twenty per cent of the respondents were willing to pay an extra US$ 10 or
more to see large grouper instead of small ones. This could prove the economic incentive
to introduce no-take-zones if some of the revenue generated from increased dive fees was
to go to the fishermen, to compensate them for lost incomes.
Adapted from MPA News, Vol. 2, No. 9