EIUI Team Member Raises Questions about the Practice of Establishing Remote Very Large Marine Protected Areas

In a recent viewpoint paper in Marine Policy, EIUI team member, Elizabeth De Santo, and Peter Jones argue that “recent increases in the designation of remote, very large marine protected areas (VLMPAs) around the world threaten to undermine the very purpose and objectives of the Aichi biodiversity targets they are aiming to address.” In brief, the authors suggest that the VLMPAs, such as the recently announced Papahānaumokuākea marine park off Hawaii, may convey the impression that the global community is moving at a reasonable pace to meet the goal to designate 10% of the world’s oceans for protection for biological diversity purposes by 2020, when the information about the establishment of the VLMPAs may be misleading. In effect, this information may be used to divert attention away from creating many smaller marine protected areas closer to shorelines where overfishing and other resource issues may be more challenging matters for policy makers and politicians as well as many stakeholders. Establishing the latter will be needed, however, to meet the 2020 goal that aims to reduce intense pressures on marine biodiversity. Further details about the paper can be found in the abstract at this link, and the full paper is noted below.



Jones, P. J. S., & De Santo, E. M. (2016). Is the race for remote, very large marine protected areas (VLMPs) taking us down the wrong track? Marine Policy, 73, 231-234. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2016.08.015


Further Reading

Jones, P. J. S., & De Santo, E. M. (2016, September 1). The race for vast remote “marine protected areas” may be a diversion. The Conversation. [link]

Vidal, J. (2016, September 2).  Hawaii and other big marine protected areas “could work against conservation.” The Guardian. [link].


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