What is a Marine Protected Area (MPA)?
A marine protected area (MPA) is basically an area of the ocean where human activities are more strictly managed than in the surrounding waters, in a similar way protected areas and parks operate on land.
There are a range of formal definitions for MPAs, but the most widely used is from the world conservation union, where an MPA is defined as: ‘a clearly defined geographical space, recognized, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values’.
There are lots of different types of MPA’s that have been established for specific purposes in different locations and situations. Commonly however, MPA’s all have ecological, social and economic objectives.