Marine Protected Areas

Authored by: Jennifer Caselle

Encyclopedia of Natural Resources

Print publication date:  July  2014
Online publication date:  June  2014

Print ISBN: 9781439852583
eBook ISBN: 9781351043847
Adobe ISBN:


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Globally, oceans are facing a large number of threats including overfishing, pollution, sedimentation, and climate change. As a result, marine protected areas (MPAs) are increasingly being implemented as part of an ecosystem-based management approach for conserving biodiversity and managing marine resources. MPAs are areas that limit or forbid various kinds of human uses. Considerable scientific research shows that MPAs increase the biomass, abundance, diversity, and size of marine species living within their borders. Increases in growth, reproduction, and biodiversity in an MPA can also replenish fished areas when larvae and adults move outside of the protected area, a process called spillover.

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