Friday, September 24, 2010

Protecting Marine Life Around the Globe

Check out this cool interactive map of marine protected areas by country and region provided by the awesome map people at National Geographic.

Marine protected areas are areas of the ocean set aside from human activity. They're often pristine areas or biodiverse hot spots that need a break from fishing or boating or other kinds of activities. Here's a more official definition from Wikipedia: "MPAs protect living, non-living, cultural, and/or historic resources. Protections in various areas range from limits on development, fishing gear types, fishing seasons, catch limits, moorings, to complete bans on removing marine life of any kind."

It's been shown that MPAs can help drive healthy oceans (think biodiversity) and often give depleted fish stocks a much-needed breather on their way to (hopefully) recovery.

Although less than 2% of the world's oceans are protected this way, it's still good to hear there are 5,000 MPAs and counting. Here's to another 5,000 sooner than later.


Photo courtesy of National Geographic

1 comment:

Ken said...

Excellent post illustrating once again the challenges we face in the attempts to control overfishing. However, I suggest that we need to start applying the various bodies of work dedicated to the Problem of the Commons. If we can start thinking in terms of applying enforcable ownership rights to the various tracks of precious ocean, then maybe we can start addressing the problem of scarcity. Rock on!