Perspective: Analyzing susceptibility of coastal MPAs to catastrophic land-based events

By Rafael Magris

In November 2015, 39 million cubic meters of metal-contaminated slurry polluted riverine and coastal waters in southwestern Brazil when a tailings dam failure occurred in a headwater of the Doce River catchment. (A tailings dam is used to store wastes from mining operations.) The plume of contaminated sediment ultimately reached several sensitive marine habitats including coral reefs, seagrass meadows, and habitats formed by coralline crustose algae. Much of the sediment accumulated in two marine protected areas – Santa Cruz Wildlife Refuge and Costa das Algas Environmental Protection Area.

Perspective: Thirty more marine mammal habitats awarded status as Important Marine Mammal Areas

By Erich Hoyt and Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara

In late January 2019, the IUCN Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force announced approval of 30 new Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs) in the North East Indian Ocean and South East Asian Seas Region. IMMAs are areas of habitat that are important to marine mammal species, and which have the potential to be delineated and managed for conservation. On a map, IMMAs are “marine mammal layers” intended to spotlight areas that may lead to MPAs or other conservation outcomes, such as ship route or noise reduction directives, and may be used in the course of marine spatial planning.

MPA Science Corner: Network of no-take reserves – Drones for conservation – Coral Triangle conservation atlas – Designing MPA networks with multiple objectives – Converting an ad hoc MPA system to a real network

These recent articles or preprints on MPA-related science and policy are all free to access. Article: Rolim, F. A. et al. Network of small no-take marine reserves reveals greater abundance and body size of fisheries target species. PLOS ONE 14, e0204970 (2019)....