Managers of Cultural MPAs Face Unique Challenges

In global discussions on the practice of MPAs, the focus is usually on how to manage marine natural resources most effectively — namely fish stocks and habitats.  But several MPAs around the world exist for the protection of cultural, rather than natural, resources.  These MPAs, often designated around historic shipwrecks, present some unique challenges for their managers.

This month, MPA News examines these challenges and, in a feature immediately following this article, assesses what a pending United Nations agreement on protecting "underwater cultural heritage" could spell for cultural MPAs.

Reader Challenge: When Was the First MPA Designated?

The past two decades have experienced a surge in the number of marine protected areas designated around the world. Some are small, some larger; some are no-take, some multiple-use. The global collection of MPAs — consisting of thousands of sites worldwide...