Dear Reader,

When MPA News was launched two years ago, the editorial board had one overarching goal: to serve the entire community of MPA stakeholders by informing them and bringing them together in discussion, debate, and understanding. This remains our goal, and the editorial board has worked to cover the range of views and knowledge held by stakeholders.

In providing such a forum, MPA News has at times been misunderstood. Because the newsletter prints the views of conservation groups — including, in last month’s issue, the relatively radical Sea Shepherd Conservation Society — some individuals in the fishing industry have accused us of being a mouthpiece for these organizations. Conversely, because we’ve printed the views of some MPA skeptics, some conservationists have accused us of bending to anti-MPA opinion.

What we’re doing is allowing everyone a chance to speak. And a chance to listen.

At a recent conference, a fishing industry representative remarked that fishermen are conservation groups’ strongest potential allies on MPAs, provided they can be convinced of MPAs’ effectiveness. His point: no one wants to see stock after stock depleted. If marine protected areas are to become an effective tool in rebuilding fish stocks, it is important that communication and knowledge flow ever more freely among all stakeholders in the field. MPA News will continue to do its part.

John B. Davis