Canada designates Musquash Estuary as MPA

Canada has designated an 11.5-km2 area of estuarine habitat as its sixth Marine Protected Area under the terms of the nation’s Oceans Act. The Musquash Estuary in the province of New Brunswick provides habitat for a variety of commercial and non-commercial fisheries and wildlife. First proposed as an MPA in 1998 by groups that included fishing interests, the site is one of the last ecologically intact estuaries in a region where most salt marshes have been modified by human activities. The designation is intended to protect the ecosystem’s integrity and biodiversity while ensuring long-term sustainable use of its resources. It is unique among Canadian MPAs in that the province of New Brunswick transferred provincial crown lands to the government of Canada to streamline the regulatory process for management of the MPA. Musquash Estuary is located along the coast of the Bay of Fundy, known for having the greatest difference in water level between its high and low tides in the world. More information is available at

The current issue of Coastal Management journal (Vol. 35, Issue 1, January 2007) provides several articles on the implementation of Canada’s Oceans Act, including one on lessons from MPAs (“Lessons from Marine Protected Areas and Integrated Ocean Management Initiatives”, by Sylvie Guenette and Jackie Alder).

Brazil publishes second edition of MPA atlas

The Marine and Coastal Division of Brazil’s Ministry of the Environment has released a revised and extended edition of its large-format atlas of the nation’s coral reef MPAs. This second edition provides more maps and also analyzes the representativeness of Brazil’s coral reef MPA system, including how much of the country’s mapped shallow reefs are within protected areas (more than 80%). It was published in conjunction with Brazil’s hosting of the 8th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2006. The first edition, released in 2004, provided the first published maps of Brazilian reef environments (“Atlas available on Brazilian coral reef MPAs”, MPA News 5:8). Brazil’s nine coral reef MPAs are distributed along 3000 km on its northeastern coast. To order a free copy of the printed Atlas of Coral Reef Protected Areas in Brazil, 2nd Edition, of which a limited number of copies are available, e-mail Ana Paula Leite Prates (coordinator of the Marine and Coastal Division) at The text of the atlas is in both Portuguese and English.

Report available on status of US coral reef MPAs

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released the first inventory and assessment of coral reef MPAs managed by state and territorial governments in the US. The report analyzes the management status of 207 MPAs located across seven jurisdictions: American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, Florida, Guam, Hawai’i, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. It also identifies major challenges to effective MPA management (e.g., enforcement, funding, management capacity) and recommends steps to improving MPA success in general, although it does not evaluate management effectiveness site-by-site. The large majority (76%) of the MPAs in the report are multiple-use areas that allow some level of extractive activity throughout the entire site; the rest are partially or completely no-take. The 129-page Report on the Status of Marine Protected Areas in Coral Reef Ecosystems of the United States Volume 1 is available in PDF format at A limited number of hard copies will be available for free, later this year; to order one, e-mail Dana Wusinich-Mendez at

Less than 0.1% of marine managed areas on US West Coast are no-take

Less than 0.1% of marine managed areas on the West Coast of the US are no-take, according to a new assessment by the US National Marine Protected Areas Center. The remaining 99.9% of managed areas in the region (spanning the states of California, Oregon, and Washington) allow at least some fishing activity. The brief report “The State of the Nation’s Marine Managed Areas: Place-Based Conservation in West Coast Waters” highlights trends in location, size, purpose, and management of existing marine managed areas in the region, and is available in PDF format at

New Zealand marine reserves featured in National Geographic magazine

The April 2007 edition of National Geographic magazine features an article on New Zealand’s marine reserves. It traces the path of the nation’s underwater protection efforts, dating from early efforts – led by biologist Bill Ballantine – to designate a reserve at Goat Island in the 1960s. The article, “Blue Haven: New Zealand Coastal Reserves”, accompanies a longer article on the current state of world fisheries (“Still Waters: The Global Fish Crisis”). The New Zealand article is available at

Reinsurance company offers award for watershed management projects

The world’s largest reinsurance company, Swiss Re, is seeking submissions for its 2008 ReSource Award, intended to recognize leadership in implementing sustainable watershed management in developing nations. The annual contest provides a total of US $150,000 to one or more projects each year, and is open to NGOs, public agencies, and scientific institutions. (Reinsurance companies provide risk management services to insurance companies.) More information, including application guidelines, is available at