Correction: Bill Ballantine

In our October-November 2015 issue, MPA News misidentified the nationality of marine scientist and MPA advocate Bill Ballantine, who died on 1 November. Although Ballantine spent most of his adulthood and career in New Zealand and was considered by many as the “father of marine conservation” in his adopted country, he was born in Leicester, England.

New report outlines how global conservation finance could be grown to $300-$400 billion per year

When a report describes how annual conservation financing worldwide could be grown from its current level of US $52 billion to as much as $400 billion per year, it gets your attention. When that report is written by top experts in global finance and business – Credit Suisse Group AG and the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment – it deserves wide reading in the conservation field.

The new 28-page report “Conservation Finance from Niche to Mainstream: The Building of an Institutional Asset Class” proposes a toolkit with a number of scalable, repeatable, and investable ideas for substantially growing investment into the conservation sector.

Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiem writes in the foreword, “The continuing disappearance of Earth’s last healthy ecosystems is sadly no longer news. What is news is that saving these ecosystems is not only affordable, but profitable. Nature must not be turned into a commodity, but rather into an asset treasured by the mainstream investment market.”

The report is available for free at

“Blue growth” of maritime activities in Mediterranean will conflict with MPA efforts

A new report provides the first integrated picture of the “blue growth” of maritime activities in the Mediterranean and how this growth aligns or conflicts with conservation – including the goal of setting aside 10% of the region in MPAs by 2020 as agreed under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Produced by WWF, the report outlines the findings of the organization’s MedTrends project. MedTrends analyzed 10 key maritime economic sectors, illustrating and mapping their current status and future development trends, drivers, interactions, and environmental impact. The report features multiple maps showing shipping routes, fishing zones, aquaculture locations, hydrocarbon exploration areas, and MPAs, among other topics.

Several of the maps indicate that the growing competition for space between priority areas for conservation and developing economic sectors will make the CBD target more difficult to achieve. As of 2015, MPA coverage in the Mediterranean was 3.27%, well short of the 10% goal. MedTrends anticipates there will be growth for all of the maritime sectors except commercial fisheries.

“It is highly possible that the growth in maritime sector activities and the increasing competition over space may slow down or even hinder the designation process of new MPAs,” states the report. “It is likely that some pressures and, more importantly, cumulative impacts on marine ecosystems generated by the increasing exploitation of the sea will grow at a faster rate than the solutions developed and implemented to mitigate them.”

The report Blue Growth in the Mediterranean Sea: The Challenge of Good Environmental Status is available on the MedTrends website at In addition, MedTrends has produced national reports with unique content, datasets, and maps for Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain. A report is also available on the Adriatic-Ionian region.

New guide available on enforcement of nearshore artisanal fisheries

WildAid and The Nature Conservancy have published a guide to help resource managers design cost-effective enforcement strategies for nearshore artisanal fisheries, including inside and outside of MPAs. Drawing on experience in the Eastern and Western Pacific regions, the 48-page guide walks readers through different enforcement systems, intervention tools, outreach methods, and performance indicators. Enforcement Guide: Near Shore Artisanal Fisheries is available at

Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge announces winners

The Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge, which rewards innovative science and technology solutions to tackle specific wildlife trafficking issues, has announced its first 16 winning innovators ( These individuals will each receive US $10,000 and technical assistance. They are also now in the running for a grand prize of $500,000.

Examples of winning innovations include a global multilingual wildlife whistle-blower reward program; a smartphone app to educate consumers on which aquarium fish species are wild-caught with potentially harmful practices; and even a project to construct artificial sea turtle eggs that contain covert tracking devices, to be placed in nests at high risk of poaching.

The Tech Challenge is an initiative of the US Agency for International Development, the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian Institution, and TRAFFIC.

Study: ship noise should be considered in MPA planning

A new study published in Marine Pollution Bulletin outlines the ways that ocean noise (particularly from ships) can impact marine wildlife, and recommends the use of area-based planning to reduce exposure of animals to chronic ocean noise. The paper introduces the idea of “opportunity sites” – ecologically important habitats that experience low ship noise – as good candidates for MPA designation. “Keeping quiet habitats quiet will be easier than making noisy habitats quiet,” write the authors. The study “Quiet(er) marine protected areas” is available for free at

Book on MPA governance now available in paperback

The book Governing MPAs: resilience through diversity by Peter Jones of University College London is now available in paperback. By using the discount code DC361 when ordering online (, you can get 20% off the regular price – US $40 instead of $49.95. MPA News interviewed Jones about his research on MPA governance in our May-June 2014 issue (MPA News 15:5).

Article on use of satellite data to combat illegal fishing

The New York Times has published an article on fisheries enforcement in Palau and the growing role that satellite technology is playing in that enforcement. The article “Palau vs. the Poachers” is at Palau passed legislation in 2015 to designate a 500,000-km2 no-take marine reserve, closing roughly 80% of the nation’s waters to fishing and mining. The closure is being phased in over five years.

From the MPA News vault: Features and news items from yesteryear

Five years ago: January-February 2011 (MPA News 12:4)

  • Comparing Two Methods of Building MPA Networks: One Site at a Time vs. All at Once
  • Autonomous Vessels Offer New Tool for MPA Research and Enforcement

Ten years ago: January 2006 (MPA News 7:6)

  • Sacred MPAs: Where Protected Areas Hold Spiritual Value for Stakeholders, and How This Affects Management
  • A Year After the Tsunami: Surin Marine National Park, Thailand

Fifteen years ago: January 2001 (MPA News 2:6)

  • In Galápagos, Clashes Between Fishers and Managers Jeopardize Conservation Efforts
  • Coelacanths Discovered In S. African MPA; Tourism to Follow?

For these and all other issues of MPA News, go to