Waitt Foundation offers funding to help MPA projects “get over the finish line”

The Waitt Foundation is requesting proposals from MPA projects worldwide where an additional 6 to 12 months of funding would result in legally binding, successful MPAs. The primary goal of the grant program is to help MPAs “get over the finish line”, either as newly designated sites or newly expanded ones. Awards will range from US $50,000 to $150,000. No-take MPAs are strongly preferred. The submission deadline for proposals is 8 September 2017. For more information, click here.

Registration for IMPAC4 is open

Registration for the 4th International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC4) is now open at the conference website. Early registration rates are available up to 15 July. In addition, reduced rates will be available to young professionals and nationals of certain countries — details are on the site. The conference program will be posted to the site in July.

Marine protection, illegal fishing, and reason for hope in the Eastern Tropical Pacific region

The June 2017 issue of Marine Ecosystems and Management (MEAM) newsletter features an essay by Tundi Agardy on the status of marine protection and illegal fishing in Costa Rica’s Cocos Island MPA and the broader Eastern Tropical Pacific region.

GLORES initiative announces first Global Ocean Refuge nominees

The Global Ocean Refuge System (GLORES) — an initiative to incentivize designation of strongly protected MPAs across 30% of the world ocean — has published its first five nominees for Global Ocean Refuge status. The five sites are Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (US); South Orkney Islands Southern Shelf Marine Protected Area (Antarctica); Tubbataha Reef National Park (Philippines); Twelve Apostles Marine National Park (Australia); and Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary (Colombia). Public comment on the nominees is welcome at the link above. Global Ocean Refuge status is intended to award MPAs that meet a series of science-based criteria on their design and management. GLORES is led by the Marine Conservation Institute.

Canada identifies new Area of Interest for potential MPA designation

In May, Canada identified a new ‘Area of Interest’ off its Pacific Coast that will be examined for potential designation as an MPA by 2020. The Area of Interest covers roughly 140,000 km2 and contains several seamounts and hydrothermal vent fields. It would be the largest MPA in Canada if designated. Identifying an Area of Interest is the first step in a multi-step process toward establishing a new MPA under Canada’s Oceans Act.

United Arab Emirates stocks MPAs with fish; sites will serve as nurseries

The environment ministry of the United Arab Emirates is partnering with a private fish hatchery to stock seven MPAs nationwide with tens of thousands of fish. The purpose is to support the UAE’s fisheries sector: the fish (Qabit and black seabream, both commercially targeted species) will grow and reproduce in the MPAs and their larvae will spill over into fished areas. “The initiative is aimed at increasing the number of local fish during this year and providing an ideal environment in different regions of the country’s protected areas,” said Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment. Each of seven MPAs is being stocked with 30,000 fish.

Poachers sentenced for taking lobsters in California no-take marine reserve

Poachers who were caught taking lobsters from the no-take South La Jolla State Marine Reserve off the coast of Southern California were recently sentenced to a series of penalties for their crimes. Three poachers who as a team took 74 lobsters were placed on three years’ probation, ordered to stay away from the reserve, and fined amounts ranging from US $10,000 to $500. Two of the poachers must also perform 10 days of public work service. In a separate case, another poacher who was caught poaching 185 lobsters will be fined $11,250, jailed for 120 days, and serve five years’ probation, and must forfeit all his fishing gear and sell his boat.

MPA director wins prestigious biodiversity conservation award

Andrew Zaloumis, CEO of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority, which manages South Africa’s first UNESCO World Heritage site, has received the 2017 KfW-Bernhard-Grzimek Award. The award honors individuals and organizations for their work in protecting the world’s globally significant biodiversity, and comes with a prize of 50,000 euros (US $56,000). More information on Zaloumis, iSimangaliso, and the award are in this UNESCO press release. Zaloumis also won the John J. McNulty Prize in 2016, which honors individuals addressing the world’s toughest social, economic, and environmental challenges.

New web portal available on Chagos

A web portal is now available on the Chagos Archipelago and its surrounding waters, one of the world’s largest marine protected areas (640,000 km2). The portal features over 300 publications, 600 videos and photos, 24 data sets, and information from 50 expeditions. The Chagos Information Portal, or ChIP, is here. It was developed by the Chagos Conservation Trust.

Reports on state of Arctic biodiversity and protection

The biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council has released three reports on the state of marine biodiversity, protection, and invasive species in the Arctic region. The report on Arctic protected areas calculates that 4.6% (or 860,000 km2) of the region’s marine area is currently in MPAs. There are 334 Arctic MPAs.

From the MPA News vault

Features and news items from yesteryear

Five years ago: May-June 2012

  • Paying for MPAs: Examples of Large-Scale Fundraising for Planning and Management
  • Marine Protected Areas in Fisheries Management: A West African Perspective

Ten years ago: June 2007

  • Planners Discuss Role of Science and Socioeconomics in California MPA-Planning Process
  • MPA Tip: On Managing Visitor Impact

Fifteen years ago: June 2002

  • Financial Support for Fishermen Who Are Affected by Marine Reserves: Examining the Merits
  • Perspective: Dangerous Targets and Inflexible Stances Threaten Marine Conservation Efforts

For these and all other issues of MPA News, go to https://mpanews.openchannels.org/mpanews/archives