Russia to expand an Arctic park

In late August, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of the Russian Federation signed a draft resolution to expand the Russian Arctic National Park, increasing its size from 14,000 km2 to 88,000 km2. The expansion area includes islands of the Franz Josef Land Archipelago and their surrounding territorial waters, and is intended to protect species like narwhals and bowhead whales. With the expansion, the protected area will become the country’s largest terrestrial park and largest MPA. A National Geographic article on the expansion plan is at

Poacher in Galápagos Marine Reserve is sentenced to three years in prison

In August, an Ecuador court sentenced a local Galápagos resident to three years in prison for trafficking sea cucumbers that were fished illegally in the marine reserve. The man was caught trying to smuggle more than 3700 dried sea cucumbers out of the archipelago by plane. For more information:

Report calls for World Heritage sites on high seas

A new report recommends five sites on the high seas that would be suitable as potential World Heritage sites, and calls for changes to the World Heritage Convention to allow such areas outside national jurisdiction to be inscribed. Currently the convention allows countries to propose only sites within their own jurisdictions for inscription. The report’s five recommended sites are:

  • The Costa Rica Thermal Dome (Pacific Ocean), an oceanic oasis that provides critical habitat for multiple threatened species;
  • The White Shark Café (Pacific Ocean), the only known gathering place for white sharks in the north Pacific;
  • The Sargasso Sea (Atlantic Ocean), home to a unique ecosystem built around a concentration of floating algae;
  • The Lost City Hydrothermal Field (Atlantic Ocean), an 800-meter deep area dominated by tall carbonate monoliths; and
  • The Atlantis Bank, a sunken fossil island in the subtropical waters of the Indian Ocean.

The report World Heritage in the High Seas: An Idea Whose Time has Come was co-produced by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and IUCN. It is available at

Report calculates cost of meeting water quality targets for GBR

In 2015, the Australian and Queensland governments — which share management responsibility for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park — agreed on targets to significantly reduce the sediment and nutrient pollutants flowing into the MPA. A new report commissioned by the Queensland government puts a price tag on what it will cost to reach those targets by 2025: A$8.2 billion (US$6.2 billion). The report Costs of achieving the water quality targets for the Great Barrier Reef is available at

Manual available on how to develop climate adaptation measures

A new manual offers an approach for developing climate adaptation measures in coastal and marine protected areas. Produced by WWF, the report combines ecosystem- and community-based approaches to adaptation, and uses a participatory approach to build consensus among stakeholders on actions to be taken. Case studies describe lessons learned from field-testing at six protected areas. Changing Tides: Climate Adaptation Methodology for Protected Areas is available at

Study: Coastal and ocean protected areas are even more valuable than inland ones

A new study of coastal and ocean protected areas in the US finds that they account for a disproportionately large share of total visitation and economic impact among all US federal protected areas. Coastal and ocean protected areas exceed the median figures for recreational visitation, visitor spending, jobs created, and economic output compared to inland park units. “The results indicate that coastal and ocean parks are high-performing economic assets for the surrounding communities and states — assets that serve as infrastructure to sustain high levels of employment and economic output, whether at urban beaches or in remote wilderness,” write the authors. Produced by the Center for American Progress, the report The Dividends of Coastal Conservation in the United States is at

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

Five years ago: Sept-Oct 2011 (MPA News 13:2)

  • The Surge in Very Large MPAs: What Is Driving It and What Does the Future Hold?
  • Is Mexico’s Cabo Pulmo National Park the Most Successful No-Take Marine Reserve in the World?

Ten years ago: Sept 2006 (MPA News 8:3)

  • Oil Spills in Lebanon and the Philippines Highlight Spill Threat to MPAs
  • Results from MPA News Poll: Which MPA is “World’s Largest”?

Fifteen years ago: Sept 2001 (MPA News 3:3)

  • Managers of Cultural MPAs Face Unique Challenges
  • UNESCO Draft Convention on Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage: An Introduction

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