Scotland releases plan for network of MPAs

Scotland’s Government has released a proposed plan to manage all activity in Scottish waters, from energy production to conservation and more. The plan includes a network of 33 proposed MPAs that together would cover 11% of Scottish seas. Public consultation on the proposed plan is open until 13 November 2013. For more information on the plan and consultation, go to

Oil spilled in South African MPA; storms and cleanup teams remove much of it

On 9 August 2013, a German-owned cargo ship ran aground in South Africa’s 40-km2 Goukamma Marine Protected Area, spilling 50 tons of heavy fuel oil into the water and blackening the beach and wildlife. The South African National Parks website provides several news releases from 12-19 August detailing the progress of response efforts, including the towing of the vessel to 110 nm offshore where it was scuttled in deep water ( A news report from 25 September provides details on the aftermath of the spill, including how a series of storms helped break up and disperse much of the oil from the MPA’s shoreline ( Teams of cleanup workers also collected and removed several tons of oiled sand.

The Goukamma MPA was in the news in August for another reason as well: an article published that month in the journal Nature Communications suggests the no-take MPA has led to increases in yield for adjacent fisheries. A brief press release, along with a link to the article, is at

Report: Nine proposed MPAs in Haiti provide ecosystem services worth US $10 billion per year

An assessment of the value of ecosystem services provided by nine proposed MPA sites in Haiti concludes that the sites are collectively worth almost US $10 billion per year to the nation, namely through their support for fisheries, tourism, and shoreline protection. According to the assessment, one particular site in Caracol Bay accounts for more than $3 billion in ecosystem services, due to the good health of its mangroves and coral reefs. (The site measures roughly 100 km2.) The report calls for all nine sites to be designated as MPAs. It was produced by the ReefFix project, a program that works with Small Island Developing States to restore and manage coastal resources, and supported by the governments of Mexico and Monaco. “Toward the Development of Haiti’s System of Marine Protected Areas” is available at

US National Marine Sanctuaries testing drone aircraft for science, monitoring

The US Office of National Marine Sanctuaries has been testing the use of small, hand-launched drone aircraft in a few of its MPAs over the past year, gauging their usefulness for various tasks. The tasks include non-intrusive wildlife surveys, documenting marine debris, monitoring of oil spills, and surveillance, among others. A NOAA press release on the use of unmanned aircraft in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary is at A September 2013 article in the Miami Herald newspaper on the testing of drones in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and other sites is at

New paper on enabling conditions for MPAs

A new policy brief produced by the Nicholas Institute for Policy Solutions at Duke University (US) outlines nine enabling conditions for MPAs. The conditions, presented in the form of guidance, include “Define objectives clearly and examine their social implications”, “Identify local demand for marine protection and create a constituency”, “Make sure the scale of protection is appropriate to the available resources”, and more.

The 14-page policy brief also examines common challenges to the planning and management of MPAs, and poses several questions aimed at spurring discussion. Authored by Linwood Pendleton and Michelle Lotker, the paper “Enabling Conditions and Outstanding Challenges in Marine Protection and Management” is available at

New report on governance of protected areas

A new report from IUCN examines governance of protected areas, drawing on case studies from around the world. It walks readers through four governance types for protected areas – governance by government; shared governance (across boundaries or involving diverse institutions); private governance; and governance by indigenous peoples and local communities – as well as challenges involved in each. It also explores principles of good governance. The report does not examine governance of MPAs in particular, but its lessons are generally applicable across terrestrial and marine environments. Governance of Protected Areas is at

Take survey to help shape successor to Reef Manager’s Guide to Coral Bleaching

The 2006 book A Reef Manager’s Guide to Coral Bleaching – published by NOAA, IUCN, and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority – remains a useful resource on adapting coral reef management to a changing climate. However, knowledge of the threats of climate change, as well as techniques to address those threats, is constantly evolving. A new survey aims to learn from reef managers how a follow-up to the book could best meet their changing information needs. Conducted by Bonnie DeJoseph at the University of Washington, the survey seeks to identify the reef management community’s use of information tools in general, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the 2006 guide. [The survey is now closed.]

Clarification: Phoenix Islands

The lead article in our July-August 2013 issue, “The Reverse Fishing License Mechanism for Kiribati’s Phoenix Islands Protected Area: An Experiment in MPA Financing”, was intentionally vague regarding the nature of a donation (both donor and amount) made in June 2013 to the PIPA Conservation Trust. The vagueness was by request of the Trust and Conservation International (CI), who said publicizing details of the donation could compromise another, forthcoming financial commitment. MPA News apologizes to readers for the vagueness. On 24 September, Conservation International officially publicized the June donation: US $2.5 million from CI, which has since been matched by $2.5 million from Kiribati (

Editor’s note: The LMMA Network supports learning, advocacy, partnership, and institutional development for community-driven marine resource management and conservation, including through the use of locally-managed marine areas or LMMAs ( In this recurring feature “LMMA Lessons”, the network offers insights that its practitioners have gathered over the past decade.

LMMA Lessons: Appropriate ground rules for non-local partners in community-based management

[Adapted from Locally-Managed Marine Areas: A Guide to Supporting Community-Based Adaptive Management, 2008, LMMA Network]

Community-based management should fundamentally guarantee the primacy of and respect for community rights. All practitioners and communities that work within the LMMA Network ideally subscribe to a social contract that is reflected in duties to ensure prior informed consent on intellectual property and other issues. This respect should be manifested in the actions and attitudes of partners in community-based management, particularly those for whom the culture is unfamiliar. Partners should develop ground rules for their team members. Examples are:

  • Fit into the community and establish rapport. Share meals and accommodations. Follow the local dress code and be sensitive to local culture. If you are not sure what to do, ask.
  • Use the local language unless you are absolutely sure all participants can understand and are comfortable with the language you are speaking. Use an interpreter if necessary.
  • Always listen to answers and do not interrupt. Be humble.
  • Be gender sensitive. Be conscious of appropriateness of language and gestures.
  • Respect confidentiality; do not spread gossip or divulge sensitive community information to which you have privileged access.