New ideas on how the social sciences could change ocean conservation

The current issue of Marine Ecosystems and Management, the sister newsletter of MPA News, features an article titled “New ideas on how the social sciences could change the way we do ocean conservation and management – and already are”. The article highlights ideas from 17 social science and interdisciplinary researchers worldwide.

Potential reopening of three large no-take MPAs in US to commercial fishing

In mid-September, a private memo from US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to President Donald Trump was leaked to the Washington Post. In the memo, Zinke recommended reopening three large no-take MPAs to commercial fishing: the 12,720-km2 Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, the 490,000-km2 Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, and the 34,000-km2 Rose Atoll Marine National Monument. In addition, Zinke suggested revising (i.e., shrinking) the boundaries of the latter two MPAs. The Washington Post’s article on Zinke’s recommendation is available here, and the text of Zinke’s memo is here.

Science magazine published an article with reactions from the MPA science community to Zinke’s recommendations. The recommendations are the result of a review that Trump ordered earlier this year of protected areas designated since 1996 under the US Antiquities Act.

Co-management coming for marine area off Atlantic Canada

The government of Canada and the indigenous government of Nunatsiavut have signed a statement of intent to co-develop a management plan, including MPAs, for a 380,000-km2 marine area off northern Labrador, on Canada’s Atlantic coast. The governments will then manage the area collaboratively. The management plan is expected to be finalized in about 18 months.

Want to conduct research in Papahānaumokuākea? Want $900,000 to do it?

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is requesting proposals to conduct a research cruise in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in the summer of 2018. The winning proposal will be awarded up to US $900,000. Applicants should feature a collaborative team to conduct research that addresses priority management needs for the MPA. More details are in the formal request for proposals. Please note that pre-proposals are due by 26 October 2017.

MedPAN releases two calls for small projects

MedPAN, the network of MPA managers in the Mediterranean, has released two calls for small projects that reinforce MPA management in the region. One is open to five countries (Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia), focuses on financing and communications, and has an application deadline of 19 November 2017 – rules and details are here. The other call has a broader geographic and subject focus, and an application deadline of 7 January 2018 – rules and details are here.

New tool helps MPA managers do rapid assessments of climate change impacts

A new tool is available to help North American MPA managers assess the implications of climate change for their sites and develop adaptation strategies. The North American Marine Protected Area Rapid Vulnerability Assessment Tool takes just two days to perform. It contains a user guide, a set of blank worksheets, and a booklet containing examples of completed worksheets. The tool was produced by the Commission on Environmental Cooperation, a tri-national government organization through which the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the US collaborate to protect North America’s environment.

New guidance on assessing coherence of MPA networks

The European Topic Centre on Inland, Coastal and Marine Waters has released a new technical report on assessing the coherence of MPA networks. To identify a method suitable across the 23 EU Member States with marine waters, the Centre compared approaches applied by the EU’s four Regional Seas Conventions. This resulted in a tiered approach that is applicable across all waters, even in areas with relatively poor data availability. The report “Assessing Europe’s Marine Protected Area networks – Proposed methodologies and scenarios” is available here.

Key MPA lessons from the World Parks Congress

As indicated in this issue’s highlights from IMPAC4, a special issue of the journal Aquatic Conservation is now available, highlighting key MPA-themed lessons from the 2016 World Parks Congress in Honolulu, Hawai’i, including on MPA management, financing, blue carbon, and more.

2018 is International Year of the Reef

Next year has been designated as the Third International Year of the Reef 2018 (IYOR 2018) by the International Coral Reef Initiative. The designation provides an opportunity to build the public attention needed to initiate fundamental policy and behavioral changes required to save coral reef ecosystems. IYOR 2018 will be a year-long, worldwide campaign to raise awareness of the value and importance of coral reefs and threats to their sustainability, and to motivate governments, communities, and individuals to act to protect them.

Activities will range from science workshops and report publications to beach cleanups and art exhibits. IYOR activities in each region and country are decided upon and organized at national and local levels. All individuals, governments, corporations, schools, and organizations are actively encouraged to participate. The Twitter account is @IYOR2018.

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

Five years ago: September-October 2012

  • Cook Islands and New Caledonia Declare Intent to Designate Large Multi-Use MPAs
  • Letter to the Editor: MPA Community Continues to Reinvent Tools Rather than Seek Consistency

Ten years ago: October 2007

  • Coral Species Added to IUCN Red List for First Time: What Does This Mean for MPAs?
  • MPA Perspective: Defining Conservation in the Marine Realm, Including What Is (or Is Not) an MPA

Fifteen years ago: October 2002

  • Measuring the Effects of Marine Reserves on Fisheries: The Dilemmas of Experimental Programs
  • Australia Designates World’s Largest No-Take Area [Editor’s note: this was the 65,000-km2 Heard Island and McDonald Islands Marine Reserve]

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