20 March 2008

Global MPA database

MPA Global Database is a project that aims to create a database on the existing Marine Protected Areas, worldwide.

Based largely on information in the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA), the project has two main goals: to develop a more robust global MPA baseline than currently exists, and to develop alternative scenarios of global MPA networks using spatial modelling techniques.

MPA Global Database contains a great variety of information such as: names of MPAs for each country, area covered and year of designation, mean area of MPAs, percentage of MPAs located in a specific latitude etc.

This database shows that 4435 MPAs exist worldwide and they cover an area of 2.35 million km2. These numbers sound misleadinly big, but the fact is: only 0.65% of the world oceans is covered by MPAs!

Even more impressive is the estimate of global no-take areas (areas where fishing is banned). The percentage of world oceans subject to this specific regulation is only 0.08% !

This database is a new tool for the marine conservation and shows how much still needs to be done to protect marine biodiversity.

Silvia Bonizzoni

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