[Coral-List] Seaward MPA boundaries | Chagos MPA

Douglas Fenner dfenner at blueskynet.as
Sun Oct 31 20:34:20 EDT 2010

     Thank you for your thoughtful message.
     I guess one thing is that I was trying to talk about was pelagic MPAs 
that extend hundreds of kilometers into abyssal depth waters, so they would 
go far beyond protecting against anchor damage, or protecting deeper 
communities from near-shore runoff problems, or ballast exchanges near 
shore, all of which are real problems which regulation of near-shore 
activities should surely address (MPAs being one way to do that), I fully 
support that.  Also I fully agree that different MPAs will have different 
objectives, and so will have different boundaries and zoning to achieve 
those objectives.  All good.
     I FULLY support precautionary measures, but I was concerned that if the 
tuna migrate thousands of miles, closing a 400 mile diameter area will not 
be able to protect them.
     Yes I realize the Great Barrier Reef marine park includes some deep 
water, but relatively little compared to these other places, and most of 
their vast area of water is full of reefs and shallow bottom that is 
     I fully agree that compliance is the best goal of enforcement, and that 
if a high level of compliance can be achieved, it reduces enforcement 
logistics and costs.  The ability to catch a few violators and have 
punishment result can often serve as a strong deterrent and lead to high 
compliance.  A high chance that a violator will be caught can be a strong 
deterrrent, and deterrence and compliance is a preferred alternative.  That 
said, hundreds of thousands of square miles of open ocean poses challenges 
for enforcement.  There may be solutions.
     My message was based on the information given to me that tuna migrate 
for thousands of miles.  I've now been sent references to published data 
showing that for at least three tuna species, that is not true, they usually 
migrate a few hundred miles.  I'm working on a new message to provide that 
information and correct that point, which changes the conclusions as well.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Duncan MacRae" <solutions at cozm.co.uk>
To: <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Sent: Sunday, October 31, 2010 4:17 AM
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Seaward MPA boundaries | Chagos MPA

> Hi Douglas,
> I read your coral-list comment with interest, as the extension of some
> of the MPA's I have worked with in the Caribbean for the last 10 years
> to the 12nm, limit has been considered a number of times.
> Let me first say that I know very little about the Chagos situation
> (even the distances involved of protection from the shore), and can
> only comment from my own experience, I also don't know you or your
> background so please forgive any obvious statements;
> 1. The allocation of area depends on the goal of the MPA. If the goals
> are i) to protect coral, and ii) to manage shark and tuna fisheries,
> then perhaps a different approach could be taken. However, as you must
> appreciate, the role of MPA's often goes way beyond the management of
> coral and fish stocks for exploitation. One example I can think of
> which might fit with the Chagos situation (anchoring is an issue in
> the Caribbean - but perhaps Chagos is too deep) is the dumping of
> Ballast and other vessel borne pollution near reefs or in currents
> leading to protected habitats.
> 2. I don't know the depths of the waters in question, but the waters
> around Bonaire in the Southern Caribbean reach 3000+m within 250m of
> the shore. Recent explorations of these areas have found them to be
> incredibly diverse. Protection of these areas from land based
> pollution or other threats has been highlighted as a priority. This
> has proven difficult having set the seaward limits of the MPA at 60m
> (between 100 and 200m from shore).
> 3. The MPA in Chagos I imagine will be zoned. Perhaps the outer
> 'zones' will have different rules and guidelines than the near shore
> areas (again depending on the goals of the park), making patrolling
> and enforcement less of an issue.
> 4. The burden of enforcement falls on the managers. The level of
> enforcement required will be a result of the goals and aims of the
> park, the defined priorities (hopefully a decent, dynamic and relevant
> management plan will be in place) and the day to day operations of the
> park.
> 5. The other point for me is that of communication. If a very clear
> message is sent at the 'x' area is protected by 'Y' authority, most
> people will probably abide and follow any legislation and guidelines
> without asking questions. Those that have a legitimate interest in
> exploitation should be involved in developing management strategies.
> It is only the small percentage of illegitimate exploiters who need to
> be 'managed' - an easier task if the stakeholders are included, and
> patrolling / enforcement efforts are targeted.
> I think it is more than a feel good exercise to set boundaries to
> include deeper waters. It gives the option to 'manage' any zones in
> the future - as at the Barrier Reef. Setting extensive limits from the
> outset avoids the much harder task of trying to extend them at a later
> date, when an unforseen threat may raise its head (I know - a bit
> 'precautionary' I hear you cry!).
> I look forward to any further postings on the subject, questions
> relating to the actual Management of MPA's are few and far between on
> the Coral-List and unfortunately there is no effective list-forum yet
> for PA practitioners and professionals.
> Best,
> Duncan
> Duncan R. MacRae
> Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society
> IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas member
> Director
> Coastal Zone Management (UK)
> Skype name: drmacrae, St Agnes.
> solutions at cozm.co.uk
> Vale de Maia, Aljezur, Portugal.

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