Addressing Criticisms of Large-Scale Marine Protected Areas

Bethan C. O'Leary, Natalie C. Ban, Miriam Fernandez, Alan M. Friedlander, Pablo García-Borboroglu, Yimnang Golbuu, Paolo Guidetti, Jean M. Harris, Julie P. Hawkins, Tim Langlois, Douglas J. McCauley, Ellen K. Pikitch, Robert H. Richmond, Callum M. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Designated large-scale marine protected areas (LSMPAs, 100,000 or more square kilometers) constitute over two-thirds of the approximately 6.6% of the ocean and approximately 14.5% of the exclusive economic zones within marine protected areas. Although LSMPAs have received support among scientists and conservation bodies for wilderness protection, regional ecological connectivity, and improving resilience to climate change, there are also concerns. We identified 10 common criticisms of LSMPAs along three themes: (1) placement, governance, and management; (2) political expediency; and (3) social ecological value and cost. Through critical evaluation of scientific evidence, we discuss the value, achievements, challenges, and potential of LSMPAs in these arenas. We conclude that although some criticisms are valid and need addressing, none pertain exclusively to LSMPAs, and many involve challenges ubiquitous in management. We argue that LSMPAs are an important component of a diversified management portfolio that tempers potential losses, hedges against uncertainty, and enhances the probability of achieving sustainably managed oceans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-370
Number of pages12
JournalBioscience
Volume68
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018

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Oceans and Seas
conservation areas
Wilderness
Climate Change
oceans
Uncertainty
wilderness
ecological value
Economics
governance
Costs and Cost Analysis
uncertainty
climate change
economics

Cite this

O'Leary, B. C., Ban, N. C., Fernandez, M., Friedlander, A. M., García-Borboroglu, P., Golbuu, Y., ... Roberts, C. M. (2018). Addressing Criticisms of Large-Scale Marine Protected Areas. Bioscience, 68(5), 359-370. https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biy021
O'Leary, Bethan C. ; Ban, Natalie C. ; Fernandez, Miriam ; Friedlander, Alan M. ; García-Borboroglu, Pablo ; Golbuu, Yimnang ; Guidetti, Paolo ; Harris, Jean M. ; Hawkins, Julie P. ; Langlois, Tim ; McCauley, Douglas J. ; Pikitch, Ellen K. ; Richmond, Robert H. ; Roberts, Callum M. / Addressing Criticisms of Large-Scale Marine Protected Areas. In: Bioscience. 2018 ; Vol. 68, No. 5. pp. 359-370.
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O'Leary, BC, Ban, NC, Fernandez, M, Friedlander, AM, García-Borboroglu, P, Golbuu, Y, Guidetti, P, Harris, JM, Hawkins, JP, Langlois, T, McCauley, DJ, Pikitch, EK, Richmond, RH & Roberts, CM 2018, 'Addressing Criticisms of Large-Scale Marine Protected Areas' Bioscience, vol. 68, no. 5, pp. 359-370. https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biy021

Addressing Criticisms of Large-Scale Marine Protected Areas. / O'Leary, Bethan C.; Ban, Natalie C.; Fernandez, Miriam; Friedlander, Alan M.; García-Borboroglu, Pablo; Golbuu, Yimnang; Guidetti, Paolo; Harris, Jean M.; Hawkins, Julie P.; Langlois, Tim; McCauley, Douglas J.; Pikitch, Ellen K.; Richmond, Robert H.; Roberts, Callum M.

In: Bioscience, Vol. 68, No. 5, 01.05.2018, p. 359-370.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Addressing Criticisms of Large-Scale Marine Protected Areas

AU - O'Leary, Bethan C.

AU - Ban, Natalie C.

AU - Fernandez, Miriam

AU - Friedlander, Alan M.

AU - García-Borboroglu, Pablo

AU - Golbuu, Yimnang

AU - Guidetti, Paolo

AU - Harris, Jean M.

AU - Hawkins, Julie P.

AU - Langlois, Tim

AU - McCauley, Douglas J.

AU - Pikitch, Ellen K.

AU - Richmond, Robert H.

AU - Roberts, Callum M.

PY - 2018/5/1

Y1 - 2018/5/1

N2 - Designated large-scale marine protected areas (LSMPAs, 100,000 or more square kilometers) constitute over two-thirds of the approximately 6.6% of the ocean and approximately 14.5% of the exclusive economic zones within marine protected areas. Although LSMPAs have received support among scientists and conservation bodies for wilderness protection, regional ecological connectivity, and improving resilience to climate change, there are also concerns. We identified 10 common criticisms of LSMPAs along three themes: (1) placement, governance, and management; (2) political expediency; and (3) social ecological value and cost. Through critical evaluation of scientific evidence, we discuss the value, achievements, challenges, and potential of LSMPAs in these arenas. We conclude that although some criticisms are valid and need addressing, none pertain exclusively to LSMPAs, and many involve challenges ubiquitous in management. We argue that LSMPAs are an important component of a diversified management portfolio that tempers potential losses, hedges against uncertainty, and enhances the probability of achieving sustainably managed oceans.

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KW - SDG 14

KW - Sustainable Development Goal 14

KW - very large marine protected areas

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U2 - 10.1093/biosci/biy021

DO - 10.1093/biosci/biy021

M3 - Article

VL - 68

SP - 359

EP - 370

JO - Bioscience

JF - Bioscience

SN - 0006-3568

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O'Leary BC, Ban NC, Fernandez M, Friedlander AM, García-Borboroglu P, Golbuu Y et al. Addressing Criticisms of Large-Scale Marine Protected Areas. Bioscience. 2018 May 1;68(5):359-370. https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biy021