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This document on Marine protected areas (MPAs) and fisheries has been developed to provide information and guidance on the use of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the context of fisheries. As MPA implementation moves ahead in the arena of marine biodiversity conservation, many people feel that the fisheries aspects are not fully understood nor always appropriately taken into account, and that guidance specific to this sector is needed. These Guidelines look specifically at fisheries features of MPAs, but also address the interface between fisheries management and biodiversity conservation and provide support for MPAs with multiple objectives.
The Guidelines are divided into two sections: the first discusses definitions and context, and provides background information on fisheries management, the ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) and MPAs as a tool for fisheries management, including socio-economic and biological impacts. The second section considers the planning and implementing of MPAs including the institutional, legal and policy context, the planning process and actual implementation considerations. Conclusions and future directions are offered in the last chapter of this section, while a selection of annexes offers in-depth information on a few key issues.
The document highlights the need for increased coordination across sectors and agencies/departments. Integration of diverse interests and viewpoints is required if we are to successfully manage our oceans and their resources for future generations. As with all fisheries management, good governance – including adequate stakeholder participation – is key to successful and equitable management outcomes.