Why marine reserves?
Like national parks on land, marine reserves have been proven to protect vulnerable species and habitats, as well as build the ocean’s resilience to significant emerging threats such as climate change.
Where environmental degradation has already taken place, prohibiting all damaging and extractive activities allows for the recovery of biodiversity and ecological processes in that area. And in other healthy or pristine areas, designating marine reserves can help prevent damage from taking place in the first place. As well as protecting and restoring the habitats and species within their boundaries, marine reserves are able to support the wider environment and provide ecological safety margins against disasters and the continued degradation of the ocean.
When established and managed properly, marine reserves can benefit people and the economy, as well as the environment, by helping to rebuild depleted fish stocks that millions of humans worldwide depend on for both income and protein.
For more information on marine reserves as conservation tools, please read our Science rationale for marine reserves.