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What is a Marine Protected Area (MPA)?

A marine protected area (MPA) is ocean space that protected against human activities or where such activities are strictly regulated by federal, state, territorial, local, or tribal laws. These regulations may include restrictions on development, catch limits, and total bans on removing marine life.

The use of MPAs benefits both humans and marine life. In MPAs, populations of marine life are protected from having their populations depleted or habitats destroyed from overfishing or human development. At the same time, people can use MPAs to protect areas of cultural or historical significance and also give biologists an area to study marine life. MPAs have also proven to be beneficial to fisheries with fish populations outside of the reserve increasing.

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Other Sources

“What are marine protected areas (MPAs)?” Protect Planet Ocean. http://www.protectplanetocean.org/collections/introduction/introbox/mpas/introduction-item.html. Accessed August 10, 2016.

David Suzuki Foundation. “Marine protected areas.” David Suzuki Foundation. http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/oceans/science/marine-planning-and-conservation/marine-protected-areas/. Accessed August 10, 2016