Marine Protected Areas
A marine protected area (MPA) is an area of the sea which is protected from harmful human activities.
The level of protection can vary from just one activity, like fishing, to a complete ban on all exploitation. They are also known as ‘marine reserves’, ‘no-take zones’ or ‘marine conservation zones’.
MPAs are a scientifically proven way of protecting endangered species and fragile habitats in the ocean, as well as benefitting the ecosystems around them.
Project Ocean MPA
Teamed with ZSL, Selfridges is funding the new 'Selfridges MPA' in the Philippines as a lasting legacy of Project Ocean. This reserve is located in the rare double-barrier coral reef Danajon Bank, that covers over 2,500km2. The Selfridges MPA is 0.5km2, a significant area compared to the 5km2 currently protected in the whole of the UK. Find out more about Project Ocean.
The Chagos Archipelago is a UK Dependent Territory twice the size of the UK in the Indian Ocean. In 2010 it became the biggest marine reserve globally, when all extractive activities, such as industrial fishing and deep sea mining were prohibited. This complete potection safeguards the rich diversity of marine life found in the Chagos.
More on Chagos Conservation
Marine Reserves Coalition
There are far fewer protected areas in the sea than on land, despite the inclusion of marine protection in a number of international policy targets. We hope to change that, starting with calling on the UK Government to commit to establishing representative networks of marine reserves in UK territories. Find out more about the Marine Reserves Coalition
ZSL co-founded Project Seahorse in 1996 in response to the destructive, global seahorse fishery. As a result, the project has set up 34 marine protected areas in the Philippines – with the latest being the Selfridges MPA. The establishment of new MPAs has become a community and provincial government driven scheme, with Project Seahorse providing indirect support. More about Project Seahorse.
Marine Conservation Zones
The ZSL Marine and Freshwater conservation team work on projects all over the world. At present,less than 1% of our UK seas is fully protected but new Marine Conservation Zones (MCZ) will hopefully be established by the end of 2012. The ZSL fought for the Thames estuary to be one of the new MCZ's proposed by Balanced Seas for the South East in 2011. The Thames estuary contains ecologically and commercially important species and habitats and is an internationally significant breeding ground and migratory route. Find out about ZSL’s Thames estuary work