Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)

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Definition of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs):
The World Conservation Union defined Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) as “any area of the intertidal or subtidal terrain, together with its overlying water and associated flora, fauna, historical and cultural features, which has been reserved by law or other effective means to protect part or the entire enclosed environment” [1] [2].

In the USA, Presidential Executive Order 13158 provided a similar definition” any area of the marine environment that has been reserved by Federal, State, territorial, tribal or local laws or regulations to provide lasting protection for part or all of the natural and cultural resources therein.”

Another definition states that: “Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are valuable tools for conserving the nation's natural and cultural marine resources as part of an ecosystem approach to management”. [3]
This is the common definition for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), other definitions can be discussed in the article


  1. IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources).1994. Guidelines for protected area management categories. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK
  2. Kelleher, G. 1999. Guidelines for marine protected areas. International Union for the Conservation of the Nature and Natural Resources, Gland, Switzerland, and Cambridge, UK.

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