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HomeTravelLarge Marine Protected Areas Can Benefit Migratory Species—But Design and Management Are...

Large Marine Protected Areas Can Benefit Migratory Species—But Design and Management Are Key

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are designed to conserve critical marine habitats, localized fauna, and highly migratory species such as turtles, whales, and sharks. However, although some MPAs cover more than 1 million square kilometers, some scientists question how well these areas safeguard ocean megafauna with large geographic ranges. The Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy project advocates for interconnected networks of MPAs, linked by protected biological corridors and underpinned by sustainable financing, shared regional governance and effective monitoring and enforcement. As part of such networks, it is important to assess the efficacy of large MPAs.

For some answers, we sat down with Melinda Conners, Ph.D., senior postdoctoral associate at Stony Brook University in New York and co-author of a study published this week in the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Marine Science. The authors overlaid the tracks of 36 species of ocean…

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