|This article is outdated. (December 2014)|
A marine reserve is an area of the sea that has legal protection against fishing or development. As of 2007 less than 1% of the world’s oceans had been set aside in marine reserves. As of 2010, scientists had studied more than 150 marine reserves in at least 61 countries and monitored biological changes inside the reserves. The number of species in each study ranged from 1 to 250 and the reserves ranged in size from 0.006 to 800 square kilometers (0.002 to 310 square miles).
Other protected marine categories
This is to be distinguished from a marine park, but there is some overlap in usage.
Open ocean reserves
As of April 2008 there were no high seas marine reserves, but Greenpeace is campaigning for the "doughnut holes" of the western pacific to be declared as marine reserves. They are campaigning for 40 percent of the world’s oceans to be so protected.
- Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is the largest marine park, at 350,000 km² or 217,000 miles² and is partially a marine reserve.
- Australian Whale Sanctuary
- Great Australian Bight Marine Park
- Shark Bay Marine Park
New Zealand has 37 marine reserves spread around the North and South Islands and other outlying islands. These are 'no take' areas where all forms of exploitation are prohibited. Marine reserves are administered by the Department of Conservation. New Zealand's marine environment is more than 15 times larger than its terrestrial area, however only a small portion of it is protected.
British Indian Ocean Territory
- Chagos Marine Reserve is the largest 'no take' marine reserve with more than 540,000 km²
- It is said to be one of the world's richest marine ecosystems.
- Hosts the world's biggest living coral structure - the Great Chagos Bank.
- Home to more than 220 coral species, which is almost half the recorded species of the entire Indian Ocean.
- Contains more than 1,000 species of reef fish.
- "The Pacific Commons -- first high seas marine reserve?". Greenpeace Australia Pacific. 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-27.
The Western and Central Pacific Ocean is the world's largest tuna fishery. Over half of the tuna consumed worldwide is taken from this area. Rampant overfishing is destroying this fishery; relatively healthy just a few years ago. Today, two key Pacific species, Bigeye and Yellowfin could face collapse unless urgent action is taken.
- "Marine reserves". Greenpeace Australia Pacific. 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-27.
A growing body of scientific evidence that demonstrates what we at Greenpeace have been saying for a long time: that the establishment of large-scale networks of marine reserves, urgently needed to protect marine species and their habitats, could be key to reversing global fisheries decline.
- "New marine reserves set up in subantarctic". nzherald.co.nz. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- "Marine reserves south of NZ approved by MPs". nzherald.co.nz. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- Halpern, B. and R. Warner (2002). "Marine reserves have rapid and lasting effects." Ecology Letters 5: 361-366.
- Russ, G. R. and A. C. Alcala (2004). "Marine reserves: long-term protection is required for full recovery of predatory fish species." Oecologia 138: 622-627.
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