Edited by Paulo A.L.D. Nunes, Pushpam Kumar and Tom Dedeurwaerdere
Chapter 27: Governance is critical to managing coastal and marine resources: effects of marine management areas
Worldwide, coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds, and other highly diverse tropical marine ecosystems are under sharp decline. Anthropogenic impacts are degrading water quality, habitat configuration and the ecological structure of entire coastal systems. Consequently, most coastal marine fisheries are under an increasing threat of collapse. This global crisis poses an unprecedented challenge not only to marine biodiversity conservation, but also to the livelihood of millions of people who depend on healthy coastal ecosystems, especially in developing countries. Globally, almost 50 percent of fisheries are at maximum capacity, while more than 25 percent have been pushed beyond sustainable limits. Industrial fishing practices have depressed populations of large predatory fish to about 10 percent of pre-industrial levels throughout the global ocean. Recent assessments show that 20 percent of the world's coral reefs have been effectively destroyed, a further 24 percent are under imminent risk of collapse, and another 26 percent are under long-term threat from human-caused pressures. Marine managed areas (MMAs) of various types are a form of resource management that regulates human activities in particular locations (area-based management strategy). There are many types and management regimes of MMAs, from multiple-use and community-managed areas to no-take reserves, but objectives generally converge at socioeconomic (e.g., fisheries, tourism) and biodiversity conservation benefits.
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