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Putting Marine Protected Areas Where They’re Needed Most

Putting Marine Protected Areas Where They’re Needed Most first comprehensive assessment of the coverage marine protected areas (MPAs) provide for marine life around the world was recently completed by an international team of researchers.

The team examined the ranges of 17,348 species and found that many of them remain unprotected. A total of 97.4% of marine species have less than 10% of their range covered in MPAs.

“The increase in the number of MPAs in recent years is encouraging, but most of this increase has come from a few very large MPAs,” co-author and UC Santa Barbara professor Ben Halpern said in a news release. “Those very large MPAs provide important value, but they can mislead us into thinking that biodiversity is being well protected because of them. Species all around the planet need protection, not just those in some locations. Our results point out where the protection gaps exist.”

The areas with the most “gap species” (species whose entire range is outside of MPAs) include the United States, Canada, and Brazil. read more at